When news broke last month that the Department of Housing and Urban Development had ordered a $31,000 dining set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office, his defense was that he didn’t know about the purchase. But newly uncovered emails show that’s not true.
One August email from a HUD staffer to Carson’s assistants refers to “printouts of the furniture the Secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out.” The emails were obtained by American Oversight, a left-leaning watchdog, CNN reported.
HUD ordered the dining set without asking for the approval of the House oversight committee, which is required for this kind of expenditure if it tops $5,000. Carson later canceled the order.
“Mrs. Carson and the secretary had no awareness that the table was being purchased,” HUD spokesperson RAffi Williams told CNN last month. But confronted with the emails, he now told the news organization: “When presented with options by professional staff, Mrs. Carson participated in the selection of specific styles.” [CNN] — Konrad Putzier