U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of housing and urban development, Dr. Ben Carson, said Thursday that he will monitor Trump’s conflicts of interest between government and his large property portfolio. But the Senate hearing for the nomination came with some embarrassing slip ups.
During Thursday’s hearing in front of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Carson said he knows of at least one Trump-controlled property that is eligible for federal funding from the department and said that he would monitor any possible conflicts of interest.
Carson was grilled by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who pressed him to assure that none of the money from the department would fall into the hands of Donald Trump and family.
After repeated questioning from Warren, Carson responded, “It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American,” who then corrected himself “It’s for all Americans.”
Warren continued her assault saying that Carson could not assure the committee that money will not end up in Trump pockets “because the president-elect is hiding his family’s business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America.”
In another embarrassing gaffe for the retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate, Carson’s prepared written remarks for the hearing appeared to include plagiarized sections.
Carson did not present the written remarks, which were already published on the committee's website and released to the public. Two paragraphs of Carson’s remarks appeared to be copied verbatim from a 2008 report from the philanthropy organization the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Trump’s transition team later said that the copied sections in Carson’s written report were intended to be supported with hyperlinks and footnotes, but they were left off in an apparent error.
While Carson previously ran for the Republican nomination for president last year, he has no previous experience in government. Carson has been criticized for his views of Islam, homophobia and attacking the Black Lives Matter movement.