Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren grilled Dr. Ben Carson at his confirmation hearing on Thursday to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Carson and the senator sparred over whether or not Carson would commit to preventing any real estate companies linked to the President-elect from contracting with the federal government to build low-income housing.
Warren asked Carson, “can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar you give out will financial benefit the president-elect or his family?”
Carson responded by saying that he will not “play favorites” and by explaining that the things “[he does] are driven by a sense of morals and values.”
However, this response was not sufficient for Warren. She continued to press Carson, saying,
“It’s not about your good faith. My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars you will be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you just assure us that not $1 will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?”
To be clear, Carson explained that, “It will not be [his] intention to do anything to benefit [Trump].”
Warren fired back, asking, “Do I take that to mean you may manage programs that will significantly benefit the president-elect?”
“You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” Carson explained.
“If there happens to be an extraordinary program that’s working for millions of people, and it turns out that someone that you’re targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say, ‘No, the rest of you Americans can’t have it?’ I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.”
Sen. Warren continued to be critical of Carson’s willingness to implement programs that financially benefit the President-elect.
“The problem is that you can’t assure us that HUD money — not of $10 varieties but of multimillion-dollar varieties — will not end up in the president-elect’s pockets,” she explained.