Retired Neurosurgeon Becomes Latest in Long Line of Unqualified or Unacceptable Trump Picks
Dr. Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and former opponent-turned-endorser of Donald Trump, is the president-elect’s nominee to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Carson become the latest pick who clearly has zero experience for the role, provoking charges among critics that Trump is using his election to pay back favors as he surrounds himself not with “the best people” as he promised but with the people he knows.
â€œI am thrilled to nominate Dr.Â Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,â€ Trump said in a statement Monday, as The Washington Post first reported.
Carson, through his spokesman, last month had first announced he would not be accepting any role within the administration, admitting he was unqualified to run a federal government department. But two weeks ago he then hinted at the HUD nomination, stating an “announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again.”
He noted he intends toÂ help make America’s “inner cities” great again, by “ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid.”
Carson has no experience that comes close to runningÂ a $32 billion federalÂ agency that employs 8500 people and is responsible for setting and enforcing policy across a wide swath of issues, including nondiscrimination against minorities. Notably, spirituality is not included in the job description.
Predictably, as new broke of the announcement Monday morning, Twitter exploded in anger and mockery.
Trump picked Ben Carson as HUD Secretary. In related news, U.S. hospitals admitted dozens for head injuries due to extreme facepalming.
â€” George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 5, 2016
Ben Carson for secrestabby of Housing and Urban Development. This is fine. pic.twitter.com/ibQ7lCZFZs
â€” Baratunde (@baratunde) December 5, 2016
Ben Carson is creationist who said Jews could’ve stopped the Holocaust if they had guns & prison turns people gay. Why pick him for HUD Sec?
â€” Hummingbird (@Hummingbrd15) December 5, 2016
Spoke to a friend in urban planning about Ben Carson as HUD: “That’s not an entry-level position!”
But under President Trump EVERYTHING is.
â€” Eric Wolfson (@EricWolfson) December 5, 2016
Completely inexperienced Carson will assume HUD leadership at in middle of affordable housing crisis – Curbed https://t.co/KaUXA5433J
â€” Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) December 5, 2016
Trump’s past thoughts on his new HUD Secretary, Ben Carson: pic.twitter.com/TLOkIRBytu
â€” Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 5, 2016
The only experience Dr. Ben Carson has with HUD is that he owns a home, so now I’m applying for CEO of Apple because I own a phone.
â€” Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) December 5, 2016
Dr. Carson, 2015: “I want to run the country”
Dr. Carson, 11/2016: “I”m not qualified to run HHS”
Dr. Carson, 12/2016: “Sure, I’ll run HUD”
â€” Noah Lang Ù† (@thedaysofnoah) December 5, 2016
I read Carson’s bio for any trace of expertise in HUD topics and came away with “the pyramids are actually grain solos” https://t.co/egljYaG5YU
â€” Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) December 5, 2016
In appointing Ben Carson to HUD, Trump is clearly doubling down on his “what do you have to lose?” message.
â€” Barry Graubart (@graubart) December 5, 2016
Ben Carson for HUD secretary? Whats next, Tom Cruise for Secretary of State? Lets just have all of these unqualified people selected!
â€” Stevie G (@StevenGraveline) December 5, 2016
Ben Carson has been nominated as HUD secretary. A man who once called fair housing “communist” & has no relevant qualifications
â€” Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) December 5, 2016
The only views Carson has publicly espoused on housing are that the government shouldn’t try to desegregate https://t.co/eQgjlXG2b4
â€” Max de Haldevang (@MddeH) November 26, 2016
“Trump likens Carson’s ‘pathology’ to that of a child molester” https://t.co/jz3xvVhVOz
â€” Kal Penn (@kalpenn) December 5, 2016
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Former Trump CFO Nearing ‘Unexpectedly Favorable’ Plea Deal With Manhattan DA: NYT
Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who worked for the Trump family since 1970, is nearing a plea deal with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his case, according to The New York Times. Charges include conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records.
Weisselberg, who is 75, could walk away with a minor prison sentence of just five months, the Times reports, calling it “an unexpectedly favorable outcome for him.”
The plea deal would not include any cooperation on broader issues related to Donald Trump. Legal experts have said Weisselberg knows nearly everything that the Trump Organization has done.
“His plea deal, if finalized, would bring prosecutors no closer to indicting the former president but would nonetheless brand one of his most trusted lieutenants a felon.”
Earlier this year Manhattan D.A. Bragg came under intense criticism after he seemingly halted his office’s longtime investigation into Donald Trump.
One of the prosecutors who worked 0n the Trump case but quit when Bragg ended it called it a “grave failure of justice,” and said Trump was “guilty of numerous felonies.”
“Prosecutors accuse Weisselberg of a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities of $1.76 million in ‘off-the-books’ compensation,” Law & Crime reported. “These included $359,058 in tuition expenses for multiple family members, $196,245 for leases on his Mercedes Benz automobiles, $29,400 in unreported cash, and an unspecified amount in ad hoc personal expenses, according to his indictment.”
In 2018 The New Yorker reported “Allen Weisselberg, the firm’s longtime chief financial officer, is the center, the person in the company who knows more than anyone.”
Does Trump Still Has Classified Docs? DOJ May Think So After Asking Judge to Keep Affidavit Sealed Former Fed Says
After the National Archives had to travel to Mar-a-Lago earlier this year to take back 15 cartons of documents and other items from the Trump White House, and even after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home last week, could it possible the Dept. of Justice thinks the former president is still holding onto classified documents?
One former federal prosecutor says that one of two distinct possibilities, after DOJ asked a federal judge on Monday to not unseal the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.
“There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed,” the Dept. of Justice’s filing states, ABC News reports. “In a footnote, department officials write that they ‘carefully considered’ whether they could release the affidavit with redactions, but the redactions necessary to ‘mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest.'”
“Interesting tidbit,” writes The New York Times’ Alan Feuer. “Prosecutors acknowledge they’ve been interviewing witnesses and say the release of the warrant application could ‘chill future cooperation by witnesses as ‘investigation progresses.'”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotto says the Dept. of Justice may think Trump still has more classified documents – or there are charges coming in response to the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Mariotto writes: “This suggests DOJ is continuing its investigation, which means one of two things: 1) DOJ *still* isn’t convinced they have all of the classified material Trump took when he left office. 2) They have an ongoing criminal investigation of this matter that could result in charges.”
“That’s potentially very important news,” Mariotto adds. “Many national security pros thought that the main (if not only) purpose of the search warrant was to secure sensitive material, not to build potential criminal charges.”
“The government does not object to unsealing other materials filed in connection with the search warrant whose unsealing would not jeopardize the integrity of this national security investigation, subject to minor redactions to protect government personnel.”
Man Taken Into Custody and Charged After Allegedly Making Death Threats Against FBI Following Mar-a-Lago Raid
Federal agents have taken a Pennsylvania man into custody after he allegedly made death threats against the FBI on the far right wing social media platform Gab, following last week’s raid on Mar-a-Lago. Trump supporters have been increasing their level of threats of violence and civil war against the left and the FBI since last Monday when federal agents confiscated 20 cartons worth of items that had been removed from the White House, including highly classified documents.
“Adam Bies was charged with influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal law enforcement official after the social media exploitation team in the FBI’s National Threat Operations Section referred a tip about a Gab post by the user ‘BlankFocus,'” NBC News reports. “The user, according to a FBI affidavit, posted that employees of the bureau deserved to die.”
Bies allegedly wrote on Gab, “I’m ready for the inevitable. Once you accept reality for what it is instead of what you want or to be, you can move on with your life and get prepared for the inevitable outcome. I already know I’m going to die at the hands of these piece of shit child molesting law enforcement scumbags.”
According to authorities Bies also wrote his “only goal is to kill more of them before I drop. I will not spend one second of my life in their custody.”
“Records show that Bies was taken into custody,” NBC News adds.
The New York Times’ Alan Feuer posted screenshots of a few of Bies’ alleged threats.
“I am going to f**cking slaughter you,” one of the threats reads. “I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, then you deserve to die,” says another.
In one of his posts on Gab he appears to be addressing the far right platform’s Christian nationalist and antisemitic founder, Andrew Torba.
Just in: Prosecutors charge a PA man w/multiple online threats against the FBI for posting violent messages on Gab in the days after agents searched Mar-a-Lago.
“I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, then you deserve to die.”
“I am going to f**cking slaughter you.” pic.twitter.com/KY6EY0BQiQ
— Alan Feuer (@alanfeuer) August 15, 2022
Torba, who has been called a consultant to far right Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, has declared America is a “Christian nation,” Christians are “taking back” America from Jewish people, he has said, and bragged how they have “Christian nationalists” who are current members of Congress, along with a multitude of Christian nationalists who are running for elected office at the local, state, and national levels.
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