GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson’s business manager Armstong Williams reiterated Thursday on CNN that the neurosurgeon had no “relationship” with supplement company Mannatech, Inc.
Carson’s past interaction with Mannatech rose to national attention during Wednesday night’s CNBC Republican presidential debate when moderator Carl Quintanilla asked Carson about his history with the supplement company.
Quintanilla acknowledged the fact that Mannatech settled out of a 2007 lawsuit after it claimed to cure cancer and autism with its products, costing the organization $7 million.
“I actually negotiated the contract,” Williams told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview on “The Lead.” “Dr. Carson was asked to go to Arizona — and there’s an email chain, I may mess up some of the details — to be a part of Mannatech.”
Williams told Tapper the supplement company wanted to tape a promo for PBS. However, once Carson read the script for the ad, Williams said the Republican candidate told him he “wasn’t comfortable” with the wording.
According to Williams, Carson never agreed to any script and told Mannatech he would do this promo because he didn’t want to “disappoint” the audience, but the relationship would end there.
“He’s going to say what he wants to say and — I’ve gotta tell you — once he leaves Phoenix, this relationship is over,” Williams said he told a Mannatech executive.
Williams said Carson was “never involved in the details,” but that it was he and Carson’s executive secretary who pursued the relationship.
Williams told Tapper that details are not always part of the initial negotiation when organizations are booking speakers and that once the script was revealed, Carson determined he was not going to continue his relationship with Mannatech.
“That was showing his integrity,” Williams said. “When that was over, [Carson] made it clear to me, ‘You need to get me out of this. I’m not going to do this again.’”