Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) used her position as the ranking Democrat on House Committee on Financial Services to attack HUD Secretary Ben Carson Thursday.
Here's the video of the grilling she gave Carson:
Maxine Waters goes after Ben Carson for Trump's latest Puerto Rico tweets. Yes auntie, keep your feet on their necks! 🙌🏿pic.twitter.com/BSLfKsEFfJ
— Kanisha Jackson (@Kanisha1Jackson) October 12, 2017
What did Waters say?
Waters used the opportunity to try to draw a wedge between Carson and President Donald Trump's statements about the federal response to Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricanes that destroyed much of the island.
"I had intended to start to talk about the housing crisis that we have," she began, "but since the president was busy tweeting this morning and you referred to HUD's role in dealing with the hurricane disasters and what you and the administration are doing, this morning Trump threatened to abandon Puerto Rico recovery efforts."
"President Trump served notice Thursday that he might pull back federal relief workers from Puerto Rico," she continued, "effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of hurricane Maria."
Waters read the tweets from the president as seen below:
"Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making." says Sharyl Attkisson. A total lack of.....— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1507805382.0
...accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend....— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1507805933.0
...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1507806420.0
"So you talked about what you, HUD, is doing in cooperation with, I guess, the administration," Waters continued. "Do you agree with the president?"
"I certainly agree that Puerto Rico is a very important territory," Carson answered. "The people from Puerto Rico have contributed greatly to the culture of America—"
"I'm not talking about that," Waters interrupted. "What I'm talking about is these tweets where the president threatened to abandon Puerto Rico recovery efforts. Do you agree that they should be abandoned, that Puerto Rico should be abandoned?"
"Well, first of all, as I was saying," Carson answered, "Puerto Rico is very important part of our culture and as a result of that—"
"No I know it's important" Waters interrupted agains, "but I want to know whether or not you agree with the president who's threatening to abandon Puerto Rico recovery efforts."
"I think I just said," Carson replied, "I have no intention of abandoning Puerto Rico, they are very important part of who we are."
"So you don't agree with the president?" she added, characterizing Trump's tweets as shaming of the region. She asked if he agreed with that assessment.
"I think that our job is to make sure that we take care of the disaster that has occurred," he answered.
"So you don't agree that it should be abandoned, is that right?" she pressed.
"Of course it should not be abandoned," he answered.
"And you don't think that they should be ashamed for its own plight, is that right?" she asked.
"There is no question," he answered, "that there have been a lot of difficulties in Puerto Rico that ended up—"
"Should they be shamed for their own plight?" she interrupted again.
"I don't think it," he said, "I don't think it's beneficial to go around shaming people in general."
"OK, so I'm glad to hear you don't agree with the president," she concluded.
Why did Waters go after Carson this way?
Rep. Waters has been telling her supporters for months that she intended to rip into Carson, saying that he was an "educated fool." She also criticized him for comments he made about the mindset some have because of their upbringing surrounded by poverty.