Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson blasted reporters Friday evening, contending the media had largely misreported a story about his claim to have been offered a West Point scholarship.
On Friday morning, Politico reported that Carson admitted to having “fabricated” a story about being offered a scholarship to attend West Point. That report was hotly contested and Politico ultimately amended it, later adding an editor’s note.
Carson was answering questions at a news conference when a reporter implied he said he received a full scholarship.
“I never said I received a full scholarship,” the retired neurosurgeon quipped back. “I never said — wait a minute, don’t lie! I never said I received a full scholarship. Nowhere did I say that.”
“There have been reports today—,” the reporter said.
“Politico, as you know, told a bold-faced lie,” Carson said. “They have been called out on it by The Washington Post and The New York Times and I’m sure there will be several others who call them out on that. Because there are actually some people with integrity in your business.”
[sharequote align=”center”]”Politico, as you know, told a bold-faced lie.”[/sharequote]
“You just told me that you got a scholarship offer,” another reporter chimed in.
“No, she said that I got a scholarship. I never said that I got a scholarship,” Carson shot back. “I had people who said yes, that I could get a scholarship to West Point and I told them I wasn’t interested and I was going to pursue medicine.”
The Republican presidential contender then took jabs at the media, arguing reporters didn’t vet President Barack Obama as much when he sought the nation’s highest office.
“I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running,” Carson said. “In fact, I remember just the opposite. I remember people just – oh wait, we won’t talk about that. We won’t talk about that relationship.”
“Why is his records sealed?” he later asked. “Why are you guys not interested in his record are sealed? Why are you not interested in that? Let me ask that. Can someone tell me why please?”
A reporter asked, “Why do you think they are?”
“I’m asking you why it’s sealed. No, no, no! Don’t change it!” he said over the reporter. “I’m asking you will someone, will someone tell me why you have not investigated that? I want to know.”
“Why are you raising it?” a reporter asked.
“Because I want to know. You should want to know too,” Carson answered.
He added, “Hold on one second. You are saying that something that happened with the words ‘a scholarship was offered’ is a big deal, but president of the United States, his academic records being sealed is not? Tell me how there is equivalency there!”
Carson concluded saying he would not stand idly by as the media took shots at his campaign.
“What you are not going to find with me is somebody who is just going to sit back and let you be completely unfair without letting the American people know what’s going on. And the American people are waking up to your games.”
Watch the full press conference:
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