Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson lost his cool Friday while defending Donald Trump on “Morning Joe.”
Carson, a prominent surrogate for Trump, was asked about the latest sexual misconduct accusations against the Republican presidential nominee. He reacted by asking whether MSNBC could turn off the microphone of a female reporter who was interviewing him.
“You seem to be suggesting … that these women are lying,” reporter Katty Kay said to Carson. “The real reason that women who have been sexually abused don’t come forward to talk about their stories is precisely this, that all too often they are accused of being liars. Are you saying that these women are lying?”
Carson refused to say.
“That’s your characterization because you need to characterise it that way to try to make me the bad guy,” he said.
Kay cut in and said, “It’s a question.” But Carson cut her off. The retired neurosurgeon held up his hand, shouted “stop” repeatedly, and then said, “Hey, can you turn her microphone off?”
Show host Joe Scarborough was indignant.
“No, it’s a simple question, yes or no?” he asked. “Do you believe these women are lying or not? Nobody is trying to paint you as a bad guy, we just want an answer, straight talk.”
Carson then dismissed the accusations against Trump as irrelevant.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re lying or not,” he said. “What matters is that the train is going off the cliff. We’re taking our eye off of that and we’re getting involved in other issues that can be taken care of later.”
Carson then pivoted to talking about the state of the country after again talking over Kay’s objections.
“Here’s what we need to be thinking about,” he said. “I love the fact that all of a sudden you want to talk about morality in our country. I would love for us to bring back our Judeo-Christian values and begin to teach those things and emphasise them at a time other than a political election. Let’s do that. But right now, the train is going off the cliff. You’ve got to understand that.”
After he was pressed again on the sexual misconduct allegations against Trump, Carson changed the subject to the economy.
“It’s like hitting against a brick wall, getting people, and particularly people in the news media, to understand how much trouble we’re in,” he said. “Look at what’s happening to the future of our children. We’ve got an almost $20 trillion national debt, the fiscal gap of $200 trillion. Think about that.”
Watch the full exchange below:
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