After hosting a raucous press conference Friday evening to respond to claims he has lied several times in the past, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson may soon have more explaining to do.
“Mr. Carson writes of a Yale psychology professor who told Mr. Carson, then a junior, and the other students in the class — identified by Mr. Carson as Perceptions 301 — that their final exam papers had “inadvertently burned,” requiring all 150 students to retake it. The new exam, Mr. Carson recalled in the book, was much tougher. All the students but Mr. Carson walked out.
The professor came toward me. With her was a photographer for the Yale Daily News who paused and snapped my picture,” Mr. Carson wrote. ” ‘A hoax,’ the teacher said. ‘We wanted to see who was the most honest student in the class.’ ” Mr. Carson wrote that the professor handed him a $US10 bill.”
However, the WSJ spoke with Yale Librarian Claryn Spies, who said that there was never a class called Perceptions 301 at Yale, and a search of YDN turned up no sign of such a picture.
It’s another confounding instance of inaccuracies in anecdotes about the life and belief system of Carson.
A CNN story earlier in the week researched claims that Carson had made in his autobiography about having a violent streak as a teenager, attacking his mother with a hammer and attempting to stab a friend. Carson claimed that it was those instances in his past that caused him to find God and assume a calming temperament.
But CNN wasn’t able to find anyone from Carson’s past to corroborate his stories of past violence, and most remembered him as the same soft-spoken person he is today.
Politico also disputed a story in “Gifted Hands” that Carson turned down a scholarship offer from the US Military Academy at West Point. It turns out that Carson never applied to West Point.
During the press conference on Friday, Carson admitted that he had never received a scholarship offer from West Point, but that he had received encouragement to attend.
On Friday he hit back at the media for supposedly inventing controversy.
“There is a desperation on behalf of some to try to find a way to tarnish me because they have been looking through everything,” Carson said. “They are getting desperate. So next week it will be ‘my kindergarten teacher who said I peed in my pants.’ I mean, it’s ridiculous!”
For now, it seems, he’ll just have to answer whether he was Yale’s most honest student.
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