Housing and Urban Development Secretary (HUD) Ben Carson and his staffers were kicked out of a church in Baltimore on Wednesday after he attempted to hold a press conference at the location to defend Donald Trump’s remarks about the city and promote the president’s administration.
Carson’s crew arrived at a vacant lot owned by the Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ in Baltimore on Wednesday, where they planned to hold a press conference in the wake of Trump’s controversial tweets about Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings and his hometown district of Baltimore. While Carson and his employees were preparing, church member Gregory Evans reportedly asked the group to leave the premise because they had not obtained permission to use the location.
“It’s nothing personal,” Evans said, according to The Baltimore Sun. “I didn’t know it was Secretary Carson. I just know there were a bunch of people over there that were taking over our site. And we said, ‘Why are they here?’ They’ve not even asked for permission to be here.”
After being booted from the site, Carson and HUD officials moved the news conference to a nearby alley, reported the Sun. The HUD secretary admitted he was told to leave the church premise in his remarks.
“What I’m saying is, you know, we have a society in which people, instead of trying to be helpful, think only about themselves. That is a problem,” he explained, when asked by reporters to elaborate.
Carson, the only black member of Trump’s cabinet, spent a large portion of his speaking time on Wednesday attempting to diffuse the backlash against the president after he called Cummings’ district in Baltimore a “disgusting rat and rodent infested mess” and a “very dangerous and filthy place.”
“The federal government has invested a lot of money in Baltimore and will continue to do so,” the HUD secretary said, but “there are problems, and we can’t sweep them under the rug.”
“It’s sort of like if you have a patient who has cancer, and you can dress them up and put a nice suit on it and you can try to ignore it, but that cancer is going to have a devastating effect,” Carson continued. “You have to be willing to address that issue if you’re ever going to solve it.”
He also revealed that he has been talking to Trump “over the last couple of days about what we can do for Baltimore.” “He’s very willing to work with people here in Baltimore, including with Elijah Cummings,” Carson added.
*see full story by NewsWeek