When Dr. Ben Carson, a former surgeon and sometime Hollywood actor with zero experience in government, was appointed to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, many in the country let out a collective sigh of grief. After all, in addition to his aforementioned lack of qualifications, Carson, a vegetarian, very well may have fabricated a claim of being held up at gunpoint in a Popeyes.
To placate doubters, upon taking office Carson promised to tackle all of the “waste” going on at HUD and boasted of how he attempted to re-use $750,000 of old computers from a different government agency—only to have his money-saving endeavor held up by bureaucratic red tape.
“You may disagree with Ben Carson’s view, but you have to admire a man who’s so consistently committed to saving money. Like, you have to admire that… unless it’s all bullshit,” said Trevor Noah on The Daily Show Wednesday night.
The late-night host dedicated a 9-minute segment to reports this week alleging that Carson’s been quite the spendthrift at HUD. An ex-senior HUD official, Helen Foster, claimed in a lawsuit that she was “demoted” after refusing to sign off an expensive, rules-flouting redecoration of Carson’s HUD office, allegedly being told, “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair” (spending more than $5,000 on said redecorations necessitates congressional approval). Foster alleges that Carson repeatedly pressured her to bypass the rules to get him a pricey office redecoration with taxpayer money.
“Wait, what? Does Ben Carson think a good chair costs $5,000?” asked a baffled Noah. “This guy would be the worst Price Is Right contestant…Seriously? You can’t get a good chair for less than $5,000? Do you realize you can get a sex chair off of Amazon that will literally sodomize you and it’s $49.99 with free shipping? That’s real.”
If that weren’t enough, The New York Times reported that Carson spent $31,000 of taxpayer money on a dining set for his HUD office. And the Guardian further reported that HUD spent $165,000 on “lounge furniture” for its D.C. headquarters under Carson.
Noah was, understandably, beside himself. “You realize for that amount of money he could have built a poor person a decent house?” said Noah. “Like, Ben Carson is clearly doing some shady shit at his department, and it might also involve his wife and his son. I don’t know.”
The comedian then threw to a viral clip of Carson appearing to fart loudly on the Fox News program Justice with Judge Jeanine—while quoting scripture, no less.
“While supporting deep budget cuts to his department, Carson is spending lavishly on dining sets, and lounge furniture, and $5,000 chairs—which is not OK,” said Noah, “unless that chair costs $5,000 because it has sophisticated fart-suppressing technology. In that case, it’s money well spent.”