CNN talked to some of Ben Carson’s childhood friends to verify the candidate’s accounts of his violent childhood. No one could.
UPDATE: Politico reports that Ben Carson has admitted that his claims to have been accepted to West Point were false. Read the story, here.
In his memoirs and on the campaign trail, Carson’s troubled childhood — in which Carson said he “would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers” — plays a key role in his origin story. An attempted stabbing thwarted by the victim’s belt buckle was the incident “God used…to help turn my life around,” according to Carson’s 2000 autobiography The Big Picture.
Carson has recounted the incident many times, and as The Daily Beast has pointed out, key elements of the story have changed over the years. CNN recently spoke with several childhood friends and neighbors of Carson’s who all said that the violent stories don’t square with the boy they knew. In the end, CNN couldn’t verify a single story.
Carson responded to CNN’s (lack of) findings, saying that the only people who would know about his formerly violent temper are the victims of it. His campaign had previously called the investigation a “witch hunt.”
If the stories turn out to be fabrications, it’s a pretty ironic scandal: a presidential hopeful in hot water for never having stabbed someone. It’s already bizarre, with Carson calling CNN’s suggestion that he might not have been violent as a child “an attempt to smear” him.
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