Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson’s 2016 presidential campaign started with all of the promise in the world — and with plenty of cash in the bank.
But millions have been squandered with very little results, and the campaign is now running low on cash. And rumors have been circulating that some of Carson’s closest aides were basically running a scam to enrich themselves and their friends.
And Carson isn’t exactly denying it.
During an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Carson admitted to Poppy Harlow, “We had people who didn’t really seem to understand finances,” and continued, “or maybe they did — maybe they were doing it on purpose.”
That’s a very shocking admission from a man who has already been accused of running a campaign with lax oversight. But it also confirms what many political insiders have been claiming for months.
According to a report by The Atlantic, much of the money raised by the Carson campaign was pumped right back into efforts to raise more money. While every campaign does this to some extent, the level at which it was happening in the Carson campaign left many stunned.
Worse, as The Atlantic reported, “the fact that many of the vendors doing the pricey work were connected to the campaign made it look like they were treating the Carson for president push as a way to line their own pockets.”
In other words, campaign staff seemed actively engaged in helping their friends and relations make enormous amounts of money off the Carson campaign. Carson himself has voiced frustration, firing much of his top level staff after the end of 2015.
“These questions have been circling since last summer,” The Atlantic reported. “If they’re right, the most sympathetic interpretation is that Carson, like his donors, was being taken for a ride by his aides.”