Ben Carson 'Trying to Cancel' $31K Dining Set

House committee is investigating the furniture buy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2018 12:24 AM CST
Carson has promised "full disclosure" on the office spend.   (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)
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(Newser) – Ben Carson has apparently decided that staying in President Trump's cabinet is more important than having a fancy table. After the House Oversight Committee announced that it's investigating the refurbishment of the Department of Housing and Urban Development chief's offices, a Carson spokesman said the agency is trying to cancel a controversial order for a $31,000 hardwood dining table, chairs, hutch, and sideboard, reports the New York Times. But Armstrong Williams added that rescinding the order is complicated. "The person they contracted has already spent $14,000 making the table," he said. "While his intentions are to cancel it, we have to see what happens."

Carson said in a statement that "nobody was more surprised" than he was about the furniture order, which may have violated a law requiring congressional approval for office refurbishment costs above $5,000. Whistleblower Helen Foster, former chief administrative officer at HUD, says she was told "$5,000 won't even buy a decent chair" when she pointed out the limit. The Guardian reports that when she was asked Thursday whether Trump is considering Carson's future, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "In terms of if you are asking if he is getting rid of anyone in the Cabinet, I’m not aware of that." She added that HUD is "looking for another option that is much more responsible to taxpayer dollars."

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