Ben Carson Admits His West Point Story Is Untrue

School says he never even applied
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2015 11:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Ben Carson claimed in his 1990 memoir Gifted Hands that he met Gen. William Westmoreland in 1969, when Carson was 17 and Westmoreland had just finished leading the US forces in Vietnam, and that soon after Carson was offered a full scholarship to West Point. Well, it turns out the West Point part is not true, and Carson's camp confirms that. Politico reached out to West Point, which has no record of Carson being offered admission, and then reached out to Carson. "Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit. In that role" he did meet Westmoreland, Carson's campaign manager says. "He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors. They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission."

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A West Point rep says it's feasible things happened that way, but also that Westmoreland would never have guaranteed Carson a spot at West Point. Politico points out all who gain admission have a free ride, so there are really no such things as scholarships. In Gifted Hands, the story about Westmoreland and West Point serves as a sort of redemption story for Carson, who says the ROTC helped him turn his life around after his temper caused him to try to stab a close friend at age 14. But questions are being raised about that part of the story as well: CNN put out a story in which people from Carson's past say they don't remember him having the temper he describes in the book, and others have questioned the same thing. Carson has continued to defend those parts of his book, notes the Washington Post. (Later on Friday, Carson lashed out at the media, and Politico added an editor's note to the story and removed the word "fabrication" from its headline.)

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