Politico accuses Carson of ‘fabricating’ West Point story; another source calls Politico the fabricator

After interviewing the world-renowned, neurosurgeon-turned-presidential candidate, a Friday headline from left-leaning Politico screamed, “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship.”

But it could be the only “fabricating” being done was by Politico.

Within hours of the Politico story, even conservative outlets were raising the white flag of defeat.

Townhall editor Katie Pavlich tweeted this four-word death knell:

The story stemmed from a passage in Carson’s 1992 autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” in which he recalled a 1969 meeting with the late, Vietnam-era General William Westmoreland. Politico reported:

Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


After a little investigation, Politico discovered that the U.S. Military Academy had never received an application from Carson. But, as Ben Shapiro reported in The Daily Wire, Carson at no time ever indicated that he’d applied to West Point. Only that he was offered a place in the academy of cadets if he chose to apply.

The relevant part of Carson’s memoir reads:

At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, We had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going.


Shapiro added that Carson repeated his account in an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose last week.

“I was offered a full scholarship at West Point, got to meet General Westmoreland and go to Congressional Medal of Honor dinners,” he told Rose. “But decided really my pathway would be medicine.”

Again, in this retelling, Shapiro points out Carson didn’t indicate that he’d actually applied to the academy.

Politico also took issue with Carson’s characterization of an offer of “a full scholarship,” given that none of the cadets at the academy pay for room, board, books or tuition.

In response, Shapiro tweeted this update to his story: 

After the Shapiro story ran, Pavlich tweeted:

This hasn’t been a particularly good week for Carson — it seems that he’s been hit from all sides. But so far, he’s come out of it relatively unscathed each time.


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