News & Politics

Ben Carson Admits He Lied About Inspirational West Point Story

The GOP frontrunner's autobiography seems to be at least part fiction.

In the past week, Ben Carson has edged out Donald Trump, both in the polls and in the absurd lengths he'll go to cater to the GOP's angry base. But his success has also fueled more media scrutiny, and now key elements from his personal story are falling apart. 

Today, CNN published a story questioning Carson's "inspirational" tales of childhood violence, including a nasty attack on a classmate and charging at his mother with a hammer. Carson's former classmates were unfamiliar with the incidents, reported CNN

Slightly later, the Carson campaign fessed up that he'd fabricated a story about applying and being accepted into West Point after Politico found no evidence any of that had happened. Politico reports: 

The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17-year-old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.

Let's see how quickly Carson's campaign can convert the revelations into evidence of horrific persecution by the media. 


Tana Ganeva is a reporter covering criminal justice, drug policy and homelessness. Follow her on Twitter @TanaGaneva.

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Election 2018