Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenObama's speech proves hypocrisy of Democrat's anti-Wall Street rhetoric Warren to Trump: The Constitution applies to you, too GOP senator: Trump is 'moving at business pace, not government pace' MORE (D-Mass.) grilled Ben Carson at his Thursday confirmation hearing to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The two went back and forth over whether Carson would commit at HUD to prevent any real estate companies linked to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFirst 100 days: A true reflection of Trump, poor reflection of America Fox poll: Trump approval below 50 percent Pelosi gives Trump an incomplete for first 100 days MORE from contracting with the federal government to build low-income homes.
“Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar you give out will financial benefit the president-elect or his family?” Warren asked Carson.
In response, the former GOP presidential candidate promised to not “play favorites.”
Warren pressed Carson: “It’s not about your good faith. My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars you will be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you just assure us that not $1 will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?”
“It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit [Trump],” Carson responded.
Warren shot back: “Do I take that to mean you may manage programs that will significantly benefit the president-elect?”
“You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” Carson said.
Carson argued that he would not prevent a company linked with Trump from working with HUD if it might benefit low-income Americans.
“If there happens to be an extraordinary program that’s working for millions of people, and it turns out that someone that you’re targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say, ‘No, the rest of you Americans can’t have it?’ ” he said. “I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.”
“The problem is that you can’t assure us that HUD money — not of $10 varieties but of multimillion-dollar varieties — will not end up in the president-elect’s pockets,” Warren responded.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownDems crowd primaries to challenge GOP reps Battle begins over Wall Street rules Congress nears deal on help for miners MORE, the lead Democrat on the banking panel, echoed concerns raised by Warren.