Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonBen Carson's remarks during San Francisco visit spark backlash Democrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition Senior HUD official reprimanded for making political statements on the job MORE said Wednesday he does not believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE is a racist, nor did he find the president's tweets telling minority congresswomen to "go back" to other countries to be racist.

"I have an advantage of knowing the president very well, and he’s not a racist," Carson said on "America's Newsroom" on Fox News. "His comments are not racist, but he loves the country very much. And he has a feeling that those who represent the country should love it as well."

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Carson, who is the only black Cabinet secretary in the Trump administration, pointed to the president's economic record when asked what he may have meant in his tweets targeting the progressive lawmakers.

"I think you can see what the president means by looking at his accomplishments," Carson said. "Look at his policies. Under this president you see the rising tide lifting all boats. You see low unemployment — record low — for blacks, for Hispanics, for all the demographics of our nation.

"When you have somebody spending this much time and this much effort trying to elevate those who are vulnerable and who are suffering in our society, I think we should pay a lot more attention to what they are doing than what anyone is saying," he added.

The president sparked an uproar on Sunday morning when he tweeted that the progressive congresswomen "who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe" should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

In the days since, Trump has doubled down on his attacks against Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Progressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarGOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Omar asks Twitter what it's doing in response to Trump spreading 'lies that put my life at risk' MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Omar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyDemocrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Omar asks Twitter what it's doing in response to Trump spreading 'lies that put my life at risk' MORE (Mass.). He claimed that the lawmakers "hate our country" and should go elsewhere.

All four women are U.S. citizens, and all but Omar were born in this country.

Amid intense backlash from Democrats and Republicans, Trump asserted Tuesday that the tweets were not racist.

The House voted Tuesday evening, 240-187, to formally condemn the tweets as "racist." Four Republicans joined every House Democrat in voting for the measure.

Trump's Cabinet secretaries have largely been mum on the furor.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Defense: Trump hits Iranian central bank with sanctions | Trump meeting with Ukrainian leader at UN | Trump touts relationship with North Korea's Kim as 'best thing' for US Trump says he's sanctioning Iran's national bank Lawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills MORE said he did not find the tweets racist. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Senate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions State Department's top arms control official leaving MORE said he has not seen the president act in a racist way, and National Economic Council director Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE said he doesn't believe Trump is racist.