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

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump launches effort to boost support among black voters Zoning is not the answer to all our housing problems Freer housing is 'fairer housing' — HUD should tie funding to looser zoning MORE said Wednesday he does not believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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-CortezSanders says Ocasio-Cortez will play a 'very important role' in his administration if he's elected Top Sanders adviser suggests polling underestimates campaign support Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down Sanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibKrystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Sanders: Fighting anti-Semitism 'is very personal' Bloomberg run should push Warren to the center — but won't MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyJustice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising 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 MnuchinNew book questions Harris's record on big banks On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Democrats ramp up oversight efforts over 'opportunity zone' incentive MORE said he did not find the tweets racist. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoProtests serve as backdrop to Erdoğan's visit to White House Chris Wallace: Taylor testimony 'very damaging to President Trump' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings 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.