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

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson's affordable housing idea drawing undue flak Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules it says are too lax MORE said Wednesday he does not believe President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems 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-CortezOmar says US should reconsider aid to Israel Pro-Trump Republican immigrant to challenge Dem lawmaker who flipped Michigan seat 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarScaramucci calls on GOP to save country from Trump 'depredations' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibScaramucci calls on GOP to save country from Trump 'depredations' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyScaramucci calls on GOP to save country from Trump 'depredations' Pro-Trump Republican immigrant to challenge Dem lawmaker who flipped Michigan seat Joseph Kennedy mulling primary challenge to Markey in Massachusetts 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 MnuchinFive key players in Trump's trade battles Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Trump phoned bank CEOs as stock market plunged Wednesday: report MORE said he did not find the tweets racist. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoCotton warns China: Crackdown on Hong Kong would be 'grave miscalculation' Pompeo expresses concern over North Korea missile tests Pompeo acknowledges 'places where ISIS is more powerful today' 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.