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

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBen CarsonTrump's '1776 Report' released on MLK Day receives heavy backlash Biden has an opportunity to win over conservative Christians Ben Carson dismisses 25th Amendment talk: 'As a nation we need to heal' MORE said Wednesday he does not believe President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call 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-CortezTexas man charged for alleged role in Capitol riots, online death threats to Ocasio-Cortez DC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Tensions running high after gun incident near House floor MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats poised to impeach Trump again Pence opposes removing Trump under 25th Amendment: reports Pelosi vows to impeach Trump again — if Pence doesn't remove him first MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Overnight Energy: EPA rule exempts many polluting industries from future air regulations | Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report | Officials ousted from White House after papers casting doubt on climate science Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBelfast's Troubles echo in today's Washington Federal government carries out 13th and final execution under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history 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 MnuchinPence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden Treasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference MORE said he did not find the tweets racist. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick State Dept. to review Trump admin's decision to label Houthis a terrorist organization VOA reinstates White House reporter reassigned after questioning Pompeo MORE said he has not seen the president act in a racist way, and National Economic Council director Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE said he doesn't believe Trump is racist.