Ben Carson defends Trump's assessment of Baltimore

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHUD watchdog finds no misconduct by Carson in furniture controversy: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump ousts Bolton; GOP exhales after win in NC On The Money: Senate spending talks go off the rails | Trump officials vow to reform Fannie, Freddie if Congress doesn't act | Majority in poll see recession on the way MORE on Monday night defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE's scathing comments about Baltimore, where Carson worked for years as a neurosurgeon.

Carson, the only black member of Trump's Cabinet, told Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonWashington Monthly editor calls 'woke capital' problematic for progressives, conservatives Tucker Carlson praises de Blasio for addressing threat of automation on jobs DC workforce should prepare for insidious new threat MORE that while at Johns Hopkins Hospital he would sometimes find ways to keep young patients for an extra day or two to keep them from returning to squalid conditions.

ADVERTISEMENT

"As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I spent many hours, sometimes operating all night long, trying to give children of Baltimore and other places around the world a second chance at life. And usually we were successful,” Carson said.

“But a few days later, I was in a horrible dilemma, because some of those kids had to go back into homes in East Baltimore that were infested with rats and roaches and ticks and mold and lead and violence,” he added.

Trump spent much of the last few days degrading Baltimore and Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsPence extends olive branch to Cummings after Trump's Baltimore attacks Infrastructure needed to treat addiction as chronic disease doesn't exist GOP retreat creates WiFi password blasting socialism MORE (D-Md.), who represents parts of the city. Over the weekend, he described Baltimore as a "very dangerous & filthy place" where "no human being would want to live." 

He went on to call Cummings — the son of South Carolina sharecroppers — a "racist."

But Trump's own remarks, in which he described the majority-black city as "infested" with rodents and accused Cummings without evidence of corruption, have been broadly condemned by Democrats as racist.

Carson, who denied earlier this month that the president is racist amid fierce backlash to his attacks on four progressive lawmakers, again pushed back on the charges against Trump. He noted improving economic conditions for minority groups.

Carson said he believes that Cummings "is working hard to try to help people” and that he believes Trump would be willing to work on aiding Baltimore.