GOP lawmaker blames 'deep state' for Carson's $31K dining set

GOP lawmaker blames 'deep state' for Carson's $31K dining set
© Greg Nash

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) on Wednesday dismissed the controversy surrounding the purchase of a $31,000 dining set for Housing and Urban Development 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's office, blaming the decision on the so-called deep state.

Speaking on the "Talk! of the Town" radio show in upstate New York, Tenney said the controversy had been "misunderstood," and that it was unfair to place blame on Carson for ordering the lavish dining set.

"Somebody in the deep state – it was not one of his people apparently – ordered a table, like a conference room table or whatever it was for a room, and that's what the cost was," Tenney said.

The "deep state" refers to a conspiracy theory that deeply entrenched government employees are working to undermine President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE and his agenda.

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"Ben Carson tried to — he said 'you know how hard it is to turn it back because of the way that the procurement happens?'"

Tenney's interview was reported Wednesday by the Daily Beast.

Carson has faced scrutiny in recent weeks over the purchase of the furniture set, which included a table, chairs and a hutch, and was intended to replace an older table in the secretary's office.

He defended the purchase on Tuesday, telling a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee that the decision to replace the old furniture set was made due to safety concerns, and that he had left the details of redecorating his office to his wife and staff.