Ben Carson Addresses West Point Scholarship Story
Ben Carson has admitted that he never applied to join the West Point, despite implications in his book that he had.
The Republican presidential hopeful wrote in his 1996 autobiography, Gifted Hands, that he had been offered a full scholarship by the military academy.
However, West Point said it had no record of an application from Ben Carson.
Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign team has denied that he lied about West Point, saying the academy effectively offered him a place.
In his book, Ben Carson recalls a meeting in 1969 when he was a high school student in Detroit enrolled in the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program, which provides preliminary officer training for students.
Then 17 years old, Ben Carson dined with the decorated general, William Westmoreland, and says in his book that a “full scholarship” was subsequently offered.
However, the presidential hopeful’s campaign team on November 6, after inquiries by Politico, said he never applied to join West Point and the scholarship assertion was based on “conversations” he had.
“His senior commander was in touch with West Point and told Dr. Carson he could get in, Dr Carson did not seek admission,” campaign spokesman Doug Watts told Reuters in an email.
The confusion comes as other parts of Ben Carson’s personal story related in his book have also been questioned.
He has stood by his assertion in the autobiography that in his youth he was prone to sudden violent rages that he has overcome as an adult.
In one episode, he lunged with a knife at a close friend but fortunately struck his friend’s belt buckle.
The retired neurosurgeon has made much of his struggling childhood while on the campaign trail.
Ben Carson is the joint frontrunner in the Republican presidential race with Donald Trump, who wasted no time in capitalizing on the latest story.
Donald Trump tweeted: “Wow, one of many lies by Ben Carson! Big story.”