Ben Carson’s camp is scrambling to cover the tread marks left by a damning New York Times story, which said Carson’s own advisors doubted his ability to understand foreign policy.
Part of the Times’s report was based on an interview with Carson’s “top advisor” Duane Clarridge. Carson’s team now says Clarridge was simply a confused old man and shame on the Times:
Mr. Clarridge has incomplete knowledge of the daily, not weekly briefings, that Dr. Carson receives on important national security matters from former military and State Department officials. He is coming to the end of a long career of serving our country. Mr. Clarridge’s input to Dr. Carson is appreciated but he is clearly not one of Dr. Carson’s top advisers. For The New York Times to take advantage of an elderly gentleman and use him as their foil in this story is an affront to good journalistic practices.
We wonder, how does Clarridge feel about being described this way?
As for the Times, senior politics editor Carolyn Ryan told Politico that if Carson’s camp didn’t think Clarridge was a good person to speak to, they shouldn’t have suggested him.
“It was Ben Carson’s closest adviser, Armstrong Williams, who recommended that we talk to Mr. Clarridge and described Mr. Clarridge as a ‘mentor’ to Mr. Carson on foreign policy,” said Ryan. “Mr. Williams also gave us Mr. Clarridge’s phone number. Mr. Clarridge picked up the phone and our reporter, Trip Gabriel, conducted a very straightforward interview with him. Mr. Clarridge was the only adviser whose name was given to us by Armstrong Williams.”