Between the use of private jets to Scott Pruitt’s installation of a soundproof phone booth at the EPA offices, it’s as if the Trump administration positions come with a American Express black card. However, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has received a new level of criticism after one of his officials purchased a $31,000 dining set.
Carson quickly came under a lot of scrutiny for spending so lavishly on his office redecoration since HUD has been slashing its budget for programs aimed at helping the poor and homeless. However, even with those bad optics, Carson said he wasn’t planning to return the expensive hardwood table, chairs, and hutch. He’s now reconsidered, and Carson is attempting to nix the order for the dining set which is made of mahogany (with velvet on the chairs):
“I was as surprised as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered. I have requested that the order be canceled. We will find another solution for the furniture replacement.”
Carson also added that his wife helped pick out the furniture, and HUD wanted a new set because the other one was “old and raggedy.” In response to this and some other spending incidents at HUD, the House Oversight Committee’s Trey Gowdy has requested records relating to the department’s spending since January 2017.