Carson forced to admit he lied about scholarship to West Point

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks in Lakewood, Colo. Carson’s campaign says the Republican White House hopeful was not offered a formal scholarship to the United States Military Academy at West Point as he wrote in his autobiography. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

On Friday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson admitted that he never applied to the United States Military Academy at West Point and was never granted admission to the military academy.

Carson, who previously claimed to have been offered a full scholarship to attend West Point, was forced to change his story after being confronted by numerous reports that contradicted his claim.

In his 1992 book “Gifted Hands,” Carson recalled being introduced to Gen. William Westmoreland, the commander of the U.S. forces in Vietnam, and having dinner with him. At the time, Carson was 17 years old and the top ROTC student in Detroit.

During the dinner with Westmoreland, Carson said the General offered him a full scholarship to West Point.

According to Politico, there is no record of Carson applying to the military academy or ever gaining admission.

Theresa Brinkerhoff, a West Point spokeswoman, said, “In 1969, those who would have completed the entire process would have received their acceptance letters from the Army Adjutant General.”

Brinkerhoff also said that if Carson had applied to West Point, there would be a record of the application in their files.

When Politico presented the facts to Carson’s campaign, his campaign manager admitted that Carson never applied to the military academy.

Following the release of the Politico article, Carson gave an interview to the New York Times and tried to clarify what he said in his book.

In the interview, Carson said, “I don’t remember all the specific details. Because I had done so extraordinarily well you know I was told that someone like me – they could get a scholarship to West Point. But I made it clear I was going to pursue a career in medicine.”

“It was, you know, an informal ‘with a record like yours, we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’”

In addition to Carson’s false scholarship claim, his meeting with General Westmoreland was also questioned by Politico.

According to Army records, Westmoreland was not in Detroit around Memorial Day in 1969, which means he couldn’t have dined with Carson as his book states. The records provided by the Army place General Westmoreland in Washington, D.C. on the day he supposedly met Carson. The schedule also showed the General played tennis at 6:45 p.m. on the day in question.

However, there are reports that Westmoreland was in Detroit in February 1969, at an event similar to the one Carson described.

General Westmoreland was in Detroit as a featured guest at a banquet celebrating Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Dwight Johnson. Carson was likely referring to that event in his book.

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