It appears Ben Carson’s understanding of his own biography is about as trustworthy as his understanding of the pyramids.
The Republican’s presidential campaign admitted that a central point in his inspirational life story was fabricated, reported Politico.
A campaign official said Carson had made up a story about meeting with Gen. William Westmoreland and being offered a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, claimed in his 1990 autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” that he was introduced to Westmoreland in 1969, when he was 17 years old.
He claimed that he shared a meal with Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the general was so impressed with the boy that he offered him a “full scholarship” to the military academy.
However, West Point has no record of Carson applying or being admitted to the academy.
“In 1969, those who would have completed the entire process would have received their acceptance letters from the Army Adjutant General,” said Theresa Brinkerhoff, a West Point spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman said West Point would have records to prove whether Carson had pursued the application process.
Carson’s campaign admitted the story was bogus when confronted with the evidence.
“Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit,” campaign manager Barry Bennett told Politico. “In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer.”
Other central claims in Carson’s autobiography, which is presented as a story of redemption and was later turned into a feature film starring Cuba Gooding Jr., have fallen apart under scrutiny as he climbs to the top of the GOP polls.
Baltimore police were unable to confirm that Carson had witnessed an armed robbery at a Popeye’s restaurant, where the candidate said he directed the gunman to a clerk.
News organizations have also been unable to verify his often-told — and frequently altered — account of trying to stab a childhood friend during an argument.