Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson appeared before the House Oversight Committee, where he needed a Democratic congresswoman to get him up to speed on some basics of his job.
Carson, who has served as President Donald Trump’s HUD secretary since early 2017, appeared unfamiliar with basic terms and acronyms cited by Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) as she questioned him on foreclosures and other housing issues.
“Do you know what an REO is?” asked Porter, a former University of California-Irvine professor and public interest lawyer.
Carson seemed baffled: “An Oreo?”
Porter, who wrote one of the first academic studies of foreclosure fraud, slowly spelled out the difference between the phonetically similar acronym and brand-name cookie.
“No, not an Oreo,” she said. “An REO.”
“Real estate,” Carson guessed.
“What’s the ‘O’ stand for?” Porter asked.
“Organization?” he said.
Porter explained that REO stood for real estate-owned property, which was the term used when property goes into foreclosure, before she tried to resume asking the Cabinet secretary on the issues that concerned her constituents.
Afterward, the congresswoman expressed shock that Carson lacked such basic knowledge about his job.
“I asked @SecretaryCarson about REOs – a basic term related to foreclosure – at a hearing today,” Porter tweeted. “He thought I was referring to a chocolate sandwich cookie. No, really.”
Moderate Dem lawmaker tells CNN why Trump’s ‘appalling behavior’ changed his mind on impeachment
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), a moderate Democrat and a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, went on CNN on Tuesday to explain why he has changed his mind and now supports starting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
In an interview with CNN's John Berman, Himes said that Trump has regularly shown that he doesn't care about obeying the law, as evidenced by his decision to completely shrug off his own Office of Special Counsel's finding that adviser Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly violated the Hatch Act.
"Kellyanne Conway had clearly broken the law and she should be removed from office," Himes said. "And the president said, 'Ah heck, that doesn't matter.'"
WATCH: The Mueller Report star-studded live stream video
So this happened. Eighteen of Hollywood's biggest celebrities convened to bring The Mueller Report to the stage - and the star power behind the effort was mind-boggling.
The players included Annette Bening, Kevin Kline, John Lithgow, Frederick Weller, Ben McKenzie, Michael Shannon, Noah Emmerich, Justin Long, Jason Alexander, Gina Gershon, Wilson Cruz, Joel Grey, Alyssa Milano, Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Piper Perabo, Zachary Quinto, and Aidan Quinn.
The live reading, titled The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts, was written by Robert Schenkkan and presented by Law Works Monday night.
NATO prepares ‘defensive’ response to Russia arms treaty breach
NATO will this week decide how to respond to Russia's violation of a key Cold War arms treaty, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday, insisting any measures would be defensive.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty is expected to formally collapse on August 2 after both Russia and the US pulled out, dealing a blow to international arms control efforts.
Stoltenberg said there was "no indication" the Kremlin was prepared to destroy a missile system the West says breaches the INF and so NATO defence ministers will use talks on Wednesday and Thursday to agree countermeasures.