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.”
Your guide to the 2020 Democrats: Who’s in, who’s out and WTF is going on anyway?
There's a frontrunner, who has led almost every national poll since last winter, allowing for a few outlier polls and a brief period around the end of the summer. There are three other leading contenders, two of whom have been near the top of the polls for months, while the third only recently emerged from the pack. There is a pack of dark-horse candidates, whose odds of being elected president now approach zero but who remain in the race for various reasons. There are some with no shot at all. There are two fringe candidates, likely using this campaign to explore career options. And there's a pair of billionaires who hope to buy their way to the presidency by spending alarming amounts of money on campaign ads. That probably won't work — but you might have heard the same thing about another billionaire in that other party, a few years back.
Trump fires back at Chris Wray after the FBI Director sharply breaks with the president on IG report
Donald Trump snarled at his own FBI director on Tuesday morning after the law enforcement official backed the so-called "Horowitz report" -- breaking ranks with the president and Attorney General Bill Barr.
Taking to Twitter, Trump wrote: "I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!"
Morning Joe panel scorches Barr investigator Durham as a ‘PR hack for a failed reality TV show host’
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