The opening testimony that Ben Carson, Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, prepared for his Thursday confirmation hearing contained word-for-word plagiarism, according to the Washington Post.
The Senate Banking Committee never heard the plagiarized text, however, because Carson resorted to his characteristic off-the-cuff style in his oral testimony, departing almost entirely from his prepared remarks.
The two paragraphs in question focused on the health problems caused by lead exposure in young children. According to the Post, they were taken verbatim from “Where We Live Matters For Our Health,” a 2008 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A Trump transition spokeswoman told the newspaper that the plagiarized text was mistakenly included, and that Carson never intended to read it at his hearing.
“It was a written statement for the record — his oral testimony, as I am sure you’ve heard, is extemporaneous and planned that way,” the spokeswoman said in a statement to the Post. “The original written statement was sourced with hyperlinks and footnotes, but unfortunately that seems to have fallen off.”
The Post said no such sourcing was included in the copies of prepared text passed out to reporters at the hearing.