The revelation follows a Tuesday morning report with a HUD official alleging that she was demoted when she pushed back on a request to spend more than the allotted $5,000 on redecorating Carson’s office.
HUD spokesman Raffi Williams told the New York Times that Carson was not previously aware that the dining room set had been purchased, but that the secretary thinks that the cost was not unreasonable and does not plan to return it. Williams also said that the decision to purchase the new set was made by a career HUD official.
A department official told CNN that the table was replaced because it was in a state of disrepair and has been in the secretary’s office suite since the 1960s.
HUD did not ask for Congress approval for the purchase exceeding $5,000. Williams said that the department did not do so because the dining set served a “building-wide need.”