Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson chalked up his infamous Oreo gaffe at a hearing on Tuesday to not being able to hear very well.
“It was, first of all, it was three-and-a-half hours of testimony,” Carson said on Fox Business Network Wednesday morning. “So you can see that some of the networks are only interested in those kinds of sound bites that they can use to ridicule. You know the fact of the matter is, I was having difficulty hearing her.”
Carson was referring to a viral exchange with Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), who asked Carson to define the real estate foreclosure term REO — real-estate owned.
Carson initially seemed to think he was being asked about Oreos. But, at least in the moment, Carson couldn’t define the “O” in REO.
On Fox Business Network Wednesday, Carson said he is familiar with the term.
“Of course I’m very familiar with foreclosed properties, and with REOs,” Carson said. “I’ve read extensively about them.”
Carson added that Porter may be out of date on the current state of foreclosed properties.
“So I suspect when Katy Porter was an expert in this area things were very different,” he said. “That is why I invited her to speak with our staff that deals with these so they can bring her up to date. Maybe she would then be able to understand what is going on.”
Porter, for her part, was not amused by Carson’s performance.
Ben Carson defends his "Oreo" gaffe by explaining he was having trouble hearing pic.twitter.com/sk4FEegI4Z
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 22, 2019