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Ben Carson Insists Trump Isn’t Racist Because Black Employees ‘Love Him’

The sole black member of Donald Trump’s Cabinet insisted this week that Trump is not racist because he is liked by his minority employees and let wealthy Jewish and black people join his Mar-a-Lago club.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson on Friday told attendees at a summit on economic opportunity that he’d gotten to know Trump — who spent much of the 2016 campaign portraying Carson as a low-energy man with a “pathological” temper, a questionable religion, and no leadership ability — since joining his administration.

“Talking to the people who drive the cars and park the cars at Mar-a-Lago — they love him. The people who wash the dishes, because he’s kind and compassionate,” Carson said.

“When he bought Mar-a-Lago, he was the one who fought for Jews and blacks to be included in the clubs that were trying to exclude them,” he added. You know, people say he’s a racist. He is not a racist.”

Carson’s suggestion that Trump was a civil rights pioneer in the Palm Beach club scene is misleading at best. In reality, Trump fought not to integrate other clubs, but rather to renovate his own.

According to a 2015 Washington Post report, back in the 1990s, after Trump bought the Mar-a-Lago mansion, the Palm Beach town council attempted to impose restrictions on Trump’s property use, as he was trying to convert it into a private club and resort.

Trump pushed back against the council, the outlet noted, “claiming that local officials seemed to accept the established private clubs in town that had excluded Jews and blacks while imposing tough rules on his inclusive one.” After he accused the council of discrimination against him, they mostly backed off.

“He won in the court of public opinion,” Jack McDonald, a council member at the time, told the Post.

According to the outlet, McDonald later “went on to be mayor and to join Mar-a-Lago.”

Another former Palm Beach council member, Allen Wyett, told the Post that Trump’s decision to accept black and Jewish members was likely more a business strategy than anything else.

“Was he smart enough to realize that Palm Beach is about 40 percent Jewish and he was not going to attract the old guard anyway?” he asked.

Trump notably has a lengthy record of anti-Semitism and racism.

As a candidate in 2015, he employed anti-Semitic stereotypes portraying Jewish Republican donors as money-grubbing people who are only focused on negotiations. Last year, he claimed Jews showed “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty” by voting for Democrats, while suggesting American Jews were more loyal to Israel than the United States. He also famously praised neo-Nazis as “very fine people” in 2017.

Trump also spent several years pushing racist — and demonstrably false — birther conspiracy theories about Barack Obama, suggesting the first black president was not really an American. He has dismissed African nations as “shithole countries” and has frequently attacked women of color, recently telling four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries.

Since 2017, a Mar-a-Lago membership has cost $200,000, plus $14,000 in annual dues.

#EndorseThis: Trevor Noah Hits Second Home Run In Three Days, Crushes Embezzler Ben Carson

We try to keep it pretty fair at #EndorseThis. Each comedian, philosopher, blogger and citizen gets an equal voice in the round. If a comic has been featured in a given week already, she isn’t likely to have the talking stick.

That said, wowzer, what a talent is Trevor Noah. Fairness dictates giving Trevor his second ET of the week and the first cannon-blast of March. This clip is that good.

The Daily Show‘s maestro obliterates the moral character of Dr. Ben Carson, Trump HUD secretary who sits in disgrace after he and his wife Cindy Carson successfully pressured officials to break regulations and buy Dr. Ben a $31,000 dining set at taxpayer expense.

Everything Noah says is a laugh. Everything. But don’t miss Carson himself, caught ducking, weaving and burping non-sequiturs in footage from a Capitol Hill hearing on “budget cuts.” Try embezzlement? Click to hear greedy Ben go down in flames.

#EndorseThis: In Storms’ Wake, Can America Rely On Ben Carson? Don’t Ask

With thousands of federal workers engaged in ongoing rescue and recovery efforts in Florida, Texas, and across the region battered by recent hurricanes, Americans will soon be looking to Washington for vital assistance in rebuilding – as provided by government after hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. But much of that hope resides in the Department of Housing and Urban Development — which is now headed by Dr. Ben Carson.`

Checking in on Dr. Carson, one of the least qualified officials in a truly dismal cabinet, Seth Meyers is…concerned.

Danziger: Another Righteous Christian Who Needs To Read Luke 14:12

Jeff Danziger’s award-winning drawings are published by more than 600 newspapers and websites. He has been a cartoonist for the Rutland Herald, the New York Daily News and the Christian Science Monitor; his work has appeared in newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to Le Monde and Izvestia. Represented by the Washington Post Writers Group, he is a recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army as a linguist and intelligence officer in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. Danziger has published ten books of cartoons and a novel about the Vietnam War. He was born in New York City, and now lives in Manhattan and Vermont. A video of the artist at work can be viewed here.