MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough Monday accused GOP candidate Ben Carson of lying, and urged him to come clean before it's too late.
"You're lying, and you need to come out front and you need to admit it because it's only going to get worse from here," the former congressman said on his show, directly addressing the controversy behind statements Carson made in his autobiography, "Gifted Hands," and since that time.
Scarborough's complaints came a day after Carson appeared on Sunday's talk shows to complain of media bias over his recollections, and after a number of Carson's childhood friends told CNN they have no recollection of the violent events he recounted in the autobiography, including the attempted stabbing of a friend named Bob.
"There is a desperation on the behalf of some to find a way to tarnish me because they have been looking through everything," Carson told NBC News' Chris Jansing on Saturday. "They have been talking to everybody I've ever known and seen. I'm being skilled. There's got to be something. They're getting desperate. It's ridiculous. My prediction is that all I don't have you guys trying to pile on is actually going to help me because when I go out to these book signings, I see thousands of people and they say don't let the media get you down."
He further complained that other politicians, particularly President Barack Obama, did not have to go under the same kind of scrutiny when he was running for office, a claim Scarborough and others on the Monday morning MSNBC program ripped apart.
"You have told me day in and day out the reason why Ben Carson is doing as well as Ben Carson
is doing is because of his biography," Scarborough said. "So we have the stabbing of a friend which turns out to be not Bob. We've got the hammer to the mother's head. We're not really sure about that. We got the most honest person in class story, which sounds iffy. We got him shielding people in Detroit riots, locking people up in biology labs to shield them. Everybody, I can't remember that either. We have a [Gen. William] Westmoreland dinner nobody can remember that he got the date wrong on."
Further, said Scarborough, he has never understood how a story Carson recounted about being held up in a Popeye's works for him.
"I know media bias," he said of the scrutiny surrounding Carson. "This is not media bias. This is just one question after another. It looks like the thread is being pulled and everything's unraveling. What's the impact?"
Carson's campaign has raised $3.5 million in the past week as the controversy grew, but Scarborough said he won't be able to prove that his stories are true.
"He had to back down on the stabbing of a friend, the Westmoreland dinner, he had to back down on that," said Scarborough, also ridiculing Carson's statements that he had been offered a scholarship to the West Point military academy.
"Miami and Florida state came up to me and said 'we're looking at you," said Scarborough. "What if I had gone around for 20 years and said I could have pursued a football career at the two best colleges in college football, but I decided to pursue my career instead?"
Nicole Wallace, a former communications chief for President George W. Bush, joined in, calling Carson's statements "bald-faced" lies at this point, and called the media "pathetic" for cowering after Carson accused it of lying about him.
"Nicole, this is not media bias," Scarborough told her. "This is pure BS and it's one lie after another lie after another lie and he keeps getting caught...I've got the say the media bias has won for Ben Carson up to this point, because nobody said he doesn't have a clue about policy issues. He doesn't know anything about policy. In his biography he's lying and the press has been cowering for months."
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