Three days ago, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson made national news by stating his choice for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Alabama was not the candidate backed by the president or the vice president.
But while some may consider it insubordination by a Cabinet member, the White House made clear to Newsmax on Monday it had no problem with Carson making known his preference for former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over Trump-backed Sen. Luther Strange.
Asked by Newsmax if Carson's blessing of Moore meant that members of the president's Cabinet and official family are free to disagree with him on matters such as a political contest, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders replied that "the president has a lot of people with a variety of backgrounds and certainly with a variety of opinions. He always welcomes them voicing those."
But Sanders stopped short of saying Carson had a free license to speaking out on the Alabama contest between Moore and Strange (which will be decided on Tuesday).
"In that specific issue," she said, "I couldn’t speak to that because I haven’t talked to the president about it."
On Friday, just as the president was arriving in Huntsville, Alabama to campaign for Strange, the Moore campaign put out a statement from Carson declaring: "Judge Moore is a fine man of proven character and integrity, who I have come to respect over the years. I was delighted to hear he is running for the U.S. Senate. He is truly someone who reflects the Judeo-Christian values that were so important to the establishment of our country. It is these values that we must return to in order to make America great again. I wish him well and hope everyone will make sure they vote on Tuesday."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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