Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson shot back Wednesday at a New York Magazine article headlined, "Is Anybody Home at HUD?"
"I would say that you should ring the doorbell before you conclude that nobody's at home," Carson said in an interview on Fox News Channel's "Special Report." "I don't think they did a very good job at journalistic investigation there."
The article is critical of Carson's leadership, noting that the world-class neurosurgeon entered the job this year with zero experience in government or in housing.
"People feel disrespected," one HUD employ told the publication. "They see Carson and think, I've been in housing policy for 20 or 30 years, and if I walked away, I would never expect to get hired as a nurse."
Carson brushed aside the criticism as representing a small number of politically motivated Obama-era holdovers.
The article also theorized that Carson's lack of experience was a purposeful move by the Trump administration to weaken an agency long looked at by the Republican Party as an overgrown bureaucracy. Carson has been left largely to run the department himself since he still has no deputy secretary or general counsel.
"Be that as it may, we have a deep bench," Carson said. "A lot of people who are willing to step up to the plate and to help to fashion things and keep things moving in a positive direction."
And the reorganization already undertaken has resulted in "tremendous savings," he said. "This is a concept that is foreign to a lot of people in Washington, the whole concept of efficiency and saving.
Carson said he isn't a fan a bureaucracy because, "Bureaucrats are people who think their rules are more important than the goals."
Despite budget cuts of 13 percent next year, Carson said that reports of evictions of those on housing assistance aren't true.
"Let me just say first of all, our conviction is no eviction," he said. "We will use whatever money we have in an extraordinarily efficient way."
He said he hopes to "recreate the way communities are done. … They need to be nurturing places. They need to be places that will help children to be able to maximize their potential. And not have a goal of just staying where their mother or grandmother was."
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