When Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson is confronted about the cost of a dining room set that was ordered for his office during a hearing on Capitol Hill, he blames his wife, who he put in charge of redecorating HUD HQ.
Carson explained the order for a $31,000 price tag for a table in his office: "I was told that the dining room set needed to be changed. I said why. They said people are getting stuck with nails. A chair had collapsed when somebody sits in it. it is 50 years old. I said OK we can potentially do that, and I asked my wife to help me with that. In the catalogs, the prices were beyond what I wanted to pay, I made it clear that this just didn't seem right to me, and I left it with my wife to help choose something."
"I had so many things to do at that point," Carson said. "I had no assistant secretary, no deputy secretary. Running from place to place, dealing with a lot of important issues, I really didn't time for furniture."
"The next thing I heard about it was that this $31,000 table had been bought, and I said, what the heck is that about? I investigated and immediately had it canceled. Not that I don't think we needed furniture, but I thought that was excessive."