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- White House aides are reportedly furious after the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) became embroiled in a scandal.
- HUD had reportedly spent over $31,000 for a dining room set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office last year.
- A whistleblower also alleged she was retaliated against after pushing back on the request to go over budget for the purchase.
The White House is reportedly furious after a report indicated the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spent over $31,000 for a dining room set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office last year.
Senior White House aides were irate at HUD officials after the story spiraled out of control on Wednesday, according to source cited in a CNN report. Another source said that the White House may assist the agency after the HUD’s communications team failed to control the fallout.
The department faced criticism following a New York Times report that said HUD staffer Helen Foster was told to “find money” for a makeover of Carson’s office. After informing the agency that $5,000 was the statutory maximum and that additional money would require congressional approval, she was allegedly told that HUD “always found money for this in the past” and that “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair.”
HUD later spent $31,561 on a dining set, a purchase Carson was not aware of, HUD spokesman Raffi Williams said in The Times.
“In general, the secretary does want to be as fiscally prudent as possible with the taxpayers’ money,” Williams said.
The fallout was also noticed by Republican lawmakers. On Wednesday, House oversight committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said in a statement he was aware of Foster’s complaint and requested documents in relation to the incident from HUD.