On Friday morning, Politico accused Republican presidential frontrunner Ben Carson of having lied about his application, acceptance, and scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. “He considered it but in the end did not seek admission,” his campaign manager admitted when confronted by the political news outlet. Carson claimed that he got a full scholarship to the academy, which has no records of him applying, in his memoir Gifted Hands. West Point does not offer scholarships—there is no tuition; when students enroll, they enlist in the U.S. Army.
This is seemingly a continuation of a trend for Carson. The Daily Beast has repeatedly reported on the many holes in stories about his past, including contradictory claims that he once stabbed a friend or a bully, and his tough-to-verify claim that he was held at gunpoint at a Popeyes in the 1980s. The preponderance of questions about his childhood stories has led to the candidate and his campaign becoming increasingly combative with media outlets.
However, several political reporters have disputed that Carson’s statement constitutes an admission of fabrication. “I see a gap between ‘I was offered a scholarship’ and ‘I applied and was accepted,’” The Washington Post's Dave Weigel wrote.
In a statement to The Daily Caller, Carson's campaign called Politico's story "an outright Lie," adding: "Dr. Carson as the leading ROTC student in Detroit was told by his Commanders that he could get an Appointment to the Academy. He never said he was admitted or even applied."