- The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said Monday he can’t recall all of the specifics surrounding a past offer to attend West Point, but that he has come across others who received the same one he did.

Mr. Carson said he doesn’t remember if he was with Gen. William Westmoreland when the offer came.

“The offer was not, as I recall, from him, but there were multiple other officers around,” Mr. Carson, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.” “There were several things that I was invited to, because of my status as the city executive officer, and General Westmoreland was at one of them, and there were some Congressional Medal Of Honor winners there as well.”

On Friday, Mr. Carson defended his story about West Point against a story in Politico, which said the academy had no record he ever actually applied. Mr. Carson said he’d been told he’d be eligible for an offer of admission to the academy, which comes with costs paid, and has said he never followed through because he wanted to go to medical school.

“It was really quite an honor, but honestly it’s 45 and 50 years ago, so I can’t remember every single detail about it,” Mr. Carson said Monday. “But I have encountered many people subsequently who have had that same offer, by the way, and are willing to come out and talk about it.”

In his book, “Gifted Hands,” Mr. Carson wrote about marching in a Memorial Day parade in 12th grade and being introduced afterward to Gen. Westmoreland.

“I had dinner with him and the Congressional medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point,” Mr. Carson wrote in the book.

As he’s risen in polling on the 2016 GOP presidential race, Mr. Carson has faced heightened scrutiny about his violent past when he was young, including questions surrounding incidents when he tried to attack his mother with a hammer and when he tried to stab another boy.

“I guess that’s a pretty great compliment to me if they don’t think I was ever capable of that,” he said.

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