Ben Carson demanded a female journalist's microphone be turned off when she continued to press him for an answer on whether he thought women who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault were lying.
Trump's former GOP rival and current adviser said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday that he uses "common sense" when looking at the accusations, echoing Trump's defense that the allegations have been fabricated. He said Trump couldn’t have assaulted one of the women on an airplane in the '70s because the armrest wouldn’t have been able to move and there were flight attendants present in first class.
"The real reason women who have been sexually abused don’t come forward is precisely this, all too much they’re accused of being liars," BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay told Carson. "Are you saying these women are lying?"
"That's your characterization because you need to characterize it that way to try to make it the bad guy," Carson said.
When Kay began to press him for a clearer answer, Carson kept interrupting: "Stop, stop stop. Hey, can you turn her microphone off please."
"No, it's a simple question," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough told him.
"It doesn't matter whether they are lying or not," Carson replied.
After Carson left, Scarborough discussed the interview with Kay.
"I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody tell me to turn my microphone off before. That’s censorship," she said. "A form of censorship in response to a very simple question…which he never answered."
Carson said last week he didn't condone Trump's behavior in the extremely lewd 2005 video clip. Carson called Trump's vulgar comments about women "unacceptable, especially by someone who aspires to higher office."
He said Trump "did the right thing in immediately and unequivocally apologizing." Carson blamed Trump's adversaries for the video's release.
But then earlier this week, Carson went on to excuse Trump's vulgar comments as normal banter between men.
"That kind of banter goes around all the time," Carson said during an exchange with CNN host Brianna Keilar. "Is it the right kind of thing to do? Absolutely not. Is it something that I've ever done? Absolutely not."
Following the clip's release, at least four women have detailed accounts that Trump groped or kissed them without their consent. Trump has denied all accounts of sexual assault.
Trump claimed Thursday that Hillary Clinton and the press are involved in a "concerted, coordinated" effort to find the women and publish their stories in order to distract from apparent hacked emails from Clinton aides posted on WikiLeaks.