Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson had quite a week.
As the former neurosurgeon's poll numbers have risen, he's also come under fire for a series of controversial comments.
After Houston voters rejected a ballot measure which would have offered protection from discrimination for LGBT individuals, Carson said that transgender people made others uncomfortable in bathrooms. Opponents of the measure had run ads claiming that it would allow predatory men to enter women's restrooms.
"It is not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable," Carson said. "It's one of the things that I don't particularly like about the movement."
Carson was also forced to clarify a story in his memoir in which he recounts trying to stab a friend. He has said that the incident was crucial moment for him in finding religion, but after CNN and other outlets raised questions about the story, Carson said that it was a close relative, not a friend, whom he tried to stab.
On Friday, Politico reported that Carson hadn't applied to the U.S. military academy at West Point nor been offered a scholarship to the school. While Carson has said that he was offered a "full scholarship" in his book "Gifted Hands," the cost of tuition at West Point is already covered for all cadets. The school also told Politico that it had no record of Carson applying.
The former neurosurgeon also stumbled during an interview with the Miami Herald this week, admitting that he didn't fully understand a policy that allows Cubans who leave the country and come to the United States to stay, or another that allows Cubans in the United States to apply for legal residency 366 days after they arrive.
But that wasn't all for Carson. BuzzFeed unearthed a 1998 commencement speech in which he suggested that the Egyptian pyramids were built to store grain and not as tombs.
"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," he said. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, [something to store that grain] would have to be something awfully big, if you stop and think about it."
Carson also clarified in the speech that he didn't think the pyramids were built by aliens.
"And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for various reasons," Carson said. "And various of scientists have said, 'Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that’s how.' You know, it doesn’t require an alien being when God is with you."
J.G. Manning, a professor of classics who studies Egyptian history at Yale University, said that Carson's description of the pyramids as being used for grain storage was "lunatic" and "had no basis in fact."
Oh, and Carson's campaign also released a rap ad.
For further discussion of Ben Carson's wild and perplexing week, tune in to this week's edition of the "So That Happened" podcast. (Segment begins at 9:15)
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