This is a baffling story. No, really—I defy anyone to make sense of it. Last Friday, unlikely HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced to his department that HUD assistant secretary Suzanne Tufts was moving to the Interior Department to be their new inspector general. This was news to approximately everybody, and did not go over well because the inspector general is supposed to be a nonpartisan, career position and Trump campaign stalwart Tufts is not that, and because the inspector general’s position has been vacant for close to a decade, and because Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is the subject of multiple investigations and scandals and putting a political hire in charge of investigating that looked extremely damn crooked.
Now the Interior Department is saying the hire … never happened. They’re saying that Ben Carson was being “100 percent false” in his announcement. No, really!
[Interior press secretary Heather Swift] wrote that HUD “sent out an email that had 100 percent false information in it.” She affirmed that Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall, who has led the office for nine years, is still in the job. […]
HUD officials did not respond to a request for comment. Tufts could not be reached.
It took the Interior Department nearly a week, mind you, to make the announcement finally declaring that they didn’t know what Ben Carson was talking about. The Washington Post says “top White House officials” also had no notion what Ben Carson was talking about. Nobody knows anything, and as of the moment the official spokesperson reaction is: That never happened.
So what do we make of this?