Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson explained the motivations behind President Donald Trump’s tweets criticizing Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) for the conditions of the city of Baltimore that have existed under Cummings’ tenure.

Carson, who practiced neurosurgery in Baltimore, said he was familiar with the problems of the city. He also said he did not think Cummings and Trump were bad people but that he thought Trump was questioning Cummings’ priorities.

“Well, first of all, you know, as a pediatric neurosurgeon, I spent many hours, sometimes operating all night long trying to give children of Baltimore and other places around the world a second chance at life,” Carson said. “And usually, we were successful. But a few days later, I was in a horrible dilemma, because some of those kids had to go back into homes in East Baltimore that were infested with rats and roaches and ticks and mold and lead and violence. And I didn’t want to send them back. Sometimes I would even consider, you know, extra tests so they could stay in the hospital an extra day or two. But now, fortunately, God’s given me an opportunity to do something about it. And that’s one of the reasons I’m delighted to be in this administration. You know, while I was there, I worked on a lot of issues with many politicians, including Elijah Cummings, particularly in terms of childhood education and improving the life for the people.”

“I don’t think Elijah Cummings is a bad person,” he continued. “I think he actually is working hard to try to help people. And I certainly don’t think President Trump is a bad person. He’s working very hard – in fact, I asked him today, would you be willing to work with Elijah Cummings to bring some relief to the people of Baltimore? He said he would be happy to. But in the meantime, he’s going to continue with the programs, you know, like the opportunity zones, which get people to take money and invest it into the areas that are distressed. There are 149 of them in Maryland. And, you know, Governor Hogan is doing a good job of helping to capitalize upon that. But, also, you know, unemployment is at a very low level. Manufacturing is coming back. Wages are going up, you know, prison reform. All of these things are happening. These are not things that a person who is a racist would do. And we allow ourselves to be distracted by these things.”

“And I think what President Trump was trying to say is that rather than spending your time talking about, you know, our brave border agents and investigating endlessly things that you can’t find anything on, why not spend some time working more for these people, you know, who are suffering?” Carson added. “And that he is willing to work with them. I think that’s what we should be asking for.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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