WASHINGTON, DC –
Already under fire for telling a House Committee he spent $31,000 on a dining set for his office, Secretary of HUD Ben Carson lashed out Tuesday at Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, warning him that he considered a home entertainment center purchased recently by HUD to be “strictly off limits”.
Without going into detail about the high end audio and video console, including when it was purchased, who it was for, or where the funds came from, Secretary Carson said that how he chose to spend his down time in the office when he was not working was “his own business” and should not be part of the scope of any investigation.
Netflix And Hulu Subscriptions Not Subject To Privacy Laws
The entertainment center, which reportedly includes an Apple TV, Roku, Tivo, Direct TV, cable, 16 channel surround sound, quadraphonic turntable, three dimensional video display and Nordic Track exerciser, was delivered to the HUD headquarters by a local company specializing in high end home theater systems.
“Normally we’re installing these units in expensive mansions out in the suburbs,” said one of the workers who asked to remain anonymous. “This was the first time we’ve ever brought one down to the beltway.”
The state of the art console, rumored to cost 41,000, required 7 hours to load in. “We had to run optical fiber 14 floors along the outside of the building to get all the channels that were requested,” he said. “But, other than that, it was a pretty typical install.”
Previous Monitor Not Up To Date
Although no one on the HUD staff could recall what occupied the space before the 37-foot home theater ensemble was delivered, an aide to the Secretary said that a previous TV monitor offered only CNN and MSNBC, and was not up to the task of keeping Mr. Carson informed of housing developments in the 21st century.
A statement on the HUD website read, in part:
“We hope the Special Prosecutor will respect the sanctity of the office of Housing and Urban Development as it continues its vital mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.”
“Any investigation into the alleged home entertainment center, laser tag dashboard, virtual reality gaming room, concession stand, and personal Netflix curator, would clearly be a violation of the department’s autonomy, and may possibly result in the firing of the Special Prosecutor by the Secretary.”
The Special Prosecutor’s office declined to comment, except to say that it remains committed to its original mission, and that the Secretary had nothing to worry about as long as he had not done anything abnormal, as established by the sixteen previous Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development.
Charges are expected to be filed early next week.
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