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Ben Carson claimed in his book Gifted Hands that he was offered "full scholarship" admission to West Point Military Academy when he was 17, an offer he ultimately turned down because he wanted to be a doctor. After West Point called into question the validity of this narrative due to a lack of records showing Carson applying or being offered admission or a scholarship, Carson's campaign confirmed Friday that the retired neurosurgeon did not, in fact, actually apply to West Point and was not actually offered admission or a scholarship.
"He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors," Carson's campaign manager Barry Bennett told Politico. "They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission."
Red State Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson pointed out that "Carson's life story has been a central point of his appeal," so Politico's debunking of the West Point story could potentially put his presidential campaign in jeopardy.
Another of Carson's stories is also facing scrutiny: the claim that he once tried to stab a friend before finding God and swearing off his anger. Carson's childhood friends claim he was never an angry man and that trying to stab a friend would have been completely out of character. Jeva Lange
Update 2:20 p.m.: Carson's communications director Doug Watts told The Daily Caller that the Politico story was "an outright lie," maintaining that Carson never claimed to have actually applied or been admitted to the school. "It was, you know, an informal 'with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point,'" Carson told The New York Times.