Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson unloaded on a recent CNN investigation into his past during an interview Friday morning on the same network.
"This is a bunch of lies," the leading Republican presidential candidate said. "It's a bunch of lies. Attempting to say that I'm lying about my history. I think it's pathetic."
In a report highly touted by CNN the day before, the network looked into the soft-spoken doctor's claims of being a violent young teenager.
In his acclaimed memoir "Gifted Hands," Carson described incidents such as attempting to stab a friend, throwing a rock at another kid, and trying to attack his mother with a hammer. He said he then had an epiphany and became the calm person he is today.
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"But nine friends, classmates, and neighbors who grew up with Carson told CNN they have no memory of the anger or violence the candidate has described," CNN's Scott Glover and Maeve Reston reported. "No one challenged the stories directly. Some of those interviewed expressed skepticism, but noted that they could not know what had happened behind closed doors."
But Carson insisted that it would be incredibly difficult for anyone to find the people in his book because he changed their names and the incidents happened roughly 50 years ago.
"I'm not proud of the fact that I had these rage episodes, but I am proud of the fact that I was able to get over them," Carson said Friday. "And my message has been that you can escape from that ... If you choose to believe that I'm incapable of these acts, I guess that's kind of a compliment to me."
He also accused CNN of trying to distract the public from the important issues.
"What the media does is they try and get you distracted by all this stuff so you don't talk about the things that are important because we have so many important things," he said. "It is just garbage. We have too many things that are important to deal with."
During a Fox News interview Thursday night, Carson had said: "The media is ruthless. So I would say to the people of America: Do you think I'm a pathological liar like CNN does, or do you think I'm an honest person? And I'm going to leave that up to the American people."
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