Carson needs to explain recollections: Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday that rival Ben Carson would have to explain a number of things about his West Point and youth recollections, which have come under scrutiny.
"He's going to have to explain a lot of things away," Trump told NBC's "Meet the Press".
Carson, a favorite of conservative activists, is tied with Trump at the top of Republican primary polls a year before the November 2016 presidential election.
His often-recounted tale of being offered a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and other stories from his youth in inner-city Detroit have come under examination.
Trump questioned the account Carson gave of a troubled youth in a biography. "If you have pathological disease, that's a problem. He wrote it, I didn't write it," Trump told NBC.
Asked on CNN's "State of the Union" whether Carson had been honest about his past, Trump said: "I just don't know."
Carson, 64, a retired neurosurgeon, said he thought he was being singled out and vetted by the media in a way that other presidential candidates had not been.
"Not like this, I have never seen this before, and many other people who are politically experienced tell me they have never seen it before," Carson said in an interview with NBC at JFK airport that was played on "Meet the Press."
Carson, the first African-American to enter the Republican field for the party's presidential nomination next year, is a political novice from outside the traditional party system.
His success in building a campaign warchest via social media has help propel him to challenge Trump at the head of the polls and led to U.S. media taking a closer look at his credentials.
Carson said on NBC that he thought he was being targeted "because I'm a threat, to the progressives, to the secular progressive movement in this country ... I'm the candidate who's most likely to beat (Democratic presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton."
Questions about Carson's account of the West Point scholarship came to the fore last week after a report by political news website Politico on differing accounts of the scholarship.
On Friday, Carson's campaign said he never sought admission to West Point, and Carson angrily denied suggestions that he had misrepresented the facts surrounding the West Point overture.
Separately on Friday Carson also gave a slightly different account of an incident from his youth in which he says he attempted to stab someone. He had described the boy he lunged at as a friend, but now says it was a close relative.
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