White House defends $31,000 dining set: It only sounds like a lot


White House chief of staff John Kelly says HUD secretary Ben Carson is justified in using tax dollars to spend $31,000 on a dining set.

The Trump administration is defending HUD Secretary Ben Carson for spending more on furniture for his office than many American families earn in a year.

Carson is under fire for spending $31,000 on a dining set. His spokesperson originally denied that Carson knew about the purchase, and Carson later made an attempt to cancel it, but emails revealed that he and his wife, Candy Carson, were the ones who picked out the furniture.

Now White House chief of staff John Kelly is brushing off the huge waste of tax dollars.

In comments to reporters, Kelly minimized the five-figure expense.

"Kelly said $31,000 sounds like a lot of money," Axios reports. "But to put it in context he asked a reporter how much they think the chair they’re sitting on costs." Apparently White House furniture costs much more than any of us could guess.

Kelly further rationalized the cost "by saying the table could last for 80 or 100 years."

To put the cost in perspective, the federal government considers a family of four living on $25,100 a year to be living in poverty. Carson's dining set cost nearly $6,000 more than that.

The members of Trump's Cabinet, following in the footsteps of Trump himself — his Thanksgiving golfing vacation at his Florida resort cost approximately $3 million — have turned the federal government into the funding source for their luxury.

Several members of the administration have been caught using taxpayer dollars for expensive office renovations, helicopter rides, and private plane travel. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spent $1 million of taxpayer money on eight trips in 2017, traveling on military aircraft instead of flying commercially.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has been flying first class, claiming it's for his "security." The supposed security threat? Americans have been confronting Pruitt and criticizing his policies. One example provided by his office to justify the tens of thousands of dollars in first-class travel was someone who approached Pruitt in an airport and said, "Scott Pruitt, you’re f---ing up the environment."

Now, apparently, an expensive dining table and chairs is also a worthwhile expense to force on taxpayers.

The Trump administration is running wild, racking up miles and furniture bills at a ridiculous rate. And when they are caught in the act, key figures like Kelly are simply waving off taxpayer concerns.

They learned it by watching Trump.