Ben Carson pushed a whacky theory during the Fox Business debate Tuesday by saying that the Chinese were in Syria:
We also must recognize that it’s a very complex place. You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there.
Armstrong Williams, his business manager then told MSNBC that the Carson camp actually had real intelligence from their very own intelligence that the Chinese are in Syria:
From our own intelligence and what Dr. Carson's been told by people who are on the ground who are involved in that region of the world, it has been told to him many times over and over, that the Chinese are there.
Who knew Ben Carson had his own private CIA-type intelligence service stationed in Syria? Anyway, Ex-CIA chief Michael Hayden went on Morning Joe today and was asked about this new intelligence the Carson camp says they have about China.
During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski mentioned Carson's recent claim that the Chinese are in Syria and asked Hayden, "Are you concerned that there is a frontrunner whose foreign policy sensibilities seem to lack, to say the least?"
"I wouldn't say sensibilities," Hayden responded, adding that he had a phone conversation with Carson a couple months ago. "His instincts are all right. But this is a database with which he's very unfamiliar."
Hayden then addressed Carson's claims about China and Syria, suggesting that Carson probably exaggerated during his comments on the matter.
"I think he was trying to say when we're absent from the playing field, we leave a vacuum in which other powers may enter. Now, in this particular case, the Russians are there. I would characterize the Chinese as merely interested. And so I think he overstated the data in that point," he said.
Hayden did his best to portray Ben Carson as a serious presidential candidate who has good instincts and is learning as much as he can about foreign policy, so he framed his answer as if Carson just exaggerated a little bit and then made up his own narrative that Obama is weak on national security that I'm sure Carson will use in the future.
However, that's not what actually happened. The Carson camp literally said these words: from-our-own intelligence. It-has-been-told-to-him-many-times-over-and-over-that-the-Chinese-are-there.
Either Carson is lying about having his own intelligence network or he's just regurgitating some talking points which are trying to make him appear smart that former Bush military men want him to repeat.
Either way, Gen. Hayden dashed those hopes.