Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson
Photo: Jacqueline Larma/AP

New calendars from the office of Ben Carson, a man who once ran for president of the United States and is now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, show just how quickly the retired neurosurgeon took a page out of his boss’s notebook on getting by with doing the Bare Ass Minimum.

NBC News obtained three 2017 calendars, one from Carson and two from HUD staffers, and recreated his schedule between April 1, 2017 and Nov. 1, 2017. According to NBC News, Carson worked about half of the Fridays in that 31-week span, but dipped early to fly to South Florida for several Fridays, didn’t schedule appointments past 3 p.m. for others, and either had no meetings or had days off for another five Fridays.

Carson’s calendars of his first year as HUD Secretary were provided to NBC News by government watchdog group American Oversight after it sued HUD last year for denying a FOIA request for the information.

Carson’s affinity for Summer Fridays might be received differently if he was working diligently otherwise, but who even knows if that’s the case. According to an analysis of the three calendars, Carson’s senior staff met just once a week in 2017, significantly less than other federal departments that had senior staff meetings multiple times a week, if not daily.

Of course, HUD has defended Carson’s schedule, alleging that he arrives to the office by 7:30 a.m., though the calendars report his first appointments were typically around 9 or 10 a.m. that year.

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Carson, too, defended himself. “While the role of a Cabinet Secretary is to advise the President and run their agency, the role of NBC seems to be spinning incomplete information and misinforming the public. Looks like we are both doing our jobs,” he told NBC News in a statement. Testy!

One thing Carson likely won’t be leaving early? The Trump administration. Earlier this month, Carson said that he would “certainly finish out this term,” but that he would likely step down if Trump wins re-election. God help us all if that’s a choice Carson has to make.