Ben Carson Facing Scrutiny for Claim About Incident at Yale University

Ben Carson is now being challenged about an incident during his time at Yale.

ByABC News
November 7, 2015, 7:35 PM

— November 5, 2015 -- Presidential candidate Ben Carson continues to face questions about his personal story, including now about the legitimacy of a story in his autobiography about being the most "honest student" in a psychology course at Yale University.

In his 1990 autobiography, "Gifted Hands," Carson wrote that while he was at Yale, he took an exam for a psychology course titled "Perceptions 301," only to be told by the professor days after that the exams were "inadvertently burned." The class gathered to take the repeat exam, but after a half hour, Carson says all of the students except him had left the room.

"Like the others, I was tempted to walk out, but I had read the notice, and I couldn’t lie and say I hadn't. All the time I wrote my answers, I prayed for God to help me figure out what to put down. I paid no more attention to departing footsteps," Carson wrote in "Gifted Hands."

Carson's professor subsequently entered with a photographer from the Yale Daily News and explained that it was a hoax, designed to find out "the most honest student in the class," Carson wrote. Carson said he then received a $10 bill as a reward.

The Wall Street Journal, however, challenged Carson's story, claiming that, according to Yale Daily News archives from that era, no photo identifying Mr. Carson was ever printed. "No stories in the Yale Daily News mention a course named Perceptions 301 either," the Wall Street Journal reported. Yale librarian Claryn Spies told the Journal no such course existed during Carson's time at Yale.

Spies did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

In response to ABC News’ request for comment on the Wall Street Journal report, Carson's campaign said it was likely that he does not remember the name of the class.

"There's no allegations in [the WSJ story]," Carson communications director Doug Watts told ABC News, adding that Carson told the story in great detail two weeks ago. "All of these things are not part of recorded history, even though we would like to think so."

Watts noted that he had not yet spoken with Carson about the point in the story where he discusses the Yale Daily News photographer.

These reports come as Carson finds himself under fire for writing in the same autobiography that he had been offered a full scholarship to West Point. His campaign clarified Friday that he never applied and was never admitted to the military academy.

He also came under scrutiny this week after a number of people who knew Carson when he was growing up told CNN they did not recall that he had exhibited any anger or violence. He stands by those stories.

Yale University referred all requests for comment to the Yale Library. The Yale Library did not respond to our request for comment.