-- Republican presidential contender Ben Carson is lashing out at the media, calling recent questions about his violent childhood past "a bunch of lies" and "pathetic."
Carson has come under recent scrutiny after failed media attempts to verify some of the childhood incidents he has publicly recounted. He stands by those stories.
"It is just garbage," Carson told CNN this morning. "We have too many things that are important to deal with."
The fiery criticism of the media comes as the retired neurosurgeon settles in as a front-runner for the Republican nomination and begins to face increased scrutiny. Carson became a prominent figure in conservative circles largely because of his life story, centered around his surviving a violent childhood to become one of the world's most celebrated neurosurgeons.
One prominent story focuses on a friend or relative whom Carson says he once tried to stab. "I talked to him. He would prefer to stay out of the media and I want to respect that," he said.
Carson now says he has changed the names of friends and patients in his books to protect their anonymity.
“The story is well-documented," Carson continued. "If you choose not to believe it, if it doesn’t fit the narrative that you want, that’s fine. Let’s let the American people decide.”
A national Quinnipiac University poll taken before an investigation by CNN could not verify Carson's several childhood stories shows that an overwhelming 91 percent of Republican voters nationwide say that Carson is honest and trustworthy.
But real estate Donald Trump took to Twitter, mocking Carson over the questions about his childhood.
Carson also asserted in the interview this morning that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and President Obama did not undergo the same level of scrutiny by political journalists.
"Give me a break. Are you kidding?" Carson said, laughing. "What you all did with President Obama doesn't even come close; doesn't even come close to what you guys are trying to do in my case.
"I want you to ask Hillary Clinton the same questions you ask me. Will you do that? Promise you're going to do that? We're waiting."
Carson added in the interview that the media needs to "stop thinking that you are a know-it-all."
CNN also questioned Carson’s comment in a 2014 speech that “we’d be Cuba if there were no Fox News.” When asked whether Carson meant that the United States would be a communist country without Fox News, Carson this morning accused host Alisyn Camerota of sensationalism.
“Are you honestly telling me that you didn't know what I was talking about when I said that?” he asked Camerota. “Are you honestly telling me -- if you are, you might fit in that category,” referring to a previous comment about people who are stupid.
“You guys in the media, just stop for a minute and ask yourself, am I actually doing a good thing?" he said. "Am I actually doing something to help to strengthen the fabric of America? Ask yourselves that. Or am I being used and am I being manipulated for somebody's ideological view point?”