HUD Secretary Ben Carson defends policies, laments 'gotcha' politics

Carson talks with ABC News Live about immigration, transgender discrimination, and his time in the cabinet.
9:27 | 06/05/19

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Transcript for HUD Secretary Ben Carson defends policies, laments 'gotcha' politics
I'm Devin Dwyer for ABC news live on the National Mall with a budget container houses tiny homes all of the shadow. Of the Washington monument this is part of housing secretary Ben Karstens big idea. Compact affordable housing crisis in this country a short time ago I caught up with the secretary for an exclusive interview. And the crisis on its new immigration rules transgender equality. And what it's like to be secretary in this very contentious time so what I have. Why bring out all these mobile homes. The National Mall on the shutter the capital. Well you know right now we're having a tremendous problem with affordable housing in this country this is America this is the place that is the can do place. A place of innovation. And that's what we're showing here we're showing that technological innovations that can help address the affordability problem. You know unit. This tiny home that's behind us. Cost a fraction. Oh what a new. Average new home cops do you think the situation right now affordable housing which has taken on. You caught a crisis yes I was its occurrences because even though the economy is chucking along extremely well. If you're spending. You know thirty to 50% of your income housing. You don't really have the opportunity to do the other kinds of things that. Allow you to enjoy life so that's that's a problem. In currency effects you know my school sitting areas is pretty answer to how our buildings like this morning how can that solved. If four it's just by being much more affordable. Q would you live in the morning mr. secretary. If we're very comfortable. Biggest thing he learned on the job if that's yours. The biggest thing it's probably learning do care. Consider yourself an aircraft. In that. If Democrats and and the rules are more important. And surgeons tend to think. And goals court. And have but we've been working to remove a lot of bureaucracy. China has these things. Why haven't these taken off their only about 93000. Produced a single year I'm Bridget essay question because. There are so many regulatory barriers in place zoning restrictions and other kind of regulation which are really based. On old technology they're based on trailers and things that people think of them out based on this kind of new technology and therefore they need to be updated. Do you say at this stage of the news for two years. That you have helped stem the crisis do you feel like you've got your hands are on the affordable. Housing crisis and help sort of others stopped to us that a growing inequity there I believe that we now have a much better understanding. What the real problems are and our society. And we're making good progress in terms of the U. There's a lot of heat from Democrats they have taken in your policies that take anything leadership. One of these. New policies as if you were. An American citizen hero you resident receive public housing assistance and you have to live with. A niece who is undocumented. You would no longer qualify. His brother the rule actually states and specifically that the secretary. May not. Provide housing assistance. To anyone who was here illegal it further states that if the secretary discovers that someone. Who is here illegally is harboring someone. Who is not here legally that he must end their assessment. Specifically states that well why push this was this an idea of him up with on your own because because the law. And you know we're a nation of laws and if the lawmakers felt like they need to change it. That's your own agency says 55000. American children could be evicted. Under this pulse and I think we also talked about the hundreds of thousands if not millions. Who are waiting for assistants who are here illegally. Many housing experts and doctors say though that the weight of this problem we have more. Stemming from lack of affordable housing something here trying to address here than it is right we have to undocumented immigrants taking up space we have to address this address it at all levels. But I think we have to be consist. That's OK other policy Democrats. Giving you some heat fours this little back into discrimination. Policy equal access rule was put in place you know parents were sixteen. Why did you take was there you talked about are ever release of the risks and concerns from residents a lot of improvised what worthless concerned what were you hearing. Well ahead a lot of women's who would have tons of correspondence from women's group has some come and visit me. Who are in the women's shelters in many cases turned her ex kicked in these situations. And they say. In. Theo typical male Compton. And wants to be with them and their bathroom in addition our and they feel that their rights are being. So what we're saying. It is we ought to be fair to everybody. Well we don't want anybody's rights to trump fairness for another group. So we've edit some things we hadn't gotten rid of the rule at all we're not getting rid of them with a three. Ontario. Sexual assault victims advocates groups of sign this letter to humans. They support. Women and they support a policy of way transgender women in the house what. You're seeing you're hearing from groups that. It we have to we have to look out for the right to bear about some of the this the shelters of that scene at work the best. Are the ones that have individual rooms bathrooms and showers what a concern you at all if he transgender woman was turned away. From a homeless shelter. Because she was transgender well we asked people to try to find accommodations. Their work for everybody where you don't trump the rights of one. Four and that's that's that's all we're asking people to do just the fear. And we've reached a point in our society where people can't understand fairness anymore. They just pick their group and they say everything has to work Margaret I don't care about anybody else that's not fair. Just as or for democratic congresswoman. Taken this on favorite wrote you this week of trees letters me. I've also accuse you of being deceitful. She's using an apt one of them called and you to resign. But your responses to my response if somebody has the adult in the room and has continued to work on the problems that this. And I'm likening it to them. People who. Have two objectives I've got to ask you about Oreo gate. In your appearance before the committee a couple of weeks ago to. It's remote litigated. You see in this hurt but does the criticisms sting and you're good sense of humor about. You know I expect criticism. You know we don't really talk about Rios. Anymore we talk about foreclosed properties. I can six there's not been single conversation of she's had been here we've talked about reais to I know what they are of course. Could I remember what oh was at that particular moment now I couldn't but that helps everybody. We use these acronyms all the time have to times in my face and and that means work and ruined me. But they know what a concept this. About it's silly you know we engage in hot gotcha stuff when we have such big policy issues to do. And that's what I want to talk about probably actually solve these problems. Not get off into the weeds and you're evil you're confident you can't do this your mama Sox and I think. Kitchen. Well it's a nice kitchen and used to the bathroom here. You can only African American members it's kept it. If you long. Now now that. In again if it goes back to. Being there it. Some house network. Because it's a neurosurgeon. For his own people from Everett. When I open and I'm operating on the thing makes them. Not scan those times when it's. So I look at people and I think about people. And bombs which. So much our thanks to get a secretary Carson I'm Devin Dwyer Washington. Watching ABC news lie.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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