On Friday, speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with host Joe Scarborough and panelist Katty Kay, Ben Carson stated that “it doesn’t matter” whether the women accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault are “liars” or not because the conversation about sexual abuse distracts from “the train going off the cliff.”

Kay began by pointing out that Carson had said of the women that they had not come forth previously with their accusations because they were lying. She asserted that the real reason women do not come forward is precisely what Carson had demonstrated: that they would be called liars.

Carson responded that Kay was “trying to make me the bad guy,” prompting her and Scarborough to protest while Carson kept speaking. Carson demanded, “Can you turn her microphone off, please?”

Scarborough, succinctly, “No.” He finally got a moment without the back-and-forth yelling, and interceded, “It’s a simple question. Yes or no? Do you believe these women are lying or not? Nobody’s trying to paint you as a bad guy; we just want an answer. Straight talk.”

Carson: “It doesn’t matter whether they’re lying or not.”

Kay: “Of course it matters.”

Carson: “What matters is that the train is going off the cliff. We’re taking our eye off of that and we’re getting involved in other issues that can be taken care of later.”

Kay: “Of course it matters whether they’re lying because if the campaign is saying and you are suggesting they are lying because this possibly couldn’t have happened because of the way first-class cabins are designed and there are air hostesses there, which is implying that you think they are lying, that they’re not telling the truth, then that’s a huge issue.”

“Can you turn her microphone off, please?”

Ben Carson

Carson protested: “Here’s what we need to be thinking about: I love the fact that all of a sudden you want to talk about morality in our country. I would love us to bring back our Judeo-Christian values and begin to teach those things and emphasize them at a time other than a political election. Let’s do that. But right now, the train is going off the cliff.”