Ben Carson Says America Will Be Like The Purge If North Korea Attacks the US Electrical Grid

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

For all of the Trump administration’s lies, the Trump era has introduced a strange new brand of truth-telling among White House officials. For example, Ben Carson recently described what an attack on the US electrical grid would look like, and it’s not pretty. In Carson’s opinion, America would look like the 2013 movie The Purge.


According to a new report in the Washington Post, Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, made the comments at a party around Christmas.

From the Washington Post:

“Did you know,” the secretary of housing and urban development asked his acting chief of staff, Deana Bass, at a Capitol Hill holiday party, “that if North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon into our exosphere, it could take out our entire electrical grid?”

Bass shook her head.

“What’s that movie where there’s complete lawlessness and anarchy for one night a year?” Carson said, calmly resting his right hand over his left. “ ‘The Purge’! It will be like ‘The Purge’ all the time.”

To which I have to say... where’s the lie? Also... do you think Ben Carson actually watched The Purge?

Carson is apparently a fan of frequently comparing our own world to that of dystopian fiction. And I honestly have to say that he may be one of the few Trump officials making any sense these days. The only part that Ben Carson seems to be forgetting about The Purge is that it’s largely about the rich slaughtering poor people who can’t defend themselves.

A war with North Korea would be absolutely catastrophic, not least because it would pull near-peer adversaries like China and Russia into the conflict. There’s no such thing as a clean war, and if reports that President Trump wants to pull off a preemptive “bloody nose” attack on North Korea are accurate, things could get really messy really quickly.

We saw precisely the kind of real world panic that can ensue with that false alarm missile alert in Hawaii last month. People were suddenly faced with the prospect of death and many went into hiding, while others tried to choose the children with which they might be spending their last moments on Earth.

Nobody knows if a foreign adversary attacking America’s electrical grid would really turn the country into a real-life version of The Purge. But here’s hoping that we don’t have to find out.


[Washington Post]

Matt Novak is a senior writer at Gizmodo and founder of He's writing a book about the movies U.S. presidents watched at the White House, Camp David, and on Air Force One.



I’m not a fortune teller, but I have been in war zones and conflict centers and in countries that lack many things we take for granted here in the US: electricity, a stable farm to table system, a good transportation infrastructure, etc.

But one thing that I’ve experienced far more common than not: people come together vs instantly start tearing each other apart.

I lived through Hurracen Sandy and was in NOLA shortly after Katrina. What I found there was a common bond and shared struggle to get through and rebuild, not some kill or be killed collapse of society.

The modern GOP these days seems to be made up entirely of small, scared little minds and frightened cowards afraid of just about everything. They aren’t right. As humans we will always have liars, thieves, assholes and killers among us. But generally the good among us far, far outweigh the scum.