GREENVILLE, S.C. — Arguing that he has better foreign intelligence sources than President Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Friday promised to release documents he says will prove that China is involved in Syria's civil war.
The White House and foreign policy experts maintain that there is no evidence for Carson's Syria statements, which he made in Tuesday's Republican primary debate.
At a campaign stop in South Carolina, Carson retorted: "I'm surprised my sources are better than theirs."
Carson said his campaign would release his information before the weekend is over. He offered no other details.
The retired neurosurgeon is talking more about foreign policy as he tries to solidify his standing as one of the GOP's front-runners. Carson, who has never held elective office, has started to face more intense questions about whether he the experience and knowledge for the job.
In the debate, Carson talked about the presence of Russian troops in Syria and said "the Chinese are there" as well.
National security adviser Susan Rice said in response that "I have not seen any evidence of Chinese military involvement in Syria" and she did not know what he was talking about, unless he meant just a diplomatic presence.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest also was confounded when asked about Carson on Friday. "Maybe it violates my job description as a spokesman to be speechless," he said, "but I guess in this case I am."
Carson also repeated his vague promises to defeat Islamic State militants who have expanded their footholds in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, and he said he would scrap the Iran nuclear weapons accord reached earlier this year.
In a forum hosted by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy, Carson said Obama has a feckless approach that will allow ISIS fighters to "eventually reach the point where they'd have nuclear weapons." He said he would use "every resource available to use — economic, cover, overt ... to eliminate them first."
As for the agreement with Iran, Carson said "a kindergartner could get a better deal."
Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.
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