He was one of the president-elect’s biggest rivals during the primary season and had said he didn’t want a job in the Trump administration. Now, he’s pegged to be the next secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
According to the Washington Times, Donald Trump’s transition team announced early Monday that President-elect Donald Trump is nominating Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon, conservative activist and former presidential candidate, as the next secretary of HUD.
“I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Trump said in a statement, according to CNN.
Carson had originally been considered for heading up the Department of Health and Human Services. However, according to The Hill, he had decided against taking a position in the new administration.
“Dr. Carson was never offered a specific position, but everything was open to him,” Armstrong Williams, Carson’s close friend and business manager, said in mid-November. “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”
However, in a message on his Facebook last Wednesday, Carson seemed to indicate that he was closer to a job in the new administration.
“After serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone,” Carson said. “We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid.”
Trump had also mentioned Dr. Carson for HUD. Two weeks ago, the president-elect had tweeted that he was “seriously considering” the former neurosurgeon for the position.
I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I’ve gotten to know him well–he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
Trump had prioritized redeveloping and ending rampant violence in inner cities during his campaign, making HUD one of the most prominent posts in terms of Trump’s agenda.
“The violence. The death. The lack of education. No jobs. We’re going to work with the African-American community and we’re going to solve the problem of the inner city,” Trump described it at a rally in October. “We’re going to bring safety back. You can’t walk out the street, you buy a loaf of bread and you end up getting shot. So we’re going to work very strongly with the African-American community.”
Carson will still need to be confirmed by the Senate before he assumes the position.
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