Ben Carson, President Trump’s nominee for Housing and Urban Development secretary, was "baffled" by the firing of his close aide for his criticism of Trump during the 2016 campaign, BuzzFeed News reported on Friday.
A source close to Carson said that he was "speechless" after learning that Shermichael Singleton was fired from his position as a senior adviser at HUD for writing an op-ed critical of Trump for The Hill in October.
A source told the publication that Carson was informed of the incident by phone while having lunch in Washington.
“Shermichael is someone he can trust, so it’s difficult for him,” a source told BuzzFeed.
In his op-ed, Singleton was highly critical of Trump's proposed policies and public statements.
"Trump has taken us to a new moral low, where it is acceptable for a presidential candidate to mimic and mock someone with disabilities. Yet our religious leaders stand by and say nothing while defending their reasons for maintaining their support," he wrote.
"Are we not morally obliged to stand up and speak out against such reprehensible acts?"
According to the New York Times, the op-ed was discovered while Trump aides were completing a background check on Singleton.
Shermichael was fired and led out of the department’s building by security on Wednesday, the Times reported.
Carson has been a close ally of Trump since ending his own presidential bid.