Ben Carson says he will step down after Trump's first term ends

Ben Carson says he will step down after Trump's first term ends
© Stefani Reynolds

Housing and Urban Development [HUD] Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson's affordable housing idea drawing undue flak Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules it says are too lax MORE said in an interview on Newsmax TV Monday that he will "likely" leave his role at the end of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE's first term in office. 

“I will certainly finish out this term,” Carson told the conservative outlet. “I would be interested in returning to the private sector because I think you have just as much influence, maybe more, there.”

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Carson has been with Trump since the beginning of his first term in an administration fraught with rapid turnover. He has faced relatively little scandal in comparison to other top Trump officials ousted over spending habits, ethics controversies and possible conflicts of interest.

"President Donald J. Trump hired me to do a job as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and we are making tremendous progress ensuring our most vulnerable citizens are empowered with a path to self-sufficiency," Carson told The Hill in a statement when asked for comment about the Newsmax interview. "I always stand ready to serve this great President and the United States of America."

In early 2018, Carson faced backlash for ordering a $31,000 dining set for his office, partially blaming his wife for the decision, but ultimately canceled the order. The department’s inspector general also previously opened a review into Carson’s family’s involvement at the agency. 

Carson, a former surgeon, had no prior experience in housing or the government when Trump appointed him to the position in late 2016. 

“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Trump said in a statement at the time of Carson's appointment.

So far during his time as HUD secretary, Carson has moved to roll back Obama-era housing regulations focused on ending discrimination and creating fair housing. He has also worked on hurricane and disaster recovery issues after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. 

—Updated at 10:12 p.m.