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Trump picks Carson for HUD secretary

Trump picks Carson for HUD secretary
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE early Monday announced his plans to nominate Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Trump said in a statement distributed by his transition team.

“We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up,” Trump added.

Trump said last month that he was "seriously" considering Carson for the position.

“I've gotten to know him well--he's a greatly talented person who loves people!” Trump tweeted.

“I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need," Carson said in the statement. "We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”

Armstrong Williams, a close friend of Carson who managed the retired neurosurgeon's presidential campaign, told The Hill last month that Carson was not interested in serving as Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.

"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,” Williams said at the time.

Carson grew out of poverty in Detroit to become one of the world's most accomplished pediatric neurosurgeons. He has never held public office.

During the presidential campaign, Trump was initially critical Carson, at one point saying Carson had a "pathological temper."

“If you’re a child molester, a sick puppy, a child molester, there’s no cure for that. There’s only one cure and we don’t want to talk about that cure, that’s the ultimate cure," Trump said during an Iowa rally. "No there’s two, there’s death and the other thing. But if you’re a child molester, there’s no cure, they can’t stop you. Pathological, there’s no cure."

Shortly after dropping his presidential bid, Carson endorsed Trump and become a close ally and surrogate.
 
Carson's lack of experience relating to the activities of HUD has led some to express concern over his appointment.
 
“With many qualified Republicans to choose from with deep knowledge of, and commitment to, affordable housing solutions for the poorest families, and with the housing crisis reaching new heights across the country, Dr. Carson’s nomination to serve as HUD Secretary is surprising and concerning,” National Low Income Housing Coalition President Diane Yentel said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
 
Carson last year slammed a rule by the Obama administration mandating cities and towns to report racial bias in their housing patterns.

“These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,” Carson wrote in the Washington Times. “There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.”

This report was updated at 7:30 a.m.