Dr. Ben Carson wrote Wednesday that he will accept a role in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet, and strongly suggested that he will be secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
‘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 told his Facebook followers.
‘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. An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again.’
A Trump transition spokesman told reporters during a Wednesday morning conference call that ‘we may have an additional cabinet-level announcement later today.’
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Dr. Ben Carson said Tuesday on Fox News that the Housing and Urban Development secretary job is one that he had been ‘offered’ by President-elect Donald Trump, and he made it official a day later
Carson’s Facebook announcement on Wednesdsay said ‘an announcement is forthcoming’ – which fit with the Trump transition team’s advisory to reporters that a cabinet announcement might be made in the afternoon
Carson met with Trump on Tuesday, with the president-elect tweeting afterward that he would be a good fit for HUD
The appointment of a HUD secretary would bring the number of key cabinet-level appointments to five.
Trump announced his intention on Wednesday morning to nominate South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.
Last week he named Arizona Sen. Jeff Session as his attorney general, retired Gen. Mike Flynn as his national security adviser and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
In addition to HUD, Carson was originally seen as someone who could have handled being secretary of Education, Veterans Affairs, or Health and Human Services.
He said Tuesday that Trump had asked him to take the Housing and Urban Development job.
‘Has it been offered, sir?’ Fox News Channel host Neil Cavuto asked the world-renowned neurosurgeon.
‘We have had offers, yes,’ Carson replied.
‘And is it the HUD position?’ Cavuto pressed.
‘I would say that was one of the offers that’s on the table,’ Carson replied.
Donald Trump dashed off a tweet today, suggesting the role that Dr. Ben Carson may play in his forthcoming administration
Carson met with Trump on Tuesday. The president-elect later tweeted a suggestion that it went well.
‘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!’ Trump wrote on Twitter.
Speaking to Cavuto, Carson said that ‘our inner cities are in terrible shape and they definitely need some real attention.’
‘You know, there have been so many promises made over the last several decades and nothing has been done, so it certainly is something that has been a long-term interest of mine and I’ll be thinking and praying about it seriously over the holiday.’
The doctor and onetime presidential candidate had said previously that he was reluctant to take on a role in government, insisting on Sunday that he would prefer to be an outside adviser.
Just two days earlier, Carson seemed to be warming up to the idea of coming on board after saying he had already turned down opportunities.
‘Basically, I’ve said my preference is to be outside and to act as an adviser, but if after going through the process they all conclude it would be much better to have me in the cabinet, I would have to give that very serious consideration,’ Carson said Sunday on Fox News.
‘It’s just not my preference,’ he added.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is the fifth cabinet-level choice revealed by Trump
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday morning was designated as Trump’s choice to lead the U.S. diplomatic mission to the United Nations
Carson’s comments then were a slight backpedal compared to the more definitive stance he held last week.
He had sent out a fundraising letter for a conservative advocacy group explaining why he didn’t want to be part of the administration.
‘Aside from roughly one year as a candidate for President, I have been a citizen – and looking at the challenges ahead, that’s how I believe I can be most effective in helping to enact our new President’s ambitious agenda,’ Carson wrote.
‘Rather than leading a federal department and concentrating on one issue, I feel I can have the biggest impact on the broadest number of issues by helping to lead a movement of my fellow citizens, outside of the Washington bubble.’
‘One way that I’ll be staying intricately involved is with the American Legacy Center, through our Fight the Court project, but likely on other topics as well,’ Carson added.
He said he wrote the fundraising letter in part to take a ‘moment to explain why’ he turned down a Trump cabinet post.
Dr. Ben Carson (left), seen with Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani in October, sent out a fundraising letter last week explaining why he didn’t want a government gig
In reality, Carson was engaged in some savvy PR, after a close ally suggested that the retired neurosurgeon didn’t want to enter government service because he had no previous experience.
‘Dr. Carson was never offered a specific position, but everything was open to him,’ Armstrong Williams told The Hill.
Williams is Carson’s business manager and played a large role in Carson’s presidential campaign.
‘Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency,’ Williams continued. ‘The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.’
With Trump, who has never held elected office before, in the White House, Carson had multiple reasons to amend Armstrong’s remarks.