Trump names Car­son as hous­ing sec­re­tary

Mogul meets for­mer VP Gore

Kuwait Times - - NEWS -

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day chose Ben Car­son, the mild-man­nered re­tired neu­ro­sur­geon who chal­lenged him for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion, to turn around trou­bled US in­ner cities as sec­re­tary of hous­ing and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment. Car­son, an African Amer­i­can who is a re­li­gious con­ser­va­tive, has no back­ground in hous­ing pol­icy but has cited his poor child­hood in Detroit as a qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the job. He is the first black se­lected by Trump for his team.

“Ben Car­son has a bril­liant mind and is pas­sion­ate about strength­en­ing com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies within those com­mu­ni­ties,” Trump said in a state­ment. “We have talked at length about my ur­ban re­newal agenda and our mes­sage of eco­nomic re­vival, very much in­clud­ing our in­ner cities.” Car­son said: “I feel that I can make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion par­tic­u­larly by strength­en­ing com­mu­ni­ties that are most in need. We have much work to do in en­hanc­ing ev­ery as­pect of our na­tion and en­sur­ing that our na­tion’s hous­ing needs are met.”

Trump also met for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore, an en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist who has de­voted years to fight­ing cli­mate change. “I had a lengthy and very pro­duc­tive ses­sion with the pres­i­dent-elect,” said Gore, who met ear­lier with Trump’s daugh­ter, Ivanka Trump, but said he had spent the bulk of his time with Trump. “It was a sin­cere search for ar­eas of com­mon ground . ... I found it an ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tion and, to be con­tin­ued.”

“I grew up in the in­ner city,” Car­son told Fox News last month. “And have spent a lot of time there. And have dealt with a lot of pa­tients from that area.” Car­son briefly led the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial pack dur­ing the pri­maries, of­fer­ing vot­ers an un­ruf­fled, slow-talk­ing per­sona that con­trasted sharply with high-decibel slugfest around him. His bid, which ini­tially gained sup­port among Chris­tian con­ser­va­tives, ul­ti­mately fiz­zled as he stum­bled pre­sent­ing con­crete poli­cies and an­swer­ing questions about key is­sues.

The Sev­enth Day Ad­ven­tist had pre­sented him­self as an al­ter­na­tive to the bom­bas­tic Trump, preach­ing tol­er­ance and com­pro­mise but some­times un­leash­ing blunt rhetoric. These in­cluded many ref­er­ences to Nazi Ger­many, such as his sug­ges­tion that Jews would have fared bet­ter in the Holo­caust had they been armed. Trump mer­ci­lessly mocked him on the cam­paign trail, ac­cus­ing Car­son of hav­ing a “patho­log­i­cal” tem­per. Car­son nev­er­the­less en­dorsed the real es­tate bil­lion­aire af­ter with­draw­ing from the race in March, de­scrib­ing his for­mer ri­val as “a very in­tel­li­gent man who cares deeply about Amer­ica”. He took Trump on a neigh­bor­hood tour of his Detroit home­town in Septem­ber at a time when the nom­i­nee was look­ing to boost his im­age with African-Amer­i­can vot­ers. And he came to Trump’s de­fense fol­low­ing the re­lease of a 2005 au­dio­tape in which he bragged about grop­ing women. — Agen­cies

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