Trump selects campaign rival Carson for HUD job
Retired neurosurgeon had been considered for Health, Human Services
new york» President-elect Donald Trump, moving closer to filling his Cabinet, chose former campaign rival Ben Carson on Monday to be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Trump’s decision, announced by his transition office, comes as the real estate mogul continues a series of conferences with aides and others — including unlikely figures such as former Vice President Al Gore — aimed at forming his administration and its policies. Trump said he was thrilled to nominate Carson, describing the retired neurosurgeon as having “a brilliant mind.”
The discussion at that time centered on speculation that Carson might be selected to head the sprawling Department of Health and Human Services.
“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country,” Trump said, “and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans.”
Carson would oversee a budget of nearly $50 billion that provides rental assistance for more than 5 million households. Demand for that assistance is high because of housing costs rising faster than incomes. HUD also promotes home ownership with the Federal Housing Administration underwriting about one in six mortgages issued in the U.S. The agency also is charged with enforcing federal fair housing laws.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Carson has no credentials for the job and was a “disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.” She said the country deserves someone with “relevant experience to protect the rights of homeowners and renters.”