President-elect Donald Trump is set to nominate former Republican primaries rival turned adviser Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Carson dropped out of the Republican primaries in March.
"Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," Trump said, reports NBC News. "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."
"There are two different Donald Trumps," Carson said in March. "There's the one you see on the stage, and there's the one who's very cerebral, sits there and considers things very carefully."
"Dr. Ben Carson is a disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice to lead a department as complex and consequential as Housing and Urban Development," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, reports Reuters.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is a $48 billion federal agency that oversees all public housing in the United States.
But Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, praised Carson’s nomination. "I’m sure he will be an agent of change in a department that could stand some change.”
However, in the week following Trump’s election, a representative for Carson stated that he would not be seeking a Trump administration cabinet position.
"Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency," Armstrong Williams said, notes The Week. "The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency."