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Donald Trump Names Ben Carson as Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Ben Carson to join his Cabinet as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Trump, 70, said in a statement on Monday, December 5, via CNN.

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“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” he continued. “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.”

Ben Carson Donald Trump
Donald Trump stands with former presidential candidate Ben Carson as he receives his endorsement at the Mar-a-Lago Club on March 11, 2016, in Palm Beach, FL.

Carson, 65, who has never held public office, ran against the mogul during the Republican presidential primaries.

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Late last month, Trump tweeted that he was “seriously considering” the neurosurgeon for the position. One day later, Carson hinted that an announcement would be made about his role to help “make America great again,” referring to Trump’s campaign slogan.

“We must bring back the compassion and the unity that empowers us and bands the divisiveness that weakens us,” Carson wrote on his Facebook page November 23. “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. 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.”

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Days earlier, however, Carson told The Washington Post that he most likely wouldn’t join the administration. “The way I’m leaning is to work from the outside and not from the inside. I want to have the freedom to work on many issues and not be pigeonholed into one particular area,” he said November 15. “I’ve said that if it came to a point where he absolutely needs me, I’d reconsider. But I don’t think that’s the situation with these positions.”

He added: “Having me as a federal bureaucrat would be like a fish out of water, quite frankly.”

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