Breitbart News reports that President-Elect Donald Trump has selected retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson had previously been thought to be in the running to head up the Department of Health and Human Services. That role was offered last week to outspoken Obama critic Tom Price.
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with no experience in housing or in running a federal agency, is a conservative political celebrity who recently cast doubt on his suitability for a Cabinet role, saying that as a federal bureaucrat, he would be like a “fish out of water”, the Washington Post reports.
In heading up the The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, as it is often called, Carson will be in charge of a sprawling federal agency tasked with increasing home ownership by supporting efforts to provide access to affordable housing that is free from discrimination, while also supporting community development by overseeing programs designed to help Americans with their housing needs.
The appointment of Ben Carson as Secretary of HUD may be seen by some as an attempt by Trump to right some of the wrongs of his past. Trump’s debut in the public eye came in 1973 with a NY Times article about Trump, who was then a landlord, being sued by the justice department for discriminating against blacks, the New York Times reports.
“Absolutely ridiculous,” Trump said, regarding the government’s allegations.
But in a subsequent investigation the New York Times uncovered a long history of racial bias at Trump’s family properties, both in New York and beyond.
Trump ultimately declared victory in the case, and stressed that there was no admission of guilt in the consent decree that he signed.