WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s one-time presidential rival, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, appeared to be a cabinet shoo-in Tuesday after both men mentioned his possible Housing and Urban Development appointment.
“I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I’ve gotten to know him well–he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!” the president-elect said on Twitter.
Carson himself indicated on Fox News that the HUD position “was one of the offers that’s on the table.”
“Our inner cities are in terrible shape and they definitely need some real attention,” he told the broadcaster, adding that he had been interested in housing for a long time.
Carson quit the presidential race in March, only to endorse Trump one week later.
Trump similarly telegraphed his support for General James Mattis as a potential secretary of defense on Twitter over the weekend.
“General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!” Trump wrote Sunday.
On Tuesday, The New York Times quoted the real estate tycoon as saying he was still “seriously considering” Mattis for the job.
Trump is in the process of forming his cabinet, with a stream of would-be appointees making the pilgrimage to his Manhattan tower and traveling to New Jersey over the weekend where they met the president-elect at his golf club.
Trump’s picks so far include ultra-conservative Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general, hawkish congressman Mike Pompeo as CIA director and retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
Steve Bannon, seen as an ideologue of the ultra-conservative alt-right movement, was named as chief strategist, while Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee, was named White House chief of staff.
Trump is reportedly considering former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for the secretary of state post. AFP