On Wednesday, one of Donald Trump's one-time critics was nominated to an official role in his administration. Ben Carson accepted the secretary of housing and urban development nomination from President-Elect Trump. The Wall Street Journal broke the news of Carson's acceptance of the nomination to head housing and urban development after his spokesman, Armstrong Williams, had confirmed it. Update: Williams has denied the Wall Street Journal's report, stating that the newspaper misquoted him and that Carson is still waiting to make a decision, The Hill reported. He told the outlet, "Dr. Carson is still considering it. The president-elect asked him to consider, and he is still considering and said he would take through Thanksgiving to decide."
Although previous reports indicated that Carson wasn't interested in being an official member of the Trump administration, the president-elect still openly floated his former Republican presidential nominee rival as a possible pick for housing secretary. Trump tweeted on Tuesday, "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!"
Just last week, The Hill reported that Carson was "not interested" in joining Trump's cabinet. Armstrong Williams, a confidante of Carson, told the publication that "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency." This comment raised questions about why Carson had decided to run for the highest office in the land if he was worried about the fact he has "no government experience."
Carson heavily hinted he was having a change of heart on joining Trump's cabinet, though. He wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that:
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. An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again.
Carson dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination on March 4 after never finishing higher than fourth place in any of the primaries or caucuses. In the New Hampshire primary, Carson finished eighth out of nine Republican candidates.
Just over a year ago, Trump cited Carson's "pathological temper" to compare him to a child molester. "You don't cure these people. You don't cure a child molester. There's no cure for it. Pathological, there's no cure for that," Trump told CNN's Erin Burnett.
However, it didn't take long for Carson to forgive Trump. Just a week after withdrawing from the race, Carson officially endorsed Trump for president and became one of his most ardent surrogates.