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Ben Carson is a candidate for HUD secretary, Trump says

Ben Carson, left, and Mike Pence at a campaign event in King of Prussia, Pa., on Nov. 1. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Ben Carson just can’t seem to escape the Trump vortex.

The former Republican presidential candidate is under consideration to become President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development, Trump tweeted midday Tuesday.

This is a surprise, given comments last week from Carson adviser Armstrong Williams that effectively took the retired neurosurgeon out of the running for a Cabinet position.

“Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience. He’s never run a federal agency,” Williams told the Hill in an interview. “The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”

Remember, this refers to a former candidate for president.

Carson, who met with Trump on Tuesday in New York, was once said to be in the running for secretary of health and human services. (He came to prominence in part because of his criticism of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health-care law, which Trump has vowed to repeal.) Some reports said he was being considered for education secretary.

“We have had offers, yes,” Carson told Neil Cavuto of Fox News in an interview Tuesday.

“I would say [HUD] was one of the offers that’s on the table,” Carson said. . . . “Our inner cities are in terrible shape, and they definitely need some real attention. You know, there have been so many promises made over the last several decades and nothing has been done, so it certainly is something that has been a long-term interest of mine, and I’ll be thinking and praying about it seriously over the holiday.”

As head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Carson would enforce federal fair-housing laws and oversee U.S. housing policy and community development programs. Bob Woodson, the founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, is seen as another candidate for the position. Both men are African American.

The Trump transition is focused on building a “broad and diverse” Cabinet, spokesman Jason Miller said Monday.