Trump chooses Ben Carson as housing secretary

The Cabinet of President-Elect Donald Trump continued to take shape on Monday, as former GOP rival Ben Carson was selected by Mr. Trump to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development starting next year.

"Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," the President-Elect said in a written statement issued early on Monday morning.

"We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities," Mr. Trump added.

Carson said he was honored by the choice.

"I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need," Carson said in the joint statement with the next President.

"We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met," Carson added.

A neurosurgeon and political novice, Carson had seemingly tried to avoid serving in the Trump Cabinet, with a spokesman saying at one point after the election that Carson "has no government experience."

But Mr. Trump was not dissuaded, and kept after Carson to serve.

Carson must go through confirmation hearings and a vote in the U.S. Senate.

Democrats quickly mocked Carson's lack of experience with housing issues.

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