The Slatest

Trump Nominates Neurosurgeon, Inspirational Speaker to Lead Department of Housing and Urban Development

Ben Carson in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 1.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When reports spread in November that Donald Trump was considering neurosurgeon/inspirational speaker–turned–incoherent right-wing oddball Ben Carson to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we all had a good laugh. That “we” even included Ben Carson, whose longtime adviser admitted to the Hill that he was completely unqualified for the role:

“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.”

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Well, it looks like it’s cripplin’ time, because Donald Trump announced early this morning that he’s going to nominate Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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At least it’s honest about the reality that having grown up in an “urban” area is Carson’s only housing- or urban development–related life experience.

Or, well, actually—in November Carson said that his priority as hypothetical HUD secretary would be eliminating “corruption, graft, and shell games” in urban areas. As it happens, one of Carson’s closest friends and business partners is a dentist who was convicted of felony insurance fraud in 2007. Carson has also long been associated with a sleazy multilevel vitamin-marketing company called Mannatech that’s paid millions to settle charges that it engages in deceptive advertising practices. So he knows the corruption/graft/shell-game game pretty well too.

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