U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson revealed he intends to leave his post at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term.
In a segment for conservative news outlet Newsmax TV that aired Monday night, Carson said he is eyeing a position in the private sector, according to an article in The Washington Post.
“I will certainly finish out this term…I would be interested in returning to the private sector because I think you have just as much influence, maybe more, there,” Carson said.
A retired neurosurgeon with little experience in housing, Carson was tapped by Trump to lead the department in 2016, a move that divided the housing industry as some balked at his lack of qualifications while others lauded the decision to bring in someone who might offer a unique perspective.
Despite his initial promise to “help make America great again,” Carson’s two-year tenure has not been without controversy.
Last year, he came under scrutiny for appointing his son to lead a “listening tour” in Baltimore that stood in violation of federal ethics rules. And not long after that, a former HUD staffer accused Carson of excessively spending taxpayer dollars on lavish furnishings to redecorate his office.
Carson has also been widely criticized for scaling back HUD’s civil rights enforcement efforts and for halting fair housing and discrimination rules put into play by the Obama administration.
It seems all the drama has Carson reconsidering his foray into public office.
Last March, The New York Times reported that Carson was feeling “whipsawed by a job he has found puzzling and frustrating,” quoting an interview in which he said, “There are more complexities here than in brain surgery.”
In response to a request for comment, a HUD spokesperson shared the following statement from Carson:
"President Donald J. Trump hired me to do a job as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and we are making tremendous progress ensuring our most vulnerable citizens are empowered with a path to self-sufficiency. I always stand ready to serve this great President and the United States of America."