Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says he intends to leave his post at the end of President Trump’s first term.
Carson made his remarks in a segment airing Monday evening on Newsmax TV, a conservative news outlet. In his two years leading HUD, Carson has dialed back civil rights enforcement at the agency and suspended Obama-era rules that had been aimed at fighting housing segregation and discrimination.
“I will certainly finish out this term,” Carson said during his interview with Newsmax. But he added that "I would be interested in returning to the private sector because I think you have just as much influence, maybe more, there.”
HUD did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump appointed Carson, a retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who gained notoriety for his pioneering surgery separating conjoined twins, to lead HUD even though he lacked prior housing, executive or government experience. He ran an unsuccessful bid for president in 2016.
Carson’s two-year tenure as HUD secretary got off to a rocky start, after allowing his son to help organize an agency “listening tour” in Baltimore despite warnings from department lawyers that doing so risked violating federal ethics rules. Ben Carson Jr., a local businessman, and his wife were inviting people with whom they potentially had business dealings, the Post reported at the time.
Carson also came under Congressional scrutiny with his lavish efforts to redecorate his office.
A former Baltimore County resident, Carson burst onto the political scene in 2013 with a speech at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. He ran for president in 2016 before dropping out of the race that March.