Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson appears grateful for the low profile he has maintained since joining the Trump administration, according to recent remarks he made in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
The Examiner noted that Carson is currently “the lone Senate-confirmed appointee at HUD as eight other deputy and assistant secretary positions remain vacant.”
Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and one of Trump’s former GOP primary rivals, told the Examiner that “there’s no question that I’ve been forced to learn very rapidly a lot of stuff” in his new role.
“But that’s OK,” Carson said. “I happen to have some excellent people around me at the non-assistant secretary level, at the non-deputy secretary level. Everybody’s doing two or three times more than they ought to be doing.”
Carson said he’s happy he has been able to remain in the background of the Trump administration.
“Let me put it this way,” Carson told the Washington Examiner, “I’m glad that Trump is drawing all the fire so I can get stuff done.”
Carson defended the president from controversies that have engulfed his administration, such as allegations of Russian collusion during the election and Trump’s prolific use of Twitter.
“I think they’ve done well given the level of frustration,” Carson said. “I mean, can you imagine you’ve been elected president and the only thing anyone wants to talk about is Russia? Can you imagine how frustrating that is? People say he’s wild with his tweets and things. I think he’s pretty restrained under the circumstances.”
During the interview, Carson touted an initiative called Housing First, an effort to combat homelessness.
“The goal is really to get these people off the streets where they’re in danger, and where they actually cost society more than if you go ahead and take care of them,” Carson said. “We also have to think about the fact that every single human being has potential, and I look at them as human capital, and if we develop that, we’re talking about them becoming part of the engine, and if we don’t develop it, part of the load.”