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Trump looks to former rival Ben Carson for cabinet post

Retired brain surgeon Ben Carson has said he will "consider" the post as housing secretary. Carson became known for his biblical outlook on government when he competed against Trump for the Republican nomination.

US President-elect Donald Trump continued filling in his cabinet on Tuesday after both he and former Republican rival Ben Caron said the retired neurosurgeon was in talks to become the next secretary of housing and urban development.

"I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I've gotten to know him well--he's a greatly talented person who loves people!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, Carson had told Fox News that the post "was one of the offers that's on the table."

"Our inner cities are in terrible shape and they definitely need some real attention," he added.

Ben Carson was one of a number of outsider candidates to throw his hat in the Republican ring a year ago as the race for the White House began. He dropped out in March, and became one of the first of the president-elect's former rivals to endorse him, doing so just one week later.

During his brief campaign, Carson routinely made headlines for his controversial statements, including comparing abortion and Obamacare to slavery, calling climate change "irrelevant," and saying that the biblical figure of Joseph had built the Egyptian pyramids to store grain.

Nominees raise eyebrows

On the same day, Trump tweeted that he was considering General James Mattis for secretary of defense. Mattis has been nicknamed "Mad Dog" for his tenacity and "Warrior Monk" for eschewing marriage and devotion to the Marine Corps. He has been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama's engagement with Iran.

US Präsidentschaftskandidat Mitt Rommey (picture-alliance/dpa/T. Smart)

"Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University," Romney said in March.

Donald Trump has created quite a stir with some of his nominations, including far-right ideologue Stephen Bannon as chief strategist and Mike Pompeo as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo had supported the use of torture methods such as waterboarding, and opposes the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

On Tuesday Trump was also said to be mulling either former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the post of secretary of state, despite Romney condemning the president-elect in no uncertain terms during the election.

es/bw (AFP, Reuters)

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