Trump has not offered Carson U.S. housing post: spokesman

FILE PHOTO: Ben Carson listens to a question from a reporter during a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump has not extended an offer to retired neurosurgeon and former presidential rival Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a Carson spokesman said on Wednesday, disputing a report by the Wall Street Journal.

“Trump did not make an offer,” Carson spokesman Armstrong Williams told Reuters. “He asked him to consider HUD. Nothing has been offered and no decision has been made.”

The Wall Street Journal earlier had cited Williams as saying Carson had been offered the post and had accepted. The Journal later corrected its story to say Carson was being considered for the HUD job.

“@realDonaldTrump is considering @RealBenCarson for a cabinet post. Dr. Carson is prayerfully & seriously considering,” Armstrong said on Twitter. On Tuesday, Armstrong had told Reuters that Trump had asked Carson to consider taking the post and that Carson was considering it.

As recently as last week, Carson, 65, had told The Washington Post he was not interested in a Cabinet job, saying, “Having me as a federal bureaucrat would be like a fish out of water.”

But he and Trump met on Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, and earlier on Wednesday Carson posted on Facebook that after the talks he felt “that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone.”

Reporting by Tim Ahmann and Eric Beech; Editing by Bill Trott and Jonathan Oatis