Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro called on his Trump Administration successor Dr. Ben Carson to resign late last week. Castro alleges that comments reportedly made by Carson suggesting a lack of concern for transgendered people disqualifies him from “serving everyone” as HUD Secretary.
Castro weighed in on Carson during a town hall event for Democratic presidential hopefuls held by CNN, which featured topics focused on issues related to the LGBTQ community.
“The comments that Secretary Carson, my successor, made a couple of weeks ago are shameful. When you’re housing secretary, you’re there to serve everybody. And his comments made clear that he’s not able to serve everybody,” Castro said at the event. “I believe that he should resign because of that, because he can’t serve everybody.”
The comments Castro spoke of were first detailed in a report by the Washington Post, which was sourced by three people who were in the Secretary’s presence at the time of an internal HUD meeting at the department’s San Francisco field office. Those three people interpreted remarks made by Secretary Carson as an attack on transgender women, and found them offensive.
The impact was also not isolated, the Post says, because as many as 50 HUD staffers were “visibly upset” by the Secretary’s remarks, and at least one woman reportedly walked out in protest after they were made.
When asked to comment on the validity of the reported comments, a HUD spokesperson told the Post that Secretary Carson, “does not use derogatory language to refer to transgendered individuals. Any reporting to the contrary is false.”
Castro also responded to the initial report on Twitter shortly after it was published.
Castro, who served as HUD Secretary under former President Obama between 2014 and 2017, is currently seeking the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 general election. According to polling data collated by FiveThirtyEight, Castro is currently polling at roughly 1% in the wide field of Democratic candidates, many of whom will assemble for another debate on Tuesday evening.
Carson previously revealed that if President Trump is elected to a second term, he will not remain as HUD Secretary and plans to find new work in the private sector following the 2020 election.