Ben Carson turned down an open offer to take an official role in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, The Hill reported Tuesday.
Carson ally Armstrong Williams told the Hill that the retired pediatric neurosurgeon would serve only as an unofficial adviser. Fox News confirmed the report.
While Carson was floated as a possible appointee to oversee the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education, Williams said he never received a formal offer for either post.
“Dr. Carson was never offered a specific position, but everything was open to him,” Williams told The Hill.
“Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency,” he went on. “The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”
This lack of political experience did not prevent Carson from running a failed bid for president this year. Trump will also be the first commander in chief in U.S. history to have no prior political or military experience.
Carson endorsed Trump in March and was tasked with ginning up support among evangelical voters. Though Trump previously compared Carson to a “child molester” and said he had a “pathological temper,” the former neurosurgeon served as a top surrogate for the campaign.