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Nancy Pelosi Calls Ben Carson ‘Disturbingly Unqualified’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

10 a.m.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is calling the decision to tap Ben Carson as head of Housing and Urban Development a “disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice.”

Pelosi says the country deserves someone with “relevant experience” to protect the rights of homeowners and renters.

In her statement released Monday, she says “there is no evidence that Dr. Carson brings the necessary credentials to hold a position with such immense responsibilities and impact on families and communities across America.”

Trump says, “Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans.”

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8:59 a.m.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher claims he is under consideration to become the next secretary of state and says it’s “terrific” that President-elect Donald Trump flouted decades of U.S. diplomatic convention by speaking directly to the leader of Taiwan.

Trump’s phone call irritated China, whose leaders consider Taiwan a rogue province. Trump defended the contact in a tweet and accused China of economic policies that Trump says hurt the U.S.

Rohrabacher told Fox News on Monday that it’s not as though Trump violated any treaties.

He said: “I think it was a terrific message to them that we’re no longer going to be pushovers, and there’s going to be consequences for their hostile and aggressive actions.”

Rohrabacher is a California Republican known for his favorable views of Russia.

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6:19 a.m.

Donald Trump has chosen former campaign 2016 rival Ben Carson to become secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Trump’s decision, announced early Monday by his transition office, comes as the real estate mogul continues a series of interviews, meetings with aides and other deliberations aimed at forming his administration.

In a statement, Trump says he’s “thrilled to nominate” Carson, saying he “has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.”

Carson has been coy about joining the new administration, saying shortly after Trump’s election victory that he wasn’t certain he’d fit into a Cabinet-style role. The discussion at that time centered on speculation that Carson might be selected to head the sprawling Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump’s statement Monday says, “Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans.”

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This story has been corrected to show that Pelosi is the House Democratic leader, not the speaker.

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