The only black member of Trump’s cabinet condemns white supremacists -- says ‘I’d prefer to be in the private sector’
HUD Secretary Ben Carson on PBS (screengrab)

The only African American member of President Donald Trump's cabinet said on Tuesday that he would rather be in the private sector than serving in the administration.


Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson was interviewed on "Newshour" by PBS News' White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Trump "recently suggested that white supremacist groups are 'a small group of people.' Experts in organizations that study white supremacists say they're a growing group and they're leading to a rise in hate crimes across the country," Alcindor noted.

"Do you agree with the president's stance on white supremacists?"

"Well, I don't know anything useful comes from talking about what side they are," Carson replied. "They're a despicable group of individuals, as any group that hates others and purports themselves to be superior."

"But the president said they're still a small group. Do you see them as a rising issue?" Alcindor asked. "Should the government be dealing with them in some way?"

"Well, I think we should all, regardless of what our political prospects are, condemn anybody who is a hate group, no matter what their size, whether they're getting smaller, whether they're getting larger," Carson replied.

"But the problem is getting worse, you think?" she asked.

"I personally have not seen evidence of it, but again, if there is even one, it's a problem," he answered.

"And you said recently that you're open to serving a second term as H.U.D. secretary, but you also said you might leave after first term. Are you concerned -- as the only black cabinet member from President Trump -- are you concerned that the lack of diversity of the cabinet and in the administration might impact the president's rhetoric and policies?" Alcindor asked.

"Well, first of all, I indicated that, you know, I would prefer to be in the private sector," he replied. "I would prefer to be in the private sector now -- this is sacrificial work."

Watch: