U.S. housing head Carson notes suggest friction with Trump aide tasked with ensuring loyalty

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[September 26, 2020]    ATLANTA (Reuters) - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson scripted a complaint to President Donald Trump about how the presidential personnel office is handling his agency, notes seen by reporters on Friday show.

President Donald Trump listens to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson as he meets with Carson and other conservative black supporters in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 10, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Carson spoke at a "Black Economic Empowerment" event organized by Trump's re-election campaign at an Atlanta conference center, ahead of Trump. Reporters watching on a television screen in the room got a partial, up-close view of talking points typed on the back of Carson's speech.

In the notes, Carson appeared to be complaining about Trump aide John McEntee, head of the presidential personnel office, referred to in the notes as PPO. Parts of the notes were obscured by Carson's microphone.

"Mr. President, I am your friend and I am very loyal to you, and after you win I (illegible) to stay in your administration. I am not happy with the way PPO is handling my agency. I like John and respect (illegible) he is doing. However I am sensing a severe lack of trust with some of the..."

Trump has tasked McEntee with ensuring loyalty among senior aides at Cabinet agencies, an administration source said.

The White House declined to comment and no comment was immediately available from the agency.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal; editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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