Ben Carson, who last week suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, plans to endorse Donald Trump on Friday morning, two people familiar with his thinking told The Washington Post on Thursday.
The endorsement, perhaps the most high-profile nod for Trump since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie backed him, was finalized Thursday morning when Carson met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the luxury club owned by the Republican front-runner, the people, who requested anonymity, told the newspaper.
Friday’s announcement will also take place at the club in Palm Beach, Florida, where the onetime rivals will appear alongside one another at a news conference.
Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, last week ended his run for the Republican presidential nomination following a poor performance on Super Tuesday, when he came in dead last and managed to win just 3 delegates.
Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager, confirmed to The Washington Post that Carson and Trump met Thursday but declined to comment further. A Trump campaign spokesperson declined to comment about the meeting or a possible endorsement.
The newspaper noted that the support of Carson will likely give Trump a boost with GOP base voters and evangelicals, who embraced Carson’s campaign in its early days and fueled his brief rise to the top of Republican primary polls.
Appearing earlier Thursday on Fox News radio, Carson hinted that he is “certainly leaning” toward a candidate and spoke highly of Trump.
“There’s two Donald Trumps. There’s the Donald Trump that you see on television and who gets out in front of big audiences, and there’s the Donald Trump behind the scenes,” he was quoted as having said. “They’re not the same person. One’s very much and entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual.”