Ben Carson is becoming the jack of all trades for Donald Trump’s campaign.
After being tapped to join a vice presidential selection committee last week, Carson has stepped away to focus on other things, according to his business manager, Armstrong Williams.
“What Trump wanted from Carson were names of who he would recommend for a potential candidate. He was among several other people making recommendations,” Williams described Carson’s role to The Daily Beast. “Once those names were submitted, they decided to have [Corey] Lewandowski head up.”
Trump’s embattled campaign manager will now be vetting the vice presidential contenders, as first reported by The Washington Post on Tuesday. Lewandowski will reportedly also be assisted by a law firm in the vetting process.
Carson simply came up with a list of names he recommended to Trump and will now be focusing on preparing Trump for a meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Thursday—meant to serve as an opportunity to put their differences aside and unite the party going forward.
“It’s passed off to him,” Williams said of the transfer of roles to Lewandowski. “That vetting process is a long process and a tedious process. Now Carson is involved in making sure that everything goes well with Thursday’s meeting.”
That involves a meeting between Carson and Ryan prior to the one set with the presumptive nominee. Williams told The Daily Beast that the meeting has been confirmed and set up. Later a source said they would only speak by phone “ahead of the Trump meeting,” despite Williams’s desire for it to be face-to-face.
Carson’s role in the Trump orbit has been one of a close emissary and confidant, a calm voice to contrast the brash demeanor of the real estate mogul who has drawn the ire of many in the Republican establishment. He wants to make sure that Ryan gets to know Trump beyond the image he conveys on cable news networks and massive rallies.
According to Williams, Carson is going to remain a “trusted confidant,” who assists the Trump campaign where he’s needed best.
“I do know that Dr. Carson and Trump have become very trusted allies; brothers,” Williams described the relationship. “They confide in each other.”
And this is part of the reason why Carson wanted the meeting with Ryan, with whom he regularly speaks, according to Williams.
“Dr. Carson is carrying the weight of this on his shoulders,” Williams said. “Because Trump trusts him and the Speaker trusts him.”
Update 5/10/16 5:59: To reflect confirmation of the scheduled phone call.