Ben Carson to endorse Donald Trump on Friday, reports say

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(CNN) — Former presidential candidate Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump at a press conference in Florida on Friday morning, multiple sources tell CNN, handing Trump an important boost heading into next week’s “Super Tuesday 3.”

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, ended his own White House campaign last week after failing to win a single primary contest. Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference Friday at 9 a.m. ET at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

The expected endorsement was first reported by The Washington Post.

Carson, respected within the evangelical community, had briefly overtaken Trump in the polls earlier in the 2016 campaign. But he failed to maintain that momentum as he struggled with foreign policy and national security questions, and made multiple gaffes on the trail.

He will become the second former Republican presidential candidate to officially back Trump. Last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered a bombshell endorsement of the GOP front-runner.

The development is disappointing news for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. On Wednesday, Carson told CNN’s Erin Burnett he was open to supporting either Trump or Cruz.

“You have to consider all the information, who is most likely to win, and what kind of shenanigans will drive voters away so they will not participate in the process. We have to be very careful in all those things,” Carson said.