Ben Carson announces his retirement from the presidential race during CPAC 2016 March 4, 2016 in National Harbor, Md.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty

Ben Carson to endorse Donald Trump

Updated

Former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson will endorse Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, Trump said during Thursday night’s debate.

The Republican presidential front-runner said that he spoke with Carson for more than an hour on Thursday and commended his former rival for his positions on education.

Trump added during the debate that Carson plans to make the endorsement official on Friday morning. 

A person close to Carson said the retired neurosurgeon sees Trump as “authentic” and “an outsider.”

Carson announced he was suspending his campaign on Friday during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, D.C.

The announcement came after a string of disappointing finishes in the GOP presidential primary contests.

Chris Jansing also contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Ben Carson and Donald Trump

Ben Carson to endorse Donald Trump

Updated