U.S. Energy Secretary to Resign
Rick Perry will step down as Energy Secretary by the end of the year.
Jeff Brady from NPR had the news:
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry plans to leave his position at the end of the year, President Trump confirmed to reporters Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump praised Perry and said he already has a replacement in mind.
“Rick has done a fantastic job,” Trump said. “But it was time.”
Trump said that Perry’s resignation didn’t come as a surprise and that he has considered leaving for six months because “he’s got some very big plans.”
Perry, 69, is one of Trump’s original Cabinet members and recently has emerged as a central figure in the impeachment inquiry of Trump.
Perry was part of what was dubbed “the three amigos” — in addition to Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, former envoy to Ukraine — charged with managing the U.S.-Ukraine relationship after the White House removed the core of its Ukraine policy team last spring.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez reported:
Perry said in a YouTube video posted Thursday night that he planned to announce his resignation, without giving an exact date. Bloomberg was first to report on Perry’s resignation.
“There is much work to be done in these upcoming weeks and I remain fully committed to accomplishing the goals that I set out to accomplish at the beginning of my tenure,” Perry said in the video.
Perry has found himself as one of the players in the middle of the controversy stemming from a whistleblower’s allegation that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, and that the White House attempted to cover up the conversation. There is no evidence of wrongdoing in Ukraine by either Biden.
Perry told the newspaper that Giuliani didn’t make explicit demands on the call, but did blame Ukraine for the Steele dossier about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, claimed the country had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server and linked Ukraine to unfounded evidence that helped send former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to prison.
Perry also disputed claims that he was planning to leave the administration. At the time, he wouldn’t state if he was planning to stay in his role past Thanksgiving. He faces a deadline Friday to comply with a congressional subpoena as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
Tucker Higgins provided some background for CNBC:
Perry, formerly the governor of Texas, had largely avoided headlines since joining the Trump administration in 2017. But in recent weeks he became entangled in the Democratic-led impeachment probe into Trump’s actions involving Ukraine.
Trump has criticized some of the people caught up in the inquiry – including a whistleblower whose complaint spurred many Democrats to support starting impeachment proceedings. “Who’s the whistleblower? We have to know! Is he a spy?” Trump asked the crowd at the rally.
But the president offered only compliments for Perry at the event, calling him “a friend of mine” who was “so tough” during the 2016 campaign but “gracious” following Trump’s victory.
“He’s done a phenomenal job. And Rick Perry couldn’t have done a better job, and he’s going to be leaving at the end of the year, and probably coming back here. Whatever he does, it’s gonna be successful. But he spent three years with us, and I want to thank you, Rick. What a job you’ve done.”
“He was also a great governor of Texas,” Trump added.