Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, one of the Trump administration's biggest connections to Texas and mainstream conservatism, plans to quit his post as energy secretary, according to reports from Bloomberg and The New York Times.
Despite calling President Donald Trump a "cancer on conservatism" during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Perry took control of the Energy Department shortly after Trump's inauguration in January 2017. In the 2½ years that followed, Perry managed to avoid the staff turnover bug that still infects the White House, establishing himself as a reliable voice in Trump's ear.
Trump and Perry's relationship soured, according to reporting from multiple outlets, as the president began to feel the heat from his decision to encourage Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden's son, Hunter Biden.
In a meeting with U.S. House Republicans, Trump reportedly blamed Perry for the July 25 call with Zelenskiy that led to the whistleblower complaint and attendant fallout that's pushed the U.S. House closer to impeachment than it's been at any time during Trump's presidency.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Wednesday, Perry said that he'd asked Trump's personal lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to address Ukrainian corruption early this year at the president's request.
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While the Department of Energy has yet to confirm Perry's resignation, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz issued a statement on his fellow Texan's decision Thursday afternoon.
".@SecretaryPerry is a good man & good friend who has devoted his life to serving his country & the great state of Texas. He went from being Texas' longest-serving governor to heading @ENERGY, where he was a leading advocate for US energy, including liquefied natural gas," Cruz tweeted. "Under his leadership, US oil and gas production has soared—with much of that new production coming from Texas—and the US has become a net exporter of natural gas, creating good-paying jobs, providing cleaner and more affordable energy, and boosting America’s energy independence."
Under his leadership, US oil and gas production has soared—with much of that new production coming from Texas—and the US has become a net exporter of natural gas, creating good-paying jobs, providing cleaner and more affordable energy, and boosting America’s energy independence.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 17, 2019