Energy Secretary Rick Perry – best known for being Texas’s longest-serving governor, a one-time presidential hopeful, and his show-stealing turn on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ – is reportedly preparing to step down in the coming weeks, what would make him the 16th member of Trump’s original 24-person cabinet to leave the administration, Bloomberg reports.
To be sure, a spokeswoman for the department denied that Perry – who is well-liked by Trump – is finalizing the terms and timing of his departure. And this wouldn’t be the first time that reports about the impending departure of a senior Trump administration figure turned out to be premature (Wilbur Ross is still hanging on). But the report also claimed that Trump had asked Perry to take over DHS after Kirstjen Nielson was ousted from the administration. Perry declined the offer.
Perry has been prepping the agency’s deputy secretary, Dan Brouillette, for the transition, though it’s unclear whether Trump will choose Brouillette to take over. According to the report, Perry’s departure has nothing to do with his relationship with Trump; instead, he’d like to build up his income before retirement.
When he was appointed to lead the department, social media erupted with criticism over that infamous moment from a debate when Perry was running for the 2012 Republican nomination where he forgot the name of the DoE when asked by a moderator about the three federal departments he would abolish.
Rumors about Perry’s departure have proved premature in the past, as he has long been rumored as a contender to take over DHS, even though he once campaigned on a softer line on immigration, and even passed legislation allowing the children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Texas universities. Perry also once torched Trump’s candidacy as a “cancer on conservatism” back in 2015.
Before joining the administration, Perry was reportedly considered to lead the Pentagon. He had also been rumored to be a candidate to take over Veterans Affairs.
Though he has largely kept a low profile as the head of the DoE, avoiding the types of controversies that have felled other Trump cabinet heads, but rumors about his departure will almost certainly be the grist for dozens of memes.
Actual footage of Rick Perry
preparing to quickstep his way
out of Trump’s administration pic.twitter.com/ZhljNQprfB
— Brenna Simon (@BrennaSimonSays) April 18, 2019