President Donald Trump confirmed Energy Secretary Rick Perry is stepping down, a couple of weeks after reports emerged that Perry was preparing for the move.
CNBC quoted Trump as saying Perry had handed in his resignation yesterday and would step down as Energy Secretary at the end of the year.
According to the original report about Perry’s resignation, by Politico, Perry had been considering resigning for several months now, and his indirect involvement in the impeachment proceedings against Trump may have helped him make up his mind.
Perry’s name got mixed up in the scandal that led to the start of an impeachment procedure against the U.S. President because of a delegation the Energy Secretary led to Ukraine for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky. The delegation was initially supposed to be led by Vice President Mike Pence but Perry was named instead of him at the last minute. At the time, according to a whistleblower report cited by Politico, Washington was trying to see if Zelensky would be pro or anti-Trump.
This has nothing to do with the scandal, which was caused by allegations that Trump had tried to use Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to start an investigation into his main Democrat rival Joe Biden in exchange for military assistance. Related: The Single Biggest Threat To U.S. Oil Jobs
However, according to Trump himself, it was Perry who urged him to take a call from Zelensky – the same call that the impeachment investigation has centered on. According to the office of the Energy Secretary, the reason he urged Trump to talk to Zelensky that day was to discuss energy matters.
CNBC recalls that Trump has directed criticism at many of the officials that got entangled in the scandal but Perry has not been one of them. On the contrary, when he confirmed Perry’s resignation, Trump only had good words to say about the soon-to-be-former Energy Secretary.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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