President Trump revealed on Thursday that Energy Secretary Rick Perry will be stepping down at the end of the year.
Reuters reports the date will coincide with “a deadline set by congressional Democrats for Perry to turn over documents in the impeachment probe.”
President Trump did not show any worry in the announcement and instead hinted that Perry was moving onward with “some very big plans.”
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 18, 2019
“Rick and I have been talking for six months. In fact, I thought he might go a bit sooner,” Trump said during a rally in Texas. “But he’s got some very big plans. He’s going to be very successful. We have his successor. We’ll announce it pretty soon.”
According to the report, Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette “is widely expected to replace Perry.”
Here’s more, from Reuters:
Perry, 69, who was the longest-serving governor of Texas and faced off against Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential nominating contests, said earlier this month he had no plans to step down, denying a media report that he was expected to announce his resignation in November.
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve our country in your administration in such a meaningful way,” Perry said in his resignation letter to Trump.
In recent weeks, Perry has found himself engulfed in the impeachment investigation threatening Trump’s presidency. Three Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives committees issued a subpoena on Oct. 10 for Perry to turn over documents on any role he played in Trump’s bid to get Ukraine to investigate a political rival.
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Taking to Twitter, Perry described his time in the administration as “the honor of a lifetime.”
“Today the U.S. leads the world in energy production, we launched AI & Cyber Security Offices, & made environmental progress unseen for decades cleaning up the legacy of the Manhattan Project,” he added.
Serving as Secretary of @ENERGY under @realDonaldTrump has been the honor of a lifetime. Today the U.S. leads the world in energy production, we launched AI & Cyber Security Offices, & made environmental progress unseen for decades cleaning up the legacy of the Manhattan Project. pic.twitter.com/ZWZer3yMHy
— Rick Perry (@SecretaryPerry) October 18, 2019
ABC News adds:
Perry, who was Texas’ longest-serving governor and ran against Trump for president in 2016 before joining his administration, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. He also has insisted that actions he took regarding Ukraine were intended to advance U.S. interests in the region — namely addressing government corruption and encouraging American companies to do business there.
In recent weeks, Perry has repeatedly knocked down suggestions that he planned to resign, including telling the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Wednesday that he planned to still be in the job on Thanksgiving.