Energy Secretary Rick Perry will be stepping down from his post at the end of the year, President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday.
“Rick has been with me three years … and he’s been outstanding,” Trump told reporters while touring a Louis Vuitton factory near Fort Worth, Texas.
“We already have his replacement,” the president added. “Rick has done a fantastic job at Energy, but it was time. Three years is a long time.”
“[Perry will be] leaving at the end of the year. In fact I was going to announce it tonight at the rally in Texas,” Trump said.
President Trump on Secretary Rick Perry: “We already have his replacement. Rick has done a fantastic job at energy, but it was time. Three years is a long time.” https://t.co/tMBkdRcXm8 pic.twitter.com/jDICeeVWdS
— The Hill (@thehill) October 17, 2019
The president said that he and Perry had been talking about the secretary’s departure for the last six months, The Hill reported.
Trump added that he and Perry had been working together to pick his replacement.
The former Texas governor is among the longest-serving cabinet secretaries in Trump’s administration, having been confirmed in a bipartisan Senate vote in March 2017.
Perry has focused on increasing the country’s energy production, including oil and natural gas.
The Energy Department reported earlier this year that the boom in oil and natural gas extraction will make the U.S. a net energy exporter in 2020 for the first time in nearly 70 years, according to CNBC.
That is two years ahead of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s prediction made last just last year.
Perry has come under scrutiny amid the ongoing House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry provoked by Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Politico reported that Perry was subpoenaed last week by Democrats demanding he turn over documents related to the call.
“Perry said it was energy issues that pushed him to broker a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president,” The Hill reported.
The Texan has been rumored to be leaving the Trump administration for months.
“No. I’m here, I’m serving,” Perry said when questioned about a stepping down earlier this month. “They’ve been writing the story for at least nine months now. One of these days they will probably get it right, but it’s not today, it’s not tomorrow, it’s not next month.”
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