WASHINGTON — Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s resignation comes as the White House grapples with the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
Perry has drawn scrutiny for his role in the controversy, but he says it has nothing to do with his departure. The former Governor of Texas is one of the longest serving members of President Trump’s cabinet after leading the Department of Energy for nearly three years.
“The three things that I wanted to get done, got them done, and it’s time for me to go,” Perry said. “One of them was take care of artificial intelligence office that we stood up, the other obviously on the LNG side, we’ve been incredibly successful in being able to move our LNG around the world,” Perry continued. “I think 36 different countries now and 5 continents, and the last—I just got back from Brussels yesterday from a civil nuclear, a small modular reactor conference that we had. First of its kind in Europe. Talking about American innovation, American technology in these small modular reactors. So those three things I really wanted to get finalized before I started headed back to Texas.”
While Trump praised Perry at a rally in Dallas last week, earlier this month he blamed Perry for the mid-summer phone call with the Ukrainian President that provoked the House Democrats impeachment inquiry.
But Perry said his decision to leave came long before the comments. “For eight or nine months I have been looking for the proper
off ramp so that I could go back home,” he said. “I get to go see my wife and my dogs and my friends in Texas.”
Perry said he believes his replacement, Dan Brouillette, will run the Department of Energy efficiently.