WASHINGTON, Oct 4 — US Energy Secretary Rick Perry is expected to announce his resignation in November, Politico reported yesterday, citing three unidentified people familiar with his plans.
A spokeswoman for the Energy Department said Perry remains a “proud member” of President Donald Trump's Cabinet, in a statement that stopped short of denying the Politico report.
“While the beltway media has breathlessly reported on rumours of Secretary Perry's departure for months, he is still the Secretary of Energy and a proud member of President Trump’s Cabinet,” spokeswoman Shaylyn Haynes said in a statement. “One day the media will be right. Today is not that day.”
Politico said while Perry's contacts with Ukraine have drawn him into the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump by House of Representatives Democrats, the three people said his expected departure was not related to the Ukraine controversy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment investigation last week after a whistleblower lodged a complaint about Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to look into investigating former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The complaint mentioned Perry, who led a small US delegation to Zelenskiy's inauguration in May, replacing Vice President Mike Pence who had been scheduled to go.
Perry has been free of ethics investigations that have weighed on other Trump officials, forcing a number of them, such as former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, to leave the Republican administration.
The longest serving governor of oil-producing Texas, Perry has been one of the top officials working to advance Trump's “energy dominance” agenda on maximizing production of fossil fuels.
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, who has attended many international energy meetings in recent months, is widely expected by energy experts in Washington to replace Perry. — Reuters