Rick Perry to leave Trump administration by the end of the year

By Jennifer Jacobs and Ari Natter on 10/4/2019

WASHINGTON - (Bloomberg) - Energy Secretary Rick Perry has plans to resign from the Trump administration by the end of the year, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Perry, an Air Force veteran who was previously Texas’ longest serving governor, is set to spend some time in the Oval Office Friday but hadn’t intended to tell President Donald Trump of his departure timeline. The time was scheduled so Perry could get a photo of his new grandchild with Trump, according to two other people, who asked not to be named to discuss a matter that is not yet public.

Perry is said to have a good rapport with Trump having avoided the missteps that led to the downfall of Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke, his now departed colleagues who led the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department respectively.

Perry, 69, has served as leader as the leader of the agency he once vowed to eliminate since March 2017. The agency has an annual budget of around $30 billion and is responsible for work ranging from safe-guarding nuclear weapons to maintaining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

During his tenure, Perry championed the national laboratory system and other department programs that the Trump administration sought to cut, and he tried unsuccessfully to rescue unprofitable coal and nuclear plants.

Rumors of Perry departing the agency have popped up before -- Trump is said to have considered him to lead both the Department of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. Both times Perry or aides to him have asserted he was happy in his position at energy and had no desire to leave.

Still, Perry has not been a seamless fit with the Energy Department, where the two most recent secretaries had Ph.D.s in physics. Perry was an animal science major at Texas A&M, and he advocated abolishing the department during his own presidential bid.

A spokeswoman for the Energy Department denied that Perry plans to tell Trump he will be resigning Friday.

“While the beltway media has breathlessly reported on rumors of Secretary Perry’s departure for months, he is still the Secretary of Energy and a proud member of President Trump’s Cabinet. One day the media will be right. Today is not that day,” said Shaylyn Hynes, an Energy Department spokeswoman.

Perry’s departure was earlier reported by Politico.

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