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17 Oct, 2019 22:11

Energy secretary Rick ‘Freedom Gas’ Perry leaving Trump cabinet

Energy secretary Rick ‘Freedom Gas’ Perry leaving Trump cabinet

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, known for liaising with the government in Ukraine and aggressively pushing overpriced US gas down European allies’ throats, has notified President Donald Trump he would resign by the end of the year.

Perry has dropped hints about retiring from the Cabinet for months – since April, actually – without mentioning the exact departure date. Asked about it on Thursday evening, Trump said he has already identified a replacement and would nominate one "soon."

One of the original members of Trump’s cabinet, Perry has been responsible for US energy policy – including safeguarding the nuclear arsenal – and the controversial rebranding of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) as “molecules of freedom” in an attempt to make it more attractive to buyers in Europe than the far cheaper, more easily available Russian gas.

Also on rt.com ‘Molecules of freedom’?! US Energy Department rebrands LNG as ‘freedom gas’

He has also been under increased scrutiny lately over his role as a liaison with the new government in Ukraine, as Democrats seek to impeach Trump over allegations he “pressured” Kiev into “digging up dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden. 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday, Perry said that Trump had asked him to reach out to Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, after Volodymyr Zelensky was elected in the April presidential runoff. 

“And as I recall the conversation, [Giuliani] said, ‘Look, the president is really concerned that there are people in Ukraine that tried to beat him during this presidential election’,” Perry told the WSJ. “‘He thinks they’re corrupt and… that there are still people over there engaged that are absolutely corrupt’.”

Perry said that Giuliani had blamed Ukraine for the so-called Steele Dossier, a collection of claims about Trump compiled by a British spy funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, used since to investigate the president for “Russian collusion.”

The former Texas governor (2000-2015) made two unsuccessful presidential bids, in 2012 and 2016. His appointment to lead Energy was particularly ironic given that he could not recall the department’s existence during a 2011 Republican presidential debate, when he tried to name three Cabinet portfolios he would abolish if elected.

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