Manchin rules out becoming Trump's Energy secretary
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (D-W.Va.) is quashing speculation that he'll leave the Senate to become President Trump's Energy secretary.

The Democratic senator, who is facing a tough 2018 reelection bid, said at a town hall that he would not be jumping to the Trump administration.

Jonathan Kott, a spokesman for Manchin, confirmed the Democratic senator said at the town hall that he would not be Trump's next Energy secretary. 

White House and GOP officials floated Manchin as a potential pick to lead the Energy Department as part of a strategy to get Republicans a 50th vote on repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

The move would let West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a former Democrat who earlier this month switched to the GOP, appoint a Republican to replace Manchin in the Senate.

Under the scenario, current Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Overnight Energy: Pruitt gone, but investigations remain | Interim EPA chief called Trump a 'bully' in 2016 | Court rules for greens in air pollution case Trump coal plan could lead to 1 pollution-related death for every 2 jobs: study MORE would be appointed to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Manchin, in turn, would be named to lead the Department of Energy.

Republicans, who have a 52-seat majority, fell one vote short in their bid to pass a "skinny" bill to repeal parts of ObamaCare. The repeal effort is sidelined unless they can flip GOP Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainControversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin Ex-Montenegro leader fires back at Trump: ‘Strangest president' in history MORE (Ariz.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington Overnight Health Care: Novartis pulls back on drug price hikes | House Dems launch Medicare for All caucus | Trump officials pushing ahead on Medicaid work requirements Senate panel to vote next week on banning 'gag clauses' in pharmacy contracts MORE (Maine) or Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (Alaska), or find a way to expand their majority.

Manchin was reportedly considered for the job after Trump's election in November, but Trump eventually nominated Perry to the post.