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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal Gabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal 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.

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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 PerryDems open new front against Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: State of the Union takeaways | Sights and sounds from the night | Virginia attorney general admits he wore blackface Energy Secretary Rick Perry is designated survivor for 2019 State of the Union 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 McCainMellman: Where are good faith and integrity? GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE (Ariz.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOn The Money: Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump emergency declaration | Banks made billion in extra profits thanks to GOP tax law | IRS analyst charged with leaking Cohen's financial records Senate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down MORE (Maine) or Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Dems to introduce resolution blocking Trump's emergency declaration GOP Sen. Collins says she'll back resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times 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.