Trump told House Republicans that he made Ukraine call because of Perry: Report

According to Axios, President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE told House Republicans during a conference call Friday that he was urged by Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryWhite House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours Perry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry Overnight Energy: Trump taps deputy energy secretary to replace Perry | Praises pick Dan Brouillette as 'total professional' | Perry denies quid pro quo over Ukraine MORE to make his July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump told fellow party members that "not a lot of people know this, but I didn't even want to make the call," a source who was on the conference call told the news outlet.

"The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant," Trump added. 

The president's comments put a twist on the narrative surrounding House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Text messages between White House officials and former Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak were released earlier this week. None of the messages suggest that Perry was the reason behind Trump's phone call.

Perry headed a U.S. delegation to Ukraine in May for Zelensky's inauguration but reportedly told the Christian Broadcasting Network that "as God is my witness" neither former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE nor his son Hunter Biden came up in conversation.

"Secretary Perry absolutely supported and encouraged the president to speak to the new president of Ukraine to discuss matters related to their energy security and economic development," Perry's spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes told Axios.

Perry is reportedly set to resign from his position as Energy secretary at the end of the year.