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

According to Axios, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE told House Republicans during a conference call Friday that he was urged by Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes unexpected step to stem coronavirus Top National Security Council aide moved to Energy Department role Overnight Energy: Green groups to sue over Trump rollback of Obama water rules | GOP climate plan faces pushback from right | Bezos launches B climate initiative 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. 

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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 BidenBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Overnight Health Care: Trump resists pressure for nationwide stay-at-home order | Trump open to speaking to Biden about virus response | Fauci gets security detail | Outbreak creates emergency in nursing homes 16 things to know today about coronavirus outbreak 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.