Perry says he doesn’t want VA secretary job

Perry says he doesn’t want VA secretary job
© Camille Fine

Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryOvernight Energy: Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to sow division over coal jobs | NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal' | EPA official says agency may ban asbestos | Energy Dept. denies Perry planning exit The Hill's 12:30 Report: Inside the Mueller report The very early, boring Democratic primary: Biden v. Bernie MORE says he’s not interested in becoming the next secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Speaking with reporters after a Wednesday congressional hearing, Perry called the idea that he would move to the VA “fake news” and said he is staying at the Energy Department “until the foreseeable future — happily,” The Associated Press reported.

Multiple news outlets, led by The New York Times, reported Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE was considering firing VA Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinTrump sent policy pitch from Mar-a-Lago member to VA secretary: report Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? It’s time to end the scare tactics and get to work for our veterans MORE and moving Perry into the job.


The Times reported that Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with Shulkin. The secretary has been accused in multiple recent scandals regarding the spending of taxpayer money. Other reports have detailed conflicts between Shulkin, a holdover from the Obama administration, and Trump allies in the department.

Perry, a former governor of Texas, was once a commissioned officer in the Air Force, and has spoken extensively about the Energy Department’s role, through its supercomputing platforms, in assisting the VA.

Perry has repeatedly called his position as Energy secretary his "coolest job," in contrast with the Texas governorship, which was his "best job."

In a 2011 debate when he was running for president, Perry famously said he wanted to eliminate the Energy Department, though he forgot the agency's name.