Perry says he doesn’t want VA secretary job

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

Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryNew Energy secretary cancels Paris trip amid mass strikes against Macron proposal Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits 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 TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE was considering firing VA Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinFormer Trump VA secretary says staffer found plans to replace him in department copier VA under pressure to ease medical marijuana rules Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE and moving Perry into the job.

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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.