Perry says he doesn’t want VA secretary job

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

Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party College football move rocks Texas legislature Trump tries to spin failed Texas endorsement: 'This was a win' 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 TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE was considering firing VA Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinFormer VA secretaries propose National Warrior Call Day to raise military suicide awareness Biden's nominee for VA secretary isn't a veteran — does it matter? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress slogs toward COVID-19 relief, omnibus deal 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.