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 PerryThe credible case for Texas and its clean energy solutions Oversight: Trump confidant Tom Barrack pushed for Saudi nuclear plant construction Amazon taps Trump ally to lobby amid Pentagon cloud-computing contract fight 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 TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE was considering firing VA Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinPress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Senior Trump administration official to leave post next week Trump sent policy pitch from Mar-a-Lago member to VA secretary: report 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.