President Donald Trump confirmed late Thursday that Energy Secretary Rick Perry has resigned, and will be leaving towards the end of the year.
“Rick has done a fantastic job at Energy. But it was time, three years is a long time,” Trump told reporters in Texas, adding that he was not surprised when asked about Perrys resignation.
“No I knew six months ago,” Trump said. “He told me at the end of the year hed like to go and hes got some ideas about doing something else. Hes a terrific guy.”
“Rick and I have been talking for six months. In fact, I thought he might go a bit sooner,” Trump added. “But hes got some very big plans. Hes going to be very successful. We have his successor well announce it pretty soon.”
Perrys exact last day as Energy Secretary is unknown.
Perry posted to Twitter Thursday night a video titled “The Coolest Job Ive Ever Had,” with an accompanying message that said that serving in his role as Secretary of Energy under Trump has been “the honor of a lifetime.”
“Serving as Secretary of @ENERGY under @realDonaldTrump has been the honor of a lifetime. Today the U.S. leads the world in energy production, we launched AI & Cyber Security Offices, & made environmental progress unseen for decades cleaning up the legacy of the Manhattan Project,” he wrote in his Twitter post.
“I thank President Trump for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I am so glad that I said yes,” he also wrote.
Serving as Secretary of @ENERGY under @realDonaldTrump has been the honor of a lifetime. Today the U.S. leads the world in energy production, we launched AI & Cyber Security Offices, & made environmental progress unseen for decades cleaning up the legacy of the Manhattan Project. pic.twitter.com/ZWZer3yMHy
— Rick Perry (@SecretaryPerry) October 18, 2019
In his position, Perry helped seal a deal to sell U.S. coal to Ukraine and had worked with the country and others on providing Europe an alternative to its dependence on gas from Russia. Perry talked up shipments of U.S. liquefied natural gas as “freedom gas” for Eastern Europe.
Perry also tried to persuade Saudi Arabia, the worlds largest oil exporter, to build nuclear power plants using U.S. technology. He often met Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, a fellow alumnus of Texas A&M University, about the kingdoms plans to build its first two commercial nuclear power plants.
The Energy Department issued seven licenses to companies to share information on nuclear power with Riyadh, which plans to issue a multibillion-dollar tender for the nuclear plants in 2020.
Perry had also advocated for maximum pressure on Iran over its nuclear and missile programs and influence in Syria and Iraq.