President Donald Trump showered Rick Perry with praise at the outgoing energy secretary’s last Cabinet meeting Tuesday, calling him an “incredible representative of this country and this administration.”
The former Texas governor and one of Trump’s longest serving Cabinet members, Perry announced his resignation last month. His last day is expected to be Dec. 1.
“You were a great governor of Texas, and you were a great secretary of energy,” Trump said. “And I’m not sure what you were better at, but I can tell you, as far as energy is concerned, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Perry thanked the president, and earlier that day, tweeted that he was “proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish for American @ENERGY with my colleagues; I know they will continue to create American jobs and ensure American Energy Dominance.”
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Perry’s resignation comes as he faces scrutiny in the House impeachment inquiry for his possible involvement in Trump’s efforts to push Ukraine to investigate the employer of Democrat Joe Biden’s son. At the same time, the White House withheld military aid to the country.
Perry so far has refused to provide Ukraine-related documents to House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry. He also refused to testify in the closed-door impeachment probe, though earlier this month he said he’d entertain the idea of testifying publicly.
Perry is among the so-called “three amigos” who were put in charge of Ukraine diplomacy by the White House. The other two are European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, both of whom are testifying before the House Intelligence Committee this week.
For subscribers: What Rick Perry was doing in Ukraine
He has denied hearing anyone mention the Bidens or Burisma — the company that employed Hunter Biden — in his meetings with Ukrainian officials. He also has said he finds the way lawmakers are pursuing impeachment improper.
Questions also have been raised about Perry after the Associated Press reported last week that two of his political supporters received an oil and gas exploration deal from the Ukrainian government a little more than a month after Perry, while attending Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s May inauguration, recommended one of the donors as an adviser.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.