The Republican former governor of Texas, Rick Perry, has been chosen by Donald Trump to be energy secretary, people involved with the selection process told CBS News Monday.
In recent weeks, Perry attended several meetings with Trump, including one Monday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Perry sits on two corporate boards, including Energy Transfer Partners, whose subsidiary is trying to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. Ray Washburne, a former finance chair of the Republican National Committee and a major Trump fundraiser, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) were also contenders for the position.
Perry is a surprising choice, considering he forgot, while running for president in 2011, that the Department of Energy was one of the three agencies he'd eliminate. During a Republican debate, Perry was able to remember he wanted to get rid of the Commerce and Education departments, but stumbled over his third choice, eventually muttering "oops" and moving on. Later, he updated the crowd that he finally recalled "it was the Department of Energy that I was reaching for before."