Speed Reads


Rick Perry says he'll work with Congress on Ukraine probe

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Wednesday he will work with lawmakers who are investigating a whistleblower's complaint about President Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"I'll just briefly say we're going to work with Congress and answer all their questions," Perry said. Perry and Zelensky have met at least three times, and on Tuesday, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the top Deomocrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent the secretary a letter asking him about his trip to Zelensky's inauguration in May and a dinner they attended together in June.

Vice President Mike Pence had been scheduled to lead the delegation to Zelensky's inauguration, but Perry stepped in after Trump told Pence not to go. When asked why he was picked, Perry told reporters, "Oh, I think it's because I'm just such a darned good Cabinet member, and very capable, and probably pretty knowledgeable about the energy industry." Several people in the audience laughed as he said this, CNN reports.

Perry and Zelensky also met in late August, with Pence and former National Security Adviser John Bolton in attendance. In addition to asking Perry about his interactions with Zelensky, Menendez also asked if he knew about the National Security Council's system for storing classified records; the whistleblower alleges that the transcript of Trump and Zelensky's call was improperly filed in that system in order to keep it out of view.