Speed Reads

Departures

Rick Perry is reportedly stepping down as energy secretary

Energy Secretary Rick Perry will step down by the end of the year, The Washington Post and Politico reported Thursday night, citing at least four people briefed on his plans. Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, who has been sitting in for Perry at Cabinet meetings in recent months, is expected to replace him, Politico reports, though it isn't clear Trump will formally nominate Brouillette or anyone else before the 2020 election. Perry's chief of staff and other top aides have left the Energy Department in recent weeks, a source told Politico.

Perry, a former Texas governor and two-time Republican presidential candidate, has kept an unusually low profile for a member of Trump's Cabinet, and he has avoided scandals that have tarred or forced out several other Cabinet secretaries. He recently got embroiled in the Ukraine scandal, though there is no indication he played any role in the effort to press Kyiv to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Earlier Thursday, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) dinged Perry for recently launching an artificial intelligence office at the Energy Department that could potentially benefit his wife, Anita.

A Trump administration ally told the Post that Perry, 69, would like to earn a private-sector paycheck "before hanging up his spurs." Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes did not deny that Perry is preparing to resign, insisting without evidence that "the Beltway media has breathlessly reported on rumors of Secretary Perry's departure for months," but "today is not that day."