Energy Secretary Rick Perry denied basically all of the news reported about him in the past week during a Monday press conference in Lithuania. He’s not resigning, he said, and he didn’t pressure Ukraine to put Trump allies on the board of its natural gas company. Time will tell on that first point, and on the second … well, of course he’s denying it.
“The idea that the AP story basically said that we said, ‘you put these people on there’ is just not correct. That was a totally dreamed-up story, best I can tell,” Perry insisted. “We gave recommendations at the request of the Ukrainian government and will continue to.” The AP story in question cited a source who witnessed Perry’s “recommendations” and said they’d always viewed the U.S. “as having a higher ethical standard.” Then again, this is Rick Perry. Maybe Rudy Giuliani or someone told him that Ukraine really wanted him to tell them forcefully who should be on the board of its state-owned energy company and he proceeded accordingly. Because as most of us know, there’s making a polite recommendation and there’s throwing your weight around, and they are different things, but again, Rick Perry.
Perry did confirm that he had urged Donald Trump to have a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, though so far at least Perry hasn’t been shown to have been part of the efforts to pressure Zelensky into digging up dirt on Trump’s political opponents.