Rick Perry, the secretary of Energy for President Donald Trump for the past three years, spoke with Ed Henry of Fox News for a two-part interview that’s airing this weekend.
The first part aired on “America’s News Headquarters with Ed Henry” on Saturday; the second will be shown on Sunday.
Perry, the former governor of Texas before he joined the Trump administration, will step down in a few weeks from his current post.
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Henry began by referencing the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearings of the last two weeks — and how “E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland this [past] week … testified that Perry and others were read-in on the push to get Burisma investigated.”
In this exclusive,” added Henry, “the secretary sharply denies that, tells his side of the story, and says if Democrats believe they’re getting the president removed from office, think again.”
“Ambassador Sondland goes up there to these impeachment hearings and invokes your name,” said Henry to Perry, “and testifies under oath that you were more read-in on the president pushing for the investigation of the Bidens than you’ve let on.”
Perry responded, “The record’s very clear. I’ve talked about this from the get-go that I knew exactly what we’d been talking about. We’d been talking about corruption. We’d been talking about [the] unbundling of NAFTA gas. We’d been talking about, both with [previous Ukraine President Petro] Poroshenko before [current President Volodymr] Zelensky ever got into office — we had these same conversations. They have to unbundle. You have to have the rule of law. You must make sure that there is not corruption going on in your government, if you expect Americans to come in to invest here and help your country get away from that Russian influence of their [natural] gas.”
“That’s been the story day after day,” added Perry. “Not once, not once was the name Burisma or the Bidens mentioned to me, not by the president, not by [attorney] Rudy Giuliani, and not by Gordon Sondland.”
“And if there’s anyone saying anything different, then they’re surmising, and that’s not a wise thing to do.”
“I know what I saw,” Perry also said. “I know what I heard. And I stand by my statements that I made all along and will continue to.”
Various media reports have called Perry, Sondland and Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine, the “three amigos” who were trying to determine policy outside of official channels.
Henry asked Perry, “How do you see this [impeachment push] ending for the president?”
Perry replied that the president “will muscle right on through this.”
“He is an extraordinary individual to stay focused and disciplined,” added Perry, “from the standpoint of, you know, ‘We got a mission here and we’re going to get through it, and we’re going to make this happen.'” He said he does not see “the American people buying into this thing.”
“Do you see any chance the Republicans remove him from office?” asked Henry.
“Oh, Lord, no,” said Perry. “Not even close.”
The conversation moved to climate issues.
“Your critics would say you don’t care about the environment,” Henry said to him.
Perry responded, “I like to tell people that this administration … in the first two years of this administration, we spent more money on renewable energy than the previous administration in their last two years. We increased the budget of our national labs by 43 percent. And a lot of that goes toward, you know, technologies, the National Energy Renewable Lab.”
“But here’s what’s most important,” he added. “Because this president understood that American LNG [liquified natural gas] could really impact the emissions issue in Europe, and he basically said, ‘I want you to go sell LNG like the world looks flat. Go, go get this done.’ Here’s what he said when I was sitting in his office getting interviewed back in December of 2016. He said, ‘Perry, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to go do for American energy what you did for Texas.'”
“And I said, ‘I got it, Mr. President.’ And that’s what we’ve done.”
“We’re selling American LNG now into 36 different countries on five continents,” Perry continued. “The Europeans saved $8 billion last year because American LNG and the competition it brought to the market over there against Russian gas — not only are they not held hostage by Russian gas, they’re also saving money. Americans, Americans, because of the shale revolution — over $200 billion saved last year.”
“You do the math on that. That’s, for a family of four, that’s about $2,500 a year that Americans saved because of the regulations and taxes that basically said, in this case, to the fossil fuel industry, ‘Go out there and develop this.’ And they have. Here’s the result. Our emissions are lower than any country that’s a signatory to that Paris agreement. Our emissions are back down to the same levels that we had in, I believe, 1987, energy-related emissions. That’s a good story.”
Henry also asked Perry about the Democrats who are running for the 2020 nomination against Trump.
“What do you see when you look across at the Democrats?” asked Henry. “They had another debate last night [meaning this past Wednesday night, in Atlanta]. You’ve been through this, as you say, a few times.”
Said Perry, “I hear too many people talking about, ‘If you vote for me, here’s what I’ll give you — free, free, free, free.’ I think there’s a TV ad that says that, isn’t it? I don’t know what they’re giving away for free. There are no free lunches; stuff costs.”
“We need to get this country focused on how blessed we are today to have the resources that we have,” Perry added, “to have the freedoms that we have, and don’t let them get away from us.”
The second segment of the Perry interview — which will cover some issues of faith — will be airing on Sunday on Fox News.
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