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Energy Secretary Rick Perry, described by colleagues as one of the “three amigos” on U.S. policy on Ukraine, will step down at the end of the year, President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday.

Trump was traveling with Perry in Texas, where the president would be attending a political rally in the evening. Trump said he already had Perry’s replacement picked out.

“Three years is a long time,” Trump told reporters of Perry’s tenure as secretary.

He later added, “We have the man we’re going to be putting in Rick’s place and we’ll be announcing it very shortly.”

Thursday evening, Perry posted a video on Twitter and wrote that it’s “been the honor of a lifetime” serving as energy secretary under Trump.

Perry’s resignation notice comes amid questions about his role in a White House effort to pressure Ukraine into launching an investigation that some conservatives thought would help Trump’s re-election campaign.

Perry, who was Texas’ longest serving governor and ran against Trump for president in 2016 before joining his administration, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. He also has insisted that actions he took regarding Ukraine were intended to advance U.S. interests in the region — namely addressing government corruption and encouraging American companies to do business there.

In recent weeks, Perry has repeatedly knocked down suggestions that he planned to resign, including telling the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Wednesday that he planned to still be in the job on Thanksgiving. Read more

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry, described by colleagues as one of the “three amigos” on U.S. policy on Ukraine, will step down at the end of the year, President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, described by colleagues as one of the “three amigos” on U.S. policy on Ukraine, will step down at the end of the year, President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday.