Trump Throws Rick Perry Under the Bus, Saying Ukraine Call Was His Idea
President Trump told House Republicans that his phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was at the insistence of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Axios reported.
During a conference call with House members on Friday, one source recalled Trump saying, “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant.” Two other sources confirmed this.
Trump’s comments affiliating Perry in the Ukraine scandal suggest that he may be seeking to distance himself from responsibility or create confusion around the pretext for the call. Yet, text messages between Trump administration officials and Andrey Yermak, one of Zelensky’s top aides, point to Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as the primary advocate for the call.
There is no mention of Perry and LNG in the 5-page memo of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House.
While the House subpoena of Giuliani also seeks documents related to Perry’s “involvement with Ukrainian leaders last spring,” the Washington Post recently reported that “no evidence has emerged that Perry participated in the effort to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.”