New York Times Claims Perry Doesn’t Know What Energy Secretary Does. There’s Only One Problem.
Yesterday, former Texas Governor Rick Perry began his confirmation hearings to be President-elect Donald Trump's Secretary of Energy. Given he is a Trump nominee, The New York Times writers Coral Davenport and David Sanger decided to scrutinize Perry for his supposed ignorance of what comprised running the Department of Energy
Specifically, Davenport and Sanger claimed that Perry believed he would only be in charge of the oil and gas industries. They supplemented that claim with the following assertion:
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
The article further insinuates that Perry does not know the full extent of the job description.
“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Mr. Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked on the Trump transition’s Energy Department team in its early days. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”
After reading the first few paragraph of the article, it gives the impression that Perry is woefully unqualified for the job Trump nominated him to take. However, there's a considerable problem with the assertion: It is false and misleading.
DC Examiner commentary writer T. Becket Adams pulled the following quote from Perry's response on the day he was nominated to run the Department of Energy:
Anyway, I’ll leave you this morning with this Dec. 14, 2016, quote from Perry. Issued the day he was asked to head DoE. Note the highlight. pic.twitter.com/z3qiw8sM1a— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) January 19, 2017
When Perry learned of his nomination, he specifically mentioned that his job would entail "safeguarding our nuclear arsenal" along with promoting American energy interests. This does not fit the narrative that either Davenport or Sanger concocted of Perry's supposed naivete regarding a job that Perry once called to eliminate, though he has now expressed regret for doing so.
When Perry learned of his nomination, he specifically mentioned that his job would entail "safeguarding our nuclear arsenal" along with promoting American energy interests
Either The New York Times did not do their homework or it attempted to mislead its readers. Draw your own conclusions.
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