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U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo: Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is preparing to leave his post in the Trump administration and he's finalizing the terms of his departure, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, citing 2 people familiar with the plans.

Details: The former Texas governor's exit wasn't imminent and he still hadn't made up his mind, but he'd been seriously considering quitting for weeks, according to Bloomberg News. In a statement provided to Axios and other outlets, Department of Energy spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes denied the report. "He is happy where he is serving President Trump and leading the Department of Energy," she said.

Why it matters: Perry occupies an unusual spot in President Trump’s cabinet. He’s avoided the types of controversies that sped departures of several other agency heads and appears to have remained in Trump’s good graces, unlike many other cabinet chiefs. He hasn’t faced the same level of attacks from Capitol Hill Democrats as some others either.

The big picture: On policy, he’s an energetic booster for the country’s oil, gas, coal and nuclear sectors, yet has distanced himself from White House proposals to deeply slash renewable energy R&D and is a cheerleader for DOE’s research labs.

The intrigue: Perry has come up short thus far in one of his highest-profile and most controversial efforts, which is finding ways to directly support economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants at risk of shutting down.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
51 mins ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.