Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is preparing to step down by the end of the year, per several reports Thursday night citing anonymous sources familiar with his plans.

Why it matters: Perry has served far longer than many officials in President Trump's Cabinet and avoided the kinds of controversies that forced out ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Where it stands: Politico reported last night that the former Texas governor is "expected" to announce his resignation by the end of November. A subsequent Washington Post story says the timing is "by the end of the year," while The New York Times reports the timeframe is "by December."

  • The Energy Department pushed back against the stories but stopped short of denying them outright.
  • "While the beltway media has breathlessly reported on rumors of Secretary Perry’s departure for months, he is still the Secretary of Energy and a proud member of President Trump’s cabinet," DOE spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a statement.
  • "One day the media will be right. Today is not that day," she added.

The big picture: Perry has been a vocal advocate for U.S. fossil fuel production and exports, in particular touting the role of U.S. liquefied natural gas in bolstering allies' energy security.

  • However, his high-profile efforts to create new federal support for coal-fired and nuclear plants at risk of closure never came to fruition.
  • Perry has also backed DOE's alternative energy programs, a delicate role at a time when White House officials have called for steep cuts that Congress has rejected on a bipartisan basis.
  • He notably has talked up the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy, which White House budget proposals have sought to choke off.

What's next: Democrats are seeking more information about Perry's interactions with Ukrainian officials as they investigate Trump ahead of potential impeachment.

  • However, per the Post: "[N]o evidence has emerged that Perry participated in the effort to pressure Ukranian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter."

Go deeper: Democrats press Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Ukraine travels

Go deeper

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.