Oct 17, 2019

Energy Secretary Rick Perry offers Trump his resignation

Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry informed President Trump on Thursday that he is resigning, Bloomberg first reported and Trump later confirmed. Perry's exact departure date is unknown, but Trump told reporters it would be "at the end of the year" and that he has already picked a successor.

Why it matters: While Perry has largely avoided the kind of controversies that have plagued Trump Cabinet officials like Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke, he has recently found himself embroiled in the Ukraine scandal currently at the heart of the House's impeachment inquiry. Perry told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he was directed by President Trump to seek out Rudy Giuliani to discuss the president's concerns about alleged Ukrainian corruption.

  • The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees have subpoenaed Perry to turn over documents by this Friday as part of their investigation into Trump's alleged efforts to push Ukraine to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden.
  • State Department official George Kent told House investigators on Wednesday that the White House removed the core of its Ukraine policy team in the spring and replaced it with "three amigos" — Perry, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker — who were viewed as more open to pressuring Ukraine.

The big picture: Per Axios' Amy Harder, the actual functions of the Energy Department are unlikely to change much after Perry’s exit. Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette will likely be acting secretary for the time being. Brouillette has a lower profile than Perry but supports the same basic agenda, including nuclear power and exports of liquefied natural gas.

  • Up until his involvement in the Ukraine saga, Perry had been one of the most non-controversial Cabinet members, even while unabashedly and loudly supporting American gas exports into other nations.

Go deeper: Trump pins Ukraine call on Energy Secretary Rick Perry

Go deeper

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.