Politics

UPDATE: Rick Perry allegedly didn’t know his nomination as energy secretary involved looking after nuclear weapons

Update, 1/19/17, 11:32pm: Although they stand by their reporting, The New York Times, our source for this story, is coming under criticism for their account of the facts.

From POLITICO:

Criticism about the report began to surface after former Trump transition official Michael McKenna, who was quoted in the Times’ story, told The Daily Caller that the Times did not accurately interpret what he told them. Additional scrutiny followed, much of it hinging on the fact that McKenna was the only named source in the Times story; the Times was labeled “fake news” by critics of the report, who also criticized many of the journalists who shared the Times’ initial story without adequate scrutiny.

Some of those journalists who had shared the initial Times story have since deleted their initial tweet linking to the Times’ report, noting that McKenna had pushed back on the Times’ interpretation of his statements.

We’ve also updated our title to more accurately reflect the facts as we know them.

Original Story:

As most people know, the head of the Department of Energy will handle the nation’s nuclear stockpile. But according to an unsettling but, sadly, not unsurprising report, Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump‘s pick for energy secretary, does not rank among “most people.”

Apparently, Perry didn’t know about his nuclear responsibilities, instead simply believing as head of the Department of Energy he would solely be involved with issues related to the U.S. oil and gas industry, according to a Wednesday report by the New York Times.

“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who worked on Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign as well as the Trump transition team’s Energy Department, told the Times. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”

Unfortunately, this shouldn’t come as any surprise when one considers how in a 2012 presidential debate, Perry not only vowed that the Energy Department would be one of three which he would abolish, but could not even remember what it was called and had to clarify that he’d meant to say it, later on.

Much has been made of Perry’s qualifications, which are relatively minimal compared with his highly decorated precedents who include physics professors at the nation’s most elite universities. Perry himself has a B.S. in animal science, and the media has previously grilled him for his subpar transcript of Cs and Ds, including a D in a class called “Meats.”

This latest report, which indicates that he was unaware of one of the most crucial responsibilities of the job he is about to take on, certainly doesn’t amend the situation, especially with many already concerned about the prospect of the Trump administration abusing its nuclear powers.

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