Energy Secretary Rick Perry urged Ukraine’s president to root out corruption and pushed the new government for changes at its state-run oil and gas company, people familiar with his work said Friday — indications that he was more deeply involved than previously known in President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure officials in Kiev.
The people said they have no indication that Perry explicitly called on Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the issue that has spawned a House impeachment inquiry into Trump. But at the very least, they said , Perry played an active role in the Trump administration’s efforts to shape decisions by the newly elected government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Among other changes, Perry pushed for Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz to expand its board to include Americans, two people familiar with the matter said. Two long-time energy executives based in Perry’s home state of Texas were among those under consideration for that role, one source familiar with the administration’s dealings with the company said.