(CNSNews.com) - Energy Secretary Rick Perry convinced President Trump to speak by phone on July 25 with the newly elected Ukraine president, and "no," Perry said, the Democrats will find no evidence of a crime in what was said.
Perry, in an interview with Fox News's Bill Hemmer on Friday, said Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was "straight up" with reporters on Thursday, "by basically saying that there was no quid pro quo in the sense of what those folks out there would like for it to be. That we're going to give you this money if you investigate Joe Biden and his son.
"I never heard that said anywhere, anytime, in any conversation, Bill," Perry said.
"And I think the truth of the matter is, we've been working to get Ukraine back in the sphere of influence of the United States and the western states with American gas for two-plus years when (former Ukraine President) Poroshenko was over there.
"We met with him, we talked to him about you gotta get rid of the corruption in this country. Everyone knows that the oligarchs the people in the country were corrupt, or too many of them were, let me put it that way. And Zelensky ran on this. He said, you elect me and I will stop this corruption in the country. We had those conversations with him. At no time -- did I hear from anyone--" Perry started to say.
Hemmer followed up: "You're saying the Biden's name did not come up in any of your discussions with Ukrainian officials."
"Never heard the Biden name at one time," Perry said.
"Did it come up at the White House?" Hemmer asked.
"No, not with anyone. I'm telling you, Bill, the Biden's name. Did corruption come up? We heard corruption in almost every conversation that we had talking about Ukraine and whether or not President Zelensky was going to come over here. Because President Trump wasn't going to send American money to a country that had a history of being corrupt.
"And he was hammering that, and we hammered that. I pushed on him a lot to make that phone call because I became convinced that Zelensky, the people around him, were legitimately trying to get rid of the corruption and get off the Russian gas."
Perry said "absolutely" he pushed for Trump to make the phone call.
"I called multiple times and said, you know, whether it was to John Bolton, to whether it was Mick Mulvaney, when I saw the president, I said, 'Mr. President it's time to make this phone call.' I think bringing in this president and showing him that we are going to be good, reliable. They have to do some things.
They have to show us they're going to respect the rule of law, they're going to be transparent, they're going to unbundle their midstream gas company. All of those things were part of him coming in. And I think that's completely and absolutely legitimate. That's what we're supposed to be doing, bringing the private sector in. American companies, American gas, and showing Europe that you can count on us, and you're not going to be held hostage by Russian gas.
Perry said his departure from the Trump administration -- he just announced his resignation this week -- "has absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine." He said it has "everything to do" with him missing Texas.
Asked if he will meet today's subpoena deadline for documents requested by congressional committees, Perry said it depends on the advice he gets from White House counsel.
Same thing if he's called to testify, he said. "I haven't seen what the general counsel's advice to me is going to be."