Energy Secretary Rick Perry is stepping into the role of designated survivor, an administration official confirms to CNN, staying away from the Capitol in an undisclosed location as President Donald Trump delivers his second State of the Union address.
Every year the administration appoints one member of the Cabinet to remain outside the House chamber during the State of the Union in case disaster strikes.
Perry, the former governor of Texas, became the secretary of energy in March 2017.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Perry ran for president twice, in the 2012 and 2016 Republican primaries. He appeared as a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars” in the fall of 2016. Trump nominated his former rival for the Energy Department post in December 2016.
It was business as usual for Perry on Tuesday. He attended the signing of the final investment decision for the Golden Pass LNG Export Terminal, where he also met with his Qatari counterpart Minister Saad Al-Kabbi. Later in the day, he met with acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. The two discussed the Energy Department’s “continuing role in protecting our nation, powering our nuclear navy, and protecting our Nation’s grid,” he said in a tweet.
Had a productive meeting with the Acting Secreatry of the @DeptofDefense, Patrick M. Shanahan, where we discussed @Energy’s continuing role in protecting our nation, powering our nuclear navy, and protecting our Nation’s grid. pic.twitter.com/huO5T9LQSt