President Donald Trump this week said he'd enjoy having former U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry testify at his impeachment trial, but suggested the matter is muddied by national security concerns.
"I'd love to have Rick Perry. Rick Perry has asked me: 'I'd love to testify. Please, let me testify,'" Trump said at a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "Because he knows this is all a hoax, he understands it better than most."
At the same conference, the president suggested he'd also like to hear from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton, but their testimony, too, faces the same worries.
Bolton on Twitter earlier this month announced he is willing to testify.
Perry, who abruptly left his post atop the Energy Department before the end of 2019, was subpoenaed in October and asked to turn over documents and communications related to a Ukrainian energy company as well as his involvement with Trump's highly scrutinized call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
During that call, Trump pressed Zelenskiy about investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential candidate.
The subpoena – Perry ultimately ignored it – was part of the growing House impeachment probe, which has since ballooned into a full-blown trial in the Senate. Trump is accused of abusing power and obstructing Congress.
Perry has been labelled as one of the "three amigos" who handled Ukraine policy for the president outside normal diplomatic channels.
Trump's remarks Wednesday echo a string of tweets he sent in November, in which he said he'd "love to have" Perry, Pompeo, former South Carolina politician and current acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and "many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax."
Perry, a former Texas governor, joined the Energy Department in March 2017, shortly after Trump's inauguration.