It’s Veterans Day, Donald Trump is back in Manhattan and Washington is getting ready for more momentous events
Two of Rick Perry’s political supporters were reportedly awarded an oil and gas deal in Ukraine after the energy secretary recommended one of them as a potential adviser to the country’s new president.
The AP reports:
Perry’s efforts to influence Ukraine’s energy policy came earlier this year, just as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s new government was seeking military aid from the United States to defend against Russian aggression and allies of President Donald Trump were ramping up efforts to get the Ukrainians to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Ukraine awarded the contract to Perry’s supporters little more than a month after the U.S. energy secretary attended Zelenskiy’s May inauguration. In a meeting during that trip, Perry handed the new president a list of people he recommended as energy advisers. One of the four names was his longtime political backer Michael Bleyzer.
A week later, Bleyzer and his partner Alex Cranberg submitted a bid to drill for oil and gas at a sprawling government-controlled site called Varvynska. They offered millions of dollars less to the Ukrainian government than their only competitor for the drilling rights, according to internal Ukrainian government documents obtained by The Associated Press. But their newly created joint venture, Ukrainian Energy, was awarded the 50-year contract because a government-appointed commission determined they had greater technical expertise and stronger financial backing, the documents show.
The announcement of Republican representative Pete King’s retirement once again throws a spotlight on the high number of departures and defeats in the House GOP caucus since Trump took office.
When President Trump took office in January 2017, there were 241 Republicans in the House.
Since then, 101 have either been defeated/retired/otherwise left office or are retiring in 2020. (h/t @Dchinni)
One name under discussion for Rep. Peter King’s seat: Democratic Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini.