The US Senate has confirmed Rick Perry, a former Texas governor who said during a Republican presidential debate in 2012 that Turkey is perceived by many to be ruled by “Islamic terrorists,” as energy secretary in President Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Perry was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday as head of the Energy Department, with 62 votes in favor and 37 against. Perry will also lead the Energy Research and Development Administration, largely focused on overseeing the nation’s vast arsenal of nuclear weapons, as well as a network of 17 national scientific laboratories.
In January 2012, Perry questioned Turkey’s status in NATO and said Turkey is a country “being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists.”
Perry’s remarks came during a debate on Fox TV when he was Texas governor and a presidential hopeful for the Republican Party.
Perry’s foreign policy advisor, Victoria Coates, further explained that some view then-Prime Minister of Turkey Erdoğan as an Islamic terrorist due to his support of Hamas and the flotilla against Israel.