The Jan. 6 Committee Is Investigating Rick Perry for a “Big Lie” Strategy Text Message

CNN: The former energy secretary allegedly pitched a plan to help Trump steal the election.

Rick Perry and Donald Trump

Steve Helber/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

In June of 2015, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivered the kind of speech that candidates for president generally have a difficult time walking back. Speaking to something called the Opportunity and Freedom PAC, he ripped into his rival, Donald Trump, as a “cancer on conservatism” that “must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.” He was a “sower of discord,” Perry said, who “foments agitation, thrives on division, scapegoats certain elements of society, and offers empty platitudes and promises.” Trump was a “barking carnival act,” and “Trumpism, as he defined it, was a “toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.”

Perry hasn’t always been on the mark in his life. At Texas A&M he once got a D in “Meats.” (It’s actually a hard class. Whatever.) But he was right about Trump!

And then, not long after, he endorsed his old rival; took a job in his administration as secretary of energy; and spent several years running around Ukraine doing the president’s dirty work and trying to get his friends rich. One man’s barking carnival act is another’s Cirque du Soleil. Perry stepped down in 2019, but his efforts on behalf of Trump evidently continued. On Friday, CNN reported that in the aftermath of the November election, Perry pitched a radical plan to help his boss overturn Joe Biden’s victory:

Members of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol believe that former Texas Governor and Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry was the author of a text message sent to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows the day after the 2020 election pushing an “AGRESSIVE (sic) STRATEGY” for three state legislatures to ignore the will of their voters and deliver their states’ electors to Donald Trump, three sources familiar with the House Committee investigation tell CNN.

This is, of course, the strategy the White House ultimately pursued all the way up to January 6th. Perry has denied sending the message. CNN reports it came from the cell phone number on file for his Department of Energy email address. Maybe he got a D in OpSec too.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate