WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is in consideration to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a Bloomberg News report. 

As a former governor of Texas, Perry knows well an issue President Trump campaigned on: border security. But that Perry is in consideration for the post further marks a remarkable turnaround in his relationship with President Donald Trump. 

Two years ago, Perry tagged presidential rival Trump "a cancer on conservatism." But when Trump secured the GOP nomination last year, Perry backed him, and other Republicans later fell in line, too.

Beyond Perry's own appointment late last year to run the Department of Energy, Trump recently named Perry to his inner circle of national security advisers. 

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Perry recently traveled to West Virginia with Trump for a Boy Scouts jamboree. (Perry is an Eagle Scout.)

Even as his relationship with Trump strengthened, Vanity Fair recently published a scathing article about Perry's tenure as the top official overseeing the country's nuclear arsenal. 

The Department of Homeland Security post opened up late last week, when then-Secretary John Kelly vacated it to take over as Trump's chief of staff amid turmoil inside the White House. 

Politico reported on Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is also in consideration for the post. McCaul leads the U.S. House oversight committee of the department and was a close national security adviser to Trump. More recently, he encouraged Trump to call out Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country's meddling in the 2016 elections — a move Trump has decidedly resisted.  

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • "The idea that the American people need to be paying for these types of operations to change your sex is not very wise from a standpoint of economics," U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said during a stop in Waller, Texas, on Friday. [Full story]

  • President Trump has named Energy Secretary Rick Perry to serve as one of his chief national security advisers, according to a memorandum published Wednesday. [Full story]

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