For months, rumors have circulated that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might leave his post in the Trump administration to run for the U.S. Senate in his home state of Kansas.
During a Friday appearance on Fox & Friends, Pompeo indicated that while he had not completely ruled out the possibility, he described a Senate run as “not something I want to do,” The Hill reported.
The speculation about Pompeo’s future plans began after Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) announced he would not seek reelection in 2020, leaving the GOP-held seat vulnerable at a time when the party needs to retain Senate control.
All indications are that Pompeo, who served as a congressman from Kansas before joining the Trump administration in 2017, would be the frontrunner if he did enter the race.
Pompeo likely staying put
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has publicly urged Pompeo to throw his hat in the ring, joining others in his party who have expressed serious doubts about the candidacy of former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, viewed by many in the GOP as a divisive figure who may not be able to win the state in 2020.
Pompeo and President Donald Trump appear to have maintained a good relationship during his tenure as secretary of State, and Pompeo is widely seen as an unwaveringly loyal member of the administration.
Still, some have suggested that the impeachment proceedings against Trump, including the controversy over whether administration officials including Pompeo should cooperate with the investigation and testify before Congress, may have put a strain on the formerly positive relationship.
Pompeo did not hint at any tension between Trump and himself during the Fox interview and in fact said his preference would be to continue his work at the State Department.
“I want to stay here and continue to perform the mission that I’m serving President Trump and I hope doing a good turn for the American people as well,” he said.
Full steam ahead
Trump has said in the past that he didn’t think Pompeo would run for the Senate seat unless it became clear that Republicans were at serious risk of losing it. The deadline for filing as a candidate is in June, so he still has plenty of time to make up his mind.
Pompeo is scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky early next month during a tour of Europe and Asia. The meeting comes as a Senate impeachment trial may just be getting underway.
The secretary of State also plans to meet with officials from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus during the multicountry trip.