Pompeo pressed on possible Senate run by Kansas media

Pompeo pressed on possible Senate run by Kansas media
© Aaron Schwartz

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Senate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions State Department's top arms control official leaving MORE stressed that his focus is on his current job after being pressed on whether he would run for Senate in a series of interviews with Kansas media outlets. 

The Wichita Eagle reported that Pompeo on Friday avoided clearly answering whether he would mount a bid. 

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He acknowledged the "noise" and speculation over a potential Senate campaign and, when pressed about his previous answers on it, said, “You can take it however you’d like.”

“I hear all the speculation, there’s a lot of people thinking about my future a lot more than I am," he added. "I spend my days focused on delivering American foreign policy around the world, every hour, every day. That’s what I’m doing. I never vary from that.”

He declined to say whether he had spoken with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE about the Senate race, saying, “All I can tell the American people and the people of Kansas is that we love this place. But my mission set, I get this privilege to be America’s secretary of state.” 

“I intend to do this just as long as President Trump will give me this incredible privilege and every day I will work to deliver security for America’s people as America’s most senior diplomat,” Pompeo added.

Similarly, in an interview with talk radio station KNSS News, Pompeo said he was "focused" on his current job but also said he was "flattered" by people who say he would make a good senator. 

"I’m serving America and working on President Trump’s team to deliver America’s foreign policy. That’s what I’m focused on," Pompeo said. 

"I do see the noise. I’m flattered when people say Mike will be a good United States senator representing Kansas. Susan and I love this place.  We miss our Shockers," he added. "We miss our church there in Wichita and all our family and friends. But I’m doing something that I consider an incredible privilege, an opportunity of a lifetime to lead the State Department, and I’m focused on doing that each and every day."

When host Steve McIntosh said he would ask Pompeo again next week about whether he was running, the secretary of State replied, "Fair enough."

In an interview with talk radio station KCMO, the administration official again stressed that he will continue to be secretary of State, but added "goodness knows" what happens next.

"I’ve been unambiguous, but I continue to get asked. I’m focused on what I’m doing every day," he said of the possibility of running for Senate. "I want to be the secretary of State as long as President Trump wants me to continue to do this. That’s my focus."

"What comes next, goodness knows. But every day my sole focus is ensuring that I’m doing my best to deliver American diplomacy, and leading my team to successfully protect American people all around the world," he added. 

Since Kansas Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsInternal poll shows Kobach trailing Democrat in Kansas Senate race Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers ramp up Silicon Valley antitrust probe | Treasury sanctions North Korean cyber groups | Thiel to host Kobach fundraiser MORE (R) announced he wouldn't run for Senate, speculation has abounded as to whether Pompeo would enter the race to replace him. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters in July that he would like to see Pompeo run. 

The top diplomat said in July that a run the Kansas Senate seat was "off the table."

Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranPompeo pressed on possible Senate run by Kansas media Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Senators introduce bill aimed at protecting Olympic athletes in response to abuse scandals MORE (R-Kan.) ignited speculation about Pompeo's plans after saying Wednesday he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the secretary of State decided to run for Senate.