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 PompeoIran lays foundation for second nuclear plant: report Pompeo knocks Iran's treatment of UN nuclear inspector Reagan statue unveiled near site where he called for Gorbachev to 'tear down' Berlin Wall 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 TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem 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 RobertsEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Pressure builds on Pompeo as impeachment inquiry charges ahead GOP lawmakers fear Trump becoming too consumed by impeachment fight 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) MoranIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number Overnight Defense: Top diplomat changes testimony to indicate quid pro quo | Dem offers measure on Turkish human rights abuses in Syria | Warren offers plan to address veteran suicide rates Senate bill takes aim at 'secret' online algorithms 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.