Pompeo on talk of Senate bid: 'I have a very full plate as secretary of State'

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit King of Jordan becomes first Arab leader to speak with President-elect Biden Central Asia is changing: the Biden administration should pay close attention MORE is responding to talk of a possible 2020 Senate bid, saying in a new interview that he has a "full plate" serving in President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE's administration.

Pompeo told Fox News late Wednesday that he has been approached by "lots of folks" about the possibility of running to replace Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback Business groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Republicans hold on to competitive Kansas House seat MORE (R-Kansas) in the next election cycle.

"Lots of folks have reached out to me and suggested I ought to do that," Pompeo said. "I have suggested to them that I have a very full plate as secretary of State, and I intend to keep doing this so long as President Trump will commit to it."


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE (R-Ky.), Pompeo confirmed, was among those who had contacted him about the possibility of running to boost GOP chances of keeping the seat in 2020.

"I spoke to Senator McConnell once. He asked me if I’d think about it, and I told him I appreciated the phone call," Pompeo said.

"[E]very day I’m trying to make sure that I’m doing what President Trump wants me to do to keep America safe. That’s my singular focus," he added.

Other top Republicans, including Kris Kobach, have also been floated as potential contenders for the seat, though Pompeo would not endorse the former Kansas secretary of State when asked by Fox's Martha MacCallum about the prospect.

"Martha, I’m so far out of politics. I think it might even be a federal violation if I answered that question, so I’m going to just say I appreciate your interest," he responded

Pompeo has been seen by Republican strategists as a safe bet for maintaining control of Roberts's seat in 2020 as the GOP faces an uncertain future in the state after Kobach lost the governor's race last year.

“We lost a governor’s race. We lost a key House race for a seat that was held by Republicans for several terms. We can’t afford to head into November of 2020 worried about whether a Republican can hang onto the Senate seat in a Republican state like Kansas,” a Senate GOP strategist told The Hill early in January.

“If Mike Pompeo is the nominee in Kansas, the race comes off the map,” the strategist added at the time. “And, by the way, he would make a phenomenal senator.”