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

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoLatest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong 63 killed in blast at Afghan wedding as Taliban, US negotiate troop withdrawal Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan 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 TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated 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 RobertsKobach says he's more prepared for 'propaganda' in Senate campaign Pompeo: Senate run 'off the table' Grassley gambles on drug price bill despite GOP doubts 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 McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report 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.”