Government & Politics

Pompeo says his response to Senate speculation can be taken ‘however you’d like’

“There’s a lot of people thinking about my future a lot more than I am”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is asked if he will run for Senate. (September 6, 2019)
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is asked if he will run for Senate. (September 6, 2019)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday evaded giving a clear answer to whether he’ll run for the U.S. Senate, saying his comments can be taken “however you’d like.”

Pompeo, who is in Kansas to deliver a speech at Kansas State University, told The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star during an interview that he is aware of the “noise” and speculation over a possible Senate run.

He reiterated that he intends to serve as secretary of state as long as President Donald Trump wants him in the job.

“You can take it however you’d like,” Pompeo said of his response when pressed. “I hear all the speculation, there’s a lot of people thinking about my future a lot more than I am. 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.”

Speculation has swirled that Pompeo could enter the race since January, when Sen. Pat Roberts announced he wouldn’t run for reelection. Pompeo has previously said a Senate run was “off the table” but was less definitive on Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would welcome a Pompeo run. Sen. Jerry Moran said Thursday that Pompeo would be a “solid candidate.”

Pompeo on Friday refused to say whether he has spoke with Trump about the race, saying that he never speaks about his private conversations with the president.

“All I can tell the American people and the people of Kansas is that we love this place. But my mission’s that I get this privilege to be America’s secretary of state. I’m the 70th secretary of state,” Pompeo said. “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.”

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