Trump signals he's open to Pompeo running for Kansas Senate seat

Posted Friday, 22 November 2019 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump suggested Friday that he's open to his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, leaving the administration to pursue a Senate seat in Kansas "if he thought that there was a chance of losing that seat."Trump told "Fox and Friends" that he spoke to Pompeo about the seat, calling him "an incredible guy doing a great job in a very complicated world" who "would win easily in Kansas.""If I thought they had somebody out there that couldn't win -- and Mike would, really, he loves what he's doing. ... He came to me and said, 'Look, I'd rather stay where I am.' But he loves Kansas, he loves the people of Kansas," Trump said. "If he thought that there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that and he would win in a landslide because they love him in Kansas." CNN has reached out to the State Department for comment about the President's comments.Kansas hasn't had a Democratic senator since 1932, but the looming retirement of veteran Republican Sen. Pat Roberts has become a cause for concern within the GOP establishment. The worry is that the party will nominate Kris Kobach, an anti-illegal immigration firebrand and voter-fraud crusader who lost the governor's race last year only to turn around and announce his candidacy for Senate in July. Pompeo has long been Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's first choice for the seat.The former CIA director has downplayed the possibility of running, at one point saying he'd "be the secretary of state as long as President Trump gives (him) the chance to serve as a senior diplomat." But so far in 2019, Pompeo has taken four visits (including three official State trips) to Kansas. He has also done several interviews with local radio and newspapers in the past few months.The former House lawmaker may be warming up to a run even more in the wake of the impeachment inquiry. Gordon Sondland, Trump's ambassador to the EU, testified Wednesday that he had kept Pompeo "in the loop" about "activities" connected to the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Trump's main political rival. The top US diplomat has tried to keep his distance, but Sondland's testimony ensnared Pompeo at the center of the impeachment probe he has denounced as "Washington noise."In a damning opening statement, Sondland testified that he had told Pompeo and other senior officials at the State Department and other government agencies about his pursuits in Ukraine and his dealings with the President's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Sondland said they had been specifically apprised of efforts to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into Burisma -- a Ukrainian natural gas company that had hired Joe Biden's son Hunter -- and the 2016 election."Everyone was in the loop," Sondland said. "It was no secret."Since the inquiry has unfolded, Pompeo has also faced increased pressure at the State Department. Revelations that Pompeo was unwilling to defend career State Department officials under political attack have damaged his standing within the Department and devastated morale there, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.Former US Ambassador for Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, for instance, testified that as allies of Trump were publicly attacking her and calling for her removal, she pushed the Department to speak up and defend her. But Yovanovitch's requests went unanswered, furthering concerns that Pompeo would not defend other foreign service officials who became targets of the President and his friends.And while Pompeo had said in an interview that a proposal of a statement of public support for Yovanovitch was never brought up to him by Michael McKinley, his senior adviser, McKinley said in testimony that he raised the idea directly with Pompeo three times and the Secretary did nothing substantive to respond.CNN's Betsy Klein, Jennifer Hansler, Alex Rogers, Michael Warren and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus.With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. The robots were donated by the ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was a mouth-watering prospect for sports-starved fans everywhere. Four of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, on the golf course at the same time, offering us a glimpse of who they are when they aren't winning Major Championships and...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A Texas community hit by terrible tragedy months ago came together over the weekend to celebrate a survivor's first birthday.Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Several members of the graduating class at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a letter from the school."The school has been notified by several Class of 2020 families that their students have...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Just when you thought you'd learned how to spell Grimes and Elon Musk's unusual baby name, they've gone and changed it.Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk announced the birth of the baby boy in a post on Twitter, revealing his son was...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Rome (CNN)"The doctors were shocked. They said they had never seen anything like this," says Valentina Vigilante, recalling the terrifying day her 6-year-old son Nicolò was rushed into intensive care in Bergamo, northern Italy, as he struggled to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, shared a sweet moment this Memorial Day weekend -- a film of their baby daughter's first steps. In a video posted to Instagram, 11-month-old Capri stumbles across the room for the first time, into the...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)With two barren peaks that rise only about 170 feet above sea level, the now extinct Pūhāhonu volcano in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands doesn't look like much. This is especially true since in the same archipelago, Mauna Loa towers over every...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of people social distancing or wearing masks. From Florida to Indiana and across the country to ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)An online grocery business backed by Asia's richest man is expanding to hundreds of cities across India — a move widely seen as a challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and FlipKart.JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Mukesh Ambani's Jio ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(Kaiser Health News)As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.This "stay at home awhile longer" advice...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance. Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body. Many of those ticks are infected with ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At a glance, it may look like many Americans have long forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus.Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the weekend -- many venturing out without masks and others failing to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At first glance, Shelley Allwang's cubicle looks just like any other office space.But alongside a pinboard full of tchotchkes and a photo of her dog, sits a story that reminds Allwang of the importance of her job, now more than ever. "The Boy and...