Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Monday that he does not want to run for Senate in Kansas — despite signs saying otherwise.
"So Susan and I love Kansas," Pompeo said on "Fox and Friends," referring to his wife. "But it’s my intention to stay here and continue to serve as President Trump’s secretary of state. I’ve said that consistently. I intend to keep saying it, and as long as President Trump wants me to serve in this capacity, there’s still work to do."
Pressed on if that meant he was completely ruling out a run, Pompeo said, "I’ve watched my life take turns that one would never have expected, but it’s not something I want to do. I want to stay here and continue to perform the mission that I’m serving."
Pompeo said in February that he would not run for the seat being vacated by Pat Roberts, a Republican who is retiring after four terms. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has urged Pompeo to run — and noted last month he has plenty of time to jump in because the filing deadline isn't until June.
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Despite his protests, Pompeo appears to be flirting with the idea.
The secretary of state has made numerous trips to Kansas since Roberts' announcement and launched a personal Twitter account — separate from his State Department account — and an Instagram page in December.
Roberts said last month he'd spoken to numerous Republicans interested in running for his seat earlier this year, including Pompeo.
"I think he showed a little leg, if you want to use that term," Roberts said.
Pompeo is a central figure in the events the led to the House's impeachment of the president, and some Democrats have demanded that he testify in the Senate trial. Trump blocked Pompeo from testifying in the House inquiry. The secretary of state is traveling to Ukraine on Friday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his foreign and defense ministers as part of a broader trip to several former Soviet republics. Pompeo will reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the State Department said.
Trump last month suggested he would be open to his secretary of state and former CIA director jumping into the Senate race.
"If he thought that there was a chance of losing that seat, I think he would do that, and we would win in a landslide because they love him in Kansas," Trump said then.
The leading Republican candidate for the seat is Kris Kobach, the former secretary of state of Kansas, who lost his Trump-endorsed run for governor in the conservative state to Democrat Laura Kelly in 2018. The Wall Street Journal reported this month that internal GOP polling shows Kobach would win the Republican nomination in the Senate race without Pompeo, a former congressman from Kansas, in the race.