This is one of the most concerning installments yet in the much-too-early-but-inevitable political musings about 2024.
During an appearance on Fox News’ Sean Hannity last night, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a pretty firm “maybe” to the prospects of running for president in 2024 — a prospect that his former boss has already called dibs on in the strongest possible terms.
But Pompeo might not consider a bid unless former President Trump opts against a run. That’s how Hannity framed the question on Wednesday night: are you in if Trump’s out? Pompeo grinned and said he was “always up for a fight.”
“I care deeply about America,” he continued. “You and I have been part of the conservative movement for an awfully long time now. I aim to keep at it.”
Hannity joked that his answer sounded like a “strong maybe.”
“That’s perfect,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo is one of the few members of Trump’s inner circle who never really seemed to make the mercurial ex-president mad. He tackled Trump’s foreign policy agenda without issue and behaved in true Trumpian form in private (i.e. his peak-pandemic State dinner parties) and in public (refusing, at least at first, to accept Biden’s victory). He was calculated about his agenda and his remarks to the press (or lack thereof, his State Department rolled back the daily press briefings that were a decades-long tradition).
He also remained loyal to the administration, even when being aggressively courted by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to step in and run for senate in Kansas in order to keep the controversial and unelectable Kris Kobach from winning a 2020 primary for the seat.
At the time he indicated he had no interest in leaving the administration. Perhaps he had his sights set on a shinier prize.
Here’s more on other stories we’re following today:
What The Investigations Team Is Following
Kate Riga is digging around for details on what Republicans’ gambit to force the Senate clerk to read the COVID-19 relief bill will mean for the clerk’s office.
Matt Shuham and Zoe Richards just finished a piece outlining the status of all the Trumpworld investigations that don’t have to do with Trump’s presidency.
Matt Shuham is also working on a piece about disproportionate access to the vaccine in wealthy neighborhoods in Florida.
What The Breaking News Team Is Following
Some key stories we covered this morning:
- Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is happy the House cancelled its session on Thursday due to ongoing security threats because it stalls the Democratic agenda.
- The Manhattan DA reportedly has its sights fixed on the Trump Organization chief financial officer.
- Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is calling on Trump to tell his most extremist followers to chill and not launch another attack on the Capitol.
- From Tierney Sneed this morning: Democrats still don’t have a clear path for making HR1 law, but they do have more of an opportunity this time to give it their all in the Senate.
- Misinformation-spreader-in-chief Rudy Giuliani is getting roasted for complaining about disinfo and its harms to democracy.
If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This
On The Agenda
10:00 a.m. ET: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held its vote on the Biden administration’s Interior secretary nomination — Deb Haaland. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee had it’s hearing at 10:15 a.m. ET on Shalanda Young’s deputy OMB director nomination (she is also one of the names that’s been floated to replace Neera Tanden for OMB director). The House went home early due to security threats.
10:30 a.m. ET: Harris and Biden received the daily briefing.
12:45 p.m. ET: Jen Psaki and VA Secretary Denis McDonough will hold a press briefing.
2:00 p.m. ET: Biden, Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will meet with Democratic and Republican House members to talk about infrastructure. At 5:00 p.m. ET Biden will call the NASA JPL Perseverance team to offer congratulations.