Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly shot down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) hopes of bringing him into the majority fold.
According to a New York Times report Monday evening, Pompeo told McConnell that he has no plans to run for Senate this year, four people briefed on the meeting told the Times.
Although he quietly mulled a Senate campaign for months, Pompeo told senior party officials that he is ruling out a Senate campaign launch in light of the President Trump-authorized strike that killed top Iranian military official Qasem Soleimani last week, several people who directly spoke to the secretary of state told the Times.
Despite how the filing deadline for the primary isn’t until June, administration officials told the Times that Pompeo appeared adamant about refusing to enter the race.
The Wall Street Journal reported in October that Republicans are concerned about retiring Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) seat and would much prefer Pompeo to current contender and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Last month, Pompeo was evasive during a “Fox and Friends” segment when asked about whether he planned on running for Senate in Kansas in 2020, saying that it is his “intention to continue to stay and serve as President Trump’s secretary of state.”
The Washington Post reported last month that given the mixed signals Pompeo displayed regarding a potential Kansas Senate run — such as his multiple visits to his home state last year and an appearance with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center last month — several officials within the Trump administration had begun to position themselves as potential replacements.
It’s not the first time Pompeo has dashed McConnell’s hopes of a potential Senate run. Last February, Pompeo flatly said that a Senate run was “ruled out” during an interview on the “Today” show.
Read the Times’ report here.