WICHITA (KSNT) – Former United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with our Kansas Capitol Bureau to talk about adjusting to civilian life, fighting for Republican control of the U.S. Legislature, thoughts on a presidential run and an ethics violation probe.
Pompeo was in town to speak at a Kansans for Life event and told KSNT News about how he wants to fight abortion and keep his faith close.
When asked if he was thinking about a presidential bid in 2024, citing Federal Election Commission filings KSNT obtained that show a new political action committee, Pompeo said “No, not at all,” and “I’m just not thinking about 2024.”
When asked about his future, Pompeo referenced his new political action committee and its mission.
“If I do my job well, we will be successful all across the country helping candidates getting elected in 2022, and we will have some fun doing it too,” Pompeo said.
KSNT News also questioned Pompeo on publicized allegations of numerous ethics violations during his time at the State Department under President Donald Trump. A probe indicated that the couple used state department workers to do personal favors like walking their dog, signing Christmas cards and booking hair appointments. Pompeo also drew criticism for bringing his wife on diplomatic trips overseas.
In documents and emails obtained by KSNT News, Susan Pompeo corresponded with state department staffers about booking a variety of events while Pompeo visited Wichita in 2019. In addition, it was widely speculated at the time that Pompeo would run for Pat Roberts’ vacated U.S. Senate seat.
“They’re all lies, they’re dirty rotten lies, and you just repeated them…” Pompeo told Capitol Bureau Reporter Rebekah Chung: “You shouldn’t have done that, that’s not the right thing to do.”
KSNT also asked Pompeo to weigh in on the 2022 Kansas governor’s race, in which Republicans Derek Schmidt and Jeff Colyer are fighting over a chance to oust incumbent Democrat Laura Kelly. He would not give either GOP candidate an endorsement but did touch on his relationship with both.
“I know both Jeff and I know Derek and worked alongside them on conservative causes here in the state. I’ll let them go compete, present their case to the Republican Party of Kansas,” Pompeo said. “It’s really important we get a Republican governor this next cycle.”
When asked about his biggest accomplishments as secretary of state, Pompeo told KSNT News he was most proud of three things: Relations with China, the Middle East and North Korea.
“We reset the global view of the threat from the Chinese Communist Party… President Trump and our team reset that,” Pompeo said.
The former secretary also made reference to a vital relationship his department cultivated with the state of Israel.
“The Abraham Accords will prove historic, for a long time,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo also negotiated to release three American hostages from North Korea in a meeting with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un in 2018, and touched on waiting for them on the tarmac when they arrived home.
“That moment when I saw those three Americans, those three men, climb out of the van at the airport…was truly a joyous moment for me.”
While the majority of his tenure under Trump was as the secretary of state, Pompeo also revisited his time under the former president as the director of the CIA.
“To get the chance to brief, this most important person, the person who has more capacity to good in the world then any other human being, the President of the United States, it was an enormous privilege for me,” Pompeo said.
Currently, Pompeo is a contributor at Fox News.