A top White House official tried to snuff out rumors Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will run for the Senate.
“I suspect Secretary Pompeo will stay,” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday. “I spoke with him about this two nights ago. He said he’s not running for Senate. He said he’s staying as secretary of state.
“He was one of the president’s best picks for the cabinet,” O’Brien added on ABC’s “This Week.”
Congress’ announcement of its impeachment probe into President Trump in the fall prompted rumors Pompeo would seek to jump ship in 2020.
Pompeo told “three prominent Republicans” that he planned to resign as secretary of state and run for Senate in his home state of Kansas, Time reported in November.
The magazine quoted unnamed sources as saying the challenge for Pompeo was getting out of the administration unblemished even as the impeachment probe found Trump running a rogue foreign policy.
“Secretary Pompeo is only focused on executing President Trump’s foreign policy goals and completing the mission for the American people at the State Department. Anyone who says otherwise is just wrong,” a person close with the secretary told Time.
Still, Trump has appeared to cheer a possible Senate run by his secretary of state, saying in November that Pompeo would win “by a landslide.”
A Pompeo departure would hardly be out of the norm for the Trump White House.
Ten cabinet secretaries, including Pompeo’s predecessor Rex Tillerson, have left the administration. A whopping 80% of the “A Team” of Trump’s top advisers has also left, according to a recent analysis by the conservative Brookings Institution.