Political News

Mike Pompeo gets slapped down

Posted October 25, 2019 6:36 p.m. EDT

— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been trying to have his cake and eat it too for quite a while now. And The Kansas City Star is sick of it.

See, Pompeo is the nation's top diplomat, yes. But he's also Republicans' top recruit for the open seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Roberts (R) next November. And Pompeo likes it that way -- so he's keeping the Senate race on the burner, even while insisting that anyone who asks whether he is planning to run is ridiculous and misguided.

Witness Pompeo's trip to Wichita this week with Ivanka Trump -- and his sit-down with The Wichita Eagle. Asked about the Senate race, he responded this way:

"No change. I think I've answered this question. I think this is number 103 or 104 times. My mission set every day when I wake up is incredibly clear. Our task at the State Department is to use all our all our skill to keep the American people saying, to execute American diplomacy, to make sure that American markets are open for Kansas products all around the world. That's what I'm focused on. And it's what I continue, intend to continue to be focused on."

You'll notice that isn't a "no" or an "I'm not running." It's just outrage that the question is asked -- followed by a non-answer that makes it entirely clear why the question needs to be asked.

That how-dare-you-ask-a-totally-relevant-question reaction led the Star's editorial board to write a scathing op-ed headlined "Mike Pompeo, either quit and run for U.S. Senate in Kansas or focus on your day job." Here's the key bit:

"If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is running to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, then he should quit his rather important day job and do that.

"Or if, as he told The Star and The Wichita Eagle in a testy, credulity-straining interview on Thursday, he isn't even thinking about it, then he should by all means focus on U.S. diplomacy — remember diplomacy? — and stop hanging out here every chance he gets."

Woof. But also not wrong.

The Point: Mike Pompeo is a politician. Politicians run for things. And until Pompeo decides whether he's running for the Senate, reporters need to keep asking him about it. The Wichita Eagle nailed it.

Monday

Romney says he's behind secret 'Pierre Delecto' Twitter accountDemocrats see impeachment proceedings taking longer than some initially expectedHouse Republicans push to censure Schiff over whistleblower comments

Tuesday

Democrats call Trump 'increasingly brazen' in emoluments court filing, citing Doral G7 proposalMcConnell denies he told Trump his call with the Ukrainian President was perfectMcConnell introduces resolution opposing US withdrawal from Syria

Wednesday

Republicans demand Schiff bring whistleblower to testify publiclyTrump announces he's lifting Turkey sanctions as his Syria envoy says Turkish-backed forces committed war crimesRepublicans storm impeachment inquiry deposition in House Intel hearing room

Thursday

Barr's investigation into origins of Trump-Russia probe is now a criminal investigationDemocrats consider what articles of impeachment actually look likeGraham introduces resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry processBill Taylor testimony 'reverberating' among House Republicans, GOP sources say

Friday

Charles Barkley tells Pence to 'shut the hell up' over criticizing NBA for China controversyFeds blow door off safe, issue subpoenas as probe into Giuliani associates escalatesMaria Butina released from federal prison, expected to be deported to RussiaWhite House eyes ex-Treasury spokesman to lead impeachment messaging efforts

And that was the week that was in 17 headlines.

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