Mike Pompeo’s dilemma: Stick with Trump or bet on his own future

Pompeo said in February that he had “ruled out” a Senate run in 2020 but several of his confidants say that is simply not the case and that he is quietly evaluating the next steps in his political career.

Over the coming months, the former GOP congressman will have to decide whether to stay as one of President Donald Trump’s most trusted advisers — something many Trump allies say is his patriotic duty amid myriad international crises — or seek a Senate seat in Kansas that could lay the groundwork for a presidential run of his own…

For Pompeo, a Senate run could be a prelude to a presidential run in 2024. At the least, a spot in the Senate would keep him politically relevant regardless of Trump’s fate in 2020. Still, some senators said privately that the gravitas of the secretary of State post would position him better for a White House run than if he were one of the most junior senators in the building.

Pompeo himself has spoken privately about the prospect of a presidential run. He and his friend Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) attended a private dinner at the American Enterprise Institute’s annual retreat in Sea Island, Ga., this spring.