U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he misses Kansas and would like to go back into business in the state someday. But at the Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Overland Park Monday, the former congressman was cagey about his future in public office.
The annual conference gives business people a chance to rub elbows with potential funders in government, foundations and the private sector. Pompeo said it’s no coincidence that this year’s summit was in his home state.
“A note came and said, 'Hey, would you be willing to come to the American part of the Global Entrepreneur Summit?'" Pompeo recalled. “I wrote a small note back, 'Only if it’s in Kansas.' Well, here we are.”
Pompeo said he’d like to move back someday. He's often mentioned as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate or governor but says he loves his current job and loves working directly under President Trump.
“I’m going to stay until he tweets me out of office,” Pompeo quipped. “Which I’m not counting on, at least today.”
Pompeo said he speaks with Trump almost daily.
“He says, 'Mike, this is the direction we want to go.' It is oftentimes different than what we’ve done before,” Pompeo said. “I think that’s a great thing. It gives us a real opportunity to partner in different ways and build coalitions in different ways.”
He said his business experience guides his diplomatic work. Pompeo co-founded an aerospace company in Wichita and led an oil field equipment business before running for Congress in 2010.
Frank Morris is an NPR correspondent and senior editor based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow him on Twitter: @frank newsman.