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Pompeo calls Trump plan ‘nutty’ for him to serve as both SECDEF and Sec. State at same time

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at Saint Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute of Politics Politics & Eggs event on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Nancy Lane/Boston Herald/TNS)
January 25, 2023

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that former President Donald Trump once suggested that he serve in his role and as Secretary of Defense at the same time.

Pompeo shared the details in excerpts from his new book “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love.”

Trump reportedly told chief of staff Mark Meadows that then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper would not be in his role much longer, telling him that Pompeo should take on the work as “an additional duty.”

Pompeo wrote in his memoir that he told Meadows that the option was “a nutty idea,” adding that he would be unable to “command defense at the same time,” Yahoo News reported.

Trump later brought up the idea to Pompeo again, noting that Henry Kissinger served as secretary of state and national security advisor for a short time in the 1970s.

“President Trump pitched the idea to me,” Pompeo wrote in his memoir. “I think he was half-kidding.”

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Pompeo is considered a potential contender to run for president in 2024, a move that would pit him against his former leader.

Trump announced his run in December shortly after the 2022 midterm elections. So far, no other major candidate has made a formal move to face him in the Republican primary.

The former president’s move could set up a rematch with President Joe Biden. However, he’ll first have to overcome other potential challengers, including some of his top allies in the White House.

In addition to Pompeo, other rumored candidates include former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Pompeo’s advantages draw upon his expertise and sharp wits. The former secretary of state graduated first in his class at West Point and is an alum of Harvard’s law school. He previously served as a Republican congressman in his home state of Kansas and served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In his book, Pompeo also joked that he was “the only member of the president’s core national-security team who made it through four years without resigning or getting fired.” Working for a president known for his role in “The Apprentice,” Pompeo’s survival during and after Trump’s administration is an admirable trait.

The former secretary of state’s national platform has continued to expand in recent months, including the soon release of his new title, leading to growing speculation he may be eyeing the role of his former boss.