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Trump may lose a favorite Cabinet member to the Senate if Mitch McConnell gets his way

Republicans are looking to replace a retiring senator in Kansas

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is recruiting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas that will open up in 2020, according to The Washington Post.

Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman, is reportedly planning to meet with retiring Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) to discuss a potential Senate run to fill Roberts' seat.

"Senator Roberts would be happy to meet with any Republican interested in running for the Senate from Kansas," said Roberts' communications director Sarah Little.

The Washington Post reported that McConnell directly urged Pompeo to run during a recent telephone call.

What does Pompeo say about this? "Secretary Pompeo is focused on serving the President and keeping Americans safe as the Secretary of State," said State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino.

What might Trump think about this? The Post speculated that Trump might be unhappy if Pompeo resigned to run for the Senate, since Trump "sees him as his favorite Cabinet member." However, neither Trump nor the White House has commented publicly on this matter.

Why do Republicans want Pompeo? Pompeo would be a high-profile, popular candidate in a race Republicans need to win and in which they don't want to deal with a potentially expensive and messy primary. Pompeo would be a heavy favorite, considering non Democrat has represented Kansas in the Senate since 1932.

Republicans will have to defend 22 Senate seats in 2020, so the prospect of securing a candidate now for a likely easy win is appealing.

Pompeo's career trajectory: The 55-year-old Pompeo was named CIA director by Trump in 2017 after representing Kansas's 4th District in the House of Representatives. Trump then tapped him as Secretary of State following the departure of Rex Tillerson.

One last thing…
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