“Christ has called me” — Former Secretary of State Pompeo suspends political activities and events related to a possible 2024 presidential bid
WASHINGTON (APR) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has suspended a recent tour of speaking engagements and is preparing for a church missionary assignment overseas sources close the former Trump administration cabinet member have confirmed.
Pompeo (57), a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian originally from Santa Anna California, who served as a conservative congressman from Wichita Kansas, was appointed by President Donald Trump as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in January of 2017, and later replaced dismissed oil tycoon Rex Tillerson as head of the US Department of State in April of 2018.
“Christ has called me, and I will follow” one source familiar with the matter said about the motivation for this new missionary initiative Pompeo is said to be planning to formally announce later this month along with several evangelical leaders and former Trump officials whom he has been meeting with over the last several weeks.
Pompeo, along with other former members of the Trump cabinet such as Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry, Jeff Sessions, Ben Carson, and others including Vice President Mike Pence, were in the “White House Bible Study Group” led by former NBA basketball player Ralph Drollinger.
Speculation about the role of the Wednesday morning prayer group’s influence on Pompeo’s decision has been circulating in former Trump insider circles, along with rumors about who may be funding the former secretary’s new evangelistic endeavor.
In which country, or countries, Pompeo’s mission is to take place is still a mystery due to the contentious relationships he has had with world leaders as Trump’s top foreign diplomat. His past Islamophobic statements and support of returning the Israeli capitol to Jerusalem have made him an unwelcome figure across the Islamic world and the Middle East and his anti-immigrant policies and programs are unpopular across Mexico, Central and South America.
His last tour comprised of a round of visits with European leaders in January of 2021 was canceled when leaders refused to meet with Pompeo following the events of the January 6 DC riot that turned into an attempted insurrection, for which his former boss Trump was impeached for a second time.
Although Pompeo largely ignored the plight of most countries in Africa during the global coronavirus pandemic, it seems that it is the one continent in which he might be allowed to do missionary work. Or as one State department observer noted “there’s always Canada, or Russia, he’s still got friends there.”
While at the State, Pompeo received sharp criticism for using federal funds and department assets, such as aircraft and venues, for promoting his own political ambitions while still a cabinet secretary under Trump. It was revealed in May of 2020 that he had been using taxpayer dollars to pay for lavish, head-of-state-style, catered “Madison Dinners” at his Arlington Virginia home arranged using his second wife’s personal email account.
The posh nosh events he hosted were attended by potential big money GOP donors and political supporters many suspect he has been lining up for a run for the presidency since mid-2019. Some early backers of Pompeo say he is the “heir apparent” for replacing Trump at the top of the Republican 2024 ticket, but whether or not he can get the former president’s nod or endorsement remains in question.
Calls to Pompeo’s personal staff for this story were not returned. However, his former pastor at the Eastmuncher Presbyterian Church in Kansas, which formed a prayer group to support him through his confirmation hearings and challenging times in the US capitol, was not surprised by the potential mission announcement.
“Mike may just take some time for Jesus…” Rev. Stan Vander Snoggen said, “It’s understandable that he has decided it is time to cleanse his soul through this form of spiritual service.”
Associated April Press 2021