A 2024 presidential run could be in the works for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"We've got a team in Iowa, a team in New Hampshire and South Carolina. And that's not random," Pompeo, 58, said during a fundraising event in Chicago on Tuesday, Politico reported. "We are doing the things one would do to get ready."
Pompeo, who was appointed director of the CIA and, later, secretary of state under former President Donald Trump, also took a swipe at his onetime boss. "Unlike others, if I go down an escalator, no one will notice," Pompeo joked, referring to Trump's famous ride down the Trump Tower escalator after announcing he was running in 2015.
"We are trying to figure out if that is the next place for us to serve," Pompeo continued, according to Politico. "If we conclude [running for president] is, we'll go make the case to the American people of why that is. And in the end, the American people, I pray, will make a good decision about who's going to be their next leader."
The politician made the comments while speaking at the Navy SEAL Foundation Midwest Evening of Tribute on Tuesday. The event raised $6.3 million for veterans and their families, Politico reported.
The former White House official set up a home gym in his basement with dumbbells and an elliptical.
"I started exercising, not every day, but nearly every day, and eating right and the weight just started to come off," he told the Post. "I tried to get down there five, six times a week and stay at it for a half-hour or so. And that was nothing scientific. There was no trainer, there was no dietician. It was just me."
The former Kansas Congressman said he started gaining weight when he was first elected to public office in 2010, and the pounds piled on when he rose in ranks during Trump's presidency.
Pompeo at the time shrugged off the idea that he was making changes in preparation for a future political run. Instead, he told the Post with a laugh, he wanted to have a long, full life with his family.
"The truth is, I'm really getting ready for 2044 and hoping I'll be around in 2054," he said.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
As for who Pompeo could be facing in the run, his former boss has been vocal about his plans for reelection.
"Well, in my own mind, I've already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore," Trump, 76, said in an interview with New York magazine of launching another bid for the White House.
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Trump indicated during his chat with political reporter Olivia Nuzzi that it's not a question of if he'll run but rather a question of when he'll announce his candidacy.
"I would say my big decision will be whether I go before or after," he told Nuzzi. "You understand what that means?"
Asked if he was referring to the upcoming midterm elections in November, Trump replies affirmatively. "Midterms," he says. "Do I go before or after? That will be my big decision."
Speculation about Trump running in 2024 is not new. He began hinting about a return to the White House almost as soon as he left. And chatter about his true intentions won't likely end, even after he confirms his candidacy.