Trump-era Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a crowd in Chicago on Tuesday that he's laying the groundwork for a possible 2024 presidential run, according to Politico.
"We've got a team in Iowa, a team in New Hampshire and South Carolina," Pompeo told 1,100 guests at Navy Pier for the Navy Seal Foundation Midwest Evening of Tribute. "And that's not random. We are doing the things one would do to get ready."
The former secretary of state noted that any announcement from him about running in 2024 would need to be fairly obvious.
"Unlike others, if I go down an escalator, no one will notice," Pompeo said, gently poking fun at former President Donald Trump's 2015 announcement that he was running.
Pompeo continued by telling attendees that he is trying to figure out if the presidency is the "next place for us to serve."
"If we conclude it is, we'll go make the case to the American people of why that is," he said. "And, in the end, the American people, I pray, will make a good decision about who's going to be their next leader."
The night pulled in $6.3 million for the organization that helps returning warriors make the switch to the private sector and supports their families if they don't make it home. GOP donor and Citadel hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin donated $1 million, according to Politico.
Pompeo's remarks came during a Q&A session with Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown, who pelted him with questions about his career.
Saying he had a good professional relationship with Trump, Pompeo steered clear of disparaging his former boss or airing dirty laundry.
He expressed gratitude for having been appointed secretary of state and joked, "I hope he enjoys retirement," prompting laughter from the gathering.
Pompeo also mentioned his time as a senior diplomat for the Trump administration, during which he traveled to more than 100 countries. Remarking more than once that he views China as the U.S.' greatest outside threat, the greatest threat Pompeo sees from within the country are "teachers unions," he said.
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