Speed Reads

behind closed doors

Mike Pompeo quietly met with GOP donors in London, still denies Senate plans

After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended NATO receptions at Buckingham Palace and Lancaster House on Monday evening, he returned to his London hotel and quietly slipped downstairs meet with the Hamilton Society, "a conservative group that included a small number of wealthy Republican donors," CNN reported Thursday, citing an invitation to the event and interviews with several attendees. The off-the-books gathering "only serves to heighten speculation that Pompeo may be eyeing a run for the Senate in Kansas next year," CNN says.

Pompeo called reports that he is preparing to contest an opening Senate seat next year "completely false" as recently as this week, and his political ambitions did not come up when he was mingling with the wealthy Republicans on Monday night, one attendee told CNN, "but everyone was talking about them after he departed." The attendees had to leave their cellphones outside the room so there would be no recording of Pompeo's remarks.

President Trump also met with donors during the London summit, only his Tuesday "roundtable with supporters" was listed on his official schedule. The fundraiser, hosted by Trump Victory, was expected to raise $3 million for Trump's re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, a Trump campaign official told CNN.