In Kan. visit, Pompeo talks human rights, addresses rumor with future plan

Photo: MGN Online/U.S. Department of State/YouTube
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KWCH) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Manhattan Friday on the Kansas State University campus. Pompeo, returns to the state he calls home to deliver the first Landon Lecture of the school year at K-State.

In his lecture that lasted about 30 minutes, Pompeo talked about unalienable rights, saying its America's responsibility to fight for them in the U.S. and around the world.

"The work that our team does is noble," Pompeo says. "We have the chance to represent this incredible nation all across the world."

Following his speech, Pompeo took time to answer eight questions from his audience. That audience of 875 people appreciated his willingness to take time for the Q&A.

Pompeo joked that his staff told him not to open it up to audience questions, but he did so anyway.

You can re-watch Pompeo's lecture in the window or by clicking in the link below:

WATCH POMPEO SPEAK LIVE

Prior to Friday's lecture, Pompeo sat down for an interview with Eyewitness News. He discussed Kansas, threats facing the country and a rumor that won't leave him alone: A potential run for U.S. Senate.

His public service role is capturing a lot of attention, especially with some people, including Senator Jerry Moran, urging Pompeo to run for the soon-to-be vacated seat currently held by longtime senator Pat Roberts.

"The secretary may decide that he may be interested in serving in the U.S. Senate and I think he would be a solid candidate," Moran says. "Kansans, at the moment, have a lot of choices but that could change should the secretary decide to enter it (the race)."

Pompeo says he's flattered by Moran's statements and similar support, but is focused on his current job. He says his days are filled with challenges and opportunities.

"I love what I'm doing," he says. "It's a privilege to serve the American people and President Trump to try to deliver this American foreign policy," he says. "I'm touched on that every day and I intend to keep doing that as long as I have the opportunity to do so."

When asked about who should fill Roberts' seat, Pompeo discussed characteristics he'd like to see.

"Someone in (Roberts') image, someone who tells Kansas people the truth, who works his or her tail off," Pompeo says. (Someone) who has a good sense of humor, who understands Kansas, who understands our values and the way we think about the world, and takes that to Washington and picks away at delivering on that. If we find someone of that ilk, Kansans will be well served.

Pompeo, who became the 70th secretary of state in April 2018, previously was a three-term congressman for Kansas' 4th District, which includes Wichita and the surrounding area.

After six years in Congress, Pompeo moved to Washington, D.C. in 2017 when he became director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served this role for about 15 months before President Donald Trump appointed him Secretary of State.