Jan 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Mike Pompeo shells out for media makeover

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen appearing on "Fox News Sunday."

Via "Fox News Sunday"

Mike Pompeo's political action committee spent $30,000 on media training from last March to June — the most on any service beyond payroll during the first six months of 2021.

Why it matters: The former secretary of State hasn't just been losing weight but working to hone his media skills amid speculation about a possible presidential run, records show.

  • The spending highlights the premium Pompeo places on upgrading his personal and political brand, amid a renewed presence on the airwaves. He signed on as a Fox News analyst last April.
  • The payments went to a firm run by Republican strategist and Pompeo adviser Brett O'Donnell.
  • Spending reports for the second half of last year are due next week.

A Pompeo spokesperson declined to comment on the payments or the former secretary's media-training regimen.

  • Pompeo most recently made headlines when the New York Post reported about his stark drop in weight, in which he lost 90 pounds in six months.
  • He denied any political calculus for 2024 — but not beyond.
  • "The truth is, I'm really getting ready for 2044 and hoping I'll be around in 2054," Pompeo said, alluding to sharing his life with future grandchildren.

Between the lines: Network and cable news shows have turned to Pompeo since last year to provide conservative analysis and commentary — particularly on foreign policy.

  • Most recently, he joined "Fox News Sunday" last weekend to discuss a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • During his remarks, he defended the Trump administration's posture toward the Kremlin.
  • "Vladimir Putin respected us," he said. "We had respect for him and his power. He is a very talented statesman. ... He knows how to use power. We should respect that."

Pompeo formed Champion American Values PAC in February and underwrote the new group with leftover money from his old House campaign committee.

  • He has since lent his name to a series of GOP fundraising appeals ahead of the 2022 midterms.
  • Records show CAV PAC was renting office space during the first six months of the year from the Washington-based Institute for Energy Research, an influential industry-aligned nonprofit.
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