Donald Trump revealed Thursday that he is not considering putting Mike Pompeo in a dual role as his new national security adviser on top of his current position as secretary of state.
‘I think he’s fantastic. But I actually spoke to Mike Pomepo,’ Trump told reporters before departing the White House for Baltimore, Maryland Thursday evening. ‘He likes the idea of having someone in there with him, and I do too.’
The idea of adding another line to Pompeo’s business card seems to have come from former Trump national security aide Sebastian Gorka, who tweeted the suggestion Tuesday and argued for it hours later on a TV show the president watches religiously.
Trump also insisted that there are plenty of other candidates – 15, to be exact – that he is considering for a post that has already seen three different people since Trump took office.
He touted the high number of applicants, claiming ‘everybody’ want to work with him because he is ‘fun.’
‘We have 15 candidates,’ Trump continued. ‘Everybody wants it badly, as you can imagine. And we’ll probably next week sometime make that decision.’
‘A lot of people want the job. And it’s a great job. It’s great because it’s a lot of fun to work with Doanld Trump. And it’s very easy actually to work with me. And you know why it’s easy? Because I make all of the decisions – they don’t have to work,’ the president concluded, referencing himself in the third person.
Donald Trump dismissed rumors Thursday that he is considering picking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to replace fired National Security Advisor John Bolton and serve in a dual role
He claimed he has 15 other candidates – some Pompeo (pictured) has recommended to him – that are vying for the position because he is ‘fun’ and ‘easy’ to work with
Trump fired John Bolton on Tuesday, making the announcement through Twitter. Bolton fired back on Twitter, claiming he asked the president to speak Monday night, but was told to wait until Tuesday.
The president cited that he and Bolton had differences in opinion on how to approach dealing with North Korea – claiming that was the final straw.
Bolton and Trump had several disagreements on how to handle foreign policy and national security interests.
Some reports claim Trump felt as though Bolton was behind a series of leaks, and believed he was responsible for the latest led to the dissolvement of a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at Camp David last weekend.
Bolton was the third national security adviser under Trump, he was preceded by H.R. McMaster and Michael Flynn.
‘I want to see Mike Pompeo dual-hatted as NSA and secretary of state,’ Gorka said on the Fox Business Network’s ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight’ on Tuesday.
Gorka, a talk radio host, recently surfaced as an ad pitch-man for a brand of fish oil supplements that he says rid him of chronic back pain.
The president was thought to be considering the unusual but not unprecedented arrangement for Pompeo, who gave him a list of other people to consider.
‘I think I don’t rule out much for President Trump,’ senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters hours before Trump emerged on the South Lawn.
Reports emerged this week that Trump was weighing whether to have Pompeo to do both jobs
Pompeo, pictured laughing alongside Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin after longtime foe Bolton got the axe on Tuesday, would be the second person to lead both the State Department and National Security Council at the same time; Henry Kissinger did it in 1973
The colorful former Trump national security aide Sebastian Gorka floated ‘dual-hatting’ Pompeo Tuesday night on Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business Network show, which the president watches religiously
Henry Kissinger was already President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser in 1973 when he added the State Department to his responsibilities.
‘Let’s go back to the Nixon era. Let’s go back to what we did with Kissinger,’ Gorka said Tuesday night.
‘I’m not a fan of Kissinger, but the idea that you can have a secretary of state who is also the national security adviser is very, very smart because it gets rid of a lot of duplication.’
Dobbs replied: ‘I’m just trying to figure out how much time there is in a day for any person, no matter how talented.’
CNN was first to report that the idea of Pompeo pulling double duty had advanced beyond the idle-idea stage.
Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he is considering five people to replace Bolton, but didn’t mention if any of them already works in his administration.
One front-runner, Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, will travel to Washington this weekend for dinner with the president on Saturday.
Grenell is not seen as a strong Pompeo ally, but running the National Security Council could be a logical stepping stone to becoming secretary of state if Pompeo leaves the job to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Kansas.
Bolton’s last day at the White House was Tuesday; he insists that he quit before Trump could fire him
Among the top candidates for the national security aviser slot is Ric Grenell,the U.S. ambassador to Germany (left, pictured with Kiev, Ukraine Mayor Vitali Klitschko); Grenell will travel to Washington on Saturday for dinner at the White House
Gorka’s side-gig hawking fish oil pills raised eyebrows earlier this month.
‘I have never before endorsed a pain reliever, but when Pete and Seth Talbott, the father and son owners of Relief Factor, asked me to endorse their 100 per cent drug-free product, I absolutely couldn’t say no,’ he says in a testimonial ad.
‘Of course, I only said yes because after years of my personal lower back pain, I am now pain free.’
The ad spot includes a disclaimer that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not vetted the product.
It’s unclear how seriously Trupm would consider advice from Gorka.
The British-born Hungarian-American worked for Trump from Inauguration Day until the end of August 2017, when he claimed he resigned because other White House officials were ‘undermining’ the Make America Great Again platform.
The White House disputed the claim he resigned, and said he no longer had access to White House grounds.
Gorka put the double-duty idea into Washington’s bloodstream just a few hours after the White House kicked Bolton to the curb
Gorka also lost his Fox News Channel contributor role in March.
He made headlines in July for a dramatic confrontation with Playboy magazine writer Brian Karem in the White House Rose Garden that nearly escalated into a physical confrontation during a Trump social media summit with conservative activists.
The two got in each other’s faces after Karem called the assembled right-wingers ‘a group of people that are eager for demonic possession.’
‘You’re not a journalist! You’re a punk!’ Gorka yelled at Karem, who urged him to ‘go outside and have a long conversation.’
After Gorka baited him, booming that Karen was ‘threatening me,’ a Secret Service agent had to step in.
The White House suspended Karem’s ‘hard pass’ to access the grounds for 30 days, only for a federal judge to order a reversal last week.