U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is coming to the Sumter County Fairgrounds Thursday for what the Department of State says will be official remarks on U.S. foreign policy.
Pompeo is scheduled to deliver his address at 4 p.m. Thursday. The event is open to the public, and admission is free. The doors open at 2:00 p.m. and close at 3:30 p.m.
The visit is an official government event. It is, however, being widely promoted by groups supporting Trump’s 2020 reelection efforts, such as the Villagers for Trump Club. The Villages are about 20 miles north of the fairgrounds, while Orlando is about 50 miles away and Tampa about 60 miles.
Pompeo has served as President Donald Trump‘s second Secretary of State since being confirmed in April, 2018. Prior to that Pompeo also a Trump’s first CIA director. Prior to that, he served most of four terms in Congress, hailing Kansas.
Consequently, for more than three years he’s been at the forefront of U.S. foreign policymaking for all of the difficult challenges, ranging from North Korea to Iran, Russia to China, and from the Middle East to Venezuela.
He also has been fingered by several witnesses in the impeachment proceedings of Trump as a key player in American dealings with Ukraine that led to the impeachment trial that begins Tuesday and likely still will be underway Thursday. In recent days he’s been under pressure to respond to expanded reports that Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his associates essentially stalked U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch last year, seeking to dig dirt on her while she reported to Pompeo. Democrats have expressed their interest to subpoena him if the Senate Republicans, led by Senate President Mitch McConnell, agree to hear witnesses in the impeachment trial.
Last fall there were reports which so far have turned out to be unrealized that Pompeo was planning to resign and run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. Pompeo has repeatedly said he has no intention of running.