Fox News employee Mike Pompeo is campaigning and raising money for Republicans while laying the groundwork for a potential 2024 presidential bid. The former secretary of state’s activity means that Fox News advertisers are helping underwrite Pompeo’s salary while he plots his political future.
The network hired Pompeo last month and announced that he would “offer analysis across all FOX News Media platforms, including FNC and FOX Business Network’s (FBN) daytime and primetime programming.” Pompeo has been appearing on both the network’s “opinion” and “news”-side programming.
Fox News stated in 2018 that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” but the network has inconsistently enforced its purported policy over the years. In 2019, The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi reported that “a spokeswoman said the network has addressed the issue with its contributors and hosts, as well as third-party agents who book events.”
Fox’s supposed policy appears to be nonexistent when it comes to Pompeo.
The Associated Press wrote on April 18 that of the people vying to potentially succeed former President Donald Trump in 2024, Pompeo’s schedule has been “arguably the most aggressive to date” and noted that he has been appearing at events including a recent fundraiser for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Additionally, Pompeo appeared at a recent event for Republican donors in Texas that featured other potential 2024 candidates. (Fox News contributor Karl Rove reportedly helped organize it.) In June, Pompeo will reportedly appear at a Republican National Committee donor retreat with former Vice President Mike Pence.
He’s also appeared in Facebook advertisements for the Arkansas gubernatorial campaign of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The former White House press secretary worked for Fox News and used it as a launching pad for her political run. She also participated in campaign events while working for the network.
Axios’ Lachlan Markay reported last month that Pompeo has poured money into a newly formed PAC, Champion American Values. Markay added that Pompeo has “also lent his name to a series of email and text message fundraising appeals for the National Republican Congressional Committee.” (Media Matters received a NRCC fundraising email from Pompeo that was sent after Fox News hired him.)
Pompeo also recently wrote a fundraising email in support of Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin's campaign for governor of New York in 2022.
Pompeo himself told Fox News on March 10 -- roughly a month before he was hired by the network -- that he planned to campaign for Republicans and wants “to be an important part of making sure we're successful in that election of November of 2022."