June 13, 2021

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Pompeo return trip to Iowa sparking more 2024 speculation – Fox News

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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading back to Iowa  this summer.

The influential Iowa-based social conservative group The FAMiLY Leader on Wednesday announced that Pompeo will be one of the headliners at its 10th annual Leadership Summit on July 16th in Des Moines.

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For a half-century Iowa’s caucuses have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar, and any stop in the Hawkeye State by possible White House hopefuls generates more 2024 buzz.

The trip to Iowa will be the second this year for Pompeo, the former congressman from Kansas who served as CIA director during Donald Trump’s administration before he was nominated and confirmed as America’s top diplomat. Pompeo’s stop in the Hawkeye State in late March – where he headlined an event by the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, just west of the capital city of Des Moines, was the first in Iowa by any of the potential 2024 Republican White House hopefuls.

“We are grateful to once again welcome nationally prominent voices and leaders to Iowa for the FAMiLY Leadership Summit,” Bob Vander Plaats, the organization’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “From pastors, authors, and entertainers, to thought leaders and elected officials, the Summit’s star-studded lineups through the years are a recognition of the prominence Iowa plays in the national discussion and the unique stage the Summit provides to explore how faith impacts every sphere of life.”

POMPEO PLANS ISRAEL TRIP AS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TRIES TO SOLIDIFY CEASE-FIRE

Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, is in the Middle East this weekend. A source close to the former secretary of state tells Fox News that he traveled to Israel as a private citizen to celebrate the retirement of Yossi Cohen, the head of Mossad, which is Israel’s intelligence agency.

Pompeo’s trip comes just a few days after his successor, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, made a diplomatic stop in Jerusalem in the wake of the cease fire between Israel and Hamas following 11-days of fighting.

Noem launches new PAC

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, whom pundits consider another potential 2024 presidential contender, is another headliner at the FAMiLY summit in Iowa in July. 

While the first term conservative governor and strong Trump supporter who’s running for re-election next year has repeatedly said she has no interest in running for president, she continues to spark speculation about potential national ambitions in 2024. 

UPCOMING NOEM TRIP IGNITES MORE 2024 SPECULATION

Besides the upcoming trip to Iowa, the governor this past week launched a federal political action committee named the Noem Victory Fund. The new PAC allows her to raise funds and spend money in elections beyond South Dakota.

Haley’s Iowa endorsement

Nikki Haley is heading to the first-in-the-nation caucus state next month, to give the keynote address at the Iowa Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Dinner, a major gathering and fundraising event for the state GOP.

But Haley – a former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, who is considered a potential 2024 GOP presidential hopeful – made news in Iowa this past week ahead of her visit.

Haley’s Stand for America PAC endorsed Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds, who’s running for re-election next year.

Haley touted that Reynolds has “cut taxes, took on the federal government while fighting for small business, and improved access to childcare for working parents. She’s one of the best governors in the country and I’m proud to endorse her for re-election.” 

Pence trip kicks off unofficial start of 2024 race in NH

Former Vice President Mike Pence is headed to New Hampshire on Thursday, to headline the Hillsborough County GOP’s annual Lincoln Reagan awards and fundraising dinner.

Besides sparking further speculation that Pence will eventually launch a bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, it’s the first in-person visit by any of the potential GOP White House hopefuls in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state. And in a way, it kicks off the unofficial start of the next White House race in New Hampshire.

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Pence will give the keynote address at the dinner, which will be held at the Armory at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Manchester, long a familiar venue for presidential contenders.

Pence, who’s close to popular Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, is likely to make other stops during his Granite State swing.

The trip to New Hampshire is Pence’s second this year to one of the early voting states in the presidential primary calendar. Last month he traveled to South Carolina, the state that votes third in the GOP’s nominating calendar and holds the first southern contest in the presidential primaries, to give his first address since the end of the Trump administration on Jan. 20.

Scott helps NH Republicans raise money

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who political pundits also consider a potential 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, was the main attraction Tuesday on a New Hampshire GOP virtual fundraiser. 

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It was the second time this year that Scott, Florida’s former two-term governor and the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, headlined a virtual event in New Hampshire. He was also the guest earlier this year on a virtual meeting of the Right of Center group of leading Granite State conservative activists and leaders. And he also headlined a GOP gathering and fundraiser at the beginning of April in Iowa.

DeSantis and Cotton to Nevada in August

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who are both viewed as potential 2024 Republican White House contenders, are headed in August to Nevada, the state that holds the fourth contest in the GOP presidential nominating calendar.

DeSantis and Cotton will speak on August 14 at the 6th annual Basque Fry with former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt, who’s considered extremely likely to launch a Republican challenge next year against Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto

Trump likely to kick off rallies in Ohio

A source close to former president Trump’s orbit tells Fox News that Ohio will likely be the location where Trump holds the first of his resumed signature campaign rallies, as he mulls a possible 2024 bid to try and return to the White House.

“We’ll be doing one in Florida, we’re going to do one in Ohio, we’re going to do one in North Carolina,” the former president said a week and a half ago on One America News Network. “We’ll be announcing them very soon over the next week or two.”

TRUMP GETTING READY TO HIT 2024 CAMPAIGN TRAIL 

The source says that the stop could be in or near Ohio’s 16 Congressional District. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who represents the district, was one of the 10 GOP House lawmakers to vote to impeach Trump in January on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by right wing extremists who attempted to disrupt congressional certification of now-President Biden’s electoral college victory in last November’s election.

Max Miller, who worked on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and in the Trump administration, is primary challenging Gonzalez and has been backed by the former president.

The source also tells Fox News that the former president is “looking at some fourth of July plans but they’re still in the works right now….We’ve scouted some venues. We’ve been to a couple different states to look at opportunities. It’s going to be very, very hard to top what we did last year for the fourth of July, going to Mt. Rushmore with South Dakota Gov. Noem. That iconic background is going to be really hard to beat, but we’re going to try.”

And as Fox News first reported earlier this month, Trump is headed to another battleground state next weekend. The former president will headline the North Carolina GOP’s annual convention, which is being held on June 5 in Greenville.

Last weekend Trump appeared at the first fundraiser for his newly form formed Make America Great Again super PAC, which was held at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The new super PAC’s being spearheaded by top Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski, who told Fox News that “it was a big event. It was a huge turnout.”

Gaetz has 2024 on his mind

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of Trump’s biggest supporters in the House, is also flirting with a potential White House bid.

“I support Donald Trump for president. I’ve directly encouraged him to run and he gives me every indication he will,” the Florida Republican told the New York Post this past week.

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Then he added that “if Trump doesn’t run, I’m sure I could defeat whatever remains of Joe Biden by 2024.”

Gaetz is currently facing a federal investigation into allegations of sex trafficking of a minor and a sexual relationship with a minor, in addition to a Congressional Ethics investigation. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. 

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