QUESTION: 97.9 B98, Lukas and Careth in the Morning. It’s 7:44. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on with us. Good morning, Secretary – or Mr. Secretary, I should say. I’m being very proper now.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning. Thanks for being so formal. It’s great to be back home. It’s great to be with you on the show this morning.
QUESTION: Good. Okay, so Mr. Secretary, you are actually in Kansas today, right?
SECRETARY POMPEO: I am. I’ll be in Overland Park today doing something that people don’t think about when it comes to the State Department, but that’s using the tools and resources that we have at the Department of State to help Kansas entrepreneurs be successful.
QUESTION: Oh, cool. So this is about entrepreneurs. Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing.
SECRETARY POMPEO: So small companies – I ran two there in Wichita for years. Small companies who want to grow their business around the world, to participate in a market around the international space, or who want investors or partners from those places need ways to connect, need to understand all the regulatory hurdles, the State Department can help. We can provide information, share best practices, help business leaders grow their businesses in markets that they’re seeking. Whether they’re selling farm products or manufactured goods, the State Department has an important role there, and we want to share what – that with the people of Kansas and Missouri here today.
QUESTION: Oh, that’s great. I was watching Shark Tank last night, and we love entrepreneurs here in Wichita.
SECRETARY POMPEO: There you go.
QUESTION: And – but you think about being an entrepreneur, and like all the paperwork that is necessary for that. Is that what you’re talking about?
SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s paperwork, it’s relationships, it’s interacting with the taxing authorities in these countries. We’ve got big teams stationed in 180-plus countries around the world that can facilitate, assist, provide information, and reduce the burden, reduce the cost, make it a little bit easier so that the business leader can focus on what he or she knows how to do best – that is, make and sell their product.
QUESTION: I think that’s so awesome, because right now here in Wichita is such an exciting time with the downtown exploding, with the new baseball team coming in. And so if you are somebody who has an idea or has a product and you want to start your own business, it’s fantastic to know that you offer resources to help people get their footing, especially right now here in Wichita. A fantastic time to start that.
SECRETARY POMPEO: That’s great. You’re making me jealous, talking about all the good things going on in Wichita. I miss home. But I hope I’m doing a little bit of good keeping the American people safe, keeping Kansas safe too in my current role.
QUESTION: Yeah, you are. You’re doing a fantastic job by the way. We’re so proud of you doing what you’re doing. I’m a little jealous that you’re in Overland Park instead of Wichita, but that’s okay. You’ve got to spread the love places, right?
SECRETARY POMPEO: We missed by a couple hours on the road.
QUESTION: That’s it. That’s all it is. By the way, I know you’re friends with Gregg Marshall and the Wichita Shockers. The last time you were on the show with us was like three months ago, and Wichita State was in like a weird place with their basketball team. And now they made the NIT. Does Coach Marshall ask you to like give them inspirational speeches or anything like that, Mike?
SECRETARY POMPEO: I think Gregg can do all the inspiring that needs to be done.
QUESTION: (Laughter.) He does do it good, though.
SECRETARY POMPEO: And I think he’s done it. We’ve got a chance to see a handful of the games. We’ve watched the team really grow and improve, and excited to see them play in Furman on Wednesday of this week, and hope they’ll have a good run in the NIT.
QUESTION: That’s awesome. Okay, so the other thing: What about Iowa? Somebody was telling me something about – with this entrepreneurship, something happened in Iowa, or something to do with Iowa.
SECRETARY POMPEO: So I traveled to Iowa now a couple weeks back to talk about a little bit different piece of what the State Department does. This is assistance on trade issues. We’re engaged in sharing, in this case, we were talking mostly to the agricultural community, ag manufacturers, seed producers, farmers themselves, cattle, pig folks, all the people who make America such a special place, talked to them about how the Trump administration’s working to grow their businesses, to help gain access for markets for them. We’ve seen that China hasn’t treated the American farmer fair for an awfully long time, and President Trump is determined to fix that.
QUESTION: That’s awesome. I know we only have a couple more minutes left, but – so the whole thing that you went back to North Korea before anybody else, and you have a relationship with Kim Jong-un, and now is he kind of like going back on that, or is – he doesn’t want people coming to check out the nuclear sites there, or what’s the – what can you tell us about that?
SECRETARY POMPEO: We believe we’re still moving forward. It’s certainly difficult – we knew it would be.
SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s been a decades-long challenge. But we have the toughest economic sanctions in history, but the most promising diplomatic engagement in history as well. And so we made a little bit more progress in Hanoi, now three weeks back, when President Trump traveled there to meet with Chairman Kim. We’ll re-engage with him. It’s incredibly important that we take down the threat not only for America and for Kansas, but for the entire world.
QUESTION: I totally agree. And you’re doing such a great job by doing all that. We love that.
SECRETARY POMPEO: That’s very kind.
QUESTION: Well, listen, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you. We miss you. And I know you’re doing great work. I mean, I only got three hours of sleep last night; I can’t imagine you being Secretary of State only getting three hours of sleep one night and how you function.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Busy days. Busy days. Susan and I miss Kansas, we miss you all as well. Thanks for giving me a few minutes on the show this morning.
QUESTION: Thank you.
QUESTION: Love it. All right, thank you, Secretary.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. So long.