Capitol Hill insiders speculate that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has quietly begun his 2024 campaign to replace President Donald Trump in the White House.

Whether Trump wins or loses in November, the Beltway gossip is that Pompeo will be the Republican front runner. In recent weeks, Pompeo delivered rousing, campaign-style speeches in Iowa and at the Nixon Library in Orange County, Calif., near where he grew up.

Even Pompeo’s staunchest political enemies grudgingly admit he has a spectacular resume, which would position him well during a rough and tumble campaign grind. Before becoming Secretary of State, Pompeo directed the Central Intelligence Agency, and was elected four times from Kansas to represent the 4th District in the U.S. House. Pompeo also held positions on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the House Select Benghazi Committee.

Before his political career began, Pompeo graduated No. 1 in his 1986 U.S. Military Academy West Point class. Pompeo served with distinction in the U.S. Army, and then earned a Harvard Law School degree where he helped edit the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. For more than a decade after graduating from Harvard, Pompeo had a successful career in the Kansas aerospace industry.

Impressive though Pompeo’s curriculum vitae may be, as a presidential candidate he would need Trump’s endorsement. And whether such a commendation would be forthcoming in light of the State Department’s gutting of the president’s June executive order that paused employment-based visa entries through 2020 remains to be seen.

Inarguably, when the State Department effectively canceled the executive order by identifying dozens of so-called exceptions to the executive order, it landed a direct slap to Trump’s face. The employment-seeking foreign nationals that the president put on hold, the State Department waved in.

The intervention is so hurtful to American workers that profiteering immigration lawyers hailed the move as “expansive.” Immigration lawyer Greg Siskind, who has never met an immigration expansion bill that he didn’t embrace, could barely contain his glee when he alerted his foreign national client base, “They [Trump administration officials] are backing off … that could be good news for you guys.”

The State Department’s bulletin grants exceptions to foreign nationals “… whose travel would be in the national interest.” The memo opens the floodgates to virtually any prospective international employee that Silicon Valley, The Wall Street Journal and other immigration advocates brazenly insist are necessary to keep the U.S. economic engine moving forward. That’s a lie that’s persisted for 30 years, facilitated the displacement of thousands of skilled U.S. workers, and has done irreparable damage to the workers’ families. In corporate America and in the establishment media, cheap labor reigns supreme.

Whether State Department minions checked with Pompeo before their outrageous action is unclear. But given what’s known about the Deep State, it’s unlikely it sought prior approval. And had they pursued Pompeo’s okay, his congressional immigration grade hints that he might have given it his blessing. Although Pompeo voted solidly on most immigration-related issues like favoring border security, and rejecting amnesty, in 2015, he voted to grant President Obama the authority to, via Trade Promotion Authority, fast track expanded immigration levels without the consent of Congress.

The next move is President Trump’s. The president should summon Pompeo to the Oval Office to read him the riot act, demand that he identify the saboteurs, and force them to rescind their bulletin. President Trump’s message to Pompeo can be short and sweet: Americans, and not worldwide employment-based visa holders, deserve U.S. jobs.

Joe Guzzardi writes for the Washington, D.C.-based Progressives for Immigration Reform. A newspaper columnist for 30 years, Joe writes about immigration and related social issues. Contact him at [email protected]