New Delhi: Former United States Secretary of State and CIA director Mike Pompeo has opened up about his drastic weight loss, revealing that he embarked on a big change in diet and lifestyle starting 14 June last year, and has lost more than 40 kg in a period of six months.
Speaking to the New York Post this week, Pompeo shut down all speculation surrounding his health due to the visible weightloss, including that he had cancer.
Stating that losing weight had been a “lifetime struggle”, Pompeo said he had set up a home gym to keep up with his new fitness regime.
Pompeo, who served as director of the CIA from 2017 to 2018 and Secretary of State from 2018 to 2021 in the Donald Trump administration, said he began gaining weight during his first successful US House election campaign in 2010.
Speculation about his changing appearance
Since his departure as the US Secretary of State after Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden, Pompeo has been making regular appearances on Fox News as a contributor since 2021.
Viewers began to notice Pompeo’s weight loss on screen during the second half of the year.
Pompeo told the New York Post that viewers started speculating about him on social media due to the changes in his appearance.
“The posts were pretty nasty or just inaccurate, speculating that I had health issues with my neck, or that I had cancer. Nobody ever called me and really asked, ‘Hey, what happened?’”, the Post quoted Pompeo as saying.
Pompeo also laughed off social media speculation that his weight loss is tied to a potential US presidential run for the 2024 election.
“The truth is, I’m really getting ready for 2044 and hoping I’ll be around in 2054,” Pompeo said, adding that he wanted to live long enough to see grandchildren, considering his son’s wedding is scheduled for July 2022.
Pompeo’s pre-2021 avatar
The news of Pompeo’s focus on fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle stands in contrast to his media appearances during his time in the Trump administration, which was marked with turbulence and controversy.
“Pompeo is arguably the most Trumpy of President Trump’s cabinet secretaries. He has aggressively pursued the president’s ‘America First’ agenda, mimicked the commander-in-chief’s bombast and routinely flouted norms observed by his predecessors,” Tracy Wilkinson had written for the Los Angeles Times in December 2020.
Vanity Fair in May 2020 had reported on Pompeo’s ‘scandals’ as Secretary of State, while his alleged role in President Trump’s controversial phone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was also met with intense media scrutiny.
Prior to his tenure as CIA director and Secretary of State, Pompeo served as a House Representative from Kansas’ 4th district from 2011 to 2017.
(Edited by Monami Gogoi)