POMPEO REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE BIDEN’S WIN
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is brushing aside results of last week’s presidential election showing that President Donald Trump lost his bid for a second term. Pompeo told reporters with a grin that the “transition” to a second Trump term would be “smooth,” but later said the State Department would be prepared no matter who is president on Inauguration Day, Matthew Lee reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Tongue-in-cheek or not, Pompeo’s remarks implying that Trump might yet be reelected were striking, coming at a tense moment for the nation as Trump refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. Pompeo, America’s top diplomat and fourth-in-line for the presidency, spoke even as world leaders have been congratulating the former vice president. In refusing to recognize Biden’s victory, Pompeo, a possible 2024 presidential contender, is joining with other leading Republicans who have rallied behind Trump’s efforts to fight the election results. That has cast doubt on whether there will be a smooth transition leading up to Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. Trump has accused Biden of cheating him but could not produce any evidence to back up claim, leading to legal defeats in five states. Biden won 279 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 214. Trump was also battered in the popular vote, losing by 4.4 million votes to Biden.
Pompeo, one of Trump’s most loyal Cabinet members, also dismissed as “ridiculous” the suggestion that Trump’s evidence-free claims of fraud could hurt America’s credibility when weighing in on foreign elections.
Pompeo’s comments about the transition came in response to a question about whether the State Department was prepared to engage with the Biden team. “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said with a chuckle, before shifting to a more serious tone. “We’re ready. The world is watching what’s taking place here. We’re going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there will electors selected. There’s a process, the Constitution lays it out pretty clearly.”