Asked whether he was being “serious” when he said the US government would ensure a “smooth transition for a second Trump administration" on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to double down on his remarks in an interview with Fox News.
“We’ll have a smooth transition, and we’ll see what the people ultimately decided when all the votes have been cast,” he told Fox News host Bret Baier.
Donald Trump has refused to concede following president-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, while the president and his Republican allies have also refused to acknowledge the president-elect and amplified spurious claims of voter fraud without any meaningful evidence or testimony.
Secretary Pompeo’s remarks echo Republicans’ disingenuous call to “count every legal vote” – implying that Democratic opponents have sought to count ”illegal" votes, which is false; the president has repeatedly lied about widespread voter fraud and a Democratic conspiracy to “steal” the election from him.
President-elect Biden has urged that "every vote must be counted."
“We have a process,” Secretary Pompeo said on Fox News. “The Constitution lays out how electors vote. It’s a very detailed process laid out. We need to comply with all of that.”
He said that he is “very confident that we will have a good transition, adding that “whoever is in office" on inauguration day on 20 January “has all the tools readily available so that we don’t skip a beat with the capacity to keep Americans safe.”
Earlier that day, he grew frustrated with reporters asking him whether the president’s obstruction undermined efforts at the State Department to pressure world leaders to accept losing results in their countries.
“That’s ridiculous and you know it’s ridiculous,” he said. "We work to uncover facts, we work to do discovery, to learn whether in fact the outcome, the decision that was made, reflected the will of the people.”
He told Fox News that "it’s important for not only the American people but the whole world, especially our adversaries, to know that we will achieve this in a way that’s deeply consistent with the American tradition and keeps us all safe here at home.”
World leaders have issued statements recognising president-elect Biden, but Secretary Pompeo said he anticipates telling world leaders that “all the votes haven’t been counted. "
Speaking to reporters from Delaware on Tuesday, the president-elect, asked for his response to the president’s refusal to concede and his allies’ losing campaign to litigate the results, said: "How can I say this tactfully? It will not help the president’s legacy."
“I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly," he said.
Biden said the president’s blockage “does not in any way change the dynamic of what we’re able to do" with the president-elect’s agenda-setting transition team.
“We have already started the transition," he said. “We are well under way."
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies