Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to completely dismiss the results of the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday, saying “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
Pompeo’s comment came in response to a reporter asking if the State Department is prepared to engage with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team and if not engaging in that process promptly could pose a threat to national security.
The secretary of state initially smirked while answering and kept the rest of his remarks vague.
“The world is watching what’s taking place,” he said. “We’re going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there will be electors selected. There’s a process. The Constitution lays it out pretty clearly. The world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today and successful the way the president who’s in office on January 20, a minute after noon, will also be successful.”
Pompeo’s rhetoric about counting every legal vote is in line with those who have denied the election’s outcome, including President Donald Trump himself. Though there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud affecting the results, the president and many of his supporters have continued to claim he only lost because of a ploy by the Democrats to steal the election. Trump’s team has filed several lawsuits in key swing states to challenge the results that have had little success.
Among the most high-profile Republicans refusing to acknowledge Biden’s victory is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The senator said Monday that Trump is “100% within his rights” to look into allegations of “irregularities,” pursue legal battles and request recounts.
“No states have yet certified their election results,” McConnell said. “I believe the president may have legal challenges underway in at least five states.”
Trump appointee Emily Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration, is also blocking the transition of power from starting by refusing to issue Biden’s team the necessary documents, sources familiar with the matter told The New York Times on Monday.