Mike Pompeo promises 'smooth transition to a second Trump administration'

10 November 2020, 18:53 | Updated: 10 November 2020, 18:57

Mike Pompeo made the statement at a press conference
Mike Pompeo made the statement at a press conference. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Mike Pompeo has promised a "smooth transition to a second Trump administration" days after the President lost the election to Joe Biden.

At a press conference, the US secretary of state was asked by a reporter: "Is the State Department preparing to engage with the Biden transition team, and if not, at what point does a delay hamper a smooth transition or pose a risk to national security?"

Secretary Pompeo responded: "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

His comments come after it was officially announced on Saturday that Joe Biden had won the US presidential election, which Republican Mr Trump continues to contest with baseless allegations of fraud.

Mr Biden's victory should be formally confirmed by the Electoral College on 14 December and the Democrat will be inaugurated in late January.

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Secretary Pompeo continued: "We're ready. The world is watching what's taking place. We're gonna count all the votes. When the process is complete there will be an elector selected, there's a process which the constitution lays oout pretty clearly."

He also stated that the world "needs to have confidence a transition would be successful."

Mr Pompeo was also asked whether he believes there is widespread voter fraud.

"I’m the Secretary of State. I’m getting calls from all across the world. These people are watching our election, they understand we have a legal process. They understand that this takes time," he replied.

"It took us 37 plus days in an election back in 2000, conducted a successful transition then.

"I’m very confident that we will count and we must count every legal vote."

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Donald Trump has continually blocked a smooth transition of power to Joe Biden while continuing to claim election fraud and refusing to concede.

On Monday, after Mr Trump's administration blocked government cooperation with his rival's team, Attorney General William Barr authorised a Justice Department investigation into allegations of electoral fraud.

Some Republicans, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, backed the incumbent president's efforts to fight the election results with few in the party recognising Mr Biden's victory.

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In another controversial move, the president also fired his defence secretary Mark Esper on Monday, a decision that most Republicans refused to condemn.

The latest developments, along with a number of tweets from the president last night, cast further doubt on whether the US would experience a smooth transition of power.

On Monday night, the president responded to a tweet by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp which read: "Georgia's election result will include legally cast ballots - and ONLY legally cast ballots. Period."

Mr Trump quoted the tweet, adding: "This is good news, it means I won!"

Later, he accused several American media outlets of "tampering" with the election by providing "inaccurate" polls prior to people casting their votes.

He wrote: "@FoxNews, @QuinnipiacPoll, ABC/WaPo (Washington Post), NBC/WSJ (Wall Street Journal) were so inaccurate with their polls on me, that it really is tampering with an Election. They were so far off in their polling, and in their attempt to suppress - that they should be called out for Election Interference.

"ABC/WaPo had me down 17 points in Wisconsin, the day before the election, and I WON! In Iowa, the polls had us 4 points down, and I won by 8.2%! Fox News and Quinnipiac were wrong on everything.

"The worst polling ever, and then they’ll be back in four years to do it again. This is much more then voter and campaign finance suppression!"

It comes as Boris Johnson congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on his election win in their first phone call.

The Prime Minister and the Democrat held a call at 4pm on Tuesday amid concerns the pair may not have a smooth relationship because of controversies surrounding Brexit.

Mr Johnson is understood to have spoken to the former vice-president on a wide range of subjects for around 25 minutes from his Downing Street office.

No 10 said Mr Johnson "warmly congratulated" Mr Biden on his victory, which Republican Mr Trump continues to contest with baseless allegations of fraud.

They also revealed that the Prime Minister and Mr Biden "discussed the close and longstanding relationship between our countries and committed to building on this partnership in the years ahead" and said they "looked forward to seeing each other in person."

Following the call, the Prime Minister tweeted: "I just spoke to @JoeBiden to congratulate him on his election. I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic."