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Pompeo tells reporter, ‘There will be a smooth transition to 2nd Trump administration’

President Donald Trump speaks next to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
November 11, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted that President Trump will be the winner of the contentious 2020 presidential election in the midst of media outlets declaring Democrat candidate Joe Biden the presumptive president-elect.

During a press conference at the State Department, the Secretary of State said “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration” when asked if the State Department was preparing to engage with the Biden transition team.

“We’re going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there’ll be electors selected. There’s a process,” Pompeo said. “The Constitution lays it out pretty clearly.”

Pompeo said the “world is watching” the electoral process in the United States, adding that nations globally should feel confident that the transition necessary to keep the State Department functional will be successful regardless of who is in office on January 20.

“I went through a transition on the front end.  I’ve been on the other side of this,” Pompeo assured reporters. “I’m very confident that we will do all the things that are necessary to make sure that the government, the United States Government, will continue to perform its national security function as we go forward.”

Just over one week ago, Election Day confusion propelled the Trump campaign to launch a number of lawsuits alleging voter fraud and suppression in key swing states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia.

Secretary Pompeo said that while leaders across the world are contacting him regarding the election, they understand that the process takes time, particularly when there are concerns of fraud.

“It took us 37-plus days in an election back in 2000.  We conducted a successful transition then,” Pompeo said. “I’m very confident that we will count – and we must count – every legal vote.  We must make sure that any vote that wasn’t lawful ought not be counted.  That dilutes your vote if it’s done improperly.  We got to get that right.  And when we get it right, we’ll get it right.”

“We’re in good shape,” the Secretary of State added.

During the press conference, a reporter from Reuters asked Secretary Pompeo, “…this department frequently sends out statements encouraging free and fair elections abroad and for the losers of those elections to accept the results.  Doesn’t President Trump’s refusal to concede discredit those efforts?”

“That’s ridiculous and you know it’s ridiculous,” Pompeo responded. “You asked it because it’s ridiculous.”

Pompeo went on to say that the State Department “cares deeply” about ensuring elections are safe, secure, free and fair globally, and that his officers risk their lives to make it happen.

“We often encounter situations where it’s not clear about a particular election,” Pompeo 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.”

While media outlets have declared Joe Biden the presumptive president-elect, states have yet to certify their election results and electors have not cast their votes. Per the Constitution, electors will cast their ballots on December 14. Both chambers of Congress will convene for a joint session on January 6 to count electoral votes, and the candidate to receive at least 270 of the 538 electoral votes will officially become president-elect.