Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been reprimanded by former GOP officials and several Democrats after he said Tuesday evening that his department was preparing for a “smooth transition” to a second Trump administration.
Three days after several news agencies called the election of President-elect Joe Biden, a reporter asked Pompeo if the State Department was preparing to work with the Democratic transition team as is the norm.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. We are ready,” the Foreign Minister replied. “The world is watching what is going on. We will count the votes, and when the process is complete, the voters will be chosen. There is a process, the Constitution sets it out quite clearly.”
He added that world leaders should have “every confidence” that the State Department will continue to be “successful” when the next president takes office in January next year. It is unclear whether Pompeo was joking when he said there would be a “smooth transition” to a second term of President Donald Trump.
President-elect Biden won the election by a margin of more than 5 million votes and has so far secured 290 votes in the electoral college, crossing the 270 vote line for a White House term.
Regardless of whether or not Pompeo joked about a “smooth transition” to a second Trump administration, several democratic legislators struck at the top official in the State Department because of his remarks.
“This is not just delusional – it is dangerous. The peaceful transfer of power is a cornerstone of our democracy,” twittered Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. “Joe Biden won this election, and this government must accept the results and let him get to work.
The minority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, similarly urged Pompeo at a press conference on Tuesday to accept the reality of Biden’s victory.
“Look at the reality. Secretary Pompeo, Joe Biden has won. He has won the election, now move on,” Schumer said. “Let’s bring this country together and get things done, we have a COVID crisis that is raging, we don’t have time for this kind of game.
The New York Democratic congressional colleague, Eliot Engel, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, also said Pompeo should “not play along with unfounded and dangerous attacks on the legitimacy of the election.
“Indeed, all administration officials should drop their false claims of election fraud and the GSA should release the resources and support necessary to ensure a smooth transition that protects our national security,” he said in a statement. “The State Department should now prepare for the transition of President-elect Biden.
Virginia Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger called Pompeo’s remarks “shocking” and “dangerous” and implied that the secretary of state “denied” the results of the election.
“It is appalling that [Secretary Pompeo] is sending a message that we have only heard from the henchmen of foreign dictators, whom our nation used to be proud to denounce.
At least two former Republican officials have also weighed in against Pompeo, with the former national security adviser to President Trump in a CNN interview describing the Secretary’s statements as “delusional.
Former Republican Senator William Cohen, who also served as Secretary of Defense under former President Bill Clinton, said the Trump administration’s behavior was “more like a dictatorship” when responding to Pompeo’s remarks.
Washington Newsday has contacted the State Department for comment. This article will be updated with each response….