Pompeo: State Dept. ‘Ready’ to Begin Transition after Every Vote Counted

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, D.C., August 5, 2020. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Reuters Pool)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said the State Department is “ready” to begin a transition to the next administration after “every legal vote” cast in the election is counted.

“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said with a smirk when asked if he would help President- elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

“We’re ready, the world is watching what’s taking place, we’re going to count all the votes,” he said. “When the process is complete there will be electors selected, there’s a process, the constitution lays it out pretty clearly.” 

He added: “The world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today and successful when the president who is in office on January 20 a minute after noon will also be successful.”

President Trump has vowed to contest election results in a number of key battleground states via lawsuits and recounts, though elections officials in those states have said they have not seen any widespread voting irregularities.

When asked if he believed there was widespread voter fraud, Pompeo said he was receiving “calls from all across the world” from people watching the United States’ election who “understand that we have a legal process, they understand that this takes time.”

“It took us 37 plus days in an election back in 2000, we conducted a successful transition then. I’m very confident that we will count — and we must count — every legal vote,” he said. “We want to make sure that any vote that wasn’t lawful will not be counted, that dilutes your vote.”

“We’ll get it right, we’re in good shape,” he said.

Pompeo’s comments come one day after a Washington Post report revealed that the White House had instructed senior government leaders to block cooperation with Biden’s transition team until his election is confirmed by the General Services Administration, the agency that officially kicks off the transition.

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