Even as world leaders continue to call and offer congratulations to US President-elect Joe Biden for his victory, the US Secretary of State said on Tuesday that there will be a “smooth transition” to a second term for Donald Trump .
Mike Pompeo told reporters that the world should have full confidence that a post-election transition in the United States would be a smooth one.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said at a State Department press conference.
Pompeo ignored the results showing that Biden had won the election and dismissed as “ridiculous” questions about whether the United States had lost credibility as an election judge in other countries because of the unproven allegations of fraud at the polls.
He then appeared to offer a more nuanced response, saying: “We are ready. The world is watching what is happening here … We will count all the votes … The world must have full confidence that the necessary transition to ensure that the State Department to be … successful today and successful when the president who takes office on January 20, a minute after noon, will also succeed. “
WATCH | Pompeo on whether the US State Department is getting involved with Biden’s transition team:
Pompeo’s comments came as Trump continued to refuse to grant the election and threatened legal action.
Raising unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud, Trump blocked Biden from receiving intelligence briefings traditionally shared with incoming presidents, according to someone with knowledge of the situation, but not authorized to publicize private conversations.
Asked about Trump’s refusal to budge, Biden told reporters on Monday afternoon that “it’s a shame, to be honest,” and he said he didn’t think it would help Trump’s legacy.
But Biden said he saw no need for any legal action now and that while “it was useful” to get the instructions, “it was not necessary”.
WATCH | Biden unconcerned by the Republicans’ refusal to acknowledge his victory:
Trump’s resistance, supported by senior Republicans in Washington and across the country, could also prevent background investigations and security clearances for Biden’s national security team and access to federal agencies to discuss budget and political issues.
Biden seemed unconcerned, saying, “The fact that [Republicans are] not being willing to acknowledge that we won at this point does not have much importance in our planning and in what we can do between now and January 20th. ”
Trump and his allies seemed determined to make Biden’s transition as difficult as possible.
From his Twitter account on Tuesday, Trump again raised baseless allegations of “mass vote counting abuse” and predicted that he would end up winning the race he already lost. His Capitol allies, led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, encouraged the president’s baseless accusations.
The Biden campaign attorney considered Trump’s legal challenges to Biden’s victory as “theatricality” that they intend to “instill in the minds of some part of the population that the election was illegitimate”.
Bob Bauer said on Tuesday in a call with reporters that the Trump campaign is trying to “throw obstacles in the way of the government”. But he said the transition was continuing regardless of any ongoing issues in the courts.
“In the meantime,” he said, “there will be theater, but for an ever lighter crowd, until it is completely empty and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take their oath of office.”
World leaders congratulate Biden
America’s allies began to recognize what Trump didn’t want.
Biden met by video conference with French President Emmanuel Macron and spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said he spoke to Biden “to congratulate him on his election”.
“I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and working with them on our shared priorities – from combating climate change to promoting democracy and recovering from the pandemic,” wrote Johnson on Twitter. “Rebuild better” is a slogan that Biden and the British government have in common.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to Biden on Monday. The official reading on the PMO call said that Trudeau was the first international leader to speak with the elected president.
“The Prime Minister and President-elect agreed on the importance of the unique Canada-US partnership and pledged to work together to combat the global pandemic COVID-19 and support a sustainable economic recovery in both countries and in the hemisphere,” said the Read.
WATCH | Trudeau talks about Canada-US relations and a Biden presidency:
Biden focuses on health
Meanwhile, Biden tried to stay focused on health as he prepares to take office on January 20, during the worst health crisis in more than a century. The United States surpassed 10 million cases of COVID-19 on Monday and cases are skyrocketing as the nation moves into the cold winter months.
One of the top advisers to Biden’s coronavirus, former surgeon general Vivek Murthy, planned to inform Senate Democrats by phone over his weekly virtual lunch on Tuesday, according to a Democratic aide who granted anonymity to discuss the private session. .
The closed-door meeting marks the first time that a Biden transition officer has addressed the Senate bench since last week’s election.
Before and after Biden’s afternoon speech, he was working alongside elected vice president Kamala Harris in a theater near his home in downtown Wilmington, Del. He should quickly appoint a chief of staff and start considering nominations for the cabinet, although these probably won, will not be finished for weeks.
Complicating Biden’s challenge is the Republican Party’s general refusal to acknowledge his victory. With little evidence, Trump and his allies insist the election was stolen.
Attorney General William Barr authorized the Department of Justice to investigate unfounded allegations of electoral fraud. And the General Services Administration, led by a Trump-appointed administrator, Emily Murphy, declined to formally recognize Biden as president-elect.
This designation facilitates cooperation between outgoing and incoming administrations, although Murphy did not initiate the process and did not give any guidance on when to do so. The GSA’s inaction could continue to negate Biden’s security instructions, which he periodically received before the election, as well as delay security clearances and personnel decisions.
Senior officials in the George W. Bush administration have warned that a similar delay after the 2000 presidential election, which was strongly contested, caused many difficulties.