DONALD Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told reporters: “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration” – even as world leaders have been queueing up to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.
Ignoring entirely the apparent election defeat for his boss, Mr Pompeo said: “We’re ready. The world is watching what’s taking place. We’re going to count all the votes. There is a process.”
When asked if President Trump’s behavior is undermining US efforts to promote free elections and transitions of power, Pompeo said it was a “ridiculous question”.
Throughout the press conference, no reference was made to any handing over of power to Mr Biden.
On the topic of voter fraud, and on evidence that could swing the election in President Trump’s favour, Pompeo insisted that every “legal vote” needed to be counted.
“I’m very confident that we’ll count, and we must count every legal vote, we must make sure that any vote that wasn’t lawful might not be counted; that dilutes your vote, if it’s done improperly,” he said.
“We’ve got to get that right. When we get it right, we’ll get it right.”
Since Biden won the majority of US state electoral college votes, President Trump has refused to concede defeat and has instead gone on the offensive, claiming – without any evidence – that voter fraud has taken place, even though state election officials from both parties have rejected his allegations.
Several lawsuits have also been launched by Mr Trump’s laywers in key states, notably Philadelphia, which has already thrown the lawsuit out.
After the 2016 election, then-Secretary of State John Kerry, congratulated President Trump on his win before instructing White House staff to begin the “time-honored tradition of a very peaceful and constructive transfer of power within administrations”.
But Mr Trump’s team refuse to even acknowledge the election outcome, let alone a transfer of power to Mr Biden’s incoming administration.
They have routinely cited the 2000 presidential contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore, which took more than a month to be resolved before a successful transition took place.
“I am very confident that we will do all the things necessary that the United States government continues to perform its national security functions as we go forward,” Mr Pompeo told journalists.