Pompeo ignores Biden victory, vows ‘smooth transition’ to second Trump term

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures toward a reporter while speaking about the counting of votes in the US election during a briefing, on November 10, 2020, at the State Department in Washington,DC.

Jacquelyn Martin | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday did not acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the election when he was asked whether he would cooperate with the Biden administration’s transition team.

“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said during a State Department news conference.

The State Department didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for a clarification of Pompeo’s remark.

“We’re going to count all the votes,” the nation’s top diplomat added, saying: “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’s in office on January 20.”

Pompeo’s comments come as the Trump campaign questions the integrity of last week’s election with a series of legal actions across battleground states. Trump has not conceded the election to Democrat Joe Biden who on Saturday secured more than the 270 votes needed to win the presidency.

“We must count every legal vote,” Pompeo said, adding, “We will get it right, we are in good shape.”

Other top Trump administration officials, such as Vice President Mike Pence, have publicly insisted that the election is not over.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr told prosecutors to look into “substantial” allegations of irregularities and potentially widespread voter fraud. The Trump campaign has yet to present any evidence.

Over the weekend, leaders from around the world congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

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