When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Tuesday that he believes there will be “smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” pundits pointed to his slight smirk to suggest that he must have been joking.
So when Pompeo followed that shocking disregard for American democracy with an appearance on Fox News later in the day, anchor Bret Baier asked him directly, “Were you being serious there?”
Unsurprisingly, Pompeo replied with a deliberately evasive answer, telling Baier, “We’ll have a smooth transition and we’ll see what people ultimately decided when all the votes have been cast.” He pointed to the Constitutional process that lays out “how the electors vote,” adding that “whoever is in office on noon on January 20th has all of the tools readily available so we don’t skip a beat with the capacity to keep Americans’ safe.”
Of course, one week after Election Day, all of the votes have been “cast,” it’s the counting that is ongoing with margins of victory for Joe Biden in several states that are statistically insurmountable for President Trump.
Baier, who followed his own network’s guidance by referring to Biden as “president-elect” at the top of the interview, then asked Pompeo if the Trump administration’s refusal to accept the results of the election could hurt the country from a national security perspective.
In response to the numerous foreign leaders who have congratulated Biden, Pompeo said, “Make no mistake about it, we have one president, one secretary of state, one national security team at a time.”
But while the segment may have started with Baier asking semi-tough questions about America’s chief diplomat’s dangerously anti-democratic rhetoric, by the end they were laughing together about Pompeo’s political aspirations.