In a State Department media briefing Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there would be a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration” before chuckling then walking back the comment. Pompeo was asked whether the State Department had plans to meet with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team. “If not, at what point does a delay hamper a smooth transition or post a risk to national security?” a reporter asked. Most world leaders, including the United Kingdom and Turkey, have congratulated Biden on his win but Pompeo responded, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
Pompeo then seemingly tempered his assertion by saying officials would “count all the votes” in a process laid out in the Constitution. “The world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today, and successful with the president who’s in office on January 20th, a minute after noon, will also be successful,” he said.