Trump's Secretary of State Tells Reporters 'There Will Be a Smooth Transition' to Second Trump Term and People Are Shook
The peaceful transfer of power from one President of the United States to the next is imperative for the preservation of American democracy. Unlike monarchs or dictators, a President whose time is up—whether through term limits or the voice of the American people—works with the incoming President to ensure a seamless transition then gracefully steps down on January 20th.
President-elect Joe Biden, as of now, has secured 290 electoral votes—a number which is expected to grow once results in Georgia are finalized.
But President Donald Trump and his administration are refusing to concede defeat, claiming the election is far from over. They've falsely said that widespread voter fraud tipped the election to Biden and that Trump could still secure a second term of the presidency.
Trump's insistence on undermining the legitimacy of the electoral process instead of adhering to the results of the election has many of his critics alarmed at what's to come.
Those fears weren't allayed by remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press briefing on Tuesday.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration." -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, one week after Trump lost the election to President-Elect Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/G8JwYWZN1I
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 10, 2020
Pompeo told reporters:
"There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. We're ready. The world is watching what's taking place ... 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."
While the Secretary's chuckling indicated that he was joking, people were disturbed by his statement and the levity with which he made it.
At best this is a juvenile and irresponsible joke. At worst this is part of a coordinated effort to undermine the election results. https://t.co/DN8S8UxTQc
— Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) November 10, 2020
It's amazing to me that the style of 'joking not joking' rhetoric that internet trolls use to give themselves cover is now acceptable for holders of high office.
— Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) November 10, 2020
Who ever thought a Secretary of State would sink so low? What an obsequious, amoral sycophant.
Any other self-respecting Secretary of State would have kept his mouth shut about this.
Maybe Pompeo is auditioning for a position with Orban in Hungary or Erdogan in Turkey. https://t.co/tArZNd7Hac
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) November 10, 2020
This is shocking, shameful, & dangerous.
Our free & fair elections and our commitment to the peaceful transition of power have long been the foundation of our country's strength and our example in the world, yet @SecPompeo is now seemingly denying the results of our elections.1/ https://t.co/1R2Fnrw84u
— Abigail Spanberger (@SpanbergerVA07) November 10, 2020
The State Department would normally be putting out statements condemning comments like this from foreign officials whose party lost elections. https://t.co/Iw292RFwPq
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) November 10, 2020
Pompeo wasn't joking, even if he thought he was. You don't GET to joke about that when you're the Secretary of State. If he put that same statement out on Twitter, it would sow absolute mayhem. Absolutely disgusting behavior from him.
— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) November 10, 2020
The Pompeo joke only sells if it's a joke at his own expense in which he is telegraphing that even as SOS he's so impotent and scared of his maniac boss he has to say something like that. Which is maybe what he was going for? But 1/10 on execution is so.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 10, 2020
Jokes aren't just things that make you laugh, they're stories. The story Pompeo told in that single sentence was "I enjoy seeing this anxiety about the future of the country — it's funny to me, who holds the power."
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) November 10, 2020
There are growing concerns that the Trump administration is—however clumsily—trying to stage a coup.
Biden won the popular vote. Biden won the electoral college. Every vote was counted. No illegitimate votes were counted. Sure, recount the close ones if you want. But what Pompeo is implying here is a coup. A fascist coup. https://t.co/rN0kDhA2I3
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) November 10, 2020
It sounds like Pompeo wants a coup. https://t.co/dIpC1kJS05
— Gregg Housh (@GreggHoush) November 10, 2020
don't worry, says Mike Pompeo, it's not a coup, we're just clowning, it's more of a Social Experiment, really
— inverted vibe curve: burgertown must be defended (@PatBlanchfield) November 10, 2020
Regardless of what Trump or his defenders say, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are fully expected to take the Oath of Office on January 20th.