Pompeo refuses to acknowledge Biden’s election victory, sparking anger and “disgust” among diplomats

A prominent Democratic leader criticized the secretary for “serious and unfounded attacks” on last week’s election results, while State Department diplomats responded with “disgust” and anger at comments they deemed directly undermining their work to promote fair and peaceful democracy. Transfers abroad.

Pompeo was asked whether the State Department was preparing to engage with Biden’s transition team, and if not, could a delay pose a national security risk. “The world is watching what happens,” he told a news conference. “We will count all the votes. When the process is complete, they will be chosen from the voters. There is a process, the constitution lays it out very clearly.”

“The world should have all the confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department works today and is successful today and successful with a president taking office on January 20 after one minute in the afternoon will also be successful,” he said.

Pompeo’s remarks added to the confusion caused by President Donald Trump’s refusal to compromise the 2020 elections and growing concern that a chaotic transition period could actually undermine national security. Senior Republican lawmakers and other government officials have also been silent about the former vice president’s expected victory.

Even with foreign leaders calling for Biden’s congratulations, Trump refused to accept the outcome, as his campaign launched legal challenges and made unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and illegal voting. On Monday, the attorney general authorized federal prosecutors to investigate allegations of voter wrongdoing – a directive that led to the Justice Department’s top attorney general for election crimes resigning.

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Pompeo avoided when asked if he believed there was massive voter fraud. He said, “I get calls from all over the world. These people are watching our elections. They understand that we have legal procedures.”

CNN has asked the State Department to clarify Pompeo’s remarks.

The Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a statement on Tuesday that Pompeo “should not be in line with the serious and unfounded attacks on the legitimacy of last week’s elections.”

“Indeed, all administration officials should abandon their false allegations of election fraud, and (the General Services Administration) should release the funding and support needed for a smooth transition that protects our national security,” said Chairman Elliot Engel of New York. “The State Department must now begin preparing for the transition of President-elect Biden.”

Many world leaders have already Biden congratulated On his victory. But the State Department has not responded to many of CNN’s inquiries over the past 24 hours about what Pompeo says to the foreign officials calling him or whether the diplomats have been told how to respond to questions about the election result.

US diplomats told CNN that they had not received any guidance from the department and the minister ignored a question Tuesday about it, and instead mocked a reporter for asking whether Trump’s refusal to waive undermines State Department advice to other countries on accepting the results of free and fair elections. .

Pompeo said, “It’s ridiculous, and you know it’s ridiculous, and I asked it because it’s ridiculous.”

But it is a mounting criticism abroad, and Pompeo’s diplomats are fond of it. After Pompeo’s remarks on Tuesday cast doubt on his desire to acknowledge the election results, the diplomats CNN spoke to were shocked, confused and outraged at his failure to acknowledge Biden’s victory.

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“I am sick,” said an American diplomat abroad. “How dare he undermine our work.”

“How to be serious?” Another American diplomat said. “This is actually very scary.”

A US State Department official said they were monitoring the press conference until Pompeo “joked about the move” and then “turned him in disgust.”

“For someone who created a code of conduct and graduated from West Point, he is descending to the lowest levels,” they said, adding that Pompeo “sinks his legacy, even with all the work and diplomacy during his tenure.”

Diplomats are angry and confused about whether Pompeo proposes to tell their counterparts that Trump will somehow get a second term, something they know is nearly impossible.

However, Pompeo appeared to hold that possibility.

Referring to the disputed presidential election of 2000 that was ultimately determined by a Supreme Court ruling that awarded victory to Republican President George W. Bush, Pompeo also said: “They realize that this takes time. True, it took us 37 days in the previous election in 2000, he made a successful transition after that. ”

“I am very confident that we will count, and we must count, every vote is legal. We have to make sure that no illegal vote is counted. This weakens your vote, if done incorrectly. We have to get this correct. And when we get it right, we will Done correctly, we are in good condition. “

This story has been updated with additional reaction from State Department diplomats.

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