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Friday, 22 January 2021

Pompeo backs Trump's refusal to concede election

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Pompeo backs Trump's refusal to concede election
Pompeo backs Trump's refusal to concede election

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday voiced confidence that once every "legal" vote was counted, it would lead to a "second Trump administration," appearing to reject Democratic challenger Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

POMPEO: "We must count every legal vote." U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday joined other top-ranking Republicans, refusing to acknowledge the results of the election days after the race was called for Democrat Joe Biden and providing oxygen to President Donald Trump's desperate effort to somehow stay in office for a second term.

REPORTER: "Is the State Department currently preparing to engage with the Biden transition team and, if not, at what point does a delay hamper a smooth transition or pose a risk to national security?" POMPEO: "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.

Right?

We're ready.

The world is watching what's taking place here.

We're going to count all the votes.

When the process is complete, there'll be electors selected, There's a process, the Constitution lays it out pretty clearly.

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 Jan.

20th, a minute after noon, will also be successful." The country's top diplomat appeared to reject Biden's victory, even as world leaders from Britain, Germany and France all called President-elect Biden to congratulate him on his win.

REPORTER: "Should foreign leaders not be calling..." POMPEO: "We're in good shape." REPORTER: "...President-elect Biden?" POMPEO: "Yeah." But Trump is not giving up, vowing to push ahead with longshot legal challenges to his election loss, as he makes sweeping claims of widespread election fraud, for which he has offered no evidence.

On Monday, the leading Republican in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also failed to acknowledge Biden's victory.

MCCONNELL ON TUESDAY: "No reason for alarm." On Tuesday, McConnell reiterated his support for Trump to pursue lawsuits.

MCCONNELL: "Anyone who's running for office can exhaust concerns about counting in any court of appropriate jurisdiction." Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General William Barr -- who met with McConnell privately on Monday -- has told federal prosecutors to "pursue substantial allegations" of voting irregularities and the counting of ballots.

In Pennsylvania, Republican state lawmakers called for an audit of results in the state that on Saturday pushed Biden above more than the 270 votes in the Electoral College that he needed to win the presidency.

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