As world leaders congratulated Joe Biden on winning the 2020 presidential election, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that electors would decide the outcome of the vote.
During a press conference at the State Department, Pompeo was asked whether any efforts are being made to engage with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.
“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said with a smile, according to Raw Story. “Alright? We’re ready. The world is watching what’s taking place. We’re going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there will be electors selected. There’s a process. The Constitution lays it out pretty clearly.”
Pompeo refused to acknowledge the outcome of the White House race and insisted that the election was determined. His rhetoric echoed MAGA allies, reinforcing the Trump campaign’s promised legal challenges over unproven voter fraud, according to Politico.
“We’re ready. The world is watching what’s taking place here,” Pompeo said. “We’re going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there will be electors selected. There’s a process. The Constitution lays it out pretty clearly.”
Asked whether the State Department was impeding free and fair elections, Pompeo got angry and said, “I am very confident that we will count — and we must count — every legal vote.”
When voters go to the polls, they’re actually casting ballots for their party’s slate of electors, rather than a presidential candidates, Politico reported. Though Biden and Trump’s names appeared on the ballot in 2020, they were really stand-ins for electors. The statewide popular-vote winner determines which party sends its slate to the Electoral College.
The Electoral College is mostly a “winner-take-all” system. Electors vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in their state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the Constitution allows “faithless electors” the legal imperative to “vote as they wish” under extraordinary circumstances, according to professor James B. Caesar and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., authors of a common interpretation of Article II Section 1, USA Today reported.
Thirty-two states have passed laws requiring electors to vote as pledged. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in July in support of these laws.
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump was declared the winner but 10 faithless electors submitted deviant votes. It was not enough to change the results.
“The Supreme Court made it clear that the elector is not there to vote his or her conscience,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, in a USA Today interview. The Supreme Court ruling might decrease the likelihood of deviant votes, Chemerinsky said. “The elector is there to vote how the state dictates.”
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Biden said he had received a welcome reception from world leaders he has been in contact with. He dismissed the president’s insistence that the election was unfair, calling it an “embarrassment” for Trump, Politico reported.
When asked if he would pursue legal action to force the transition, Biden said it would not be unnecessary, regardless of claims made by the president and Pompeo.
Trump’s unwillingness to concede if of little consequence to the transition, Biden said at a press conference, CNN reported.
“I’m confident that the fact that they’re not willing to acknowledge we won at this point is not of much consequence in our planning and what we’re able to do between now and Jan. 20,” Biden said.
Asked about Pompeo’s refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday, “Secretary Pompeo, Joe Biden has won, he’s won the election, now move on.”
Schumer criticized the many Senate Republicans who continue to back Trump’s “patently ridiculous lawsuits,” despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“It never ceases to amaze me how … close to every Republican senator is just so afraid of Donald Trump that they’re willing to tie themselves in legal pretzels to not offend him,” Schumer said.
“This is not one state where there is a 597 vote difference,” Schumer added. “These are many states where there are tens of thousands of votes different. The Republicans have no legal case. They are politically distraught. But that’s not going to create any success for them in the courts.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
State Department officials and diplomats said they were shocked, angry and confused about whether Pompeo was joking regarding the “second Trump administration” comment, CNN reported after asking for clarity on Pompeo’s comments.
One State Department official told CNN they had been watching the news conference until Pompeo “joked about the transition” and then they “flipped it off in disgust.”
“I am sick,” an overseas U.S. diplomat said. “How dare he undermine our work.”
“How can he be serious?” said another U.S. diplomat. “This is actually incredibly scary.”