November 10, 2020

Was Mike Pompeo joking about a 2nd Trump administration? Trump doesnt seem to think so
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised eyebrows and some hackles Tuesday when he said at a press briefing that "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration," suggesting that President-elect Joe Biden would not take office Jan. 20. But he smiled after the comment, raising the possibility he was at least half-joking.
Was he joking? President Trump, who has refused to concede despite Biden's insurmountable lead, didn't seem to think so.
Yeah, "Trump didn't think it was a joke," conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg tweeted. "Pompeo knew Trump wouldn't think it was a joke. He said it anyway." Tablet's Yair Rosenberg agreed but saw a silver lining: "From the full clip, you can see Pompeo was trying — badly — to make a joke. But the fact that he tried and muffed this is probably for the best. Now the Trump party line will be 'he was joking, silly libs,' which commits them to the idea that it's ridiculous to suggest that Trump won!" Fellow U.S. diplomats weren't laughing. Fox News anchor Bret Baier just flat-out asked Pompeo Tuesday evening. "You said there will be a 'smooth transition to a second Trump administration.' Were you being serious there?" Pompeo didn't answer directly. "We'll have a smooth transition, and we'll see what the people ultimately decided when all the votes have been cast," he said. "I am very confident that we will have a good transition, that we will make sure that whoever is in office on noon on Jan. 20 has all the tools readily available so that we don't skip a beat with the capacity to keep Americans safe," he added, and "we will achieve this in a way that's deeply consistent with the American tradition."
Biden himself laughed off Pompeo's comment and waved away the idea Trump could hold on to power, despite Republican leaders largely encouraging his long-shot litigation. "I think that the whole Republican party has been put in a position, with a few notable exceptions, of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president," he said.

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