POLITICS | Pompeo Voices Confidence U.S. Vote Count Will Lead To ‘Second Trump Administration’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday voiced confidence that once every ‘legal’ vote was count, it would lead to a ‘second Trump Administration’, appearing to reject Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.

He spoke as world leaders, including Washington’s close allies Britain and France, already have congratulated President-elected Biden. Trump, a Republican, has so far refused to concede and made baseless claims that fraud was marring the results.

‘There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration’, Pompeo told a State Department news conference. He later sought to assure the world that America’s post-election transition would be successful.

‘We’re going to count all the votes… The world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make that the State Department is … successful today and successful when the president who’s in office on January 20, a minute after noon, will also be successful’.

Biden, due to take office on Jan 20, 2021, risks a delayed transition as Trump has vowed to push with longshot legal challenges to his election loss. Republican U.S. lawmakers defended his right to do so.

When asked about Pompeo’s comments, Biden smiled. He also said nothing would stop the transfer of power in the U.S. government.

Asked if Trump’s refusal to concede hampers State Department efforts to promote free and fair elections abroad, Pompeo, a close ally and appointee of Trump’s, decline to address the specific question but said: ‘This department cares deeply to make sure that elections around the world are safe and secure and free and fair’.

The leading Republican in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, has carefully backed Trump, saying that he was ‘100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities’, without citing any evidence.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee who heads the Justice Department, on Monday told federal prosecutors to ‘pursue substantial allegations’ of irregularities of voting and the counting of ballots.

Richard Boucher, a retired diplomat who was the longest – serving State Department spokesman, said Pompeo’s comment about a second Trump administration could be passed off as a joke but also served to protect him from White House criticism.

Democrat Eliot  Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the State Department should begin preparing  for Biden’s transition now. ‘Secretary Pompeo shouldn’t play along with baseless and dangerous attacks on the legitimacy of last week’s election’, he said.

In his first official travel after the Nov.3 election, Pompeo is travel to France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, Qatar, United Arab EmirateS and Saudi Arabia between Nov. 13-23. The leaders of some of those countries have already congratulated Biden.

Greece Lifts COVID Curbs For Travellers Ahead Of Key Summer Season

ATHENS, Greece – Greece lifted COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday for foreign and domestic flights, its civil aviation authority said, ahead of the summer tourism season that officials hope will see revenues bouncing back from the pandemic slump. To fly in or out of the country, travellers were previously required to show either a vaccination certificate, … More Greece Lifts COVID Curbs For Travellers Ahead Of Key Summer Season

Saudi, Pakistan To Discuss Possible Support For Kingdom’s $3 Billion Deposit

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will discuss the possibility of supporting the kingdom’s $3 billion deposit in Pakistan’s central bank bank by extending its term ‘or through other options’, a joint statement carried by Saudi State News Agency SPA said on Sunday. Last year, Saudi Arabia deposited $3 billion in Pakistan’s central bank … More Saudi, Pakistan To Discuss Possible Support For Kingdom’s $3 Billion Deposit

Yemen President Cedes Powers To Council As Saudi Arabia Pushes To End War

PARIS, France – Yemen’s president delegated power to a presidential council and dismissed his deputy on Thursday in moves aimed at supporting U.N. – led efforts to revive negotiations to end a bitter seven – year war. Riyadh announced $3 billion in financial aid to the Saudi – backed government after the announcement by President … More Yemen President Cedes Powers To Council As Saudi Arabia Pushes To End War

Saudi Authorities Warn Against Donating To Strangers Due To Terrorism Financing

PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of State Security warned citizens and residents in the Kingdom against donating to strangers, nothing that such practices increase the probability of financing terrorism. ‘[Random strangers] may be more dangerous than you think’, the Presidency of State Security said in a statement on Twitter, urging people to only make … More Saudi Authorities Warn Against Donating To Strangers Due To Terrorism Financing

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix To Go Ahead As Planned, Say Organizers

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Formula One’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned, organizers said on Friday following attacks on a facility owned by oil giant Aramco near the racetrack in Jeddah. Yemen’s Iran – backed Houthis said they launched attacks on Saudi energy facilities on Friday and the Arab coalition said Aramco’s … More Saudi Arabian Grand Prix To Go Ahead As Planned, Say Organizers

Saudi Aramco Storage Facility Targeted By Houthi Attack, Causing Fire

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Yemen’s Houthis said they launched attacks on Saudi energy facilities on Friday and the Saudi – led coalition said oil giant Aramco’s petroleum products distribution station in Jeddah was hit, causing a fire in two storage tanks but no causalities. A huge plume of black smoke could be seen rising over … More Saudi Aramco Storage Facility Targeted By Houthi Attack, Causing Fire

U.S. Approves Potential Sale Of Rocket Launchers To Bahrain – Pentagon

WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale to Bahrain of M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems Upgrade and related equipment for an estimated cost of $176 million, the Pentagon said on Thursday. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release.

France Promises Funding To International Criminal Court To Investigate Crimes In Ukraine

PARIS, France – The French Foreign Ministry has promised 500,000 euros ($548,715) of financing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to support the investigation into cimes committed in Ukraine, it said in a statement on Wednesday. France will also be providing magistrates, investigators and experts, ‘to make sure the prosecutor can lead his investigation in … More France Promises Funding To International Criminal Court To Investigate Crimes In Ukraine

Zelensky Tells Russians: ‘Save Your Sons From The War’

PARIS, France – In a video message posted to Facebook Wednesday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Russians and told them, ‘save your sons from the war’. Zelensky said Ukraine had never threatened the security of Russia, adding that Russian propagandists ‘lie about the war, which is paid for by your taxes’. Ukrainians, he said, … More Zelensky Tells Russians: ‘Save Your Sons From The War’

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