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.

US President Biden Calls Saudi Arabia’s King Salman: White House

US President Biden Thursday called Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, according to the White House. The call was ‘to address the longstanding partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia’, a White House statement said. Regional security, including Washington’s diplomatic efforts to end the war in Yemen, was discussed. ‘The US commitment to help Saudi Arabia … More US President Biden Calls Saudi Arabia’s King Salman: White House

Digital Vaccination Passports Likely Available Before Summer, Merkel Says

Digital vaccination certification enabling people to travel in Europe despite the coronavirus pandemic will probably be available before the summer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after a virtual EU Summit. ‘Everyone agreed that we need a digital vaccination certificate’, Merkel told a press conference on Thursday, adding the EU Commission would need around three months … More Digital Vaccination Passports Likely Available Before Summer, Merkel Says

Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Salman Discusses Defense Relations With U.K.

Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between both countries. ‘Had a good call with the United Kingdom Defense Secretary Ben Wasllace to discuss defense relations between out two friendly countries, and our common interests in achieving regional and international stability’, … More Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Salman Discusses Defense Relations With U.K.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Undergoes Successful Surgery

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent surgery Wednesday to treat appendicitis, the Saudi Press Agency Reported. According to the SPA, the laparoscopic surgery, which was performed at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyad, was successful. The crown prince has since been discharged from the hospital.

Saudi Arabia Crown’s Prince Launces Soudah Develop Company With Investment Of SR 11 Billion

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced the launch of Soudah Development Company (SDC) in the Asir region that will lead the development of a luxury mountain destination and will infuse $3 billion (SAR 11 billion) into infrastructure and tourism projects, according to a statement. The statement added that the  new entry is … More Saudi Arabia Crown’s Prince Launces Soudah Develop Company With Investment Of SR 11 Billion

UK’S Prince Philip To Stay In Hospital, Son Edward Says He Is A Lot Better

Britain’s Prince Philip will remain in hospital for several days where he is comfortable and responding to treatment, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday, while he is getting ‘a lot better‘ his son Prince Edwards told Sky News. ‘The Duke of Edinburgh remains at King Edward VII’s Hospital where he is receiving medical attention for an … More UK’S Prince Philip To Stay In Hospital, Son Edward Says He Is A Lot Better

Saudi Imports From Turkey Tumble In December After Informal Boycott

The value of Saudi Arabia’s imports from Turkey in December dropped to their lowest level in at least a year, Saudi official data showed on Wednesday, on the back of an informal boycott by Saudi businessmen and retailers of Turkish products. Political tensions spilled over into trade between the two regional powers last year after … More Saudi Imports From Turkey Tumble In December After Informal Boycott

Kuwait Closes Sea, Land Borders With Certain Exceptions For Citizens, Workers

Kuwait announces it will be closing its land and sea border crossings with certain exceptions made for shipping workers and returning citizens and their immediate family members and companions, according to a decision by the country’s Council of Ministers. Exceptions were made for shipping operations and workers in the divided zone, according to the announcement. … More Kuwait Closes Sea, Land Borders With Certain Exceptions For Citizens, Workers

Oman Suspends Entry Of Travelers From Several Countries Amid COVID-19 Spike

Oman has announced it is suspending entry of travellers from  several countries, including Sudan and Lebanon, amid a recent spike in coronavirus cases. The suspension of entry for travellers will include the following countries: Sudan, Lebanon, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. ‘The suspension of entry will also apply to … More Oman Suspends Entry Of Travelers From Several Countries Amid COVID-19 Spike

Russia, Saudi Arabia At Odds Over Output Deal Ahead Of OPEC+ Meeting – RIA Cites Source

Saudi Arabia and Russia have difference over a potential deal among OPEC+ oil producers that could ease curbs on supply starting in April, a source told RIA news week. The Organization of the  Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a … More Russia, Saudi Arabia At Odds Over Output Deal Ahead Of OPEC+ Meeting – RIA Cites Source

Crown Prince Awards Saudi Cup At King Abdulaziz Racetrack

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Mohammed bin Salman crowned on Saturday, Prince Abdulrahman bin Abdullah, owner of the horse ‘Mishrrif’, the winner of the second edition of the Saudi Cup 2021, carrying the highest prize in global horse racing, state news agency SPA reported. SPA added that the Crown Prince also congratulated both Jockey David Egan and … More Crown Prince Awards Saudi Cup At King Abdulaziz Racetrack

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