Pompeo Takes a Trip: “I’m Still the Secretary of State”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Paris on Saturday morning for the first leg of a seven-country tour. Over the next ten days, Pompeo will visit France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo’s travel comes as foreign leaders are beginning to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede. Mr. Biden has spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron, and the leaders of the countries Pompeo is visiting have congratulated the president-elect.

He has not accepted the outcome of the election; and he has refused to allow the President Elect Biden access to messages from foreign leaders and intelligence. “….. Pompeo said he would carry on as if there was no change.“I’m the secretary of state,” he said. “I’m getting calls from all across the world. These people are watching our election. They understand that we have a legal process. They understand that this takes time.” (AP)

“Is the State Department currently preparing to engage with the Biden transition team, and if not, at what point does it hamper a smooth transition or pose a risk to national security,” a reporter asked during a news conference Tuesday at the department.

“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo responded. “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 January 20th, a minute after noon, will also be successful.”

Source: CBS The following is from Source: AP News

Pompeo arrived to a France in lockdown to fight a second wave of the coronavirus. In contrast to the few people seated around him, he did not wear a mask.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, walks to a motorcade vehicle after stepping off a plane at Paris Le Bourget Airport, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Le Bourget, France. Pompeo is beginning a 10-day trip to Europe and the Middle East.

For the outgoing secretary of state and the French officials, Monday’s meetings will be a delicate demarche on tough issues.

”For the moment, my counterpart is Mike Pompeo, until Jan. 20…,” Le Drian said Friday on French network BFMTV, referring to the date when Trump’s term ends. “He’s coming to Paris. I receive him.”

Le Drian noted the “difficult subjects” on the table, from the situation in Iraq and Iran to the Middle East and China.