Trump administration is acting like he has a second term even though he lost
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even said, ‘There will be a smooth transition — to a second Trump administration.’
Donald Trump lost both the popular vote and the Electoral College on Election Day last week, but his administration refuses to admit it, plowing ahead as if Trump has been reelected.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked by reporters whether Trump would concede the election and allow for a peaceful transfer of power.
“There will be a smooth transition — to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo answered. “Right, we’re ready. The world is watching what’s taking place. We’re gonna count all the votes, when the process is complete, there’ll be electors selected.”
His implication that new electors might be appointed echoed recent remarks by right-wing talk show host Mark Levin, who called upon Republican-led state legislatures to defy the will of the American people and cast faithless electoral votes.
And, according to New York Times White House correspondent Annie Karni, Pompeo isn’t the only Trump official presupposing a second term for the White House occupant.
Karni tweeted Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence, too, is broadcasting that Trump intends to remain in office: “Pence message today to Senate Republicans, per source: I want to keep serving with you (as president of the Senate), and I think I will.”
Federal agencies such as the General Services Administration are stonewalling the transition to a Biden presidency.
Ordinarily, the GSA formally recognizes the winner of a presidential election to pave the way for a seamless transfer of power. But the Trump appointee who heads the agency, Emily Murphy, has thus far done no such thing.
In comments to ABC News, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who serves on the House Oversight Committee with jurisdiction over the GSA, said that Murphy “is running a nonpartisan agency in the executive branch, which is supposed to facilitate, after an election, the transition to the incoming administration. That’s not a partisan thing. She has made it a partisan thing.”
“We could have done this to Donald Trump four years ago, and really mucked up the works, but we didn’t,” Connolly told ABC News. “George W. Bush could have done it, but he didn’t. Even in contentious elections with opposite parties, we have always respected the will of the people.”
Ordinarily, the GSA’s certification of the winner allows the president-elect to perform background checks on future nominees and obtain access to classified information and to more than $6 million in congressional funds allocated for the transition.
The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that the White House Presidential Personnel Office, which staffs various federal agencies and is helmed by Trump wing-man John McEntee, is continuing to vet and perform background checks on candidates for political appointments in the Trump administration.
McEntee is seemingly undeterred by the fact that Biden has been declared president-elect and that there will be no second term of the Trump administration.
According to the Washington Post, the budget office of the White House has also given clear directives to all federal agencies to keep preparing Trump’s upcoming budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
The Post report also states that numerous federal agencies have informed their staffers that they should not answer any communications from Biden’s transition team or offer any briefings to keep the incoming administration informed until the GSA officially signs off on Biden’s election.
Biden’s team has said it will take legal action if necessary if the Trump administration and GSA continue to block its work on the transition.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) took to the Senate floor Tuesday and said that Trump’s childish refusal to concede the election is having real-world ramifications.
“There’s an epidemic of delusion that is spreading out from the White House and infecting the entire Republican Party in the wake of this election, and it presents a real threat to this country,” Murphy said. “President Trump didn’t win the election. Every single one of my colleagues knows this.”
He added that Trump didn’t just lose, but “lost by a pretty substantial margin … 4.3% of the popular vote [and] likely around 70 electoral votes when all the counting is done.”
“This isn’t the election in 2000,” Murphy said. “There aren’t any hanging chads. We aren’t arguing about 500 votes here or there.”
And President-elect Biden told reporters Tuesday of Trump’s refusal to accept the election results: “I just think it’s an embarrassment, quite frankly. … I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”
Biden added that “at the end of the day, it’s all going to come to a fruition on Jan. 20, and between now and then, my hope and expectation is that the American people do know, do understand that there has been a transition.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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