NOVEMBER 10, 2020
John Bolton, former National Security Advisor for President Donald Trump, criticized Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for saying on Tuesday that Trump won a second presidential term despite the national election having been called by major networks and news outlets for Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.
During a Tuesday news conference, Pompeo was asked about a possible transition of power for the Biden administration. Pompeo replied, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
Despite Pompeo’s comment suggesting that Trump will have a second presidential term, Biden won the 2020 election by at least 4,909,587 popular votes and 76 electoral votes.
“I think it’s delusional for Mike to say that, and I must say I think he’s eviscerated his credibility internationally,” Bolton told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer in response to Pompeo’s comments during a televised interview on Tuesday.
Bolton said he thinks there are “very few people” in the U.S. government who believe that Trump sincerely won the presidential election. Bolton then wondered whether Pompeo made his comments to avoid being fired by Trump or as a way to preempt his own possible Republican presidential run in 2024.
Blitzer then asked Bolton about whether the refusal of the Trump administration to acknowledge Biden’s victory and provide security briefings to the president-elect constitutes a possible national security issue. Bolton said he believes both Trump and Biden should receive the briefings as one of them will eventually serve as president.
As of November 10, Biden leads Trump by about 273,000 votes in six different states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—which helped cement Biden’s victory by 79 electoral votes.
Trump’s re-election campaign has filed lawsuits in several states alleging that thousands of votes were fraudulent and should be thrown out before the states certify their election results in December, potentially changing the election’s outcome in Trump’s favor.
However, the Trump administration has been criticized for repeatedly making claims of widespread voter fraud without any concrete evidence.
On Monday, Attorney General William Barr allowed federal prosecutors to investigate the yet-to-be-substantiated claims. Democratic congressional leaders criticized his decision as unfounded and corrupt.
In response to Barr’s decision, Richard Pilger, the U.S. Department of Justice director of the Election Crimes Branch which oversees investigations into voter fraud, resigned mere hours later.
In a speech on Monday morning, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options, and notably, the Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations. The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president of the United States.”