Folks worried that Donald Trump might not cede the presidency after his loss to challenger Joe Biden were not made any calmer by statements from Mike Pompeo on Tuesday. The Secretary of State promised a 'smooth transition' to a second Trump term in a press conference.
While Pompeo's smirk after the remark might indicate he was joking, it did little to allay the concerns of people already on high-alert as Trump pursues ways to flip the outcome of the election.
Pompeo's joke comes as the president largely continues to insinuate that vote counts were illegitimate, improperly carried out or rife with fraud. He tweeted out that ballot workers should stop tallying votes in states where he was ahead and has filed a raft of lawsuits hoping to swing the election back his way with the help of a stacked conservative judiciary. Many of these were tossed almost immediately. It's unclear if the Trump administration is seeking other ways to tie up election results ahead of the meeting of the electoral college and a seemingly inevitable win for Biden. Host Lawrence O'Donnell had a theory that Pompeo was auditioning for a larger role on the far side of Biden's presidency.