Pompeo is holding a “productive” transition assembly with Biden’s Secretary of State

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President-elect Joe Biden announces the announcement of the National Security Team at his headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware

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By Daphne Psaledakis and Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON / WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Antony Blinken, Joe Biden’s candidate for top diplomat, on Friday to facilitate the transfer of power just days after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol to overturn his electoral defeat .

Pompeo on Twitter said he met Blinken “to facilitate an orderly transition and to ensure American interests overseas are protected”. It was unclear whether the meeting, which takes place less than two weeks before Biden’s inauguration, was face-to-face or virtual.

“Our meeting was very productive and we will continue to work together on America’s behalf throughout the transition,” said Pompeo.

Trump had admonished thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol when Congress met on Wednesday to confirm the November 3 election results. That led to chaos when his followers broke through the building, hid the legislature, and left a police officer and four other dead behind them.

In a video on Thursday, Trump came closer than ever to his loss in the November election, promising a “smooth” transition after falsely claiming Biden’s victory was fraudulent for weeks.

After an initial delay, the Trump administration paved the way for Biden to transition to the White House in November, granting him access to briefings and funding, even as Trump continued to battle the election results.

Still, Biden transition officials say they are still facing opposition from some parts of the Trump administration.

“We have seen some contacts that have occurred, but they are still there – the intransigence, I mean – in places like the Department of Defense, OMB (Bureau of Administration and Household), other places where we have been constantly worried , and we feel there is more collaboration that would be beneficial for the peaceful transfer of power, “Jen Psaki, a transition assistant, told reporters on Friday.

On December 17, Blinken visited the Foreign Ministry for the first time since the elections and took part in meetings and briefings to prepare for the takeover as Secretary of State. Pompeo was quarantined at the time after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

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