Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Asked by a reporter Tuesday if the State Department is preparing to engage with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded: "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

Why it matters: Pompeo, the country's top diplomat, is standing by President Trump and his allies' claims that the election is not over and that the president has the right to pursue legal challenges. It comes as leaders all over the world who Pompeo deals with are publicly congratulating Biden on his projected victory.

What he's saying: "We're ready. The world is watching what's taking place here. We're going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there will be electors selected," Pompeo said.

  • "There's a process, the Constitution lays it out pretty clearly. 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 Jan. 20, a minute after noon, will also be successful."
  • "I'm very confident that we will do all the things that are necessary to make sure that the government, the United States government, continues to perform its national security function as we go forward."

Asked by a reporter whether Trump's refusal to concede undermines the State Department's commitment to free and fair elections around the world, Pompeo responded: "That's a ridiculous question and you're ridiculous for asking it."

Of note: Pompeo emphasized the normality of a winner being announced after Election Day — a point that Trump has contested — by pointing to the 2000 legal battle that ended in former Vice President Al Gore's concession.

  • "It took us 37 plus days in an election back in 2000. We conducted a successful transition then," the secretary of state said.

Yes, but: Pompeo appeared to repeat Trump's call to count "legal votes," instead of "illegal votes" — terms the president has used to advance his baseless allegations that Democrats stole the election from him.

  • "I'm very confident that we will count, and we must count, every legal vote. We must make sure that any vote that wasn't lawful will not be counted, that dilutes your vote if it's done improperly. Gotta get that right. When we get it right, we'll get it right. We're in good shape," Pompeo said.

Go deeper

Fauci to meet with Biden transition for first time

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci will stay on at the National Institutes of Health and plans to meet virtually with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team for the first time Thursday to discuss the coronavirus response, he told CBS News.

Why it matters: Fauci, widely viewed as one of the country's most trusted voices on the coronavirus, said it will be the first "substantive" conversation between he and Biden's team. He said he has not yet spoken with Biden directly, but has connected several times with incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.