- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2021

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the incoming Biden administration’s nominee to be his successor, Antony Blinken, met Friday for the first time since Mr. Blinken was nominated in late November.

Mr. Pompeo said on Twitter that the two had a "very productive" discussion and "will continue to work together" through the transition between now and President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

There was no immediate comment from Mr. Blinken, who has avoided voicing frustration expressed by some Biden transition officials over what they’ve described as an irresponsible and potentially dangerous resistance by the Trump administration to holding meetings and sharing information with the Biden team.

Such complaints have drawn particular attention at the Pentagon since Mr. Biden made headlines last month by saying "the Defense Department won’t even brief us" on key issues. The Pentagon fired back at the time, claiming the characterization was "false."

Friction over Pentagon transition briefings has since been smoothed over, while a range of similar briefings have been occurring behind-the-scenes at the State Department, where Mr. Blinken first made a visit as Mr. Biden’s nominee for secretary of state in late December.



Mr. Blinken and Mr. Pompeo had initially been slated to meet at the time, but the meeting got postponed because, officials said, Mr. Pompeo had to go into quarantine after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive with the coronavirus.

That development came after Mr. Pompeo had drawn praise from Trump supporters but sharp criticism from Democrats during the days following the November presidential election when he told reporters that he believed President Trump would emerge as the winner of the election.

"There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration," Mr. Pompeo said when asked during a press conference at State Department headquarters on Nov. 10 whether the department was preparing to engage with the Biden transition team.

In addition to Mr. Pompeo’s tweet on Friday, the State Department circulated a statement to reporters citing a senior department official as saying on background that Mr. Pompeo had "met with President-Elect Joe Biden’s secretary of state nominee, Antony Blinken, in order facilitate an orderly transition, and to ensure American interests are protected abroad."

"Their meeting was very productive," the senior official said. "Secretary Pompeo and Secretary-nominee Blinken, as well as their teams, will continue to work together on behalf of America throughout the transition."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide