Pompeo ‘will meet Biden’s pick for Secretary of State on THURSDAY with Antony Blinken set to visit the State Department’ in first sign Trump’s top diplomat is preparing to hand over the reins to his successor
- Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, is set to meet Antony Blinken, nominee for role
- Pompeo will meet Blinken at the State Department for 15 minutes on Thursday
- The brief meeting is one of first between a Biden nominee and the Trump cabinet
Antony Blinken, the President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to replace secretary of state Mike Pompeo, will meet his soon-to-be predecessor at the State Department on Thursday for the first time, sources claim.
In a first since Biden’s victory – which was affirmed by the Electoral College yesterday – Blinken and Pompeo will meet for just 15 minutes in a show of formal recognition by Pompeo that he will handover the reins, CNN reports.
The step is the first Pompeo has made to acknowledge Biden’s win, which he had initially resisted, telling diplomats that there would be a ‘smooth transition to a second Trump administration’.
Despite the brief nature of the meeting, which has been described to CNN by three sources involved in the planning, it will signify one of the only in-person interactions between a Biden nominee and a member of the Trump cabinet so far.
Antony Blinken (pictured), the President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to replace secretary of state Mike Pompeo, will meet his soon-to-be predecessor at the State Department on Thursday
Last week Pompeo gave hints that he was ready to move forward with the transitional process, telling Fox News: ‘Today we began the process to see what the GSA’s decision was, and will do everything that’s required by law. We’ll make this work.’
A source close to Blinken told CNN that Biden’s nominee for secretary of state – who will need senate confirmation in a nomination hearing early next year before he is appointed into the role – had not been waiting for a welcoming hand from Pompeo and had already begun to lay out foreign-policy decisions.
The source said: ‘Blinken was not waiting around. He couldn’t. The Biden team didn’t know if Pompeo would even agree to meet Blinken, and they thought he may do it in the eleventh hour if he did it at all.’
Last week Mike Pompeo (pictured) gave hints that he was ready to move forward with the transitional process
Despite the reluctance to accept Biden’s win from many of Trump’s administration, many of whom repeated Trump’s claims that the election was unfairly won, Blinken has already made contact with a number of Republicans, including senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, CNN reports.
As soon as he is confirmed in the role Blinken, along with Biden, plans to rejoin the Paris Climate accord and World Health Organisation as two of his first foreign-policy moves.
The confirmation hearing, which will happen early next year, will see senators vote on Blinken’s nomination.
As a former deputy secretary of state and deputy national security advisor Blinken will be familiar to many of the senators voting, having established relationships with some during his time working on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with Biden.
Blinken has been regularly travelling to visit the president-elect Joe Biden (left) at his base in Wilmington, Delaware and has reportedly been speaking with senator Lindsey Graham (right)
Blinken, a father of two, is mostly working remotely from his home in Washington where his wife Evan Ryan is also working on the transition for the intergovernmental affairs team.
Blinken has been regularly travelling to visit the president-elect at his base in Wilmington, Delaware.
The nominee for secretary of state is also filling the role of senior adviser to the President-elect and senior leader on the transition’s national security team, CNN reports.