WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to meet this week with his designated successor, Antony Blinken, in what could be the first face-to-face Cabinet-level transition contact between the outgoing Trump administration and President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming national security team.
Two people familiar with the plans say Pompeo and Blinken are tentatively scheduled to meet on Thursday at the State Department. Neither of the two people was authorized to discuss the matter publicly, and they spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.
Word of the closed-door meeting comes just a day after the Electoral College certified Biden’s victory in November’s election even as President Donald Trump has still refused to accept the results.
Pompeo has been one of Trump’s strongest defenders in the administration and took criticism for saying shortly after the Nov. 3 vote that he was preparing for “a second Trump administration.” Pompeo's decision to meet with Blinken reflects a growing acceptance among Republicans that Biden won the election and that Trump’s challenges to the result will fail.
Pompeo made a point when he was nominated to replace his fired predecessor, Rex Tillerson, to speak with and seek advice from all his living predecessors, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.