Pompeo Refuses To Say Trump Doesn’t Have Power To Delay The Elections

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to President Trump during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo by Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens during a cabinet meeting with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House on July 18, 2018. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday did not reject the notion of President Donald Trump somehow going through with his suggestion to delay the 2020 election, even though a president does not have the authority to do so.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) brought up Trump’s tweet during Pompeo’s Senate hearing on the 2021 budget.

“Can a president delay the November presidential election, Mr. Secretary?” the Virginia Democrat asked Pompeo.

“Senator, I’m not going enter a legal judgment on that on the fly this morning,” the secretary of state replied.

Pompeo offered another nonresponse when Kaine tried asking again.

“Senator, in the end, the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination,” Pompeo said. “We all should want–I know you do too, Senator Kaine–want to make sure we have an election that everyone is confident in.”

“Are you indifferent to the date of the election?” Kaine asked.

“It should happen lawfully,” the Trump official said.

Neither the President nor the Justice Department can determine the date of the presidential elections; only Congress would be able to postpone the election if it so chooses.

However, Trump’s astonishing suggestion, which he based on the false claim that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud, may be less about literally changing the election date and more about riling up his base with the baseless notion that him losing to Democratic rival Joe Biden means the election was “rigged.”

Watch Pompeo below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: