Mike Pompeo Appears To Accept Donald Trump's Defeat: 'We Are Leaving'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to accept President Donald Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election during an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday.

Pompeo spoke to Bloomberg TV's The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations about his time at the State Department and acknowledged that there would be a new secretary of state.

Rubenstein asked Pompeo whether he believed the world was safer now than before he arrived at the department. Pompeo then took the opportunity to say the administration was leaving office.

"I think we are leaving—after four years, I think we're leaving the world safer than when we came in," Pompeo said, according to transcript released by the State Department on Monday.

"I hope that the policies that we put in place will have the capacity to continue and whoever the next secretary of state is will begin to follow down this path in a way that recognizes the threat from the Chinese Communist Party, that honors the work that we have done to push back against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the two states with the capacity to inflict real harm on the United States of America."

Earlier in the interview, Pompeo had talked about "handing that off to the next secretary of state" and he went on to explain that his successor would have major responsibilities.

"Anytime you are the leader, you have a leadership mantle, whether it was when I was the CEO of a company or a tank platoon leader," Pompeo said.

"There's an awful lot of responsibility that comes with that and real challenges. I have loved every minute of this, but when that leadership mantle passes to the next person, I'll certainly take a deep breath and I will hope that I will have and that history will reflect that every day the decisions that I made were the right ones and were made with a noble purpose."

Pompeo caused controversy on November 10 when he said "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration." At that time, President-elect Joe Biden's victory had already been widely called. Some viewed Pompeo's remark as a joke.

In a radio interview following the remarks, Pompeo said that "on 20 January, we'll have a transition, whether it's to a Trump administration—a second Trump administration as I spoke about today—or to an administration led by former Vice President Biden."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks on the ground of the White House December 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. Pompeo appeared to accept President Donald Trump's defeat in an interview on Monday. Alex Wong/Getty Images