'What About US?' American Voters Respond to Mike Pompeo Praising Foreign Leaders for Respecting Democratic Process

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated several foreign leaders on their recent election wins and "admirable" embrace of the "democratic process," prompting many Americans to ask about his own country's November contest.

Pompeo on Saturday offered his praise of the Pacific island nation of Palau, which held its presidential and legislative elections on November 3, the same as the U.S. The country of fewer than 20,000 people elected former senator and businessman Surangel Whipps Jr., who is set to become president just four days before President-elect Joe Biden's Inauguration Day. But Pompeo on November 10 appeared to reject the U.S. election results and quipped during a State Department address, "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration."

Pompeo dismissing democratic election results at home, while he and other Trump administration officials promote electoral contests abroad, exposes U.S. hypocrisy and the country's diminished integrity overseas, critics say.

Since Biden was called as the presumed president-elect on November 7, Pompeo has touted the successful democratic elections and peaceful transfers of power in Taiwan, Myanmar, and the nation of Georgia. But thousands of miles away in the state of Georgia and elsewhere in the U.S., Pompeo and the Trump administration continue to claim voter fraud and reject the outcome of America's own much-vaunted democratic process.

"Pleased to congratulate Surangel Whipps Jr. on his election as the tenth President of the Republic of Palau, as well as the people of Palau for carrying out the democratic process," Pompeo tweeted Saturday. The State Department website added, "We also congratulate the people of the Republic of Palau on their admirable observance of the democratic process."

The remarks drew immediate scorn from Americans who questioned if Pompeo had visited his own country recently, and whether he planned to congratulate Biden before recently elected foreign leaders.

"Not such a big fan of it here in the US, though, are you?" one top reply read Saturday morning. "What about [the] US?"

"Meanwhile Trump's secretary of state continues to ignore the results of the free and fair US election and undermine the transition process," responded Christopher Miller, a BuzzFeed news correspondent. Earlier this month, Miller wrote that "Pompeo loves to preach about peaceful transitions of power—when it's happening in other countries."

Pompeo earlier on Saturday praised Taiwan for "promoting our shared democratic values."

"How about celebrating the free, fair and transparent elections we have just held in the US? The Secretary of State has not yet acknowledge or congratulated the victor. Does he think no one notices the hypocrisy?" Atlantic writer Anne Applebaum tweeted at Pompeo last week.

In 2016, Palau's election was too close to call initially and Whipps ultimately conceded the race to his brother-in-law, Remengesau. Four years later, Palauan residents decided to go with Whipps, and the two accepted the people's vote.

Eurasian media outlets last week mocked Pompeo after he met with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and lauded the power of free elections. "The visit highlighted disorder at home and America's waning power abroad," Eurasianet author Giorgi Lomsadze remarked.

"Great to meet with Prime Minister @GakhariaGiorgi and Foreign Minister @DZalkaliani to discuss the importance of holding free, fair, and transparent elections in Georgia. I reaffirmed unwavering U.S. support for Georgia's sovereignty in the face of Russian occupation," Pompeo tweeted Wednesday.

This weekend, Pompeo is set to meet Taliban negotiators in Qatar even as deadly rocket attacks have continued in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul Saturday. Several Chinese state media figures attempted to ridicule the "chaotic" U.S. election process earlier this month. But they were rebuked by Americans who noted, "you don't even have elections" in China.

Newsweek reached out to the State Department and the White House for additional remarks Saturday afternoon.

mike pompeo democracy georgia election
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (second from left) at a meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, on November 18. He's been criticized for praising the Eurasian nation's democratic election while casting doubt on the U.S. election. PATRICK SEMANSKY / Contributor/Getty Images AFP