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Thursday October 21st, 2021 4:55AM

The Latest: Mike Pompeo plans to meet with Antony Blinken

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

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.

___

By AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee.

___

HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN'S TRANSITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE:

The Electoral College has decisively confirmed Joe Biden as the nation’s next president. Biden pointedly criticized President Donald Trump for threatening core principles of democracy even as he told Americans that their form of self-government ultimately “prevailed.”

Read more:

— In a first, leading Republicans call Biden president-elect

— Biden returns to Georgia as validator for Ossoff, Warnock

— Trump says Barr resigning, will leave before Christmas

— Under attack from Trump, institutions bend but don’t break

___

HERE'S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

8:40 a.m.

Two foreign leaders who had not congratulated President-elect Joe Biden have now done so. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Polish President Andrzej Duda congratulated Biden on Tuesday, a day after the Electoral College affirmed Biden’s win over President Donald Trump.

A Kremlin statement says Putin wishes Biden “every success” and expresses confidence Russia and the U.S. “can, despite the differences, really contribute to solving many problems and challenges that the world is currently facing.”

In a letter, Duda wishes Biden “a very successful term.”

Unlike other Western leaders, Putin and Duda had withheld their congratulations to Biden after his November election.

Duda is part of a conservative Polish leadership that stands accused by the European Union of eroding democracy. He’s been a strong ally of Trump and once suggested naming a military base “Fort Trump.” Duda received an endorsement from Trump in his own reelection campaign this year, with a last-minute invitation to the White House on the eve of the election.

___

7:30 a.m.

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris should be vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, Fauci said, “For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can.” He adds he’d like to see Biden “fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January.”

Fauci says that while President Donald Trump probably still has antibodies to the virus that will protect him for at least several months, he should get the vaccine as well to be “doubly sure.” Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early October.

Fauci says Vice President Mike Pence should get vaccinated, too. He says, “You still want to protect people who are very important to our country right now.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
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