Pompeo trip to offer awkward moments amid election transition

Almost all of the officials Pompeo will meet — including French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — have congratulated Biden on his victory and pledged to work with his administration, something Trump’s team has so far refused to do.

Complicating matters even more is that those leaders can expect a very different approach once Biden is in office. Trump reversed many of President Barack Obama’s initiatives on issues such as Iran and climate change. Biden, in turn, is expected to begin unwinding Trump’s efforts, as well as his tight embrace of leaders criticized as authoritarian.

A big part of Pompeo’s trip appears to be aimed at putting in place policies that will be difficult for Biden to undo. That’s especially the case on Iran, where the Trump administration has imposed a web of sanctions designed to curb the country’s nuclear program and punish it for ties to terrorist groups.