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Pompeo Cancels Final European Trip After Foreign Officials Refuse to Meet

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled an official trip to Europe, which was to be the last of his tenure as the nation’s top diplomat. Pompeo was slated to travel to Belgium on Wednesday to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Belgian deputy prime minister Sophie Wilmes, and foreign minister Jean Asselborn.

The trip later this week included a stop in Luxembourg, according to a Reuters report. However, the entire trip was reportedly canceled when several officials from Luxembourg and the rest of the European Union refused to meet with Pompeo. Jean Asselborn was so appalled by the scenes at the Capitol that he referred to Trump as a “criminal” and a “political pyromaniac” on RTL Radio the day after the attack on Congress.

Mike Pompeo looks on as US President Donald Trump speaks during the ceremonial swearing-in of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department in Washington, DC, May 2, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The snub from European officials comes one week after thousands of Trump supporters violently attacked and vandalized the U.S. Capitol, sending shockwaves around the world. Pompeo responded by calling their assessments of America’s democracy as committing “slander.”

State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a face-saving statement Tuesday that the decision to cancel the trip was made so that Pompeo could continue working with President-elect Joe Biden’s team on the transition. Pompeo’s successor, Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick to lead the State Department, is expected to provide Pompeo’s team with a list of career officials who will temporarily remain in acting positions until the Senate confirmation process is complete.

 

 



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