Pompeo scraps Europe visit after Luxembourg FM slams Trump
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ditched a final official visit to Europe, officials said, first cancelling the Luxembourg leg after its foreign minister labelled President Donald Trump a “criminal”.
Pompeo has also called off a visit Wednesday to Brussels to meet NATO’s secretary general and the Belgian foreign minister.
The two-day stay in Europe would have been his last foreign trip in the job as Washington’s top diplomat before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
A statement from the State Department said he was staying in Washington ensure a “smooth and orderly” transition to the new administration.
But an official in Luxembourg told AFP on condition of anonymity that the visit was cancelled after Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn called Trump a “criminal” in comments to RTL radio.
Asselborn described Trump as a “political pyromaniac who must be brought before a court” over last week’s attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
“He has ignored his own Constitution, court decisions and of course the election results,” the minister said.
Pompeo has remained staunchly loyal to Trump despite resignations from a string of his cabinet colleagues and calls to force the president from office over the storming of the Capitol.
The cancelled trip rounds off four tumultuous years of US foreign policy under Trump that tested relations with Washington’s traditional allies in Europe.
Pompeo had not been scheduled to meet any top EU officials during his Brussels visit.