With just eight days left in office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has planned to spend part of the next week jetting around Europe at taxpayer expense, seeing the sights, collecting well wishes and (did we mention?) seeing the sights.
But that all changed when the tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg publicly canceled its meeting with Pompeo, citing the support his boss had given to insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol last week, killing five, according to CNN.
While Pompeo’s last
vacation diplomatic mission to Europe wasn’t supposed to be publicly announced in the US, many of the intended hosts apparently were balking at meeting with Pompeo. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès, whom Pompeo also hoped to meet with, openly condemned the attack on the Capitol and the coddling of those who dismissed the outcome of the election.
“”Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected,” Stoltenberg said on Twitter last Wednesday.
In an interview with the BBC, Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn called Trump “a political pyromaniac who must be put before a criminal court” and an instigator of a “9/11 against democracy.”
The State Department brushed off the criticism, saying that it was clear the European leaders did not feel the need to meet with Pompeo given the short remainder of time in office. Others tried to claim that Pompeo had to cancel the trip because he was going to concentrate on assisting the transition–though that didn’t explain why he would try to schedule the trip in the first place.
“We are expecting shortly a plan from the incoming administration identifying the career officials who will remain in positions of responsibility on an acting basis until the Senate confirmation process is complete for incoming officials,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said. “As a result, we are cancelling all planned travel this week, including the Secretary’s trip to Europe.”