Pompeo cancels trip to Belgium amid turmoil

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Jan. 12 (UPI) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled Tuesday a trip to Belgium following the deadly U.S. Capitol riot.

The trip, which would have been his last trip abroad during his term was set for Wednesday, a week before President-Elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration next week. Pompeo told The Washington Post he canceled the trip because he wants to make sure there is “a smooth and orderly transition process.”

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Pompeo’s spokesman Morgan Ortagus added that the Department of State is canceling “all planned travel this week” amid Biden preparing to announce who he will select for the department’s new cabinet posts.

Originally, Pompeo had planned to meet with Belgian officials and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, to reaffirm support for the U.S.-Belgium partnership, and U.S. support for NATO.

The trip was canceled at the last minute with some aides already on the ground in Belgium, The Washington Post reported.

Pompeo had also planned to stop Thursday in Luxembourg, a small country landlocked by Belgium, France and Germany, but the meeting fell though after the country’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told RTL Radio that Trump is “a political pyromaniac who must be put before a criminal court.”

The canceled trips come amid political turmoil since Trump supporters breached a Capitol Police line last week and stormed their way into the Capitol to disrupt the Electoral College vote count, leaving five people dead, including one Capitol Police officer and four rioters.

On Tuesday, the House reconvened to take up Democratic efforts to remove Trump from office, either by an article of impeachment, charging Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors for inciting an insurrection and disrupting the transfer of power to Biden’s administration, or invoking the 25th Amendment, which would require Vice President Mike Pence to declare Trump unfit for office.