White House: Trump Canceling Latin America Trip, Staying to Oversee Response to Syria


The White House announced Tuesday President Donald Trump would not make his scheduled trip to Latin America this week so he could remain in the U.S. to oversee the "American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world."

Trump had planned to travel to Peru for the Summit of the Americas with other Western Hemisphere nations, in addition to a stopover in Colombia. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Vice President Mike Pence would go in his place.

"President Trump will not attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru or travel to Bogota, Colombia as originally scheduled," Sanders said. "At the President’s request, the Vice President will travel in his stead. The President will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world."

The trip, set to begin Friday, would have been the president's first to Latin America.

Trump is weighing a possible military response to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria after it reportedly unleashed a chemical attack on a rebel-held suburb of Damascus on Saturday, killing dozens. Trump condemned Assad as an "animal" and said no options were off the table.

A year ago, he ordered an air strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation for an Assad chemical attack.

Trump is also facing a personal crisis after the FBI raided the office of his lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday.

Cohen is at the center of an ongoing saga concerning his $130,000 payment in 2016 to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who has claimed she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006 and received the money as a hush payment. Cohen is under investigation for potential bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, the Washington Post reported .

An angry Trump vented at the White House on Monday that the executed search warrant against Cohen was a "disgrace."

"It's a disgrace, it's frankly a real disgrace, it's an attack on our country in a true sense. It's an attack on all we stand for," he said.

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