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11 April 2018, 12:42 | Myrtle Vega
Donald Trump cancels first trip to Latin America 'to deal with Syria crisis'
On that note, Vice-president Mike Pence will represent the United States at the eighth Summit of the Americas at President Trump's request, the report said. "The president will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
On Monday, President Trump said the U.S. would respond in 24-48 hours to the latest suspected chemical weapons strike in Syria. This marks the first time an American president has not attended the summit, which was first held in 1994 and is scheduled to begin April 13.
The White House made the announcement about the schedule change a day after federal agents raided the office of Trump's personal attorney.
In addition to managing the potential USA response to last weekend's attack in Syria, Trump has been monitoring what he fears may be a migrant crisis at the US border with Mexico. Trump oversaw that response from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. President Trump vowed Monday that the U.S. would be "making some major decisions in the next 24 to 48 hours". He opened the meeting venting his outrage at the targeting of his lawyer, musing aloud about the prospect of firing the special counsel in the Russian Federation investigation, Robert S. Mueller III.
"If he does it's going to be very tough, very tough", Trump said.
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CNBC also spoke to Sergio Montenegro, who works in Lima, and he compared Trump with some populist leaders who came to power in Latin America. The trip had been expected to be tense and awkward because of Trump's repeated disparagement of the region over immigration, narcotics and trade.
Many Latin American leaders had hoped to have their first face-to-face encounter with the US President. It will be interesting to see how Vice President Pence manages the situation at the summit, and how the other countries react to him.
On Monday, the President promised a quick response to Syria and met his military leaders to consider options.
"He looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger US economy and working with our close allies in Latin America to collectively hold undemocratic actors in the region accountable for their actions", said Jarrod Agen, Pence's deputy chief of staff and communications director.
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