President Donald Trump will no longer travel attend the Summit of the Americas or travel to Peru and Colombia, the White House said Tuesday.
Instead, Vice President Mike Pence will attend in his place; administration officials cited ongoing overseas involvement as the reason for the switch.
“The President will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Trump was scheduled to meet with Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to “deepen our historical ties with our partners in the region and to strengthen our joint commitment to improve security and prosperity for the people of the Americas,” Sanders said in a statement back in March.
He was expected to discuss trade and secure borders with both world leaders, especially as tensions have heightened between the U.S. and its southern border country.
However, the announcement comes mere hours after the office and home of Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, was raided by the FBI. The president has been publicly fuming ever since news broke.
“Attorney–client privilege is dead!” he tweeted.
“A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!” he quickly followed up.
Still, the administration maintains that the decision to swap was a matter of international security. On Monday, the president and his staff said that Syria and its allies would have “a price to pay” after a chemical attack near Damascus killed anywhere from 40 to 60 individuals.
“In our world, we can’t let that happen, especially when we’re able to — because of the power of the United States, because of the power of our country — we’re able to stop it,” Trump told reporters before a meeting with senior military leadership.
Further details including the timing of possible retaliatory efforts remain uncertain.