As he fumes over more news of his scandals, Trump abruptly canceled a key diplomatic trip to Latin America.
Once again abdicating his role on the world stage, a seething Trump canceled his trip to Latin America this week, where he would have attended the long-planned 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru. He’s also bailing on a trip to Colombia.
“The Vice President will travel in his stead,” announced White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The White House claimed the abrupt cancellation was to allow Trump to monitor the escalating tensions in Syria. But the sudden news of the summit no-go only came after FBI agents raided the office and home of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on Monday.
And of course, the incident has triggered a Trump meltdown, claiming that FBI agents, who had a lawful warrant, “broke into” Cohen’s office, and that the action was “a disgrace” that represented “an attack on our country.”
“Rarely has Trump’s ever-simmering anger over the Russia probe erupted on camera as it did on Monday,” CNN noted.
Trump was reduced to all-cap tweeting on Tuesday morning, as he was undoubtedly rage-watching Fox News:
A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2018
Rather than monitor developments in Syria, which Trump can do from anywhere, it looks like the canceled trip was really to allow Trump to engage in his version of “damage control” at home, as he and his team become even more deeply enmeshed in criminal investigations. He even seems to be considering the extraordinary move of firing special counsel Robert Mueller as Mueller’s probe digs deeper into potential Trump criminality.
But Trump’s canceled trip just means more headaches for the White House, particularly this week, as former FBI Director James Comey begins to make the media rounds to discuss his new book, which reportedly discusses how Trump fired Comey. Aides were reportedly hoping Trump’s visit to Latin America would mean he’d stay out of the headlines.
“[S]enior aides are hoping Trump’s trip to South America and subsequent summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago will provide a distraction, as well as an opportunity for the president to appear above the fray,” Politico reported on Monday.
Those plans have now been trashed. And meanwhile, it doesn’t sound like diplomats at the summit will miss Trump. After his first year in office, just 16 percent of poll respondents in Latin America approved of Trump’s performance, according to Gallup.
Trump’s safe spaces are rapidly shrinking.