Trump to skip 'Summit of the Americas' to deal with Syria

Trump’s decision to remain in the U.S. follows his promise to unleash a “forceful” response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria

Trump was supposed to travel to Bogotá following the summit visit in order to speak with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos about matters of the drug trade and an increasingly hard transition with the peace deal.

"President Trump will not attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru or travel to Bogota, Colombia as originally scheduled", Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday in a statement.

President Donald Trump will skip a summit in Latin America this week to oversee the USA response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria after he threatened military action, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after the president called an apparent chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military "barbaric," adding the United States "cannot allow atrocities like that", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting with his top national security officials seated around him. It was not yet clear what decision Trump will make in response to the latest attack.

Asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin bears responsibility for this weekend's attack on civilians, Trump said Putin "may" be held responsible. "Russia could stop this senseless slaughter if it wanted, but it stands with the Assad regime and supports without any hesitation".

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Trump also faces domestic pressure, over an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on the office of his attorney, Michael Cohen.

The White House has pushed back on criticism blaming Trump for the attack after he said he wanted to remove all USA forces from Syria. Trump found himself consumed by the Cohen raids Monday, fuming in private as well as going on a tirade about the "witch hunt" in front of reporters.

As reported by The Telegraph, Mr. Pence has previously served as Mr. Trump's envoy to the region and met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. "When I will not say because I don't like talking about timing".

"U.S. interests are not in Latin America, but in the Middle East". Pence will travel to the summit in his place, but will not go to Colombia. The trip had been expected to be tense and awkward because of Trump's repeated disparagement of the region over immigration, narcotics and trade.

"He looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger USA 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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