President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were critical of Democrats for holding the first House Judiciary Committee hearing at the same time he will be in London with other NATO members.
“The do-nothing Democrats decided when I’m going to NATO… that was the exact time—this is one of the most important journeys that we make as president,” Trump told reporters before he left Washington for the United Kingdom on Monday.
Previously, Trump wrote on Twitter that he will be representing the United States at the NATO meeting while Democrats are stalling on important matters and focusing on impeachment.
“The Radical Left is undercutting our Country. Hearings scheduled on same dates as NATO!” he tweeted.
Pompeo said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” that he felt the move to hold a hearing in the House while Trump is abroad is without precedent.
“I regret that they’ve chosen to hold these hearings at the same time that the president and our entire national security team will be traveling to Europe to London to work on these important matters,” Pompeo said. “It’s very unfortunate.”
The president is expected to attend a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and French President Emanuel Macron. He will also attend a NATO leaders reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Later in the week, he will partake in a NATO ceremony before meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and will have lunch with representatives from Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and the UK, Fox reported. He will have two bilateral meetings with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
Trump has long complained that European nations have to pay their fair share for U.S. military protection.
“The European Union, for many years, has taken advantage of us on Trade, and then they don’t live up to their Military commitment through NATO. Things must change fast!” he wrote last week.
A week ago, Macron complained that the United States is contributing to the demise of NATO.
“So as soon as you have a member who feels they have a right to head off on their own, granted by the United States of America, they do it,” Macron told The Economist.
However, his comments were panned by Merkel, who viewed them as extreme.
The chancellor, calling Macron’s statement “drastic words,” said it “is not my view of cooperation in NATO and I think that such a sweeping blow is not necessary, even if we do have problems, even if we must pull together.” Stoltenberg also rejected the French president’s claim.