Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn’s uncompromising stance on Donald Trump’s role in last week’s attack on the Capitol reportedly contributed to US secretary of state Mike Pompeo cancelling a planned trip to Europe. Photo: Mike Zenari
Liz Cheney to impeach, businesses cut ties with Republicans, Taoiseach to issue apology, Twitter suspends QAnon, Carrefour takeover and proving you’re alive in France. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Pompeo won’t come to Europe
Following our report on Tuesday that US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had cancelled the Luxembourg leg of his visit to Europe this week, it has emerged that he has now scrapped the entire trip. In what Reuters calls an “extraordinary snub”, EU leaders reportedly declined to meet Pompeo. Reuters says the Luxembourg leg had not been officially announced, but Delano can confirm that discussions had been taking place to plan a visit to the grand duchy to sign an historic accord on holocaust reparations. Foreign minister Jean Asselborn had called president Donald Trump a “political pyromaniac” and The New York Times said Pompeo had angered EU diplomats by failing to acknowledge or protest the outgoing president’s role in the attack on the Capitol last week. The official reason for cancelling the visit was that the state department was fully committed to the transition process. But CNN cited John Heffern, former assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs saying he expected US-EU relationships to be swiftly repaired by the Biden administration. “Hopefully we will never have a secretary of state like this, or a president like this or a relationship like this with Europe again,” he said.
Pence won’t invoke 25th amendment
Despite mounting pressure on the White House, US vice president Mike Pence has told Nancy Pelosi via a letter that he is opposed to invoking the 25th amendment to remove Donald Trump from office. “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote. Politico cites a former adviser to the VP saying that “Pence is done with Trump’s bulls--t,”. But Pence said in his letter that he had not yielded to pressure to determine the outcome of the election, “and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.” The Washington Post and Reuters have details.
Banks and brands reject Trump and Republicans
Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank have joined a growing list of companies that have cut ties with Donald Trump and Republicans who voted against certifying electoral college results last week even after rioters had attacked the Capitol, says Bloomberg. The FT reports that even the US Chamber of Commerce has warned that “it would be watching how members of Congress conducted themselves over the coming days.”
Liz Cheney joins Republican revolt
The daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney has said she will vote to impeach Donald Trump. Liz Cheney is the third-highest-ranking Republican leader in the House and she has been joined by at least three other representatives from her party. She said that Trump last week had “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack”. The Guardian and CNBC have more.
Irish government to apologise over mother-and-baby homes
Taoiseach Mícheál Martin has said that Ireland “must face up to the full truth of our past” ahead of an apology the government will make on Wednesday after an investigation found that 9,000 children died in18 different mother-and-baby homes.The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner and the journal.ie have details.
Republican megadonor dies
Casino mogul and Republican Party megadonor Sheldon Adelson has died at the age of 87 from complications related to cancer treatment. Forbes estimated Adelson to have a net worth of $33 billion. CNBC and The Wall Street Journal have reports.
Twitter suspends QAnon content
Twitter has said it has suspended more than 70,000 accounts since Friday that were sharing “harmful QAnon-associated content at scale”. Many QAnon conspiracy theory supporters were among the mob that attacked the Capitol last week. Among the accounts suspended were those of Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and other high-profile Trump supporters. The BBC and NBC have more.
Luxembourg covid update
The total number of people who have died after testing positive for Sars-CoV-2 in the grand duchy rose to 538 after three more people were reported to have succumbed to the virus on Monday. Another 153 people have tested positive, accounting for 1.47% of tests carried out. The number of active infections was at 2,795 with 24 of 92 hospital patients in intensive care. Delano has rolling coverage.
Carrefour in takeover talks
The FT reports that Canadian retailer Alimentation Couche-Tard is in early stage talks with France’s Carrefour supermarket chain about a takeover deal. Alimentation Couche-Tard is seeking further foothold in Europe--the combined retail groups are jointly worth more than $50bn.
Zoom to issue second share sale
Zoom has announced plans to sell about 4.4 million shares in a secondary offering that will seek to raise $1.5 billion, CNBC reports.
French woman tries to prove she’s alive
The Guardian reports on the case that many may view as typical of French bureaucracy. Jeanne Pouchain, a 58-year-old from Saint-Joseph near Lyon, has spent three years trying to prove she is alive after authorities ruled in 2017 that she has no longer existed.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts