weather icon Clear

China, climate, Russia to dominate Pompeo’s Europe tour

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is energizing its campaign to counter China’s growing global influence as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Europe this week on a four-nation trip that will also highlight disputes with Russia over Venezuela and elsewhere as well as deep U.S. isolation on the cause and impact of climate change.

With China seeking a greater presence throughout the continent, U.S. officials said Pompeo will renew warnings over the use of advanced Chinese telecommunications technology as well as blunt Beijing’s aspirations to play a significant role in the Arctic, a region that is rapidly opening up to development and commerce as temperatures warm and sea ice melts. He departs on Sunday just hours after President Donald Trump threatened to boost tariffs on Chinese imports amid the slow pace of trade negotiations.

Despite an apparent internal administration disconnect over Russia’s role in the crisis in Venezuela, Pompeo plans to make Moscow’s support for embattled President Nicolas Maduro a major theme of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday in Finland, where they will both attend a meeting of the Arctic Council.

“I’ll certainly bring up Venezuela,” Pompeo said Sunday. “It will be one of many topics that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I speak about. Whether there is a particular deal that can be reached, only time will tell.”

The Arctic Council meeting itself is likely to be dominated by concerns about the Trump administration’s climate policies that many believe are focused solely on exploiting its resources and pushing back on Russia and China for strategic and security reasons at the expense of the region’s delicate environment.

At his next stops in Germany and Britain, officials said Pompeo would sound the alarm over Chinese tech giant Huawei’s efforts to expand into Europe, reiterating U.S. concerns that China’s government could use the firm to get access to private personal and commercial data and compromise NATO and allied intelligence operations.

In Berlin in meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the officials said he would again highlight opposition to Germany’s support for the Russian-backed NordStream 2 gas pipeline that Washington believes will increase Europe’s energy dependence on Russia.

In London, where British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt are struggling to grapple with an impasse over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, Pompeo plans to deliver a speech extolling the virtues of the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K. Officials said he would also be laying the groundwork for Trump’s state visit to Britain this summer and renewing America’s interest in sealing a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement once Brexit has been completed.

Pompeo will see Lavrov in Rovaniemi, Finland on Monday, following a week in which he and Trump national security adviser John Bolton ramped up criticism of Russia and Cuba for propping up Maduro in the face of a U.S.-backed challenge to his leadership from opposition leader Juan Guaido.

But the meeting also comes just three days after Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a lengthy telephone call about the state of relations following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Trump has rejected any suggestion that his campaign colluded with Russia or tried to obstruct the investigation. But he also dialed back on Pompeo and Bolton’s Venezuela complaints, saying Putin didn’t want to get involved in Venezuela.

Pompeo disputed the apparent discrepancy in interviews with three morning television talk shows on Sunday, saying that both Cuba and Russia both need to leave Venezuela. “No, no difference. No difference. The President has said … that the Russians must leave Venezuela,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” ”We want everyone out, so that the Venezuelan people can get the democracy they deserve. That includes Mr. Maduro leaving.”

Other than Venezuela, U.S. officials said Pompeo would also raise with Lavrov Russia’s intervention in Syria and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, subjects of perennial discussion with Moscow.

On the Arctic, officials said Pompeo would stress the administration’s insistence on using the forum to promote U.S. economic growth despite risks to the region. Trump announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate accord in one of his first foreign policy decisions as president and Pompeo acknowledged to ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that American negotiators had fought to remove references to the Paris agreement from the Arctic Council’s final communique that is to be released on Tuesday.

Officials said Pompeo would laud U.S. reductions in greenhouse gas emissions despite leaving the Paris agreement, although critics argue those reductions are the result of policies enacted before Trump took office and could be reversed. At the same time, officials said Pompeo would reject Chinese attempts to play any kind of decision-making role in the Arctic Council, a group that includes as full members only the eight nations that border the region. Chinese officials have recently begun referring to their country as a “near Arctic” state, a term that has alarmed Americans and others.

Arctic policy will also be a focus of Pompeo’s final stop of the trip, Greenland, where he will meet U.S.-funded scientists and others engaged in studying the impact of climate change in the region.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Trump supporters camp outside the Las Vegas Convention Center
Trump supporters camp outside the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, where President Trump will held a rally on Friday in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
President Trump lands in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Donald Trump landed in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, as part of a four-day western state swing. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Long lines during early voting in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The final day of the Nevada Democratic Party’s early presidential caucuses wrapped up Tuesday, as thousands of Democrats lined up at 55 locations around the state for their last shot at filing an early preference card before the traditional caucuses on Saturday. Long lines were seen at CSN Charleston in Las Vegas. (Alexis Egeland/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Last day for early voting at Culinary Union - VIDEO
Voters were still in line just before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, as early voting in the Nevada Democratic Party caucuses came to a close. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tuesday is last day to early vote in Nevada Democratic caucuses - VIDEO
Early voting in the Nevada Democratic caucuses ends Tuesday, with sites open throughout Clark County. (Michael Quine and James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren and Tom Steyer talk pay for child care workers - Video
Elizabeth Warren and Tom Steyer talk to care in action about the importance of Medicare for All, paid leave and child care. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Elizabeth Warren barnstorms Nevada ahead of caucuses - VIDEO
Warren is trying to drum up enthusiasm about her campaign after finishing fourth in the New Hampshire primary. Her rally drew about 400 people to the student union of the College of Southern Nevada’s Henderson campus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sen. Jacky Rosen encourages early voting at Culinary Workers 226 - VIDEO
Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., spoke to those casting early caucus votes at the Culinary Workers hall on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Early voting in the Nevada Democratic caucuses continues Tuesday. The Nevada Caucuses are Saturday, Feb. 22. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2020 candidates rally in Southern Nevada ahead of caucus - VIDEO
2020 candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders held rallies all over Southern Nevada on Saturday ahead of the Democratic caucus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
First day of early voting - VIDEO
Nevada Democrats turned out in force on Saturday for the first day of early voting in the Democratic presidential caucuses.
Biden and Sully Sullenberger speak in Henderson - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and famed pilot Sully Sullenberger spoke at Sun City MacDonald Ranch to get out the vote for early voting for the Nevada caucus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Poll: Bernie Sanders leads Democratic presidential candidates - VIDEO
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the presidential field by a solid margin among likely Democratic caucus-goers heading into Nevada’s four-day early voting period, with with 25 percent of respondents expressing support. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Poll: caucus vs. primary - VIDEO
A new Nevada Poll finds two-thirds of likely Democratic caucus-goers surveyed in a Review-Journal poll say they’d like to see Nevada replace its caucuses with a secret-ballot primary election to determine support for a presidential nominee. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus events Leading up to Caucus Day 2020 - VIDEOl
As presidential candidates make their way to Las Vegas, here's a look at events, dates and times for the days leading up to Nevada's Caucus Day 2020 on Feb. 22. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus and Early Voting - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus discussion with Steve Sebelius about the Nevada Caucus and early voting.
Caucus 101: Early voting in the Nevada Democratic caucus - VIDEO
The who, what, when, where and hows of early voting before and on caucus day in Nevada. (Renee Summerour and Bizuayehu Tesfaye /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus Discussion with Steve Sebelius. Join us as we discuss the Nevada Caucus process.
Dina Titus speaks on Biden and Nevada's importance - VIDEO
Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus sat down with political reporter Rory Appleton to discuss Joe Biden and Nevada's place in the 2020 election.
Las Vegas ready to enforce homeless camping ban - VIDEO
Las Vegas police will begin enforcing a controversial camping ban on city streets on Saturday, but officials say they expect to impose the penalties available under the new ordinance only in rare instances. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Caucus 101: How to caucus - VIDEO
How does the caucus work in Nevada? Shelby Wiltz, the caucus director for the Nevada State Democratic party takes us through the process. (Renee Summerour and James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump administration OKs new water rule - VIDEO
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a new rule Thursday replacing a 2015 definition of “navigable waters” created in the Obama administration that farmers, developers and others found overly restrictive. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yvanna Cancela Speaks on Supporting Biden - Video
The RJ Politics podcast crew sits down with Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela to discuss why she is supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
RJ Politics Podcast with Deval Patrick - VIDEO
2020 Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick joins hosts Rory Appleton and Steve Sebelius on the RJ Politics Podcast.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg Speaks At Black Empowerment Event - Video
Pete Buttigieg speaks at a black empowerment event to talk about his Douglass plan.
Joe Biden at the national hospitality workers union.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the national hospitality workers union during UNITE HERE's town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas. @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren at Culinary Union
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Culinary Union town hall in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, 2019.
Secretary of Education visits Henderson school
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited students at Pinecrest Academy in Henderson to talk about college planning on Dec. 4, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People begin gathering for Trump rally in Las Vegas

About 15 people were gathered outside the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall on Thursday, 24 hours before President Donald Trump is set to speak at a rally.

Judge backs off proposed sentence, gives Stone 40 months

The action in federal court comes amid President Trump’s unrelenting defense of his longtime confidant that has led to a mini-revolt inside the Justice Department.

Bloomberg takes fire, Warren goes on offense in debate

Six Democratic presidential hopefuls unleashed a barrage of political and sometimes personal jabs at one another on stage at the Paris Las Vegas during the ninth primary debate — easily the most contentious of the 2020 cycle.