Pompeo given parmesan in stunt over US tariffs at press conference in Italy

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By Euronews & Reuters
The woman confronted Pompeo at a photo opportunity with Conte.
The woman confronted Pompeo at a photo opportunity with Conte.   -  Copyright  REUTERS

A woman hijacked a photo opportunity between Mike Pompeo and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to hand the US Secretary of State an enormous block of parmesan cheese.

The woman, who apparently had press credentials, asked Pompeo to give the cheese to Donald Trump in what was understood to be a protest against the US president’s trade policy.

The US recently imposed tariffs on dozens of European goods, including Italian cheese.

Conte quickly intervened, asking the woman to leave Pompeo to him, before taking the cheee and handing it to an aide.


Pompeo arrived in Italy on Tuesday for a three-day visit, just hours after he pushed back against a request by Democrats to depose five current and former officials at the State Department in impeachment proceedings over Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

It isn't the first time that cheese has caused a stir during Pompeo's foreign jaunts.

In 2018 a Bloomberg reporter was banned from Pompeo’s press pool after writing that the Secretary of State had eaten “processed, Velveeta-style cheese” during a diplomatic trip.