Trump cancels Davos trip over shutdown

President TrumpDonald John TrumpESPN's Stephen A. Smith: Trump serving fast food to Clemson team was 'disgraceful' and 'classless' Senate Dems introduce legislation to back-pay low-wage contractors Budowsky: Senate must protect Mueller from Barr, President Trump MORE on Thursday canceled his planned trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, citing the prolonged government shutdown.

“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” he tweeted.

The president also offered his “warmest regards and apologies” to the organizers of the gathering of world leaders and global elites.

The announcement came on the shutdown's 20th day, with no end in sight to the funding impasse. Trump stormed out of a meeting with top Democrats on Wednesday, calling it a “waste of time” because they denied his request for border wall money.

The Davos conference is set to begin on Jan. 22 and conclude three days later.

White House officials for days have weighed scrapping the trip. Presidential travel abroad is logistically daunting under normal circumstances and even more so without several key aides to do advance and planning work because they were furloughed due to the shutdown.

Trump’s team was also wary of the optics of the president hobnobbing with billionaires and financiers while hundreds of thousands of federal workers back home go without pay.

The president referred to those discussions earlier Thursday while speaking to reporters before leaving the White House for a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Well, I intended to go and speak in front of the world financial community in Davos. That's still on. But if the shutdown continues — which is in a while from now — but if the shutdown continues, I won't go,” he said.

The president was set to travel with a large entourage to the annual gathering, a group that reportedly included his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie Trump'Vice' director shrugs off report that Ivanka and Jared walked out of screening Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report White House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenNielsen: Secret Service prepared to secure State of the Union Last-minute deal extends program to protect chemical plants Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE, whose agency is responsible for policing the border that Trump argues is in “crisis.”

Costs associated with booking hotels had already reached $2.9 million, according to the news website Quartz.

The U.S. delegation’s head, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMIT removed Russian oligarch from board following sanctions from Treasury Department Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report MORE, is still expected to attend the gathering even in Trump's absence, multiple media outlets reported.

Other officials expected to travel to Davos include Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTop North Korean official to meet with Trump this week: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union | US troops killed in Syria blast | Day 2 of Barr confirmation US calls China's death sentence for Canadian man 'politically motivated' MORE, Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossREAD: Federal judge's ruling against Trump administration's push for 2020 census citizenship question Federal judge rules against Trump administration's plan to add 2020 census citizenship question White House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE.