Trump cancels Davos trip over shutdown

President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' 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 TrumpCareer State official warned about Biden's son: report Trump speaks with NASA astronauts on all-female spacewalk Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump confirms Rick Perry to step down as Energy secretary Trump says acting Homeland Security chief McAleenan will step down Activists to demonstrate at ICE headquarters after Cameroonian immigrant dies in custody 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 MnuchinTop economic adviser warned Trump on reelection chances ahead of China truce: report The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever 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 PompeoGOP lawmaker: Trump administration 'playing checkers' in Syria while others are 'playing chess' Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring White House officials work to tamp down controversies after a tumultuous week MORE, Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossUS ban on China tech giant faces uncertainty a month out US imposes new sanctions on Cuba over human rights, Venezuela Commerce Department to develop stats on income inequality MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerPelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House On The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report MORE.