President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right 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 TrumpIvanka TrumpHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe Mary Trump doesn't see her cousins connecting with GOP Rubio: Biden's new child allowance is 'first step toward a universal basic income' MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' 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 MnuchinMenendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election 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 PompeoMike PompeoAmerica needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries Harris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race It's in our interest to turn the page on relations with Suriname MORE, Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHouse panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents China sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong DOJ won't prosecute Wilbur Ross after watchdog found he gave false testimony MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' MORE.