President Trump has cancelled his planned meeting with ‘New World Order’ elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, choosing to stay in the U.S. amid 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,” Trump tweeted.
Thehill.com reports: 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 Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, 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 Mnuchin, 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 Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.