President Donald Trump announced Thursday he has canceled a planned trip to Switzerland to attend the World Economy Forum in Davos, hours after saying the trip was still on.
“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 wrote. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”
Trump was due to depart for the mountainside conference in two weeks. He was to be accompanied by a large delegation of Cabinet officials.
Earlier in the day, Trump said the trip was still happening, but would be canceled if an extended partial government shutdown was still in effect.
“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.
Trump attended the summit last year, and was pleased with the reception he received, according to people who spoke to him afterward.
The annual conference brings together powerful executives, finance ministers and other members of the global elite.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will still likely lead a US delegation to Davos if the government remains shut down, according to a senior administration official, though firm plans haven’t yet been finalized.
Mnuchin said Thursday’s he’s still weighing his own decision.
“I will be discussing with the White House whether I will continue that trip,” Mnuchin told reporters after he held a classified briefing on Russia sanctions. If he does attend, it will be a “scaled back” version of the trip, he added.
The large contingent of Cabinet officials that were to accompany Trump on the trip is expected to be cut down if the shutdown continues. Those remaining behind in Washington includes Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has been central in negotiations with Democrats over border security.
Another key player in shutdown talks, Jared Kushner, would also likely stay in Washington, though his plans weren’t yet clear, according to the senior administration official.
The administration originally listed 10 Cabinet secretaries and other senior officials who comprised the delegation to Davos.
A presidential overseas trip can be difficult to organize in the midst of a government shutdown. Some members of the advance teams are furloughed, making planning and logistics difficult.
Trump said on Thursday he was looking forward to touting the American economy, which remains strong despite tumult on Wall Street and fears over a global economic slowdown.
“I had planned to go. It’s been very successful when I went,” he said. “We have a great story to tell. We have the best job numbers we’ve ever had, in many ways.”