Washington, Jan 11: President Trump has canceled his planned trip to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, citing the "intransigence" of the Democrats on his funding request to build a controversial wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump was scheduled to attend the five-day Davos Summit which will begin from January 21. "I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum," the president tweeted.
Trump has demanded USD 5.7 billion from the Congress to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border, which he said is crucial to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and smuggling of drugs into the country. The Democrats who support border security measures, argue that constructing a wall is not the best use of taxpayers' money.
Earlier, Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a visit to the southern border in Texas that he will skip the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland if the ongoing partial shutdown of the government continues. "I intended to go and speak in front of the international community in Davos. That's still on, but if the shutdown continues, I won't go," he had said.
Later, he tweeted to cancel his Davos trip. "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. My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!" Trump said. The WEF, an annual gathering of the world's political and financial elite, is typically an event American presidents avoid.
Trump was the first president to attend the forum, in 2018, since Bill Clinton attended in 2000, the New York Times reported. The partial shutdown has brought the functioning of several wings of the federal government, including the State Department, to a stand still, leaving more than 800,000 employees without pay. The shutdown will enter its 22nd day on Saturday, breaking the previous record of 21 days of US government shutdown under the Bill Clinton administration in December 16, 1995 to January 5, 1996.
Trump said the partial government shutdown could be resolved in 15 minutes, but for the Democrats, who he alleged are not interested in national security. "The buck stops with everybody. They can solve this problem in literally 15 minutes. We could be back, we could have border security. They could stop this problem in 15 minutes if they wanted to," he said. "I really believe now that they (Democrats) don't want to...they don't care about crime," he added.