US President Donald Trump can still travel to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland next week even if the government shuts down due to a budget impasse, a senior administration official has said. While hundreds of thousands of federal government employees will be furloughed if budget talks in Congress fail Friday, Trump will have all the staff and facilities needed, including the Air Force One jet, to exercise his constitutional responsibilities, according to the official.
The president would travel to Davos “pursuant to his constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy,” the official told journalists. The official, speaking on background to journalists about the impact of the looming shutdown, would not say whether Trump still plans to make the trip to Davos.
When the government shut down in a budget battle in October 2013, then-president Barack Obama cancelled a trip to Asia to attend two key summits. The annual Davos meeting from January 23-26 brings together the world’s political and business leaders for discussions of key global issues.
Trump is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May at the forum to discuss bilateral relations, according to the White House. The administration official would not give information about Trump’s other activities during a possible shutdown, including whether he intends to travel this weekend to his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida.
Trump cancelled plans to depart for Florida on Friday afternoon as Republicans and Democrats in Congress continued to battle over a short-term budget bill without agreement.