WASHINGTON — President Trump on Thursday canceled his planned trip to the annual and glittering economic conference in Davos, Switzerland, later this month, citing what he called the Democrats’ intransigence on his funding request to build a wall along the United States’ southern border.
Trump and congressional Democrats are at an impasse over the president’s request of more than $5.7 billion to build the wall. That impasse caused a partial government shutdown, which has been going for nearly three weeks.
“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 wrote on Twitter. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”
The forum, 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.
Earlier Thursday, officials in Davos authorized a protest by a socialist youth group against Trump and other expected attendees of the Davos conference.
Authorities rejected a similar protest request last year when Trump attended the elite event, citing heavy snowfall.
New York Times and Associated Press
Trump denies knowledge of Manafort sharing polling data
WASHINGTON — President Trump said Thursday that he knew nothing about his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, allegedly sharing 2016 presidential campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate the FBI has said has ties to Russian intelligence.
That information was included in a court filing this week that appeared to inadvertently include details not intended to be made public and indicates a pathway by which the Russians could have had access to Trump campaign data.
‘‘No I didn’t know anything about it,’’ Trump said in response to a question from a reporter as he departed the White House en route to Texas, where he is visiting the US-Mexico border. Trump did not elaborate and turned to another reporter with a question on a different topic.
Trump’s response comes as Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to probe whether there was coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Manafort on Tuesday denied in a filing from his defense team that he broke his plea deal by lying repeatedly to prosecutors working for Mueller about that and other issues.
In his rebuttal to the special counsel’s claims of dishonesty, Manafort exposed details of the dispute, much of which centers on his relationship with Kilimnik. The Russian citizen, who began working for Manafort’s consulting firm starting in 2005, has been charged with helping his former boss to obstruct Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election. He is believed to be in Moscow.
The special counsel alleged Manafort ‘‘lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign,’’ according to the unredacted filing. The source of that data, including whether it came from the Trump campaign, is unclear.
Walking out said to be a trademark negotiating tactic
President Trump’s decision to abruptly storm out of a meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday shocked some on Capitol Hill. But those who have done business with him recognized it as one of his trademark negotiating tactics.
Long before he entered the White House — where the latest turn on his heel occurred — Trump was known to have done the same thing when a deal wasn’t going his way. He even walked out of a judge’s chambers during divorce proceedings.
His dramatic exit on Wednesday, however, appeared to gain him little traction with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers who attended the Situation Room meeting. She called Trump’s approach to the shutdown talks “pathetic,” and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said the president had thrown a “temper tantrum,” slamming the table before walking out.
Trump on Thursday tweeted that Schumer “told his favorite lie when he used his standard sound bite that I ‘slammed the table & walked out of the room. He had a temper tantrum.’ ” Trump said he “politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!”
But, according to Jay Goldberg, who was Trump’s lawyer from 1989 to 2014 and handled two of his divorces, the president has reason to believe that walking out could be effective.
“He crafted that approach, it’s one he owns,” Goldberg said. “He has a tendency to argue, and if he is not satisfied he will leave the room, disappear, doesn’t come back, and the people are on edge wondering where he is. And then when he feels it is the appropriate time he comes back.”
Goldberg said that Trump once attended a protracted meeting to reach a divorce settlement with his first wife, Ivana Trump. After hours of talks, he disagreed with the amount of alimony she wanted, and the two sides couldn’t agree. So Trump stood up and left.
“Everyone was looking for him because without his presence a deal couldn’t be done and he was gone for two hours and we didn’t know where he was,” Goldberg said. “When he came back, the other side was so concerned if they didn’t make a deal he would walk away again.”
In another episode during the divorce case, Trump walked out on a judge he thought had made an unreasonable request and didn’t come back, rattling the judge and lawyers from both sides, Goldberg said.