January 22, 2018 / 5:28 PM / a year ago

Trump's attendance at Davos economic forum in doubt due to shutdown

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to address the annual March for Life rally, taking place on the National Mall, from the White House Rose Garden in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos in the Swiss alps was in doubt on Monday as the U.S. government shutdown stretched into a third day.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the departure of a high-profile U.S. delegation for the conference has been delayed. Slated to lead the delegation were Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Sanders said it was possible that Trump would have to cancel if the shutdown does not end soon. [nL2N1PH0DO] He was scheduled to depart later in the week for a speech in Davos on Friday, the last day of the four-day global conclave of political and financial movers and shakers.

“Obviously, the Cabinet has delayed their departure and will determine what that looks like as the day goes on and as we see how the next couple of hours go,” she told reporters.

As for whether Trump would go to Davos if the government was still shut down, Sanders said: “I don’t know that that’s very likely. I wouldn’t imagine it is. Our priority is making sure that the government reopened and we start having the conversations that need to take place over the next couple of weeks.”

Reporting by Steve Holland and Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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