Trump arrives in Switzerland with Senate trial to reconvene

WASHINGTON – As President Donald Trump’s historic impeachment trial is called to take place in the Senate this week, he will not be watched from inside the room or on television from the White House.

He’ll be thousands of miles away at the Davos economic forum in the Swiss Alps, trying to woo global CEOs over dinner.

Trump’s participation in the annual World Economic Forum will provide a conspicuous split in a presidency that is familiar to them. His two-day visit to Switzerland will test his ability to balance his anger at being impeached with his desire to show leadership on the world stage.

Administration officials say Trump remains focused on serving the public.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an email: “The president’s job doesn’t stop just because of the sham impeachment.

Trump, who left Washington on Monday night, said he would go to Davos to encourage businesses to invest in the US.

“We are where the action is,” he said at a farmers conference Sunday in Texas.

Ready for his second appearance at the annual Swiss economic forum, Trump is expected to arrive at the ski resort early Tuesday and board a flight back Wednesday to Washington, where the concert will take place. impeachment trial.

The White House hasn’t released much in advance about the president’s schedule, but he is expected to deliver speeches and meet world leaders and business executives.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached the Republican president last month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after it was reported he pressed Ukraine’s president to release investigations into Former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, a political opponent of Trump. Trump withheld foreign aid that Congress had approved for the Eastern European country and hung the prospect of an Oval Office meeting as leverage.

Trump denies any wrongdoing and argues that Democrats want to remove him from office because they know they cannot deny his re-election in November. Trump will be forced to leave office. if found guilty, but the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to acquit him.

Trump says he will attend Davos forum despite tough times because he wants to encourage businesses to return to US

“Our country is the hottest country anywhere in the world,” he said at the White House last week. “Nothing even close. I’m going to meet the biggest business leaders in the world, invite them here. “

The White House has not said which president or prime minister will have private sessions with Trump, but he is expected to have his first meeting with the new European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman hold this position. .

Analyst Matt Goodman said that meeting could be the most important, given Trump’s many disagreements with Europe over tax and trade policy, just as a new French digital tax would force companies to American tech giants like Amazon and Google pay the price.

“She is new and she is formidable,” said Goodman, who studies international economic policy as a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He predicted a difficult year ahead for US-EU relations.

“It can go very well or very badly,” says Goodman.

Trump has been clever about imposing French tariffs, and his administration has announced plans to impose retaliatory duties of up to 100% on cheese, wine, lipstick and other French imports. France has threatened to strike back.

The US has also threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European aircraft, cheese, wine and other goods in a separate dispute over subsidies to rival Airbus. with Boeing Co. based in Chicago.

Trump has also sought to entice trade concessions from the EU by threatening tariffs on German cars, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Trump arrives in Switzerland as only the third US president, after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, to face a Senate impeachment trial. Johnson and Clinton were both acquitted by the Senate.

There is precedent for the international tour of an impeached US leader.

During her impeachment for having an affair with a White House intern, Clinton visited Japan, South Korea, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He also traveled to Jordan to attend King Hussein’s funeral in February 1999, just days before he was acquitted by the Senate.

Two days after being acquitted, Clinton arrived in Mexico for a state visit.

Trump is planning to make his first visit to India at the end of February, possibly after the conclusion of his impeachment trial. He also talked about going to Beijing soon, though he did not say a date, to open a new round of trade talks with China.


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Darlene Superville, The Associated Press

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