President Trump is expected to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week, as his impeachment trial in the Senate begins, several senior administration officials told CBS News. And he is expected to have a handful of one-on-one meetings with world leaders while he's there.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump had indicated he was likely to go, telling reporters, "I will probably be going to Davos. I've been invited. We have tremendous world leaders, and we also have the great business leaders. And we want those business leaders all to come to the United States."
The administration is currently in discussions about a sit-down meeting with Iraqi President Barham Salih in Davos, and administration officials familiar with the planning are optimistic it will take place. It would be the first meeting between Mr. Trump and any top Iraqi official since the recent hostilities with Iran that began with its missile attack on Al Asad airbase in Iraq that resulted in the death of an American contractor, and the subsequent U.S. retaliatory strike thatand a pro-Iranian Iraqi military commander named Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was considered by the U.S. to be a terrorist.
At leastin Iran's subsequent retaliatory attack on January 8 at Al Asad, U.S. Central Command announced Friday. Several were treated for concussion symptoms after the blast, a spokesperson said.
The president is also expected to meet with European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, during his visit, according to a senior European official and a U.S. official. They'll discuss trade between the U.S. and the EU. European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are also expected to be on hand.
The trip gives Mr. Trump the opportunity to offer a visual contrast between what he views as a "sham" impeachment process in the Capitol and positive photo opportunities highlighting the U.S.' strong economy on the world stage at Davos, a senior White House aide argued.
But there is also the potential for more uncomfortable moments, since European counterparts with whom he has clashed, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Maria will also be attending, and the theme of the forum is addressing global climate change. Mr. Trump announced in 2017 that he wouldfrom the 2015 Paris climate accord, which aimed to reduce carbon emissions and slow the rise in Earth's temperature.
"People are revolting against the economic 'elites' they believe have betrayed them, and our efforts to keep global warming limited to 1.5°C are falling dangerously short," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum in a statement about this year's gathering.
Also attending this year's forum, according to her Twitter profile, isthe 17-year-old climate activist whom the president has mocked on social media.