President Trump will try to leave his troubles behind as he departs on the first foreign trip of his presidency.
Trump leaves for Saudi Arabia on Friday afternoon and will make stops next week in Israel, Belgium and Italy. During the campaign he returned to Trump Tower in NY most nights, even if he was campaigning on the other end of the country.
Ivanka Trump hosts a meeting on human trafficking with congressional leaders, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.
Still, the headlines put even more pressure on the White House to deliver a foreign policy victory, but White House officials seemed to be tamping down expectations this week. That concern, combined with the fact that the events of the last week have made it hard for the president and senior officials to stay focused on preparing for the trip, can only damage the chances of the excursion going off without a hitch. So it's possible that this first leg of his trip could provide something of a reprieve.
Known to dislike long trips, the president will be joined by his wife Melania, who has until now cut a highly discreet figure at his side.
The President's debut foreign tour was always going to mark a significant test, given the challenging itinerary and his own complete lack of diplomatic experience.
"Any foreign trip is a high-wire act".
In addition, the sheer logistical challenge meanwhile of moving a President around the world is enormous.
"He came into office suggesting not".
But notably, the Trump White House has not announced any press conferences over the nine-day trip.
Catchphrases aside, many questions remain unanswered. "But I think everyone will be watching for that". Can the trip work as a restart of some kind for his administration? However, as a noted homebody, he might find it more hard to relax in a foreign capital than at his Mar-a-Lago resort where he has hosted several foreign dignitaries. And experts said domestic issues can't help but to be a distraction. No one can guarantee he is ready to move on from blasting the Russian Federation probe.
In Europe especially, they want to know whether Trump will pull out of the Paris climate accord and want to test his true feelings for Russian Federation, which is seen as a threat in much of Europe.
The trip doesn't get easier from there. Not Trump, though in truth his hostility to the North America Free Trade Agreement would have made either of those stops challenging. Second, to continue building key relationships with world leaders.
Still, Trump does have one advantage. "We have a lot of great things going on", he said.
They are pre-disposed to the reset that Trump says he represents. After leaving the Middle East, the president will meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members in Belgium. As Donald Trump reaches Saudi Arabia, all eyes are turning to the Middle East. He's also likely to complain about the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal, though his administration has certified that Tehran is sticking to the terms of the agreement.
KEITH: Being ISIS. In Saudi Arabia, President Trump will give a speech to the leaders of some 50 Muslim-majority countries.
"He will call for Muslim leaders to promote a peaceful vision of Islam", he said. Now that he's president he says it isn't obsolete. Obama's agenda and announcements on those trips were completely overshadowed by the campaign. Trump's first overseas trip is to the Middle East, a region mired in deep conflict and political maelstrom.
Trump is expected to be welcomed warmly by leaders in Riyadh and Jerusalem, but lingering questions over his views on the Iran nuclear deal, commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation security and skepticism of the Paris climate agreement could generate tension at meetings with European counterparts in Brussels and Sicily.
CORNISH: Meanwhile, his stops in Europe will include a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance in Brussels, also the G-7 in Italy.
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