Monday, 21 August, 2017

Trump Embarks On First International Trip Amid Continuing Controversy

Freda Brock | 19 May, 2017, 20:20

President Donald Trump will leave Friday afternoon on his first worldwide trip since taking office, a five-country journey to meet with some of the most important figures in the Middle East and Europe.

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.

In Israel, Ivanka Trump - who converted to Judaism when she married husband Jared Kushner - will visit the Western Wall with the president.

Meanwhile, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted on war crime and genocide charges, will not attend an Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia this weekend in which Mr Trump is a guest of honour, citing private reasons, according to Sudanese state media.

KEITH: Well, President Trump had previously said that he thought North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was obsolete.

Will it be the populist, "America first" president who declared to union workers on April 4 that he was "not president of the world?" The nine-day trip will be his longest since becoming president.

Probe will prove no conspiracy with Russia: Donald Trump
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: "He's probably glad to leave town, and a lot of us are glad he's leaving for a few days". Striking a defiant stance, he added: "You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams".

Trumps' schedule includes an official visit to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium, and the trip includes an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

But the backdrop that can upset the trip will be the endless stream of revelations that have plagued his administration since the day in January when he was sworn in. They've run the gamut from sharing of sensitive national security information with Russian officials to the disclosure that his former national security adviser was being paid by Turkish interests when he made a key foreign policy decision. "They were very disappointed with (former U.S.) President (Barack) Obama who they thought favored Iran rather than them".

This is the president's first global trip, but Ivanka Trump made a brief trip to Germany in April to appear on a panel at a conference dedicated to helping women in business.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders are anxious. Also he will meet with President Macron of France, newly elected. And they want to keep the visit focused on such activities and not on statements that might turn into polemics.

To date, Trump has left foreign travel to his top aides and Cabinet members, including Vice President Mike Pence, who has twice traveled overseas, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

This trip will take the president out of his comfort zone.

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