Saudi Arabia's human rights record scrutinzed ahead of Trump visit
Saudi Arabia's human rights record scrutinzed ahead of Trump visit
20 May, 2017, 00:56
Trump departs on his first worldwide trip Friday, a nine-day visit overseas to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels and a Group of Seven meeting in Sicily.
Now, with the eyes of the world upon him, the president will embark on his big trip carrying the baggage of dire troubles at home.
But a political uproar in Washington over Trump's firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, allegations that he pressed Comey to stop investigating former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and the subsequent appointment of a special counsel to look into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties with Trump's campaign threaten to overshadow his trip.
When President Clinton went on trips, questions followed about the various investigations surrounding him and his administration.
Trump's trip was always going to be dramatic.
All are members of the US coalition striking Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria, as well as among the world's top energy producers and biggest military spenders.
But the most striking moment of Trump's visit to the kingdom will be his speech about Islam, given his critical campaign rhetoric and attempt to impose a temporary entry ban on residents of a number of Muslim nations soon after taking office. Trump's advisers saw it as an opportunity for the United States to boldly reassert itself on the world stage and resume a leadership role that the administration believes was abdicated by President Barack Obama.
Mr Trump's speech will also have input from his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Mr McMaster and his deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, CNN reports.
Still, Trump hasn't been eager to seize the opportunity. President Trump's first trip is much farther from home.
The appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether there was any collusion between Trump aides and the Kremlin's election hacking effort capped a stunning rush of events unleashed by the President's firing of FBI Director James Comey, who declined Trump's request to shield former national security adviser Michael Flynn in the Russian Federation probe, The New York Times first reported and CNN confirmed.
The stakes will be far higher as President Trump makes his debut on the global stage. Another stark difference is Trump's first stop: Saudi Arabia. President Trump is scheduled to meet President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Israel was in an uproar earlier this week after US officials confirmed Trump shared highly classified intelligence about the Islamic State group with senior Russian officials visiting the White House.
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. Trump denounced Francis during the campaign, calling the holiest man in the Catholic faith "disgraceful" for questioning his faith. Key parts of the group are unsettled by Trump's unpredictability and his willingness to cheer on nationalist sentiment. He'll visit the birthplace of Islam, the Jewish homeland and the Vatican. Dr. David says Iran and the Palestinian peace process are top concerns, and the visit to the Western Wall also will be significant.
"This trip will convey that America is back", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a news conference at the State Department.
While Middle East experts expect Trump to be warmly welcomed in Saudi Arabia and Israel, he could be received in Europe with some trepidation.
"I will tell him what I think, he will tell me what he thinks, but I never wanted to judge someone before I listen to the person first", said the pope.
Trump will also meet the new French President Emmanuel Macron.
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But he said he changed his mind after speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. That means the US government must look at Mexican and Canadian suppliers as favorably as it does with American suppliers.
Lewis and myself picked up wheel-spin straight away. "What can I say? He was respectful and that stayed the same even at the end". One of the best drives was that of young German-Mauritian Pascal Wehrlein in the Sauber.
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He is also senior counsel at NY law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres , whose founder Marc Kasowitz has represented Trump . He later registered as an Independent, but he continued to serve with the Democratic caucus in the Senate.
This is risky business that the first choice for National Security Advisor turned out to be a liar in the White House. The White House, Spicer explained, was skeptical of Yates because she was "not exactly a supporter of the president".
Tottenham lost 1-0 to West Ham United on Friday night as Pochettino's men failed to cut Chelsea's lead at the top of the table. After a troubled campaign, this was a rare uplifting moment for West Ham.
Mueller was appointed Wednesday by Rosenstein, who had faced criticism as the author of a memo that preceded Comey's firing. Rosenstein's decision to name a special counsel seems to have helped redeem his reputation as a nonpartisan operative.
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