Trump, dogged by questions at home, makes first trip abroad

Trump arrives in S Arabia today on maiden foreign trip

As unrelenting shockers keep streaming in from the White House, one more has a senior Trump administration official on the record, saying, "I don't see how Trump isn't completely f-ed".

Both speeches were being drafted by Trump's policy adviser Stephen Miller, who helped write Trump's convention and inaugural addresses, with input from the large collection of advisers who are helping to plan the trip: son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, McMaster and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

"Every time I feel like we're getting a handle on the last Russian Federation fiasco, a new one pops", the senior staffer said Monday, according to the Daily Beast.

"I'm not here", she said. One even argued that the staffers should start keeping diaries and asking themselves, "How long do you put up with it?"

The White House was forced to disavow comments by a USA official planning Trump's stop who claimed the Western Wall was in the West Bank and not a part of Israeli territory.

The frank comment had the tongues of some politicos and media insiders' wagging.

Mr Haass said he would have advised Mr Trump not to attempt a trip of this scale even before the Comey controversy.

Or, will it be the Donald Trump who a week later stood with the secretary-general of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - an organization he'd earlier declared obsolete - and pledged to work with the decades-old alliance to clean up a messy world? Many of them perceive the string of scandals from this week - including news that Trump shared classified Israeli intelligence with Russian officials and asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn - as so devastating that they can't imagine Trump regaining his credibility.

At NATO and the Group of 7 summits, foreign delegations have gotten word that the new USA president prefers short presentations and lots of visual aids. Not Trump, though in truth his hostility to the North America Free Trade Agreement would have made either of those stops challenging.

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Still, Trump does have one advantage.

They are pre-disposed to the reset that Trump says he represents.

There will likely be a warm reception waiting for him in Israel and Saudi Arabia, where he has two key things going for him: he isn't Barack Obama, who was widely disliked there by the end of his presidency, and he has taken a hard line on Iran.

"Does he invest in the relationship with the Atlantic partners in the same way that every president has done since Pearl Harbor?" wondered Charles Kupchan, former advisor to Obama.

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.

His aim, his national security adviser General HR McMaster says, is "to broadcast a message of unity to America's friends and to the faithful of the followers of three of the world's greatest religions".

The speech is a high-risk, high-reward opportunity, but is hard to get right, said Jonathan Finer, who served as director of policy planning for former secretary of state John Kerry.

Will it be the populist, "America first" president who declared to union workers on April 4 that he was "not president of the world?" "It's something that I think is frankly maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years", he said during a recent meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he often flew home after a day of campaigning rather than staying in hotels overnight. U.S. officials had warned that acting now could end the President's hopes of reigniting the Middle East peace process.

Trump will meet members of the North Atlantic alliance in Brussels, before heading on to a G7 summit in Taormina, a picturesque Sicilian town overlooking the Mediterranean. Don't expect a major announcement about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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