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Trump's First Foreign Trip Comes At Precarious Time For White House

Trump's First Foreign Trip Comes At Precarious Time For White House

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.

On Friday, May 19, 2017, the First Lady will join her husband President Donald J. Trump on an eight-day, five-stop trek to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Israel, Rome, Brussels, and Sicily, returning to Washington, DC, on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

That was before he fired his Federal Bureau of Investigation director - and the chain reaction of scandal that followed.

Trump declared Thursday that he's the subject of the "greatest witch hunt" in political history after former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named special counsel to oversee the investigation into the Trump team's ties to Russian Federation.

This is the president's first worldwide 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. US allies have been rattled by his warnings about pulling back from the world.

Trump generated controversy as a presidential candidate with his call that Muslims be banned temporarily from entering the United States.

The meetings build on some issues the first daughter has already worked on at the White House.

The sojourn overseas, his first foreign trip since taking office in January, may or may not help.

Large blocs of the President's schedule over the past two weeks have been given over to trip preparation, an effort led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has acted as a primary coordinator with foreign governments to plan Trump's schedule overseas.

In fact, Trump is the first president since Jimmy Carter whose first foreign destination wasn't Mexico or Canada.

The president's travel comes on the heels of a number of highly publicized controversies, including the recent firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The official insisted on anonymity in order to discuss planning details.

A speech was added in Saudi Arabia to provide an "inspiring yet direct" message to the Islamic world, according to national security adviser H.R. McMaster. US policy holds that ownership of the holiest site where Jews can pray, as with the rest of Jerusalem, is subject to Israeli-Palestinian negotiation. Trump denounced Francis during the campaign, calling the holiest man in the Catholic faith "disgraceful" for questioning his faith.

Trump is also expected to give remarks at the Israeli Museum before later meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 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.

"It's really meant to be more of a touching base for the president", said Heather Conley, former deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Saudi Arabia is holding the event under the slogan Together We Prevail, in hopes of fighting extremist ideologies and co-operating with USA and Islamic allies to strengthen economic relations.

He's expected to later have a "working lunch" with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, McMaster said.

"His way of doing diplomacy, which really contrasts with President Obama's approach, is to. prioritize the personal relationship", said Michael Singh, a foreign policy adviser to former Republican President George W. Bush. But the downside is that it could be dominated by domestic-style questions. "This is a great opportunity for the president to change the subject, to make real news. The whole world is watching".