- Title: Embroiled in controversies, Trump seeks boost on foreign trip
- Date: 18th May 2017
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (MAY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEATHER HURLBURT, FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT AT NEW AMERICA, SAYING: "The good news, I think, for President Trump is that his core supporters here don't care that much what the rest of the world thinks about him, so from that sort of point-of-view, the stakes are not that high, and you know, he's had a pretty bad week here, so in some ways that guarantees him a reset and pictures with him looking presidential, which is always helpful for an American audience." JERUSALEM (MAY 16, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DOME OF THE ROCK AT THE HEART OF JERUSALEM'S OLD CITY JERUSALEM (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF JEWISH MEN PRAYING AT THE WESTERN WALL TAORMINA, ITALY (RECENT) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH STREETS AS CITY PREPARES FOR G7 SUMMIT "TAORMINA, SICILIA" BAGS FOR SALE OUTSIDE STORE VARIOUS OF CREWS WORKING AT HELIPORT SITE VARIOUS OF SOLDIER LOOKING OUT AT SEA WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (MAY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEATHER HURLBURT, FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT AT NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION, SAYING: "You know, what you want is that at the end of it leaders come away with a clearer sense of: this is what the administration really stands for. And I don't know that we're going to get that."
- Embargoed: 1st June 2017 22:20
- Keywords: Palestinians Israel Saudi Arabia G7 NATO first foreign trip President Donald Trump
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C. / JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES / ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND / PARIS, FRANCE / IN AIR / JERUSALEM / TAORMINA, ITALY / VATICAN
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C. / JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES / ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND / PARIS, FRANCE / IN AIR / JERUSALEM / TAORMINA, ITALY / VATICAN
- Country: USA
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00D6HDAB7R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Besieged by controversy at home, U.S. President Donald Trump is under pressure to stick to the script and avoid fresh flare-ups when he embarks this week on his first foreign trip, a nine-day trek to the Middle East and Europe.
White House officials and Republicans close to the administration say Trump, who campaigned on an "America First" slogan, wants to demonstrate leadership abroad on his visit with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Israel and the West Bank, the pope at the Vatican, NATO leaders in Brussels and G7 counterparts in Sicily.
Trump faces fierce criticism over his sharing of sensitive national security information with Russian officials and his firing last week of FBI Director James Comey. Allegations that he previously asked Comey to end an investigation into his former national security adviser drew a new round of attacks on Tuesday.
Airing his frustrations on Twitter, Trump has lashed out at leaks to the news media from officials inside his administration. Confidants say a staff shake-up is possible, although major changes are unlikely before Trump's foreign trip.
His political woes will add to Trump's challenges as he tries to bolster ties abroad.
Some doubt whether Trump, a businessman-turned politician who never held elective office before becoming president in January, is ready for a smooth presidential debut abroad.
One Republican official, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, said after meeting Trump recently he did not think the president had a firm enough grasp on the nuances of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
White House advisers insisted Trump was up to speed on the Middle East, having already hosted Arab, Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the White House.
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