Friday, May 19, 2017

Trump travels to Saudi Arabia as bombshells multiply in Washington

Gregory Korte, USA TODAY
image from article
President Trump will begin an ambitious five-city, nine-day foreign trip in Saudi Arabia on Saturday with the goal of uniting the Muslim world against terror — even as his presidency is embroiled in a quickly escalating controversy over his ties to the Russian government. ...
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Trump would deliver an "inspiring, yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology."
Obama often used such trips to engage in public diplomacy, addressing not just foreign leaders but their citizens in town hall-style meetings where he often took questions. Trump's nod to public diplomacy will come through his own preferred format: A social media event with young people "who will be able to live tweet his remarks to people all over the world," McMaster said.
The Tweeps Forum, a five-year-old initiative of the a foundation with ties to the Saudi government, will “discuss how social media platforms can empower people against extremism and terrorism,” according to organizers.
That might be the closest that Trump comes to answering questions during the trip. Foreign visits usually provide extraordinary press access to the president, with a press conference with foreign leaders at each stop.
But notably, the Trump White House has not announced any press conferences over the nine-day trip.

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