"No president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslims faiths all on one trip," says National Security Adviser HR McMaster—and President Trump's critics say there are probably good reasons why.
Trump departs Friday for an ambitious first foreign trip as president that will include Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, a NATO meeting in Belgium, and the G7 summit in Sicily.
A roundup of coverage:
- Trump's first stop on the nine-day trip will be Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to address the leaders of 50 Muslim countries, CNN reports. McMaster says Trump's goal is "to unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress, and prosperity," and his speech in Riyadh will focus on the need to "confront radical ideology" and allow a "peaceful vision of Islam" to dominate.
- Trump's second stop will be Israel, where his plans include visits to the Western Wall and the West Bank town of Bethlehem. Newsweek reports that the president had to call off a planned speech at the ancient hilltop site of Masada after Israel declined to allow a helicopter landing. A source tell the Jerusalem Post that Trump will not propose a peace plan at this point, though he may state his opposition to Israeli settlement expansion.