As President Donald Trump gets ready to visit Saudi Arabia on Saturday and Sunday, his hosts are prepared to give the billionaire-turned-politician a little taste of home.
According to a Friday report from The Associated Press, “Caterers are planning to offer the president steak and ketchup alongside the lamb and hefty portions of rice on the menu. All the meat will have been butchered in a Shariah-compliant halal manner as per Islamic custom.”
The report added that “Trump’s hosts on his upcoming trip are well aware of his aversion to travel and are trying to make accommodations to keep him happy.”
This will be Trump’s first foreign tour since assuming the presidency in January. The trip comes at a time of heavy uproar about the sacking of FBI Director James Comey.
In the aftermath, a decision was made to appoint a special counsel to oversee alleged Russian influence on the U.S. election.
Trump heavily criticized the move, calling it a “witch hunt.”
Now, as he leaves the country, the president’s nine-day tour will take him Israel, the Vatican and then a pair of summits in Brussels and Sicily.
“Can he move forward with his own agenda? That will certainly be a question as he visits any country overseas,” said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Throughout his campaign and presidency, Trump embraced what he describes as an “America First” approach to foreign policy.
That message was reflected in a Twitter post the president published shortly before departing.
Getting ready for my big foreign trip. Will be strongly protecting American interests – that’s what I like to do!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2017
It was also reported that White House aides were concerned about how the president, who is 70 years old, would take to the challenges of foreign travel.
“The chance of something going wrong — you insult the hosts, you get sick, your boss gets sick, you miscommunicate with your hosts, you make a scheduling error, you need to change the schedule just hours before a meeting, the motorcade gets stuck in traffic, or the plane is stranded due to bad weather — is extremely high,” said Julianne Smith, who served as a foreign policy adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and is now a senior fellow at the Center for New American Security.
“Personally, I think they should cut it back now before they regret it,” she added.
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