Trump, dogged by questions at home, makes first trip abroad

The details emerged as people close to the President anxious that he may not be able to stick to the script and avoid more problems as he heads out on his first foreign trip.

Ivanka Trump will travel with the president to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Italy on his upcoming foreign trip, a White House official said. Trump will later attend the 28th North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Belgium, and the 43rd G7 summit in Taormina, Italy.

Each stop comes with high stakes.

Bush drew fire after his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Slovenia in June 2001, when he said he had looked the former KGB chief in the eye and "I was able to get a sense of his soul".

But a political uproar in Washington over Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, allegations that he pressed Comey to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the subsequent appointment of a special counsel to look into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties with Trump's campaign threaten to overshadow his trip.

He's slated to have coffee with King Salman, go to bilateral meetings with members of the royal family and attend a royal banquet, McMaster told reporters.

On issues big and small, Trump has repeatedly flipped back and forth between isolationism and interventionism, and world leaders are eager to find out which perspective will emerge on a trip that is already being viewed with trepidation by foreign policy experts.

McMaster said Trump will then have lunch with dozens of leaders of Muslim countries before he delivers "an inspiring, yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and his hopes ... for a peaceful vision of Islam to dominate across the world".

Trump is also expected to later participate in "the inauguration of a new center meant to fight radicalism and promote moderation" as well as in a Twitter forum.

Trump also plans to have a working lunch with recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday, and later meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders, accompanied by Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Kushner has led daily morning meetings to discuss the trip's agenda and objectives, according to a senior administration official speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Trump is planning to tour St. Peter's. It's also rife with pitfalls for a President known to speak candidly and without regard for protocol.

Trump will later meet with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu before a private dinner.

He will later meet with the presidents of the European Union and the European Council. That includes France's newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, who denounced Trump's musings on abandoning the Paris climate treaty, a likely point of contention in Sicily.

The trip could be a chance for the president to counter critics who accuse him of being anti-Muslim because of the order he issued, now blocked by USA courts, temporarily banning entry into the United States by citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.

Or, will it be the Donald Trump who a week later stood with the secretary-general of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - an organization he'd earlier declared obsolete - and pledged to work with the decades-old alliance to clean up a messy world?

Although he kept a grueling schedule as a presidential candidate, Trump is fond of being home at night, often flying back to NY after campaign events to sleep in his own bed.

Trump is planning to speak to US troops at Sigonella Naval Air Station before he leaves Italy.

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