- The Washington Times - Friday, May 19, 2017

As he prepared for his first trip abroad at president, President Trump promised that his mission overseas would be to keep America safe.

“Getting ready for my big foreign trip. Will be strongly protecting American interests - that’s what I like to do!” Mr. Trump tweeted just hours before his scheduled departure.

The trip to the Middle East and Europe also will give the president a welcome break from the Washington turmoil over accusations the Trump campaign colluded with Russian spies to impact the U.S. election.

In the tweet, he was already using the historic journey to change the subject and highlight his national security agenda.

Mr. Trump’s first stop on the eight-day tour will be Saudi Arabia, where he’ll meet with leaders of the Muslim world and seek greater cooperation in combating radical Islamic terrorism and the threat from Iran.

The trip will continue to Israel and Vatican City in Rome, as he visits the homeland and holy sites of three major world religions.

The president then will attend a NATO leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, and a G-7 meeting in Sicily.

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