What to watch for during Trump’s first foreign trip as president

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President Trump leaves for his first foreign trip in office Friday. It will highlight three major world religions.

The first stop on his eight-day trip is Saudi Arabia, where he’ll attend a summit with leaders from across the Arab and Muslim world. Then he heads to Israel, followed by a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican. The final leg of his trip includes a NATO meeting in Brussels, Belgium and a G-7 economic summit in Sicily.

According to Ian Bremmer, founding president of Eurasia Group, a global risk consulting company, the plan is “a very well put together trip in terms of Trump’s capabilities.”

“Almost any president goes to Canada or Mexico [first]. The last seven have all gone to Canada or Mexico. He’s not doing that. He’s going to Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis and the Israelis are the two leaders in the world that most wanted to see the back of President Obama, right, in terms of American allies. And so they’re really happy to see Trump,” Bremmer said Friday on “CBS This Morning.”

“They will be personally warm, physically warm. There will be a lot of pomp, showing Trump what a great guy he is, big celebrations. And they’ll make some announcements, new arms deals, for example, new cooperation on security,” Bremmer added. “Trump just had another bombing run against some allies of [Syrian President] Assad yesterday, showing that he’s doing more to support the Saudis in the region.”

However, Bremmer was wary about whether the trip would go smoothly.

“First, he steps on himself constantly. He’s now done that domestically with the enormous scandals that aren’t going to go away,” Bremmer said. “While he’s on this trip, he’s going to have to take those questions, deal with those headlines.”

With a special counsel looking into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia, and fired FBI Director James Comey’s memo revealing Mr. Trump asked Comey to end the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump is under increased scrutiny.

Bremmer said he’d find it to be a successful trip if “Trump can just get through the meetings.”

“Remember how China went. Before the big China meeting, he was saying, ‘You’re manipulating currency. I might be working with the Taiwanese.’ Afterward, ‘Hey, we’re buddies now,’ right? What we need on this trip is that kind of a showing, that when the president is in a meeting with a major leader, ‘No, we’re working with NATO now. No, I know I said I wanted a weak Europe but actually I’m OK with [French President Emmanuel] Macron. I’m OK with [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel.”

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