Donald Trump has completed the three legs of his whirlwind first foreign trip as US President without incident or gaffe so far.
The propensity for disaster was huge as Trump visited the cradles of three major world religions – Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.
An ill-judged remark at any of them could have offended millions of Christians, Jews or Muslims.
The headlines coming from the visits include:
- A controversial $350 million arms deal between the US and Saudis
- Trump calling for moderate Muslim communities to root out extremists
- A frosty first lady Melania Trump rebuffing her husband’s advances to hold her hand in public at least twice
Next on the list are drop-ins on NATO and G7 developed nations summits in Italy before a return to Washington.
Meeting the Pope
Trump met Pope Francis for 30 minutes at The Vatican before a tour of the Sistine Chapel, where the extravagant and colourful ceilings by Renaissance artist Michelangelo are on display.
The president was heard to tell the Pope that his visit was a ‘great honour’.
The meeting went well, according to Vatican sources, despite clashes between the Pope and Trump during in his election campaign.
Francis criticised Trump’s pledge to build a wall between the US and Mexico, and his moves to stop Muslim immigrants and refugees from entering the country.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said.
Comey still haunts Washington shadows
The NATO summit is expected to be unwelcoming for Trump as he has demanded members states should pay more for their defence and branded the organisation as ‘irrelevant’.
Meanwhile, the trip seems to have relieved some pressure at home for the president.
Although arrangements have gathered pace to hear FBI evidence in the inquiry into if the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians against Hillary Clinton.
Former FBI boss James Comey is due to tell the inquiry just what was said between him and Trump at various meetings.
Comey’s confidant and friend Benjamin Wittes explained Trump and his advisers should be running scared of what the evidence may say.