while visiting both Saudi Arabia and Israel is a welcome gesture, Richard Nixon tried the same thing in 1974, and nobody was distracted.
.. It’s true that during the campaign Trump suggested the Saudis were somehow involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, that they “push gays off buildings” and “kill women and treat women horribly.” On the other hand, he also told one rally that he got along “great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”
Whatever else you complain about, give the man credit for flexibility.
.. Peter Baker reported in The Times that as heads of state were preparing for the big trip, all of them were being primed to remember to bring up that Electoral College thing a lot.
.. Pope Francis, with whom Trump conducted a verbal war over wall-building. But that’s all over, and the president now clearly appreciates Francis as the great moral leader he is. (“I think he’s got a lot of personality.”)
.. When the meeting is over, the other people at the table often come away very pleased with themselves, unaware he has already forgotten everything they said.
.. The Vatican talk will probably be about refugees and immigration. It’s possible Francis will feel they had a real meeting of the minds. The president will recall that the pope is shorter than he is.
.. There definitely is something about him that makes people want to increase their defense budgets.
.. Trump has spent his entire political career warning Americans that “the world is laughing at us.” But now it really, really is. Europe is awash in stories about the two-to-four-minute limit on remarks during the NATO discussions.