DC Roundup: Trump’s Speech, Israel Visit, Pence Commencement Speech
Developments over the weekend concerning President Donald Trump include his speech to Arab and Muslim leaders, which called for unity in fighting terrorism, his schedule for visiting Israel on Monday, his firing of FBI Director James Comey continues to draw fire in Washington, and some students at Notre Dame University walk out on a commencement speech by Vice President Mike Pence:
Many Muslims Hopeful, Some Wary About Trump's Saudi Speech � Many Muslims around the world reacted positively to U.S. President Donald Trump's speech Sunday to dozens of Arab and Muslim leaders at the Arab Islamic American Summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh. There, Trump called for Muslim unity in the fight against terrorism. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had called for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S. But Sunday he outlined his vision for U.S.-Muslim relations and the need for Muslim countries to jointly combat terrorism, saying the fight against terrorism was "a battle between good and evil."
Trump Calls for Muslim Unity in Fight Against Terrorism � Trump called Sunday for Muslim unity in the fight against terrorism, telling dozens of Arab and Muslim leaders at a regional summit in Riyadh it was "a battle between good and evil." Trump, in his first overseas trip as president, said the U.S. wants a coalition of nations "who share the aim of stamping out extremism.
Trump Making First Official Visit to Israel � Trump on Monday makes his first official visit to Israel, where he is determined to broker a long elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump's schedule includes talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center.
In Israel, Trump to Pursue 'Ultimate Deal' � President Trump has cast the elusive pursuit of peace between Israelis and Palestinians as the ultimate deal. But he will step foot in Israel having offered few indications of how he plans to achieve what so many of his predecessors could not.
Trump in Saudi Arabia, But Back Home Focus Still on Comey Firing � Trump focused Sunday on a major address to Muslim leaders at a summit in Riyadh, but back home the day's news shows were dominated by talk of his firing of FBI chief James Comey and investigations into the Trump campaign's links to Russia.
Dozens Walk Out on Pence at Notre Dame Graduation � More than 100 graduating students at the University of Notre Dame walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at their commencement ceremony. Pence was chosen to give the commencement address at the nation's most prominent Catholic university - even though the school ordinarily invites newly inaugurated presidents to give the address in their first year of office. Thousands of students and faculty members had signed a petition asking Notre Dame's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, not to invite Trump.
Tillerson: US Expressed 'Dismay' Over Violence at Turkish Embassy � Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. has expressed its "dismay" to Turkish officials about last week's clash in which Turkish security personnel apparently attacked demonstrators in Washington. Tillerson told Fox News Sunday that Turkey's ambassador to the U.S. has been told that last Tuesday's violence was "simply unacceptable."
Trump Budget Outline Reflects Support for Charter Schools � President Trump is proposing drastic cuts in many education programs but expansion of programs that favor charter schools, according to The Washington Post, which published a story earlier this week based on a leaked document. Chad Miller, a former congressional staff member and current director of education policy for the American Action Forum, told VOA that Trump's proposed cuts to the Department of Education were no surprise, given the president's public statements.
McMaster: Trump's FBI Comments to Russians Were Aimed at Cooperation � Trump raised the firing of his FBI director in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister to explain why he had been unable to find areas of cooperation with Moscow, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said on Sunday. "The gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news," he said in an interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
At Refugee Camp, Trump Envoy Haley Vows More Aid for Syrians � U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley met on Sunday with Syrian refugee students in Amman, Jordan. Yet as Haley pledged that the U.S. would increase support, her message was diluted by Trump's own vow to put America First, his planned budget cuts and hardline position on admitting refugees.
In Saudi Arabia, Melania Trump Opts to Keep Her Head Bare � Ignoring President Donald Trump's past admonition, U.S. first lady Melania Trump did not cover her head Saturday when they arrived in Saudi Arabia. Two years ago, then-citizen Trump criticized then-first lady Michelle Obama's decision to go bare-headed on a January 2015 visit with her husband.
Once Wary of Trump, Montana GOP Candidate is All In � When candidate Trump visited Montana last year ahead of the state's Republican presidential primary, technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte was running on the GOP ticket for governor and made it a point to avoid his party's likely presidential nominee. Now, the multimillionaire technology entrepreneur is trying to win an open seat in Congress and has gone all in on Trump.
Centerpiece of Trump's Second Day in Saudi Arabia: Address to 50 Leaders � Trump was to deliver an address Sunday in Riyadh to dozens of Arab and Muslim leaders at a regional summit focusing on combating extremism.
Trump, Saudi King Sign Defense Deals Worth Hundreds of Billions of Dollars � Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz and U.S. President Trump signed a nearly $110 billion agreement Saturday to bolster the military capabilities of Saudi Arabia.
Tillerson: Saudi Arms Deal Meant to Counter Iranian Influence � An arms deal worth nearly $110 billion that Saudi Arabia and the United States signed Saturday is meant to counter Iran's malign influence in the region, said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who held a joint briefing in Riyadh with his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
Trump Lands in Saudi Arabia, First Stop on First Foreign Trip � Early Saturday, President Trump opened his first trip abroad since taking office, touching down in Saudi Arabia after an overnight flight from Washington.
Source: Voice of America