Sharif to leave for S Arabia tomorrow, could meet Trump

The New York Times reported Trump had called Comey a "nut job" in a private meeting last week in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak.

President Donald Trump is opening his first trip overseas since taking office, touching down in Saudi Arabia after an overnight flight from Washington.

The president will also meet members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels and attend a G7 summit in the picturesque Sicilian town of Taormina overlooking the Mediterranean.

The president, first lady Melania Trump and top White House aides touched down Saturday morning in Riyadh.

He's also expected to announce a series of new agreements with the kingdom, including a $100 million arms deal that was brokered primarily by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman signed a series of agreements cementing their countries' military and economic partnerships.

Several jets also flew overhead leaving a red, white and blue trail. It says that it's "Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia" and says Trump is "Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead".

The Saudis' warn welcome appeared to lift the spirits of Trump's beleaguered staff, ensnared in a seemingly endless cycle of negative stories involving Comey's firing and the intensifying Russian Federation investigations. On Wednesday, the Justice Department relented to calls from Democrats to name a special counsel, tapping former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller to lead the probe.

President Donald Trump is arriving for his official welcome to Saudi Arabia.

"That was a tremendous day, tremendous investments in the United States", Trump said during a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

The scandals have revived questions about his ability to strike a presidential tone with his foreign counterparts, with Trump declaring himself the victim of the "greatest witch hunt" in American political history. In addition, Comey agreed to testify at an open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee in the near future, the panel said.

Trump was greeted by King Salman of Saudi Arabia. The king did not greet Obama at the airport during his final visit to the nation a year ago. Billboards featuring images of Trump and the king dotted the highways of Riyadh, emblazoned with the motto "Together we prevail".

President Donald Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia met briefly for a coffee ceremony after the president's arrival Saturday in Riyadh.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told reporters on the plane that Mr Trump spent the flight meeting with staff, working on his upcoming speech to the Muslim world and getting a little sleep.

Abdulaziz organised a small reception for Trump, who was accompanied by his wife Melania Trump. In 2015, her husband had, in a tweet, criticized former first lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a headscarf during a visit to the kingdom. He's also hoping to move past the controversies engulfing his administration.

Saudi Arabia aims to take the fight beyond military action "because we know these groups can only be defeated if we defeat their ideology", he said. The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications and cybersecurity technology.

On Sunday, Trump is to participate in a meeting with member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as a summit with leaders and representatives from around 50 Middle Eastern and Islamic countries. The White House at the time said she meant to make a statement in a country where women have few rights.

It noticeably refrains from mentioning democracy and human rights - topics Arab leaders often view as U.S. moralising - in favour of the more limited goals of peace and stability.

The scheduling choice is designed in part to show respect to the region after months of harsh anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.

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