Donald Trump is reluctant traveller
When Donald Trump sits down for dinner in Saudi Arabia, caterers have ensured that his favourite meal – steak with a side of ketchup – will be offered alongside the traditional local cuisine.
At Nato and the G7 summits, delegations have received word that the new US president prefers short presentations and plenty of visual aids, and at all of the five stops on his first overseas trip, his team has spent weeks trying to build daily downtime into his schedule.
It is all part of a worldwide effort to accommodate America’s homebody president on a voyage with increasingly raised stakes, given the ballooning controversy involving his campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
For a former international businessman, Mr Trump simply does not have an affinity for much international activity.
Even before his trip morphed from a quick jaunt to Europe into a nine-day behemoth, White House aides were on edge about how the president would take to the gruelling pressures of foreign travel, such as time zone changes and the local delicacies.
Two officials said they feared that a difficult trip might even lead the president to hand over future travelling duties to vice president Mike Pence.
Mr Trump’s final itinerary hardly eases him into the delicate world of international diplomacy on foreign soil. After departing on Friday on an overnight flight on Air Force One, he will hopscotch from Saudi Arabia to Israel to the Vatican. He will close his trip with a pair of summits in Brussels and Sicily.