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President Donald Trump has departed on a five-stop diplomacy tour through Europe and the Middle East that will cover 15,600 miles in the air over the course of nine days.
The president, the first lady Melania Trump, Chief of staff Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, and Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, left the White House aboard Marine One just before 2pm Friday, EST.
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Fifteen minutes later, the group arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The first couple stopped and waved as they boarded Air Force One. They are currently on a 12-hour flight to Saudi Arabia.
The chaos-courting leader of the free world is meeting his crucial first test abroad while facing a chain-reaction scandal of his own making, which exploded when he fired his FBI director last week.
Sooner - President - Entourage - Firma - Friday
No sooner had the President and his entourage left terra firma on Friday, more revelations threatened to add fuel to the fire under the president. The New York Times claim that when President Trump met with Russian officials he called then FBI Director Comey 'crazy and 'a real nut job.'
Then the Washington Post claimed the FBI investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 election pointed the finger at a senior White House official close to the president. A New York Magazine reporter then claimed in an unconfirmed tweet that the person is senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
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The last four U.S. presidents kept their first international voyages confined to North America. Not so for Trump.
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He will deliver a high-stakes speech about Islam in the heart of Saudi Arabia, meet with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his nemesis Mahmoud Abbas and take in an audience with Pope Francis.
And that's before a NATO summit and a meeting of the G7 leaders.
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Trump said Friday, after a quiet morning at the White House...
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