Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Melania Trump skips headscarf as she arrives in Saudi Arabia

Melania Trump skips headscarf as she arrives in Saudi Arabia

During his speech, however, Trump is expected to hail the Saudi government as a strong Muslim ally and a partner in the fight against extremism.

White House officials hope the trip gives Trump the opportunity to recalibrate after one of the most hard stretches of his young presidency.

To be sure, the Saudi monarchs have ample reasons to give Trump a fair amount of latitude even he says things they do not like. "Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead".

On the drive to the Ritz hotel where Trump is staying, King Salman rode with the president in the heavily armored presidential limousine nicknamed "the Beast".

Trump flew to Riyadh overnight on Air Force One and was welcomed during an elaborate ceremony at the airport, punctuated by a military flyover and a handshake from Saudi King Salman. The distinction also was bestowed upon Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Joining Trump inside was a long parade of advisers, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and Trump's former bodyguard, Keith Schiller.

The president's stop in Saudi Arabia kicks off an ambitious global debut.

Trump and Salman were expected to oversee the signing on Saturday afternoon of multiple agreements between American and Saudi companies, including between the Saudi oil giant Aramco and various U.S. firms.

Also joining the President: first lady Melania Trump, who disembarked Air Force One alongside her husband Saturday in a flowing black jumpsuit with a gold belt.

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First lady Melania Trump walked down the aisle of Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport Saturday morning without wearing a head scarf, following in the footsteps of former first lady Michelle Obama, who created a stir when she visited the country in 2015.

Melania followed the example of her predecessor Michelle Obama, who during a visit to the country in 2015, attended several public events without a headscarf, ABC News reported.

Fashion hounds suspected that First Lady Melania Trump would wear something more conservative than the leather skirt Melania wore, as reported by the Inquisitr, when President Donald Trump and Mrs. Trump left the US en route to their big foreign trip.

On Saturday, however, none of the women in Trump's delegation covered their hair, and there appeared to be little consternation from the many Saudi men who greeted them at the airport. The White House bungled the president's stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing a federal investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump's selection of Saudi Arabia as his maiden overseas trip perhaps signals that he is ready to change his behavior and tone to embrace a country responsible for widespread human rights violations and an escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

In Riyadh, Saudis prepared to welcome Trump in grand fashion.

Saudi king rolls out the red carpet for his guest. He's slept only at the White House, his Mar-a-Lago resort and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, since January. He's also hoping to move past the controversies engulfing his administration. "Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia". The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications, and cybersecurity technology.

Their visit to Saudi Arabia comes as his administration reels from the fallout of his firing of FBI Director James Comey and after being accused of Islamaphobia for trying to impose a travel ban on people coming to the U.S. from Muslim-majority nations (though Saudi Arabia wasn't included in that ban).

A White House official said the president is still working through five different drafts of the speech, which will be his first major foreign policy address. An early draft of his speech does not contain the phrase "radical Islamic terror", a term which Trump has emphasized back home.

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