The Morning Briefing: Take a Selfie at the Western Wall, Sore/Loserman, Focus-Grouping Impeachment and Much, Much More

Good Friday Morning!

Here's what is on President Trump's agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will meet with Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney.
  • In the afternoon, the President will depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews en route to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Trump's trip

The President leaves today on his first trip abroad and he will be accompanied by wife Melania for an 8-day, five-country tour.

Trump may be attempting to rebuild relations with countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia, which frayed under the Presidency of Barack Obama. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will also accompany Trump for most of the trip.

"I will strengthen old friendships and seek new partners, but partners who also help us, not partners who take, and take, and take," Trump said in his commencement address. "Partners who help pay for whatever we are doing and all of the good that we are doing for them. Which is something that a lot of people have not gotten used to, and they just can't get used to it."

Trump will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican City, Belgium, and Italy.

PJ Media will report on the developments of Trump's trip.

Take a selfie

Lee Smith, a senior editor at the Weekly Standard and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, shares some insight into President Trump's trip at Tablet Magazine.

Donald Trump is hoping to rescue his presidency with a trip to a place that has never failed to provide American presidents with relief from workaday cares—the Middle East. The world’s most volatile region is looking pretty moderate right now compared to what Trump’s got on the homefront, where he’s the managerial black hole at the center of his own administration, which is daily beset by internet explosions detonated by himself and by a political class gleefully celebrating its interlocking control of the elite media and the higher levels of the federal bureaucracy.

And now conclusive evidence shows that the Trump White House is indeed under the control of an external power. The big surprise is that it’s not Russia that gives Donald Trump his marching orders—no, his presidency is being run by midlevel paper-pushers at the State Department and the Pentagon whose larger vision of the world is shaped by their former bosses.

Smith points to some recent diplomatic confusion regarding the administration's position on Israel: Will Bibi accompany Trump to the Western Wall? Does the administration believe the Western Wall is part of Israel? McMaster was asked questions at a press conference earlier this week only to respond:

"That sounds like a policy decision,” McMaster demurred.

“No state has sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem,” said another Trump administration official. “The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.”