For Mr. Trump the warm embrace by the Saudi monarchs is a welcome break from the cascade of bad news in Washington. Even as Air Force One took off from a Maryland air base on Friday afternoon, headlines revealed new details about the swiftly expanding investigation into ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s advisers.
Questions about those headlines are certain to follow Mr. Trump despite the distance from Washington. But it is unclear whether reporters traveling with the president will have an opportunity to press him on reports that he had referred to James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, as “a nut job” during meetings with Russians in the Oval Office last week.
Mr. Trump is scheduled to meet first with King Salman and other Saudi royals, but there are no news conferences planned during his visit here. Still, the president is set to hold seven photo sessions with Middle Eastern leaders on Saturday, each of which might give reporters an opportunity to ask him questions.
Despite the friendly history between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the over-the-top, pro-Trump euphoria here is remarkable for a country whose monarchs have sometimes clashed with Washington, and whose population has a history of deep distrust of Western influence.
During his two-day visit, Mr. Trump is expected to announce a $100 billion-plus arms deal with Saudi Arabia as evidence of a renewed commitment by the United States to the security of the Gulf region.
On Sunday, Mr. Trump plans to deliver a speech that White House aides say will be a call to the Muslim world to unite against extremism and terror. One senior White House official said the president hoped to “reset” the global fight against Islamic terrorism.
The official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the president’s speech, said it was also designed to reset Mr. Trump’s image in relation to Muslims after a campaign in which he called for a ban on Muslim immigration and in his early days in the White House tried to put in place a travel ban on Muslims to the United States.
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