Venezuela’s new president Nicolas Maduro takes office under a cloud of controversy and with significant challenges to address. His razor thin victory over the opposition has spawned questions and protests. Still, Maduro will assume leadership of the country once headed by the late Hugo Chavez ffff. These are challenging times in Venezuela; its economy is weak, its national debt is high and the populace is in doubt. Nonresident Senior Fellow Diana Negroponte says Venezuela is a country in turmoil.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.
For the Saudis, anyone is better than Barack Obama...Trump has a strongman persona. And that endears him to autocratic leaders in the Middle East.
The regional governments are so eager to have more active American engagement that they will overlook any slights they might otherwise perceive in the president's view of their religion.