President Trump, fresh from a well-evaluated speech in Saudi Arabia, was covered, in Jerusalem yesterday as a breaking news Banner flashed across cable news screens:
Michael Flynn, his deposed national security adviser, was declining a Senate subpoena, and call’d the Fifth Amendment.
So much for ditching the Russia-story home.
And there was other news to hurt Trump the first trip abroad. The “Washington Post” story yesterday was on the trump-budget, including “massive cuts” to Medicaid.
To be sure, the press gave Trump his reason for what the New York Times called his “measured tone… a sober and cautious” in Riyadh. He struck a softer tone of voice about Islam, the media like. He didn’t distract from the message of the day with tweets or news conferences. The warm Saudi-welcome certainly have his journey to a successful start.
The Post’s Phil Rucker reports from Riyadh, “it was the weekend of the tired President and his wearier employees ordered.
For 48 hours in Saudi Arabia…the President and his team were able to hide from the scandal, which escalated, back home in Washington and the new administration threatens to devour.”
Well, maybe. But that was not the case back home. The Flynn news seemed to underscore the media, the determination in the Russia investigation high on the radar.
As U. N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, based on the Robert-Müller probe, says “Today” , “we have to study the,” well, that’s news.
And in Jerusalem, Trump, the Washington Post referred to that report, he had given two Russian diplomats, high info about the ISIS-plot—intelligence, came to the New York Times later reported from Israel. “So you had a different story incorrectly,” the President said in front of the press with Bibi Netanyahu at his side. “Never the word ‘Israel is mentioned.'” But the times had not said Trump told the Russians that the Israeli secret service, the source.
The President deserves to be graded, as he did with Saudi Arabian, Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and later of Pope Francis. He is a business man, his first foray on the international stage.
But the idea that the trip would blot out other issues was always a fantasy. When Bill Clinton was embroiled in the scandal, the Reporter would ask about the details of how he presser held with a procession of foreign heads of state and government. The result, then as now, is a split-screen presidency.
The last time Trump basked in such praise for a speech—his address to a joint session of Congress, he resigned on the story days later that the tweet claiming that Barack Obama heard him.
On this trip, the President is very disciplined about sticking to the script. This approach could pay off long after he’s back in Washington.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 p.m.). He is the author of five books and has its headquarters in Washington. You can follow him at @Howard Kurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.