Road trip

Saudia Arabia still loves Donnie Twoscoops. They’re excited about his trip.

The Saudis have internationalized the event, organizing a sprawling “Arab Islamic American Summit” with leaders from dozens of Muslim countries, as well as talks with the king, the inauguration of a counterterrorism center, and public forums for business executives and young people.

Saudi Arabia, home to some of Islam’s holiest sites, will be pulling out all the stops for a man who has declared “Islam hates us” and said the United States is “losing a tremendous amount of money” defending the kingdom.

But Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies were so angry over former President Barack Obama’s policies toward the Middle East that they appear prepared to dismiss Mr. Trump’s remarks as campaign rhetoric, and to see in him a possibility of resetting relations.

Yes, secretly he’s a big fan of Islam. I’m sure this will go swimmingly.

There are three summit meetings planned: between Mr. Trump and King Salman, the Saudi monarch; between Mr. Trump and the leaders of Persian Gulf states; and between Mr. Trump and more than 50 leaders and representatives from across the Muslim world.

Mr. Trump and King Salman will also inaugurate the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, where Mr. Trump is to give a speech about Islam.

A speech about Islam. Trump. In Saudi Arabia. Oh yes, that should go well.

I mock, but they do in fact have a lot in common.

Some aspects of Mr. Trump’s tenure that have caused criticism in the United States do not seem to bother the Saudis.

His reliance on his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner — both of whom will join him in Riyadh — for policy advice is business as usual in a monarchy where princes run the government and the king has appointed one son as defense minister and another as ambassador to Washington.

And worries that Mr. Trump could use his presidency to benefit Trump hotels and golf courses get little traction in a country that is named after its royal family, and where the line between public and private wealth is vague.

Mr. Trump’s apparent lack of interest in human rights also suggests that he is unlikely to complain about the Saudi justice system or the limited rights of Saudi women.

Nepotism, corruption, and contempt for human rights: friendship glue.

Also invited to Riyadh is President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes including genocide, although it remains unclear whether he will attend or, if he does, whether he will meet Mr. Trump.

But hey, Obama was much worse, right?

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