Checking in on Donald Trump’s Grand Tour

Daily Trump Tracker: The president prepares to meet the Pope as budget wrangling begins stateside

US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Fiumicino’s Leonardo Da Vinci International airport, near Rome, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Trump is in Italy for a two day visit, including a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, ahead of his participation in a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday. (Massimo Percossi/AP/CP)

His Holiness will see you now
“The Pope and Donald Trump walk into St. Peter’s Basilica” is not the start of a fatherly funny, it’s what’s happening tomorrow in Vatican City. The meeting has led to some comparison drawing between Francis and the president. (“He’s no saint” jokes need not apply).

I touched the orb—there’s no going back now!
The president may be all chummy-chummy with the men who run Saudi Arabia, but not all of his his Republican colleagues seem to have gotten the memo. Sen. Rand Paul reportedly wants a vote on the $110-billion arms agreement Trump signed on his Riyadh jaunt over the weekend.

Money for nothing
Congress got a first gander at Trump’s 2018 budget today and congresspeople found themselves rummaging in their desk drawers for calculators. The document reportedly requires a loose definition of this whole “math” thing. On the “cut” list: billions for scientific and medical research and disease prevention, as well as food stamps, disability benefits and student loan subsidies, and a grab bag of other programs. Senators and House representatives are lining up to do their best Gandalf-in-The-Fellowship-of-the-Ring impressions, with even a member of the Freedom Caucus deeming some bits of the budget unpassable.


I (don’t) wanna hold your hand
Melania Trump’s reluctance to join palms with her husband on their ongoing Mediterranean sojourn has led to a resurgence of speculation about the state of the president’s marriage. The White House has so far failed to comment on the first lady’s handy rejections in either Tel Aviv or Rome.

So that’s where you draw the line
David Clarke worries that the president isn’t going to want him around anymore now that he’s been accused of plagiarism. Apparently the reports that inmates and a baby died in a jail overseen by the sheriff of Milwaukee County didn’t quite do it. It’s worth noting that the Department of Homeland Security has not confirmed that Clarke has been offered a job there, as the sheriff has claimed. Of course, the First Family aren’t themselves averse to taking “inspiration” from others.