NPR

Trump Avoids Major Slips On International Religious Tour

Trump's trip "was a kabuki dance through a minefield," one analyst said. "Any president would have difficulty handling it."
President Trump is welcomed by the prefect of the papal household Georg Gaenswein as he arrives at the Vatican for a private audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday. / MANDEL NGAN / Getty Images

By heading straight to the homelands of Islam, Judaism and Christianity on his first presidential trip, Donald Trump took a major risk. The possibility of offending his hosts somewhere along the way with an ill-considered tweet or offhand remark loomed large. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican are places where appearances matter and words must be chosen carefully.

"This was a kabuki dance through a minefield," said Chris Seiple, who has written extensively on religion and foreign policy. "Any president would have difficulty handling it, given all the different perspectives and all the ways it could go wrong."

During his presidential campaign, Trump angered many Muslims by saying he thinks that "Islam hates

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