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Photos: Donald Trump is all smiles in Saudi Arabia—his advisors, not so much

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump holds a sword and dances with traditional dancers during a welcome ceremony at Murabba Palace, Saturday in Riyadh.
By Svati Kirsten Narula
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

US president Donald Trump is traveling with a full entourage on his first overseas trip, a whirlwind tour of five countries—starting in Saudi Arabia, to make “big [business] deals” with the gulf kingdom and deliver a speech about Islam.

Whatever challenges Trump faces on this trip, he’s got to be glad to get away from Washington, where more members of the White House have become embroiled in the Russia probe.

Smiley Donald

This might be the happiest we’ve seen Donald Trump since… ever. And why not? The US president is as far away as he can get from the many scandals dogging his administration in Washington DC, and he was treated like a prince from the moment he landed in Riyadh on Saturday: He had the undivided attention of the king, received some shiny gold jewelry, got to play with swords, and ended Saturday night with a special boys-only concert from US country singer Toby Keith.

Smiling alongside the Saudi king at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport, on Saturday in Riyadh. (AP/Evan Vucci)
Be careful with that sword, Donald . (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Washington Post recorded footage of Trump arriving to this party via his favorite mode of transportation: a golf cart, driven by King Salman.

This is so much better than Mar-a-Lago.  Everybody, smile!

President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Laughing with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday in Riyadh. (AP/Evan Vucci)
Shaking hands with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson sips water in the background. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Smiley Melania

The first lady, too, appears to have an easier time smiling in Saudi Arabia than in the US. Looks like there won’t be as many ”help me” memes of Melania coming out of this trip.

Feeling appreciated. (AP/Evan Vucci)
(Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)
(REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)

The unhappy campers

Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist, and Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic advisor, didn’t appear to be having quite as much fun this weekend.

Can’t turn those frowns upside down? (AP/Evan Vucci)
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Goofy Jared

The US president’s son-in-law always has one of two faces: Either a toothless smile or a hapless stare into the distance, with raised eyebrows conveying bemusement in every case. What am I doing here, again? 

Watching Tillerson laugh with the crown prince on Sunday (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst).
Watching Trump receive his shiny jewelry (The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal) (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)
Am I missing something? (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
It’s okay, Jared.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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