Donald Trump embarks on his first foreign trip tomorrow, in which he'll visit five countries over eight days. The first stop is Saudi Arabia on May 20, where he will have lunch with leaders of 50 Muslim countries and deliver a speech about counterterrorism and Islam. The speech will be written by his adviser Stephen Miller, who has a history of expressing anti-Islam views, Politico reports.
Analysts note that this may be the most surreal agenda item in a week that could compete with Dali's entire output for surrealism. A president who proposed a "Muslim ban," has thrice tried to get a travel ban from Muslim-majority nations through the courts and has campaigned for the use of the expression "radical Islamic terrorism" will be speaking about Islam from text prepared by an Islamophobe to a coalition of Muslim nations.
Miller — who crafted the first version of Trump's travel ban, which was excoriated by legal analysts and smacked down by the courts — has a long history of anti-Islamic views. At Duke University, he wrote a newspaper column in which he said that "Islamic terrorists...have declared a death sentence on every man, woman and child living in this country.” In 2007, Miller was the first national coordinator of the Terrorism Awareness Project, which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers to be an anti-Muslim hate group.
The content of the speech is not yet known. There is no indication of whether it will be vetted by anyone or furnished to the media before it's given. And considering Trump's track record, it could literally be anything, regardless of what text is set in front of him. "Miller will have to subordinate his own views to those of his mercurial boss, who could deliver a sloppy wet kiss of a talk as easily as a rhetorical slap in the face," says a "Politico" writer. In his first 100 days, Trump flip-flopped his views about NATO being obsolete, on China as a currency manipulator and on U.S. involvement in Syria.
The "Politico" writer proposes a solution to what could become a diplomatic discomfort or crisis: "Pray this talk doesn't happen."