On Thursday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump departed Washington for Argentina, where he is set to attend the Group of 20 summit along with other major world leaders. But while Trump is certainly still planning on showing his face, he doesn’t plan to do so for very long.
As reported by Business Insider, Trump has planned his visit for just 48 hours, jamming multiple important meetings into that short time span so that he can be back on Air Force One and to the White House as soon as possible.
Major international events are of course taxing for world leaders, but Trump is making sure that his recent overseas trips are even more so by making them as short as he possibly can while still meeting his obligations. In this instance, his schedule is so tight that his one-on-one meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will become a threesome when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joins the pair halfway through.
Aside from his aversion to travel and sleeping in a bed that is not his own, it also shows the shift in his focus from working on an international scale to a more isolation policy based on one of his favorite phrases: America first.
Trump has been making his overseas trips increasingly short in the second year of his presidency and has canceled a number of planned visits as well.
Just this month he canceled a trip to Colombia, citing scheduling concerns, but his public calendar showed nothing of significance that clashed with the visit. He also scrapped another trip to South America earlier in the year, claiming he needed to focus on Syria instead. In June, he cut short his trip to Singapore, and his trip to Paris over Remembrance Day was just a weekend.
The president has owned private jets for decades already, but has never shown any degree of fondness for travel and seems to enjoy sleeping in his own bed. Three current and former White House officials have opened up anonymously about Trump’s frustrations with travel, and they have to curtail trips to his liking.
Aside from the preference of his own bed, Trump also prefers to play host to other world leaders, as it gives him the upper hand being on home ground, and, according to White House aides, gives him the opportunity to show off the famed residence of the American president.