The trip, which also includes stops in Israel, Italy and Belgium next week, has been billed by the administration as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions while giving Trump time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.
But uproar in Washington threatened to cast a long shadow, after Comey's firing, allegations Trump had previously pressed the FBI chief to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the subsequent appointment of a special counsel to look into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump's campaign.
"Getting ready for my big foreign trip. Will be strongly protecting American interests - that's what I like to do!" Trump said on Twitter hours before he left on his first foreign trip since taking office in January.
Trump, who has embraced what he describes as an "America First" approach to U.S. foreign policy and international trade, is expected to be welcomed warmly by leaders in Saudi Arabia and Israel.Read more at Reuters