Ivanka Trump to take part in presidential trip

"The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 USA elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", said Sen.

"For Trump to choose Saudi Arabia as his first destination, that is huge for us", said a young Saudi official reflecting on the city's makeover in Mr. Trump's honor.

The New York Times reported Trump had called Comey a "nut job" in a private meeting last week in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak.

It said one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

It says the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

The Saudi monarchy is going all-out to welcome Mr. Trump.

He also plans to travel to Israel, the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily.

Before Trump's departure on Friday, Washington and Riyadh announced the establishment of their first "joint terrorist designation" by blacklisting Hashem Safieddine, a senior official at the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah.

"This package of defence equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats", a White House official said in announcing the deal. He was joined by First Lady Melania Trump.

Mr Trump said he was about to name a replacement for Mr Comey, another effort to settle the waters, with former senator Joe Lieberman seen as the front-runner.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia-On Friday, 400 Harley Davidson bikers rode in Saudi Arabia's capital, wearing jeans, bandanas-and white polo shirts printed with the words "No to Terrorism".

Did he collude with Russian Federation in his campaign to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton? He added: "The entire thing has been a witch hunt".

Across town, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein was briefing the Senate about his decision to appoint former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller to lead the independent Trump-Russia probe.

Vanessa Coleman