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Challenging state visits—the insider perspective

Trump being invited so early is unusual, but plans had been made for Clinton too

By Arthur Snell  

US President Donald Trump on the White House's grounds ©Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

“It’s a nightmare,” my colleague remarked, head in hands. “The only people that care he’s coming are the ones who plan to protest, his team is impossible to please and we can’t think of anything meaningful to do during the visit.”

The task of arranging the state visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2007 proved challenging, as I recall from my peripheral involvement at the time. State visits require a set of largely meaningless ceremonial activities…

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