White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus will leave Saudi Arabia and return to Washington to present President Donald Trump's budget this week, The Hill reported Sunday. Priebus was among the aides traveling with the president on a nine-day trip which began in Saudi Arabia and will include countries in the Middle East and Europe.
"He was planning to come for the first stop and then head back for the budget roll out," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Several of the president’s advisers, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon, are still accompanying the president on his first trip abroad since taking office.
Priebus returns as Washington is embroiled with domestic issues including the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election and claims of collusion between the president and Russian officials as well as the hunt for a new FBI director.
Priebus will work with White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to present the plan, which is expected to highlight spending cuts, tax reforms and a proposal to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, The Hill reported last week.
Experts say it is not uncommon for some White House staff to only participate in part of an overseas trip.
"The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal — whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency — goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence, and also to be that communications link between that principal who's on the plane and the folks back home," senior Brookings Institute fellow Tamara Wittes told CNN.
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