Trump's normal-ish foreign trip

US President Donald Trump speaks during the Arabic Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. Image copyright Getty Images

Just before Donald Trump left Washington to come on this gruelling trip, the word was he would have given anything to get out of it or anything to shorten it.

One, he likes his home comforts - not that Air Force One is exactly slumming it - and two, he knew that all his critics were waiting for him to do something gauche or stupid in some faraway foreign clime.

But that simply hasn't happened. He has navigated his first foreign trip with aplomb.

Yes, there have been odd little moments that have caused eyebrows to arch and social media to fizz.

Melania batting his hand away when he tried to hold it. There was the moment that Bibi introduced them in Israel as "the President Donald Trump and the first wife".

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Well, close. He could have either said the president and third wife; or the president and first lady.

Then there was the press release put out by the White House with a spelling mistake, which read: the purpose of Donald Trump's Israel trip is to lay the groundwork for a lasting peach.

And who can forget the Montenegrin manoeuvre in Brussels at the Nato summit? The poor prime minister of that country barged out of the way so that Donald Trump could get to the front of the pack for the cameras. I thought the best bit was after he'd muscled the poor man, the way the president pulled his jacket together, as if to say "job done".

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Media captionIn May 2017 Donald Trump pushed aside Montenegro's prime minister and dressed down Nato leaders

But this is all froth. The more important take-out is that he walked tall and didn't fall over. The low bar that the naysayers had set he jumped over easily.

In Saudi he delivered a well thought-out, bold, and optimistic speech on how the fight against extremism and religious intolerance could be won. Yes, you might disagree with the policy of siding so closely with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states - but he made a lot of friends, and generated a great deal of excitement about the possibilities ahead.

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In Israel there were no missteps either.

But let's just raise the bar a little higher. He had said before leaving Washington that peace between Israelis and Palestinians would not be that difficult. But did the president move the peace process on during his visit?

Well, in his speech at the Israel museum there was nothing about next steps, talks, confidence-building measures.

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On that score, it's hard to see what has changed. Did he win the Pope over? Didn't much feel like it.

And for all that he gave his fellow Nato members as they stood beside him a tongue-lashing (it was so much like a headmaster lecturing an unruly class, I half expected him to turn to the French president who had an ironic smile on his face and say, "Macron, stop smirking you cheese eating surrender monkey"), did he get the pledges of extra cash that he wanted?

But one other striking thing about this trip. The president and his team stayed as far away from us - the press - as possible.

When I travelled with President Obama, there would be quite a lot of social interaction at each location - cocktail parties where you would have a chance to talk to some of the key policymakers. It may not have given you a news story, but you got context.

There has been no interaction this time round. And one other thing: he's barely tweeted.

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We started wondering whether he didn't have data roaming on his mobile phone package. The only tweets have been to say how much he enjoyed meeting this one or that.

And the net effect? He hasn't fuelled any of the fires burning about Russia and the FBI, leaving the army of US correspondents travelling with him with nothing to do but report on the trip - the Pope, Saudi, the visit to the Western Wall. Exactly what the White House would have wanted.

The focus has been on his agenda. The takeaway, as Americans are fond of saying? Maybe tweet a good deal less and travel abroad a lot more. Imagine how boring that would be for us!