May 21, 2017 11:10 pm
Updated: May 21, 2017 11:15 pm

Sunday snooze: Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross nods off during Trump speech

WATCH: Wilbur Ross appears to nod off during Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia

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US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared to have briefly fallen asleep during portions of President Donald Trump‘s speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

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During his speech Trump urged Arab and Islamic leaders to unite and do their share to defeat Islamist extremists, making an impassioned plea to “drive out” terrorists while toning down his own harsh rhetoric about Muslims.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says ‘terrorists worship death’ in address to Arab leaders

The U.S. president did not use his signature term “radical Islamic terrorism” in the speech, a signal that he heeded advice to employ a more moderate tone in the region after using the phrase repeatedly as a presidential candidate.

“Terrorism has spread all across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land,” Trump told leaders from about 50 Muslim-majority countries representing more than a billion people.

WATCH: Trump tells Middle Eastern leaders to get rid of extremists


“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out! Drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your communities, drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.”

Trump‘s Riyadh visit kicked off his first presidential trip abroad, with Saudi Arabia the first stop on a nine-day journey through the Middle East and Europe.

© 2017 Thomson Reuters

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