Trump Invites Egyptian President To White House, Despite Record

Trump Invites Egyptian President To White House, Despite Record
President Trump hosts his Egyptian counterpart to discuss ways to fight ISIS. President Sisi has never visited the White House.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi made his first trip to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump.

The former general took power after Egypt's military overthrew the country's first democratically elected president in history, Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

Sisi has taken a hard line against all Islamists: His regime outlawed the Brotherhood and has targeted violent ISIS offshoots in the Sinai Peninsula.

That's led to protests, which have been violently shut down. Thousands of Sisi's political opponents have been killed and imprisoned.

Concerns about human rights violations led former President Obama to cut certain parts of Egypt's military funding. Although that funding was restored in 2015, violations continued to hamper the U.S.' relationship with Egypt throughout the Obama administration.

But that could all change with Trump, who reportedly wants Sisi's help fighting ISIS. The White House said it would raise issues with human rights violations in private.

Sisi, in return, might be hoping Trump will reverse an Obama-era shift toward more restricted military funding for Egypt. That shift is scheduled to go into effect in fiscal year 2018.

The U.S. sends Egypt roughly $1.3 billion a year in military aid, plus economic aid in the hundreds of millions of dollars.