What he did not do Monday was what many of his predecessors made a point of doing while overseas: publicly highlight human rights abuses. But Trump's rapport with Duterte comes during a time when Duterte is being criticized around the world for approving extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on the other hand, said specifically that "human rights briefly came up in the context of the Philippines' fight against illegal drugs". Speaking to reporters Sunday, Trump said he will make a new announcement on trade when he returns to the United States. With the US President briefly breaking the symbolic handshake, supposed to denote unity, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stood around awkwardly with a spare hand.
That appeared to conflict with the Filipino version of the meeting.
"As the American people and peoples of the world condemned US president Trump for its war-mongering and outright repression in the US, Duterte is inevitable to follow, as the number of poor Filipinos fed up of his empty promises and pointless rhetorics, are mounting, it is a matter of time for him to follow the footsteps of his idol dictator and ousted Ferdinand Marcos", Casilao said. There was no mention of extralegal killings.
Back in April, Duterte's biggest fan, Trump, praised him for "doing an unbelievable job on the drug problem".
Despite all that, they later issued a joint statement saying that "the two sides underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential, and agreed to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs". Since taking office in 2016, the controversial Filipino leader has presided over a bloody so-called war on drugs in which more than 7,000 people have been extrajudicially killed by police or vigilantes. He has encouraged citizens in Philippines to bring drug peddlers to justice in the country as part of his crackdown on suspected drug dealers and users.
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The Davao-based solon also scoffed at Trump's racist anti-migrant policy which is targeting not just millions of Filipinos in the U.S. but millions more of migrants from other countries.
The US president also discussed trade and the menace of North Korea during a three-way chat with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese leader Shinzo Abe.
"We've made some very big steps with regard to trade - far bigger than anything you know", Trump told reporters, pointing to business deals forged between USA and foreign companies.
"If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know", Trump said at a meeting with Vietnam's president, Tran Dai Quang.
"To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding and, in fact, poses a peril to this country", Clapper said on "State of the Union". "And that really is a sigh of respect, perhaps for me a little, but really for our county".