Trump touts ties with Duterte during Manilla visit
by Evan Wilt
Posted 11/13/17, 12:34 pm
U.S. President Donald Trump hailed his great relationship with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during the final leg of his 12-day Asia tour. Trump arrived in the Philippines on Sunday for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit meeting in Manila. Trump and Duterte had a 40-minute, closed-door conversation Monday. The two exchanged pleasantries and joked about reporters being “spies.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the two leaders discussed human rights “briefly” during their conversation. But a spokesperson for Duterte said the issue of human rights did not come up at all. Duterte is accused of condoning and even participating in extra-judicial killings as part of an ongoing war against drugs that has left thousands of his own citizens dead. During the summit, Duterte said the Philippines and the United States are allies and he looks forward to working closely with the Trump administration. That approach differs markedly from Duterte’s relationship with former U.S. President Barack Obama, whom the Philippine leader frequently, and often crudely, criticized. Trump returns to the White House from his five-country journey on Wednesday and hinted at plans to make a major trade announcement soon after.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.