Jeremy Scahill, Alex Emmons & Ryan Grim, The Intercept: Trump called Rodrigo Duterte to congratulate him on his murderous drug war: "You Are Doing An Amazing Job"
It was enormously controversial that President Trump placed a friendly call to Philippine strongman Duterte on April 29. Now, we can read what they said.
IN A PHONE CALL from the White House late last month, U.S. President Donald Trump heaped praise on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, one of the world’s most murderous heads of state, for doing what Trump called an “unbelievable job” in his war on drugs. Trump offered an unqualified endorsement of Duterte’s bloody extermination campaign against suspected drug dealers and users, which has included open calls for extrajudicial murders and promises of pardons and immunity for the killers.
“You are a good man,” Trump told Duterte, according to an official transcript of the April 29 call produced by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and obtained by The Intercept. “Keep up the good work,” Trump told Duterte. “You are doing an amazing job.”
Trump began the call by telling Duterte, “You don’t sleep much, you’re just like me,” before quickly pivoting to the strongman’s drug war.
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WNU Editor: This is not the first time that President Trump has called Philippine President Duterte where he praised him for his war against drugs (see above video). As for the transcript that has been leaked to The Intercept that records their second and more recent call .... it is from a Philippine source .... so its accuracy and validity is open for debate. But I read the transcript (it is here) .... and my read is the following. There are numerous grammatical errors, but President Trump definitely sounds like Trump in this transcript. He opens up by being polite to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte .... and he praises him for his drug war. This was/is definitely a poor choice of words .... Duterte's war against drugs has been condemned by every human rights groups in the world ,,,, and with cause. But President Trump does get Philippine President Duterte to open up on what was probably the main reason why he called him .... North Korea .... What Trump and Duterte said privately about North Korean nuclear threat. In this conversation the tone changes completely, and President Trump is clearly hoping that Duterte will assist him with China to curtail North Korea. In short .... the Philippine drug war is not what President Trump is focused on .... it is North Korea. Now that this transcript has been leaked to the press President Trump is going to be condemned for this .... and rightly so. But dealing with dictators and murderous authoritarian leaders when you have to is always a difficult exercise .... you have to go down to their level to win their trust. But if this transcript is accurate .... I can confidently say that President Trump definitely knows how to flatter these people to win their trust.