Trump Praises Duterte’s Brutal Drugs Crackdown in Leaked White House Phone Call
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Later, Trump notes that the US also has a lot of power in the area.
The United States, which regards Hapilon as one of the world’s most risky terrorists, has offered a bounty of US$5 million (Dh18.4m) for his capture.
The director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, General Vincent Stewart, said on Tuesday that if left unchecked, North Korea was on an “inevitable” path to obtaining a nuclear-armed missile capable of striking the United States.
It is unclear whether Trump was referring to the USS Michigan or the USS Cheyenne, another nuclear-powered, but not nuclear-armed submarine in the region, or if he was referring to another submarine that is armed with nuclear weapons.
“If you want to come to the Oval Office, I will love to have you in the Oval Office”, Trump said. The State Department has voiced concern over extrajudicial killings, and US lawmakers have pushed for restrictions on arms sales to Philippine police in response. In the weeks following the meeting, Trump has received criticism for his decision to do so.
The president also told Duterte that “I hope China solves the problem” of the North Korean threat, but “if China doesn’t do it, we will do it”. The readout also noted that the two leaders discussed the fact that “the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid is country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world“.
While pursuing peace talks with two large Muslim rebel groups in the south, Duterte has ordered the military to destroy smaller extremist groups which have tried to align with the Islamic State group. Trump, however, was complementary of the country’s methods.
“Any assertion by any world leader, including, US President Donald Trump, that Duterte is doing “an unbelievable job” by cheerleading a murderous campaign that has killed more than 7,000 Filipinos is not only a gross insult to those victims and their family members, but sends a signal to Duterte and his willing executioners that their lawless killing spree can continue with a vengeance without fear of worldwide criticism and repercussions”, said Phelim Kline of Human Rights Watch.