The Washington Post has just obtained a transcript of an April 29th call between Donald Trump and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that was transcribed by the Philippines government on May 2nd.
While the call focused primarily on the issue of North Korea, Trump ultimately praised the heinous dictator for his handling of his country’s “drug problem.”
“Many countries have the problem, we have the problem,” Trump told Duterte, “but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”
According to The Washington Post, Trump even took the opportunity to bash Obama for his firm stance against inhumane policies like Duterte’s.
After Duterte replied that drugs are the “scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation,” Trump appeared to take a swipe at his predecessor, Barack Obama, who had canceled a bilateral meeting with Duterte after the Philippines leader insulted him.
“I understand that and fully understand that and I think we had a previous president who did not understand that,” Trump said.
Per The Hill, the Philippines President has cheered efforts to kill his own citizens who may be involved in drug use or dealings.
Since taking office, Duterte has encouraged the extrajudicial killings of thousands of his own citizens accused of dealing or using drugs. He has also compared his campaign to kill drug users to the Holocaust.
“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now, there are 3 million drug addicts [in the Philippines] … I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he reportedly said in September.
Not only has Duterte encouraged murder, but he has admitted to committing it himself.
“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [police] that if I can do it why can’t you,” he said.
“And I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”
Trump’s presidency has been marked by a decidedly strained relationship with our allies while cozying up to various autocratic rulers, such as Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Erdogan of Turkey. The world looks to the United States for leadership in the realm of human rights; by complimenting a self-described murderer with a disdain for the rule of law, Trump is not only disavowing his commitment to protecting human rights, but America’s very leadership in the eyes of the international community.
Click on this link for the complete transcript of the call between Trump and Duterte.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.