Donald Trump Tells Philippines Dictator He's Doing Terrific Job (OF MURDER)
Man has got to have a code.
When Donald Trump had a warm phone call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the end of April, we knew from the White House's readout of the call that Trump and Duterte chatted a little about how "the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world."
A mass murderer invited to visit the White House? Way better than apologizing for America.
Now, the Washington Post has acquired an actual transcript of the call -- leaked, for a change, from a Filipino source, not the Trump White House -- during which Trump and Duterte exchange pleasantries and mostly talk about North Korea, not that the Philippines has any significant role in trade or other relations with that country. Donald Trump will take any allies he can get. But before getting to the international strategic stuff, Trump went out of his way to praise Duterte for what a great job he was doing with the crackdown on drugs:
We suppose Trump's technically correct there. What Duterte is doing in dealing with the drug problem truly is unbelievable. Since he was the mayor of Davao, on the southern island of Mindanao, Duterte has ordered, overseen, and encouraged the murders of more than 8,000 people accused of using or dealing drugs, mostly without trial. He claims to have personally participated in extrajudicial killings of suspects, too, to demonstrate to police "that if I can do it, why can’t you[?]"
Donald Trump is, obviously, a big fan. Here's a guy who really did shoot people down in the street and was able to be elected president.
If you haven't already done so, be sure you read Daniel Berehulak's Pulitzer-winning photo essay on extrajudicial murders in the Philippines, "They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals." It's graphic and horrific, but important. We know Donald Trump was moved to "do something" about Syria after seeing video of children killed by nerve gas. Perhaps he'd be moved by photos of families mourning people shot dead by his pal Rodrigo? Then again, the essay explains many of the people targeted for killing were foolish enough to turn themselves in under a program offering amnesty and treatment, only to be shot dead in the middle of the night. We wouldn't want Trump to get ideas.
But yes, there's our president, praising Duterte for doing "a great job" and putting down that wimp Obama for suggesting that maybe leaders shouldn't slaughter civilians:
I think we had a previous President who did not understand that, but I understand that and we have spoken about this before.
It would take a real stretch to think Trump is unaware of what Duterte's war on drugs really means. You might think a reporter would ask him some time. Maybe Trump dreams of actually having that power -- not that he'd abuse it -- but just being able to make bad people become dead by telling police and vigilantes it's open season, that has to be kind of a rush. Trump has already said he won't lecture other countries about human rights. At this point, it's looking like he doesn't even think they even exist.
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[Washington Post / Transcript of Trump-Duterte call / Guardian]
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