Trump said to praise ‘great job’ in Philip­pine drug fight

Cape Breton Post - - World -

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump praised the Philippines’ pres­i­dent for an “un­be­liev­able job” in a fight against il­le­gal drugs that has left thou­sands dead and drawn con­dem­na­tion from Amer­i­can law­mak­ers, ac­cord­ing to a leaked tran­script of their tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion last month.

Trump’s dis­cus­sion with Ro­drigo Duterte is likely to re­in­force the im­pres­sion that Trump is sidelin­ing hu­man rights con­cerns in his for­eign pol­icy. Trump has met with sev­eral au­thor­i­tar­ian lead­ers since tak­ing of­fice in Jan­uary, of­fer­ing few cri­tiques of their records on democ­racy, the rule of law and pro­tect­ing es­sen­tial free­doms.

The tran­script of the April 29 call was posted by The Wash­ing­ton Post. It is marked con­fi­den­tial and is con­tained un­der a cover sheet from the Philip­pine For­eign Min­istry.

It also shows the lead­ers dis­cussing the North Korean threat, with each re­fer­ring to the North’s ruler, Kim Jong Un, as a “mad­man.” In an un­usual dis­clo­sure of the move­ments of U.S. mil­i­tary as­sets, Trump re­vealed the U.S. had two nu­clear sub­marines in the re­gion. He said the United States didn’t want to use them.

The Philippines de­clined com­ment Wed­nes­day on the tran­script. The For­eign Min­istry noted that the unau­tho­rized dis­clo­sure and use of il­le­gally or in­ad­ver­tently ob­tained gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments is not per­mit­ted un­der Philip­pine law. A White House of­fi­cial said he could not con­firm or deny the ac­cu­racy of leaked doc­u­ments, es­pe­cially those pur­port­edly from a for­eign gov­ern­ment.

At the time of the call, Trump raised hack­les in Wash­ing­ton by invit­ing Duterte to the White House. Since Duterte took power in June, his anti-drug cam­paign has killed be­tween 7,000 and 9,000 sus­pected deal­ers and ad­dicts, ac­cord­ing to hu­man rights groups. The State Depart­ment has voiced con­cern over ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings, and U.S. law­mak­ers have pushed for re­stric­tions on arms sales to Philip­pine po­lice in re­sponse.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.