Trump praises Philip­pine pres­i­dent

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

WASH­ING­TON — 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.

The tran­script of the April 29 call was posted by The Wash­ing­ton Post.

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.

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.

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