Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump buddies up to Duterte, doesn't highlight human rights

Trump buddies up to Duterte, doesn't highlight human rights

Duterte hosted Trump and other leaders for a flashy dinner at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City Sunday, ahead of the official start of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

President Donald Trump is wrapping up his extensive trip to Asia with an worldwide summit and one-on-one meetings with global partners, including his Philippine host who is overseeing a bloody drug war.

"To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding and, in fact, poses a peril to this country", Clapper said on "State of the Union".

In a departure from his usual aggressive handshake, Donald Trump had some trouble figuring out which hand to grasp in a choreographed cross-body linked handshake of respective state heads at the ASEAN summit on Monday. Instead, Trump delivered public words of fawning praise.

While a Philippines government spokesman said that human rights issue was not raised during the leaders' meeting, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that the topic was mentioned briefly.

Trump will also meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, which plays a key role in the USA vision of an Indo-Pacific region that attempts to de-emphasize China's influence. While some have welcomed the burgeoning Duterte-Trump bromance as a much-needed respite for a troubled alliance, others have been critical of the U.S. president's open embrace of strongmen like Duterte. "As now led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies".

He tried to have it both ways on the issue of Russian interference in last year's presidential race, saying he believes both the USA intelligence agencies when they say Russia meddled and Putin's sincerity in claiming that his country did not.

Even Trump's own CIA director, Mike Pompeo, felt compelled to defend US intelligence findings that contradict Trump's defense of Putin.

Since taking office in 2016, President Duterte and his administration have waged a lethal anti-drugs campaign that has resulted in widespread extrajudicial executions.

Multiple congressional committees are also investigating.

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, called the threat from Russian Federation "manifest and obvious".

Mr Trump eventually figured out his mistake but not before the unflattering images made it to Twitter.

Trump told reporters traveling with him to Hanoi on Saturday that Putin had again vehemently denied the allegations.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese leader will join the ninth Mekong-Japan Summit and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Leaders' Meeting. Modi says relations between the US and India are "growing very rapidly" and "getting deeper and more comprehensive". "We are in a bilateral meeting".

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