Philippines says Trump called Duterte to affirm alliance

Trump invites Philippines' Duterte to Washington to develop ‘warm’ post Obama relations

US President Donald Trump

According to leading worldwide campaign group Human Rights Watch, Duterte's crackdown has claimed some 7,000 lives, with half of those attributed to the Philippine National Police. Abella said Trump also invited Duterte to visit the White House.

But when White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was asked Sunday why Trump was "honoring" Duterte with the White House invitation, he told ABC, "I'm not so sure it's a matter of honoring this president".

Trump will cut a "bad deal" for the American and Filipino people if he fetes Duterte with a White House reception without assessing the implications "of hosting and toasting a foreign leader whose links to possible crimes against humanity for instigating and inciting extrajudicial killings has already prompted warnings from the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court", Kine said in an email.

Clinton, however, did not make the trip as an official representative of the US government and did not meet with Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father who was the country's leader at the time.

"The U.S. apparently wants to consult allies and strategic partners in Asia to discuss an approach to the tensions over DPRK", Bolivar said, using the acronym of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Duterte hated Obama but he likes Trump because both individuals share a common characteristic - shooting from the hip and say things they may not have really meant.

The first was last December when Duterte called then President-elect Trump to congratulate him on his election.

"The president's shown his willingness to stand up for human rights", Priebus added, citing the recent USA bombing of a Syrian airport in response to a government chemical attack on civilians as an example of Trump's taking action to defend human rights.

Abella said without elaborating that concern over North Korea came up in Trump's talk with Duterte.

The invitations followed an offer made late Saturday to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trump has threatened to act unilaterally against North Korea if China fails to do more to curb its neighbor's activities.

Duterte said he has not accepted the invitation because of scheduled trips to Russia, Israel and other countries.

According to the readout, Trump and Duterte "also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs".

For instance, he expressed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 presidential campaign, hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House and has had warm words for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who Trump is pressing to do more to rein in its ally and neighbor North Korea.

"He was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem", he said at the time.

"We assumed there would be professionals around Trump, and that they would understand the countries and issues", said Adams.

Latest News