Donald Trump appears to be trying to distract us all from the fact that he did not discuss human rights abuses with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to the island nation.
On Tuesday, Trump falsely claimed that Air Force One “never got to land” in the Philippines under former President Barack Obama.
“And as you know, we were having a lot of problems with the Philippines. The relationship with the past administration was horrible, to use a nice word.” – Trump to reporters in Manila.
“I would say ‘horrible’ is putting it mildly. You know what happened. Many of you were there, and you never got to land. The plane came close, but it didn’t land,” Trump said as he spoke about his “very strong relationship” with Duterte.
Duterte has been accused of ordering the murder of thousands of Philippine citizens through his “war on drugs.” Human rights groups have accused Duterte of hiring vigilantes to carry out the killings. Many of the victims have absolutely nothing to do with the narcotics trade.
Both Trump and Duterte dodged questions from reporters regarding these murders.
Trump appeared to be referencing a meeting that Obama canceled in 2016 after Duterte called him a “son of a b—-ch.” The two men were supposed to meet in Laos. “Clearly, he’s a colorful guy,” said Obama at the time.
Trump can’t help himself from bashing Obama. That’s probably because Trump is well aware that he is in the wrong for normalizing Duterte’s behavior. And, as reported yesterday, Trump appears to have quite the conflict of interest with Duterte’s trade envoy to the United States, Jose E. B. Antonio.
“So, it’s very important that we get along with the Philippines, and we really do. We have a very good relationship. I would actually say probably better than ever before.”
I’m sure it is, Donald.