There’s a warning clearly stated on the top of a confidential document made by the Philippine government that was leaked to The Washington Post stating that disseminating the report could have severe consequences for the U.S., but that didn’t stop them from publishing it. The Intercept also published the transcript, which was obtained by questionable means and details President Trump’s phone call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Seizing on Trump’s apparently friendly tone with Duterte, who has been killing drug addicts in his country’s fight against the current drug addiction epidemic, the liberal news outlets are highlighting parts of the transcript which fit their agenda.
“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump reportedly told Duterte at the beginning of their call. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”
“Thank you Mr. President,” Duterte respectfully replied, despite the fact that Trump was calling him by his first name throughout the conversation. Duterte added, “This is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation.”
The two also discussed North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, with Trump asking Duterte’s opinion of whether or not the man is “stable.”
“He is not stable, Mr. President as he keeps on smiling when he explodes a rocket. He has even gone against China which is the last country he should rebuke,” Duterte told him, adding, “But it seems from his face he is laughing always and there’s a dangerous toy in his hands which could create so much agony and suffering for all of mankind.
Trump’s reply was reassuring. “Well, he has got the power but he doesn’t have the delivery system,” the president said before stating that China is in a position to make a difference. “I hope China solves the problem. They really have the means because a great degree of their stuff comes through China. They are doing certain things, like not accepting calls. But if China doesn’t do it, we will do it.”:
Calling Duterte a “good man,” Trump extended an invitation to visit the White House “anytime before November.”
Both outlets posted the full transcript online with no regards to its sensitive nature or the fact that it was not meant to be released to the public and could undermine further communications between U.S. officials and foreign governments. Not to mention the backlash from news commentators, who have expressed outrage at Duterte’s method of murdering drug addicts to deter drug abuse.
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