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Philippines Gov. Leaks Trump-Duterte Transcript To The Media

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A transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in which Trump praised Duterte was leaked to the media.

The transcript was made by the Philippine government and was later leaked on Tuesday to two liberal news outlets, The Washington Post and The Intercept. The latter outlet obtained the transcript through a partner organization in the Philippines. Both outlets posted the full transcript online, without any redactions.

A senior administration official confirmed the document’s authenticity to the Post but declined to otherwise comment on “a leaked document from a foreign government.”

The transcript shows Trump making an effort to reach out to Duterte, who treated Trump with the utmost respect. Where Trump referred to Duterte by his first name, the Philippines president insisted on calling Trump “Mr. President.”

Trump opened the call, which took place earlier this month, by congratulating Duterte on his violent approach to fighting drug addiction, which has been one of the signature trademarks of Duterte’s time in office so far. The remark, which wasn’t intended to become public, is likely to draw a backlash in the media, due to Duterte’s support for murdering drug addicts.

Trump later pivoted to the subject of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

“What’s your opinion of him, Rodrigo?” Trump asked, inquiring whether Un is “stable or not 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 replied. “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.”

“Well he has got the power but he doesn’t have the delivery system,” Trump reassured, before shifting the conversation back to China.

“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,” Trump said.

He also invited Duterte, whom he called a “good man,” to visit the White House “anytime before November.”

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