President Donald Trump invited brutal Philippine strongman Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to the White House without first consulting the State Department or the National Security Council to ask about our country’s relationship to the Duterte regime, said The Hill on Sunday.
According to the New York Times, both the National Security Council and the State Department were caught completely by surprise when the White House announced on Sunday that Pres. Trump had invited Duterte to Washington — in spite of the fact that the Philippine president has overseen the mass execution of 7,000 people as part of his government’s “war on drugs.”
“Now, administration officials are bracing for an avalanche of criticism from human rights groups. Two senior officials said they expected the State Department and the National Security Council, both of which were caught off guard by the invitation, to raise objections internally,” reported the Times.
Human rights groups heaped scorn upon Trump’s decision, calling it ill-advised and under-informed.
“By essentially endorsing Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, Trump is now morally complicit in future killings,” said John Sifton — Asia director of Human Rights Watch — to the Times. “Although the traits of his personality likely make it impossible, Trump should be ashamed of himself.”
Rights groups said that it would be impossible for Duterte to obtain a visa to visit the U.S. if he were not a head of state, given the number of human rights abuses of which he stands accused.
In the past, Duterte called former President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” due to his mixed-race heritage. He has called for “separation” between the U.S. and the Philippines and has combined his administration’s “war on drugs” and “war on Islamic terror” to strip citizens of their civil liberties and empowered the police to murder suspects without repercussions.
The Hill quoted Duterte from September as saying, “Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now, there are 3 million drug addicts [in the Philippines] … I’d be happy to slaughter them.”