President Donald Trump shocked onlookers at the G7 meeting when he praised the president of Egypt as a dictator.
“Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi,” The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
“Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in a loud voice: ‘Where’s my favorite dictator?’ Several people who were in the room at the time said they heard the question,” the newspaper reported.
The paper could not determine if Sisi heard the remark.
“Even if lighthearted, Mr. Trump’s quip drew attention to an uncomfortable facet of the U.S.-Egypt relationship,” The Journal reported. “Mr. Sisi has drawn criticism for his authoritarian rule since taking power following a 2013 coup. Under Mr. Sisi, Egyptian authorities have been accused of detaining thousands of political opponents, of torturing and killing prisoners and of stymying political opposition, according to reports by the United Nations, U.S. State Department and nongovernmental groups.”
The paper said Steve Mnuchin, John Bolton and Larry Kudlow were in attendance.
“Within minutes of the quip, Mr. Sisi met Mr. Trump and reporters were allowed in. Mr. Trump, among other comments, celebrated his relationship with Mr. Sisi, noting that the two leaders had begun talking with each other soon after Mr. Trump won the presidential election in 2016,” the paper noted.
Read the full report.