It was enormously controversial that Trump placed a friendly call to Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte in April. Now, we can read what they said.
Last month Donald Trump spoke by phone with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and was widely criticized by members of both parties for inviting the strongman to meet with him in the White House.
The Intercept obtained a transcript of the call and is publishing it in full. On the call, Trump enthusiastically endorsed Duterte’s murderous “drug war” and repeatedly addressed the possibility of a U.S. nuclear strike on North Korea. The transcript, which contains numerous typographical errors, is an official document of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. Well-placed sources at the Palace and the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed its authenticity to reporters for the Philippine news outlet Rappler, which collaborated with The Intercept on this story.
The White House readout describes the call as a “very friendly conversation”:
President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. It was a very friendly conversation, in which the two leaders discussed the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regarding regional security, including the threat posed by North Korea. They also discussed the fact that the Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world. President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to participate in the East Asia Summit and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit. President Trump also invited President Duterte to the White House to discuss the importance of the the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction.
Here is the transcript:
Disclosure: Omidyar Network is an investor in Rappler, an independent news organization based in the Philippines. The Intercept’s publisher, First Look Media, was founded by Pierre Omidyar.