A very friendly conversation

Trump continues his program of outreach to murderous autocrats by inviting Duterte to the White House.

The two leaders had “a very friendly conversation” in which they talked about the North Korea threat, according to the White House’s readout of the call. The two men, who have drawn comparisons for their tough rhetoric, also discussed the Philippine government’s fight against drugs.

What remained unmentioned, however, are the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users as part of the government’s drug war. Thousands have been killed by police and vigilantes since Duterte took office and vowed to eradicate his country’s massive drug problem. The rising death toll has drawn criticisms from international human rights groups, at least one of which, the Human Rights Watch, has made the case for a criminal investigation of the Duterte administration.

What’s to discuss? Trump likes that kind of thing. He thinks the cops should use whatever force and violence they think necessary, and everyone else should stfu.

In a brief phone call in December about the drug war, then-President-elect Trump told Duterte that he was doing it the “right way,” according to the Philippine president’s account of the conversation.

Extra-judicial killing is “the right way.” That’s our prez.

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