Trump puts past slights behind, invites Duterte to White House
After the Philippine president’s harsh words for the US, Trump looks to turn the page
US President Donald Trump invited his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte to visit Washington, during what the White House described as a “very friendly conversation” on Saturday.
The amicable exchange represents a dramatic shift from the insults hurled at former president Barack Obama by Duterte, which included calling him a “son of a bitch” and suggesting he can “go to hell.” The insults came along with threats that the Philippines, a long-time US ally, might as well “break up with” the US.
The cooling of US-Philippines ties stemmed most visibly from the Obama administration’s condemnation of Duterte’s brutal drug war, which President Trump praised during a previous phone call with Duterte.