White House, Palace issue contrasting accounts of Duterte-Trump talks

President Donald Trump reacts as he does the

US President Donald Trump has attended the opening ceremony of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila, where he is set to discuss security issues with his fellow leaders.

Trump's stop in the Philippines will be his last on his 12-day tour of Asia. "I'm the president of a country", Duterte continued, as if being criticized wasn't part of the gotdamn job description to be president. That cross-body handshake, during which each leader shakes the opposite hands of those next to him or her, briefly baffled Trump, who then laughed as he figured out where to place his arms.

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Butch Olano, Amnesty International Philippines Director, said, "President Trump has spoken about his ability to talk tough with foreign leaders, and this week's ASEAN summit presents a renewed opportunity to raise the horrifying human rights abuses that the region is facing".

In China, Trump squandered the opportunity to deliver an unequivocal message condemning Beijing's unfair trade practices and its unsafe military adventurism in the South China Sea.

The president met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (doo-TEHR'-tay), who has been condemned by human rights groups for his crackdown on drug dealers and users.

He tried to have it both ways on the issue of Russian interference in last year's presidential race, saying he believes both the USA intelligence agencies when they say Russia meddled and Putin's sincerity in claiming that his country did not. Trump stated that he asked Putin about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "As now led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies".

On Saturday, Trump lashed out at former heads of the USA intelligence agencies, claiming there are plenty of reasons to be suspicious of their findings and dismissing them as "political hacks".

Multiple congressional committees are also investigating.

The Davao-based solon also scoffed at Trump's racist anti-migrant policy which is targeting not just millions of Filipinos in the United States but millions more of migrants from other countries.

Mr Trump eventually figured out his mistake but not before the unflattering images made it to Twitter. I think not. Okay? Trump danced around questions about whether he believed Putin but stressed Putin's denials. Modi says relations between the USA and India are "growing very rapidly" and "getting deeper and more comprehensive". And he is expected, in meetings with other leaders, to push his agenda for bilateral, rather than multinational, trade agreements.



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