Trump invites Duterte to D.C.
Bullit Marquez / AP
President Trump spoke by phone yesterday with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. The White House said the call was "friendly," and Trump noted Duterte's efforts to "rid [the Philippines] of drugs."
The background: The war on drugs in the Philippines has seen some 7,000 killed by police and squads of vigilantes since Duterte took office last year, though he rejects claims that he controls the death squads. Duterte also once called Barack Obama a "son of a whore."
Why it matters: Strongmen like Duterte, Turkey's Erdogan and Egypt's el-Sisi were kept at arms length by the Obama administration but are being embraced by Trump. That makes European allies nervous, but the Trump administration argues that it strengthens alliances against foes like ISIS and North Korea.