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President Trump with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi meet at the White House Tuesday. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump praised Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Tuesday, after U.S. lawmakers raised concerns about Egypt's planned Russian arms purchases, human rights issues and moves to keep the former general in power until 2034.

I can just tell you he’s doing a great job. Great president."
— President Trump on Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Details: Trump didn't mention Egypt's human rights issue as he referred to Sisi as "my friend" several times during their meeting in front of reporters. However, the White House said in a statement later the U.S. "encourages the Egyptian government to preserve space for civil society and to protect human rights."

The other side: A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers said in a letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Monday they had "serious concerns about the erosion of political and human rights" in Egypt. The letter, signed by 17 senators including Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), urged Pompeo to raise their concerns with Sisi.

  • Pompeo's spokesman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement the secretary of state had discussed cases concerning U.S. citizens in Egypt.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

1 hour ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.