Republican Senator John McCain took to President Donald Trump’s favorite public relations tool, Twitter, to toss an insult in the president’s direction.
And human rights obviously not a priority in @POTUS’s meeting with Duterte – again, sad.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 13, 2017
McCain’s critical tweet concerns President Trump’s visit to the Philippines and his meeting with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. The White House stated that the two leaders discussed human rights during the meeting, but President Duterte’s spokesman disputed that statement, saying that, “There was no mention of human rights, no mention of extralegal killings.”
Duterte took office in 2016 and has been leading a war against drugs since then. The controversial drugs war has left an estimated 3,900 drug dealers and users dead, according to humans rights groups.
The country’s government says that the killings are acts of self-defense by the police, but critics and human rights groups disagree, saying that alleged drug dealers are being executed. Adding to the horror of these allegations, Duterte himself has bragged that he stabbed someone to death as a teenager and that he killed three men during his tenure as mayor of Davao.
Not surprisingly, even with Duterte’s frightening admissions and the accusations against his administration, President Trump claims that the two leaders have “a great relationship”.
McCain’s tweet is just the latest example of his candid criticism of President Trump. While it is heartening when members of the Republican party turn against their leader, it speaks volumes that more politicians and citizens aren’t outraged that Trump has a “great relationship” with a leader who admits to murdering his citizens.