The saga between Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and President Donald Trump continued Monday after McCain sharply criticized the president, yet again, for not presidenting.
In a tweet sent out by McCain, he accused the president of not making human rights a top priority during his meeting with Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte. McCain tweeted:
‘And human rights obviously not a priority in @POTUS’s meeting with Duterte – again, sad.’
Duterte is well known for his campaign to rid the Philippines of drugs. The problem, however, is that the punishments he enacts on offenders are highly questionable. When running for the presidency, Duterte urged voters to elect him as president promising he’d kill criminals and drug addicts. After winning the election, he remarked:
‘These sons of whores are destroying our children. I warn you, don’t go into that, even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you. If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.’
Human Rights Watch noted thousands have died in his war on drugs and crime.
‘Since taking office on June 30, 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has carried out a “war on drugs” resulting in the deaths of over 7,000 suspected drug dealers and users by January 2017. The government has attributed nearly half the killings to the Philippine National Police, and the remainder to “unidentified gunmen.” Cases investigated by the media and rights groups invariably found unlawful executions by police or agents of the police typically acting as “death squads.” Duterte has been outspoken in support of the anti-drug campaign and has sought to silence its critics, notably Senator Leila de Lima. No meaningful investigation into the killings has been undertaken.’
During his 12-day tour of Asia, Trump met with Duterte and had the opportunity to strongly condemn Duterte’s actions. When asked if Trump did just that, White House Press Secretary answered:
‘The conversation focused on ISIS, illegal drugs, and trade. Human rights briefly came up in the context of the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs.’
So, there that is. Trump “briefly” discussed human rights with a guy that compared himself to Hitler, literally.
However, the spokesperson for Duterte said there was no conversation about human rights, and Trump even seemed “appreciative” when Duterte explained his war on drugs.
‘There was no mention of human rights, no mention of extralegal killings.’
After the meeting with Duterte, Trump said the two have a “great relationship, ” and Duterte agreed they were allies.
McCain’s condemnation of Trump’s inability to address a dire situation for Filipinos should be widespread. Of course, the majority of the Republican party will remain quiet and faithfully bowed at the feet of their orange savior. The fact the two have a “great” relationship is frightening when you consider Trump may act on the advice of Duterte.
Twitter users responded to McCain’s tweet. You can check out those responses below.
Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.