According to a report by The New York Times, a White House press release late Saturday night stated that President Donald Trump has invited president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. The invitation came after a "very friendly conversation" over the phone. A representative from the Duterte administration confirmed the phone call.
President Duterte has been accused of sanctioning extrajudicial killings in the Philippines as a way to fight the country's drug problem. Extensive reporting from the country has shown the toll that these killings have taken on the people of the Philippines, and human rights groups have condemned the killings, which have taken the lives of thousands of people. Duterte is also on record as endorsing rape, and calling former President Barack Obama "the son of a whore." A U.N. official has recently encouraged that President Duterte be investigated for murder.
President Trump's invitation to the controversial leader came on the same day marking the President's 100th day in office, which he spent part of at a rally in Pennsylvania with supporters. He has issued statements of approval towards other controversial leaders in the past, most recently Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose recent controversial referendum expanded his governing powers.
According to ABC News, Reince Priebus, a top White House aide, has said that the purpose of the call was about the impending military threat of North Korea, and the need for strong alliances against that threat.
When President Trump was asked about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this morning on Face The Nation, he said that the leader is "obviously a pretty smart cookie" when considering the people who have tried to take away his power. Trump added that he would "not be happy" if North Korea were to attempt another nuclear bomb test. When asked to clarify if "not happy" mean military action, President Trump responded "I don't know. We'll see."
You can watch the President's full interview with Face The Nation below.