On Tuesday, President Trump claimed that he because of him, the United States now has “a very strong relationship” with the Philippines, a nation that Barack Obama “never got to land” in. For those of you keeping track of Trump’s lies, you might want to start a new page.
“And as you know, we were having a lot of problems with the Philippines. The relationship with the past administration was horrible, to use a nice word,” Trump told reporters in Manila. “I would say ‘horrible’ is putting it mildly. You know what happened. Many of you were there, and you never got to land. The plane came close but it didn’t land.”
Obama visited the Philippines several times and even signed an enhanced defense cooperation agreement in 2014. However, Trump canceled his last trip, planned for September 2016, after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called Obama a “son of a b*tch.”
“Clearly, he’s a colorful guy,” Obama said at the time of Duterte. “And what I’ve instructed my team to do is to talk to their Philippine counterparts to find out is this, in fact, a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations.”
But to Trump, the relationship is “probably better than ever before.”
“So it’s very important that we get along with the Philippines, and we really do. We have a very good relationship. I would actually say probably better than ever before,” he said.
That may be true, but it’s important to remember who Duterte is. His “crackdown” on drug dealers and users resulted in thousands of deaths. Duterte even used death squads to perform executions. This is the kind of leader Trump admires and wants to have a good relationship with.