Trump arrives in the Philippines, Duterte sings him a love song


At the start of a bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the ASEAN conference, the leaders made brief statements to gathered journalists and photographers.

Manila - A day after being criticised by President Donald Trump, a former Central Intelligence Agency director questioned whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was manipulating Trump with flattery during the president's lengthy trip to Asia.

"Every time he sees me, he says: 'I didn't do that.' And I believe - I really believe - that when he tells me that, he means it", Trump said, arguing that it makes no sense for him to belabour the issue when Russian Federation could help the U.S. on North Korea, Syria and other issues. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on the other hand, said specifically that "human rights briefly came up in the context of the Philippines' fight against illegal drugs".

North Korean officials described Mr. Trump's visit as "nothing but a business trip by a warmonger to enrich the monopolies of the USA defense industry".

"It is disappointing that President Trump might have ignored the opportunity to raise the horrifying human rights abuses in the Philippines, and left a proper discussion off the table", Rachel Chhoa-Howard, a researcher for Amnesty International in the Philippines, tells Bustle.

In addition to meeting with Duterte, Trump is expected to attend the Association for Southeast Asian Nations conference on Monday to urge allies to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme.

Trump, for his part, claimed that he "had a great relationship" with the Philippine president, who stands accused of having ordered hundreds of extra-judicial killings in the name of fighting a war on drugs.

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Trump was among 20 foreign leaders in the Philippines for the summit, his first visit to the country as president.

The U.S. Congress is now investigating Russia's alleged meddling in 2016 last year's USA presidential election. Modi says relations between the US and India are "growing very rapidly" and "getting deeper and more comprehensive". Trump initially did the handshake incorrectly.

Trump was meeting Monday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dining with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ahead of the East Asia summit in Manila.

But Trump, who has been criticised at home for neglecting rights issues in dealings overseas, praised Duterte in May for doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem".

Due to arrive in Washington late Tuesday night, the president said he will make major announcements on trade and North Korea on Wednesday at the White House.

During remarks to reporters, Mr. Trump also said he and Duterte have "a great relationship" but avoided questions regarding human rights issues.

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