The conversation between Trump and Duterte was held on April 29. According to the Washington Post, the main topic of discussion was the situation around the DPRK.
To that, Duterte allegedly said that Kim Jong-un who is “playing with his bombs, his toys,” and “his mind is not working well and he just might go crazy one moment.”
That impelled Trump to point out that the United States has “a lot of firepower over there,” including “two nuclear submarines” sent by the Pentagon to the region last month.
Trump also said, “We can’t let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that. We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20 — but we don’t want to use it.”
A senior Trump administration official acknowledged that the transcript is accurate but declined to speak on the record about “a leaked document from a foreign government.” The Post obtained the document from a person who asked not to be identified because the transcript, labeled by the Philippines government as “confidential,” is not intended for public release, The Washington Post wrote.
Role of China
Trump told Duterte he hopes “China solves the problem … But if China doesn’t do it, we will do it.” Duterte then offered to call Xi and stress the importance of shifting Pyongyang’s behavior.
“You can tell him I am counting on him,” Trump replied. “I have a very good relationship with him. I had him in Florida for two days and got to know him well. He is a good guy,” The Washington Post wrote.
A source in the White House explained that Trump is amassing as much support as possible about the situation with the DPRK.
“Regional support is extremely meaningful. This is how he’s trying to proactively manage a very difficult situation,” the source said Washington Post reported.
Trump’s call with Duterte, during which he extended an invitation to visit him at the White House, was met with skepticism from foreign policy analysts and human rights groups.
Trump’s Earlier Comments About Kim Jong-un
The US president has repeatedly criticized the North Korean leader. However, public statements about Kim Jong-un were more politically correct back then.
In mid-April, Trump evaded a direct answer to the question of the TV presenter of Fox Business about the mental state of Kim Jong-un. The American leader noted that he was not familiar with the North Korean leader and could not judge his condition.
In early May, Trump surprised journalists when he announced that he was ready to meet personally with Kim Jong-un.
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”
Scandalous White House
It is not the first time that Trump is attracting attention with his scandalous statements about politicians. In mid-April, the US president insulted Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that “if Russia didn’t go in and back this animal [Assad], you wouldn’t have a problem right now.”
To that, the Syrian Foreign Ministry, fired back at Trump saying that, “If you’re an animal yourself, don’t think others are the same,” Ayman Soussan, Syrian deputy foreign minister, told Sputnik in an interview.
He stressed that Assad “is the president of a sovereign state elected by his people, and it is the Syrian people, not Trump… who should give an assessment of [President Assad].”
Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer went even further by comparing Assad to Hitler.
After reminding of the gas chambers of Nazi Germany, the White House spokesman apologized for his comparison, calling himself “tactless.”