WH, Duterte spokesman give conflicting reports on human rights discussion with Trump

WH, Duterte spokesman give conflicting reports on human rights discussion with Trump
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The White House and a spokesman for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday gave conflicting accounts of whether human rights were discussed during a conversation between President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE and Duterte. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the two leaders "briefly" discussed human rights in regards to Duterte’s crackdown on drugs.

“The conversation focused on ISIS, illegal drugs and trade. Human rights briefly came up in the context of the Philippines’s fight against illegal drugs,” Sanders said, according to a reporter traveling in Asia with Trump.

But Duterte’s spokesman said human rights was not discussed, Reuters reported.


“There was no mention of human rights, no mention of extra-legal killings,”  Harry Roque, a spokesman for Duterte, said, according to the news outlet.

Trump has come under pressure to address human rights with Duterte on his trip.

Trump on Monday met with Duterte, who has been accused of abuses as part of his crackdown on drugs, in the Philippine capital city of Manila and took part in a summit for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Trump praised Duterte, saying the two have had “a great relationship” in remarks alongside the Philippine leader in Manila.

“This has been very successful. We have many meetings today with many other leaders. And the ASEAN conference has been handled beautifully by the president in the Philippines and your representatives,” Trump said. 

“And I've really enjoyed being here. The weather is always good. Today it's pretty good. But one thing about the Philippines — eventually it gets good, no matter what.”

During their joint remarks, Trump laughed when Duterte referred to members of the press as "spies," according to the reporter traveling with Trump.

"We will be discussing matters that are of interest to both the Philippines and ... with you around, guys, you are the spies," Duterte said, according to the press pool, after refusing to take questions.

"You are," Duterte said again, as Trump chuckled.