President Donald Trump congratulated his Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, during a phone call last month for doing “an unbelievable job on the drug problem” in the Philippines, where the government has sanctioned the extrajudicial killing of suspects.
A transcript of the April 29 conversation published online by The Intercept and reported by multiple media outlets, including The New York Times, comes from the Office of American Affairs in the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs. The transcript is preceded by a coversheet marked “confidential” that lays out security procedures for the document.
“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump told Duterte, according to the transcript. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”
Filipino police and vigilante squads have summarily executed an estimated 6000 suspected drug users and dealers on Duterte’s orders. Duterte himself has publicly bragged about “personally” murdering suspected criminals.