PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump praised him for “doing great” in his deadly campaign against illegal drugs during a telephone conversation last week that left him feeling “like a saint”.
Duterte said in a speech Wednesday that Trump told him not to worry about Americans criticizing him, adding that Trump had even invited him for coffee if he visits the U.S. to hear how he deals with the media, his critics, and the public.
According to the South China Morning Post (via the Associated Press) Duterte has imitated Trump’s voice and accent while talking about the telephone conversation on Dec 2.
In a candid impersonation of the property mogul, Duterte said Trump told him: “You’re doing great. I know what’s your worry about these Americans criticising you. You are doing good, go ahead.”
The friendly exchange was a departure from Duterte’s hostility toward President Barack Obama. He lashed out at Obama for raising concerns over the drug crackdown, which has left more than 4,000 suspects dead.
During the speech in Manila, Duterte quoted Trump as saying the two countries should fix the “bad relations” that arose from the Obama administration’s criticism on the bloody war on drugs.
“If you listen to how Trump talks to me now, I have already turned into a saint,” he added.
Duterte said his conversation was in stark contrast to the Obama administration’s depiction of the Philippines and himself to be “murderers and everything”.
Duterte, well-known for his penchant for using rough language, also noted that Trump used curse words when speaking about America’s problems at its border with Mexico.
“When you come to Washington, D.C., or New York City, look me up and we’ll have coffee,” Duterte said during the Trump impersonation. “And maybe you can give me a suggestion, one or two on how to solve this god—-, son of a b—-.”
However, Trump has yet to make any public announcement on his conversation with Duterte.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press