It seems that Trump can’t go a single day without putting his foot in it, but hey at least we’re getting a laugh out of this one.
Monday morning at around 9:45 a.m. local time, President Donald Trump, along with other world leaders, arrived at the opening ceremony of the summit for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila.
Here he posed for a picture with the other leaders, before heading to a one-on-one meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
The photograph comprises of the world leaders partaking in the customary ASEAN handshake, where each leader places his right hand over his left hand to shake the other person’s hand.
Trump had a “false start” with the handshake before doing it properly, but not before photographers snapped Trump looking as though he is in absolute pain.
Photos of Trump doing the handshake quickly went viral, and it’s not hard to see why.
good luck to whoever has three weeks to get this regional production of Mamma Mia! into shape pic.twitter.com/eCZ81VxbMi
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) November 13, 2017
— ElElegante101 (@skolanach) November 13, 2017
What. The. Hell. Is. Happening. pic.twitter.com/CllyBFyW6C
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) November 13, 2017
There is no denying that the photo is hilarious, at least we can count on Trump for something.
But the big question is, why do they all look so chummy? Surely, Duterte, who has drawn global condemnation for his ongoing, murderous drug crackdown is someone you’d want to be smiling with.
In the picture a smiling Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can be seen next to Duterte, who back in August said on Melbourne radio that, “we deplore the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.”
According to The Human Rights Watch, the Philippines has seen an unprecedented level of killing[s] by law enforcement since Duterte took office.
Police statistics show that from July 1 to November 3, 2016, police killed an estimated 1,790 suspected “drug pushers and users.” That death toll constitutes a nearly 20-fold jump over the 68 such police killings recorded between January 1 and June 15, 2016.
Father Edward Beck was quick to share his opinion of these leaders shaking hands with Duterte.
I don’t understand why world leaders, including #DonaldTrump, shake hands and stand smiling next to Philippine President #Duterte , a man who has been accused of severe human rights violations. #justsayno #ASEAN2017
— Father Edward Beck (@FrEdwardBeck) November 12, 2017
The Wall Street Journal reported that, ‘a spokesman for Mr. Duterte said that he and Mr. Trump “were genuinely pleased to have finally met” very briefly at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. Mr. Duterte said he and the American leader would have “an interesting time” in the Philippines and that they “share so many ideas.”
But, “U.S. officials say Mr. Trump, who has not openly criticised the drug war, intends to bring it up and discuss “ways in which that war could be prosecuted that conform with Philippine law and international norms for human rights.”
So, we’ll have to wait and see if anything gets brought up by either Trump or Turnbull, but with so many conflicting sources, it’s hard to know if it will.
The ASEAN summit in Manila is the cap-off to Trump’s 13-day tour of Asia, which also saw him meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.