Trump Meets With Controversial Philippine President To Wrap-Up Asia Trip

MANILA (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump is wrapping up his trip to Asia with perhaps his most controversial stop.

He’s in the Philippines for a meeting with the nation’s president who has been criticized by human rights activists for his violent handling of the country’s drug war.

As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, protestors gathered in the streets of Manila to burn signs depicting President Trump, while at times clashing with police using a water cannon.

The demonstrations came as Trump met with world leaders at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

Among the president’s meetings was a controversial one with the summit’s host, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Human rights groups accuse Duterte of overseeing a bloody drug war. They said he’s behind the killings of thousands of drug dealers and drug users.

Duterte told reporters that Trump has praised his strategy.

“He said something about, you know you handle it very well,” Duterte said.

The White House said human rights vis-a-vis the drug war did come up briefly in their meeting, but Mr. Trump ignored questions about it.

“We’ve had a great relationship. This has been very successful,” Trump said.

Earlier in the day, Trump met with his counterparts from Japan and Australia. He said the focus of their meeting was the same as the focus of the entire trip, which he said he’ll expound on, Wednesday afternoon at the White House.

“It’ll be a complete statement as to trade, as to North Korea, as to a lot of other things,” Trump said.

On trade, the president called it a ‘very fruitful’ trip.

He boasted of nearly $300-billion in new sales for U.S. manufacturers.

The president appears to be counting on non-binding agreements for potential future deals along with some signed contracts that have been previously announced.

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