Duterte mentioned that he was concerned about Kim Jong Un having “rockets and warheads,” leading to this deep response.
Trump: “What’s your opinion of him, Rodrigo. Are we dealing with someone stable or not stable.”
Note: We’re now on a first name basis with “Rodrigo.” Also note: Donald Trump is asking Rodrigo Duterte if Kim Jong Un is sane. This question raises a transitive property of crazy to a level that might require a whole team of ethicists, and possibly an exorcist, to answer.
Duterte: “He is not stable, Mr. President. As he keeps smiling when he explodes a rocket.”
And Kim does not even have cake. If you’re firing rockets but you’re eating “the most beautiful chocolate cake,” it’s completely not crazy to smile about it.
And maybe the craziest part of the whole thing is that Trump is serious. Trump is right back with his next searching question.
Trump: “What do you think about China? Does China have power over him?”
And then … better to just go to the tape.
Duterte: “He is playing with his bombs, his toys, and from the looks of it his mind is not working well, and he might just go crazy one moment. … “
Trump: “We have a lot of firepower over there. We have two submarines—the best in the world—two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all. I’ve never seen anything like they are, but we don’t have to use this, but he could be crazy. So we’ll see what happens.
Donald Trump, spiller of national secrets, here reveals the location of two nuclear submarines. Good work there.
After Duterte and Trump volley back and forth over Kim being a “mad man,” Duterte brings up President Xi of China. Another quick note: English is the native language of both of these men.
Duterte: “I will make a call to President Xi Jinping. I will try to tell him we will remain peaceful. China has the card. The other option is the nuclear blast, which is not good for everybody.”
Trump: “You tell him I am counting on him. I have a very good relationship with him. I had him in Florida for two days and got to know him well. He is a good guy.”
To get an idea of China’s ongoing goodness, it remains the world’s top executioner, doing in at least 1,600 people in 2015 and what Amnesty International describes at “thousands” in 2016. Which is actually more than Arkansas.
Trump really likes the idea of calling his cake-eating buddy, Xi and demonstrates some of that new American leadership style.
Duterte: “I will try to make a call tomorrow to China.”
Trump: “Please call China and tell them we all counting on China. Tell the president—we became friends for two days—he was great.”
Trump then tells Duterte he’s coming to visit in November and tosses open the White House doors. What does it sound like when Trump invites a mass murderer to the White House? It sounds like Trump is lonely. So, so lonely.
Trump: “You are a good man. Yes, certainly in November. Welcome and thank you and we will be happy to see you, Rodrigo. I look forward to seeing you. If you want to come to the Oval Office I will be happy to have you in Oval Office. Anytime you want to come. I will be in the Philippines in November, but anytime you are in DC or anywhere, come see me in the Oval Office. Anytime you want to come. Work it out with your staff. Seriously, if you want to come, just let us know.”
And of course, there has to be a closing that is not at all nuts.
Trump: “Keep up the good work, you are doing an amazing job. Say hello to the people of the Philippines for me.”