Philippines President: Trump Encouraged Me For War On Drug Users

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MANILA, Philippines (CBSMiami) — Wearing traditional Philippine clothing, President Donald Trump greeted Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and his partner Sunday at dinner in Manila, marking the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

gettyimages 873190690 Philippines President: Trump Encouraged Me For War On Drug Users

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte during a special gala celebration dinner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on November 12, 2017. (Photo by ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump’s tour of Asia is coming to a close with the controversial meeting. Duterte is accused of fighting the war on drugs in his country by killing drug-users outright.

Since being elected last year, opponents contend that the Philippines leader has ordered police to kill thousands of drug dealers and drug users.

Duterte told reporters President Trump has praised his handling of the issue.

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

gettyimages 873178354 Philippines President: Trump Encouraged Me For War On Drug Users

US President Donald Trump listens to Honeylet Avancena (C), partner of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) upon arriving for the special gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on November 12, 2017. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The meeting comes after brief encounters a day earlier with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. President Trump said he believed Putin’s claim that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 U.S. election.

John Brennan, former director of the CIA, and James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence, said they were confused by Trump’s comments.

“It’s very clear the Russians interfered in the election,” said Brennan. “It’s still puzzling as to why Trump does not acknowledge that.”

Protests on the streets of Manilla followed Trump’s visit to the island nation. At one point, police used water cannons to disperse crowds.

Trump’s visit to the Philippines is the last leg of his five-nation tour of Asia.

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