On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tweeted his displeasure with President Donald Trump for allegedly failing to mention human rights during his tour of Asia:
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 11, 2017
And human rights obviously not a priority in @POTUS’s meeting with Duterte – again, sad.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 13, 2017
“Human rights obviously not a priority,” McCain said in reference to Trump's meeting with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. He was likely referring to Duterte's spokesman's apparent claim that Trump never discussed human rights with the Filipino leader, whose regime came under fire for its conduct in the nation's drug war in which thousands of lives have been lost.
“There was no mention of extrajudicial killings. There was only a rather lengthy discussion about the Philippine war on drugs with President Duterte doing most of the explaining,” Harry Roque, Duterte's spokesman, said.
That account conflicted, however, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders's, who said the president did mention human rights concerns while discussing the Philippines's drug war.
A joint statement from the White House and the Philippines appeared to corroborate that account, stating that the two nations committed to valuing human rights.
“The two sides underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential, and agreed to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs to promote the welfare of all sectors, including the most vulnerable groups,” the statement read.