A US -based human rights group says President Donald Trump should seek accountability and not offer to roll out the White House red carpet for Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte, who the group accuses of being a mass murder "mastermind" amid the thousands of deaths in his anti-drug crackdown.
Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said the friendlier ties are needed even with concerns about Duterte's human rights record, which includes extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users as part of the government's drug war.
"President Trump also invited President Duterte to the White House to discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction", the statement said.
And Minaj didn't mince words when talking about Trump's relationship with the media.
The White House said the two leaders, who were both elected to office previous year, had "a very friendly conversation" that included discussion about the Philippine government's efforts to "rid its country of drugs" and the regional security threat posed by North Korea.
Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to skip the event - and Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.
Several news organizations withdrew from the White House correspondents' dinner in protest of Trump's treatment of the media before Trump decided he would not attend. "The guys who prepared for the call were unified on this", the official said. More than 8,000 have been killed, both by police and "vigilantes". And if you believe Duterte, that's no surprise: Supposedly, in their first phone call last December, Trump specifically wished him well with the drug campaign and commended him for "doing it as a sovereign nation, the right way".
"It's a false standard, 100 days", Trump said while signing an executive order on Friday, "but I have to tell you, I don't think anybody has done what we've been able to do in 100 days, so we're very happy". Otherwise, who knows? In the end, perhaps Kim and North Korea are going about this all wrong.
"The issue on the table is North Korea, and there is nothing right now facing this country and facing the region that is a bigger threat than what's happening in North Korea". "Keep him distracted... The longer you keep him distracted the longer we're not at war with North Korea".
"We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room". But Trump enters his 100th day without having passed any major legislation and with the lowest approval rating of any president during this time period. Priebus would not say whether the issue came up in the call, saying he didn't hear the entire conversation.
"A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now", he said. But the objective of the call, he added, was "all about North Korea".
"Absolutely not", Priebus responded. "We need cooperation at some level with as many partners in the area as we can get to make sure that we have our ducks in a row", he added.
President Donald Trump is greeted by Vice President Mike Pence as he arrives to speak at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa., Saturday, April, 29, 2017.