Trump Calls Kim Jong Un ‘Mad Man’ In Call With Philippine President

A transcript of an April phone call revealed that the president told Rodrigo Duterte about strategic weapons locations

President Donald Trump. — Getty Images
May 24, 2017 at 1:30 PM ET

Last month, President Donald Trump reportedly had a “very friendly conversation” with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. But the context of the conversation wasn’t known until a recently released transcript of the phone call showed that Trump described North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “mad man” and praised Duterte’s controversial actions on extrajudicial drug executions.

According to the transcript, which was first reported on by the Washington Post, Trump spoke to Duterte on several issues, the most noteworthy being the threat posted by North Korea. Trump told Duterte that the U.S. has two nuclear submarines off the Korean Peninsula, and reiterated that he doesn’t want to have to use the country’s superior firepower on Kim if it isn’t necessary. In response, Duterte said that the North Korean is a “mad man” and that his regional block, ASEAN, was worried about the abilities of Kim’s rockets.

Later in the conversation, Trump echoed Duterte’s description of Kim.

“We can’t let a mad man with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that,” Trump said, according to the transcript. “We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20 but we don’t want to use it.”

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The transcript also provided insight to Trump’s views on drugs. At the start of the call, Trump immediately congratulated Duterte, whose harsh policies on drug users and dealers have killed thousands, for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” Duterte thanked Trump, reportedly saying that drugs were the “scourge” of his nation and that he was doing what he was doing to preserve the Philippines.

Toward the end of the call, Trump, who said he’d plan to be in the Philippines in November, extended an offer to Duterte to come to Washington.

“If you want to come to the Oval Office, I will love to have you in the Oval Office,” Trump said. “Anytime you want to come.”