On Tuesday, Donald Trump told a story about Air Force One and former President Barack Obama. The only problem is that it never happened. Before boarding the plane to come home, Trump told the press that Air Force One was denied landing rights in the Philippines during a trip by his predecessor because U.S. relations with the nation were so bad.
Trump said Air Force One “never got to land” in the Philippines while be bragged about having “a very strong relationship” with the Southeast Asian nation.
“And as you know, we were having a lot of problems with the Philippines. The relationship with the past administration was horrible, to use a nice word,” Trump told reporters in Manila.
“I would say ‘horrible’ is putting it mildly. You know what happened. Many of you were there, and you never got to land,” he continued. “The plane came close but it didn’t land.”
The Associated Press fact-checked Trump’s claim:
Trump appeared to be referencing a meeting Obama canceled in September of 2016 with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The two were supposed to gather in Laos, but Obama canceled the meeting after Duterte referred to him as a “son of a bitch.”
“Clearly, he’s a colorful guy,” Obama said at the time of Duterte.
“And what I’ve instructed my team to do is to talk to their Philippine counterparts to find out is this, in fact, a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations.”
Obama did visit the Philippines on several trips earlier in his presidency and even signed an enhanced defense cooperation agreement with the country in 2014, but Trump claimed that our relationship with the Philipines is “probably better than ever before.”
“So it’s very important that we get along with the Philippines, and we really do. We have a very good relationship. I would actually say probably better than ever before,” he said.
Duterte has carried out an unlawful crackdown on suspected drug dealers and users, resulting in at least 7 thousand deaths by means including execution using death squads.
“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. There are 3 million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” Duterte declared in 2015.
However, while Trump was there he largely ignored any discussion of human rights with the dictator. We understand that Trump is jealous of President Obama, but his lies prove why he has so much disdain for fact-checkers. It’s sad that he doesn’t have that same disdain for murderous dictators, though.
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