Philippines' President Duterte Politely Declines Trump's Unauthorized Invite

I’ve had those times when I had to politely decline an invite. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m wearing a t-shirt that reads: Sorry I’m late. I didn’t want to come.

So I gave you the story on Sunday about Trump’s invitation to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, a nutjob who believes in extrajudicial killings of the “outcasts” under his leadership.

The problem with the invitation centered around the fact that Trump didn’t bother to clear it with his State Department or National Security Council, and they, as well as others in the cabinet, were caught off guard by the news.

Had he bothered to consult with them instead of charging ahead on his own, they may have briefed him on why Duterte is troublesome.

I can promise you, he had no idea, before extending the invite.

Folks can calm down, however. Duterte has gracefully declined.

“I cannot make any definite promise. I am supposed to go to Russia; I am supposed to go to Israel,” he said, according to Yahoo News.

Duterte said that, while he couldn’t commit to accepting Trump’s invitation, relations between the Philippines and the U.S. have changed since Trump took office.

“It was not a distancing [of relations] but it was rather a rift between me and the State Department and Mr. Obama, who spoke openly against me,” he said.

He definitely had a problem with Obama. Of particular interest from The Hill:

Relations between Duterte and former President Obama were strained during the last administration, with Duterte frequently insulting Obama’s mother.

There are no “Yo mama” jokes aimed at Trump’s mother, so I guess things are so far, so good.