US paper’s report on Trump-Duterte phone call ‘rumor-mongering’ — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday slammed a US paper’s story that reported US President Donald Trump’s phone call with President Rodrigo Duterte was among the phone calls which “horrified” White House staff, saying it is “rumor-mongering” and “shows negative bias” against the American president.
Citing anonymous sources, The Washington Post’s report said Trump’s phone call with Duterte was one of many the US President made to world leaders who are either outright authoritarian or display authoritarian tendencies.
“Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders were an anxiety-ridden set of events for his aides and members of the administration, according to former and current officials,” the report said.
“The article borders on rumor-mongering,” Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
While he recognized the story was based on interviews with Trump’s previous and present staff, Panelo stressed leaking the American President’s conversation was “simply outlandish.”
“We understand that the reporters based their story on interviews with 12 former or current Trump officials who all spoke on the condition of anonymity. The fact that President Trump’s private conversations with world leaders are leaked freely to the press by unnamed sources is simply outlandish,” Panelo said.
“To headline it as ‘genuinely horrified’ shows strong negative bias against the American President, as well as those personalities involved in the article. It violates the objectivity principle we expect from high-caliber journalists of The Washington Post,” he added.
Panelo said The Washington Post’s slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” is “apt” because “it died in darkness when the prestigious publication engaged itself in political propaganda.”
The Washington Post’s report specified Trump’s call to Duterte where the former said the latter was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”
Panelo defended Trump, saying his “praise of our anti-drug policy and action underscores the American leader’s fair judgment coming from his unlimited and unimpeded access to information.”
“The staff was blissfully ignorant about pertinent facts surrounding this Administration’s campaign against illegal narcotics; hence, the reaction, if true, is not surprising,” he added. /je
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