A reporter with the Washington Post, David Fahrenthold, has just confirmed that the US Embassy for the Philippines — the country run by brutal dictator Rodrigo Duterte — will be held on June 12 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
I just confirmed this w/the Philippine Embassy: the embassy will hold its June 12 Independence Day party at…@realdonaldtrump‘s hotel. That comes after Trump has praised Duterte, and vice versa. https://t.co/eaeFYpiDd4
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) April 19, 2018
While it once again does raise concerns of violations of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution, the Trump administration hasn’t heralded the celebration the way it has brazenly announced other arrangements that clearly violate the same principle, if not law. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that Trump makes money every time he hosts, for example, the Prime Minister of Japan at Mar-a-Lago for an expensive lunch, but Trump usually has no problem with publicly declaring his comfort with such matters, believing that claims under the Emoluments Clause are without merit — despite a federal judge allowing lawsuits alleging violations of it to go forward, even as Trump sits in the White House.
Apparently, however, Manila never got the memo that Trump wasn’t trying to trumpet this particular affair.
In a dispatch from the nation’s capital, Filipinos celebrated the return of the “good old days” when the annual observance was held at swanky hotels like the Four Seasons and the Mandarin-Oriental and rightly noted that selecting the Trump International had the political overtones of a country attempting to curry favor with the current US administration.
Most countries whose emissaries have chosen to stay at Trump properties have not been as forthright about their intentions.
But perhaps most problematic for Trump is the ongoing perception that he is cozying up to dictators. Duterte is far from the only one Trump has publicly praised, but certainly one of the most vicious in his application of absolute authority over his nation’s laws.
Many believe that it was Duterte’s public executions of drug dealers in the streets of Manila that prompted Trump to announce that he felt the same about peddlers in our own country — that they, too, should face the death penalty.
Modeling his behavior and political stances after the opinions and characteristics of a brutal dictator are bad enough. But throwing a party for him on US soil, and making money from the affair… That’s more than a little concerning.
Featured image via Opposition Report Gallery