President Barack Obama canceled a meeting with the president of the Philippines after Rodrigo Duterte recently called him a “son of a b*tch.”
Yes, he tried it.
Duterte’s outrageous comments came after the White House announced Obama would be asking Duterte about the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers in the Philippines, USA Today wrote. Apparently, more than 2,000 suspected drug users and dealers have died in the Asian country since Duterte took office a mere two months ago.
“Who does he think he is? I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign country and I am not answerable to anyone except the Filipino people,” Duterte responded in a speech Monday. “Son of a b*tch, I will swear at you.”
POTUS being classy, calm, and unbothered, said, “Clearly he’s a colorful guy.” But he was also clear: He wasn’t going to waste his time meeting with Duterte either, NPR pointed out. “I always want to make sure if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive,” Obama added.
The cancellation later prompted the leader to dial his tone back, explaining he snapped because he felt the U.S. was “throwing stones at glass houses.” He also issued a formal apology to try to smooth things over with one of his county’s biggest allies.
“We … regret [the remarks] came across as a personal attack on the U.S. president. While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the U.S. president. Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the U.S. with which we have had a long-standing partnership,” Duterte wrote in a statement.
Upon arriving at Vientiane, Laos, for a summit of Southeast Asian nations where POTUS will also be attending, Duterte stressed, “I do not want to quarrel with him. He’s the most powerful president of any country on the planet.“