Donald Trump left a room full of American and Egyptian officials stunned at last month’s G-7 meeting when loudly said “Where’s my favorite dictator?” while waiting for the Egyptian president.
A report Friday from the Wall Street Journal recounted the incident during last month’s meeting of world leaders in France, where Trump met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. As the report noted, the room was filled with American and Egyptian officials waiting for the meeting to take place when Trump made the loud declaration that he was looking for his “favorite dictator.”
As the report noted, what seemed to be an attempt at a joke from Donald Trump did not go over well as President Sisi has been accused of brutal crackdowns on dissidents.
“Even if lighthearted, Mr. Trump’s quip drew attention to an uncomfortable facet of the U.S.-Egypt relationship,” The Journal reported.
“Mr. Sisi has drawn criticism for his authoritarian rule since taking power following a 2013 coup. Under Mr. Sisi, Egyptian authorities have been accused of detaining thousands of political opponents, of torturing and killing prisoners and of stymying political opposition, according to reports by the United Nations, U.S. State Department and nongovernmental groups.”
The report noted that it was not clear if Sisi heard the remark. Not long afterward, Trump spoke to reporters about the improving relations between the United States and Egypt.
Donald Trump has often been criticized for the praise he has heaped on authoritarian leaders, including repeated remarks backing Russian President Vladimir Putin and admiring his iron-fisted rule. The American president has at times admired Chinese President Xi Jinping and his authoritarian rule, even admiring how the Chinese president is now constricted by term limits. Trump at times has praised Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, who has been accused of many human rights cases of abuse by allowing for roving death squads that have wide authority to kill drug dealers and users.
Donald Trump has already come under fire for his relationship with President Sisi, who he hosted at the White House just a few months after taking office in 2017. The meeting drew protests from many human rights activists, UPI noted.
While Donald Trump seems to have an affinity for the Egyptian president, his daughter has been working to support human rights campaigns in the African nation. As The Inquisitr reported, Ivanka Trump took to Twitter back in April to praise Egypt’s reform program offering more empowerment for women.