When the enemy of your enemy says you have crossed the line, the line is probably so far behind that it is not even visible anymore.
The hot-tempered president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, sparked international outrage this week after he called U.S. President Barack Obama a “son of a w****,” forewarning that he would not discuss the extrajudicial killings in his country due to the current war on drugs.
Following this particularly colorful outburst, Obama, who was supposed to meet in Laos with Duterte — also known as “Trump of the East” due to his temperament and offensive nature — respectfully declined the meeting.
However, it seems even the real Donald Trump, the champion of birther rumors, was a little perturbed by Duterte’s comments.
China wouldn't provide a red carpet stairway from Air Force One and then Philippines President calls Obama "the son of a whore." Terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2016
The Air Force One comment refers to an incident at the G20 summit in China where Obama had to exit his airplane from the back entrance instead of the traditional exit onto a red carpet. Trump said if he were in Obama's shoes, he would have left the summit in protest.
“I’ve got to tell you, if that were me, I would say, ‘You know what, folks, I respect you a lot but close the doors, let's get out of here,’” he said at the time. “It’s a sign of such disrespect.”
Trump is not the only presidential nominee to have weighed in on the matter. His Democratic rival Hillary Clinton also condemned the Filipino president’s comment, saying the White House made the right call in canceling the meeting.
“When the president of the Philippines insulted our president, it was appropriate in a very low-key way to say: sorry, no meeting,” said the former secretary of the state. “We have a lot of ties between the United States and the Philippines. And I think it’s very important that we have a relationship. But there has to be a certain level of respect that is expected on both sides.”
Meanwhile, Duterte has backtracked on his expletive-laced insult and claimed he did not intend it as a personal attack.
"I do not want to quarrel with him," he said of Obama on Monday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. "He's the most powerful president of any country on the planet."
The White House says the U.S. president might still meet with his Filipino counterpart, but only informally.
“Words matter,” said State Department representative Mark Toner, according to Reuters.