This week’s fact-checking video by CNN’s Jake Tapper looks at a fanciful story that President Donald Trump tells about President Barack Obama’s last scheduled meeting with the Philippines president.
In Manila at the tail end of a 12-day Asian trip, Trump claimed that Obama’s plane “came close but it didn’t land” in the Philippines last year because of “horrible” relations between the countries.
It’s true that Obama did not have a good relationship with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, whose anti-drug crusade has led to the extrajudicial killings of thousands of people since taking office on June 30, 2016. Obama made two visits to the Southeast Asian country in his eight years, but none while Duterte was in charge.
However, contrary to Trump’s account, Obama never had a flight to the Philippines diverted at the last-minute.
Here’s what happened: On the day before a scheduled meeting between the two leaders at a regional summit in Laos, Duterte called Obama a “son of a bitch” and warned the U.S. president not to challenge him over the extrajudicial killings. Obama responded by saying he did not want to attend a meeting if it wasn’t productive — and then he canceled it.
Trump’s version: “You know what happened. Many of you were there, and you never got to land. The plane came close but it didn’t land.” That’s not true. Obama’s plane did land in Laos — where the meeting was supposed to be held. There was no scheduled plane trip to the Philippines and no mid-air drama.