Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial president of the Philippines who has drawn widespread comparisons to Donald Trump, may soon be headed to the White House.
During a Friday phone call that a Duterte aide described as “animated,” Donald Trump extended an invitation to Duterte to visit the White House next year. Reuters reports that the conversation between the two leaders lasted about seven minutes.
News of the invitation comes days after Duterte appointed Jose Antonio, a Trump business partner, to serve as a special envoy to the United States—raising yet another potential conflict of interest for the president-elect. Last month, he called for a “separation” of relations between the two countries, but later retreated from the statement.
The Philippines leader, who once compared himself to Adolf Hitler, has drawn international condemnation for the thousands of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users that have taken place since he became president, and for similar killings when he was mayor of a city in the southern Philippines. He has also ranted against the United States and President Barack Obama, whom he once referred to as a “son of a whore.”
But Duterte has spoken favorably of Trump. After Trump’s presidential victory, Duterte said, “Long live Mr. Trump! We both curse at the slightest reason. We are alike.”
There is no word on whether Duterte plans to accept the invitation.