"I'm a very good mediator and arbitrator", Trump said during a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi before flying here.
The US official said counterterrorism efforts will also be discussed and "President Trump is going to be congratulating President Duterte on the recent liberation of Marawi City in Mindanao from the ISIS-linked" Maute terror group. "And also I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do or what might come out as a result of these investigations", Brennan said.
"As to whether I believe it, I'm with our agencies", Trump said. The next day Trump and Duterte meet one on one.
At APEC on Friday, Trump also said the United States will no longer "be taken advantage of" through trade agreements, but also called for mutually beneficial trade deals.
Brennan said Trump's ambiguity on Russia's involvement was "very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint".
Duterte, however, seemed to remember it differently. He was closing a almost two-week trip through Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines that included one-on-one meetings with the leaders of those nations during which he stressed trade.
When he came into office in June 2016, Duterte ordered the police and military to violently root out criminals and drug users and sellers, but instead of arrests and prosecutions, there were thousands of extrajudicial killings.
"The arms that you sent were very accurate and they were able to take care of the snipers", Duterte told Putin, referring to the ISIS-inspired Maute rebels.
They also say it has uncomfortable similarities with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's salute. He said a charitable reading of the meeting would be that Duterte was alluding to human rights issues when he said the drug war was important as an issue of "human development".
The writer, president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations and a founder of Human Rights Watch, is the author of "The International Human Rights Movement: A History".
Though the U.S. administration has been under pressure to raise Duterte's drug war in Manila, Trump will likely focus on building rapport and personal friendship with his Filipino counterpart.
Duterte has also acknowledged the deep and unshakable bond between the Pentagon and Philippine military, which has played a key role in shaping and taming the Filipino president's erratic defence policy. "As now led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies".
Duterte says there are three million drug addicts in the Philippines, and he'd like them all dead.
In particular, this was due to the Trump administration's explicit and conscious decision to prioritise strategic cooperation with Asian allies over promotion of human rights and democracy values.
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