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Trump called Egyptian President Sisi ‘my favorite dictator’ at the G7



President Donald Trump astonished US officials at the G7 summit in France when he jokingly referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as “my favorite dictator.”

First reported by the Wall Street Journal, Trump made the comments while waiting to meet with the Egyptian president. He searched over a gathering of Egyptian and US officials and loudly called out: “Where’s my favorite dictator?”

The Journal reported that Trump’s question was met with a shocked silence. It was unclear whether al-Sisi heard the remarks.

The White House declined Insider’s request for comment.

Trump’s comments cast attention on his coziness with authoritarian leaders overseas. Others he has lavished praise on include Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Read more: Trump’s racist attacks on ‘the Squad’ come straight out of an authoritarian’s playbook and threaten American democracy, experts say

Al-Sisi seized power in a military coup that ousted Egypt’s first elected government in 2013. And he’s presided over a brutal crackdown, racking up accusations of gross human rights violations that include imprisoning tens of thousands of political opponents, crushing press freedom, and torturing and killing prisoners. The Egyptian government has justified its actions by saying it is combating extremism.

Shortly after he took office, Trump welcomed al-Sisi to the White House for the first time and said had “done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.” The Trump administration has not publicly criticized the Egyptian government’s abysmal human rights record.

During the G7 summit, Trump lauded his relationship with the Egyptian strongman before reporters, saying, “We understood each other very well. He’s a very tough man, I will tell you that. But he’s also a good man, and he’s done a fantastic job in Egypt. Not easy.”

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