Egyptian president and serial human-rights violator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told CNN that he has “no doubt” Donald Trump would be a “strong leader” for the United States.
On Monday, both Trump and Hillary Clinton met with the Egyptian strongman on the sidelines of the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants. The Democratic nominee laced her statement on their “constructive” meeting with rhetorical wrist slaps about “respect for the rule of law and human rights” and a call for the release of political prisoners. Trump’s statement included no such criticism. Instead, the GOP nominee hailed Sisi’s Egypt as a “loyal friend” and promised to invite him to the White House for an official visit, should the mogul win this November.
Exactly what Trump said during his first meeting with a leader of a Muslim nation is not publicly known. But in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett that will air Wednesday night, Sisi suggested that the Republican nominee doesn’t mean what he says about that whole “Muslim ban” thing.
“The United States, in general, conducts very strong security measures for everyone who wishes to visit it,” Sisi replied. “It’s also important to know that during election campaigns many statements are made and many things are said; however, afterwards, governing the country would be something different.”
Burnett then asked if Sisi meant that Trump “is saying what he needs to say to be elected but that he might not follow through with the plan.”
“I don’t want to be unfair to anyone here. During election campaigns there is a perception based on a certain vision and a point of view,” Sisi replied. “Then that vision or point of view gets corrected and develops as a result of experience, reports, and advice from experts.”
Explaining why he is certain that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would make good presidents, Sisi said, “Political parties in the United States would not allow candidates to reach that level unless they are qualified to lead a country the size of the United States of America.”
If only we could still see ourselves the way Sisi sees us.