As President Donald Trump awaited the arrival of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi during last month’s G7 summit, he asked aloud, “Where’s my favorite dictator?” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Several people who were in the room at the time said they heard the question,” the Journal reported. “The witnesses said they believed the president made the comment jokingly, but said his question was met by a stunned silence.”
President Sisi entered the room minutes after Trump’s praising question, and the U.S. president touted their relationship, reportedly 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.”
Since coming to power in a 2013 coup, the Egyptian leader has been accused of suppressing and detaining dissidents and torturing and killing prisoners, according to reports from human-rights monitoring organizations.