Donald Trump has already described Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a "favorite dictator" in the expectation of a meeting with the world leader, according to a new report.
The comment, detailed in a new the Wall Street newspaper report, was surprised by the silence of American and Egyptian personalities gathered at the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz, France, for the G7 summit this year.
"Where is my favorite dictator?" Mr. Trump reportedly said aloud, several people in the room said to the Newspaper.
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These witnesses stated that they believed that his comment was joking, but that their response was nonetheless moderate. It is not known whether Mr. Sisi was in the room or whether he heard the comment.
Regardless of the intention, the comment reported by Mr Trump has drawn attention to the repeated criticisms that Mr Sisi has suffered since taking power after the 2013 coup d'etat.
During his regime, Egyptian officials were accused of bringing together thousands of political opponents, as well as to have tortured and murdered prisoners in an attempt to avoid opposition, according to United Nations, United States State Department and other groups.
During these six years, the Egyptian government has defended itself by saying that it must take extraordinary measures to fight extremists.
The White House, in particular, has not officially taken a stand against the tactics.
The comments also serve to underscore the apparent ease of Mr. Trump with brutal dictators around the world, including Mr. Sisi and others, like Kim Jong Un, North Korea, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin. .
Mr. Trump also boasts of his strong relations with authoritarian leaders such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
According to Newspaper, The meeting in which Trump said Sisi was his favorite dictator included Egyptian officials such as Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Egypt's chief intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is also present, alongside National Security Advisor John Bolton, among others.