As background to this story, Donald Trump spoke with President Dutere two days ago and reportedly praised him on his extrajudicial killings of thousands. Too, within that time period Mr. Trump appeared to accept an invitation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit Pakistan, a country that Mr. Obama has steered clear of, largely over tensions between Washington and Islamabad over counterterrorism policy and nuclear proliferation.
Within the same 48-hour period, in an affront to China, President-elect Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with Taiwan's president on Friday, a striking break with nearly four decades of diplomatic practice that could precipitate a major rift with China even before Mr. Trump takes office.
These 'phone calls were made unbeknown to anyone in his transition team who had knowledge of the proper conduct of foreign policy or diplomacy. Inside sources say that Trump staffers were astonished by the recklessness and stupidity of the 3 telephone conversations.
Now to the story: Donald Trump has a financial empire with holdings in 20 foreign countries including a $150 million tower in Manila's financial district - a 57-story symbol of affluence. The building was built in partnership with a member of the Philippine government headed by Rodrigo Dutere, an unstable, mercurial leader. Mr. Duterte and has called for American troops to exit the country in two years' time. His antidrug crusade has resulted in the summary killings of thousands of suspected criminals without trial.
Meanwhile, in Uzbekistan, Gregor Zylogek who is one of the greatest purveyors of "fake news," stories that are false and often repeated on Facebook and other social media sites, created a story that Mr Dutere, for an unspecified reason, was very angry with Donald Trump and had ordered the Philippine army to occupy the Trump Manila building has well as sites of a dozen other Trump holdings in the country.
The fake news story was reported on Facebook and was read by President-Elect Trump, who trolls the Internet for news, and who took the phony story for being true. In response to the fake news story, Mr. Trump got Mr. Duterte on the 'phone and told him if he didn't remove the troops he would invade the island as soon as he was elected President of The United States.
According to the Manila press, in response, Mr Duterte told Mr. Trump that he had never told his troops to occupy Trump properties but since he was such an obvious ass he now would occupy them, and furthermore, he would form an alliance with China and allow that great power to extend its sphere of influence far beyond what it currently enjoyed. "If all the U.S. troops aren't gone by the time you're sworn in to be President I'll personally order their deaths," Manila press reported Duterete telling Trump.
This reporter was able to contact Gregor Zylogek in Uzbekistan and ask him what his response was to being responsible for an international crisis that could lead to war between U.S. and China.
Mr. Azlogek told me in response that, "Uzbekistan is so far away from the part of the world that the nuclear fallout won't come here."
Taking that into account, this reporter is leaving the U.S. to live in Uzbekistan and this will be my last story for the New York Times.