President Donald Trump on Monday congratulated yet another strongman ruler, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (above, left), for winning “reelection” despite the suppression of el-Sissi’s political opponents.
“President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt,” the White House said in a readout of Trump’s call with el-Sissi Monday. “President Trump congratulated President Al Sisi on his reelection. The two leaders affirmed the strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt, and noted that they look forward to advancing this partnership and addressing common challenges.”
El-Sissi won his reelection bid with 97 percent of the vote, Egypt’s election commission announced Monday. The next highest vote-getter, with 3 percent of the vote, was a supporter of the president. All other challengers, as several media outlets have pointed out in recent months, were arrested or pressured to drop out of the race months ago.
El-Sissi began his rule after leading a military coup in 2013 against then-President Mohamed Morsi.
Last month, Trump similarly congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection, reportedly despite an urgent note from advisers in his briefing materials: “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.”