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Wednesday November 22nd, 2017 12:31AM

The Latest: Ex-official: Putin cleverly playing to Trump ego

By The Associated Press
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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Asia (all times local):

4:05 a.m. Monday

A day after being criticized by President Donald Trump, a former CIA director questioned whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was manipulating Trump with flattery during the president's lengthy trip to Asia.

Trump's trip is meant to be centered on trade and North Korea, and on Monday he is set to talk with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (doo-TEHR'-tay). But Trump remains dogged by things he has said, and not said, about Russia.

John Brennan said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump is trying to "delegitimize" the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Brennan says Putin is "very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump's interest in being flattered." He says it demonstrates that Trump "can be played by foreign leaders."

___

12:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump's lengthy Asia trip is winding down as it began, with a visit meant to be centered on trade and North Korea shadowed by questions about Russia.

Trump was in the Philippines on Monday and remains dogged by things he has said, and has not said, about Russia.

On Saturday, he dismissed the former U.S. intelligence officials who said Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential elections as "political hacks."

On Sunday, he tried to have it both ways, saying he believes both the U.S. intelligence agencies when they say Russia meddled and Russian President Vladimir Putin's sincerity in claiming that his country did not.

Former CIA director John Brennan said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump is trying to "delegitimize" the intelligence community's assessment.

___

8:10 p.m. Sunday

President Donald Trump is attending a gala in the Philippines celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (doo-TEHR'-tay) greeted Trump and other leaders one by one as they arrived at a convention center in Manila for the glitzy event.

Trump and Duterte shook hands twice and exchanged pleasantries before the leaders posed for a group photo and everyone filed into dinner.

Trump joined his fellow leaders in wearing Philippine formal attire — the Barong Tagalog, or long-sleeved white shirt.

Duterte sat to Trump's left at dinner and they engaged in conversation before the first course was served.

Trump and Duterte will hold more formal talks on Monday

___

5:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived in the Philippines to attend a pair of international summits and close his five-country tour of Asia.

Trump is slated to meet several times with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (doo-TEHR'-tay). Duterte has come under intense criticism from human rights advocates for overseeing a violent drug crackdown that includes extrajudicial killings. Trump has previously praised Duterte's handling of his nation's drug problems.

Trump was originally scheduled to depart Manila on Monday but he added a day to the visit so he could more fully participate in one of the summits.

He arrived in Manila on Sunday after a brief stop in Vietnam.

Trump also visited Japan, South Korea and China.

___

4:20 p.m.

Questions about Russian meddling in the 2016 election have followed President Donald Trump to Asia.

Trump said during a news conference Sunday in Vietnam that he believes U.S. intelligence agencies, which have concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help him win.

But Trump also says he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when Putin claims his country did no such thing.

Trump's comments came shortly before he took off for the Philippines, the final stop of his five-country Asia trip.

Trump is slated to attend a pair of international summits and meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte has come under fierce criticism from human rights groups for overseeing a violent drug war complete with extrajudicial killings.

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