Rights groups have warned Mr Duterte may be orchestrating a crime against humanity, with police and vigilantes committing mass murder. More than 8,000 people have been killed since he began his drug crackdown eight months ago, according to Reuters. "If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me)".
"You know he's very popular in the Philippines", Trump said. "Small-d democrats all over the world are incredibly despondent right now about Donald Trump - and that's true in China, in Iran, in Egypt, in Russian Federation".
He even once said that he would kill his own children if they used drugs and has displayed an nearly breathless lack of concern about the thousands dead in his country.
US Senator Benjamin Cardin, a ranking member of the Senate foreign relations committee, had demanded that Trump "immediately rescind" his invitation to Duterte, in light of the reported human rights violations in the Philippine leader's anti-drugs campaign.
US President Donald Trump attends a meeting at the White House in Washington, March 31, 2017.
Carlson said the dinner felt like "an extended middle finger to the president" and very, very anti-Trump.
"The latest example is Mr. Trump's decision to invite Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, to the White House", its editorial said.
What kind of president calls North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a "pretty smart cookie", as Trump did in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation"?
Tensions with North Korea have escalated dramatically in recent weeks as American and other intelligence agencies have suggested the country was readying for a possible nuclear test.
Duterte on Monday seemed in no hurry to accept the White House invitation. Nevertheless, Duterte also said he may not accept the invitation from Trump because of his busy schedule, citing commitments to Israel and Russian Federation.
Later in the briefing, the New York Times' Glenn Thrush noted that Trump invited Duterte to the White House after praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Trump brushed off concerns about Duterte's reputation in an interview Monday with Bloomberg News. Michael McFaul, who served as the USA ambassador to Russian Federation under President Barack Obama, echoed the sentiment.
Obama scrapped a meeting with Duterte last September following those comments. But Trump's ad-libbing has left many USA allies confused, including countries that are part of the coalition he wants to build to counter North Korea.
Ilan Goldenberg, a former State Department official under Secretary of State John Kerry, told Politico that while the USA has always had relationships with "problematic" governments, Trump's praise for these regimes has thrust the country into uncharted diplomatic territory.
The newspaper further said that although the U.S. must work with its allies, Trump's uncritical embrace of those who showed the least regard for human rights, rule of law and democracy would undermine America's reputation.
And Ivanka Trump used to be the poster girl for the project - a billboard with her likeness on it was used to market the $150 million building, described on the Trump Organization's website as an "illustrious skyscraper (that) is already being recognized for its breathtaking architecture, exquisite design, ultra-exclusive amenities and unparalleled standards of luxury - attributes uniquely synonymous with the Trump brand name". The project's developer, Jose E.B. Antonio, was named a special government envoy to the USA last fall.