Trump's 'terrible' phone call with Australian PM
- Author: Ronnie Bowen Feb 03, 2017,
Feb 03, 2017, 0:50
Less than an hour after White House press secretary Sean Spicer offered assurances the United States would uphold a deal to take in 1,250 refugees from Australia, Trump continued to fume about the agreement, which had sparked the heated conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this weekend.
According to The Washington Post, he also accused Mr Turnbull of trying to export the "next Boston bombers", referring to Tamerlan and Dhozkar Tsarnaev, Kyrgyz-born United States citizens who set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon.
But White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said, despite the President's misgivings about the "dumb" deal, it remained alive.
The reports from USA officials differs from the accounts coming from the White House and gives an insight into the new president's unorthodox approach to diplomacy.
The phone call was expected to last an hour, but Trump ended it suddenly after 25 minutes. He described Australia as a "very essential ally", but added that it's important for leaders of two countries to have candid and private conversations with one another.
The refugee pledge that Trump is so upset about was agreed upon during former President Barack Obama's administration.
Trump reportedly told Turnbull that the resettlement agreement "was the worst deal ever" when the latter attempted to secure confirmation that the USA would follow through with its promise.
John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Australia's ambassador to the United States Thursday morning to do damage control after President Donald Trump's disastrous recent call with the country's prime minister.
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But the White House said on Thursday: "The president is still considering whether or not he will move forward with this deal at this time".
"President Trump's aggression towards the leader of one of America's closest allies caused astonishment among diplomats and foreign policy analysts", Oakes said.
Turnbull has resisted pressure this week to join other Western leaders in condemning Trump's temporary ban of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Mr Turnbull said the strength of the relationship between the two nations was evident in that Mr Trump had agreed to honour the deal.
In that call Trump reportedly said, "You have a bunch of bad hombres down there".
Mr Shorten - who had initially criticised Mr Turnbull for not standing up to the US President - demanded details about the phone call.
"He is considering doing it because of the long and good relationship we have with Australia".