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Trump on Conversation with Turnbull: "The Worst Call By Far"

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Trump on Conversation with Turnbull: "The Worst Call By Far"

Update (8am, Friday, February 3rd): U.S. President spokesman, Sean Spicer, has confirmed the refugee deal will go ahead, but said those coming to the U.S. would face "extreme vetting".

Update (3:10pm): Donald Trump has commented further on the Australia/U.S. refugee deal, via Twitter (of course), saying he will "study this dumb deal".

Further details have emerged of Saturday's conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. As the Washington Post reports, Trump criticised Turnbull over the existing refugee resettlement agreement between the two countries, labelling it "the worst deal ever".

The arrangement, brokered between the Turnbull government and the Obama administration in 2016, involved the United States taking in approximately 1,250 asylum seekers currently held by the Australian government in off-shore detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. While reports earlier in the week suggested that this original promise would be honoured, these fresh reports from the the two leaders' chat suggests it's far from a done deal.

In the phone conversation, scheduled to run for an hour but abruptly cut short after just 25 minutes, Trump bragged of his election win, as well as telling Turnbull that of the several phone calls he'd had with other world leaders that day "this was the worst call by far."

These new details also show a different side to the brief 'readout' initially offered by the White House, which simply said that "both leaders emphasised the enduring strength and closeness of the U.S.-Australia relationship that is critical for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and globally." A senior administration official has since conceded that the conversation between the two was hostile and charged, yet productive and pleasant.

 

Topics: Donald Trump   Malcolm Turnbull   Australian Politics

 
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