The enlightened PM of Oz, Malcolm Turncoat, thought he could exchange about 2500 Muselmaniacs hauled up in Vanuatu and PNG with a similar number of Mohammedans who tried to get to the U.S. and got stuck in Costa Rica. What’s the point? Knowing Trump, he will not fall for it.
TURNBULL, TRUMP IN TELEPHONE TIFF
Consider the source, but Donald Trump apparently doesn’t care for Malcolm Turnbull’s agile and innovative conversational gambits.
The Washington Post reports:
It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.
Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.
Understandably. After all, 25 minutes with Malcolm probably felt like twohours.
Trump, who one day earlier had signed an executive order temporarily barring the admissions of refugees, complained that he was “going to get killed” politically and accused Australia of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers.”
Best. Line. Ever.
At one point Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladimir Putin — and that “This was the worst call by far.”
Until his next call from Malcolm.
The friction with Turnbull reflected Trump’s anger over being bound by an agreement reached by the Obama administration to accept refugees from Australian detention sites even while Trump was issuing an executive order suspending such arrivals from elsewhere in the world.
The issue centers on a population of roughly 2,500 people who have sought asylum in Australia but were diverted to facilities off that country’s coast at Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Deplorable conditions at those sites prompted intervention from the United Nations and a pledge from the United States to accept about half of those refugees, provided they passed U.S. security screening.
It’s an island of deplorables! Turnbull is now ducking and weaving:
Mr Turnbull on Monday described the call as constructive, saying the pair acknowledged the already strong and deep relationship between the US and Australia and committed to making it stronger.
On Thursday he refused to answer questions about the report, sticking to his previous public statements.
“I’m not going to comment on these reports out of the United States about the conversation,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
“It’s better that these conversations are conducted candidly, frankly, privately.”
Better for Turnbull, at any rate.
UPDATE. Further from Turnbull:
“The report that the president hung up is not correct, the call ended courteously,” he told 2GB radio this afternoon.
He backed this statement up during an interview with 3AW radio, saying he was “disappointed” about the leak but some information had not been accurate.
“It was a 25-minute call, it covered a number of issues but the bulk of the time was spent on the refugee resettlement deal,” he said.
The Prime Minister also responded to President Trump’s tweet, saying the facts were President Trump had given an assurance during their conversation that the deal would go ahead, White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed that in a briefing on Wednesday and the US embassy in Canberra reconfirmed it this afternoon.
“I do stand up for Australia but I can assure you the call was courteous,” Mr Turnbull said.
Good old courteous Malcolm. One or two former Turnbull staffers must be absolutely loving this.