President Donald Trump’s relations with the Australian prime minister apparently didn’t go all that well in a phone call Saturday.
The president reportedly blasted a deal his predecessor made to accept refugees that Australia had already rejected, and told Prime Minister Malcom Tuenbull that “This was the worst call by far,” of all conversations he’d had with world leaders.
In late November, former President Obama agreed to take in 1,250 refugees from predominately Muslim countries that Australia had already rejected for immigration. The countries included Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan.
The Washington Post reported:
“This is the worst deal ever,” Trump fumed as Turnbull attempted to confirm that the United States would honor its pledge to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center. 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.”
The phone conversation was scheduled to have taken an hour, but Trump reportedly ended the call after 25 minutes.
The president was still fuming about Obama’s “dumb deal” with Australia Wednesday night. He tweeted:
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Afterwards, the Australian prime minister refused to comment on the conversation when asked by The Associated Press.
“It’s better that these things — these conversations — are conducted candidly, frankly, privately,” Turnbull said.
He did, however, say that U.S.-Australian relations remained “very strong.”
“I can assure you the relationship is very strong,” Turnbull said. “The fact we received the assurance that we did, the fact that it was confirmed, the very extensive engagement we have with the new administration underlines the closeness of the alliance. But as Australians know me very well: I stand up for Australia in every forum — public or private.”
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