Last Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed a refugee resettlement deal organized by the Obama Administration (Reuters). According to senior U.S. officials, during the 25-minute call, Trump told Turnbull this is “the worst deal ever” (Washington Post). Trump also allegedly accused the Australian government of trying to send the U.S. the “next Boston Bombers” (Washington Post). The phone call ended abruptly with Trump reportedly telling Turnbull that this was “the worst call by far” with a foreign leader so far (Reuters).
The U.S. and Australia have been close allies for over 70 years due to military, intelligence and cultural ties (CNN). Experts suggest that because of the allegedly contemptuous nature of the phone call between Trump and Turnbull, the alliance between the two countries could be at risk (CNN). Shortly after the phone call, Trump took to Twitter and criticized the refugee deal, tweeting: “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!” (AP). Turnbull declined to confirm the report about his phone call with Trump and has insisted that Australia’s relationship with the U.S. remains strong, and that the refugee deal is still on (AP).
Tags: Diplomacy, United States, Kipersztok, Australia, Pacific Rim