The sports category has moved to a new website.
ADVERTISEMENT

US President ripped into Australian leader on call, according to reports

Trump abruptly cut short the fiery conversation after criticising the agreement to re-settle refugees.

US President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Australians Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, alongside Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (R) and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, in the Oval Office on January 28, 2017

The Washington Post said Trump abruptly cut short the fiery conversation after criticising the agreement to re-settle people kept in Pacific camps, sparking a war of words with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Thursday after the report surfaced.

Australia is considered a close US ally -- one of the so-called "Five Eyes" with which the US routinely shares sensitive intelligence -- and the call might have been expected to be smooth sailing.

But, according to the Post, Trump's assessment was the opposite.

ADVERTISEMENT

Of his four conversations with world leaders that day "This was the worst call by far," it cited him as telling Turnbull, shortly before he terminated the telephone meeting.

Australian government sources told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the report was "substantially accurate".

Turnbull said he was disappointed details of the "very frank and forthright" exchange had been leaked.

"As far as the call is concerned I'm very disappointed that there has been a leak of purported details of the call in Washington," he told Sydney radio station 2GB.

"But I want to make one observation about it -- the report that the president hung up is not correct. The call ended courteously."

ADVERTISEMENT

He added that Canberra had "very, very strong standards in the way we deal with other leaders and we are not about to reveal details of conversations other than in a manner that is agreed".

The Post's account is markedly different from the official read-out of the call provided by both governments.

Turnbull said Monday that Trump had agreed to honor the deal struck with then president Barack Obama to resettle an unspecified number of the 1,600 people Australia holds in offshore processing centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

There were fears the new US president would rescind it after he signed an executive order last week to suspend the arrival of refugees to the US for a least 120 days, and bar entry for three months to people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Diplomatic crisis

ADVERTISEMENT

After the Post story broke late Wednesday, Trump weighed in on Twitter and threw the agreement into doubt.

"Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!" he wrote.

After seeing the tweet, Turnbull insisted Trump had already agreed it would go ahead.

"The commitment made by the president in that call was made and we announced that and it was confirmed by his spokesman a day or so later," he said.

Reports of the Turnbull-Trump conversation came as the US and Mexican governments were denying claims that the former reality TV star had threatened to send troops into Mexico to deal with drug cartels.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mexican journalist Dolia Estevez, citing "confidential" US and Mexican sources, said Trump made the threat during an hour-long phone call with President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday.

Mexican and White House officials vehemently denied the report.

Relations have plunged into the biggest diplomatic crisis between the two neighbors in decades.

Trump angered Mexicans last week by ordering the construction of a massive border wall and vowing to make their country pay for the wall.

Pena Nieto has pledged that his government will never pay for the barrier and canceled a meeting with Trump scheduled for this week in Washington.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition to the row over the wall, Trump wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Mexican officials expect talks to begin in May.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Kenyans react after police allegedly shoots & kills a protestor in Nairobi CBD

Kenyans react after police allegedly shoots & kills a protestor in Nairobi CBD

Chief Inspector Maina speaks of his major concerns after teargas accident

Chief Inspector Maina speaks of his major concerns after teargas accident

Jalang'o finally returns to his roots after a heart-to-heart with Ruto

Jalang'o finally returns to his roots after a heart-to-heart with Ruto

Outrage erupts as teargas engulfs Super Metro bus with passengers[Video]

Outrage erupts as teargas engulfs Super Metro bus with passengers[Video]

Blog: 204 MPs approve Finance Bill 2024 2nd reading [List]
Live

Blog: 204 MPs approve Finance Bill 2024 2nd reading [List]

Guard rewarded with cash over 10 times his salary for protecting protestors

Guard rewarded with cash over 10 times his salary for protecting protestors

7 key factors driving Gen Z's political awakening in Kenya

7 key factors driving Gen Z's political awakening in Kenya

Netizens react after Anonymous' stern warning to Kenyan gov't

Netizens react after Anonymous' stern warning to Kenyan gov't

Treasury lines up budgets cuts for KRA, HELB, TSC, school feeding & others

Treasury lines up budgets cuts for KRA, HELB, TSC, school feeding & others

ADVERTISEMENT