‘I have had it. Putin was a pleasant call, this is ridiculous.’ Trump’s extraordinary row with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over refugees revealed in bombshell White House leak

Thursday, August 3, 2017
By Paul Martin

By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent
3 August 2017

President Donald Trump told Australia’s prime minister that a deal his predecessor struck up with the foreign government to accept 1,250 refugees was going to get him ‘killed’ and that he would be ‘seen as a weak and ineffective leader’ if he honored it.

Trump voiced his concerns to Turnbull in a phone call that took place eight days after he was inaugurated.
The tone and tenor of the conversation were already known – The Washington Post revealed snippets of the terse conversation several days later. The publication put out a full transcript of the conversation this morning, though, that reveals just how angry Trump was about the refugee deal.

‘I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous,’ Trump tells Turnbull near the end of the call.

Trump took the Oath of Office on Jan. 20. He spoke to Turnbull over the phone on Jan. 28.

One Trump’s first acts in office had been to sign a refugee ban prohibiting arrivals from citizens of seven countries on a temporary basis. The group included Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia.

Barack Obama’s administration had previously agreed to accept 1,250 refugees of those nationalities who were being held in detention centers of Australia’s coast in Papua New Guinea.

Conditions at the detention centers had prompted United Nations condemnation. The U.S. said it would take in half of the population, so long as they passed security screening tests that other refugees have also been submitted to.

On Feb. 1 the US embassy in Canberra said President Trump would honor the deal with Australia, despite his signing of the executive order barring other refugees from those countries from setting foot on US soil.

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