Trump rips into Australian PM, 'hangs up call'

Trump rips into Australian PM, 'hangs up call'
2 min read
02 February, 2017
Donald Trump lambasted Australia's prime minister over a refugee deal before asserting "this was the worst call by far" and abruptly hanging up the phone, according to reports.
The US president then took to Twitter to call the agreement a "dumb deal" [Getty]
President Donald Trump ripped into his Australian counterpart before cutting short a fiery telephone conversation last week, according to reports that surfaced on Thursday.

Trump castigated a refugee deal with Australia - one of the US's staunchest allies - sparking a war of words with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The US president then took to Twitter and called the agreement with Australia to re-settle people kept in Pacific a "dumb deal".

Of his four conversations with world leaders that day, "This was the worst call by far," The Washington Post cited Trump telling Turnbull, shortly before he cut short 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."

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".

Turnbull had said earlier this week that the current US president had agreed to honour the deal struck with then president Barack Obama to resettle an unspecified number of the 1,600 people Australia holds in offshore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Wednesday that the Trump administration will honour the agreement, but that the refugees will be subjected to "extreme vetting".

There were fears Trump 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.