What really happened during 'that' phone call

Jonathan Ernst  Reuters                       Donald Trump speaks by phone with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office at the White House

The full transcript of that phone call between President Donald trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull back in January has been leaked to the Washington Post, and it shows just how tense the convo was.

The call lasted just 24 minutes with Turnbull assuring Trump he could "count" on him.

Although reports first emerged in February about Trump referring to his call with Turnbull as the "worst so far, " an official White House read-out of the conversation at the time, merely stated that the two leaders had "emphasized the enduring strength and closeness of the US-Australia relationship that is critical for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and globally".

"I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely".

Mr Turnbull responded: "That is the point I have been trying to make".

TRUMP: I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor's deal.

"You can not say that to the press", Trump told Pena Nieto according to the transcript of the January 27 call published by the Post on Thursday.

Mr Turnbull: "You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it".

"And now I am agreeing to take 2000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position".

"Can you hear me out Mr President?" he said early in the call.

TRUMP: I do not know what he got out of it.




Trump told the leader of one of America's important economic and military allies that he prefers talking to the autocratic president of a hostile foreign power who is responsible for murders of journalists and political opponents, and who attacked the United States.

"They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people", Trump said, seemingly a reference to the massive US dairy industry.

"I have had it", Trump told Turnbull in the January 28 conversation.

'I think it is a terrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made.

Mr Turnbull: "There is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal".

"I have had it", Trump says.

He goes on to say that after speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin (listed first), German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, " this was my most unpleasant call..." Putin was a pleasant call. In it, the president remarks that Nieto speaks "beautifully", adding that he does not think he "can speak that beautifully".

Turnbull wanted to steer the conversation to Syria and other subjects, but Trump would have none of it.

It unclear from the transcript whether this occurs, though the call does appear to end abruptly. "I will be there again and again".

Mr Trump then said: "Well, it is close".

It's quite obviously a call between an experienced politician (Turnbull) and a political neophyte.

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