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Trump Tells Turnbull 'You're Worse Than I Am' in Leaked First Call

The "Washington Post" has got its hands on a transcript of the pair's first conversation.
Via Creative Commons

A transcript, leaked to the Washington Post, reveals new details about the tense first call between Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull back in January. The conversation made headlines around the world after a rumour circulated the new US President hung up on Turnbull after just 24 minutes.

These leaked documents back up that claim: "I have had it," Trump says. "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."


But they also show Australia's Prime Minister told Trump that America wouldn't need to take a single refugee under a refugee swap deal struck with former President Obama. The transcript details Turnbull's attempts to explain the deal to Trump, which would see refugees currently held by Australia on Nauru and Manus Island resettled in America.

"The agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any," Turnbull tells Trump. "Who made the deal? Obama?" Trump replies.

Turnbull goes onto explain how the deal will work—that every single person can be vetted by the American government, and the US has the choice to take none of them.

"None of these people are from the conflict zone," Turnbull adds. "They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

"Why haven't you let them out?" Trump replies. "Why have you not let them into your society?"

The Australian PM attempts to explain Australia's policy of "stopping the boats" was designed as a response to people smuggling and deaths at sea. "So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in," Turnbull says.

"That is a good idea. We should do that too," Trump replies. "You are worse than I am."

Read the whole transcript here.