Refugee deal not ‘Malcolm’s fault’: Trump
US President Donald Trump has raved about his relationship with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, although he still thinks the refugee deal is “ridiculous”.
Mr Trump, in an interview with Time magazine, named world leaders he had forged bonds with and Mr Turnbull was high on his list.
“But no I have a very good relationship with all of them, including Australia,” Mr Trump said.
The president pointed to last week’s New York meeting with Mr Turnbull and coinciding event to honour the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.
“You saw that the other night, right,” Mr Trump said
Mr Trump blames former president Barack Obama, not Mr Turnbull, for the Australia-US refugee deal that upset him in their infamous January 28 phone call.
“You know they all said I hung up and I slammed the phone on him,” Mr Trump said.
“I didn’t do that.
“I mean, it was a little testy for a while because (former US President Barack) Obama made a ridiculous deal.
“But that wasn’t Malcolm’s fault.
“But we have a very good relationship with Australia and him.
“Which I think the other night showed.”
Mr Turnbull and Mr Obama last year negotiated a deal for the US to take asylum seekers being held on Nauru and Manus Island.
Mr Trump has said he will reluctantly accept the deal if the refugees pass extreme vetting.