News broke on Wednesday of weekend calls to world leaders with President Trump.
They didn’t all go so well.
Jennifer Van Laar touched on the conversation with Mexico’s President Nieto, earlier.
Trump also had a Saturday morning call with a key U.S. ally, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
That didn’t go so hot, either.
During the US President’s call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday, Trump objected to an agreement over the US receiving refugees, sources told CNN. All this a day after a call with Mexico’s President, where a transcript showed Trump complaining about Mexico’s “handling” of “tough hombres.”
Australia is an ally of the United States, with the two countries joining three other English-speaking countries in an intelligence sharing arrangement known as the “Five Eyes.”
At issue was an Obama-era agreement to take 1,250 refugees – many from the seven restricted nations on the travel ban. Trump insisted that one of them could be the next Boston bomber.
Sources say Trump insisted it was a very bad deal for the US to take 2,000 refugees and that one of them was going to be the next Boston bomber.
Turnbull told Trump several times the agreement was for 1,250 refugees, not 2,000. He also said Australia was asking to submit them to the US for refugee screening, and if the refugees did not pass the US screening process, they would not come.
Trump doesn’t hold facts very well, apparently.
I do get that whether it’s 1,250 or 2,000 it’s not a lot of difference when your concern is terrorism.
Reportedly, the conversation ended abruptly.
Trump, of course, took to Twitter to complain about the deal, while Turnbull took a more diplomatic approach to addressing the media.
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
“Look, I’m not going to comment on a conversation between myself and the President of the United States other than what we have said publicly, and you can surely understand the reasons for that,” he said. “I’m sure you can understand that. It’s better these conversations are conducted candidly, frankly, privately. If you’ll see reports of them, I’m not going to add to them.”
Trump’s call with Turnbull came at the tail end of a day full of diplomatic calls.
Reportedly, one call with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel included a lesson from Merkel on what the Geneva Convention was.
As one who has talked about having one of the best brains, it’s understandable that he was a bit miffed at being treated like a mental midget over the phone by a foreign leader.
A government official familiar with Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders said, “(Trump’s) interactions are naive in that he keeps suggesting we will have the best relationship ever with a broad departure of countries, but there is no substance to back it up. When he encounters a policy challenge, like with Turnbull, he responds with a tantrum.”
And if he wants to last out the first year of this presidency, that’s something he’s going to need to remedy, quickly.