Australian PM had to repeatedly explain refugee deal to Trump during call

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04 August, 2017

"Well, maybe you should let them out of prison", Trump said. "They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people", he added, in an apparent reference to dairy farms in the US.

Mr Turnbull, in pressing for the refugee deal to be honoured, repeatedly appealed to Trump's background as a dealmaker. "Who are they? Where do they come from?' Mr Trump asked, before questioning if a refugee excepted into the country could 'become the Boston bomber in five years".

The Washington Post has obtained a transcript of the phone conversation between the two leaders shortly after President Trump entered office.

For context, this phone call occurred just one day after Trump signed his original executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and banning Syrian refugees indefinitely.

"As far as I am concerned, that is enough Malcolm", Mr Trump said, ending the call. That is why they are in prison right now. This deal will make me look bad.

"This is going to kill me", he said to Turnbull on January 27 during a conversation he described as "the worst call by far" during his nascent presidency, the Washington Post reported, citing a transcript.

Mr Turnbull explained Australia's policy was to stop people smugglers and said even a Nobel Prize victor would not be allowed into the country if they arrived by boat.

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Trump added that Australia was trying to send the "next Boston bombers" into the United States, according to reports at the time.

The PM's testy 25-minute conversation with the President attracted worldwide headlines in January when details of the call were leaked, including that a furious Mr Trump had attacked Mr Turnbull for asking him to honour a "bad deal". "This is a big deal."It is really, really important to us that we maintain it".

When Mr Trump claimed the agreement would in fact force the USA to accept 2000 refugees, Mr Turnbull responded: "With great respect, that is not right - It is not 2000". Putin was a pleasant call.

"The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honour the deal", Mr Trump said. The call ended with them thanking each other. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. "I will be there again and again".

Turnbull also said: "There is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal", "You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it".

The Washington Post's explosive report also detailed Trump's conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in which he begged him to stop saying his government would not pay to build a border wall "because I can not live with that".


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