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Trump Spars With Australian Leader Over Refugees: 'I Hate Taking These People'
December 16 2017, 10:35 | Perry Erickson
Jonathan Ernst Reuters Donald Trump speaks by phone with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office at the White House
I am the world's greatest person that does not want to let people into the country.' 'It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me.
"You are worse than I am", Trump told the premier in a remark apparently meant as a compliment, the paper reported. In return, Australia agreed to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Panda was correct in that assessment, but Trump is not a man to be tied by expectations, or, as the leaked transcript of the call proves, by deals made by his predecessor.
TRUMP: Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. That is why they are in prison right now.
Turnbull also explains Australia's strict immigration policy: put simply, anyone attempting to reach Australia by boat is detained and not allowed to be settled in Australia.
The Australian prime minister then took a firmer tone, telling Trump: "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".
That comment appeared to anger Trump even more, prompting the U.S. president to say the refugees could "become the Boston bomber in five years".
The US president acknowledged the domestic political difficulties of the issue for Pena Nieto and said a "formula" could be worked out for funding the wall along the southern US border with Mexico.
"Malcolm, why is this so important?" "I have had it".
Turnbull wanted to steer the conversation to Syria and other subjects, but Trump would have none of it.
Mr Turnbull tried a more diplomatic tack, telling the President: "Thank you for your commitment".
"Can you hear me out Mr President?" he said early in the call. "I will be there again and again".
Trump responded by saying "I hope so" before thanking Turnbull and hanging up.
Under the terms of the deal, the United States would resettle 1,250 refugees held by the Australian government in detention facilities on Manus Island and the island of Nauru.
Do you believe it?
The Obama administration had agreed to accept some detainees on humanitarian grounds after intervention by the UN.
Mr Turnbull responded: "That is the point I have been trying to make".
The exchange deepens the already-indelible impression that Trump is completely enthralled by Putin, but it also confirms a lot about this White House.
The document contains notes which indicate that it was reviewed and classified by retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg Jr., who serves as chief of staff on the National Security Council.
'I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an executive order saying that we are not taking anybody in.
Describing himself as a "highly transactional businessman like you", Mr Turnbull was forced to regain control of the conversation a number of times as Mr Trump became increasingly aggrieved.
Turnbull, for his part, also refused to shed light on the conversation.
"I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely".