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Australian PM, Trump offer different versions of phone call on refugee deal

45 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

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Well Trump apparently yelled at Turnbull over the phone that's why everyone's shocked. Plus outing and berating oz pm as the worse call of the day is pretty low/puerile.

I just hope it's a wake up call, so to speak, for Turnbull and he realises being 'good mate' with a bloke like DT means being his be-atch.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

If Obama really did make that kind of deal, I would find it shocking. I doubt it was a done deal.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Not a good week for Turnbull especially after the reveal he may have bought his position

0 ( +4 / -4 )

One thing I think EVERYONE posting here will agree with: like him or hate him, fear him or worship him, Trump is going to make politics VERY entertaining during his tenure. I mean, NEVER a dull moment.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Trump may disagree with the deal and he is entitled to do so... there are however ways of talking to allies and this is something Trump doesn't seem to understand - mutual respect despite differences... The world needs to wake up and move on from Trump and America... let them wallow in the isolation they seem to be seeking...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I'm just waiting for the who-cares-what-anyone-thinks-about-the-US response from the Trump supporters.

They used to hammer Obama for somehow making the US a "laughing stock" around the world but now Rodney Dangerfield/spoiled brat/loudmouth in the bar is in charge, their skins are super thick.

They'll need to get even thicker...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well Trump apparently yelled at Turnbull over the phone that's why everyone's shocked.

Is the Oval Office bugged ? A traitor ? If there is any truth to it they first need to figure out where it is coming from.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Trump man child spat the dummy...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Obama deported more immigrants than any other POTUS in history. Over 2 million!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well. Trump may not know this but Australia does way more trade with China than with the US. So, maybe they should just cosy up to them a bit more. Trump clearly doesn't understand what ally means. Someone please send this clown to Foreign Relations 101.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The deal has been done during Obama term. if Trump will not honor the deal, Australia does not need to host US bases anymore. Something for nothing is one way street.

Aussies have voluntarily died for US during Korea war, Vietnam war and Afghan war and Irag war. Trump is flip flopping President. There is no guarantee that US will honor the ANZUS treaty for shedding blood for Aussies.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

a deal struck with the Obama administration that would allow mostly Muslim refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the United States

Sorry but an asylum seeker who's claim has been examined, rejected, appealed, and rejected again is not a convention refugee. For the AP to keep calling them refugees under a looser definition of the word just cheapens the legal definition and causes needless confusion and hostility towards genuine convention refugees.

As loathsome as Trump may be, this does seem like a really bad deal to be honest. For both countries. It will just create another incentive for the people smuggling rings that send many naive people to their deaths trying to reach Australia.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Trump is flip flopping President.>

Wow, now he is getting accused for flip flopping on a horrible deal that he didnt even make? It is a bad deal and it was kept secret from the public by Obama. No one knows who these people are, why Australia doesnt want them and what the USA got in return for taking them.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/6/chairmen-obama-release-refugee-agreement-australia/

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Exactly zenpun. I think it's oz ambassador to the us joe hockey who recently said oz was the ONLY nation to have followed/fought alongside the us in all military conflicts since WW1. It has imo been a one way friendship for far too long and it's getting worse with DT at the helm (GWBush was also often condescending towards john howard).

No one needs a friend like that and it's def not the way to talk to an ally who always follows you, no questions asked.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

M3M3M3: Sorry but an asylum seeker who's claim has been examined, rejected, appealed, and rejected again is not a convention refugee. For the AP to keep calling them refugees under a looser definition of the word just cheapens the legal definition and causes needless confusion and hostility towards genuine convention refugees.

Actually, the deal only covers those who have be found to be refugees. They haven't been rejected of that. What they've been 'rejected' from is settling in Australia as the current Australian government policy is to not allow anyone who comes by boat, regardless of if they are refugees or not, to settle in Australia. It is meant to discourage people from trying to pay smugglers to get them to Australia via Indonesia.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

so no one who comes by boat can stay? Thats hilarious considering the whole country is surrounded by water! Not like refugees can go online and booking Qantas flights. Im not saying their policy is good or bad, it is their country and they can decide who comes in and how they come if they do. Just an interesting way to frame the policy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ah, Donald, how much doth thou suck? Let me count the ways.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

There is no guarantee that US will honor the ANZUS treaty for shedding blood for Aussies.

Wasn't ANZUS over and done with when the US kicked up a stink over Lange's Labour announcing no nuclear ships in NZ waters? I agree with you either way though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Blacklabel: so no one who comes by boat can stay? Thats hilarious considering the whole country is surrounded by water! Not like refugees can go online and booking Qantas flights.

Actually, far more people come by plane and then claim refugee status than come by boat. And for what they pay the boat smugglers, they'd easily be able to get Qantas flights for their whole families. So year, asking questions about the policy is a fair call. The main difference, I guess, is that well over a thousand people drowned over just a fairly short period of time going the boat route. Not sure how many Qantas flights feel out of the sky during the same period...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@donkusai

Actually, the deal only covers those who have be found to be refugees.

Actually, the deal is secret so nobody really knows exactly who or what it covers. This is part of the problem. The White house has said it covers 1250 people. Logically, the numbers mean that this must include absolutely everyone being held at the Manus Island camp. The fact that Australia is desperate to close Manus island (and the fact that the deal had to be secret) suggests it was intended to resettle everyone being held there, genuine refugees and failed asylum seekers alike. But I guess all we can do is wait and see what our politicians have decided for us in secret.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ M3M3M3

The deal, as originally reported in November, only refers to refugees - but it was not only Manus, but Nauru as well. So far, in all of the reporting I've read since November, it has only ever referred to the deal being about the resettling of refugees. But I will concede the point that when the media says "refugees", the meaning can vary based on the media outlet involved. Other news, though, has reported other offers such as tickets home to those who were not found to be refugees, so based on the whole, I'd say we are most likely talking about those found to be actual refugees by the UNHCR.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-13/australia-announces-refugee-resettlement-deal-with-us/8021120

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Aly RustomFEB. 02, 2017 - 03:45PM JST One thing I think EVERYONE posting here will agree with: like him or hate him, fear him or worship him, Trump is going to make politics VERY entertaining during his tenure. I mean, NEVER a dull moment.

Yeah, like how interesting it was when a Trump fan emboldened by Trump rhetoric walked into a Quebec mosque and straight up murdered six innocent Muslims while they were at prayer. I bet they were so happy their lives were no longer so dull... I mean for as long as they had lives anyway.

We live in a golden age of TV and video games. The Internet makes learning about nearly any subject possible for anyone, anywhere in the world. You can find videos teaching any skill you could possibly want to learn. Advanced birth control and STD treatments make consensual sex with one or more partners relatively safe, and societies around the world are gradually coming to grips with sexual orientation so that you're free to have that safe sex with whatever sex you're attracted to. There is literally no excuse for anyone to be bored. Any of these things are way more fun than destroying a democratic nation. Why don't the people who want politics to be interesting just get a Netflix account and leave the difficult job of running the most powerful country on the planet to the boring people who actually know how to get the job done?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Clearly Trump was unaware of this deal, because he hadn't bothered to do any preparation. Upon learning of it for the first time, with Turnbull pressing him for America to honour its commitment, he didn't like the sound of it and flew off the handle. Will he behave any differently with less friendly counterparties like Xi or Putin, we wonder? Or maybe Putin is his friend, who knows.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

President Trump is acting like an executive, not a politician. He is going to get great political flak over this deal made by President Obama (perhaps as a parting gift?).

Australia and America are still friends, but sometimes a friend's self interest isn't the best result for the others around them. I'm assuming these are refugees from Indonesia?

BTW, President Obama deported over 2.4 million people. They were in the USA illegally or deported by a judicial order. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/21/donald-trump/trump-right-deportation-numbers-wrong-talks-about-/

I'd like to ask why people don't show the respect for the office, even if you don't respect the man, by using the proper title for these Presidents. Seems rude to me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think Turnbull has had the ticker to take Trump to task and call him out on his BS, and Trump has got his nose put out of joint and blown up. Kudos to Turnbull. I don't want a lap dog Prime Minister, especially where this idiot is concerned.

I hope it won't be the last time he does it, either.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten called on Turnbull to be open about his interaction with Trump, saying The Washington Post version of the call was worrying.

Shorten is a pillock. He should be standing behind Turnbull on this, not playing politics and trying to score cheap points.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@donkusai

I agree that all the reporting has been about refugees, and I also think you're right that the reporter here probably intended to say 'rejected from settling in Australia' . I just think definitions and clarity are important when it comes to such a controversial topic.

The reason for my suspicion that it was intended to extend beyond genuine refugees is because when you look at the latest statistics from Oct 31 2016 there were 1262 people being held offshore on Manus and Nauru (link below, page 4, Total RPCs,). That's suspiciously close to 1250. There are definitely hundreds of people amongst that number who have been recognised as genuines refugees, but also hundreds who have not. Many are still waiting for their claims to be processed.

I just think it's a shady deal that should have been discussed publicly with the citizens of both countries. I don't want to be too cynical but it's fairly obvious that this was deliberately signed before Obama left office so that Hillary could shield herself from criticism by claiming that she had no choice but to follow through on Obama's promise despite having her own 'concerns' about security and refugees. It would have allowed her to simultaneously play both sides of the issue.

http://www.border.gov.au/ReportsandPublications/Documents/statistics/immigration-detention-statistics-31-oct-2016.pdf

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't worry, Rupert Murdoch will fix everything. He owns the whole world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Or maybe Putin is his friend, who knows.

Or maybe his senior staff is leaking these conversation ? Or maybe Obama left a few listening devices around as a gift ? Or maybe it is being "mischaracterizted" like the call with the Mexican president ???

Mexico, U.S. both say Associated Press misreported Trump-Nieto phone call

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/1/fake-news-mexico-says-associated-press-misreported/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Australia doesnt want them and what the USA got in return for taking them.

I am not immigration expert. However Australia has over supply of Iranian immigrants. US has over supply of Latino immigrants. Trump hates Central and South American immigrants and planning for building Great Wall.

According Great Wall history, Ancient China still lost the war to unstoppable intruders. Trump Great Wall may be smaller than Ancient China. His wall will be just waste of time and money.

Aussie will take Latino immigrants from US with own expanses. US will take more than one thousand of Iranian immigrants with Aussie expanses. In my humble brain, the deal has been favored for US rather than Australia.

If I am Aussie PM, I will show middle finger to Trump with being humiliated with shouting over phone and Twitter. As a Prime Minister of Australia, he does not deserve that sort of cruel, rude, arrogant and uncivilized treatment. According Washington post, Trump screamed him like his own servant.

Horrible and undiplomatic President!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Australia hosts some US military on the northern Australian shores. If Trump wants to pressure China on the South China Sea, he needs those bases nearby. That's what's friends do - they help each other out.

These theatrics may just be a cover to soften the blowback that Trump will still honor the deal and accept those people.

But all these leaks of private correspondences from the White House may make other foreign leaders to become less frank and less open to Trump - being wary that what's talked about in the Oval Office may not stay in the Oval Office.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yeah, like how interesting it was when a Trump fan emboldened by Trump rhetoric walked into a Quebec mosque and straight up murdered six innocent Muslims while they were at prayer. I bet they were so happy their lives were no longer so dull... I mean for as long as they had lives anyway.

Katsu, violence against Muslims is nothing new. Six innocent Muslims? Try nearly half 1 million in Syria same in Iraq, Yemen, Libya.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If Obama really did make that kind of deal, I would find it shocking. I doubt it was a done deal.

I just don't understand why it is necessary for Australia to export it's Muslim refugees to a third country in the first place. If they will not take them in on humanitarian grounds why is it necessary for the US to do so? Is Australia anti-Muslim?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“the worst deal ever”

Today's “worst deal ever”

accused Turnbull of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers”

Soundbite ventriloquy, Mr. Bannon?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Australia wants to foist immigrants onto Trump that the Oz government won't even allow on the mainland? That's not fair dinkum! No wonder Trump is furious!

I would be too!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"As a Prime Minister of Australia, he does not deserve that sort of cruel, rude, arrogant and uncivilized treatment."

Good choice of adjectives. They describe Trump the man very well.

He certainly isn't above posturing and grandstanding to wind his base up, but this is an example of how his terrifying character flaws are a real danger to everyone.

This is less than 2 weeks into his tenure.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This deal needs to be cancelled. Obama should not have made it without first consulting President Trump. Thank you, Mr.T, for preventing the U.S. from accepting yet another nation's rejects. . . .

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Sour relations with Australia, Japan, and Mexico. Warm and friendly with Russia. Looks like Trump is redefining who are allies are.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

CANBERRA, Australia - Australia’s prime minister insisted Thursday that a deal struck with the Obama administration that would allow mostly Muslim refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the United States was still on, despite President Donald Trump dubbing the agreement “dumb” and vowing to review it.

"Mostly" Muslim refugees? That's an interesting choice of words. They are talking about "all" refugees rejected by Australia, right? Regardless of their religion.

Australia rejects these "mostly" Muslim refugees. Australia doesn't want these "mostly" Muslim refugees. Australia doesn't have to accept these "mostly" Muslim refugees. That's Australia's right. It's the Australian governments duty to protect the people of Australia.

Obama agreed to take over Australia's refugee problem. Why? Obama only had two months left in office. It wasn't going to be his problem.

It's bizarre that many seem to believe that this situation is somehow the fault of Trump.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The problem is Malcolm Turnbull. He didn't listen to others and didn't think about other situation. Turnbull had pushed refugee exchange in Obama's lame duck period. Usually, no Government has singed such as refugee exchange or trade deal in lane duck period. Also former President Obama was grooming himself like cat for good looking in his last a few months in office. Obama was sleeping in office for 8 years and suddenly he woke up just before his term was coming to end and doing something crazy like Palestinian - Israel affair and refugee exchange with Australia. I believed that Washington Post story and Turnbull has lied to Australian peoples. Turnbull has problem, which is he pushes other peoples around and get what he wanted. If I used plan language and then Turnbull has bought his Prime Minister office for $ 1.75 millions. He had robbed Prime Minister Office from elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott. President Trump said in his election campaign “he will ban Muslims migrating to America”. It’s a very cleared and Turnbull didn’t listen to it. He has tried to pushes Trump around and asked Trump to honor refugee exchange deal that was signed Obama Government in his lane duck days in office. That’s why President Trump hung up the phone. Also Turnbull had pushed President elect Donald Trump for TTP when he called to say congratulation to Trump. Malcolm Turnbull has lacked of common sense. In Japanese, Malcolm Turnbull was Kuuki Yomenai person. Malcolm Turnbull should quit politic because he does not have quality of Prime Minister. Australian peoples should not scarify for one person ego.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Aly RustomFEB. 02, 2017 - 10:02PM JST Katsu, violence against Muslims is nothing new. Six innocent Muslims? Try nearly half 1 million in Syria same in Iraq, Yemen, Libya.

So because half a million Muslims were killed in a war zone, it's okay for a Trump-supporting white supremacist to murder innocent Muslims in a peaceful place of worship half a world away?

That's laying the groundwork for a fascist coup pretty thick, don't you think?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So because half a million Muslims were killed in a war zone, it's okay for a Trump-supporting white supremacist to murder innocent Muslims in a peaceful place of worship half a world away?

No. It means that you have to look at the whole picture to figure out how to stop islamophobia. Your remarks simplfy things too much and do not address the issues as to why this happened and how we can combat it.

That's laying the groundwork for a fascist coup pretty thick, don't you think?

What desert island did you just sail off? The coup has been in the making since the Bush Administration.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Actually, I'm pretty sure their religion has nothing to do with why they aren't in Australia, it's purely the fact that Australia has completely shut it's doors to illegal immigrants who are trying to force themselves into the country's immigration system by taking a long and dangerous journey by sea from either Indonesia, Malaysia or somewhere further afield. I believe that many of them don't even want to go to Australia anymore and actually requested the US take them.

It's a very hardline stance on illegals, this one by Australia. In fact, it should very much appeal to DT's sensibilities. It has effectively stopped people trying to reach Australia by boat.

Australia still takes a lot of refugees each year, mind you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Australia still takes a lot of refugees each year, mind you.

If that's the case, what's the harm of a few thousand more? And how does the Australian PM escape being called a racist bigot?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fair question Wolfpack.

The issue is not with taking refugees, it's with how they arrive. It also has nothing to do with 'race'.

Australia fills an annual refugee quota with people from all over the world in various locations. Once they are cleared as genuine refugees, Australia (like other countries) flies them to the country and resettles them.

The refugees in question are, for want of a better term, 'boat people' who board often poorly built or maintained vessels in Indonesia and sail into Australian waters and demand asylum.

There are three main problems with this. The first is that hundreds/thousands of people have simply disappeared en-route, never to be seen again, attempting the crossing. The second, is that Australia's right to choose who it takes as refugees is forfeit, and it is forced to house and process whoever shows up. There are potential security issues with this. Thirdly, if and when it does take these illegal entrants, the floodgates open and there is a constant stream of them as they are smuggled through into Indonesia, then onto Australia. This is a very sensitive political issue in Australia.

So, it's a complicated problem that has resulted in the conservative governments here taking a very tough stance to stop these boatloads of people, which they have done.

And, the PM never escapes being called a racist bigot in the process. But the situation is far more complicated and nuanced than that, I'm afraid. Their race is irrelevant. They means of arrival is the problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wolfpack - If that's the case, what's the harm of a few thousand more? And how does the Australian PM escape being called a racist bigot?

Because Australia won't accept all of the refugees "on island camps on the Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea" regardless of their race, or religion. You are free to call everyone/anyone a racist if you chose to. Of course, that doesn't make it true. A news media outlet has chosen to refer to these refugees as "mostly" Muslim because that phrase seems to suit their current agenda.

Do you consider these "mostly" Muslim refugees to be of one race, or one religion?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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