Australia-US refugee deal remains alive

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy cast their vote

During Trump's call with Turnbull last Saturday, the US President objected to an agreement over America receiving refugees, the CNN reported.

Trump expressed concern as to how this agreement from President Barack Obama's administration would go forward given his executive order the day before temporarily suspending the U.S. refugee programme. In return, Australia would take refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

But White House spokesman Sean Spicer has said, despite the President's misgivings about the "dumb" deal, it remained alive. State Department insisted the refugee deal was still on.

Earlier Mr Trump had described the agreement to swap refugees with Australia as a dumb deal. President Trump then terminated the call after a mere 25 minutes even though it had been scheduled for an hour, the Post stated.

Nevertheless, he emphasised that the relationship between the two countries "is very strong".

The refugee pledge that Trump is so upset about was agreed upon during former President Barack Obama's administration.

Trump also said he is reviewing another diplomatic agreement, one with Australia in which the United States would take 1,250 refugees being held in an Australian detention center. At that, Trump vowed to subject each refugee to "extreme vetting", the senior United States official told the newspaper, adding that the U.S. president did not see a specific advantage America would gain by honoring the deal.

President Donald Trump was perhaps not having a good day when he recently spoke with his Australian counterpart, whom the new U.S. leader upbraided over a refugee accord, media reported.

However a White House official told the ABC in a statement: "The president is still considering whether or not he will move forward with this deal at this time".

Rucker said Trump "didn't let diplomatic niceties get in the way of how he felt about that refugee policy", and tbh, we're not sure he's let anything get in the way of his feels, ever.

In that call Trump reportedly said, "You have a bunch of bad hombres down there".

According to Laura Jayes of Sky News Australia, citing sources from the Australian side of the conversation, the call involved considerable pushback from her country's leader and as a result devolved into "yelling" before Mr. Trump hung up.

The Turnbull government has been at pains to stress the deal is on track despite the contradictory statements out of Washington, and Turnbull has not referenced any tension between the two leaders, despite the fact the deal clearly contradicts Trump's anti-immigrant messaging throughout the presidential campaign.

When Mr Turnbull sought to discuss issues including the war in Syria, Mr Trump allegedly ended the call, making it far shorter than his conversations with Mr Putin, Germany leader Angela Merkel and Japan's Shinzo Abe. "My job as prime minister is to stand up for Australia's interests... what I don't do is indulge in public commentary".

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