The close alliance between the United States and Australia is threatened. President Donald Trump “blasted” Australia’s prime minister on Saturday over a refugee agreement during a phone call that Trump ended abruptly, the Washington Post reports.
Trump burned with rage because Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pressed him to honor a commitment from the Obama administration to accept 1,250 asylum seekers—many of them from Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia, countries whose citizens Trump banned from entering the United States.
The Post said Trump accused Australia of trying to ship off the “next Boston bombers” to the United States. As he’s accustomed to doing, the president vented on Twitter about what he called a “dumb deal.”
However, a provision in Trump’s executive order banning Muslim immigration from certain countries permits exceptions for “preexisting international agreements,” The Post said. It was added to Trump’s order because of the agreement with Australia.
The New York Times reported that Turnbull downplayed the controversy at a press conference on Thursday, and he declined to share details about his telephone exchange with Trump. The prime minister, despite Trump’s tweet and outburst, believes the United States will honor its commitment.
SOURCE: Washington Post, New York Times
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