Trump bashes U.S.-Australian refugee deal

In a phone call last week with Australia’s prime minister, President Trump bashed a “very bad deal” the U.S. made with Australia to receive refugees held at offshore detention centers in Oceania, according to reports from The Washington Post and CNN.

What was supposed to be a friendly call between allies that was supposed to last an hour went south in under 25 minutes. Trump reportedly blasted the agreement, accused Australia of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers” and bragged about his Electoral College victory, among other things, before hanging up on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Trump also told Turnbull he had spoken with four other world leaders that day and that “This was the worst call by far,” according to the Post, who first reported the story.

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A White House spokesman declined to comment to the Post.

Turnbull said his country’s relationship with the United States remained “very strong” but refused to comment on the story, The Associated Press commented.

The Obama administration and Turnbull agreed in November that the U.S. would take in 1,250 refugees held in detention. According to The AP, the deal included 1,300 people held on the island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea and 370 people who went to Australia seeking medical treatment and refused to return to the islands.

Starting July 19, 2013, Australia declined to take any refugee who arrived by boat. Instead, they were held at the offshore detention centers while Australia searched for countries willing to resettle them. While refugees have received offers to go to Papua New Guinea and Cambodia, many have declined in hopes that Australia will take them in.


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