Trump touts 'tremendous' Australian alliance after 'testy' call

Trump touts 'tremendous' Australian alliance after 'testy' call
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President Trump spoke Thursday of a "tremendous friendship" between the United States and Australia while acknowledging a "testy" call with the country's leader earlier this year.

“We had a good telephone call,” Trump told reporters following a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aboard the decommissioned USS Intrepid on Manhattan's West Side.

“We had a great call,” Turnbull interjected. 

Trump said the pair had a "productive discussion" about efforts between the U.S. and Australia on issues such as national security, trade, immigration and economic cooperation.

“We affirmed the tremendous friendship between the U.S. and Australia,” Trump said. "The armed forces are fighting side by side to defeat ISIS and the scourge of terrorism, and we will eradicate terrorism.” 


Trump's comments came moments after he accused the media of “exaggerating” his first phone call with Turnbull earlier this year, saying “we’re not babies.”

“You guys exaggerated that call. That was a big exaggeration, OK? We had a great call. I mean, we’re not babies. But we had a great call, right?” Trump said.

"We really didn’t have a rough phone call. Everyone is talking about this phone call. ... It got a little bit testy, but that’s OK. We have a very good relationship,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

Trump called the mainstream media “fake news” for reporting that the pair had a rocky first phone call in January about an agreement the two countries had made regarding refugee resettlement.

“That was a little bit of fake news. That’s the expression here,” he said, referring to his common attack phrase on the press.

Trump allegedly told Turnbull "this was the worst call by far" as he called other world leaders shortly after taking office in late January.

Trump said Thursday that an Obama-era refugee deal between the U.S. and Australia is “all worked out.”

“That’s been worked out for a long time,” he said.

Trump and Turnbull made speeches at the USS Intrepid Museum in New York to honor the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, in which U.S. and Australian forces fought together against Japanese forces in World War II. 

Turnbull also said both countries stand together to "condemn and we resist North Korea's reckless provocation," also mentioning conflicts with terrorism in the Middle East.

“We fight together in Iraq and Afghanistan to defeat and destroy the terrorists who threaten our way of life. Today Australians and Americans stand shoulder to shoulder defending our freedoms,” he said.

Trump also reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Australian alliance.

“We have a fantastic relationship. I love Australia, always have.”

Trump also teased a possible trip to Australia, saying, “Oh, that’ll happen.”

“One of the great, great places. One of the most beautiful places, I’ve heard,” he added.

Trump’s family members, top White House staffers and Hollywood stars attended the event, including first lady Melania Trump, his younger daughter Tiffany Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and actor John Travolta.