Australian PM on Trump leak: Calls should be confidential

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull responded to the leak of his January conversation with President Trump on Friday, saying it’s better that such discussions “remain confidential.”

In the transcripts, Trump says he has “had it” with Australia’s leader and remarked that even his call with Russian President Vladimir Putin had been more pleasant.

“I have been making these calls all day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day,” Trump said during the Jan. 28 call, according to a leaked government transcript.

“Putin was a pleasant call,” Trump added. “This is ridiculous.”

Turnbull on Friday said such conversations between leaders should remain private.

{mosads}”Well it’s always better when these conversations remain confidential,” Turnbull told ABC News. “But I haven’t got any further comments to make on it.”

“As I said, it was a courteous, frank conversation,” Turnbull added. “As President Trump said, we’re both adults. I stand up for Australia’s interests, he stands up for America’s interests. We have a warm relationship.”

Trump and Turnbull clashed during the call over a program that would resettle around 1,250 refugees who arrived in Australia in the United States, so long as they clear a vetting process. Australia would in exchange accept Central American refugees from facility in Costa Rica.

Trump has ripped the agreement, reached by the Obama administration, as a “dumb deal.”

In February, Turnbull said that the U.S. would continue to honor the refugee agreement.

“That assurance was confirmed by the president’s spokesman in the briefing room of the White House,” Turnbull said at a press conference in February. “And our respective officials are continuing to work on the implementation of the arrangements. That’s the position.”

“These conversations are conducted candidly, frankly, privately. If you see reports of them, I’m not going to add to them,” he added at the time.

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