McCain calls Australian ambassador to express support after Trump exchange

Greg Nash

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he spoke to the Australian ambassador to express support for the nations’ relationship after a heated call from President Trump.

“I called Australia’s Ambassador to the United States this morning to express my unwavering support for the U.S.-Australia alliance,” McCain, who’s frequently criticized Trump, said in a statement.

McCain added that he asked Joe Hockey, the Australian ambassador to the U.S., to “convey to the people of Australia” that Americans value their alliance, “honor the sacrifice of the Australians who have served and are serving by our side, and remain committed to the safer, freer, and better world that Australia does far more than its fair share to protect and promote.”

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Trump lashed out at Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a call last Saturday.

The president boasted about his Electoral College victory, blasted a previous plan between the nations to accept refugees and cut short what was expected to be an hourlong call, according to the Post.

{mosads}”This was the worst call by far,” Trump allegedly told Turnbull during their conversation, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the phone call.

McCain, however, on Thursday stressed the importance of the U.S.-Australia relationship in his statement, noting the two countries have fought in conflicts together dating back to World War I.

He added that the countries’ alliance is “more important than ever,” pointing to their work in the Asia-Pacific region and combating terrorism.

“In short, Australia is one of America’s oldest friends and staunchest allies. We are united by ties of family and friendship, mutual interests and common values, and shared sacrifice in wartime,” he said.

— This report was updated at 11:40 a.m.

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