Turnbull has endured a fraught relationship with Trump since the former New York businessman was inaugurated in January. On Friday, the Australian premier described his relationship with Trump as “warm” despite transcripts of a heated telephone conversation at the start of the year.
The January phone call between Trump and Turnbull was widely reported at the time, but transcripts published by the Washington Post on Friday appeared to show the two leaders sparring over a refugee deal.
Trump described the Obama-era refugee deal with Australia as “stupid”, “disgusting”, and “horrible”. The agreement would see the U.S. vet and potentially take up to 1,250 refugees from detention camps on the Pacific island countries of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
According to the transcript, the exchange between Turnbull and Trump ended shortly after the latter said, “That is enough, Malcolm, I have had it … I have been making these calls all day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.”