Trump v World
President Trump spoke with the leaders of five countries on Saturday — Germany, Russia, Japan, France, and Australia — and he told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that his "was the worst call by far," before abruptly ending the hour-long call after 25 minutes, The Washington Post reported late Wednesday, citing "senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange." Australia is one of America's closest and staunchest allies, but Trump was apparently irked by a deal the Obama administration had reached to vet and take in about 1,250 asylum-seekers Australia has diverted to two islands, where they are detained in often deplorable conditions.
"I don't want these people," Trump reportedly said. Many of the refugees are from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia — countries included in the refugee ban Trump signed on Friday, though that executive order included an exemption for "a pre-existing international agreement," meaning the Australia deal. When Turnbull pressed, Trump said it is his "intention" to honor the agreement, though he reportedly added, "this is the worst deal ever," accused Australia of trying to send America the "next Boston bombers," fretted that he's "going to get killed" politically for taking in refugees, and bragged about the size of his inaugural crowd and electoral college victory.
CNN confirmed the gist of Trump's chat with Turnbull, a White House official acknowledged the call was hostile, and Trump tweeted on Thursday night: "The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!" On Thursday, Turnbull took the high road. "These conversations are conducted candidly, frankly, privately," he said at a news conference. "If you see reports of them, I'm not going to add to them."
Trump's call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday was also less cordial than originally advertised, CNN and The Associated Press report. According to what AP describes as a transcript of the call, Trump told Peña Nieto, "You have a bunch of bad hombres down there," adding: "You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn't, so I just might send them down to take care of it." Mexico denies that Trump threatened to invade Mexico, and CNN reports that AP was quoting an official readout of the call written by aides, not the transcript. According to the official transcript, CNN says, Trump noted the "pretty tough hombres in Mexico" and offered "help with that big-league," because "you have not done a good job knocking them out."
Trump's "conversations with foreign leaders are making their faces turn white" in the White House, sources tell CNN's Jim Acosta. In case you're wondering, The New York Times' Benyamin Applebaum is keeping track of the countries Trump has angered in his first 12 days on the job. Peter Weber