Trump versus Australia

 

Donald Trump is trying to talk tough, with one of his latest targets being Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, but mixed messages are making a mockery of Trump’s so-called toughness. Perhaps he should start getting tough on his inconsistencies.

Dumping on one of the USA’s closest allies seems to be quite stupid.

Washington Post:  ‘This was the worst call by far’: Trump badgered, bragged and abruptly ended phone call with Australian leader

It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.

Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.

At one point, Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “this was the worst call by far.”

When the phone conversation was leaked (in itself a notable thing to have happened) Trump turned to Twitter.

It may look like a dumb deal, but Trump’s way of dealing with it is dumber.

Since then he has continued. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph: Donald Trump ‘upset and angry’ over refugee deal discussed with Malcolm Turnbull

US President Donald Trump has continued his public stoush with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull by declaring he needs to make “tough phone calls” because nations are taking advantage of America.

At a speech in Washington DC overnight, Mr Trump said the world was in trouble but he was “going to straighten it out”.

“When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it,” Mr Trump told the audience. “Just don’t worry about it.

“They’re tough. We have to be tough,” he said. “It’s time we have to be a little tough folks.

“We are taken advantage of by every nation in the world virtually. “It’s not going to happen anymore.”

On top of this there has been conflicting information from trump’s administration.

From RNZ in US ‘taken advantage of by every nation’ – Trump

The tweets threw more confusion about the status of the controversial deal that Australia made with former President Barack Obama late last year.

The United States would resettle up to 1250 asylum seekers held in offshore processing camps on Pacific islands in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. In return, Australia would resettle refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The swap is at odds with Mr Trump’s executive order last week suspending the US refugee programme and restricting entry to the United States for travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer and the US Embassy in Australia have both said Mr Trump would honour the deal. In several media appearances after Mr Trump’s tweet, Mr Turnbull reiterated that he believed the deal stood.

“He is saying that this is not a deal he would have made, but the question is will he honour that commitment? He has already given it,” Mr Turnbull said.

Not surprisingly there has been a lot of criticism. Stuff details some in US media, congressmen stunned Donald Trump has picked a fight with Australia

I don’t know that Trump has deliberately picked a fight, it could be just his normal boorish arrogant behaviour.

Lawrence O’Donnell, the left-wing commentator and host of MSNBC’s The Last Word, lambasted the president for insulting Turnbull, “while having no idea that Australia has stood by us like no other ally, marched into battle with us where no other ally would go, including Vietnam, something Donald Trump would have known if he had served in Vietnam and heard those men beside him with those Australian accents, men who saved the lives of American troops”.

David Gergen, a former presidential adviser to Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who is now an analyst for CNN, accused Trump of bullying a friend.

“Are they playing some sort of game in the White House – how many countries we can they alienate in 100 days? The list is in double digits now,” he said on the network.

“We have never had a president in my memory who has bullied our friends in this way, especially heads of government.”

Kevin Madden, a former adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said people had long expected that Trump, a mogul and reality television star known for his combative, impudent manner, would eventually conform to some level of political protocol, but that a pivot of that nature was never going to come.

“He’s just not going to change but that’s what’s problematic,” he said on the same CNN panel.

“Here we have in instance where we are already alienating one of our closest allies just over a phone call … just the tone of it was what’s already caused some consternation.”

Dealing with Trump will be difficult for probably every country. he seems to think he can abuse any one and any country he likes. He may end up isolating the US far more than he envisaged.

Deliberately or not Trump is making America grate.

75 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  February 3, 2017

    Trump has fallen victim early to his own, Bannon’s, Flynn’s, & Mattis’s Amerika uber alles syndrome. Suggestions he is an egomaniacal nutjob rapidly gaining credibility. Who needs lapdog friends when you can make enemies of people everywhere? See reports posted in Media watch on first stunning DOTUS-authorised US military success in Yemen.

    • artcroft

       /  February 3, 2017

      Trump is a good man. He just needs time. Or so I’m told.

      • Gezza

         /  February 3, 2017

        He needs medicating.

        • Gezza

           /  February 3, 2017

          Speaking of which …

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  February 3, 2017

            “The Dude” Lebowski is his doctor?

            • Gezza

               /  February 3, 2017

              Sounds like he’s the former doctor …

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 3, 2017

              I suspect that if my doctor gave me pills that made my hair look like that I’d be in the market for a new one too.

    • PDB

       /  February 3, 2017

      Unfortunately there can be only one eventual winner in any USA-Aussie stoush, and it ain’t Australia.

      • You’ve missed an obvious alternative – no winners. It’s hard to see how the US can benefit from this approach.

        • PDB

           /  February 3, 2017

          The US will lose some face diplomatically but Australia stand to lose a lot more so will simply comply with US wishes.

      • Gezza

         /  February 3, 2017

        Well, yes, but possibly The Xi & The Vladimir have also talked on the phone by now, just a friendly chat, after reading of Mad Dog’s adventures, and there’s probably a question of how much use Israel could be to them if half the world ends up saying, “on yer own buddy, got yourself into a scrap on multiple fronts – best of luck!” because he’s pissed everybody off & they can get cheaper defence equipment elsewhere with a lot fewer insults.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  February 3, 2017

        what a competitive nupty comment – you ever heard opf cooperation? collaboration? joining forces? Why must everything be turned into a stoush?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 3, 2017

          Be fair, AC, there’s a limit to what can be done when the material is poor quality to start with. Trump’s hair looks better these days-it’s a more believable colour and texture and a less ludicrous style. Mind you, it could only look better !

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 3, 2017

            Twitter is-not God’s, but someone’s-gift to Trump. He can’t go into detail, of course, there isn’t space. He can make any remark and not justify it.

            I heard that he said that God had made the rain stop at the Inauguation. I think not.

  2. Gezza

     /  February 3, 2017

    Perfect example on video of Trump thanking allies for their faithful diplomatic & military support for their military interventions …
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/feb/02/trump-australia-refugee-video

    • Traveller

       /  February 3, 2017

      “They’re tough, we have to be tough … We’re taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually”. Has there ever been a (first) world leader who is so utterly tactless and unrefined? I’d love to know what the quid pro quo in that deal was. I’m sure the USA had gained as much from any deal. Australia’s support would surely be pivotal to an increasingly isolated Trump.

      The tweets – oh the tweets!

      • Gezza

         /  February 3, 2017

        It’s going to be interesting to see the comments of those who post here who have been showing early signs of TBS (Trump Besotted Syndrome).

        • TBS. Surely there are some that consider themselves mere pragmatists. Those who merely see that ranting and railing against every Trump movement, when he is the democratically elected leader of the USA, is unconstructive. It’s not the resistance in itself, it’s the incessant, emotive and hysterical nature of it.

          Personally, I’m all for rational discussion, but some quarters in here have been positively unhinged to my way of thinking. For example, reaction to the whole WALL, the whole BAN scenario. Both of these aggressive resistance scenarios have been actively supported by Democrats. Democrats who supported both scenarios in an alternative reality – i.e when they were Government.

          “In 2006 Obama, Clinton, Biden, Schumer and 20 other Democrats voted in favor of a physical barrier to be built along the US-Mexico border. The fence was never completed due to Congress failing to provide the necessary funding”

          “The same executive order expands the government’s deportation priorities, which President Obama helped set in motion by deporting more people than any other president—2.5 million between 2009 and 2015. Due to his record on immigration, immigrant activists have dubbed Obama the “deporter-in-chief.”

          Trump has begun stripping sanctuary cities of federal funding if they fail to comply with his proposed immigration limitations. Many, like Boulder, Colorado, declared themselves “sanctuary cities” in protest to the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement efforts.”

          I cannot abide Trump the man, but to say that he’s a racist and bigot for implementing ( as he said he would) policy, which at times had been strongly held Obama policy, looks deranged. Strategically, the beltway encouraging Progressive activist, celebrity hysterical reaction, may well be misplaced and counterproductive to civil and inclusive government.

          http://observer.com/2017/01/democrat-party-trump-administration-immigration-policies/

          • Gezza

             /  February 3, 2017

            I think Trumpy might be a bit more blinded by hubris than I already gave him credit for….

  3. Simon Marks ‏@SimonMarksFSN

    Spicer characterizes call with Turnbull as “very cordial”. So you can take that to the bank.

    Spicer slams Obama admin for the Australia resettlement deal. “He has respect for PM Trumbull”. Yes, Trumbull.

    Spicer: “Out of respect for him he is going to allow that process to continue…there will be extreme vetting”.

    Spicer: “The deal allows for the US to vet the individuals” from Aus. “I cannot underscore how disappointed he was with the deal”.

    Maybe US voters will do some extreme vetting of presidential candidates in the future.

  4. Anonymous Coward

     /  February 3, 2017

    In the meantime Bill English is still waiting for the phone to ring.

    • PDB

       /  February 3, 2017

      After Australia’s experience I doubt if he is too fussed at the moment.

      • artcroft

         /  February 3, 2017

        Yeah. He’ll have alerted his secretary to the fact that he’s “not available at the moment Mr President, but will return your call as soon as possible”.

    • English had said he expected to be way down Trump’s priority list. That may not be a bad thing.

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  February 3, 2017

        Will nuclear warships become an election issue this year?

        • PDB

           /  February 3, 2017

          Why would they be?

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  February 3, 2017

            Because Trump’s big thing is not letting other countries push the US around, and the nuclear ship thing is the one time we’ve pushed America around and made them bend to our will.
            I’ve got a feeling that Trump won’t like that he can’t send his toy ships down to the bottom of the bath.

            • PDB

               /  February 3, 2017

              I think Trump may have plenty of other things to keep him busy, New Zealand will be way down the list.

            • Gezza

               /  February 3, 2017

              Also we tried to weaken them by conning them into signing the TPPA.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 3, 2017

              @PDB, That’s the answer to a different question. How far down the list of calls are we?, not What will be on the list of talking points when the call is made?.

            • PDB

               /  February 3, 2017

              Based on the length of the Aussie call English can expect about 1 minute of Trumps time when they do talk……

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 3, 2017

              Just long enough to say “Suck on this, I’m parking a nuclear sub in Waitemata Harbour, just deal with it.”

      • Gezza

         /  February 3, 2017

        He might be higher now on Xi’s & Putin’s? I imagine Malcolm might be.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 3, 2017

          I wonder if he thinks that he HAS spoken to NZ’s leader-Turnbull.

          • Gezza

             /  February 3, 2017

            No, I’m sure he knows Bill English is Theresa May’s husband.

  5. artcroft

     /  February 3, 2017

    If you can get your hands on some Chinese Communist Party Stock the word from the exchange is buy, buy, buy.

  6. artcroft

     /  February 3, 2017

    Ni Hao everyone. I’m off to my first mandarin lessons today. Might as well start early.

  7. lurcher1948

     /  February 3, 2017

    trumps making tough phone calls…. worry everyone

  8. MaureenW

     /  February 3, 2017

    I can’t say I’m particularly surprised about the nature of the phone call, only that it was leaked is pretty tacky. Trump hasn’t behaved any differently to the way he conducted the primary debates. He is a strictly alpha-male type with an alpha-male team; I can’t see him having much time for obsequious world leaders who want something from the US (the dumb deal), but have little to offer in return.
    The world order is under going rapid change, and small countries down-under who can’t defend themselves, had better get on board quickly, or as artcroft says, we may be needing compulsory mandarin in schools rather than maori.

    • Gezza

       /  February 3, 2017

      Australia has had a lot to offer the US, playing lapdog & featuring large in giving their full military & dilomatic support to their very unwise & illegal invasions of other countries.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 3, 2017

        Trump doesn’t, of course, say HOW the countries took advantage.

        It is our business if we won’t have nuclear power or ships here.

  9. Brown

     /  February 3, 2017

    Australian & US relations have been lukewarm before and in WW2 got darned frosty because of unions sabotaging the war effort. They will get over this as well.

  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 3, 2017

    Who leaked the call? What did Turnbull want and what did Trump want? Why should I get excited?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 3, 2017

      So much time, so little enlightenment.

      • Gezza

         /  February 3, 2017

        If you mean Trumpy’s time spent on Twittering & speeches about his own magnifence, you’re spot, on Al. 👍

        If you mean something else, send out a tweet.

        • Gezza

           /  February 3, 2017

          Tweet:
          * #magnificence

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 3, 2017

          No need, G. Twit free zone here. Still waiting to hear why I should be worried about anyone being rude to an Aussie.

          • Gezza

             /  February 3, 2017

            It’s like he’s kicked his faithful dog for begging nicely Al. Surely you can see that?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 3, 2017

              I think he was aiming for Obama’s head but Turnbull’s got in the way, G. He’ll probably give him a pat later.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 3, 2017

            To abuse a country’s leader is a very bad look. Trump’s been in less than a fortnight and he’s already made himself obnoxious worldwide.

            I was sent some photos of the insides of his ‘homes’. Ghastly ostentation that says nothing about the owner except that they are rich and pay a decorator to do their house/apartment. There’s nothing personal there, not a book to be seen except what may be a book but is probably a magazine-Vogue Living. The interiors look like a hotel or ocean liner. I’d rather have my little house-and I mean that.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 3, 2017

              I’m getting a sneaky feeling you don’t like him perhaps, Kitty?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 3, 2017

              What makes you think that ? 😀

            • PDB

               /  February 3, 2017

              His manliness is slowly winning Kitty over…….

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 3, 2017

              You must be joking.. A dirty old man-OLD man- with nylon hair and orange peel skin….pass the bucket.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 3, 2017

              Pass the brandy…

              I can’t understand why someone with that money would have such terrible hair; he must see the photos and realise how absurd it looks. It MAY be hair, but it looks like a cheap wig.

            • PDB

               /  February 3, 2017

              Ha! Don’t worry Kitty, as a person I don’t think much of him either…..though the hysterical response of the left-wing is amusing in a strange sort of way.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 3, 2017

              He was quite good-looking once. Once. He now proves that people end up with the faces they deserve.

              I don’t think that people are being hysterical, they are just furious at what’s happening with this arrogant Ozymandias in charge.

  11. Gezza

     /  February 3, 2017

    You’re early. 😉 The sun is out here in North Welly, yay, but clouds are looming … 😳

    • Gezza

       /  February 3, 2017

      @ whoops that was @ kitty. Technical problem to do with the FiP. It slows right down & I have to wait for the typing to slowly appear, and then gets all wonky over where the text box appears. Every so often it just needs to be powered off & given a boot again, possibly like da Trumpsta?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 3, 2017

      Cloudy and very warm here. A few spots of rain in the night and a bit of mist on the windscreen but nothing to compare with the amount of human sweat around.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 3, 2017

        Humid again here-bad drying weather. I had the fan on full in the bedroom last night-what a good thing it is that they don’t use much power. Imagine if someone invented an electric blanket that made the bed cool instead of warm. Bliss !!!!

  12. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 3, 2017

    Pure gold from Andy Borowitz:

    World leaders receive crank calls from someone claiming to be President of United States –
    According to the U.N. Secretary-General, the caller has tormented leaders from Mexico, Australia, and many other countries….

    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/world-leaders-receive-crank-calls-from-someone-claiming-to-be-president-of-united-states?intcid=mod-latest

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 3, 2017

      In Trump’s case truth is much funnier than fiction, Joe.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  February 3, 2017

        well yes you have me there Alan +1 to you as the Standardistas would say … Trump is far and away the biggest joke the world’s ever seen. And it’s a fact that’s not lost on the comedy writers either:

        “How do you make jokes about the ridiculous stuff Trump said Wednesday? “Late Night” team didn’t even try”
        http://www.salon.com/2017/02/02/watch-late-night-puts-donald-trumps-black-history-month-speech-in-its-proper-context/

        and

        “South Park creators to back off Trump jokes: ‘Satire has become reality'”
        https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/feb/02/south-park-donald-trump-mr-garrison

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  February 3, 2017

        Oh, and a current favourite of mine:

        We’re 13 days in and it would be a genuine relief to find out these speeches are down to mixing prescription meds and vodka
        -J.K. Rowling

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 3, 2017

        Yes, Trump has ripped up the political play book so until the new way becomes the old way it’s pretty hard to satirise it. Effectively what he is doing satirises the old way so dramatically his opponents are left speechless. There won’t be any relief for JKR.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 3, 2017

          There may not be any relief for anyone at this rate.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 3, 2017

            Hold tight, the ride is full of ups and downs.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 3, 2017

              I have heard several people wondering if he will be assassinated. It would not surprise me. As someone said of Gadaffi…he can wear bulletproof clothes (which Gadaffi’s oddly bulky look seemed to suggest), but he can’t bulletproof his head.

              On the other hand, in Trump’s case, Mother Nature may have done that.

            • PDB

               /  February 3, 2017

              Don’t like to wish that upon anyone Kitty…………..though the Democrats have previous assassinated their own President so not much of a stretch for them to snub out a Republican one.

  13. Australia’s perhaps the only place I don’t mind unleashing Donald Trump onto …