During a phone call on Wednesday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President Donald Trump railed against a deal for the United States to accept more than 1,000 refugees from Australia, telling the Australian leader that is was his worst call of the day, according to a Washington Post report.
Senior U.S. officials told the Washington Post that Trump used the call with one of America’s closest allies to criticize the refugee deal and to brag about his win in the 2016 election. While discussing the refugee deal, Trump told Turnbull that it was the “worst deal ever” and accused Australia of trying to send the “next Boston bombers” to the U.S. Trump also worried that accepting the refugees from Australia would get him “killed” politically, according to the Washington Post.
Trump told Turnbull that he did not want to accept the refugees but said that it was “my intention” to honor the deal, the Washington Post reported.
The call was scheduled to last for an hour, but Trump told Turnbull that it was his “worst call by far” with a world leader that day and ended the conversation after just 25 minutes, per the Post.
Trump’s behavior toward Turnbull and criticism of the deal to accept refugees from Australia comes less than a week after Trump signed an order suspending the United States’ refugee program.
Earlier in the day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the U.S. plans to honor its deal to accept refugees currently housed in Australian detention centers but said that they would undergo “extreme vetting.”
Following Trump’s call with Turnbull, the United States embassy in Canberra, Australia issued a statement saying that the State Department remains committed to the deal to accept refugees from Australia.
“President Trump’s decision to honour the refugee agreement has not changed,” an embassy spokesman said, according to the Washington Post. “This was just reconfirmed to the State Department from the White House and on to this embassy at 1315 Canberra time.”
But later Wednesday night, Trump published a tweet suggesting that he will review the deal before committing to it.
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017