In what some analysts are calling a “cry for help” from White House staff, a pair of damaging transcripts have emerged that detail Trump’s conversations with two world leaders.
They don’t make him look good.
In a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump simply could not understand the basics behind Australian refugee policy.
The two discussed an Obama-era agreement between the United States and Australia to vet and relocate 1,250 refugees. Trump, who ascended to power on a hardline anti-immigrant and anti-refugee platform, has balked at following through with the agreement.
This was, in fact, why Trump and Turnbull’s relationship started off so acrimoniously.
In the leaked transcript, Trump fails to grasp the basic explanation of why Australia refuses to settle refugees who arrive by boat (in short, to discourage human smuggling). Embarrassingly, Turnbull has to explain this multiple times.
At one point, following multiple attempts by Turnbull to elucidate the matter, Trump responds, “But they are arrived on a boat? (sic)”
Turnbull likely put his head in his palms following this baffling and redundant question.
Regardless of whether or not the Australian policy is sound or fair, Turnbull does an admirable job in the call trying humanize the refugees. Trump erroneously calls them “prisoners.” He was also able to flex his world-class narcissism, at one point stating “I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country.
What does that even mean?
In another leaked call, Trump begged Mexico’s President to stop telling reporters that his country won’t pay for the elusive border wall, a keystone to Trump’s campaign.
“You cannot say that to the press,” Trump told Enrique Peña Nieto, “The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”
Pretty pathetic request from a supposed master deal-maker.