Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull denies U.S. President Donald Trump hung up on him, saying he is "surprised" and "very disappointed" details of their phone call discussing the U.S-Australia refugee swap were leaked.
Turnbull's defence comes less than an hour after Trump tweeted the refugee swap was a "dumb deal" and on the same day an explosive report from the Washington Post reported Trump hung up on Turnbull 25 minutes into their phone call -- which was scheduled for an hour.
According to the report, leaked by senior U.S. officials, Trump blasted Turnbull in the bizarre call claiming it was both "the worst deal ever" and the refugees from Nauru and Manus Island could be the "next Boston Bombers".
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
Speaking on 2GB radio on Thursday afternoon, Turnbull said "the call ended courteously".
"It was very frank and forthright... But the suggestion that the President hung up is not correct," Turnbull said.
The prime minister would not be drawn into comment on other details of the call.
"This was the worst call by far:" Trump brags, badgers and then abruptly ends call with Australia's prime minister https://t.co/fLVcOrpcol— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 2, 2017
"This is not a deal that he would have done, or he would regard as a good deal," Turnbull said of the refugee swap, which would see 1250 refugees from Nauru and Manus resettled in the U.S. The deal was originally made by Barack Obama's administration.
"But the question is will he commit to honour the deal, and he has given that commitment."
The prime minister said the U.S. President agreed to honour the deal during their phone call on Sunday, which was confirmed by Trump's White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday.
On Thursday afternoon, the U.S. embassy in Canberra confirmed the deal was still on, however it was later followed by Trump's tweet calling the deal "dumb".Suggest a correction