Donald Trump has thanked Malcolm Turnbull via Twitter for "telling the truth" about their "very civil conversation" after reports the first official phone call between the pair was hostile.
In the tweet posted Friday night, the US President also lashed out at "fake news media" for misreporting the tone of the phone call.
Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about. Very nice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2017
The tweet comes after Trump earlier this week used Twitter to take aim at the refugee swap deal struck by the Turnbull Government with the Obama administration, calling it a "dumb deal" that needed review.
A diplomatic stoush between Australia and the US erupted on Wednesday after The Washington Post reported that during a phone call between the two leaders Trump told Turnbull the refugee swap was "the worst deal ever" and said "I don't want these people".
In the first official call between the pair, Trump also reportedly told the Prime Minister that the refugees could potentially include 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
Trump has defended the call, saying he had to be "tough" with countries who were trying to "take advantage" of America.
"When you hear about the tough phone calls I'm having, don't worry about it," Trump said. "Just don't worry about it. They're tough. We have to be tough.
"It's time we're going to be a little tough folks. We're taken advantage of by every nation in the world virtually. It's not going to happen anymore. It's not going to happen anymore."
The phone call has rocked the Turnbull government, which hold the balance of power by one vote, and has once again thrust Australia's fraught refugee solution into the international spotlight.Suggest a correction