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U.S. Senators Team Up To Support 'Always Faithful' Australia

The Senate is changing our relationship status from 'it's complicated' to 'more than friends'.

07/02/2017 12:27 PM AEDT | Updated 07/02/2017 2:03 PM AEDT
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The damage control from THAT call is ongoing.

Senators are trying to limit any damage done to the U.S.-Australian relationship following that phone call between President Donald Trump and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Democrats and Republicans have reportedly teamed up introduce a bipartisan resolution on Monday "reaffirming a strong commitment to the United States-Australia alliance relationship".

The resolution comes after Trump and Turnbull reportedly clashed over a contentious refugee deal that will see the U.S. take 1250 detainees in Australia's care.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander -- a former governor who once wrote a book about he and his family's six month "odyssey" in Australia -- and Democrat Ben Cardin introduced the bipartisan resolution on Monday, political website The Hill reports.

"I don't know what happened during last week's telephone call between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Australia," Alexander reportedly told the Senate.

"But I do know this, the people of the United States do not have better friends than the people of Australia."

We're more than friends.Senator Lamar Alexander

In the widely reported phone call between Trump and Turnbull, the U.S. president reportedly accused America's longtime ally of seeking to export "the next Boston bomber," and that "this was was the worst call by far" following a day of phone calls with world leaders — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

"This is the worst deal ever," Trump said, according to The Washington Post's report of the conversation.

The President of the United States also allegedly bragged about the size of his electoral victory.

What was expected to be an hour-long phone call between the leaders of the long standing allies nations was cut short after 25 minutes.

An alliance bond is a sacred vow of friendship and trust, and Australia has always been a faithful and reliable partner to the United States.U.S. Senate Resolution, introduced on Monday

The latest rebuke from the senators comes after Republicans John McCain -- a former presidential candidate and critic of Trump -- and Senator Bob Corker called Australia's ambassador to Washington Joe Hockey to voice their support for the alliance.

In his call to Hockey, McCain expressed his "unwavering support for the U.S.-Australia alliance".

"I asked Ambassador Hockey to convey to the people of Australia that their American brothers and sisters value our historic alliance, honor the sacrifice of the Australians who have served and are serving by our side, and remain committed to the safer, freer, and better world that Australia does far more than its fair share to protect and promote," the senator said in a statement.

Confusion over the deal in Australia

Since the phone call Turnbull has fought off suggestions he will have to make some sort of trade with Trump in order for the refugee deal to go thorough.

Some observers -- such as Peter Jennings from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) -- have speculated there may be a request for military support of some kind from Trump.

But Turnbull rejected that notion on Monday.

"We assess all requests for military assistance on their merits and there is no linkage, no linkage at all, between an arrangement ­relating to refugee resettlement and any other matters," he told the Nine Network's 60 Minutes program.

Following their contentious phone call, Trump tweeted that he would study the deal but thought it was "dumb".

Fairfax reports Trump's intention during last week's call was to dump the deal, but Turnbull persuaded him otherwise.

"He does not like it," Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer said.

"But out of respect for [Turnbull], he's going to allow that process -- continue to study it and allow it to move forward under the conditions that have been set -- that there will be extreme vetting on every single one of those individuals."

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he believed the nearly 70-year alliance will easily survive the disagreement.

"I think this snafu will blow over and we'll get back to the fundamentals of the relationship. On that, both sides of politics in the U.S. and in Australia remain deeply committed," Rudd told CNN last week.

"The bottom line is neither of us, you or I, were party to the actual conversation itself, so we'll let the two principals place their accounts of the call on the record."



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