August 5, 2017

As promised, I read the transcript of the January 28th phone conversation between Trump and the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Trumbull.

I don't approve of the publication of these transcripts, but since they are out there, I wanted to be sure I knew what was in them so that I wouldn't be affected by distortions in what is and isn't reported elsewhere. My discussion of the conversation between Trump and the Mexican President is here. So now let's look at the conversation with Turnbull, which is all about the agreement President Obama made with respect to refuges held in prisons on Nauru and Manus Island after they attempted to enter Australia by boat.

As Turnbull makes clear, Australia has a hardcore policy rejecting anyone who arrives by boat. As Trump makes clear, he hates the agreement but feels compelled to follow it. Turnbull attempts to persuade Trump to see that it's a deal that Trump himself should want to endorse, and Trump seems irritated that Turnbull would even attempt to sell that to him. So Turnbull switches to arguing that the deal really isn't so bad. This rubs Trump the wrong way, and even without audio, I hear Trump displaying anger at Turnbull for not just admitting it's a crappy deal and being thankful that the deal will be followed. Maybe Trump is putting on a show. I can't tell. But Trump is demonstrative and Turnbull seems (in writing, at least) to keep his cool while pushing the points that are obviously irking Trump. It's not a good relationship.

That's my quick take. Click for my 14-point summary with quotes.

1. Turnbull says that he and Trump "have similar backgrounds" (as businessmen), and Trump echoes him — "We do have similar backgrounds" — and adds that "it seems to be working in this... crazy climate." Trump switches from the we're-both-businessmen theme to it's a "crazy" time, "an evil time," and a "complex time." He wants to talk about fighting ISIS together.

2. Turnbull offers the idea that he and Trump are "very much of the same mind." He points to the way Trump's Executive Order "prioritize[s] minorities" and how Australia, in taking in 12,000 Syrian refugees, has deliberately preferred Christians. Turnbull brags that he has "been very open about it." Trump relates to this not by saying that he wants to prefer Christians but that the United States has been discriminating against Christians from Syria. They've have had "no chance of getting into the United States," something Trump finds "incredible."

3. Turnbull brings up the prisoners on Nauru and Manus Island and the agreement Obama made. Trump says that keeping that agreement "will make us look awfully bad." You've got "2,000 people that Australia does not want" and "the United States has become like a dumping ground... It is such a bad thing."

4. Turnbull says "The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting." And these people "are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan." But Australia can't take them because they have to have an absolute policy against accepting anyone who arrives by boat, because it needs to squelch the business of smuggling people in (which involves a lot of drowning). Trump says: "That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am." That last sentence is a kind of humor. (It's a gesture at the people who think Trump is too hardcore: Trumbull is "worse.")

5. Trump praises Turnbull for protecting his country from destruction. He compares Australia to Germany, where "people are crazy." Trump says he knows that Merkel "wishes she did not do it." How many Syrian migrants have been allowed into Germany? Trumbull says one million, and Trump says it could be 2 million. Germany "will never be the same."

6. Trump asks Turnbull why the resettlement agreement is "so important": "I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week." Turnbull says the number is actually lower. It's 1,250. And you don't have to take any of them if they don't pass our vetting. And: "I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order."

7. Trump refuses to say anything positive about the agreement. In fact, he's going tell the public: "I hate it" and "unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama." He adds "I hate taking these people" and (implausibly) "I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now." If they're so plainly bad, they won't pass the vetting, and the agreement won't require them to take them in. Why go on about how bad he's sure they are? Turnbull calls him on this: "I would not be so sure" that they're bad people.  

8. Trump rants about how bad the deal is, and Turbull tries to get back to the idea he began with, business: "But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal." Trump starts talking about politics, the 2016 election: This is how the Democrat lost the election. But then he takes up the business theme: "You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible." So he resists the old saw "a deal is a deal."

9. Turnbull tries to talk up the idea that Trump should want to "look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States." Sticking to the deal "shows that you are a committed..." Trump breaks in and rants:
Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything.... I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?
You can see in those last 2 sentences that Trump knows the deal isn't really that bad because it has a big loophole. Why not just use the loophole? Vet them and reject them. Turnbull is all: "That is the point I have been trying to make."

10. Will Turnbull accept that performance of the deal? "How does that help you?" Trump asks. Turnbull says he assumes there will be good faith (that is, presumably, serious vetting, not just purporting to vet them and then rejecting them all). Turnbull repeats that these are economic refugees. Trump complains again that it makes the U.S. seem "like a dumping ground for the rest of the world" and that he looks "so foolish doing this."

11. Turnbull, returning to the businessman theme, tries again to coax Trump to think of the deal as not just binding, but actually good: "I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him...." As before, Trump isn't buying that. He goes back to complaining that our country makes bad deals, not just this one, but the START Treaty and the Iran deal. He says "I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals." We're getting nowhere.

12. Turnbull seems to graciously accept he's not going to get anything more than Trump's honoring the deal: "You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it." Trump chooses not to be gracious and say that's what he'll do and be done with it, but he continues in what comes across as a ranting style that ends in unnecessary complaining about Turnbull:
I have no choice to say that about it.... I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous... this is crazy.
13. Turnbull tries to change the subject to Syria or DPRK, but Trump is talking over him, so Turnbull tries to close the discussion with "Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us." But that triggers Trump: "It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook." That's not adding anything new to the discussion, just repeating Trump's main point that it was a bad deal.

14. Turnbull tries to soothe him: "You can count on me. I will be there again and again." Trump accepts the soothing: "I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm." And Turnbull says "Okay, thank you" which ends the conversation.

75 comments:

eric said...

This conversation seems to make Malcom look bad, but not Trump.

I mean here is Trump basically saying to people like me, "I really am like you when it comes to immigration. We've got too much immigration, refugees, you name it, and it has to stop." and here he is also saying, "but a deal is a deal and I hate the deal."

It tells who Trump really is. Which is a guy who agrees with the hardliners on Immigration.

Tommy Duncan said...

Trump is transparent and blunt. He doesn't like the situation Obama left him in. The discussion was intended to be private, so there was no reason to make (fake) nice to Turmbull. Being blunt and honest in a "lost situation" is simply one of the techniques a good negotiator uses.

Ann Althouse said...

I think Trump was choosing to make Turnbull feel uncomfortable and it did work to the extent that Turnbull ends up pretty much saying I owe you.

I don't know if it was worth it to sound so undignified, but it sounds like Trump normally sounds. It wasn't some weird crazy Trump, just the usual Trump (which strikes many people as crazy).

Sebastian said...

Good post. As I said in another thread (clears throat), Trump was right to be upset about the phony deal, the sheer absurdity of supposedly discouraging "economic refugees" (what the hell -- 6 billion people are potential "economic refugees") by having them come to the US instead of Australia.

"I think Trump was choosing to make Turnbull feel uncomfortable and it did work to the extent that Turnbull ends up pretty much saying I owe you." Correct. You posted as I was typing. This means he wasn't "unnecessarily complaining." What's undignified? He's pissed, he's standing up for the US, and he's rightly calling BS on Trumbull and O. The only mistake is that the Australians are good guys lost of the time--a little more of the approach to Nieto would have helped.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, excellent exegesis. I don't know (nor does anyone else) whether Turnbull's saying "I owe you one" is worth anything, but it's probably the best Trump could do, all things considered.

MikeD said...

Actually the internment camps on the island contain the left overs from the Labor government's policy of using it as a way station fro the huge influx of migrants, thanks to Indonesian people smugglers. The Liberal government initiated a policy of no migrants w/o a visa & started turning the boats back before they got to Aussie waters. Italy has now started same to close off migrants from Libya.

Unknown said...

4."But Australia can't take them because they have to have an absolute policy against accepting anyone who arrives by boat, because it needs to squelch the business of smuggling people in (which involves a lot of drowning). Trump says: "That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am." That last sentence is a kind of humor. (It's a gesture at the people who think Trump is too hardcore: Trumbull is "worse.")"

Trump misunderstood the reason that Australia refuses to take those who arrive by boat. It's done because there have been so many drownings of refugees and asylum seekers in the past. Trump seems to think they do it just to be mean or heartless.

6."Trump asks Turnbull why the resettlement agreement is "so important": "I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week." Turnbull says the number is actually lower. It's 1,250. And you don't have to take any of them if they don't pass our vetting. And: "I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order."

Good God. Me, me, me, the narcissism. He doesn't give a damn about the refugees, but cares how he will look to his deplorable base.

7. "Trump refuses to say anything positive about the agreement. In fact, he's going tell the public: "I hate it" and "unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama." He adds "I hate taking these people" and (implausibly) "I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now." If they're so plainly bad, they won't pass the vetting, and the agreement won't require them to take them in. Why go on about how bad he's sure they are? Turnbull calls him on this: "I would not be so sure" that they're bad people."".

What a despicable asshole.

MikeD said...

BTW, Turnbull, who stabbed Abbott in the back to become PM, and his followers in the Liberal party are so bad they're comparable to a McCain Rino & will be handing their nation to far left Labor soon.

RAH said...

Trump appeared to me to be whining and complaining and I voted for the man. He does not show good in this exchange

Unknown said...


Trump had every reason to be angry with Trumbull. The immigration deal with Obama was negotiated and announced a week after the election. Turnbull knew perfectly well that Trump was elected on a platform of limiting immigration, yet he went full speed ahead on tying up his hands with Obama anyway. This deal was directly contrary to what Trump and his voters wanted.

What I want to know is: Why aren't more Americans furious with Turnbull?

Ann Althouse said...

It's not really fair to judge by the transcript. We need audio. I have no idea how irritating Turnbull might have sounded or how reasonable or how irascible or friendly Trump might have sounded. From the text, I'd say there's a big range for what either man was doing. If Turnbull really was at the extreme of reasonable and Trump at the irascible extreme, then the reports we're hearing are fair, but I would not take a strong position without hearing it.

Unknown said...

8. "Trump rants about how bad the deal is, and Turbull tries to get back to the idea he began with, business: "But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal." Trump starts talking about politics, the 2016 election: This is how the Democrat lost the election. But then he takes up the business theme: "You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible." So he resists the old saw "a deal is a deal."

WTF. He is blabbering like he's demented. Then he admits that all he cares about is that the deal will make him look stupid. Too late. He made himself look and sound stupid already 5 minutes into the phone call.

9."I look like a dope.,

Yes indeed, but not for the reason he thinks.

wwww said...


What I want to know is: Why aren't more Americans furious with Turnbull?


Why would Americans care about Turnbull?

Unknown said...

10."Trump complains again that it makes the U.S. seem "like a dumping ground for the rest of the world" and that he looks "so foolish doing this."

Trump has made the US look foolish to the rest of the world many times over, yet he is so concerned about appearances. How un self aware can he get?

12. ""As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous... this is crazy.""

God help us, he's worse than even I thought.

iowan2 said...

This is a never ending discovery process, only its always the same revelation, President Trump is exactly who he claims to be. Always to same.

There is no hidden agenda. No unspoken, yet understood, payoff. That is why everyone in DC is scared. President Trump can not be bought off, he owes no favors, his only promises were to United States voters. Rush keeps reminding his listeners, that the President was not created by the media, so the media cant destroy him, one of the few people in the civilized world that holds that distinction.
Dont know what the future holds. President Trump is the only person that can pull this off, if it is even possible.

buwaya said...

Turnbull wanted the deal to stop Labor from making more "concentration camp" hay about the detainees, which has been Aussie Labors rhetoric for years. Obama bailed him out, why and for what quid pro quo nobody knows.

And "Trump misunderstood the reason that Australia refuses to take those who arrive by boat. It's done because there have been so many drownings of refugees and asylum seekers in the past."

This is not true. People getting killed was a pretext. A plausible, honorable reason but entirely secondary. The real reason is simply to prevent a flood of unwanted people using this route to Australia, much like whats now going on in the Med to Italy and Spain. The Australian Coalition (Lib-Nat) base, its "deplorables", are much like the US variety. Stopping the boats is their wall.

buwaya said...

The go-to work on all permutations and variations of all this, from the point of view of "western" psychology, is in "Camp of the Saints", Jean Raspail, a brutal, ugly, terrifying and brilliant book. A great prophet.

mccullough said...

Trump got Trumbull down to 1,250 without explicitly asking. That 2,000 number got dropped. After vetting, it will be even lower. Next time, Trump is going to fly refugees to Australia and tell Trumbull he took care of his boat policy problem for him.

Feste said...

~
I don’t buy this: “and Trump seems irritated that Turnbull would even attempt to sell that to him. So Turnbull switches to arguing that the deal really isn't so bad. This rubs Trump the wrong way, and even without audio, I hear Trump displaying anger at Turnbull for not just admitting

It’s within reason. But I’m not buying.

Transcript.

Trump: “Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand ...”

Trump asks an open question. Admits there’s something he does not understand.

I take this at face value. Too expensive to run too many numbers on all possible alternate meanings overlain with read-in emotions.

Trump asks asks. Turnbull answers.

Turnbull: “.. the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. ... you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.”

Since Trump asks an open question (“why is this so important”), Turnbull offers Trump the most powerful response consistent with Trump’s own order - vetting.

Turnbull is still not trying to sell anything.

Turnbull is saying to Trump that it’s a matter of - vetting. Trump could use his own focus on – vetting – and reject them all, if he can get away with that, or reject many, or reject some, and then puff himself before the public as a tough-vetter, and better, simultaneously heap insult and blame on Obama.

Third-party Trump justifications need not enter into this because Trump can take care of himself. If not, get out of the Presidency.

Turnbull: “Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed...”

Turnbull is still not selling anything. Not against the stream. If at all. He’s playing to Trump’s well known preoccupation with how Trump looks. See below.

(cont)

buwaya said...

The situation in the Med and at Ceuta-Melilla and the Spanish coast is, I understand, approaching the scale and form of "Camp of the Saints". Of course this has been said about many places in Europe as it was, such as the camp at Calais and now many streets in Paris filled with refugees.

And of course the migration of 2015 to Austria and Germany.

I don't blame the Australians for seeking to avoid this; a very similar situation was developing for them even earlier.

Feste said...

(concluded)

Trump: “Okay, this shows me to be a dope ... if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. ... it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal.”

Turnbull is still not selling anything.

Trump is selling. Trump is selling himself.

It’s Trump’s problem if Trump cannot spin the story to make Trump Great Again.


Several more lines of Trump’s preoccupation with how Trump looks

If there’s any anger, it’s Trump’s anger about how he looks, or thinks he looks, or worries about how he might look. Get over it.


Turnbull: “You can count on me. I will be there again and again.”

Trump: “I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm”

The art of the deal. They’re either both salesmen for Sherwin Williams Paint and correspondingly salesmen of bad math-to-science-fits - “save the appearances,” or instead, they’re businessmen doing what businessmen do by asking for, and by exploring alternative routes to get beyond simple Pareto optimals and move forward.

buwaya said...

Trumps purpose is clear - to Turnbull, to make sure his counterpart knows that he is extremely sensitive on this issue, unlike his predecessor, and to establish dominance in this relationship.

Its difficult to understand this sort of conversation without a context.

Australia is in a nervous position, as is all SE Asia, as the Chinese are threatening more and more openly. Australia just enacted foreign property-purchase laws discouraging, effectively, China buying their country. The Australians are beginning a large scale military buildup and want US forces back on a large scale.

The Australians come as petitioners to the US.

Unknown said...

Actually. I just love to troll you guys. It's the only way I can get off.

Jose_K said...

they have to have an absolute policy against accepting anyone who arrives by boat, because it needs to squelch the business of smuggling people in (which involves a lot of drowning). Trump says: "That is a good idea. We should do that too..
Done: Guantanamo Camp was used to detain Haitians and Cubans stopped at the sea

Feste said...

buwaya said... ".. Its difficult to understand this sort of conversation without a context .."

Perhaps. Maybe impossible to understand without a context. We can arbitrarily set our parameters too wide (whole globe: which Trump almost reaches for throughout this transcript) or arbitrarily set our parameters too narrow (transcript only). All’s fair so long as we remember the registry where we set and stored our arbitrary parameters and play the accordion of bias-correction accordingly.

In these matters (buwaya as an engineer), in politics - as in biology - we do not have optimized-engineered designs, where the engineer minimizes the number of working parts and keeps the distances between internal working relationships - tight. We’re not talking about designer (or Designer if you will). We’re talking about - a tinkerer, especially in biology, maybe more in politics (or Tinkerer, if you prefer).

Whatever your own largest-conceivable-number, this number of combinatorics is beyond my competence merely to conceive. [SNORT] - were it not for a Fair Wind blowing on the Virgin Queen, accidentally saving my prune Danish progenitors, I might be writing this to you now in Spanish. Defense, Quixote!

Michael K said...

What I want to know is: Why aren't more Americans furious with Turnbull?

Australia owes us big time. Without us they would be speaking Japanese. They may end up doing so anyway as the Northwest Territories are filling up with retirement communities for elderly Japanese.

I've met illegal aliens in Australia. They are sometimes Americans who come in and work as waiters. There are a bunch of American vagrants living on Gold Beach.

This was another land mine left for Trump by Obama. Bush did nothing to make life hard for Obama in 2009. Obama has done everything to put roadblocks in Trump's way.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Economic refugees means somebody somewhere is holding their ious to the smugglers/trafficking. Anybody's guess how the payoff will be settled.
Outsourcing indentured servitude.

Mr. Majestyk said...

Yes, a deal is a deal. But what was the deal? What did Australia promise the U.S.?

Jim at said...

"What a despicable asshole."

While completely accurate, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself in a public forum.

David said...

Here is the President, talking frankly to his counterparty about an issue of importance. Very frankly. It may seem jarring to an audience used to mushy diplospeak, but it's a completely appropriate technique. Why not tell him it's the worst call all day? It was, and it does not hurt Trumbull to know it.

Note the lack of threats and bullying. No empty threats. No empty promises. No ambiguity to cover up the real division between the two. You never resolve conflicts by pretending that they do not exist.

It's a very effective method of communication and negotiation.

AllenS said...

Take one refugee from Australia, and drop the refugee off at Obama's house. Then, ask him how many more he wants to support.

Feste said...

"Yes, a deal is a deal. But what was the deal? What did Australia promise the U.S.?"

Exactly. It's all the off-transcript stuff, or saved for a rainy day stuff, or the stuff that Turnbull negotiates off-record with Kuchner (this is vaguely noted in the transcript), or the answer blowing in the wind.

mockturtle said...

Why would anyone think Trump is crazy? Which is crazier?
1. I don't want to do anything that could weaken our country or its security.
2. I will do whatever political correctness dictates even if it weakens our country and its security.

Mary Beth said...

How is Australia working to resettle the migrants in the U.S. going to discourage them from getting on a boat and trying to get to Australia?

Yes, future migrants will know that they might drown, but that didn't discourage others before, and, they might still make it to Australia, but if they don't, Australia will make sure they get to go someplace other than where they came from.

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

UnknownInga19 is the worst Unknown Inga yet.

Althouse reading these transcripts is my favorite Althouse. This should be read in the Sunday shows as analysis.

George Snuffalupagus and Chris Wallace should take the day off.

gadfly said...

An interesting analysis from Down Under, "A Psychological Drama" from The Monthly. The bottom line from the Aussie point of view:

What is disturbing – or should be, if our political culture still valued truth – is that it seems clear that both Turnbull and his government have lied. We have been told there was no “people swap” deal with the US. But during the phone call Turnbull told Trump that Australia would “hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country [people] that you need to move on from”. He also said, “We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take.”

Tank said...

Voted enthusiastically for our President, and would do the same tomorrow.

buwaya said...

"is that it seems clear that both Turnbull and his government have lied."

So, it seems, did Obama.

Birkel said...

Reading Althouse one gets the idea Trump has been very well briefed on the motivations and internal pressures facing his international counterparts. It's as though he gets up at 3:30AM and starts working.

mockturtle said...

Althouse reading these transcripts is my favorite Althouse. This should be read in the Sunday shows as analysis.

George Snuffalupagus and Chris Wallace should take the day off.


Yes, indeed, Birkel!

mockturtle said...

Interesting how some leaders try to schmooze Trump. Trump may schmooze but he isn't to be schmoozed.

Birkel said...

It's almost like Trump knows what he wants and works toward those ends.

Comanche Voter said...

When waiter Obama puts a moose turd sandwich on your plate, well a fellow has to object.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

If Trump gets up at 3:30 a.m he should be almost ready to take that call at 3!!! ... That was a concern for some people.

Earnest Prole said...

Shorter version: you owe me one.

Feste said...

“In this brave new world, we cannot rely on great powers to safeguard our interests,”
Turnbull ala Merkel.

Feste said...

“A post-America world?” Australian Strategic Policy Institute

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/post-america-world/

Feste said...

Five to 10 Years From Now Asia Won't Need America

Hyphenated American said...

Can someone explain yo me why the executive order signed by Obana the Stupid must be upheld by president Trump?

Ralph L said...

I believe that referred to Trump's famous executive order that was promptly tied up in the courts. It isn't clear if Obama's agreement with Turnbull was ever in writing.
"I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order."

Laslo Spatula said...

Take the refugees and distribute them amongst the various Sanctuary Cities.

Each one gets a free pressure cooker as a welcoming gift.

I am Laslo.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This is actually reassuring - it shows (as others have noted) that Trump isn't two-faced. He is actually trying to do what he says in public he will do. And there is nothing wrong with him not wanting to look bad as a result of this issue - in fact, that's totally appropriate for someone in a leadership position.

Now why does this leaked conversation get all this attention, but Obama's "I'll have more flexibility after the election" leak gets very little? That's the one that should have had people up in arms.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Take the refugees and distribute them amongst the various Sanctuary Cities."

That's an excellent suggestion. And anytime they are caught outside a sanctuary city, send them back.

Humperdink said...

Little Known said: ""What a despicable asshole."

Unknown tries to be cool like Zuckerdork. Doesn't work for the Z-Dork, nor does it work for Little Known.

Little Known, I am trying to dissect your ""What a despicable asshole" analysis. I'm struggling here. Trump campaigned on this issue. Trump won the election primarily on this issue. Trump doing EXACTLY what he promised during the campaign makes him an asshole? Help me here.

MayBee said...

The people who agree it has to be done because of drowning (and think Trump is an idiot for not understanding that) are ignoring stories like the illegal immigrants dying in a truck in San Antonio just last week.
People die trying to get here, too. Yet *here* the advocates think that means we need to make it easier to get here.

And yes, the idea that being sent to America will dissuade people from boating to Australia is ridiculous. It's simply more encouragement.

robinintn said...

The original question with these two posts was: why aren't the leak contents getting more play in the media? I do think that one reason is that they don't make Trump look bad enough to be useful, but I also think a related reason is the specific deal being discussed in the Australia transcript. The deal wasn't widely covered when Obama made it, but the terms are unusually bad, even by O standards, and it's likely the media recognize that a very public reminder of the deal would only rile up the deplorables and further damage their side.

MayBee said...

Good point, robinintn

Kate said...

Turnbull's an idiot. All he had to say was, "That's right. Obama was a total sucker and we played him. I'm so sorry you're stuck with this bad deal." Sympathy, agreement, honesty. Partnership and team-building. And it would've cost him nothing. What a diplomatic numskull.

MayBee said...

Exactly, Kate

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

"I don't approve of the publication of these transcripts, but since they are out there..."

I don't approve of unwarranted wiretaps, but since we have the information, "Guilty!"

I don't approve of beating confessions out of suspects, but since he said he did it...

Chris N said...

Regarding Unknown's comments:

What is it about this issue that gets you so passionate?

We all have some concern for other people, if we're reasonable, but why have you stayed so committed to this one idea (extending your moral concern for these people in the abstract whom you've never met)?

Have you ever known a truth or some aspect of reality to possibly be so black and white as this, upon examination?

Birkel said...

Everything UnknownInga19 knows is pure black and white.
Democrats = good.
Not Democrats = not good.

Birkel said...

UnknownInga19 is a religious fanatic in this way.
Nothing outside the state, even religion, for the Leftists.

hstad said...


Blogger Unknown said...

4.
Trump misunderstood the reason that Australia refuses to take those who arrive by boat. It's done because there have been so many drownings of refugees and asylum seekers in the past. Trump seems to think they do it just to be mean or heartless.

Your an idiot! Of course nowhere in the World by land or sea do people die except in Australia.

6.
Good God. Me, me, me, the narcissism. He doesn't give a damn about the refugees, but cares how he will look to his deplorable base.

Which Politician do you know a love is not concerned about "....Me, me, me,.." Trump does not have a monopoly over "narcissism."

7.
What a despicable asshole.

We know you hate Trump, but only a "....despicable asshole..." like you would believe that Australia can completely vet these refugees - LOL! The use of the word "vetting" is the last refuge of Liberal scoundrels like you.


8/5/17, 7:45 PM

Kevin said...

Now why does this leaked conversation get all this attention, but Obama's "I'll have more flexibility after the election" leak gets very little?

Obama is very smart. Much smarter than you. Whatever he is doing is being done for your own good. If you are not smart enough to see what that is, it is only proof he is much smarter than you.

Circular logic. It's the staple of the liberal mind. It's why they can't quite get their heads around a democratically-elacted Trump. And it's why the "Russia made it happen" meme is so important to restoring their narrative.

Let's see how they view Trump: Trump is very dumb. Much dumber than me. Whatever he is doing is being done for his own good. Anyone with a pulse can see this.... So wait, how the hell did this guy get elected again? This makes no sense!

Just read what's posted by Trump's opponents on this blog. It's all about how (a) Trump is a liar and the people who voted for him were stooges, or (b) Russia is behind everything and Trump is going to be impeached. Actual discussions of why good people chose him, or why his policies might be good for America are nowhere to be found in their rhetoric.

They are intellectual Roombas who have driven themselves into the wall, run through their programming, and are waiting for Trump's impeachment in order to free themselves.

Lydia said...

Yes, a deal is a deal. But what was the deal? What did Australia promise the U.S.?

Here's what Anne Richard, the State Dept. person who arranged the deal, said back in March:

The architect of the US-Australia refugee deal says the agreement for America to take refugees from Nauru and Manus Island was loosely contingent on Australia considering resettling people from Central America and Africa in exchange, although not in a one-for-one swap.

That exchange would cover "between 20 and 50 people ... from a "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala".

This is interesting:

Details of both deals have been shrouded in secrecy, apparently in part due to Australia's reluctance to get caught up in a domestic political debate over refugee resettlement ahead of the US election.

For that reason, the Costa Rica element of the deal was announced in September, while the element involving Manus Island and Nauru was not made public until mid-November, after the election had taken place.

FryingPanHead said...

Meh. I don't see any two-faced phoniness in Trump. Unlike black Chicago Jesus, that fuck. His colleagues at University of Chicago were right - an intellectually lazy bum who shouldn't even be granted adjunct status.
And these assholes have the nerve to bad-mouth Trump for attempting to place the country first.

richard mcenroe said...

Don't assume any particular intelligence or morality on Malcolm Turnbull's part, either. After the Australian people re-elected John Howard, Turnbull organized a 54-drone coup in Parliament and forced him out...then proved absolutely incapable of delivering on any of his high-flying, dare I say it, Obamaesque promises.

deadrody said...

I love all the people finding fault with Trump here.

I suppose you were all as critical of Obama, right ? LOL!!! The only asshole at play here is Obama, who negotiated a deal knowing full well that his successor and the voters that elected him would be completely against that deal. Which is pretty much exactly what you should expect from a full time BS artist politician like Obama.

And yet, it's Trump that looks bad. What a crock.

Beliaik said...

G'day, I'm new here but this blog comes highly recommended.

Can anyone tell me why this remark from President Trump, about the German immigration situation, isn't world news?

"... I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. ..."

exiledonmainstreet said...

Unknown said...
Actually. I just love to troll you guys. It's the only way I can get off."

We know, Inga.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Unknown said...
Actually. I just love to troll you guys. It's the only way I can get off."


I thought you had Eldon the Plumber to clean your pipes out.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon Thorney said...

commentator buwaya said about Obama's deal "why and for what quid pro quo nobody knows".
You've got to be kidding. Obama brought in as many future Democrat voters as he could. The more trouble they would be the better. I can't know what was in Obama's mind, but this deal was consistent with his other actions.