John McCain is reaching out to Australia after President Trump's angry phone call with the nation's prime minister. In a statement released Thursday, McCain said that he had called Australia's ambassador to the US to express his "unwavering support for the US-Australia alliance," Politico reports. McCain also asked the ambassador to assure Australians that the rest of America stands behind the alliance and behind Australia. Slate notes that McCain's statement did not mention Trump by name, but did include a veiled insult directed at the POTUS: "Those of us who took part in the conflict remember well the service of more than 50,000 Australians in the Vietnam War, including more than 500 that gave their lives." Trump did not serve in Vietnam because of bone spurs in his heels.
Trump is upset about a deal then-President Obama made with Australia that involves the US accepting 1,250 refugees who sought asylum in Australia. He referred to the "problem" again Thursday, Australia's ABC reports, telling reporters, "I have a lot of respect for Australia, I love Australia as a country," but that the deal would need to be investigated further. Press secretary Sean Spicer also addressed the deal Thursday, telling reporters Trump is "unbelievably disappointed in the previous administration’s deal that was made and how poorly it was crafted, and the threat to national security it put the United States on." Spicer said that there would be "extreme vetting" of each refugee admitted to the US under the deal. (Read more John McCain stories.)