Transcripts of Trump's Calls to Leaders Leak
The conversations weren't exactly friendly
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2017 11:07 AM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Jan. 28, 2017.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – If only Anthony Scaramucci were still around to lash out at this leak: The Washington Post has obtained classified transcripts of President Trump's initial phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia, produced by White House staff in January. (See them in full here.) Among the highlights: Trump didn't spend a lot of time trying to convince Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to pay for the border wall Trump had promised Americans when Nieto refused to do so. Instead, Trump was more concerned with the optics, repeatedly warning, "But you cannot say that to the press" in regard to Nieto's refusal. Trump said he knew funding for the wall may be up in the air, but he threatened to stop communication with Mexico if Nieto continued publicly refusing to pay. "I cannot live with that," Trump said.

That was just one indication of Trump's confrontational political style, "subjecting even a close neighbor and long-standing ally to streams of threats and invective as if aimed at US adversaries," according to the Post. The president got even more heated with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a call on Jan. 28. After the pair butted heads about a deal in which the US agreed to accept 1,250 refugees held in Australian detention centers, Trump told Turnbull, "This is going to kill me … I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week." He abruptly ended the call after telling Turnbull it was his "most unpleasant call all day." His call with Vladimir Putin was "pleasant," Trump added. "This is ridiculous."

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