The revelation that Donald Trump berated Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of one of America’s closest allies, during a recent official phone call has been met with shock, disbelief and some embarrassed humour in the United States, fuelling concerns about the US president badly damaging important international relationships.
The Washington Post scoop revealing the tense conversation broke late in the day in the US and went on to dominate late night news television shows and social media, with many expressing disbelief that of all the countries the US could have offended in the first weeks of a new administration, it would be America’s genial allies across the Pacific.
This is how Trump treats arguably the US’s 2nd most loyal ally after the UK.
“I made a Top 100 Possible Trump Administration Foreign Crises list & I gotta admit ‘Rupturing US-Australia Relations’ was NOT on there,” senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut who sits on the same committee, also wrote.
If this is how he negotiates with Australia, imagine how bad relations with China are going to be!
Feeling rather sorry for the new Secretary of State.
“Who’d have thought it was possible to blow the US-Australia relationship?” wrote The New York Times writer Nick Kristof. “It’s childproof. But not Trump-proof.”