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Trump To Turnbull: "This Was The Worst Call By Far"

If Malcolm Turnbull's phone call with Donald Trump was hostile and charged, the prime minister isn't about to confirm or deny it.

The US president reportedly told the prime minister he'd spoken with four other leaders over the weekend - including Russian President Vladimir Putin - and "this was the worst call by far".

Mr Trump fumed about the deal the Obama administration struck with Canberra to take hundreds of refugees from Nauru and Manus Island, according to unnamed sources quoted by The Washington Post.

It was the "worst deal ever", he told Mr Turnbull.

Mr Trump complained he was going to get killed politically and accused Australia of trying to export the "next Boston bombers".

However, the president told Mr Turnbull it was his intention to honour the refugee agreement but with extreme vetting.

Mr Trump indicated he was sceptical about what America would get out of honouring the deal.

After Mr Turnbull apparently suggested they move on and talk about foreign affairs, including the conflict in Syria, Mr Trump ended the conversation, the Post said.

The call was scheduled to go for about an hour, but Mr Trump ended it after 25 minutes.

The official statement about the conversation, released by the White House, told a different story.

"Both leaders emphasised the enduring strength and closeness of the US-Australia relationship that is critical for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and globally," it said.

Mr Turnbull on Monday described the call as constructive, saying the pair acknowledged the already strong and deep relationship between the US and Australia and committed to making it stronger.

On Thursday he refused to answer questions about the report, sticking to his previous public statements.

"I'm not going to comment on these reports out of the United States about the conversation,' he told reporters in Melbourne.

"It's better that these conversations are conducted candidly, frankly, privately."

Mr Turnbull sought to assure Australians the relationship with the US was very strong.


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