Exclusive: The Very Real Transcript Of Donald Trump Losing It At Malcolm Turnbull
Want to know what really happened during that phone call?
In case you missed it, today The Washington Post is reporting that US President Donald Trump “blasted” Turnbull in a private phone call last week over a proposed refugee deal between the US and Australia. In the last hour, The Donald made his attitude towards the deal pretty clear.
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
— Patrick Lenton (@PatrickLenton) February 2, 2017
So what really went down during that tense phone call? It just so happens that we’ve got the completely real transcript.
Malcolm TURNBULL: Good morning, Mr President.
Donald TRUMP: Good evening. They tell me it’s evening where you are. That’s a terrible system. Different time zones make it very difficult to do business. From now on, it’s daytime in Australia, got it?
TURNBULL: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: I’ve talked to so many countries today. Some of the most terrific countries. Countries you’ve never even heard of. I’ve had the leaders of over five hundred countries all pledge their support to me. No other President has had that many countries behind them. It’s a beautiful thing.
TURNBULL: And naturally, the people of my country extend their best wishes for a smooth—
TRUMP: [muffled] Steve, put that TV back on CNN. I don’t care if you just like his little moustache, stop watching your videos in the oval office. Use one of the TVs in the bathroom. Don’t disturb the peacock.
TURNBULL: As I was saying, Australia is committed to—
TRUMP: Hold on. [muffled] Reince, what’s the deal with Australia? Do they like me? Uh huh. Right. [clears throat] My people say that Australia changes leaders every two years. Your government is very unstable, very unstable.
TRUMP: That’s fantastic. We’re trying something similar here. Have you heard of “the rule of law”? It’s a complete disaster. Just a mess. We’re getting rid of it. Drain the swamp, that’s what I say. We’re draining the swamp. You should drain your swamp too. Get the corruption out of there. Put your own people in.
TURNBULL: Well, something you and I could bond over is the media has been hounding me to disclose my financial contributions to my own party…
TRUMP: You GIVE money to your party? That’s a sucker deal. Have you ever read The Art of the Deal? I wrote it, apparently. Name’s on the cover and everything. Second best book next to The Bible. Actually, probably first best book. Bible’s out of copyright. Terrible failure. Can’t make money that way.
TURNBULL: The contribution was important in order to secure re-election. It was only a million or two, nothing significant.
TRUMP: What the hell kind of leader are you? Here’s what you do: get one of your hotels. You have some hotels, right? I think I stayed at a Turner when I was in Australia. Nice place. Not as nice as Trump Tower. You hold all your events at your hotel, then send them the bill. Done. You’ve just made money off this deal and you get to be leader of a country. That’s a tremendous deal.
TURNBULL: Well, I don’t want to disclose my contributions because I’m trying to put myself across as a man of the people. I don’t want people to find out how rich I am.
TRUMP: Oh yeah, I’m the same. I’m much richer than I let on. I said I’m not releasing my tax returns because the world isn’t ready for a trillionaire. [muffled] Trillion is bigger than billion, right? Which is bigger? Someone get Jared, all questions about numbers go through Jared. Steve, you’d better take off your hood before he gets here.
TURNBULL: Mr President, I want to bring up the refugee deal Australia made with the United States under Barack Obama…
TRUMP: Obama, terrible President. The worst. Weak on terror, ineffective. It was a very sad thing to watch. But I think he liked me a lot. We had great chemistry. The highest chemistry. At least two million. [muffled] Jared, what’s a high number in chemistry? Two million is good, right?
TURNBULL: As you know, President Obama agreed to take over a thousand refugees we have in detention.
TRUMP: Terrible deal. He should have called me, I do the best deals. We’ll take ten thousand refugees, or the whole thing’s off. [muffled] What? I thought refugee was the name for Australian currency. Hold on. Martin, like I said, we’re not taking any refugees. No chance, no how.
TURNBULL: President Trump, the deal we made—
TRUMP: You’ve got some bad hombres in that part of the world. What’s Australian for hombre? Steve says it’s hombro. You’ve got some bad hombros over there. Your whole country is falling apart. The crime is terrible, just terrible.
TURNBULL: Actually, our crime rate is relatively—
TRUMP: Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll honour the agreement, because I honour all of my agreements, I’m a very trustworthy person. Some think I’m too trustworthy, they say Donald, you’ve got to stop being so trustworthy, I can’t handle trusting you so much, but that’s just who I am. So I’m going to honour the agreement, but that just means we vet them. And I’m talking extreme vetting. You know I’m all about extreme vetting. Everybody knows it. We do background check, foreground check, we put their children in jail, we kill their parents, we waterboard them for a year or two, and then we let them go. Not inside our borders, we’ll send whatever’s left of them back to you. Those are the terms.
TURNBULL: I understand. The important thing is that I’m able to go on television and tell everyone the deal is still on.
TRUMP: I order you not to tell them that.
TURNBULL: I’m sorry, Mr President, but I don’t take orders from you. Unless your name is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, or Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, or Scott Morrison, or Peter Dutton, or George Brandis, or George Christensen, or Corey Bernardi, Pauline Hanson, Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Leigh Sales, Waleed Aly, uh… I’ve forgotten the rest. But I don’t take orders from you. Unless you tell me otherwise.
TRUMP: This is the worst phone call I’ve ever had in my life. [muffled] Steve, send some troops into Australia. How far south of Mexico are you guys?
TURNBULL: Uh, right under it. If you look at a map, we’re called El Salvador. That’s Australian for “Australia”.
TRUMP: We’re coming for you. I’m going to watch some TV now. [muffled] Steve, you said one more phone call and I’m allowed some TV time, right? Reince, hang up this phone.
Junkee has managed to secure exclusive footage of the Trump vs. Turnbull phone call. Check it out:
Lee Zachariah is a writer and journalist. He co-hosted the ABC2 film comedy series The Bazura Project, and is a co-presenter of film podcast Hell Is For Hyphenates. He tweets at @leezachariah