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Aussie Aussie Aussie, Ouch Ouch Ouch!

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, February 3rd, 2017 - 70 comments
Categories: australian politics, us politics - Tags: ,

Diplomacy in the age of Trump:

Americans are taking to social media to apologise to Australia after US

Americans are taking to social media to apologise to Australia after US President Donald Trump reportedly hung up on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The political journalists who revealed Trump hung up on the PM also claimed the President “doesn’t really care” that Australia is a long-term ally. …

So decades of sucking up to the US, all those supposed advantages of the “Five Eyes” club, gone in second. Trump cares nothing for Australia. He probably hasn’t even heard of NZ.

70 comments on “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Ouch Ouch Ouch!”

  1. Trump: “I will study this dumb deal”

    Remember Donald, when you see new words, like ‘assistance’, ‘refugees’, ‘compassion’, to point to each letter and sound the word out. Then try the word in a new sentence, like:
    ‘I now see that refugees need compassion and assistance’.

    Big School can be so hard…

    • Phil 1.1

      Trump: “I will study this dumb deal”

      Now, I’m no fancy big-city diplomat, but I would have thought that if Trump was really that concerned about the deal then AT THE VERY LEAST he would have studied it before talking to the Aussie PM.

  2. saveNZ 2

    “He probably hasn’t even heard of NZ.”

    Apparently Trump once tried to buy a golf course here but was denied (pre Key then obviously) so NZ is probably on his hit list!

    I’m sure Groser will be grovelling on NZ behalf.

    • Enough is Enough 2.1

      When Bolger’s government was handing out Casino licences in the 90’s Donald Trump travelled to New Zealand.

      He wanted to get his hands on the Auckland licence, but thankfully missed out.

      He visited the country for a couple of days.

    • joe90 3.1

      I reckon this is on the button – Trump and co are flying blind.


      You guys: I have a theory about Trump's weirdly angry call with Australian PM that's so stupid & implausible I'm almost sure it's true. 1/— Karin Robinson (@karinjr) February 2, 2017

      • emergency mike 3.1.1

        Not implausible at all.

        “So who is this Australia guy?”

        “Mr Turnbull is the leader of the Australian Liberal Party Mr President.”

        “I see. Give me the phone…”

  3. dv 4

    It occurred to me this morning that Trump needs to read the book The Art of the Deal.

    • Johan 4.1

      King Donald is a bully and dealing with a bully is to push back even harder. When Bill finally receives King Donald’s phone call, how compliant will Blinky be?

    • rhinocrates 4.2

      That would be funnier if he’d actually written it.

      • NZJester 4.2.1

        His name might be on it, but as with a lot of things with his name on, they might not actually be his. A lot of buildings with the Trump name on do not belong to him. A ghost writer might have written the book for him also.

        • emergency mike

          Of course he didn’t write it. “Schwartz was the subject of a July 2016 article in The New Yorker in which Schwartz describes Donald Trump unfavorably and relates how he came to regret writing The Art of the Deal. He also stated that if it were to be written today it would be very different and titled The Sociopath. Schwartz repeated his self-criticism on Good Morning America, saying he had “put lipstick on a pig””

          Tony Schwartz spent 18 months with working with Trump on it and so probably knows him better than most. He has also publicly rated Trump’s chances of ending civilization as ‘excellent’.


      • red-blooded 4.3.1

        How about we don’t mock dyslexia, Joe? Neither you nor I know Trump’s reading level, but being a “hidden illiterate” doesn’t make one stupid and shouldn’t be used as a point of criticism.

        There’s plenty of labels I’ll stick on Trump – he’s a misogynistic, racist, unstable, lying, self-aggrandising, petulant, crass, over-privileged, manipulative, aggressive, bullying, blow-hard arsehole, and it’s ridiculous and deeply worrying that he’s president of the US, but while I (a high school English teacher) believe everyone is enriched by a varied and active reading profile, being dyslexic is a disadvantage, not a character flaw or sign of stupidity.

        • joe90

          How about we don’t mock dyslexia, Joe?

          The prick’s busily doing the religious right’s bidding, undoing decades in the making environment protections, resurrecting Bush’s dark site/torture regime and goading a fourth of the world’s population – but we shouldn’t mock his dumbfuckery. I don’t fucking think so.

  4. DoublePlusGood 5

    He’s just abusing Turnbull until Turnbull cracks and becomes desperate to talk to him.

  5. Sanctuary 6

    My glorious plan is to deploy the SAS to infiltrate the Whitehouse and twink out NZ from all the maps and write “Nothing here” instead. Then, for the next four years we can pretend there is no one home if Trump comes round.

  6. Morrissey 7

    All those years of being the Lacky Country, and abuse is all they get for it. That’s what a lapdog is for of course.

  7. bill is waiting…


    plus he has been seen dancing and singing this

    “donald, it’s me, billy
    Come home, I’m so cold!
    Let me in-a-your window…”

    • Anne 8.1

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Bill never gets the phone call. And then it comes out the Chump refused to ring the NZ PM because: “there’s only ‘two million’ people there and it’s too, too faraway down there next to… whada they call that place which is always covered in snow? That’s right Antarctica.”

    • Sanctuary 8.2

      Kate Bush wrote that song at sixteen about a 19th century novel that totally… just… does it.

      Still drop kicks Lorde into touch IMHO.

  8. adam 9

    ROFL, well could not have happened to a nicer bloke.

    • Chris 9.1

      Precisely. So one hateful racist homophobic bigot hangs up on another hateful racist homophobic bigot. Good bloody job. If English had the balls he’d do the same thing to both of them but he’s a gutless hateful racist homophobic bigot so he won’t.

      The only thing that will force Turnbull to get refugees out of the detention centres and off the islands and treated fairly under the convention is for a boycott of all sport with Australia. That is the only thing that can hurt them barring a nuclear attack.

  9. Glenn 10


    Most children grow out of their Trump phase by age three.

  10. Carolyn_nth 11

    A Sydney Morning Herald article argues only a few people knew the details of the phone call between Trump and Turnbull. It argues someone from the Trump team must have leaked it. Canberra sources claim that such phone call never last much longer than the Trump-Turnbull one, and that there was no Trump hang up.

    Some in Canberra have speculated that Mr Bannon, Mr Trump’s close and most ideologically fierce adviser, may have leaked the details about the call in order to demonstrate that even if Mr Trump eventually accepts the refugee deal, he is doing so only grudgingly and angrily.

    Mr Turnbull’s ministers and advisers suspect the story was leaked because the Trump administration remains deeply suspicious of the refugee deal.

    The UK Daily Mail has picked up on the SMH angle, but is skeptical.

    Sources in Canberra told the Sydney Morning Herald that Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon may have briefed the Washington Post on the story.

    While this seems unlikely at first thought, the insiders believe leaking the story may show Trump is against the refugee deal – even if it has to go ahead.

    Under fire White House press secretary Sean Spicer and national security adviser Michael Flynn were also in the room as Trump and Turnbull supposedly engaged in a war of words.

    Some believe Trump may have been angered when Turnbull brought up the deal during their first call since his inauguration, which the new President may have expected to be a mere exchange of pleasantries.

    But I guess when it comes to political diplomacy and game playing, the public are only told the version the main players want to be told.

    The Mail article reckons Turnbull’s job is now on the line.

    • tc 11.1

      Turnbull’s job is on the line because he gambled on a double dissolution election and got it very wrong.

      He now has the grand majority of a single seat, a hostile senate where One Nation and other single issue senators hold the balance and Tony Abbott openly sniping at him. IF he was half decent Abbott would be buried in the political outback dying of thirst.

      He’s totally screwed the pooch in terms of any legislative agenda and has sections of the MSM calling him an embarrassing moral and policy void.

      So this latest snub, if indeed it is one, will not surprise many as Turnbull is effectively a lame duck PM and its all his own work.

      • Carolyn_nth 11.1.1

        Ah, well, Bannon et al probably know this. So they are taking advantage, and using it to generate publicity for The Don.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Bannon et al probably know this

          That assumes they are something other than a pack of vicious goons. I think the idea that they hate anything with the word “Liberal” in it is far more compelling.

      • Olwyn 11.1.2

        All of this makes me wonder if Turnbull is hoping to cash in on anti-Trump sentiments. After all, I am sure there are heated exchanges between leaders from time to time, and I am not sure why or how we got to know about this one. I have seen where Trump has tweeted that the deal is a dumb one, but have not seen a tweet in which he declares that he hung up on Turnbull. Turnbull’s claim to fame has been his social liberalism, which has been reined in by his conservative Country Party colleagues. So he may be using this incident to rally his fiscally conservative/socially liberal troops, and to back-foot the conservatives on his own team. And also, to increase his appeal to those who hate Trump.

  11. Glenn 12

    No wonder Key bailed when he did.

    • michelle 12.1

      Of course Glen he is a coward who has no guts the same guts he said others need to get. I hope Trump gives them all grief they deserve it and this will sort the men out from the boys and we will see who truly are good leader when they have to deal with the Don

    • tc 12.2

      It’s one of a few reasons key bailed IMO with the housing bubble that he created likely to burst probably top of his list.

      Shonky’s also given himself plenty of time to relocate himself should any pesky royal commissions come knocking about the bailout of a finance company treasury told them on more than one occasion to boot out of the deposit guarantee scheme.

    • Skeptic 12.3

      Nah – he bailed so he could play golf with Obama – he’s an honest player – Trump probably cheats.

  12. Sabine 13

    this is funny


    “Mr Turnbull responded in appropriate fashion, changing his Facebook relationship status to ‘It’s complicated’, sharing a bunch of memes and Adele videos and posting vaguely worded updates about heartbreak and anguish that don’t mention anyone by name, even though it’s totally obvious who they’re about.

    Lucy Turnbull was unavailable for comment, but had reacted to her husbands posts with a laughing emoji.”

  13. michelle 14

    Good job that’s what happens when you do too much a…. kissing why didn’t he go play golf it worked for Uncle John

  14. RedLogix 15

    Actually this is pretty big beer; the signal could not be clearer … Australia is on it’s own. And by extension so is New Zealand. And if you don’t think the Chinese are not smirking a bit, then think again.

    I’d bet this morning at least a few Australian minds, charged with their defence, have blown the red dust off some old “How to Make a Nuke” manual and wondered how hard could it be?

    • tc 15.1

      Behind the scenes the us intelligence community will be going hard with some pictures and maybe even a puppet show on this is how surveillance works we need 5 eyes Donald.

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        No question the USA will continue to use Australia when it suits them; but right now if Australia needed some US military grunt for any reason … /crickets/.

        • greywarshark

          I’ve got an idea. I may have already written to you about the book reading group of E F Schumacher Small is Beautiful over a month with a post at the end for robust discussion. After he first, it would be followed by one from NZ thinking about Marilyn Waring Counting for Nothing. So if you see value in getting wider thinking and have time, would you join in? Could you let me know by replying to this? Are you back from Antarctica? or the exotic place last mentioned? Thanks.

          You always bring good political ideas and a breadth of vision to the problems facing us.
          We need new approaches to get through this maze we wander in. I had the idea that new ideas and thoughts could spring from studying books on the important subjects relating to our politics. Could you find the time to be in this – over a month first reading and noting about E F Schumaker and his Small is Beautiful and then having a great discussion on a Sunday post at end of month? It would be great if you could be in. Could you reply to this comment today if poss. Thanks.

          I am writing similarly to other regular commenters who I feel would be interested, but of course it is a matter of time available. Regards.

          • RedLogix


            Well I am flattered. Right now I’m sitting in a hotel room in Edmonton, Alberta … of all places … a bit bored and waiting for a flight into the project site tomorrow. About 160km north of the Arctic Circle in Nunavut. Not the Antarctic, but quite exotic enough for me.

            The work is all consuming when I onsite and I’ve nothing left over to even read the news, much less reliably do justice to your project. However I will endeavour to keep an eye out for it and contribute it at all possible.



            • greywarshark

              So good to hear from you from across the globe. Thanks and all the best with your project (I knew it sounded somewhere cold. And I wish and hope that CC hasn’t stopped it being cold as it should be.)

    • Anne 15.2

      And if you don’t think the Chinese are not smirking a bit, then think again.

      More than a smirk for sure. They’ve been grinning like a Cheshire cat since the day of the Inauguration. And it takes a fair bit to make the Chinese grin.

    • Olwyn 15.3

      … Australia is on it’s own. And by extension so is New Zealand. If you are right, then this could prove an opportune moment for a nation-building, non-neoliberal left, though we are no doubt tied to that system by more than international politics.

      • Carolyn_nth 15.3.1

        I would think it’s a good time, not only for (re)building the non-neoliberal left in NZ, with a focus on our context; but also for networking and collaboration with the non-neoliberal left in Aussie (and around the Pacific and south Asia).

        • Olwyn

          I absolutely agree.

        • RedLogix

          Absolutely agreed from me too. The left in NZ has been encouraged to be far too inward looking for far too long. Many good things are happening beyond these narrow islands; now would be a great time for a revival of the long-lost spirit of Internationalism.

          I wonder if there is a role for The Standard and it’s collective of authors to explore this a bit further?

          • Carolyn_nth

            Good suggestion RedL.

            I think left collaborative internationalism is essential in the current scary context.

            And not just the old Anglophile links, but within the wider Asia-Pacific region – and maybe across to South America – if it’s OK for rugby teams to frequently fly to Sth America, why aren’t there other connections?

          • Ad

            Red: Do some posts on it.

            You write plenty well enough, and there has to be life in Ballarat.

            Just don’t let the dialogue become a smoky little moist group-think stroke-a-thon.

        • Bill

          Gimme a sec? Just grabbing some footwear – wouldn’t want to be in without boots ‘n all 😉

  15. Bill 16

    What did the US receive in exchange for making that offer? I’m betting it was something that was instantly cashed up. When was the deal made? During Obama’s final stretch? I’d assume so.

    Is it okay for Australia to have meted out utterly shite treatment to people and to then receive a ‘free pass’ from the court of public opinion when the idea is to relocate them to the US?

    Trump’s an arse. But on this one he’s not entirely wrong in his headline pronouncement and just not the meaningful focus of the story.

    • NewsFlash 16.1


      The deal was to exchange refugees, Australian refugees were to be exchanged for refugees from the USA who were South American, it was all about Aus not accepting people who arrive by boat, but an exchange from another country is a different story (or is it) just politics, the mantra being, “if you arrive by boat, you will never be settled in Aus”, and to for fill this, a deal was struck to swap unwanted refugees from each country.

      Very sad how refugees have become a commodity to be exchanged at will, these are real people with real lives.

      • marty mars 16.1.1

        it is human trafficking although the authorities treat these people as less than human

      • Bill 16.1.2

        Thanks for that Newsflash. My attention’s been on other things and limited to headlines on some stuff.

        The layers of “wrong” are stacking up to the clouds on this one – from the headlines that just don’t mention the obvious human trafficking angle to, yeah fuck…Sod this idea of ‘resistance’ (to Trump or whatever) – we need wholesale change. Everything’s rotted.

  16. NewsFlash 17

    Australia is not innocent, have a read of the article from the Guardian a few days ago.

    Turnbull lied to the Aus public, saying he had Trumps support, but the Whitehouse report disputes this completely, Turnbull’s credibility has collapsed, along with revelation he is the largest Aus political donor in history, donating $1.75M to the liberal party days out from the recent election, rich people buying them selves positions of authority.

    And then the latest on the environment front, where he wants to build more coal fired power stations using “Clean Coal”, stupidity at it’s extreme.


  17. Bob 18

    “He probably hasn’t even heard of NZ”
    Not true, I remember Paddy Gower trying to interview Trump during the election, Paddy asked “What would a Donald Trump presidency mean for a country like New Zealand?”, to which Trump replied “Say hello to Bob Charles – I love Bob Charles – do you know who Bob Charles is? Your greatest golfer”.

    See, Trump must be a great guy, he knows a NZ golfer!

    • Carolyn_nth 18.1

      Ah, not so, according to Natophile Claire Trevette, today.

      Bling has already had some friendly missives from Trump (or whoever drafts his international messages).

      “I received a letter from President Trump on the occasion of Waitangi Day,” said the Prime Minister yesterday.

      “I look forward to the two of us talking by phone soon.”

      A spokesman said the letter acknowledged Waitangi Day and the close relationship between New Zealand and the US.

      Former Prime Minister John Key spoke of a conversation he had with Turnbull to Roughan for an updated edition of the biography John Key – Portrait of a Prime Minister, which is due for release next week.

      Key said that shortly after the United States election Turnbull called and told him he had spoken to then President-elect Donald Trump.

      Key asked how it went and Turnbull described Trump as “thoroughly professional and businesslike”.

      When Key then asked what Turnbull thought Trump would be like, Turnbull replied: “Easier to deal with than people think.”

      The updated version of the biography is due for release next week by publishers Penguin Random House and includes new chapters on Key’s final years as Prime Minister and his resignation.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Key asked how it went and Turnbull described Trump as “thoroughly professional and businesslike”.

        When Key then asked what Turnbull thought Trump would be like, Turnbull replied: “Easier to deal with than people think.”

        I wonder how much of it had been wishful thinking on Turnbull’s part? From what I can gather, his political thinking isn’t that far removed from the Trump so he would have naturally leaned towards an optimistic impression of him. That will have changed now.

  18. McFlock 19


    A foreign policy news email I get captioned this little episode “Knifey-spooney”.

  19. Greg 20

    Neoliberism and glodalisation are being trumped on free trade is gone they left to
    many behind and trump is the result

  20. greywarshark 21

    Probably everything of value has been said already so I will just say that the image is so spot on that it looks as if it was custom-made.

  21. Skeptic 22

    If poor little Bill feels a bit threatened by the possibility of a call from the Chump, he just needs to say two words “echelon” and “McMurdo” – be a phone bully to me they’re gone.

    • AB 22.1

      Won’t happen. More like this:
      Don: “We’re going to buy Noo Zealand, it’ll be a beautiful thing”
      Bill: Ahh, heh, burble [insert pseudo-economic waffle of choice]. And don’t forget Dipton”

  22. could be a standard bad cop worser cocks situation

    “President Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus and top adviser Steve Bannon met with the Australian ambassador, a White House official said Thursday, following a tense call between the president and Australian prime minister that ended abruptly.

    “Mr. Priebus and Mr. Bannon had a very productive meeting with the Australian ambassador at the White House. They conveyed the President’s deep admiration for the Australian people,” a White House official said in a statement.”


    • McFlock 23.1

      lol yeah let’s just hope that it was part of a plan, rather than trump’s impulse control issues being cleaned up by his eminence greases.

      If Bannon genuinely thinks/wants a war between the US and China in the next 5/10 years, he’d probably be aware that Australia might be useful in that enterprise.

  23. HDCAFriendlyTroll 25

    Turnbull. Gone by lunchtime. Haha!

  24. Laughed my head off when I read about Turnbull.

    The man who gleefully stated he ‘ will watch what John Key doe’s’ … well … Key pissed off because he knew he’d get no truck from Trump and now Malcolm got his ear chewed as well – and didn’t want to comment on it…

    Neo liberal Globalists…. when it finally gets down to it … gutless liars who like to wield the iron rod only when they think they’ve got something over the rest of us… the fun’s over boys and girls… so no more tears.

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