>> I have a lot of respect for Australia, I love Australia as a country. But we had a problem. A previous administration does something, you have to respect that. But you can also say, why are we doing this, that's why we're in the jams that we're in.>> President Trump, Thursday, struggling to move past an unusual tiff with Australia, over a refugee swap deal, which he called, dumb, in a tweet.
The awkward phone call over the weekend between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as reported by the Washington Post, sending DC leaders scrambling to contain the damage.>> Australia is a very essential ally, they are and they'll continue to be.>> The relationship between the United States and Australia is of the most and greatest importance.
The post reporting the President ripped into Australia's PM on the phone on the weekend over the deal, accusing Australia of attempting to export the next, in his words, Boston bombers. Calling the Obama Administration's agreement to take in more than 1,000 asylum seekers from Australia's off-shore detention centers quote, the worst deal ever.
But Thursday, the White House promised to respect the deal while venting its frustration.>> But I cannot underscore how disappointed he was in the deal that was made, and how he thought it was just a horrible deal that was offered up by the United States by this previous administration.
]>> So the deal is done but perhaps so is the damage. Reuters' Jane Wardell.>> Political analysts here in Australia are saying this level of acrimony is really quite unprecedented. They haven't seen a president come out with such direct comments, both on the phone call and in the tweet today, certainly not since back at, during the Vietnam War time, when Australia pulled Australian troops out.
But even back then it was always done in the language of foreign policy.>> The call took place after Trump signed an executive order banning immigration from seven majority Muslim countries, which many of the Australian refugees hail from. The White House characterized the call as cordial. Though the Post says Trump described the call with Turnbull as quote the worst so far.
Cutting it a half hour short after the PM tried to change the subject to things like Syria. Turnbull keeping tight lipped on Thursday over the apparent bitter exchange but saying the call was frank and candid. As for Trump, he told those at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning not to worry.
>> When you hear about the tough phone calls I'm having, don't worry about it.>>
Just don't worry about it. They're tough. We have to be tough. It's time we're gonna be a little tough, folks.