If someone had said just four months ago that our relationship with Australia would suddenly become precarious, the world would have laughed in their face. Then, somehow, we got Donald Trump and our relationship with The Land Down Under suddenly became contentious. On Thursday, for the second time in his short presidency, Donald Trump screwed over the Australian Prime Minister — all so he could celebrate the House’s healthcare vote.
The weird feud (for lack of a better word) began very soon after Trump took office. Trump hung up on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a dispute about refugees after bragging about his win. Trump called the call, which was reportedly his fourth with a world leader that day, “the worst call by far.”
It got worse on Thursday when Trump and the Prime Minister were supposed to hash out, or at least cool their differences. You can bet that Turnbull is feeling anything but warm toward the United States after Trump once again snubbed him, just so he could celebrate half a legislative victory.
The White House had initially set aside a chunk of time early Thursday evening for the two leaders to hold a bilateral meeting ahead of their joint commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea at a dinner later that night.
Instead, Trump is now scheduled to spend 30 minutes with Turnbull ahead of the ceremony, according to an updated schedule released by the White House.
Source: Washington Post
This insult was on top of the fact that Trump was already treating Turnbull like a second class leader. Trump hosts most foreign leaders in Washington or at Mar-a-Lago, where they are treated like royalty. The meeting with Turnbull, even in its planned form, was going to be held at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan, with little fanfare.
Australia, of course, is treating the incident with far more class than they’ve been shown by Trump.
“The delegation does not feel snubbed at all,” said a senior Australian official. “It certainly understands the significant legislative achievement. The program was always on the understanding of fluidity.”
It’s doubtful they’re that understanding. They, after all, come from a country that cares about its people’s health. Plus, this was only half a victory. The disastrous TrumpCare still needs to pass the Senate.