WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Donald Trump’s roller coaster ride toward diplomacy continued late Wednesday night with a tweet calling an Obama-era agreement with Australia to accept refugees a “dumb deal.”
During the US President’s call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday, Trump objected to an agreement over the US receiving refugees, sources told CNN. All this a day after a call with Mexico’s President, where a transcript showed Trump complaining about Mexico’s “handling” of “tough hombres.”
Australia is an ally of the United States, with the two countries joining three other English-speaking countries in an intelligence sharing arrangement known as the “Five Eyes.”
The disagreement came as the two leaders discussed an agreement, reached under the Obama administration, for the US to accept refugees from Australia who are living on islands in detention centers off the mainland due to strict government policies.
Many of them are from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban. Trump on Friday also suspended the entry of all refugees for 120 days, along with indefinitely suspending the entry of Syrian refugees.
Sources say Trump insisted it was a very bad deal for the US to take 2,000 refugees and that one of them was going to be the next Boston bomber.
Turnbull told Trump several times the agreement was for 1,250 refugees, not 2,000. He also said Australia was asking to submit them to the US for refugee screening, and if the refugees did not pass the US screening process, they would not come.
Trump expressed concern as to how this agreement from President Barack Obama’s administration would go forward given his executive order the day before temporarily suspending the US refugee program.
Trump abruptly ended the call because he was unhappy, a source told CNN. White House press Wednesday night, Trump tweeted, “Do you believe it? The Obama administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”