Leaked Trump Transcript Confirms Oz PM Turnbull as Duplicitous LIAR
by Michael Koziol via gemma - SMH Thursday, Aug 3 2017, 10:01pm
Leaked transcript contradicts Turnbull claims over US deal
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been caught out after a leaked transcript of his phone call with US President Donald Trump showed Australia's agreement to take refugees from Central America was part of a quid-pro-quo arrangement even though the government has long denied such a deal.
Malcolm Turnbull, confirmed COWARD and LIAR
Greens immigration spokesman Nick McKim on Friday accused Mr Turnbull of lying about the nature of the agreement.
"His confession to Trump that it is a people swap shows his duplicity and lays bare the contempt he has for the Australian people and the truth," Senator McKim said.
However, government sources insisted the two arrangements were negotiated separately and at different times, and did not represent a "refugee swap". They said Mr Turnbull raised the Central American matter only to convince Mr Trump to honour the deal.
The transcript also revealed Mr Turnbull assured the President the US could take as few as 100 or zero refugees from Manus Island and Nauru once they were subjected to extreme vetting.
In it, the Prime Minister promised Australia would "hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country [people] that you need to move on from", an apparent reference to Central American refugees currently living in Costa Rica.
He then went further, offering to "take more" people and "take anyone that you want us to take" as long as they did not come by boat.
"We would rather take a not-very-attractive guy that [helps] you out than to take a Nobel Peace Prize winner that comes by boat," Mr Turnbull said according to the transcript, which was obtained and reproduced by The Washington Post.
When previously asked about the agreement to take Central American refugees, the Turnbull government has maintained it had nothing to do with the Obama-era deal for the US to accept refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.
In September last year, before the US deal was announced, Mr Turnbull said Australia's acceptance of refugees from Costa Rica was "not linked to any other resettlement discussions" and was "not connected to any other arrangements".
Months later, after the US deal was announced, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said: "The Costa Rica arrangement had nothing to do with this deal and it's not a people swap."
Labor's immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said the government needed to "come clean" because Mr Turnbull's comments in the transcript "make clear that the two agreements are linked".
The leaked transcript of the phone call, which took place after Mr Trump was inaugurated in January, will also deeply concern refugees awaiting resettlement because it confirms the US is not obliged to accept even a single refugee.
Mr Turnbull assured Mr Trump that, while the target was for the US to take 1250 people, it could take as few as 100 or even zero, and still honour the deal.
"The agreement ... does not require you to take 2000 people. It does not require you to take any," he told the President.
"The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1250 to 2000. Every individual is subject to your vetting.
"You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process."
Mr Trump, who repeatedly branded the deal as "stupid" and "rotten", asked Mr Turnbull about the possibility the US could vet the refugees and decide not to accept any.
Mr Turnbull replied "that is the point I have been trying to make", but noted he expected both the US and Australia to act "in good faith".
The two leaders' forthright conversation salvaged the deal, in a major win for the Turnbull government, which wants to clear the camps on Nauru and Manus Island by either resettling refugees in the US, Papua New Guinea or Cambodia, and convincing others to go home.
No refugees have yet been accepted by the US, although the Department of Immigration and Border Protection told the Senate in May that applicants were progressing through the final stages of the process.
Mr Turnbull has previously acknowledged the US was not bound to take 1250 refugees, a figure first revealed by former White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
"It is possible that they could take a smaller number or a larger number," Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio in February.
Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told Sky News on Friday it was "absolutely wrong" to imply Mr Turnbull had given Mr Trump a get-out-of-jail card by telling him the US was only obliged to go through the motions.
"The Prime Minister stood up for Australia's interests, he stood up for the deal that he had agreed with the Obama administration," Mr Frydenberg said.
Senator McKim said the leaked transcript would plunge refugees awaiting resettlement on Nauru and Manus Island into further uncertainty and distress.
"It places the hopes of all the people on Manus Island and Nauru into terrible limbo," he said.
Senator McKim said the transcript put paid to the government's claim that the US deal was not part of a "people swap".
"It's clearly confirmation that Australia under the Liberals is treating refugees as less than human and as pawns to use in making deals, rather than people to whom we owe a duty of care," he said.
[There you have it Australia, not only is Turnbull one of the most useless PMs in Australia's history but he is also a spineless, LYING lackey; accepting Central American 'refugees' which is home to the most ultra-violent criminal gangs in the entire world. Now consider the real refugees from Asia being swapped with the worst of them all -- hardly in Australia's best interests -- good work Mal, you lying, gutless prick!]
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