Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is finally meeting with US President Donald Trump this morning, after an intended meeting yesterday was delayed due to Trump’s occupation with his renewed healthcare bill.
Mr Trump chose to remain in Washington last night instead of travelling to New York to meet with Mr Turnbull as he oversaw the passage of his new attempt to repeal Obamacare and wrangled the last few votes needed to get the bill through the House of Representatives. The President boarded Air Force One after the vote and flew to New York.
After delaying the initial meeting the pair were due to hold in a Manhattan hotel hours before, the two leaders took their meeting onboard the USS Intrepid on the Hudson River, before addressing a gala dinner celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Both leaders were quick to play down the reports of a less-than-cordial telephone conversation between the pair shortly after Trump had taken office, with President Trump once again labelling the accusations “a bit of fake news”.
“You guys exaggerated that call. That was an exaggeration,” he said. “I mean, we’re not babies.”
“We had a great call,” Mr Turnbull added.
Trump also stated a clear intention to visit Australia in the near future, after his Vice-President Mike Pence met with Turnbull and his Cabinet last month, saying he “would be there absolutely”.
“I love Australia. I always have,” he said. “That will happen. One of the great, great places. One of the most beautiful places on earth. I have so many friends there. I will be there.”
Malcolm Turnbull had earlier met with the Commander of the US Pacific Command, Harry Harris, to discuss North Korea and additional security concerns, as well as touring the NYPD’s Counter-Terrorism Joint Operations Centre in Manhattan.