Trump praises Turnbull at White House

Aaron Brown
February 24, 2018

US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull traded compliments and declarations of enduring "mateship" at the White House Friday, striving to put an ill-tempered first phone call behind them.

Mr Turnbull said he will not attempt to get involved in the gun control debate that is raging across the United States since last week's Florida high school shooting, despite Mr Trump consumed by the issue in recent days and Australia used as a shining example of gun law reform.

Turnbull is telling Trump at a White House news conference on Friday that Trump's economic reforms are one of the most powerful arguments his government is using to persuade Australian lawmakers to reduce the business tax rate there.

"A lot of good things will come out of this", the president said.

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Trump suggested he wanted to visit Australia soon and said it was "an honor to have Prime Minister Turnbull, Mrs Turnbull - friends of mine and friends of Melania's for actually quite some time".

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"You are our most important strategic and economic partnership", Turnbull told Trump.

This was Mr Turnbull's first visit to the White House since their now infamous phone call a year ago when Mr Trump reportedly declared his conversation with the prime minister as his "worst call by far". And he's offering an intriguing carrot: An offer to invest some of Australia's public pension assets in USA infrastructure.

At a meeting in the Oval Offiice the two men discussed military and security cooperation and trade.

President Trump touted the strong relationship between the US and Australia as the countries celebrate 100 years of working together since World War I.

Mr Trump's hosting of Mr Turnbull at the White House comes just days after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Florida. The prime minister predicted 100 more years of friendship to come.

Trump and Turnbull are scheduled to answer questions at a joint news conference following their talks and working lunch.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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