Australia’s PM mocks Trump at political event
Malcolm Turnbull’s next phone call with Donald Trump could be awkward.
The Australian Prime Minister mocked his US counterpart in a speech Wednesday night to a gathered crowd of journalists and politicians during the Australian Parliament’s boozy annual Midwinter Ball.
In leaked audio aired by Australia’s Channel Nine, Turnbull poked fun at his own efforts to ingratiate himself with the new US President during their meeting in New York.
“It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful putting-me-at-ease ever,” he told the crowd.
The Midwinter Ball is the premier event of political year in the Australian capital, a mixing of journalists, advisers and politicians, similar to the White House Correspondents Dinner.
But unlike the US version, the leader’s speech is supposed to be off the record. However, Channel Nine decided to air it when parts of Turnbull’s speech were posted to social media.
The Australian Prime Minister and Trump had only just repaired their relationship after a reportedly heated phone call in January over the planned US Australian refugee deal.
Trump and Turnbull met briefly in New York in May on the deck of a US aircraft carrier, where the US leader said their relationship was “fantastic.”
Speaking at the ball, Turnbull impersonated Trump’s speaking style during the speech when mocking their poor performance in recent opinion polls.
“The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls. We are winning so much! We are winning like we have never won before. We are winning in the polls. We are! Not the fake polls. Not the fake polls. They’re the ones we’re not winning in. We’re winning in the real polls,” he said, to applause and laughter.
Turnbull even made fun of Trump’s ongoing troubles with allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 US election.
“You know the online polls. they are so easy to win. I know that. Did you know that? I kind of know that. They are so easy to win. I have this Russian guy. Believe me it’s true, it is true,” Turnbull said in his speech.
The speech spread rapidly to the United States, where the official Twitter account of popular political Netflix series “House of Cards” sent Turnbull a message: “There’s always a leak.”
Speaking on Australian radio station 3AW, Turnbull said he was “disappointed” the speech had been leaked, but described it as “good humored.”
“I guess what that means is next year at the Midwinter Ball I will read selected passages from Budget Paper Number 2 … It’s light-hearted, affectionate, good-natured and the butt of my jokes was myself,” he said.