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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Bonkers Trump Calls to Australian, Mexican Leadership Leak: 'This Shows Me to Be a Dope'

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The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of phone calls Donald Trump made early in his presidency to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and, hoooo boy, they are even more batshit than you might have expected.

White House staff, bless them, leaked the documents of a January 27 call with Peña Nieto and a January 28 call with Turnbull, offering an unreassuring look at how America’s overgrown leprechaun handles diplomacy with America’s allies. (The White House declined the Post’s request for comment on their story.)


Trump doubled down on the border wall with Mexico in his conversation with Peña Nieto, particularly emphasizing his vacuous fantasy of having Mexico pay for it. When Peña Nieto said that his “position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall,” Trump responded, “But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”


Here are some more words that stumbled out of Trump’s mouth in that conversation (emphasis mine):

  • “In the latest election, I won with a large percentage of Hispanic voters. I do not know if you heard, but with Cuba, I had 84 percent, with the Cuban-American vote. But overall generally, I had well over 30 percent and everyone was shocked to see this. I understand the community and they understand me, and I have a great respect for the Mexican people.”
  • “My people stand up and say, ‘Mexico will pay for the wall’ and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall—I have to.”
  • “Because you and I are both at a point now where we are both saying we are not to pay for the wall. From a political standpoint, that is what we will say. We cannot say that anymore because if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”
  • “Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about.”

While Peña Nieto and Trump were (somehow) congenial, Trump’s conversation with Turnbull was not at all amicable. Trump, who had just announced the Muslim ban, was furious that Australia expected him to honor a deal signed by former President Obama to help resettle 1,250 refugees from offshore detention camps in Australia. He then resorted to a lot of insults, and expressed concern that Turnbull was making him look “like a dope.”

  • “And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground.”
  • “You are worse than I am.”
  • “This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.”
  • “Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you.”
  • “You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.
  • Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit.”
  • I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option than to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely.”
  • “We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop.”
  • “[inaudible] this is crazy.”

This is, indeed, crazy. Read the full transcript here.