Australia

Trump asks Morrison what happened to Turnbull

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has walked Donald Trump through the process used to replace Malcolm Turnbull.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has admitted that the US President asked him about Australia's recent leadership change during their short meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Argentina. 

Trade was the main talking point during the first ever meeting between Scott Morrison and Donald Trump.

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Trump meets Morrison on G20 sidelines
Trump meets Morrison on G20 sidelines

But in their 15-minute chat, the two leaders managed to squeeze in conversation about the recent leadership spill in Australia, which saw Malcolm Turnbull ousted, and Mr Morrison elevated to the top job.

"Has the issue of leadership at all come in discussions?" a reporter asked the Prime Minister during a press conference in Buenos Aires.

"Oh, well, they have their inquiries and when you describe the parliamentary system, I mean, it's a foreign system to, you know, presidential systems and it's readily understood," Mr Morrison replied.

A reporter pressed further, asking: "so, the President asked what happened to Malcolm Turnbull?"

"We just ran through what the events were," the Prime Minister responded.

In February, President Trump hosted Malcolm Turnbull during a visit to the White House. The former prime minister managed to successfully lobby for Australia to be exempt from tariff hikes imposed by the US. 

At his G20 meeting with Scott Morrison, the President praised the new Prime Minister for doing a "a fantastic job in a very short period of time".

A reporter asked what he meant by that.

"He didn't make any specific reference to it when we met other than to, I think, acknowledge I've already run through some important issues we were talking about today," said Mr Morrison.

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G20 protesters gather in Buenos Aires
G20 protesters gather in Buenos Aires

"How we're dealing with Iran. He also updated me on the situation in North America. The Pacific Step Up we've undertaken has been a very big initiative and that's been very warmly welcomed in the United States."

Mr Morrison suggested the it could have been acknowledgement for "getting on with the job".

"That's what people expect of us, regardless of what is happening. That we don't get distracted. We keep focused on the things that matter in our relationships."

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The PM on meeting Trump.
The PM on meeting Trump.

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