Trump to honour refugee deal with Australia: US Embassy


President Donald Trump will honour the agreement to resettle refugees from Australia's offshore detention centres, the US Embassy in Canberra says.

US President Donald Trump will honour a deal to take refugees from Australia's offshore detention centres, the US Embassy in Canberra told SBS in a press statement.

"President Trump’s decision to honor the refugee agreement has not changed and Spokesman Spicer’s comments stand," a spokesperson from the US Embassy said.

"This was just reconfirmed to the State Department from the White House."

The spokesperson said this was reconfirmed to them at 1.15pm AEDT.

But adding to the past couple of days of confusion over the matter, Mr Trump soon contradicted the statement, labelling it a "dumb deal!".

When asked by SBS about this new tweet, a spokesperson from the US Embassy said: "I refer you to the White House."

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday afternoon told 2GB: "Well, that is his tweet. I'm telling you what has been said to us, and said by his spokesman, and said by the embassy."

Earlier, the White House told ABC News in a statement that US President Donald Trump had not yet decided whether he would resettle the refugees.

"The President is still considering whether or not he will move forward with this deal at this time," the statement read.

It comes amid a report by the Washington Post that US officials said Mr Trump blasted Mr Turnbull over the deal in a phone call over the weekend, naming it "the worst call by far”.

"This is the worst deal ever," he was alleged to have said and accused Australia of attempting to export the "next Boston bombers".

On Wednesday when US Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the deal would go ahead. The White House later said the deal was still under consideration.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop refused to be drawn on the uncertainty in a doorstop interview earlier on Thursday, saying that the agreement had been confirmed at a government-to-government level.

The US State Department also appeared to contradict the White House, saying the deal would be honoured, according to a tweet from ABC US Correspondent Zoe Daniel.

Mr Turnbull told the National Press Club on Wednesday he was confident that Mr Trump would honour the commitment.

"The Trump Administration has committed to progress with the arrangements to honour the deal," he said.

"That was the assurance the President gave me when we spoke on the weekend."

Trump's immigration policy

Mr Trump signed an executive order last week that temporarily bans travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, which ignited protests around the world.

While political leaders from countries such as the UK, Germany and France have spoken out against the matter, Mr Turnbull has not.

"When I have frank advice to give to an American president, I give it privately, as good friends should," he said.

SBS has been seeking to clarify the status of the deal with the White House since last Thursday.

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