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US senators form 'Friends of Australia' caucus

Two US senators have formed a caucus dedicated to supporting the strong US-Australia alliance. (AAP)

Roy Blunt, a Republican, and Dick Durbin, a Democrat, say Australia is a critical ally for American trade, tourism and security

Two senior US senators have formed a "Friends of Australia" caucus in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump's volatile January phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull put on a united front, downplayed the phone call and praised the US-Australian relationship on Thursday in New York when they met face-to-face and attended the 75th anniversary dinner for the Battle of the Coral Sea victory.

News of the January 28 call where the president reportedly "badgered, bragged and abruptly ended" the conversation with the prime minister outraged some US politicians on Capitol Hill.

High-ranking senators Roy Blunt of Missouri, a Republican, and Dick Durbin of Illinois, a Democrat, founded the Senate Friends of Australia Caucus, a bipartisan group of senators dedicated to supporting the strong bilateral alliance between the US and Australia.

"Australia is one of our closest friends, strongest allies, and valued economic partners," Senator Blunt said.

"From the Battle of Hamel in WWI to the global war on terrorism, Australia and the US have fought side by side in every major conflict over the past century.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues in the caucus to further strengthen the US-Australia relationship and advance security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region."

Watch: 'Fake news' - Turnbull and Trump reject tension

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In the aftermath of the January 28 call senior Republican figures John McCain, Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham all came to the support of Australia.

Senators Blunt and Durbin said the new Senate caucus will provide an opportunity for senators to engage on issues related to Australia through briefings, meetings, and other events.

"Australia is a critical ally for American trade, tourism, national security, and shared democratic values," Senator Durbin said.

"With the launch of this bipartisan caucus, we show that Australia will always have partners and friends in the US Congress."

US lawmakers with like minded views on a topic often set up a caucus.

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