Malcolm Turnbull was having evening drinks in Washington when he read the news that Barnaby Joyce was about to quit.
The Prime Minister was shown a mobile phone with the news from Canberra, reported by The Australian Financial Review, almost two hours before his deputy made it official.
There was no phone call from Joyce to deliver the news to his Prime Minister. Angry at his treatment, bitter at his colleagues, Joyce kept Turnbull in the dark.
Instead, he phoned the Acting Prime Minister, Mathias Cormann, to tell him the news.
Turnbull and his advisers, who have been staying across the road from the White House as official guests of Donald Trump, had to talk to colleagues in Australia at about 12:30pm to confirm the developments back home. There was no call from Joyce over the next 90 minutes.
This played out just outside the Lincoln Room of Blair House, a townhouse built in 1824 on Pennsylvania Avenue and now an official residence for presidential guests.
Turnbull was dealing with turmoil in the perfect location. He was standing where Abraham Lincoln used to visit friends to make some of the big decisions of the Civil War.