Donald Trump: Americans extend hand of friendship to Australians on unforeseen day in limelight

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It's largely because of Australia and America's longstanding and close friendship that you don't hear much about our sunburnt country in the US press — good news is no news, right?

In the last 24 hours that's all changed.

The phone call between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is front page, bulletin-leading news in the US today.

"Trump badgers leader of Australia," cries page one of the Washington Post.

"Do you think the Prime Minister of Australia was looking to be talked down to by the President of the United States if that's what happened?" host John Berman asked on CNN.

"Is strength getting into a fight with one of your allies on the phone the first time — the first phone call you have. Is that the kind of strength that you're looking for?" his co-host Kate Boldaun said of America's new President.

Many Americans are familiar with the close relationship between the United States and Australia and some seem baffled at what is playing out.

One concerned US citizen called the Washington DC bureau early this morning to apologise for Mr Trump's behaviour, saying he was embarrassed and irate.

Overhearing an ABC reporter's Australian accent during a live television cross outside the White House, several Americans also took the time to stress they don't agree with their commander-in-chief and offered commiserations.

On Capitol Hill, members of Congress were at pains to give reassurance that the US-Australia relationship was not under threat.

"I don't think Australia should be worried about its relationship with our new President, or our country for that matter," Republican House Majority Leader Paul Ryan told the ABC.

"I know your country well, I've met with your leaders continuously over the last number of years. So, no, Australia is a very important essential ally and it's going to continue to be," he said.

Senator John McCain called Australia's Ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, to reaffirm the friendship. Senator Lindsey Graham both cited Australia and America's longstanding military cooperation.

"I understand the President was frustrated with the deal done by Obama but in this tense time we live in, we need to make sure our allies understand even when we have differences you're much appreciated, and Australia's bled in Iraq and Afghanistan — they're great allies," Senator Graham said.

Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the ABC she was hearing from sources that the phone call wasn't as heated as has been described in the last 24 hours

"This is a strong relationship between our two countries and I want to place a call to the ambassador today just to say 'hi, you know we are friends', and I'm hoping the later characterisation of the call is really what stands between our two countries," she said.

Americans have also apologised to Australians for Mr Trump's comments and rhetoric on the issue by posting on social media websites using the hashtag #bringthemhere.

So while Canberra's relationship with the White House may be strained, many others in America continue to have Australia's back.

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