"The world is in trouble. But we're gonna straighten it out, OK? That's what I do. I fix things," Trump said. "When you hear about the tough phone calls I'm having, don't worry about it. Just don't worry about it. They're tough. We have to be tough. it's time we're gonna be a little tough, folks. We're taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually. It's not gonna happen anymore." Targets No. 1 and 2: the leaders of Mexico and Australia. There's some dispute about the wording of his call with Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto. The White House and Mexican government have both denied reports of the most inflammatory details from their chat last week — that Trump threatened to send U.S. troops into Mexico to fight drug gangs.
"That Trump is now pissing off Australia is simply bad news."
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)A purported transcript obtained by CNN suggested there was some truth, some exaggeration to the initial reports. What their supposed transcript shows is a bit of an insult — but no threat. "You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with," Trump said, according to CNN's purported transcript of the call. "We're willing to help with that, big-league, but they have to be knocked out. "And you have not done a good job knocking them out." The conversation with Malcolm Turnbull dominated headlines in Australia. It raised consternation elsewhere, too — some commentators noted that as a conservative head of a friendly country, if there's one foreign leader Trump might be expected to get along with, it's Turnbull. But Trump reportedly fumed about refugees.
Cordial calls with Trudeau
As for Canada's leader, Justin Trudeau has chatted with Trump several times. Official accounts have said they were cordial. There have been no leaks to the press about any tension on those calls. But Stephen Saideman, an international-relations scholar at Carleton University in Ottawa, says things will be tense for U.S. allies. ''That Trump is now pissing off Australia is simply bad news. But it has implications beyond a bilateral relationship that was solid, easy to manage, and downright fun until yesterday,'' Saideman writes in a blog post. "So what are allies supposed to do? Dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge? That is what Canada is doing now, and it really might make the most sense."
"When you hear about the tough phone calls I'm having, don't worry about it."
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