U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have pledged long-term friendship between the two countries, despite rumors of strife between them stemming from a phone call earlier this year.
“We have a great relationship,” Trump told reporters after meeting with Turnbull late Thursday ahead of a dinner honoring U.S. and Australian veterans of a pivotal World War II battle.
He called stories that he had once hung up the phone on the prime minister “a little bit of fake news, as the saying goes.”
In remarks at the dinner, Trump said he and Turnbull had discussed “crucial issues ranging from international security to trade.”
He said the two leaders had “reaffirmed the tremendous friendship” between the two countries and the “vital importance” of a continued alliance with one another.
Confidence and trust
“We are confident and we trust each other,” Turnbull said of the countries’ relationship during his remarks. He and Trump also expressed gratitude to a handful of elderly veterans of the Battle of Coral Sea, which occurred 75 years ago this week.
Noting that Australian and U.S. forces worked together to repel Japanese forces trying to take control of the Pacific waters near Australia, Turnbull said, “our nation’s freedom was secured by the bravery of the men on those ships. And the men on the planes who flew through everything the enemy, and the weather, threw their way.”
Turnbull concluded his remarks with a tribute to the current members of the U.S. and Australian military forces, saying, “You keep us free.”