Here’s the latest on President Trump’s unhappiness upon learning that the Obama administration had previously agreed to accept 1,250 Muslim asylum seekers from Australia. Note the timestamps. The statement from the US Embassy in Canberra comes at 6:15 pm (Pacific Time):
Statement from the US Embassy in Canberra. Trump Whitehouse will honour the refugee deal. Wow. pic.twitter.com/atJqPpPe6T
— James Massola (@jamesmassola) February 2, 2017
President Trump’s tweet about the deal comes an hour later:
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
First the US will honor the deal. Then the US president tweets that he’s going to study it.
Aside from the sheer ineptitude on public display here, this shows that, once again, Trump refuses to be briefed before calls with foreign leaders. Even a cursory memo from an area expert in the State Department would have mentioned that the refugee deal was likely to come up in his call with Prime Minister Turnbull on Saturday. But Trump was taken completely by surprise. He had no idea.