Trump to receive Australian PM amid lingering dispute over refugees

US President Donald Trump will welcome Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to the White House on Feb. 23, the White House said Thursday.

According to an official statement, the two leaders will discuss a range of shared bilateral, regional and global priorities including fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth, and expanding security and defense cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

Trump reportedly engaged in a combative call with Turnbull over refugee issues one week after his inauguration, pressing the latter to make concessions on receiving refugees.

Turnbull insisted that both nations should abide by the agreement, making Trump snap toward the end of the call.

"I have been making these calls all day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day," Trump said.

Trump complained that he had to accept refugees held by Australia on the islands of Nauru or Manus for more than three years.

"I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad," he said, "the United States has become like a dumping ground."


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