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White House downplays Trump's praise for Australian healthcare

Eleena Tovar | 06 May, 2017, 13:02

Australia's prime minister on Friday described his first meeting with President Donald Trump as "more family than formal", as the Australian ended a brief visit to NY planned to set the tone of bilateral relations with the Republican administration. Trump said, addressing Turnbull.

"As somebody who has lived under both systems, I think Mr. Trump was right", says March.

Trump downplayed a contentious phone conversation in January and declared a "fantastic" relationship with Turnbull.

Following Trump's remarks, Senator Bernie Sanders took aim at the apparent discord between words and policy.

However, a senior White House official said the delay was unavoidable because Trump wanted to mark the health care victory.

Prime Minister Turnbull reportedly spent weeks on the three-dimensional homage to his mateship with the current USA president, which he lovingly presented to him earlier today.

Mr Trump said they talked about national security, trade and boosting economic cooperation. "We had a great call.it was a bit of fake news is the expression".

"Young at heart", added Turnbull.

The president is spending Thursday evening in NY while celebrating House passage of legislation undoing much of former President Barack Obama's health law.

"We acknowledged and thanked those great veterans of the Battle of the Coral Sea, that battle where Australian and American sailors and aviators turned the tide of war".

Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull were all smiles as they answered questions about the January phone call and the refugee deal during a picture-taking session.

Not everyone was happy with the homecoming, with protests planned against the Republican president in the heavily Democratic city.

By contrast, House Republicans' Obamacare repeal bill, whose passage Trump celebrated earlier Thursday at the White House, would cut back Medicaid funding in part by repealing a tax on wealthy Americans' investments. "The premiums are gonna come down very substantially", Trump said, sitting next to Turnbull in New York City.

"People are suffering so badly with the ravages of Obamacare", Mr Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence visited Australia in April and made clear that while Mr Trump was not happy about the refugee agreement, the United States would honor it out of respect for Australia.

"One of the great, great places", he enthused. "We'll quote you on the floor of the Senate".

House leaders came through with the votes to give Mr Trump a major political win more than a month after Republicans' first attempt to pass a health care bill went down in a humiliating defeat.