Turnbull 'tied' to Trump... with church blessings

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has had frosty relations with United States President Donald Trump at times, received a pink Trump-branded tie yesterday as a gift during a visit to a Coptic Orthodox church. He appeared bemused after receiving the silk necktie from Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Coptic Orthodox Bishop Daniel at the St Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney.

Mr Turnbull had a famously difficult first telephone call in January with Mr Trump, who was irritated that he was expected to honour a refugee resettlement agreement made by his predecessor Barack Obama. Mr Trump broke off what was supposed to be an hour-long call after 25 minutes and later tweeted that the refugee deal was "dumb".

When the two leaders met face to face in New York in May, Mr Trump said that their first phone call "got a little bit testy" but they now got along great. Last week, the White House brushed off news of a leaked video of Mr Turnbull making fun of Mr Trump during a media ball in the Australian capital Canberra that was supposed to have been off the record.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has had frosty relations with United States President Donald Trump at times, received a pink Trump-branded tie yesterday as a gift during a visit to a Coptic Orthodox church. He appeared bemused after r
PHOTO: REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2017, with the headline 'Turnbull 'tied' to Trump... with church blessings'. Print Edition | Subscribe