Sydney, Australia. The Australian outback is known in north America for being a place wide open and vast, but apparently one thing is even bigger: the trust of Australia’s leader Malcolm Turnbull, who now says he has complete trust in Donald Trump. Yes, you read that correctly, complete trust.
Malcolm Turnbull has said he trusts the “wisdom and judgment” of the United States government, including president Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence.
His statements on Thursday are the strongest endorsement Turnbull has given of the US leadership, and comes ahead of what the prime minister called the earliest visit to Australia of a newly elected vice president.
America’s Vice President Pence will visit Australia from Friday evening to Monday morning to shore up the US-Australia alliance after a rocky start with the Trump administration from when Trump criticised Australia’s refugee resettlement deal.
The US-Australian relationship has since calmed down with Turnbull offering blank check support for the US response in Syria and North Korea, where the fate of much of the Pacific Rim region rides on the stability of Trump’s judgement.
One news anchor asked Turnbull how Australia could put any faith in the US administration after it had said the USS Carl Vinson was on its way to North Korea but was instead thousands of miles away and heading in the wrong direction. Turnbull answered the question-by literally avoiding the question.
“Of course the focus this week is on North Korea and I’d say … that the eyes of the world are now on Beijing, they have the leverage and influence to stop this reckless and dangerous conduct of the North Korean regime.”
Asked if he trusted Trump and Pence’s judgment, Turnbull replied: “I do. I trust the judgment, the wisdom of the American government, the president and the vice president.”
Turnbull explained that despite changes of government the “central national interests of the United States remain the same” and the alliance was “vital” and would survive many prime ministers and presidents.
Turnbull was presumably unable to explain if the US-Australian relationship could survive the irradiation of the lion’s share of the South Pacific Ocean, should Trump drag Australia into a global thermonuclear war over North Korea.