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Travel pool report #6
Tara Palmeri • POLITICO
May 4, 2017: 09:37 PM


President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull were seated at the same table in the center of the dining room of the Intrepid.

President Trump sat in between First lady Melania Trump and Lucy Turnbull. Prime Minister Turnbull sat to the right of his wife, Lucy Turnbull.

The event started with a trio of singers who sang the Australian anthem, followed by a color guard presentation. It was followed by the U.S. national anthem and then another color guard presentation.

Also in attendance: Rex Tillerson, Reince Priebus, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, U.N. ambassador for Australia Gillian Bird, John Travolta and country singer Kellie Pickler.

Anthony Pratt, executive chairman of Visy industries and Pratt Industries in the U.S., took the stage to pledge an investment of $2 billion over the next decade for "high paying manufacturing jobs" in the Midwest.

Mr. Turnbull took the stage to underscore the closeness of the two countries. "We are always more assured of winning when we are fighting together," he said.

He also said the U.S. and Australia "condemn and we resist North Korea's reckless provocation."

Turnbull: "Today and together we condemn and resist the reckless provocations of North Korea. We fight together in iraq and Afghasnistan to defeat and destroy the terrorrists who threaten our way of life. Today Australians and Americans stand shoulder to should defending our freedoms."

Rupert Murdoch followed Turnbull to introduce Trump. He noted the significance of the President's announcement that he will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican later this month.

Trump took the stage at 9pm. He thanked the Australians for fighting alongside the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. He spoke about the history of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

"There's no better place to remember the impact of military readiness than this ship," Trump said.

"This week my administration reached a historic deal with Congress, to end the devastating cuts to the United States military. I don't know what they were thinking when they started cutting, and it's coming back bigly. We're ordering lots of ships, lots of jobs."

"We will add $25 billion for national defense in a short period of time."

Trump said that he had a "productive discussion" with PM Turnbull about the future of the two countries from national security to trade to immigration and enhanced economic cooperation.

"We affirmed the tremendous friendship between the US and Australia," Trump said. "The armed forces are fighting side by side to defeat isis and the scourge of terrorism, and we will eradicate terrorism."

For nearly a century Americans and Australians have fought together, bled together, he said.

"Our brave warriors have fought shoulder to shoulder in every major conflict together," Trump said, citing Normandy, Vietnam and the Middle East.

He said: "Our two nations were born as the rebellious children of the same parent. Americans have had no better friends than the Australians, I mean that."

Trump recounted the battle of the Coral Sea that he said formed the foundation of the strong ties that exist today.

He thanked Australia for its contributions to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. "We are profoundly grateful for Australia's contribution in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

"On behalf of the United States, I thank Australia tonight.. we love Australia very much."

At the end he said: "So with love for our two nations, with pride in our shared history and with faith in almighty God we renew our old friendship."

He said the U.S. and Australia have a "great, great relationship."

Other highlights from Trump's speech:

- Trump started his speech by calling Rupert Murdoch a "good friend," adding there's "only one Rupert Murdoch"

- He also thanked pro Australian golfer Greg Norman, who he said convinced him that he could never be a great golfer.

- Mr. Trump chided Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt, who pledged $2 billion over 10 years to invest in U.S. jobs, particularly in the Midwest: "That's peanuts for Anthony. You can do better," Mr. Trump said.

" On the January phone call between Turnbull and Trump, he said: "We really didn't have a rough phone call. Everyone is talking about this phone call…. Now the record is straight, all of those people there," Trump said pointing to the media in the back of the room. "It got a little bit testy but that's okay. We have a very good relationship and i've very proud to it."

- Trump said he's been donating to the organization hosting the dinner, the American Australian Association, for years because Rupert Murdoch would pester him for money. He joked that he never really understood what he was giving to. "Now I realize it was money well spent," he said.



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