Trump meets Turnbull, declares 'love' for Australia

Trump is set to meet Turnbull on Thursday night here at the Intrepid Naval Museum, a retired US Navy vessel that is anchored on the Hudson River.

US President Donald Trump met Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and declared they "get along great", following a testy phone exchange earlier that strained ties between the two countries.

"It's going to be fantastic health care", CNN quoted Trump as saying during a press conference with Turnbull on Thursday, referring to his new healthcare plan.

Mr Trump also tweeted on Saturday that "everybody" had better health care than the United States, but the system would "soon be great". But Vice President Mike Pence assured Turnbull during a visit to Australia last month that the Trump administration will honor the deal, but "that doesn't mean we admire the agreement". In Australia and every other major country on Earth, they guarantee healthcare to all people.

US Democratic Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a supporter of universal healthcare, laughed during a US TV interview when he was told about Mr Trump's Australian comment.

Most U.S. conservatives oppose universal, government-funded health care.

A businessman-turned-politician like Trump, Turnbull has said he was "delighted" to meet with the USA leader and affirm the relationship. "So maybe when we get to the Senate, we should start off with looking at the Australian healthcare system", Sanders said.

'We have a failing healthcare, ' Mr Trump said.

He spent just a few hours in his New York City hometown on Thursday, but avoided Trump Tower, where security has been tightened and the costs for it have mounted since he became president.

"The two presidents are obviously very different men", the prime minister told reporters on Friday just before flying back to Australia.

Australia has a universal healthcare system, which Republicans have long attacked. Trump once backed a "Canadian-style" single payer system, after all, and Democrats already negotiated the Artful Dealer out of house and home in the recent budget deal.

Mr Trump is also expected to sign a one trillion USA dollar bill funding the government through September.

After the conversation, Trump took his frustrations to Twitter, writing, "Do you believe it?" While it is "an important step" to repeal President Obama's health care law, "Congress will continue to act on legislation to provide more choices and freedom in health care decisions", he said.

  • Leroy Wright