Trump and Turnbull hold first face-to-face meeting
DONALD Trump says he and Malcolm Turnbull are "not babies" and could handle a disagreement over Australia's refugee deal with the United States.
Revealing plans to visit Australia, a country he "loves", Mr Trump said reports of his tumultuous phone call with the Australian Prime Minister were "fake news" and a "big exaggeration."
The first moments Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull's meeting were caught on camera, with the pair shaking hands and the United States president softly thanking Mr Turnbull for waiting after their bilateral talks were cancelled as his Health Care bill vote passed the United States House of Representatives.
The pair bonded over the difficulty in getting legislation passed obstructive parliaments.
"I appreciate your waiting," Mr Trump said.
"I know the feeling, we have challenges with our parliament too. We have 29 seats in a Senate of 76 so it's a lot of work to get legislation done,' Mr Turnbull replied.
Mr Trump denied he and Mr Turnbull had not got off to a rocky start over former President Barack Obama's decision to accept refugees from Australia's offshore processing centres.
Media reports at the time claimed Mr Trump had hung up the phone on Mr Turnbull and described it as the worst call he had had with a world leader.
"That was a big exaggeration. We had a great call. We're not babies. We had a very, very good call," Mr Trump said.
The United States President, who counts high-profile Australians Greg Norman and Anthony Pratt among his friends, said he will absolutely visit Australia.
"That'll happen. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth. I have so many friends there. I'll be there, absolutely I'll be there," he said.
Asked about his use of Twitter to discuss diplomacy, Trump said social media was very effective way to cut through fake news.
President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shake hands. Picture: AP
He said he had 100 million followers on Twitter and could get a message out there quickly.
Mr Trump's 30 minute meeting with Turnbull took place as guests arrived for the American Australia Association dinner.
Guests at the dinner include golfing legend Greg Norman, News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, mining magnate Gina Rinehart and actor John Travolta.
The man who first organised a phone call between Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull after the shock US election result, Aussie golfing legend Greg Norman, will give a short speech at the dinner, along with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, JP Morgan & Chase's global chairman for technology, media and telecommunications investment banking Jennifer Nason, Chevron chairman Michael Wirth and Qantas Chairman Leigh Clifford.
Mr Murdoch is expected to introduce Mr Trump, while US Defence contracting firm Northrop Grumman's chief executive Wesley Bush will welcome Mr Turnbull.
Other attendees include billionaires Frank Lowy, Lindsay Fox, Anthony Pratt and Australia's Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey.
Seated on the main table are Mr Trump, his wife Melania, Mr Turnbull and his wife, Lucy, Mr Lowy, Mr Liveris, Mr Murdoch, Mr Pratt, Mr Hockey and Mr Bush.
The gala dinner to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea starts at 9.45am AEST.
The United States President cancelled his scheduled one-on-one meeting with Mr Turnbull, to be held in the afternoon prior to the dinner, at the eleventh hour, as Mr Trump's health care bill to repeal major aspects of Obamacare passed the US House of Representatives, marking a major victory for the President.
News Corp Australia understands Mr Trump called Mr Turnbull to personally explain he was dealing with a major piece of legislation and to say he was looking forward to seeing him tonight.
Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump are speaking at the black-tie American Australian Association dinner on board the USS Intrepid ship, now a sea, air and space museum on the Hudson river.
Some of Australia's most powerful business figures and celebrities will attend the dinner to support the United States and Australian alliance.
As part of the entertainment for the evening, Beccy Cole will be singing.
The dinner, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, will recognise the defence, national security and economic ties between Australia and the United States.
There was anticipation among United States and Australian government officials that Mr Trump would announce the new US Ambassador to Australia while Mr Turnbull was in New York.
Mr Turnbull has praised Mr Trump recently and said he had a lot to learn from the businessman turned politician.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is the president of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York, has delivered his advice for Mr Turnbull ahead of the meeting.
Mr Rudd told Sky News the Prime Minister should argue the case for a more nuanced approach in North Korea, particularly as a presidential election was imminent in South Korea.
"This new government in South Korea is going to be less accommodating to everything that the American Republican Administration wants," he said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull meets with Admiral Harry Harris and Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin in New York. Picture: Nathan Edwards
"That's going to require very delicate handling."
Mr Rudd said the two leaders would likely get beyond their previous testy phone call "quite quickly".
"Prime Minister Turnbull should be getting into these questions of real substance for Australia's interests," he said.
Former Australian Ambassador to the US Kim Beazley says the delay may make President Trump a "warmer" dialogue partner.
While the optics of the delay weren't great, the Obamacare repeal legislation was a "very big deal in the US" and a reasonable excuse to be late, Mr Beazley told the ABC.
But Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday said the pair did not need to be "best friends" but would be "gracious" towards each other.
Mr Turnbull told The Daily Telegraph North Korea's threat to peace in our region and terrorism in the Middle East would be on the agenda for his talks with Mr Trump.
"The United States Alliance is the enduring foundation of Australia's security and a force for peace and stability in the region and the world," Mr Turnbull said.
"We have important, pressing issues to discuss. They include North Korea's reckless and dangerous conduct which threatens peace in our region and beyond as well as developments in the Middle East where over 1700 Australian servicemen and women of our ADF are working side-by-side with our American allies to defeat the terrorists."
Earlier today, Mr Turnbull attended the New York Police Department's Joint Operations Centre, meeting with Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism John Miller and Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill.
They discussed the challenge of terrorist and criminal use of the internet, in particular the use of encryption to plot terror attacks.
Their talks also canvassed the global challenge of weaponless terrorists using vehicles in an attack, such as what took place recently in London.
They spoke of the need to address this through agency co-operation and the use of measures like barricades.
Mr Turnbull also met with Admiral Harry Harris, who heads the US Pacific Command for the Navy, about the ongoing threat from Islamic State in the Middle East and globally.
They also spoke about North Korea, where the Admiral said the United States' objective was to bring Kim Jong-un to his senses not his knees.
Mr Turnbull and the Admiral agreed China's role in resolving the threat of North Korea was key, given it carried the greatest leverage to influence the regime.
They also spoke about South China Sea and the need for claimants to avoid actions which contribute to tensions including by militarisation.