Scott Morrison has ‘no plans’ to speak to Donald Trump before the president leaves office as he takes calls from Vice President Mike Pence and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern
Scott Morrison will not speak to Donald Trump before the president leaves office on Wednesday.
The prime minister took a call from Vice President Mike Pence before he visited a family cattle station near Quilpe in the heart of Queensland on Tuesday.
The pair discussed the US-Australia alliance and shared threats and interests – but did not mention President Trump’s refusal to concede defeat to Joe Biden.
Mr Morrison took a call from New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday (pictured) to discuss the roll out of coronavirus vaccines
Mr Morrison spoke to Ms Ardern about vaccines – but won’t speak to Donald Trump
Asked if he would speak to President Trump before Mr Biden takes over, Mr Morrison replied: ‘No, I have no plans to do that.’
The prime minister also said he spoke on Monday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is tipped to run for president in 2024.
He said the relationship between the two countries will remain strong no matter who is in charge.
‘One of the things that will be handed over from the current administration to the new one this week is the stewardship of that very important relationship between Australia and the United States,’ he said.
‘It’s incredibly important for our region. It’s incredibly important for Australia’s interests. And I say it’s very important for the United States’ interest as well.’
Labor leader Anthony Albanese urged Mr Morrison to condemn President Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the US Capitol last week as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have done.
‘Those of us who are democrats need to be consistent about calling out democratic values,’ Mr Albanese told 5AA radio on Tuesday.
The prime minister has condemned the violence but not explicitly criticised President Trump.
Mr Morrison said he welcomed the Trump administration’s decision to commit to an orderly transition of power, despite the president’s unfounded claims of electoral fraud.
‘I welcome the fact that despite all the terrible things we’ve seen there happen, there has been that positive engagement between them and those who are coming in after them,’ he said.
Mr Morrison also took a call from New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday to discuss the roll out of coronavirus vaccines.
He posted a photo on his Twitter account of him wearing shades while on the phone in the back of a car.