US President Donald Trump would be welcomed with open arms by both sides of politics, according to senior figures from both the major parties.
Mr Trump, along with other world leaders, is expected to make stops in Australia as part of a tour that will take him to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders’ summit in Papua New Guinea on November 17 and 18.
One option being considered is for a visit that takes in Sydney, Canberra and Cairns, but nothing had been “locked in” yet, a US government source has told The Australian newspaper.
Federal cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said any US President is welcome in Australia, despite a high chance of protests.
“We have 100 years of mateship with the United States this year, of course we would welcome him here,” Mr Pyne told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.
“There’s almost always protests when an American president visits Australia.”
Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek also gave a Trump visit a seal of approval, saying Australia’s relationship with the US was very valued and important for national security.
“That doesn’t mean that we should be unquestioning allies,” she told reporters in Sydney.
“We will always make foreign policy decisions based on our own national interests.”
Mr Trump could also fly into Brisbane, an expected entry point for leaders on their way to PNG.
It would be Mr Trump’s first Australian visit as President, while Mr Turnbull has made two visits to the US since Mr Trump’s inauguration in January, 2017.
Trump highlights migrant crime, despite backflip
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump tried to cast doubt on the heartbreaking stories of migrant children separated from their families at the border.
At a media event at The White House, Mr Trump dismissed “phoney stories of sadness and grief” while asserting the real victims of the nation’s immigration crisis are American citizens killed by those who cross the border unlawfully.
Our first duty, and our highest loyalty, is to the citizens of the United States. We will not rest until our border is secure, our citizens are safe, and we finally end the immigration crisis once and for all. pic.twitter.com/7YfZ9kjB23
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Bombarded with criticism condemning the family-separation situation as a national moment of shame, Mr Trump fired back, sometimes twisting facts and changing his story but nonetheless highlighting the genuine grief of families on the other side of the equation.
“You hear the other side, you never hear this side,” Mr Trump said, standing with a dozen of what he calls the “angel families” who lost loved ones at the hands of people in the country illegally.
Mr Trump invited family members to recount personal stories about their relatives, give details of the deaths of their children. Some of them died in car accidents, while others were raped, beaten or tortured before being killed.
He focused on the fact that young migrants separated from parents are likely to be reunited, unlike the victims of murders.
“These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones,” he said.
“The word ‘permanently’ being the word that you have to think about. Permanently – they’re not separated for a day or two days, these are permanently separated because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens,” Mr Trump said.