Trump and Morrison have Dinner Together

Trump and Morrison have Dinner Together, by Simon Benson.

Trump was there to talk. Contrary to what critics say about him, he is deeply inquisitive.

Drinking only Diet Coke, he spent much of the 75-minute meeting asking questions of Morrison. He wanted to know his thoughts on China. He continued his obsession with Australia’s ­border protection policies. They even spoke of aviation and what’s happening at Boeing.

Another observer remarked that at a time when every other country is in Trump’s firing line, in one way or another, this was an ­extraordinary meeting. Of the 19 other world leaders Trump could have had dinner with on the eve of the G20 summit, the US President had chosen to have it with Morrison. Why? …

Morrison was said to be relaxed and confident and to have spoken with authority. The discussion was broad, according to US sources. And the message out of the White House was that the meeting went extremely well.

Word is that the two have struck up a genuine rapport.

Morrison’s stewardship of ­Operation Sovereign Borders was a source of fascination for Trump at the dinner.

When it came to the US-China trade deadlock Trump had a ­sympathetic ear but made it clear that the US was not for turning.

The dinner went 15 minutes over time. At one level it demonstrated how highly Trump values personal relationships. The value of “face time” can’t be underestimated. …

And a good relationship with Trump can be worth several hundred million dollars in avoided trade tariffs, as Australia has demonstrated.

Trump isn’t interested in nostalgic partnerships. He prefers transactional relationships.

In Australia’s case he has made an exception and has embraced both.