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Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison defends Donald Trump ‘piling on’ after meeting to discuss AUKUS

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with Donald Trump, describing the embattled ex-US president’s legal issues as a “pile-on”.

Australia’s 30th prime minister posted a photo of him with the second presidential candidate on X, formerly Twitter, hours after Trump went to court over hush money allegations.

“It was nice to catch up again, especially considering the pile-up he’s currently dealing with in the US,” Morrison wrote.

“Once again, the former President showed his true appreciation for the value he places on the Australia-US alliance and the shared role of supporting… a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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“Good to see you (Trump) and thanks for inviting us to keep in touch.”

The two former leaders discussed the defense alliance between Australia, the US and Britain, known as AUKUS.

The trilateral security partnership was announced in 2021 during Morrison’s term in office and centers on the US and UK helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

“It was also a good opportunity to discuss AUKUS, which was warmly received,” Morrison said.

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“We also discussed China’s continued assertions in the Indo-Pacific and threats against Taiwan.

“These were issues we discussed regularly when we were both in office.”

Morrison is in the United States to promote and launch his book Planning for Your Wellbeing: A Prime Minister’s Testimony of God’s Faithfulness at the Australian embassy.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had not had recent discussions with his predecessor but respected his office.

“I leave diplomacy, funnily enough, to diplomatic efforts,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.

“But we occasionally use our former prime ministers.”

Meanwhile, Trump is preparing for the US elections in November against Democrat President Joe Biden in a rematch of the 2020 presidential contest.

Biden’s approval rating has continued to decline as the former president faces multiple criminal charges.

Former President Donald Trump speaks with members of the media at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 9.  Photo / AP
Former President Donald Trump speaks with members of the media at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 9. Photo / AP

But the meeting between two ex-leaders could allay fears about the AUKUS alliance should the Republican candidate return to power.

In March, the future of the partnership was thrown into doubt after Trump lashed out at former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is now Australia’s ambassador to the United States.

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In response to Rudd’s previous criticism of the conservative president, Trump called him a “little mean” and said: “If he’s at all hostile, he won’t be there much longer.”

The comments caused a political firestorm with Rudd’s role questioned, but the government has backed the ambassador and Albanese says he remains confident in Australia’s alliances.

Trump's swipe at the Australian man in Washington, Kevin Rudd, has ignited a political firestorm on the Australian homeland.  Photos / AP
Trump’s swipe at the Australian man in Washington, Kevin Rudd, has ignited a political firestorm on the Australian homeland. Photos / AP

“I assume that anyone who looks at the AUKUS arrangements will say that the arrangements we have in place are very sound and are in the interests of everyone who supports a safer and more peaceful region and world,” the Prime Minister said. .

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