The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is not a stand-up comedian, but he took a stab at it in a speech at a closed-door dinner with reporters in Canberra recently. His primary target was U.S. President Donald Trump. The prime minister thought that his ridicule of Trump would stay behind closed doors because it was an accepted rule that what was spoken at the event would not be reported, but an audio recording was recorded and released by Laurie Oakes, political editor of Australia’s “Nine News.”
In his speech, Turnball roasted Trump about their meeting in New York last month. He gave a “tongue in cheek” impersonation of the president saying, “It was beautiful, the most beautiful putting me at ease ever,” Turnbull started, speaking of the meeting with Trump.
The Prime Minister continued in a tone like Trump’s, “The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls. We are winning so much,” Turnbull continued in the midst of uproarious laughter. “We are winning like we have never won before.” Turnball even worked to mimic Trump’s known hand gestures in his comedy act. “We are winning in the polls, we are, we are! Not the fake polls, Not the fake polls! They’re the ones we’re not winning in,” he said. “We’re winning in the real polls. You know, the online polls. They are so easy to win. I know that, did you know that? I kind of know that, they are so easy to win.”
Turnball, who responded after the routine was leaked that his comments were “affectionately lighthearted,” may have really crossed the line with his conclusion, “I have this Russian guy, believe me, it’s true, it is true.”
It remains to be seen what the impact of this “affectionately lighthearted” moment will have on international relations. How well do you think Trump can “take a joke?”