Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull mocked President Trump during an off-the-record gala Wednesday night, taking aim at Trump’s bravado and self-praise.
Turnbull, who has had a surprisingly rocky relationship with Trump, is heard in a leaked tape describing their first in-person meeting last month aboard the Intrepid in New York.
“It was beautiful,” Turnbull says, doing his best impersonation of the President. “It was the most beautiful putting-me-at-ease ever.”
The recording was obtained by Australia’s 9 News and made during Australian Parliament House’s Mid Winter Ball, a gala that’s supposed to be off-the-record.
He also takes shots at the President’s penchant for praising himself, even imitating the way Trump moves his hands when he speaks.
“The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls,” Turnbull says. “We are winning so much. We are winning like we have never won before.”
His schtick then takes aim at Trump’s slamming of “fake news” and says that people shouldn’t pay attention to “fake polls.”
“We’re winning in the real polls,” Turnbull says. “You know, the online polls. They are so easy to win.”
He then ties that to Russia’s alleged role in trying to hack websites and political groups to influence last year’s election.
“I have this Russian guy,” Turnbull, 62, says. “Believe me it’s true. It is true.”
Turnbull and Trump had a rough start to their relationship when the President reportedly dressed down the prime minister during a February phone call — their first discussion.
The berating came as a surprise because Australia and the U.S. have been strong allies for more than 100 years.
But Trump took issue with a deal Australia made with the Obama administration that called for the U.S. to take some 1,250 refugees — mostly from Afghanistan and Iran — that the country had taken in.
Tensions seemed to have cooled after the two leaders’ New York meeting in early May.
Turnbull on Thursday told an Australian radio station that he was upset the recording got out, but it was only meant to be a “good-humored roast,” 9 News reported.
“It’s a breach of protocol, it’s a breach of faith and all those things, but it’s light-hearted, affectionate, good-natured,” he said. “It was fun, we’ve got to lighten up.”
The U.S. Embassy in Australia said there’s no bad blood, either.
“We understand that last night’s event is equivalent to our own White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” an embassy spokesperson told 9 News. “We take this with the good humor that was intended.”