01:58 - Source: CNN
WaPo says it has transcripts of Trump's calls

Story highlights

Trump: "I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den"

Trump on refugees: "They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people"

Washington CNN —  

Transcripts from President Donald Trump’s calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull were obtained by The Washington Post Thursday morning.

The conversations reveal Trump’s thoughts on everything from the Mexican border wall to the Boston Marathon bombers, from Canada as a NAFTA trading partner to New Hampshire’s opioid crisis.

Asked by CNN to comment on the transcript, Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said only that he “can’t confirm or deny the authenticity of allegedly leaked classified documents.”

Here are the most memorable lines from these two exchanges:


1. “In the latest election, I won with a large percentage of Hispanic voters. … But overall generally, I had well over 30% and everyone was shocked to see this. I understand the community and they understand me, and I have a great respect for the Mexican people.”

Trump repeatedly reflects on his 2016 presidential election victory during his conversation with Peña Nieto, claiming that “everyone was shocked” to see support from Hispanic and Cuban-American voters. According to 2016 exit polls, among Latinos, 28% cast their votes for Trump and 66% supported Democrat Hillary Clinton. Despite stirring up controversy by calling some Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists” in his presidential campaign announcement in June 2015, Trump assures Peña Nieto in their call that he has “great respect for the Mexican people.”

2. “I felt that we should do a much simpler solution, and that solution was tariffs at the border, because the United States has a trade deficit with Mexico of $60 billion.”

Trump threatens to impose tariffs on Mexican goods at the southern border, citing a trade deficit of $60 billion. CNN reported last month that the US trade deficit with Mexico was approximately $63 billion last year, and it has grown considerably since NAFTA went into effect in 1994.

3. “We lost a lot of factories in Ohio and Michigan and I won these states – some of these states have not been won in 38 years by a Republican and I won them very easily. So they are dancing in the streets. You probably have the same thing where they are dancing in your streets also, but in reverse.”

Speaking in the third person, Trump claims that Ohioans are hosting rallies and “dancing in the streets” in support of his “hard stance” on Mexico. The President again reflects on general election victories in Ohio and Michigan, states he won with 51.8% and 47.6% of the vote, respectively. However, it remains unclear what Trump means by the “reverse” of dancing in the streets.

4.”That is a separate thing and they are fine and we have had a very fair relationship with Canada. It has been much more balanced and much more fair. So we do not have to worry about Canada, we do not even think about them.”

Oh Canada! As the two presidents discuss balancing trade deals as part of NAFTA, Trump assures Peña Nieto that they “do not have to worry about Canada.” The Mexican President, however, sticks up for the US’ northern neighbor, saying that “it is an asset to have the three partners of NAFTA.” The Trump administration published a list of goals last month for the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA – the free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

RELATED: Call transcript: Trump urged Mexican president to stop criticizing wall

5. “Up in New Hampshire – I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den – is coming from the southern border.”

Trump referred to New Hampshire as a “drug-infested den” while criticizing the flow of illegal drugs that come into the United States from Mexico. His characterization of the Granite State, which gave him his first victory during the Republican primary but he lost to Clinton in the general election, has garnered significant outcry from New Hampshire’s lawmakers. On the campaign trail, Trump regularly focused on the drug crisis in New Hampshire, even headlining an event focused on the opioid epidemic just days before the 2016 election.

6. “You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with, and we are willing to help you with that big-league. But they have to be knocked out and you have not done a good job of knocking them out.”

Trump invokes “pretty tough hombres” to characterize drug lords in Mexico, which he then pledges support to Mexico for help with “knocking them out.” This is not the first time Trump has referred to Mexican drug lords as “hombres” – during the third presidential debate, the then-Republican nominee said one of the first things he would do to improve the border is get drug dealers and “bad hombres” out of the US.

7. “Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important (to) talk about. But in terms of dollars – or pesos – it is the least important thing.”

Trump begins his persistent appeal to Peña Nieto to remain quiet on the issue of the southern border wall, as the Mexican President had publicly criticized Trump’s claims that Mexico would pay for it. Trump insists that while the wall may be “the least important thing” they discuss, the Mexican President’s silence is “the most important” issue politically.

8. “But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”

Trump again urges Peña Nieto not to discuss the border wall, fearing backlash from the press.

9. “It is you and I against the world, Enrique, do not forget.”

In response to Peña Nieto saying that Mexico and the US must “generate jobs, and we have to be stronger and we have to be growing,” Trump offers a touching note about their relationship.

10. “Your words are so beautiful. Those are beautiful words and I do not think I can speak that beautifully, OK? It would be great to put those words at the end of the statement. Really nice though.”

At the end of their conversation, Peña Nieto tells Trump he wishes “for both of our nations to do well – for your government, for you, and for us to truly have a relationship with friendship and a very constructive relationship, Mr. Trump.” Trump then offers praise for Peña Nieto’s “beautiful” closing sentiments.


1. “I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia…”

Trump expresses his love for the “Land Down Under.”

2. “That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.”

Trump reacts to Turnbull’s comments that even if refugees are “the best people in the world, even if you are a Nobel Prize winning genius, we will not let you in.” Australia currently bans refugees from entering the country by boat, which Turnbull has claimed will reduce smuggling and dangerous voyages for refugees.

3. “I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.”

Trump criticizes a refugee resettlement agreement forged with Australia in the closing days of the Obama administration, fearing that the deal will make him “look bad.” Under the arrangement, agreed to by former President Barack Obama and Turnbull last November, Australia would transfer around 1,250 refugees currently held in offshore detention centers on the Pacific Island nation of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island to the US.

4. “I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.”

The President continues venting to Turnbull about refugees, warning that some of them will not be “wonderful people” who work for “local milk people.” While Trump does not expand on who “local milk people” are, milk production from the major American dairy industry is up, totaling 16.9 billion pounds in June, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

5. “Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this.”

Pivoting away from the conversation about refugees, Trump takes a moment to rehash his electoral college win, claiming that the Democratic Party lost the election because of “stupid deals.”

6. “OK, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you.”

Trump expresses concerns about being perceived as a “dope” for upholding the US’s refugee agreement with Australia.

7. “Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

Trump expresses frustration about refugees entering the US needing to be vetted, arguing that someone among them could be a terrorist like the Boston Marathon bombers.

8. “Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. (I) know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me.”

Calling the country a “dumping ground for the rest of the world,” the US President continues his attack against the Australian refugee agreement. Trump raises concerns that he will be perceived as foolish and notes that “it is horrible for me.”

9. “They were from wherever they were.”

When Turnbull tells Trump that the Boston bombers were Russians, Trump seems to dismiss that fact as irrelevant. Boston police identified the bombers as Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, brothers from Cambridge, Massachusetts, who were of Chechen origin and legally immigrated to the United States.

10. “I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.”

Trump ends the “unpleasant” call with Turnbull saying, “I have had it,” adding that his earlier call with Russian President Vladimir Putin had gone better.

CNN’s Dan Merica and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.