US PRESIDENT Donald Trump was the butt of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's jokes during a speech at Parliament House's Mid Winter Ball in Canberra last night, leaked audio has revealed.

Mr Turnbull appeared relaxed in the knowledge that journalists attending the annual event have an unspoken rule not to report on what goes on inside.

But a sample of Mr Turnbull's speech, in which he mocked Mr Trump for his lack of popularity in the polls, was later posted on Instagram before the full audio was leaked to media.

During his speech, Mr Turnbull can also be heard mocking the US President about his alleged connections to Russia and the leaders' first official meeting in New York last month.

"It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful putting-me-at-ease ever," Mr Turnbull joked in his best Trump-inspired voice.

"The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls. We are winning so much. We are winning like we have never won before."


Malcolm Turnbull talks up the alliance with the US before President Donald Trump.
Malcolm Turnbull talks up the alliance with the US before President Donald Trump. Nathan Edwards

The crowd of journalists and politicians erupted into laughter as Mr Turnbull continued his routine.

"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 have this Russian guy. Believe me it's true. It is true."

Mr Turnbull defended his speech - describing it as a "good-natured and fun ... roast" - on 3AW this afternoon.
"You've got to have a laugh (and) lighten up," he said.

"It's a stressful business politics. You've got to be cheerful."

He said the leaked audio was "a breach of protocol and good faith" and denied that Mr Trump was the butt of his jokes.

"The butt of my jokes was myself," he told the radio station.

President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik

The black tie event - attended by the likes of Julie Bishop, Pauline Hanson and Bill Shorten - is billed as the premier social event on the national political calendar and attracts the who's who of politics and national media.

Proceeds raised from the ball and eBay auction are donated to six charities including Lifeline, the Stroke Foundation and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

The US Embassy has since issued a statement in response to Mr Turnbull's speech.

"We understand that last night's event is equivalent to our own White House Correspondents' Dinner," it read.
"We take this with the good humour that was intended."

Mr Trump has previously heavily criticised actor Alec Baldwin for his comedy skits based on the president on Saturday Night Live. It is yet to be seen if he will receive Mr Turnbull's impersonation with the same disdain.

But it's unlikely to go down well with the pair's relationship formed on a shaky foundation.

Within days of his inauguration Mr Trump dubbed a refugee resettlement deal between the previous US administration and Australia as "dumb".


Under the deal, the US will take up to 1250 refugees that Australia houses in detention camps on the Pacific island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Mr Trump blasted Mr Turnbull over the settlement plan during their now-notorious phone call shortly after his inauguration in January.

According to The Washington Post, what should have been a cordial hour-long call was ended after 25 minutes when Mr Trump abruptly hung up on the PM.

"This is the worst deal ever," Mr Trump reportedly said about the refugee deal, complaining that he was "going to get killed" politically.

He also accused Australia of seeking to export the "next Boston bombers".

In a conversation that was characterised as "hostile and charged" and that contrasted with productive talks held with other countries, Mr Trump apparently told the Prime Minister he had spoken with four other world leaders that day, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, and "this was the worst call by far".

Mr Turnbull would not confirm or deny details of the conversation other than to say: "The report that the President hung up is not correct, the call ended courteously."

Mr Trump addressed the reportedly heated call, during a speech in May.

"Everyone is talking about this phone call. The media were saying, 'What do you think of the phone call? You didn't really hang up?' We had a very nice call, right?

"It got a little bit testy. But that is OK. We have had a very good relationship and I am very proud of the relationship."

News Corp Australia

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