They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it sounds more like Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was just trying to make President Donald Trump the butt of his jokes when he started mocking him at a recent gathering with journalists.
The behind-closed-doors speech poking fun at Trump’s mannerisms, infatuation with opinion polls and love affair with Russia happened in Canberra at the Australian Parliament’s annual mid-winter ball for charity. The event included hundreds of journalists, but the journalists attending the ball were supposed to agree not to report what happens — it seems Turnbull’s impersonation was just too good not to record, though, because leaked audio of the skit was all over the airwaves within hours of the Wednesday night event.
Australian news network 9News published the leaked audio clip, with a disclaimer from the editor who made the decision.
“The PM presumably thought Mr. Trump would never find out because journalists attending the ball are supposed to agree not to report what happens, but I didn’t go to the ball, and an audio tape has just happened to leak,” he said.
So what did Turnbull say? He poked fun at the president’s penchant for the word “winning.”
“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. We are winning in the polls. We are! Not the fake polls. Not the fake polls! They’re the ones we’re not winning in. We’re winning in the real polls — you know, the online polls. They are so easy to win. Do you know that? I know that. Did you know that? I kind of know that. They are so easy to win,” Turnbull said.
And of course there was a Russia reference tossed in.
“I have this Russian guy. Believe me, it’s true. It is true,” Turnbull said.
Turnbull and Trump met in person for the first time about a month ago in New York, and the prime minister couldn’t resist taking a jab at that either.
“It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful putting-me-at-ease ever,” Turnbull said.
Malcolm Turnbull says you all need to chill
The leak didn’t seem to bother Turnbull much, who basically told everyone to chill out and “lighten up” after news of the mockery broke.
No word yet from Trump, but the U.S. Embassy in Australia said, “We understand that last night’s event is equivalent to our own White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”
Twitter, however, was definitely not chill about the news, and there were memes aplenty.
Here are some of our favorite responses:
Australia waiting for Trump to say something about Turnbull pic.twitter.com/rfgY3Au4Zr
— Mason McCann (@AhMcCann) June 15, 2017
— P.McGee (@pepeMcGee) June 15, 2017
— JO (@J0Marshll) June 15, 2017
Omg! Is this for real??! Killed it!! ?? pic.twitter.com/UJScntoq9p
— Utalkin2me? (@Coquii73) June 15, 2017