White House plays down Trump's praise of Australian health-care system

"Together, we discussed crucial issues, ranging from national security to trade, to immigration and enhanced economic co-operation", Mr Trump said.

It was created to increase the array of healthcare benefits provided by insurers and levied a tax on the wealthy to help pay for it. Republicans were strongly opposed to the law and called for its repeal. You guys exaggerated that call. "That was a big exaggeration, okay?"

And support for a nationalized health care plan wasn't just something Trump talked about during his latest campaign for president. We had a great call. "We have a fantastic relationship, I love Australia, I always have", the AFP news agency quoted Mr Trump as saying. Sanders said members of the Senate should expect similar intensity.

Trump tweeted on the topic Friday afternoon, clarifying that the Australian system is better than Obamacare. Joined by their wives, the two leaders later attended a gala to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. What works in Australia may not work in the United States. President Trump admitted that the phone conversation turned testy when he was reluctant to honor the promise Obama made. Hundreds of opponents, shouted slogans as his motorcade passed.

Last month, Vice President Mike Pence visited Australia on a fence-mending visit. "Americans have had no better friends than the Australians, I mean that", he said.

Trump and Turnbull were all smiles as they answered questions about the January phone call and the refugee deal during a picture-taking session. Mr Trump said to laughs from the audience during the gala dinner.

"Oh that will happen".

"One of the great, great places", he enthused.

"There are many different forms, but it's a fast way of getting the word out", he said, adding that he thought it had really helped during Thursday's congressional debate over a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

"I think he was simply being complimentary of the prime minister, and I don't think it was much more than that", Huckabee-Sanders said. "We will be there absolutely".

Several former senior Australian diplomats have also urged Canberra to rethink ties with the U.S. in light of China's rise.

A few hundred protesters lined up Thursday along Manhattan's West Side Highway to jeer Donald Trump's motorcade as he made his first trip home to NY since becoming president of the United States.

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