•   
  •   

Australia How Joe Hockey remade himself into Australia's Trump-whisperer

06:55  17 january  2020
06:55  17 january  2020 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

Iran 'completely called Trump's bluff' - International expert

  Iran 'completely called Trump's bluff' - International expert He warns Trump has made a mistake - which could lead to "full-blown war".University of Waikato international law expert Prof Alexander Gillespie told Newshub the chances of a peaceful resolution are "diminishing by the minute" as tensions between Iran and the US grow.

Australia ' s ambassador to the US Joe Hockey plans to return to Australia when his term expires in January. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen. Hockey has formed close ties with many senior Trump administration figures and has become known as something of a " Trump whisperer " in Washington.

Australia ’ s ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador Joe Hockey Australia ’ s ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador Joe Hockey , discusses his country’s ties to the Trump administration and the rocky Wheeler: Fox News Lured Him Into Plot To Help Trump 's White House | The Beat With Ari Melber

Joe Hockey wearing a suit and tie: At home in America: Joe Hockey at the Australian Ambassador's residence in Washington.© Evelyn Hockstein At home in America: Joe Hockey at the Australian Ambassador's residence in Washington.

Washington: When Donald Trump sat down with Joe Hockey for a meeting in the Oval Office this week, the US President had plenty to think about. The Senate was preparing to launch its impeachment trial and the US was about to sign a breakthrough trade deal with China.

Yet Trump had koalas on the brain.

"He was asking a lot of questions about the bushfires," says Hockey, who finishes his four-year term as Australia's US ambassador this month.

Trump trial likely to begin next Tuesday: Senate chief

  Trump trial likely to begin next Tuesday: Senate chief The Senate impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump is likely to begin in one week's time while key players in the process could be sworn in later this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. McConnell said he expected the House of Representatives to send the articles of impeachment through to the upper chamber on Wednesday.

Australia ' s ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey , wrote to the White House shortly after Mr Trump 's Australia ' s conservative leader is among Mr Trump 's closest international allies and received the rare How is Australia linked to Trump -Russia inquiry? The Trump -Russia investigation was partly

Report card from Washington: The first twelve months of the Trump Administration. The Howard Government is re -elected with a reduced majority and Joe Hockey is promoted into the Ministry as one of Australia ’ s youngest ever ministers.

"We talked about the koalas on Kangaroo Island and the fact they are one of the only populations remaining that are Chlamydia-free.

"He said, 'Oh that's terrible! Is there anything else we can do to help?'

"That is the level of detail we're getting down to," Hockey says, laughing in disbelief at one of the many surreal moments he has experienced during his time as Australia's representative in Washington.

a man and a woman standing in a room: The show will go on for the outgoing Australian Ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey.© The Age/Evelyn Hockstein The show will go on for the outgoing Australian Ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey.

The encounter, Hockey says, illustrates something he believes many Australians don't appreciate about Trump: his inquisitiveness.

"Donald Trump has a very curious mind, he likes to understand things," Hockey tells The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in an extended interview at White Oaks, the US ambassador's official residence.

Mishustin: hockey-loving taxman picked by Putin as Russian PM

  Mishustin: hockey-loving taxman picked by Putin as Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin, the man likely to be Russia's next prime minister after President Vladimir Putin proposed him on Wednesday, is a little-known figure to the wider public who has headed the country's tax service for a decade. The 53-year-old Muscovite trained as an engineer and has a PhD in economics, according to his official biography.

Australia ' s ' Trump whisperer ' Joe Hockey to return home next year. 'I have spoken with Joe today': how the evidence contradicts Liberal fundraiser over Helloworld. Helloworld CEO Andrew Burnes denied in February that he had contacted Australian US ambassador Joe Hockey over a

Yet since Trump ’ s election, Wakefield’ s campaign has found fresh momentum. The president claimed during a 2015 Republican debate that the child of an employee developed autism after receiving a vaccine, asserting a link that has been stridently disputed by the British and US governments’ leading

"He will ask you a lot of questions and store the information away. That would surprise people because that's not always how he comes across."

a close up of a koala: Trump inquisitive about koalas - and koalas with chlamydia.© Cole Bennetts Trump inquisitive about koalas - and koalas with chlamydia.

The fact Trump met Hockey privately to bid him farewell reflects the unusually high level of access the ambassador has enjoyed during his tenure.

Many foreign leaders struggle to obtain one-on-one meetings with the US President, let alone ambassadors from mid-sized countries.

"It is a privilege that is only reserved for the folks that we hold in the highest regard," Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, tells The Herald and The Age.

Joe Hockey holding a cat: With the family cat, Bluey, outgoing Australian Ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey.© The Age/Evelyn Hockstein With the family cat, Bluey, outgoing Australian Ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey.

"Only a handful of diplomats get an Oval Office meeting on their way out the door."

It is clear during our interview that White Oaks, a stately mansion built in 1923, has very much been the Hockey family home.

New York sues Trump administration to enforce Clean Air Act

  New York sues Trump administration to enforce Clean Air Act New York sues Trump administration to enforce Clean Air ActThe lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan asks the court to compel President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency to protect states that are downwind from other states with excessive air pollution.

Australia ' s ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey , also downplayed the tongue-in-cheek comments. "I think people see it in context," he said. "I haven't been hauled into the White House and sent back to Australia ." The speech was widely reported in the American media.

JOE Hockey has warned Australia against being “constant critics” of the Trump administration in its early days. JOE Hockey , Australia ’ s ambassador to the US The Trump administration is only 69 days into the four-year tenure, Mr Hockey said in a speech to the Sydney Institute on Thursday night.

The family cat, a ginger named Bluey, joins the discussion as do dogs Teiki and Prince. In another room one of Hockey's three children is banging out a tune on the piano.

The walls of the residence are covered in artworks by famous Australian painters such as Arthur Boyd and Tjumpo Tjapanangka. Hockey convinced some of Australia's biggest companies to loan him the works to promote Australian culture to visiting US politicians and public servants.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: America is changing under Donald Trump's watch, says Hockey.© bloomberg America is changing under Donald Trump's watch, says Hockey.

In the garden is a natural grass tennis court, installed in 2018 thanks to a donation from businessman Peter Lowy. Senior members of Congress, military leaders and foreign diplomats have all played on the court - the only one of its kind in the capital.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in a room: Joe Hockey, the former treasurer, thought his career was over when PM Tony Abbott was rolled. Instead, it took a fresh turn in the US.© The Age/Evelyn Hockstein Joe Hockey, the former treasurer, thought his career was over when PM Tony Abbott was rolled. Instead, it took a fresh turn in the US.

As he departs the ambassadorship, Hockey looks relaxed and at peace - an emotional universe away from when he decided to take on the role. Four years ago he was at the low point of his political career, exhausted and emotionally bruised.

Ex-ambo open to offers: Joe Hockey’s plans raise questions about life after public service

  Ex-ambo open to offers: Joe Hockey’s plans raise questions about life after public service Australia's ambassador to the US has spent four years milking Trump contacts. Now he's off to make truckloads of money.Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

President Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to dig up damaging information on one of his main Democratic challengers for the presidency in Mr Trump denies using US military aid as a bargaining chip with Mr Zelensky and has repeatedly insisted his call with Ukraine' s leader was "perfect".

Walkley award-winning video editor has made a name for himself inserting politicians into popular films and TV shows.

When the Coalition swept to power in 2013, Hockey expected to enjoy a long stint as treasurer before succeeding Tony Abbott as the nation's leader. Instead his time as treasurer lasted just two years and is best remembered for the politically-toxic 2014 budget and several embarrassing gaffes.

When Malcolm Turnbull rolled Abbott as Liberal leader, Hockey's 20-year career in federal politics was suddenly over.

"It felt like my Apollo 13," Hockey says, drawing an analogy to the 1970 lunar launch aborted in mid-mission. "I had missed my shot at the moon, my chance of becoming prime minister.

"It takes years to get over, but if you find solace in your new job it helps to heal the wounds."

When Hockey and his family landed in Washington in January 2016, presidential campaigning was already in full swing.

It was at a Republican primary debate in March that Hockey first met Trump, who was then a renegade political novice blasting his way to the Republican nomination.

Hockey made his way into the post-debate spin posing as a journalist. "That's how I got in," Hockey recalls. "No-one knew I was the Australian ambassador."

Watching Trump up close convinced Hockey that he had a strong chance of winning the presidency.

"Donald Trump defines and destroys his opponents better than almost anyone else I've ever seen.

White House unveils list of leaders to meet with President Trump at forum in Davos

  White House unveils list of leaders to meet with President Trump at forum in Davos White House unveils list of leaders to meet with President Trump at forum in Davos.Among the leaders he will meet with include Iraqi President Barham Salih, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Swiss Confederation President Simonetta Sommaruga and Nechirvan Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Regional government. Reuters previously reported as well that Trump also intends to meet with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

With Mr. Trump accused by a dead soldier’ s father of having never “sacrificed,” his medical deferment during the Vietnam era is facing new scrutiny. Dr. Bornstein made no mention of the bone spurs but did note the appendectomy from Mr. Trump ’ s childhood.

Questioned over whether Australia ’ s ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey , would be attending President-elect Donald Trump ’s inauguration If they’ re not, he won’t be.” It sounds like an acceptable answer, but a confusing one when you take into account a tweet from Mr Hockey himself

"He was communicating with a part of America that everyone else in the country was either laughing at or ignoring."

Yet when Trump won the election it triggered "root and branch shock in Canberra".

"I had suggested to Malcolm Turnbull during a visit to Australia that Donald Trump could win and he was almost disbelieving," Hockey says.

"As the result was coming in on election night he was speaking to me and was aghast like the rest of the world."

In the scramble to obtain Trump's phone number in the days following the election, Hockey famously asked a favour of Trump's friend Greg Norman. The golf legend promptly passed it along, allowing Turnbull and Trump to make an early connection.

"The diplomatic rule book was thrown on the funeral pyre the day of the 2016 election," Hockey says. "We were in a whole new world."

Together Hockey and Turnbull decided to approach Trump as they would a famous late Australian media mogul.

"Donald Trump reminds me a lot of Kerry Packer and it was the same for Malcolm Turnbull [who served as a Packer's longtime lawyer and confidante at Channel Nine].

"We talked a lot about that and it helped us work out our strategy for interacting with the President.

"He is verbal, visual, he's not a technocrat, there is a lot of gut instinct there. And Kerry Packer respected you more if you were honest and frank without being sycophantic. It's the same with Trump."

Hockey says one of the mistakes other countries have made is to believe you have to suck up to Trump to get results. It's better to state your disagreements strongly but to make sure you keep them private.

Trump 'to extend travel ban to seven more countries'

  Trump 'to extend travel ban to seven more countries' The Trump administration is planning to add seven countries to its controversial travel ban list, according to media reports, including nations in Asia and Africa. The Trump administration is planning to add seven countries to its controversial travel ban list, according to media reports, includi Nigeria, which is Africa's most populated country, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania will go on the list, it has been reported.Some countries will face bans only on some visa categories, the Wall Street Journal reported.

So where does Australia stand? HE hailed Vladimir Putin as knowing his stuff, is fed up with The other Trump policy that could instantly impact Australia is his disdain for free trade. Mr Ciobo has worked hard behind the scenes on the deal, along with new US ambassador Joe Hockey and former

Australia was represented at Mr Trump 's inauguration ceremony in Washington DC by Australia ' s ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey . Malcolm Turnbull did not receive an invitation to the ceremony on Friday, but acknowledged the moment with a congratulatory tweet.

Indeed, in a famous call with Trump, Turnbull was anything but sycophantic.

He forcefully requested that Trump honour an Obama-era deal to resettle refugees from Manus Island and Nauru in the US - even though the President had won office on a tough-on-borders platform. Trump, after much complaining, eventually agreed.

A few months later Hockey found himself, at short notice, playing golf with Trump at the President's course in Virginia.

Mulvaney had met Hockey through his work spruiking an Australia-style asset recycling scheme. The pair hit it off.

He invited Hockey to play a round of golf with himself, Fox News host Bret Baier and a fourth player.

"It was miserable weather and one of the guys dropped out. When we got there the President was there and looking for a game so we all played nine holes: me and Joe against Bret and the President."

Hockey recalls: "I rang Malcolm Turnbull and said, 'I'm probably playing golf with the President'.

"He said, 'Do you really think that's a good idea?'

"I said, 'Why? Because of my golf game or what I might say?'"

'Both I imagine,' Turnbull replied.

Mulvaney remembers Hockey making a "very dramatic" 40 foot (12 metre) putt on the last hole to tie the game. "If you know Joe, the fact he could make any putt was a miracle," he says.

"I guess we're screwed on tariffs now," Hockey recalls telling Trump after denying him victory.

But Mulvaney says Trump "begrudgingly respected" Hockey's putting achievement. "The President does not hold people in high regard who let others win."

Mulvaney says Hockey's gregarious manner has helped him form relationships with senior figures in Washington that are not available to most ambassadors.

"Other diplomats can be very formal, a bit distant. Joe is not a professional diplomat. He interacts with politicians as one of them and they respond to that."

Mulvaney says Hockey's lobbying was critical to the decision to grant Australia a rare exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports announced in 2018.

"When we were going through the analysis here on the tariffs Joe had the ability to pick up the phone, call people at every level of government and have a direct conversation with them. If, say, the Malaysian ambassador had called me and said 'xyz' I wouldn't know who that was. It would be a different type of conversation. The flow of information is what good diplomacy is about. It was a highlight of his service here."

Hockey also successfully fought to ensure that Ireland did not gain access to a special US visa scheme, known as the E3, that is only available to Australians.

"It has been the most amazing job and a wild ride," Hockey says. "I feel as though there's nothing I haven't seen or been given access to. And there's nothing we really set our minds to that we didn't achieve."

Indeed, Hockey has become so entranced by Washington that he plans to stay on in the city for several years. He will work in a private sector role that combines his passion for infrastructure and public policy.

"This is the greatest show on earth. I want to be around and watch how the next curtain call goes."

'Almost a religious aspect': Tony Abbott downplays link between bushfires and climate change .
In a speech to a conservative US think tank, Abbott heaped praise US President Donald Trump, essentially endorsing him for a second term in the White House. "I'm not one of those people who sees the current bushfires as confirmation of all we've ever feared about the changing climate," he told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Washington on Tuesday (Wednesday Australian time)."I see the current bushfires as the sort of thing that we are always going to be prone to in a country such as ours - a land of droughts and flooding rains as the poet [Dorothea Mackellar] said all those years back.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 18
This is interesting!