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Alex Brandon / AP

The Washington Post obtained transcripts of President Trump's calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the first days of his presidency back in January. In them, Trump expressed frustration over accepting refugees from Australian detention centers under a humanitarian deal negotiated by the Obama administration and candidly discussed the Mexican border wall:

If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.

The big story: Trump branded the border wall as "the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important." He also repeatedly asked Peña Nieto not to publicly oppose Trump's demand that Mexico pay for the wall, telling him the funding would "come out in the wash, and that is okay."

Not normal: The calls remain classified, so the fact that the transcripts made it to the Post is a serious issue. Both documents include notes that the transcripts had been reviewed by Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg Jr., the chief of staff for the National Security Council.

Other highlights from the Peña Nieto call:

  • "On the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, 'Mexico will pay for the wall,' and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language."
  • "We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy. I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den."

His call with Turnbull:

  • "This is going to kill me. 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."
  • "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."
  • "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."

Go deeper

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.