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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

Ben Geman, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.