Morrison's meeting with Trump assuages AUKUS fears

Former prime minister Scott Morrison has met with embattled, ex-US president Donald Trump where discussions about a key defence alliance were met with a "warm reception".

Australia's 30th prime minister posted a photo of him with the second-time presidential hopeful on X, formerly Twitter, hours after Mr Trump attended court over hush money allegations.

"It was nice to catch up again, especially given the pile-on he is currently dealing with in the US," Mr Morrison wrote.

"Once again, the former president showed his true appreciation of the value he places on the Australia-US alliance and the shared role of supporting ... a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"Good to see you (Mr Trump) and thanks for the invitation to stay in touch."

The two former leaders discussed the defence alliance between Australia, the US and the UK known as AUKUS.

The trilateral security partnership was announced in 2021 during Mr Morrison's term, and revolves around the US and UK assisting Australia's acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines.

"Was also a good opportunity to discuss AUKUS, which received a warm reception," Mr Morrison said.

"We also discussed the continuing assertions of China in the Indo-Pacific and the threats against Taiwan.

"These were issues we discussed regularly when we were both in office."

Mr Morrison is in the United States to promote and launch his book Plans For Your Good: A Prime Minister's Testimony of God's Faithfulness at the Australian Embassy.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had not recently held discussions with his predecessor but respected his office.

"I will leave diplomacy, funnily enough, to diplomatic endeavours," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"But we use our former prime ministers from time to time."

Meanwhile, Mr Trump is preparing for the US election in November against Democrat President Joe Biden in a rematch of the 2020 presidential battle.

Mr Biden's approval rating has continued to slip, while the former president is contending with multiple criminal charges.

But the meeting between two ex-leaders could assuage fears about the AUKUS alliance, should the Republican nominee return to power.

In March, the future of the partnership was thrown into question after Mr Trump lashed out at former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, who is now the Australian ambassador to the United States.

Australian ambassador to the US Kevin Rudd
Earlier this year Mr Trump lashed out at Australian ambassador to the US Kevin Rudd.

Responding to Mr Rudd's previous criticisms of the conservative president, Mr Trump called him a "little bit nasty" and said, "if he's at all hostile, he will not be there for long".

The comments ignited a political firestorm with Mr Rudd's role called into question, but the government has backed the ambassador and Mr Albanese says he remains confident in Australia's alliances.

"I assume that anyone who looks at the AUKUS arrangements will say that the arrangements that we have put in place are very sound, and are in the interests of all those who support a more secure and peaceful region and world," the prime minister said.

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