President Trump highlighted the close U.S.-Australia relationship Thursday evening at a dinner celebrating the anniversary of a World War II battle, dismissing reports that his relationship with the Australian prime minister had gotten off to a rocky start.
"Our two nations were born as the rebellious children of the same parent," Trump said of Australia. "Americans have had no better friends than the Australians. I mean that."
Trump delivered his remarks Thursday evening during an event at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, fought in the Pacific Theater over four days in May 1942.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attended the event as well, where he met with Trump prior to the dinner.
"Melania and I are thrilled to be joined by a very, very special prime minister," Trump said.
The president referenced a phone call he had with Turnbull shortly after his inauguration that reportedly turned heated when Trump brought up a refugee deal President Barack Obama had struck before leaving office.
"We really didn't have a rough phone call, did we?" Trump joked. "Got a little bit testy, but that's ok."
Trump ultimately agreed to honor the agreement, which will see more than 1,000 refugees resettled in the U.S. from islands off the coast of Australia.
Trump touted the planned build-up of U.S. military forces as progress toward increased American security.
"But security also requires friends that you can truly count on," Trump said.
Trump said the U.S. and Australia stand "shoulder to shoulder" in international conflicts ranging from North Korea to the fight against the Islamic State.