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PM steers clear of Trump commentary

AAP logoAAP 13/10/2016

Malcolm Turnbull is resisting making commentary about Donald Trump out of respect for the US democratic process.

The prime minister refused to endorse or condemn remarks made by his predecessor Tony Abbott and cabinet minister Josh Frydenberg.

Mr Frydenberg labelled the embattled Republican nominee a "dropkick", while Mr Abbott said many of Mr Trump's positions were "reasonable enough".

"I'm sure Mr Abbott has carefully read all of Donald Trump's policies before he made that comment, but I'm not going to buy into the policy debate in the United States," Mr Turnbull told 3AW's Neil Mitchell on Friday.

"As your prime minister, it's my job to lead this nation and do so - in our engagement with other countries - in a manner that respects their own internal democratic processes, so I'm not going to go any further into engaging into US elections."

Mr Turnbull has previously described Mr Trump's comments about women and other issues as "loathsome" and agreed they should be widely condemned.

But he was less forthcoming when asked whether he would carpet Mr Frydenberg or Mr Abbott over their more colourful analyses.

"It's for others to run these commentaries. I'm the prime minister."

Mr Abbott, speaking to Sky News on Thursday night, also criticised a motion that passed NSW Parliament's upper house, which condemned Mr Trump as a "revolting slug".

That kind of posturing was not fitting for parliament, he said.

The move was somewhat dismissed by Mr Turnbull.

"It's the upper house of the NSW Parliament - I don't think, august chamber though it is, that their judgement will feature prominently in the considerations of the American people."

Mr Abbott later took to Twitter to clarify his comments.

"Before the Trump haters get too excited, some of his views are OTT (over the top) but cutting tax and boosting defence are classic conservatism," he wrote.

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