Key plays down Trump threat

Donald Trump visits Turnberry Golf Club, Scotland (Getty)
Donald Trump visits Turnberry Golf Club, Scotland (Getty)

Outgoing US President Barack Obama says world leaders are "rattled" by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, but Prime Minister John Key doesn't appear to be one of them.

Speaking in Japan last week, Mr Obama said Mr Trump's policy proposals to date "display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what is required to keep America safe".

Mr Trump has promised to build a wall between the US and Mexico, halt Muslim immigration, bring back torture, deport 11 million illegal immigrants, ban abortion in all but extreme cases, allow Americans to carry concealed weapons, "bomb the hell out of ISIS (Islamic State)", repeal Obamacare, end efforts to slow global warming, cut education funding and increase coal use.

Mr Key says it's up to the American people to decide if they want Mr Trump to lead them.

"I'll deal with whoever the President is. My responsibility isn't to pick the next President; my responsibility is to have the best relationship with the next President."

But he doesn't think Mr Trump will be able to do everything he's promised.

"If he became President, the question is what could he get through the Senate? What could he get through Congress? He can stop things, but he can't necessarily make things happen. He's got executive powers, but they're not that wide-ranging."

Mr Key struck up a rapport with Mr Obama through their mutual love of golf. Mr Trump is also an avid golfer, and when approached by Newshub last year, told political editor Patrick Gower to "say hello to Bob Charles for me. I love Bob Charles... your greatest golfer".

So could we soon see Mr Key and Mr Trump on the green?

"He's very keen. We'll see."