'You gotta lighten up' – Aussie PM brushes off his leaked Trump impersonation as a good-natured joke

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Malcolm Turnbull has laughed off leaked footage of him mimicking Donald Trump, insisting politics is a stressful business and "we've got to lighten up".

The footage and audio, released by veteran political journalist Laurie Oakes, was taken during Mr Turnbull's off-the-record address to the press gallery's annual Midwinter Ball in Parliament House.

The prime minister is disappointed the material has found its way into the public domain, but took the leak in his stride.

"I guess what that means is next year at the Midwinter Ball I will read selected passages from budget paper number two," the prime minister told 3AW radio yesterday. 

He criticised Mr Oakes for defying standard practice and releasing the footage.

"It's a breach of protocol, it's a breach of faith and all those things, but you know it's lighthearted, it's affectionate, good-natured and the butt of my jokes was myself," Mr Turnbull said.

During Wednesday night's speech, Mr Turnbull made fun of his meeting with the US president in New York in May.

"It was beautiful. It was the most beautiful putting-me-at-ease ever," he joked.

The prime minister even does a Trump impersonation.

"The Donald and I, we are winning and winning in the polls. We are winning so much, we are winning, we are winning like we have never won before," he says.

Mr Turnbull also makes reference to a "Russian guy" who can make online polls look much better than the "fake polls" in the mainstream media.

It's a reference to allegations Moscow interfered in the US presidential election.

Mr Turnbull hosed down concerns the footage may anger the president.

"It's fun, you've got to have a laugh, we've got to lighten up. (It's a) stressful business politics Tom. You've got to be cheerful," he told 3AW host Tom Elliot.

The US Embassy is not bothered by the prime minister's speech.

"We take this with the good humour that was intended," an embassy spokesperson said.

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