Donald Trump has backed the AUKUS submarine agreement during a private meeting with former prime minister Scott Morrison in New York overnight.

The pair met at Trump Tower just hours after the former United States president was in court for his hush money trial.

Morrison defended Trump in a post on social media, describing the legal challenges confronting Trump as a “pile on”.

Former US president Donald Trump met ex prime minister Scott Morrison during a private meeting in New York. (Supplied)

“Was pleased to meet with former President Donald Trump on Tuesday night at his private residence in NY,” Morrison posted on X, with a photo of himself standing next to the presumptive Republican nominee at Trump Tower in New York.

“It was nice to catch up again, especially given the pile on he is currently dealing with in the US.

“Was also a good opportunity to discuss AUKUS, which received a warm reception.”

Morrison is visiting the US for business interests and is also promoting his new book, Plans for Your Good: A Prime Minister’s Testimony of God’s Faithfulness, which he will launch at the Australian embassy in Washington on Wednesday evening (Thursday AEDT) alongside Australia’s ambassador Kevin Rudd.

Morrison, US President Joe Biden and former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the AUKUS agreement in 2021 as part of a strategy to deter China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.

Austraia will acquire a fleet of nuclear powered submarines under the AUKUS deal. (US Navy) (US Navy)

The AUKUS pact was announced by Morrison alongside Biden and then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2021 as part of a broader strategy to counter China’s economic and military advances in the Indo-Pacific.

Under the deal, the Royal Australian Navy will acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered, but not nuclear-armed, submarines under the agreement.

Trump has long been sceptical of global defence alliances but his apparent support for AUKUS should ease concerns about its future if the Republican front-runner is re-elected to the White House.

Meanwhile, Biden and Trump have both accepted an invitation from CNN to debate on June 27, a historically early showdown in the lead-up to November’s US election that will set the tone for the final months of the 2024 campaign.

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