One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has landed herself in hot water after being captured on hidden camera questioning the 1996 Port Arthur massacre and appearing to suggest it was a government conspiracy.
In footage taken by an undercover Al Jazeera reporter and obtained by the ABC, the 64-year-old can be heard discussing the tragic event that left 35 people dead in Tasmania.
Throughout the video the senator is secretly filmed saying she has “a lot of questions” about the mass shooting that rocked the nation.
“An MP said it would actually take a massacre in Tasmania to change the gun laws in Australia,” Hanson is heard telling Roger Muller, who posed as a leader of a fake gun lobby group called Gun Rights Australia.
“Haven’t you heard that? Have a look at it. It was said on the floor of parliament.”
While in another part of the chat with the undercover reporter, Hanson’s Chief of Staff James Ashby also questioned the terrorist attacks against the United States in 2001.
“That whole September 11 thing, too,” Ashby chimes in. To which Hanson replies: “Those shots. They were precision shots. Check the number out. I’ve read a lot and I have read the book on it, Port Arthur. A lot of questions there.”
The release of footage comes after video emerged of Ashby and Queensland One Nation leader Steve Dickson sitting down with pro-gun officials during meetings that took place last September in Washington DC, in which Ashby could be heard claiming that donations of US$20 million (AU$28 million) would allow you to “own the Australian Parliament”.
However, speaking in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon, Ashby declared he was “on the sauce” at the time, adding that the meetings were never about sourcing money from the pro-gun organisation, rather about techniques and technology that could potentially have benefitted One Nation.
“We arrived in America, we got on the sauce, we’d had a few drinks,” Ashby said. “That’s where those discussions took place. Not with any potential donors.”
This was followed by comments from Hanson who took to Twitter on Wednesday to share her first statement on the scandal.
The footage, recorded by an undercover journalist from Al-Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, has since been compiled into a documentary called How to Sell A Massacre, which aired on Tuesday and Wednesday night on the ABC.
I was shocked & disgusted with the Al Jazeera hit piece. A Qatari government organisation should not be targeting Australian political parties. This has been referred to ASIO. After the full hit piece has been released I’ll make a full statement & take all appropriate action. -PH
— Pauline Hanson 🇦🇺 (@PaulineHansonOz) March 27, 2019
Branding it a “hit piece”, she wrote: “I was shocked & disgusted with the Al Jazeera hit piece. A Qatari government organisation should not be targeting Australian political parties. This has been referred to ASIO. After the full hit piece has been released I’ll make a full statement & take all appropriate action. -PH.”