Leigh Sales and Malcolm Turnbull clash during interview

It's the tense interview that has everyone talking today
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ABC's 7.30 program host Leigh Sales has clashed with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Source: abc7.30/Twitter. Photo edited.

If you were watching the ABC’s 7.30 program last night, then chances are you might have seen a tense interview between host Leigh Sales and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The pair clashed on a number of topics, trading veiled barbs and cheeky comments throughout the segment.

Sales pressed the Prime Minister on a number of issues, including his changes to Australian citizenship laws.

She asked him to explain what Australian values are.

“We’re defined by a commitment to a common set of political values and they are … freedom, equality of men and women, mutual respect, the rule of law, democracy, a fair go. That’s our Australian values.” Turnbull responded.

“They are shared by other democracies, but they are in and of themselves unique.”

But things took a turn when Sales suggested that Turnbull was only making changes to get the support of his colleagues.

“I’m disappointed that you’re so cynical but I’m used to it,” he responded.

“What this is about, is the vast majority of Australians are pleased to see that we are standing up for Australian values.”

And the barbs continued when she questioned Turnbull about on comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce about our values being “Christian”.

“Part of our extraordinary nation, part of our values, is respect for women and children and the respect for the equal rights of women,” Turnbull responded.

“I’m surprised you’re challenging this on the ABC.

“I don’t think your heart’s in it actually, Leigh.”

When the topic moved onto Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister accused Sales of focusing on politics.

“You’re in the business of politics I’m afraid, Prime Minister,” she said to him.

“No, I know I’m in the business of politics but, can I say to you, your viewers, they’re interested in energy, they want to know about how we’re reducing the cost of energy,” Turnbull responded.

He also hit back at Sales over suggestions of “open warfare” between him and Abbott, describing them as “totally unfair” and “ridiculous”.

“My job as Prime Minister is to deliver on my commitments to the Australian people. I’m not interested in personalities or politics of that kind.” he said.

Did you watch the interview? Whose side were you on?

  1. Nancy R Peters  

    I agree it was uncomfortable. I don’t think either side came off well.

  2. Ele  

    Unfortunately, Malcolm Australian values are to mind your own business, not report the dole bludger next door or the wife beater on the other side of the street. And complain and whinge about everything that is happening but not try to do anything about it.

  3. rikda  

    “Mutual respect?” Like the “leaners & the lifters”?
    “The rule of law” Like lying to the Australian people & the parliament without retribution?
    “Democracy”, Like the Chinese complaining about not getting value for money for their Donations/bribes?
    “A fair go”.Like you give the unemployed, the ADF & the pensioners?
    Malcolm, you’re absolutely full of 💩💩💩

  4. Beverley  

    I used to admire Leigh Sales when she was on Lateline, she asked intelligent relevant questions then but now she comes across as too aggressive & confronting. Sadly it has put me off watching the show.

    • Valerie Bush  

      I agree…And whilst I thin Malcom has a lot of catching up to do. ABC in general including Leigh Sales just cannot see any good in anyone other that Labor or the Greens.

  5. Bruce M  

    I watch 7:30 every night but I switched to SBS when told Turnbull was going to be on.Totally sick of the lies and thought bubbles and I wouldn’t be the only one. The nation’s economy is in chaos and this is the best they can do? The next election can’t come soon enough!

    • Bru  

      Problem is Bruce, Labor spends like a drinken sailor. Actually, that’s not a good analogy : sailors stop spending when the money runs out!

  6. Jennifer  

    You are so very rude to the Prime Minister Leigh, I see this in every interview you have had with him. You have every right to ask questions but please, let him finish speaking before you butt in with your own obvious disagreement.

  7. Cathy  

    Leigh should at least show some respect to our PM for crying out loud!!! She’s too loud mouth and just shoots off! He is our PM voted in by the majority. Why can’t we just leave him alone to run the country for our benefit. I totally agree with the proposed new immigration law. We want good quality immigrants who share the same values as the rest of the good citizens of Australia. I for one am an immigrant. I was born in Malaysia but left to study in the UK when I was in my teens. I was recruited on the merits of my educational qualifications and I love Australia. I have been here for more than 30 years now. I call Australia home.

    • Margaret freemantle  

      Who are you to judge who is a good quality immigrant?????

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  9. Lyn Dyke  

    I missed the interview, but can pick up some of the content through the printed report. Leigh Sales job is to quiz the politicians on their own decisions. Mr Turnbull’s job is to explain and defend if necessary the reason behind his decisions. Leigh has to ask the hard questions, its what I for one expect in a democracy.His feeble attempts to turn the conversation onto “Energy” only pinpoint his inability to deal with the questions. I really feel that questions about Tony Abbott are quite relevant , given the response from senior party members, eg(?Warren Hensch”)?, it refers to a perceived lack of unity in the present government. Mr Turnbull, your disappointment about Leigh’s Cynicism is the least of your worries. The warning that your govt. keeps getting about dis-affection and anger with the Libs building up here in Western Australia is on track to be a mighy big problem come the next election.

    • sunbird  

      Agree with you entirely & Leigh Sales has a job to do & I think she does it well…someone has to ask the hard questions & our prime minister has to answer to all of us…

  10. stnc  

    Then why is it, women still don’t have equal pay in the work force, Muslim women still and probably never have the freedom and rights of most other women in Australia. Why is it the bail laws regarding men and the assaults on women are still archaic, men are being arrested, charged and then let back out on to the streets sometimes on the same day. Why is Government sectors (usual the far right of the LNP) resist giving same sex couples the right to marry, what’s it got to do with Churches other than they don’t want us to use their Churches, fine, not as though we’re asking. Why are young girl/women being subjected to genital mutilation having their clitoris removed by *Granny* with a razor blade? Why are even children and young women being *forced* to wear a hijab or even a burka because of their community’s social norm especially when the norm is you can choose not to wear it but if you take the hijab it’s for life, only your husband can relive you and allow you to give it up! So much for the Australian way and equality for all!

  11. Truth13  

    Prime Minister, we already have values, you specified. They are, freedom, equality of men and women, mutual respect, the rule of law, democracy, a fair go. That’s our Australian values.” Only things we don’t have are the respect from your government, to the older Australians, who were the backbone of the country, for 35 to 45 years, with hard work, paid all taxes, educated the children, went to someone’s war in which many died, build the country, saved a bit for the future. Where is the fair go for the sick & disable ?. You give a more than fair go for the bludger, who never pay any taxes, living only on hand outs. Not interested to work, only profession is to bread children.Your BIG clown said, “Age of entitlement is over” for the OLD, but not the clowns in & out of the parliament. The same donkey at 52 years gets a pension of $50,000 while having a “Government” job, earning $400,000 plus childcare costs, although he has Millions of assets. For the others, if a couple has $816,000, and not reach 65 years, they get bloody nothing. So where is the mutual respect ?. Where is the one rule of law ?. One for the MPs & another for the others.Where is the fair go, for people who paid taxes for 40 years or more ?. Where is the fair go for young couples for housing ?. When it is evident that your time is running out very fast, you talk about “Australian values”, that you have failed to abide by. With these racist gimmicks, you will never fool the Australian voters. Get real, and give a fair go for all, and not only for the past & present MPs.

  12. Roy Gavin  

    I note no mention of honesty in Malcolm’s set of values – says it all really and not surprising coming frm the leader of the- LIBERAL WITH THE TRUTH- PARTY, TO GIVE THEM THEIR FULL TITLE

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