Let’s talk: Was Lisa Wilkinson too harsh on Malcolm Turnbull?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was left frustrated this morning during a live interview with Today show host Lisa Wilkinson after
Lisa Wilkinson came out swinging against Malcolm Turnbull.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was left frustrated this morning during a live interview with Today show host Lisa Wilkinson after she grilled him about the government’s refugee deal with the United States.

The government announced yesterday that it had reached a deal with the US, who had agreed to accept and resettle a number of refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.

Wilkinson came in strong and stuck to her hardline questioning after Turnbull tried to skirt around questions over how many refugees the US had agreed to take.

“We have not set a number on it,” Turnbull said.

“The Americans will assess the refugees from a security and health point of view as referred to them … but … a substantial number would be eligible for resettlement in United States.”

After giving a vague answer, Wilkinson pressed him further and quoted figures saying up to 1600 people are awaiting resettlement.

“I have said a substantial number that would be eligible,” he said.

“Is it more or less than 1000?” Wilkinson asked.

That was the point the PM turned, saying to Wilkinson: “Thanks very much for the interrogation. Let me say this to you …”

The tension between the pair was obvious, but Wilkinson stuck to her guns, saying: “I think this is important. It is a huge announcement.”

While the deal has been welcomed news for many, there are fears that incoming president Donald Trump could scrap the deal once he is in office thanks to his hardline stance on immigration.

Earlier reports revealed that Turnbull had not raised the issue with Trump during their phone call last week and when Wilkinson pressured him about it, the PM bit back.

“It’s because we deal with one administration at a time,” he said.

“There’s only one President of the United States at any time. Until January 20 when Donald Trump is inaugurated the President is Barack Obama.”

Wilkinson pushed the PM: “You did talk to Donald Trump and other issues came up. Why isn’t this important enough?”

“You don’t discuss confidential matters with one administration with a future administration. Look, it’s fairly straightforward,” he said, fumbling some of his words.

While many have come out to applaud Wilkinson for pressuring him into an answer, others say that like Turnbull, they were frustrated watching it.

Do you think Turnbull should answer the questions put to him by journalists? Who would you side with here?

  1. Jeanette Giroud  

    The media should show more respect towards our Prime Ministers; regardless of the party they represent!. Who do they think they are?

    • Paul Schofield  

      She is correct to nail him down. While the office is worthy of respect, some of the office holders are not. How about just giving a straight honest answer.

    • barry dixon  

      Lisa Wilkinson often oversteps the mark and is very disrespectful. She should remember she is just another journalist and the PM does not have to answer to her for anything. Very poor and arrogant interviewing.

    • RonniiBee  

      The politicians get the same respect that they show the voters of Australia, which is next to none !1


      Lisa wants a straight answer from our Prime Minister just like channel nine gave a straight answer on the child kidnapping fiasco . Ye right !! The talking heads in the media are so self righteous . Oh and her side kick Karl has been so forth coming with straight answers of late as well !!

    • Rosie Haire  

      Finally, responsible and real journalism keeping our prime minister accountsble…..that’s what we saw. So glad Lisa Wilkinson uses her beains and does a great job.

    • Rex Alfie Lee  

      He’s an incompetent twat. Well done Lisa, the only show that has the balls to take these cheating mongrels on apart from the ABC…

  2. John McInerney  

    Prime Ministers should be prepared and able to answer, in detail, any questions put to them by journalists. The journalists are asking questions on behalf of their readers/viewers/listeners.

    If Prime Ministers think they should not be asked questions they don’t like, then they are in the wrong job. Government should be open and transparent.

    Smooth talk from Turnbull isn’t enough.

    • Angie B  

      I didn’t see the interview, but I agree, our Govt has a lot of questions to answer regarding refugees. Where are the 12,000 they agreed to take from Syria? We can’t hide from these global problems and our pollies need to be more transparent.

      • Sandy Balfour  

        Totally agree with Angie and John. If they have nothing to hide give details!

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Oh John I agree totally, Turnbull should answer the questions that Lisa put to him. Turnbull is the worst PM ever and the sooner he goes the better for Australian people.

  3. Bruce  

    We need to get some down to earth real people into politics instead of the condescending, evasive talking heads we have now.

  4. Bill  

    The gist of the above was on the numbers involved. Turnbull has spoken to the Americans but it is up to them to say how many they will take. Pretty ordinary from the interviewer.

  5. The watcher  

    Well said John. This lot misrepresent, lie and obfuscate on every matter.

  6. Lindsay Gordon  

    they are happy to answer dorothy dix questions from the media they control but when asked something hard they can’t or wont answer as it might make them look bad, you might not like Dan Andrews but at least he answers the hard questions.

  7. Maggie  

    I am afraid that Malcolm Turnbull is totally out of touch with reality, politions are obliged to reply to the media, after all they are a very closed book and we entrust OUR country to be run by the politions, they have an obligation to keep us intouch with what they are doing. (To a degree)

  8. paul  

    Whilst it was nice from Ch9 (Lisa) to seemingly grill Lemon Turd, from memory this same channel was very much involved in keeping and advocating immigrants coming to Australia. Summing up this interview as a “Selfie”. Bad journalism Lisa, try to be independent from Ch9 will get you know where…So don’t try to score points.

  9. Dianne  

    Good for her, so he was uncomfortable, if he can’t handle a tough interview he is in the wrong job, (suck it up princess). Different when he is giving speeches about low income people.

  10. If Lisa Wilkinson could be even handed in her questioning she would have more respect as a jouralist. The questions that she has directed at Greens and Labor have all been Dorothy Dixers. On the other hand Malcolm Turnbull behaves the same way as all politicians. What message did he get from all the recent elections. It appears that all Australian politicians are counting on Australian’s reputation for apathy. How well do they know the electrolate?

  11. The question I would like him to answer is how he got me to believe in him in the first place and why did I think he was any more honest than Abbot.

  12. Charles  

    What do you expect from Wilkinson ? Her and her husband, the man with the red bandana, are both typical lefties.

    • Pam Nicholls  

      Charles, don’t be so ignorant.

    • Pamela  

      You got that right, Charles!

      Pam Nicholls, check the mirror when calling people ignorant!

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