Scott Morrison’s repudiation of the violence erupting in Washington DC has been rubbished by Labor in a social media post declaring “it’s the company you keep.”
Featuring an image of the Prime Minister grinning with outgoing US President Donald Trump and giving the thumbs up, the post has sparked division among voters with some urging the ALP to “delete this”.
One user Bellz Webster wrote: “Don’t talk shi*t. This was before all this crap and no decent politician would treat another President or PM from another country with disrespect no matter whether he liked them or not. You are just backstabbing for political gain. I am not re-newing my Labor membership.”
But another responded: “Good for you. I’m going to renew mine. He was never any president. 100% grifter, all the way. They can both go into the rubbish bin of history.”
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke responded to the tweet saying it was “poor form”.
“It’s what every Australian PM has done, regardless of party or issues: work with each US administration for Australia’s national interest with our key ally,” Mr Hawke tweeted.
Mr Morrison condemned the acts of violence in Washington DC, urging the US President to facilitate the “peaceful transfer” of power to a new President.
“Very distressing scenes at the US Congress,’’ he said.
“We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition.”
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Earlier, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a more strongly worded attack on the outgoing US President and “the mob” laying siege to US democracy.
“Today’s mob violence at the Capitol is the culmination of Trump’s sustained assault on American democracy,’’ Mr Turnbull said.
“The President should call on the mob he incited to disperse and go home. And Trump’s supporters in the GOP and the media should reflect on what they have enabled.”
Mr Turnbull also retweeted former US President Barack Obama’s white house staffer Ben Rhodes claim that the US President should be removed from office
“This man needs to be removed from office. He is leading an insurrection against American democracy,’’ he wrote.
Mr Rhodes also claimed that today was a day of shame that would delight Russia’s leadership.
“This is the day that Vladimir Putin has waited for since he had to leave East Germany as a young KGB officer at the end of the Cold War,’’ Mr Rhodes wrote.
The chorus of condemnation from Australian conservative political leaders also including former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett who said President Trump’s actions were disgraceful.
“You can judge the calibre of a person, not when they win, but when they lose,’’ he wrote.
“We are fortunate in Aus, after an election invariably the losers regardless of their personal pain, accept the result, and society moves on. Pres Trump is a disgrace to all those he had the honour to lead.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the terrifying scenes in the United States were an “assault on the rule of law.”
“Democracy is precious and cannot be taken for granted – the violent insurrection in Washington is an assault on the rule of law and democracy. Donald Trump has encouraged this response and must now call on his supporters to stand down,’’ he said.