Credlin’s extraordinary radio interview
Peta Credlin wants the world to know exactly what she thinks of her former boss, ex-Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull … and it's not much.
The former political adviser gave an extraordinary radio interview on Thursday, telling 2GB's Ben Fordham that Mr Turnbull "has no moral compass" and declaring: "I've never met a more reprehensible human being".
The comments come four days out from the release of Mr Turnbull's memoir, A Bigger Picture, which reportedly takes aim at former colleagues including Scott Morrison, Julia Bishop and Peter Dutton.
Ms Credlin said the timing of the book's release - during a global crisis - was "the measure of a man".
"Politics requires intelligence and, to be fair to Malcolm Turnbull, there were genuine flashes of brilliance," she said.
"Way back when, when he was a backbencher, but you need a lot more than that. You've got to have a work ethic. He had none. You've got to have temperament. He certainly did not have that.
"You've got to have judgment and just the mere timing of this book … and I've just watched the Prime Minister's press conference. Regardless of whether you voted for Scott Morrison or not, you can't fault the way he's doing his best to get Australia through this crisis. And this bloke lobs a grenade like this at the party which gave him the honour of leading it.
"I just think it says everything about Turnbull. And more, actually, the book says everything about Turnbull's character rather than the character, I have to say, of the people he attacks, which … he even gave Julie Bishop, his supposed friend, a slap."
Asked whether Mr Turnbull "crosses a line" in the book by revealing private messages, Credlin responded: "I don't think he crosses a line that Malcolm would believe he crossed.
"I think common decency … most other people would say he's crossed a line but he has no moral compass. I worked for him for a year when he was leader of the opposition … and I've never met a more reprehensible human being, I have to say that. And politics is a pretty grubby business.
"There was no honour in Turnbull. There was nothing that was ever said to him in confidence where confidences were maintained."
The book discusses the 2019 election that put Mr Morrison in power. Mr Turnbull says the Prime Minister portrayed himself as "the daggy dad" from the suburbs to get across the line.
"He's a professional politician who understands marketing and messaging better than most," he writes in his memoir.
"His cringe-worthy 'daggy dad' persona is more exaggerated than it is conflated, but in net terms it probably helped.
"All that aside, however, the truth is that Labor lost the election that the coalition, after the August coup, did not deserve to win."
Asked to address his former colleague's comments, Mr Morrison told a press conference this afternoon: "I'm not interested in any distractions. I'm interested in the health and wellbeing of Australians."
Mr Turnbull describes Mr Dutton, the coup leader, as a "narcissist" and "self-delusional" for thinking he could be prime minister. Mr Dutton is going to give the book a miss.
"I wish Mr Turnbull all the best in his retirement and I'm not going into a tit for tat," he told 2GB radio on Thursday.
Originally published as Credlin's extraordinary radio interview