Hanson caught ‘questioning’ Port Arthur
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has been caught on hidden camera appearing to suggest the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, where a gunman shot and killed 35 people at the Tasmanian former prison colony, was a government conspiracy.
In one video released by the news network, Senator Hanson is secretly filmed saying she has "a lot of questions" about Port Arthur.
"An MP said it would actually take a massacre in Tasmania to change the gun laws in Australia," Senator Hanson tells Rodger Muller, an Al Jazeera journalist who for three years pretended to be the leader of a fictitious firearm advocate group called Gun Rights Australia, an identity he established to infiltrate One Nation.
"Haven't you heard that? Have a look at it. It was said on the floor of parliament."
In another piece of footage, Senator Hanson is sitting with her chief of staff James Ashby when they discuss other conspiracy theories.
"That whole September 11 thing, too," Mr Ashby says, immediately after the group brought up the MPs comments about Port Arthur.
"Those shots. They were precision shots," Senator Hanson responds.
"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 footage was created by Muller.
Australia has some of the strictest gun laws in the world after the Howard Government introduced The National Firearms Agreement in 1996 in response to the killings at Port Arthur.
One Nation's James Ashby and Steve Dickson have both fronted the cameras to explain their conduct in the undercover footage taken by Al Jazeera, which showed them meeting members of the American gun lobby.
The pair were the central figures in Al Jazeera's undercover investigation.
They were recorded talking about the potential benefit if they were to get millions of dollars in foreign donations through the National Rifle Association (NRA). They suggested they could use the funding to weaken Australia's gun laws.
Ms Hanson is yet to speak to reporters, with news.com.au today confirming the One Nation leader is "unrecognisable" due to a tick biting her on the face.
Via Twitter, Senator Hanson broke her silence this afternoon, saying she was "disgusted" by the news publication's piece.
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
News.com.au has approached Senator Hanson for comment regarding her appearance in the Al Jazeera footage.
In more hidden camera footage, she told the fake gun rights advocate she had to take "baby steps" to get the issue of firearms discussed in Australian parliament.
"I go on my gut feeling and it's really to do with the gun issue and tied up with the American issue at the moment," Senator Hanson said.
"It is not going to be good for me in the first place. I have to actually take baby steps and I have to get more people elected to parliament which I will after the next federal election. Get more people elected and then these are things that can be looked at.
"At the moment, they will use everything they possibly can because they see me as the biggest threat against them and they will do whatever they can."
In a press conference today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison lashed One Nation and called on Australians to vote for the Coalition instead of minor parties.
"These are not parties of government, they're parties of grievance. And what we're about is actually responding to, listening to and meeting these concerns, which are very legitimate, that have been raised by people who are considering voting for these minor parties," Mr Morrison said.
"Don't vote One Nation. Don't vote One Nation. Don't vote for any of the other minor parties or the independents. Vote for the party that can actually deliver."