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October 22, 2019
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Australian PM asked to release transcript of call with US president about Mueller probe

CANBERRA, Australia: Labor party has intensified demands for the Australian prime minister to release the transcript of the conversation with US president regarding Mueller probe while accusing Scott Morrison of undermining Australia’s national interest.

Morrison’s call with US President Donald Trump attracted international attention after it was revealed the US President asked for the former’s help to in investigate the origins of the Mueller probe into the Russian election interference.

Australia’s former high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, had triggered the initial FBI investigation into Trump’s links with Russia, even before Scott Morrison became Prime Minister.

“The Prime Minister needs to explain what exactly went on here. He needs to release any transcript or information which is out there,” Labor leader Anthony Albanese said.

“The Prime Minister needs to make a full statement and not say ‘this is just gossip’, [and] not give one of his usual prevarications.”

PM Office confirmed yesterday that the premier had agreed to assist the US Justice Department and Attorney-General William Barr with his inquiry while on call with President Trump in September.

Few weeks after the call, PM Morrison travelled to the United States to meet the US president in Washington.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has defended Australia’s handling of Donald Trump’s request.

“I don’t see it as Australia being dragged into a US political issue,” she said.

“We’re conducting ourselves as you would expect us to do in these circumstances — we are working in Australia’s interests.”

Senator Payne reiterated Australia was ready to co-operate as appropriate, however she did not give details on exactly what that would involve.