Labor senator Sam Dastyari has apologised and admitted he made a "mistake" after he was caught out getting a Chinese company to pay his personal bills.
But under intense questioning, Dastyari would not confirm what was said at the press conference about the South China Sea, suggesting there was a possibility he "misspoke" about the issue.
The federal government has been calling on Dastyari to be sacked over the scandal, with attorney general George Brandis claiming it's a "test" for opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Shorten is standing by Labor's consumer affairs spokesman, who is also a powerful NSW Labor numbers man, calling him a "junior senator" who made an "imprudent decision".
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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