back to top

Government MP Deleted Tweets Defending Putin Because They Were A "Distraction"

"I think Russia is demonised unfairly..."

Posted on

"I deleted them as it was a distraction and people were misinterpreting my views," Christensen said.

"I have said I believe MH17 was shot down by Russian-backed Ukranian separatists and yet tweets still kept coming at me for apparently doubting that."

"I don't doubt it."

Labor MP Tim Watts told BuzzFeed News Christensen's tweets were a sign of the growing popularity of far right websites like Breitbart and Infowars among conservative politicians.

"The post-fact politics that is currently assaulting American democracy through outlets like Infowars and Breitbart, now seems to be migrating to Australia through MPs like the Member for Dawson and a number of conservative columnists," Watts said.

"We've seen this kind of post-fact politics in the US and we don't want it here in Australia."

Christensen said no-one in the government had spoken to him about the tweets before he decided to delete them.

"Why I deleted it is that Russian relations is not a core issue of mine."

"My opinion on that really doesn't matter given the government has a different view and, despite what they say about my influence, I'm not about to change foreign policy."

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.