Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stands by his phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump as a “simple granting of a very reasonable request” to a “trusted and respected ally.”
Asked about the exchange after delivering a lecture in Sydney on Thursday night, the prime minister said it was all totally “unremarkable.”
“It wouldn’t matter which president was conducting this investigation … it would be extraordinary for a prime minister to deny what was a very straightforward request,” SBS News reports.
He noted “we’re not the subject of the investigation” and “it’s a matter for U.S. domestic politics.”
Morrison broached the subject of the call after it was revealed Trump asked him to assist Attorney General William Barr in tracking down information regarding the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into now-debunked collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump also asked Morrison to examine his country’s tips to the FBI to determine whether they were tainted by political bias.
Morrison’s office previously affirmed its commitment to assist the Trump administration with its request for information about the Mueller probe.
“The Australian government has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation,” a statement released earlier this week said. “The PM confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the president.”
Last night Morrison revisited the issue to put any doubts to rest over its nature. He also talked up both his relationship with Trump and Australia’s relationship with the U.S. more broadly.
“Our alliance with the United States is our past, our present and our future. It is the bedrock of our security,” he said.