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Did Scott Morrison call Sam Dastyari 'Shanghai Sam'?

The PM has denied the claim multiple times.

The Prime Minister has once again been quizzed over his 'Shanghai Sam' comments, but has said he's "not aware of the claim you are referring to" - despite previously admitting to it.

In 2017, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari announced his resignation from Parliament over alleged links to the Chinese Government - after months of pressure from the Coalition & within his party.

As the ABC reported at the time, the allegations "piled up over the last year."

"The best service I can render to the federal parliamentary Labor Party is to not return to the Senate in 2018," Dastyari said.

Then-Treasurer Scott Morrison was one of many who had been calling for the Labor Senator to go - declaring in a 2016 tweet that "Shanghai Sam needs to go."

A video was also posted to his Facebook page using the same phrase.

During a 2019 press conference, Morrison was asked about his previous comments amid questions about Liberal MP Gladys Liu's alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party.

According to SBS, the PM was asked "why was it racist to question Gladys Liu’s connections to China but it wasn’t racist to call Sam Dastyari 'Shanghai Sam'?"

"I didn’t use either of those phrases," he responded.

As we just reported, he did use the phrase in 2016, and also in 2017 - where he claimed that "under Bill Shorten, Labor is the choice of the same old self interested politics - vested interests, special deals, protecting the big unions and their big deals with big business that work against workers, machine politics, Shanghai Sam, John Setka and the CFMEU."

Later, he told 2GB Radio that "of course I remember saying Shanghai Sam," adding that he was "referring to the word racist that I heard twice in the question and I've got to say my focus was on the bushfires."

Today, Morrison responded to questions by Labor about his comments, saying that he's "not aware of the claim you are referring to and I won't take it at face value."

It comes after the PM said he "believed" he has never lied in public life - but as we reported, that itself could be a lie.


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