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One Nation defiant over NRA gun scandal

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Pauline Hanson has refused to take responsibility for questioning whether the Port Arthur massacre was a government conspiracy because she made the comments in private.

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The One Nation leader said her heart went out to the victims, but Al Jazeera was to blame for broadcasting hidden camera footage of her saying there was “a lot of questions” about the 1996 shootings.

“My comments were made at a dinner table, never made publicly. This is not my doing to have exposed this,” she told Nine’s Today program in an interview broadcast today.

“It was Al Jazeera and an undercover agent. I’m sorry for these people. They shouldn’t have to go through this again.”

Hanson is now adamant Port Arthur was not a government conspiracy, arguing she was taken out of context.

“An MP said it would actually take a massacre in Tasmania to change the gun laws in Australia,” she told Al Jazeera undercover reporter Rodger Muller.

“I’ve read a lot and I have read the book on it, Port Arthur. A lot of questions there.”

The second part of the Al Jazeera investigation was broadcast nationally on the ABC last night and was available online throughout the day.

But Hanson claims she hasn’t watched it, despite arguing the footage was an elaborate stitch-up orchestrated by the Qatari network.

One Nation’s Queensland leader Steve Dickson and Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby were caught meeting with powerful gun lobby groups and talking about getting millions in donations from them.

In the footage, Dickson and Ashby spoke on multiple occasions about ways to water down Australia’s gun laws, but Hanson is sticking by two of her closest lieutenants.

“Steve said some stupid things or inappropriate things, but I know Steve. Steve is a family man,” she said.

“He’s a good man and Steve Dickson would never ever want to water down the gun laws in Australia, the same as I won’t.”

She “categorically” ruled out supporting any changes to Australia’s gun laws.

The Queensland senator also lashed Prime Minister Scott Morrison for vowing to put One Nation below Labor on Liberal how-to-vote cards at the May election.

“He is a fool because he’s fallen into the trap of what the Labor Party and the Greens want, because he’s just handed the keys to them for the Lodge,” she Hanson said.

-AAP

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