Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been asked numerous times whether he tried to get his ‘mentor’, Hillsong church ‘pastor’ Brian Houston an invitation to the Rose Garden soiree at the White House, but each time he has refused to answer. The story was initially reported in the US media (Wall Street Journal), but it took a while for the Australian media to pick the story up. Initially Morrison stated that he did not comment on gossip, but whenever else he has been asked, he has refused to answer1. He has been asked by several journalists and by the opposition in Parliament. This refusal to answer even extends to public servants in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet dodging the question. They declined to answer on the basis that it could be prejudicial to international relations2.
Think about this: If Morrison had not tried to get Houston to the White House soiree, he surely would have immediately answered the initial question in the negative. The fact that he has constantly refused to answer the question, especially in parliament, is confirmation enough that he in fact did seek to have Houston invited. If he had tried to get Houston invited, and did answer in the negative in parliament, he would run the risk of being exposed as misleading the parliament, especially as the Trump White House leaks like a sieve. Despite the fact that this government would view misleading the parliament as only a minor embarrassment, not the serious misdemeanour it should be, it would give the opposition another stick with which to beat him.
Update: As I opined above, the fact that Morrison refused to answer whether he had attempted to get Hillsong ‘pastor’ Brian Houston an invitation to the White House clearly indicated he had. Morrison has now admitted he did3. Why lie by omission in the first place? Why admit it now?