Pauline Hanson has refused to take responsibility for the offensive comments she made suggesting the Port Arthur massacre was a conspiracy.
In an interview with Today show host Deb Knight that she sat down for right after her defiant press conference on Thursday, the One Nation leader said she felt “sorry” for victims of the shooting’s families, but fell short of apologising to them.
During that press conference, Hanson addressed her comments aired in the documentary How To Sell A Massacre, in which an undercover journalist recorded her saying there were “a lot of questions” surrounding the 1996 tragedy.
“There are comments that have been aired in relation to Port Arthur that are obviously heavily edited and do not reflect about how I feel about those tragedies that occurred in 1996,” she told the media on Thursday.
“There is no question in my mind that Martin Bryant was the only person responsible for the murders of 35 innocent lives. My belief stands today that he should have faced the death penalty.”
During her interview with the politician, which aired Friday morning, Knight asked Hanson what she would say, in particular, to Walter Mikac, who lost his wife and two daughters in the shooting.
The 64-year-old first said that her “heart goes out to” him and other victims.
“I could never imagine what it’s like to lose your whole family like that, I really can’t and under those horrific circumstances,” she continued.
However, she revealed that the person she blames for any hurt her comments caused was not herself, but the Al Jazeera journalist Roger Muller, who filmed the documentary.
“To this poor man, these people that are going through it because this has been dragged out by Al Jazeera for this to – to go through the experience again, I’m sure this is the way it feels to them.”
Knight then asked if Hanson wanted to apologise to the victims in “any way, shape or form” for her comments.
“My comments were made at a dinner table, never made publicly. This is not my doing to have exposed this my comments. It was Al Jazeera and an undercover agent,” Hanson replied.
“I’m sorry for these people. I really am sorry for them. They shouldn’t have to go through this again.”
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) March 28, 2019