Foreign Affairs says One Nation requested for Trump inauguration invitation

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Pauline Hanson One Nation Party
Australian politician and leader of the One Nation Party Pauline Hanson holds an election placard as she stands with supporters during a function on election night in the city of Ipswich, west of Brisbane, Australia, July 2, 2016. AAP/Dan Peled/Reuters

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has spilled that the Donald Trump inauguration invitation given to One Nation was due to multiple requests from Senator Malcolm Roberts. On Tuesday, Senator Brian Burston said the ticket was from US Republican Adam Kinzinger, a congressman from Illinois.

Buzzfeed reported on Wednesday that Kinzinger has not sent an invitation directly to One Nation. A spokesperson for Kinzinger revealed that their office got a request from Australia’s embassy.

“As such, we have given the tickets to the embassy to use as they wish,” Kinzinger’s spokesperson said. It was also made clear that Kinzinger does not endorse any political party in Australia.

One Nation’s federal leader Pauline Hanson took to Twitter on Monday to announce that she has been gifted tickets to the inauguration ceremony of the US president-elect. However, she has sent Burston in her stead.

“Following multiple requests from Senator [Malcolm] Roberts, the embassy in Washington asked a number of congressional offices if they had any spare tickets available,” the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Guardian Australia in a statement. On Jan.13, Kinzinger’s office advised they had two tickets available.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has addressed Hanson’s claim that she was given tickets to the inauguration ceremony of Trump and the fact that he did not receive an invitation. The prime minister told in a radio interview with ABC Brisbane on Tuesday that his understanding was it was not the practice to invite foreign leaders such as himself.

Turnbull also clarified that he “wouldn’t lose a moment’s sleep” if a One Nation parliamentarian had the chance to attend the event. The prime minister appeared indecisive of what the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed, that Australia’s ambassador, Joe Hockey, would attend the Trump inauguration. He said Hockey would attend if other diplomats did.

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