‘I myself would shirtfront Putin’: Craig Kelly apologises for MH17 comments
Liberal MP Craig Kelly has apologised to the families of MH17 victims but insists his comments about the tragedy have been taken out of context.
The government backbencher yesterday suggested Russia’s role in the air disaster should be “slightly overlooked”, in order to improve global relations.
Mr Kelly’s comments were in response to a social media post by Anthony Maslin, the father of MH17 victims Mo (14), Evie (11) and Otis (9).
In an emotional message addressed to US President Donald Trump, Mr Maslin slammed the friendly treatment of Russian President Vladamir Putin at the Helsinki Summit.
“It’s not anger that I feel towards the two of you, its something much, much worse. It’s pity.
You have no empathy for your fellow man, and you clearly have no idea what love is. So you have nothing.”
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Kelly insensitively hosed down criticism of Donald Trump.
“The reality is, nothing’s going to bring those three kids back.
It’s best, in my opinion, that the leader of the USA and the leader of Russia at least have a good talking relationship.
And if that means some of the things Russia has gotten away with in the past has to be slightly looked over, well I’m sorry that’s the price that we have to pay.”
.@CraigKellyMP: We can’t fix things that’s happened in the past.
It is best if the leaders US and Russia have a good talking relationship, if that means looking over things Russia has done in the past then that’s the price we pay.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) July 18, 2018
The comments have drawn widespread criticism, including from Macquarie Radio’s Steve Price.
Mr Kelly joined Steve to apologise but claims he has been taken out of context.
“I apologise for any offence that he may have taken from my comments however some of the reporting of this overnight and this morning has been taken completely out of context.
“I agree that Russia should be condemned but my comments were in respect of the criticism of the meeting between President Trump and President Putin.”
When pushed, Mr Kelly eventually confirmed his desire for Russia to be held accountable by the world.
“I myself would love to be able to shirtfront Putin and admonish him for the conduct Russia has been involved in. Not only MH17 but many other things.”
Click PLAY below for the full interview with Craig Kelly