Sting operation catches One Nation seeking funds from US pro-gun groups

 smh.com.au  03/25/2019 19:59:00 

A screengrab from the footage.

A screengrab from the footage.Credit:Al Jazeera

Ashby says they should aim higher and try to raise $20 million.

Ashby and Dickson agree that with that amount of money they could seize the balance of power in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

"If we could get that amount of money, imagine: we could change Australia," Dickson says.

"You'd have the whole government by the balls."

In a meeting with representatives from Koch Industries, a leading funder of US conservative causes. Dickson is recorded saying: "It's going to get down to money at the end of the day.

"We can change the voting system in our country, the way people operate, if we've got the money to do it.

"The ingredients are there, we just don't have the petrol to put in the engine.

"So whatever you can do would be fantastic."

Dickson is filmed telling pro-gun advocates that Australia has been importing "dangerous" Muslims who break into people's homes with baseball bats and steal everything they own.

"Our country's going into chaos," he says.

Ashby is filmed saying it would "f---ing rock the boat" if One Nation's meetings with US pro-gun were made public.

The meetings took place just before the Australian Parliament banned foreign donations.

Al Jazeera does not present evidence that One Nation ended up receiving funds from the NRA, Koch Industries or other US groups.

In a meeting filmed before Dickson's trip to the US, he tells Muller that he wants him to help gain support from the NRA for One Nation.

"This is about getting a political wing in Australia that can actually work hand in glove with the United States and the way the United States thinks," Dickson says.

An attendee holds a rifle at the company's booth during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Dallas last year.

An attendee holds a rifle at the company's booth during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Dallas last year.Credit:Bloomberg

"I want to be in bed with the United States.

"I say that unashamedly and I don't think Pauline's too much different."

In one meeting the NRA's media liaison Lars Dalseide offers Ashby and Dickson advice on what to say to gun control advocates after a mass shooting.

"How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?" Dalseide advises. "Just shame them to the whole idea."

One Nation's Queensland leader Steve Dickson appears in an Al Jazeera video seeking donations from the US pro-gun lobby.

One Nation's Queensland leader Steve Dickson appears in an Al Jazeera video seeking donations from the US pro-gun lobby. Credit:Al Jazeera

He continues: "It's like, 'If you, if your policy, isn't good enough to stand on itself, how dare you use their deaths to push that forward?!'"

Ashby responds: "That's very good, very strong."

NRA lobbyist Brandi Graham is filmed telling Ashby and Dickson it would be "very beneficial" for the US pro-gun movement if they are able to relax Australia's gun laws.

"That helps us because the biggest argument we get from folks is, 'Well look at Australia.'"

One Nation has not responded to the documentary, which aired on Sunday night.

Muller's three-year undercover operation was so elaborate that he set up a pro-gun rights group named Gun Rights Australia with a detailed website.

On it he describes himself as a "family man, a successful business man and rural property owner".

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