The Courier-Mail

Rudd says he never asked for Clinton call

- STEVEN SCOTT

KEVIN Rudd has denied he sought a “sympatheti­c call” from Hillary Clinton after he was rolled as prime minister in 2010.

An angry Mr Rudd lashed out at the claims as “bullshit” and said that if any of his staff had sought a call from Mrs Clinton they did so without his knowledge.

Former US ambassador Jeffrey Bleich wrote in an email on June 30, 2010, just six days after the leadership change, that one of Mr Rudd’s aides had suggested Mrs Clinton phone him.

Mr Bleich said Mr Rudd’s staff member called embassy official Edgard Kagan and “noted that Rudd had not heard from S (Secretary Clinton), and would have hoped for a sympatheti­c call”.

The email was contained in a batch of more than 7000 pages related to Mrs Clinton that was released by the US State Department amid an investigat­ion over her use of a personal email that has dogged her campaign for the Democratic presidenti­al nomination.

Mr Rudd’s office released a statement last night denying he sought a call from Mrs Clinton at the time.

“If any staff member made such a request of the US ambassador, then they did not do so with Mr Rudd’s authority or at his request,” the statement said. “By that stage, Mr Rudd had already had a long conversati­on with President Obama which was initiated by the president.”

The former PM last night said the claim was “total nonsense”.

“If you read the email it doesn’t say that. If any person from my then-staff indicated that, they did so without my authorisat­ion,” he told The Australian newspaper’s correspond­ent while he was in New Delhi, India. Mr Rudd said he counted Mrs Clinton as a friend and had “lost count of the number of times I have seen her”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia