Donald Trump’s son has attacked Labor senator Kristina Keneally’s push to ban from Australia a conservative commentator who urged a female politician to “tape her legs together”.
Donald Trump Jr weighed in on the controversy on Twitter overnight, describing Labor’s calls for a visa ban for 33-year old British activist Raheem Kassam as “insanity”.
“We have Big Tech constantly trying to silence conservatives and now one of the major political parties in Australia is trying to silence Raheem Kassam because of his conservative views. This insanity needs to stop!” Mr Trump tweeted.
Mr Kassam once called for Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to have her legs taped shut “so she can’t reproduce”, and to have her mouth taped too.
During a live television debate on the EU referendum, he tweeted: “Can someone just like . . . tape Nicola Sturgeon’s mouth shut? And her legs, so she can’t reproduce. Thanks.”
Mr Kassam, a former adviser to Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, later claimed he played a “character online” and said he was not aware Ms Sturgeon had at the time recently miscarried a baby.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has described Mr Kassam’s remarks as appalling, but the Morrison government does not propose to ban him from entering the country.
Mr Kassam has been invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Sydney this weekend. It will also feature Mr Farage, former PM Tony Abbott, former deputy PM John Anderson and Sky News personalities, including Peta Credlin, Rowan Dean, Gary Hardgraves and Daisy Cousens.
On Thursday, Senator Keneally traded blows with Mr Trump Jr and Mr Kassam on Twitter.
“Mr Trump, please know that Scott Morrison’s government banned Milo Yiannopoulos from entering the country in March, David Icke in February, and Gavin McInnes in November last year,” she tweeted.
Please know that @ScottMorrisonMP's Government banned Milo Yiannopoulos from entering the country in March, David Icke in February, and Gavin McInnes in November last year.
— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) July 31, 2019
In response, Mr Kassam called Senator Keneally “a fascist”.
“Bub, if you believed in democracy you’d campaign against things like that,” he said.
“But per your anti-free speech stance, we know you’re a fascist anyway.
You couldn’t win elections so you took an anti-democratic position!
“You’re a fraud and a failure and I’m coming to Australia.”
Australia’s elected government has granted me a visa.@KKeneally is not in government. Didn’t even win an election to win her Senate seat.
You don’t seem to understand much about how government works 🤡 https://t.co/ON0Ezn7lRJ
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) July 31, 2019
Labor leader Anthony Albanese backs a ban on Mr Kassam.
“We make no apologies for saying that there’s no place in Australia to import hate speech. Hate speech is divisive for Australia and it has no place,” Mr Albanese said.
“This is someone who’s an extremist, and we make no apologies for Kristina Keneally’s statements.”
Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen also agreed with Labor’s stance.
“I think Penny Wong, Kristina Keneally, Pat Dodson have done a great job highlighting the fact, firstly: that Liberal-National party figures are sharing the stage with purveyors of hate speech at this conference, I believe it’s next week,” he said.