Renegade billionaire Clive Palmer says he will take legal action against Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews over “outrageous lies” he has purchased a car once owned by Adolf Hitler.
It was widely reported that Mr Palmer had purchased the reviled Nazi leader’s iconic 1939 770 Grosser Offener Tourenwagen Mercedes-Benz from a Russian billionaire.
It prompted a wave of political outrage, with Ms Andrews demanding an explanation from the mining magnate.
“If an individual contravenes our sanctions regime, there will be serious consequences under Australian law. The bottom line is: No one gets a special deal, and the rules apply to all,” she said earlier this week.
“The government absolutely condemns any glorification of Nazi history and neo-Nazi extremist activity in Australia.”
Mr Palmer immediately hit back on social media to dismiss the claims as “fake news” before launching legal action.
“These career politicians have all been sucked in by incompetent journalists reporting fake news,” Mr Palmer said on Friday.
“I have not purchased a car that belonged to Adolf Hitler.
“These outrageous lies have caused considerable damage to my reputation, and I will be bringing the people responsible to account through the courts.”
The litigious billionaire is already suing Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan for defamation.
Mr Palmer claims Mr McGowan’s public comments, including labelling him the “enemy of Western Australia”, made in July 2020, damaged the Queensland businessman’s reputation.
Mr McGowan has lodged a counter-claim claiming the United Australia Party leader and aspiring Senate candidate defamed him in several interviews.
Mr Palmer said the extraordinary attacks highlighted how out of touch politicians had become.
“The Liberal-Labor alliance is struggling for relevance and … are too busy engaging in mud-slinging and pushing lies to damage the reputation of anybody who threatens to upset the status quo.”