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Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 15:22 | SYDNEY
Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 15:22 | SYDNEY

Rudd's ship of state not leaking from the top?

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29 October 2008 09:27

So the White House denies that President Bush asked Prime Minister Rudd, in the course of a recent phone conversation about the financial crisis, to explain what the G20 was.

The Age rather gleefully reports this story today, presumably because it was their competitor, The Australian, which got the scoop on Saturday (I wrote a short post about it on Monday). The Australian's report was unsourced, but The Age surmises today that, given the level of detail about the conversation, 'it must have been informed by sources close to the PM.' Maybe, but it didn't necessarily come from Rudd's office, as transcripts of such conversations routinely make their way around the bureaucracy and to other ministers.

One reason to think Rudd's staff may not have leaked in this case is that the motivation does not quite fit. Clearly the broad tone of the piece in The Australian made Rudd look very good; firm, statesmanlike and standing up for Australia. But if Rudd's office leaked the conversation, why would they include that line about Bush's ignorance of the G20? How does it help Rudd to embarrass an important foreign leader so publicly?

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