The Australian diplomat whose tip ignited the FBI’s probe into potential Russian meddling within the 2016 election has had an illustrious political profession at dwelling.
Alexander Downer, Australia’s prime diplomat in Britain, is most notably identified for posing with fishnet stockings and sporting a leopard print stiletto for a charity promotion in 1996.
However the former international affairs minister not too long ago made headlines after a New York Occasions report revealed ex-Trump international coverage adviser George Papadopoulos boasted to Downer concerning the Russians having grime on Hillary Clinton throughout a drunken evening out in London in Might 2016.
Particular counsel Robert Mueller is now dealing with the investigation. Papadopoulos finally pleaded responsible to mendacity to the FBI and is cooperating within the case. Right here’s a take a look at Downer’s profession.
The Iraq Conflict
Downer was a powerful supporter of the Iraq Conflict and likewise backed the U.S. after the Sept. 11 terror assaults. He referred to as on Australia to behave alongside its ally in the course of the warfare.
“I can not in conscience ignore the file of Saddam Hussein is a ruthless tyrant who tries nonetheless — within the face of concerted worldwide stress — to retain and develop essentially the most evil of weapons,” Downer mentioned in a speech to Parliament.
“Because the Overseas Minister of our nice nation, I can’t be remembered for turning my again on such evil and permitting the specter of Saddam to hang-out future generations,” he added.
He joked that his Liberal social gathering’s home violence coverage needs to be “the issues that batter” as a substitute of “the issues that matter.” The joke evidently price him an opportunity at being prime minister within the 1990s.
Downer as soon as referred to as Australia’s international affairs secretary Richard Woolcott, who was vital of Australia’s involvement within the Iraq Conflict, a “loser” at Melbourne’s airport.
“Yelling above the heads of the opposite vacationers, Downer referred to as out to the again of Woolcott’s head, ‘Loser!’ he instructed me later,” reporter Peter Hartcher wrote of the encounter. “Then I ducked down shortly in case he circled and noticed me.’ In recounting the story, Downer appeared to suppose it a really humorous factor to do.”
East Timor spying allegations
After his exit from politics, Downer served as a United Nations envoy to Cyprus to revive peace within the nation.
East Timor’s authorities alleged that Australia had spied on the Asian nation in 2004 whereas negotiating over oil and gasoline. Downer referred to as the declare “opportunistic.”