Abbott's Afghanistan gaffe
In a 7News exclusive, Tony Abbott has been caught on tape making an insensitive remark about one of our fallen soldiers while visiting Afghanistan.
The vision, obtained in a 7News investigation shows Abbott in discussion with a member of the armed forces, Colonel Jim Creighton, showed Abbott discussing the circumstances of the death of an Australian soldier.
Creighton explains some details surrounding the death Lance Corporal McKinney, and rhetorically states "Was everything done perfectly? Absolutely not."
"Was it tragic? Absolutely." he continued.
After a brief pause, Abbott replies to the officer by saying "It's pretty obvious, that sometimes sh*t happens."
When confronted by the 7News team with the video Abbott froze momentarily and simply stared at reporter Mark Riley, refusing to respond to his questions.
In reply Abbott says, "Yeah look, you've taken this out of context. You weren't there.
"I would never seek to make light of the death of an Australian soldier."
"I was doing my best to support the soldier I was discussing with them.
"Look, a soldier has died and you shouldn't be trying to turn this into a subsequent media circus."
Was Tony Abbott being insensitive? Watch the raw footage below.
Shortly after the story was aired, Abbott released a statement saying that he was just trying to understand the circumstances of Lance Corporal MacKinney's death based on an email claiming the soldier had died from a lack of fire support.
"It was in this context that the firing demonstration had been arranged," Abbott said.
"In subsequent discussion, captured on film later released to Channel 7 under FOI, I agreed with the American operational commander and the Australian theatre commander that the military seemed to have more than enough available support.
"Jared’s death was more likely one of the terrible things that happen in war for which no one or nothing could necessarily be blamed," he said.
Abbott claimed that the remarks were taken out of context,
"Channel 7 sought to use this footage to accuse me of making light of Jared’s death.
"I would never do such a thing and did not," he said.
Abbott said he had sought to apologise to the widow of Lance Corporal MacKinney for the comments.