Wild footage emerges of Peter Costello knocking journalist to the ground

Nine chairman Peter Costello has denied shirt-jumping a journalist at Canberra airport and forcing him to the floor during a behind-doors interview.

Australia’s longest-serving treasurer declined to answer a reporter’s questions as he walked around the airport on Thursday afternoon.

But witnesses compared the former Liberal deputy leader’s figure to that of a “sumo wrestler” after the 6′ 4″ (1.93m) former MP got up close and personal with journalist Liam Mendes, who works for Australian.

It follows outrage over allegations of bullying and harassment that have engulfed Nine and a complaint over the conduct of former news chief Darren Wick.

There were no charges against the president personally.

When Mr Mendes grilled him about the issue at the airport, Mr Costello told a passerby “good to see you” before appearing to approach the reporter’s camera.

“No, no,” says the reporter before falling back.

The reporter then crashes to the ground, falling on his back.

Mr. Costello, who is seen standing over Mendes, then turns and leaves as the reporter lies on the ground.

The reporter then crashes to the ground and falls back saying, “You just attacked me.”

A man can be heard laughing as Mendes lies on the tiled airport floor.

The Nine Chairman was in the nation’s capital for the launch of Nine’s newly refurbished Canberra office in the press gallery.

Mr Costello told reporters in Parliament that any suggestion he should resign was “rubbish” and that he had not “laid the finger” on the journalist.

“When I passed him, he stepped back into the billboard and fell. I didn’t hit him. If he’s upset about it, I’m sorry. But I didn’t hit him,” Mr Costello told Nine newspaper.

“I wasn’t angry. Like you here, if you’re walking back and there’s a poster behind you, you can walk into it. I’ve seen it happen a million times, I’ve seen it here in Parliament a million times, journalists back into the posts and they fall over,” he said.

Mr. Costello flatly rejected any suggestion that he had attacked the reporter.

“This is not an attack. As I said before, he was going back. He hit a billboard. I didn’t lay a finger or a fist or anything.”

Mr. Costello was approached by Mendes, who works for Australianon Thursday afternoon, with videos showing him asking Nine’s president a series of questions.

“Mr Costello. My name is Liam Mendes, from The Australian, do you support Mike Sneesby as CEO and his handling of the Darren Wick saga?” he asks,

“Did you know about the allegations against Mr. Wick before he left Nine?”

As we continue to bombard him with questions, Mr. Costello does not answer.

Mendes then asks, “You have to answer the questions, Mr. Costello..”

Shortly after, Mr. Costello appears to make physical contact with Mendes, who is heard saying, “No, no,” before falling to the ground.

Once Mendes gets to his feet, he continues the pursuit out of the airport and into the parking lot.

“Journalists who have worked for Nine approach people in this way every day,” he said.

“Mr. Costello, you can’t do that, you can’t do that, it’s all on camera,” the reporter said.

Witness Mark O’Hare, who was at the airport, told Mendes he saw Mr Costello make contact with the reporter.

“I just saw this guy attack … and then I saw him (Mendes) on the ground with his s**ts all over the place and then (Costello) just continued on his way and walked away,” he said.

Mr O’Hare described Mr Costello as “a bloody big guy, I didn’t realize how big he was.”

“He flew through (at Mendes) like a sumo wrestler,” Mr O’Hare said.

Another man passing by said he witnessed the incident.

“I was just outside having a smoke out front,” he said.

When asked if he was OK, Mendes said, “I’m just a little shaken up.”

As Nine’s president got into his car, Mendes asked: “Is this behavior really appropriate for a working journalist?”

Presenter Steve Price told Sky News that the video was disturbing.

“Peter Costello will have to come out and explain why he felt it necessary to physically get in Liam Mendes’ face in particular,” he said.

“I mean, we’ve all lived our whole lives with A Current Affair. Channel 9… cameramen and videographers do exactly that every day of the week. Is there a bit of an argument here?’

Journalist Sophie Elsworth said the footage “speaks for itself”.

“Just to clear a few things up. Liam Mendes is a very good reporter for The Australian and he was doing his job today,” she said.

“It’s a contact. The video speaks for itself.

“That justifies Nina’s answers now.”

A spokeswoman for Nine denied that Mr. Costello deliberately pushed the reporter.

“After arriving at Canberra airport, the president was confronted by a reporter from The Australian,” spokeswoman Victoria Buchan said.

“While filming the president while walking backwards, the journalist hit an advertising poster and fell. At no time did the president hit a journalist.”

Mr Costello is the father of Nine journalist Seb Costello, who rose to fame on A Current Affair in a number of walking interviews, including high-profile AFL agent Ricky Nixon, who Nine accused of “attacking” A Current Affair. a journalist on the street.

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