Kevin Rudd Retains ‘Australia’s Messiest PM’ Title With Another Stab At Turnbull

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is gearing up to release his new tell-all memoir, which recalls a particularly gnarly conversation with former PM Kevin Rudd.

But Rudd doesn’t think the book is gnarly enough, and has issued a serious spray at the former Liberal leader.

Taking to Twitter this afternoon, Rudd said Turnbull “once again… sanitises the truth” about their pivotal chat in 2016.

Here’s the scene: Rudd, who quit politics three years prior, wanted Turnbull’s Coalition government to nominate him for Secretary-General of the United Nations.

It was a big opportunity for Rudd, and the plan seemed to be trundling along quite well — until Turnbull gave him a buzz to say the plan was off. 

In a memoir excerpt published by The Australian, Rudd is quoted as calling Turnbull a “little fucking rat” and a “piece of shit.”

“I’m going to get you for this,” Rudd is quoted as saying.

“I’m going to come down to Australia and campaign against you in every part of the country.”

Fighting words, but Rudd now says Turnbull’s recollection was off.

“I was much more graphic in my response than this,” Rudd said on Twitter, adding a smiley face emoji for extra effect.

Turnbull reportedly uses the book to claim that both former Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and then-Foreign Minister Julie Bishop wanted to nominate Rudd, but the plan was scuppered in the final moments by none other than Scott Morrison.

In a separate tweet, Rudd added another familiar name into the mix:

Turnbull urged me to run for UN Secretary-General, he authorised Bishop to mount a full diplomatic campaign and then, at the final moment, he executed a 180-degree backflip under pressure from [Peter] Dutton and Morrison. That’s the unvarnished truth of what happened.

Rudd’s tweets prove his peerless ability to swing at his various opponents, enemies, and nemeses, and confirms that Turnbull’s book may be one of the more explosive recounts of life in Canberra in a hot minute.

Already, excerpts of the book have revealed Turnbull’s previously-unknown struggles with mental health. A sneaky peek at the book’s table of contents also revealed an entire chapter dedicated to his former right-hand man Barnaby Joyce and the infamous “bonk ban.”

The book, A Bigger Picture, hits shelves on Monday. It seems likely Rudd already has a copy ordered, and might continue sharing his amendments online.