Morrison used the phrase referring to former Senator Sam Dastyari

10 Daily reports that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied claims that he used the phrase “Shanghai Sam” despite video footage of him doing so.

Morrison made the comments whilst talking about Iranian-Australian former Senator Sam Dastyari.

The PM was visiting Queensland on Friday after bushfires caused devastation in the area. There, Morrison announced that 13 weeks of government assistance payments would be available for fire victims.

Morrison was then asked about MP Gladys Liu and her ties to the Chinese Communist Party, which he did not address.

“Prime Minister why was it racist to question Gladys Liu’s connections to China but it wasn’t racist to call Sam Dastyari ‘Shanghai Sam’?” a 10 News First journalist asked the PM in Brisbane.

“I didn’t use either of those phrases, so… I think people here today are focused on the fires, not Canberra,” Morrison replied.

However, video footage from 2017 of the PM addressing Dastyari has since re-surfaced online. In the clip, Morrison says “Shanghai Sam has to go”.

Transcripts of interviews published on the treasury website also state that Morrison used the phrase “Shanghai Sam” at least eight times in 2016.

Morrison has since defended his denial, saying that he misheard the question.

“This is just another one of the silly little games that comes out of Canberra,” he said to 2GB radio. “I was referring to the word racist I heard twice in the question.”