Karl Stefanovic grills Perrottet on PM's 'fiery' call: 'Call you a ****wit?'

·4-min read

Karl Stefanovic has given incumbent NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet a grilling in his first-ever breakfast TV interview on Thursday morning.

During the wide-ranging, nine-minute discussion, the Today show host confronted the politician with a question about a recent 'fiery' phone call he had with PM Scott Morrison.

Today show host Karl Stefanovic interviews NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. Photo: Channel Nine.
Today show host Karl Stefanovic grilled NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Thursday morning. Photo: Channel Nine.

Called you a 'something-wit'?

Karl was particularly interested in Morrison's claims that he called Gladys Berejiklian's replacement a rather rude word during one such call.

"You also had a fiery phone call with the Prime Minister, which he admitted to this week on our program and by all accounts, he's called you all matter of things on conference calls, he really does have a potty mouth the PM, doesn't he?" Karl asked with a wry smile.

"We hear he called you a 'something-wit' on one such call. Did he do that and is it true?" he added.

A flustered Perrottet didn't quite manage to deny the allegation convincingly, first saying that it wasn't true but then conceding that his interactions with the PM were 'private'.

"It's not true Karl. Did he say that? Well, they're private conversations," he responded.


"There's nothing wrong with having strong robust discussions, that's what you want in your leaders and I'm always going to fight for the people of New South Wales, and he's going to find in the national interest.

"I think you want passionate people at the top of the government, and ultimately once we have those robust discussions we walk out and get on with it."

An amused Karl suggested that these 'robust discussions' be televised for all to enjoy; "It sounds like fun," the Gold Logie-winner said.

'Got the timing right'

To kick off their lengthy chat, Karl congratulated Perrottet on his new position but couldn't resist having a cheeky jab at the manner in which he became the new premier.

"I will say this though, you kind of swanned into the leadership like it's the final leg of the Tour de France, all the glory there," Karl quipped.

"I got the timing right," Perrottet joked before swiftly moving the conversation to NSW reaching the 70 percent double-vaccinated benchmark on Wednesday.

When asked about Wednesday night's crisis cabinet meeting about the state's roadmap, Perrottet confirmed that "we're not bringing anything forward" in terms of easing restrictions.

"We said from the outset that Monday would be the day, the Monday after 70 percent.

"Our discussions with industry and businesses are in terms of getting ready for that day and we should keep the stability there."

Perrottet did, however, reveal that later today he will be announcing 'a number of changes' to the roadmap which will 'bring certain things forward'.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet speaks as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian looks on during a COVID-19 update and news conference on July 28, 2021 in Sydney, Australia
Dominic Perrottet, then NSW Treasurer, speaks as Premier Gladys Berejiklian looks on during a COVID-19 news conference on July 28, 2021, in Sydney. Photo: Getty Images.

A question of faith

Karl also grilled Perrottet on his Catholic faith and pro-life views, asking how he would prove to the women in NSW, in particular, that he can be trusted to protect their interests.

In response, Perrottet said that his faith was a 'private matter' and instead pointed Karl toward his 'track record' in his previous role as NSW Treasurer which included introducing miscarriage and premature birth leave.

"I'm here to serve every single person in this state; man, woman, any religion our multicultural background.

"I don't believe someone's personal faith should be an impediment to servings premier of New South Wales."

Elsewhere, Perrottet revealed that his state counterparts Mark McGowan, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Dan Andrews have yet to get in touch following his promotion, a fact that outraged Karl.

"You don't have to call them, they can call you and congratulate you, this is part of the problem with Australia at the moment, no one's picking up the phone," he exclaimed.

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