Clive Palmer says Rupert Murdoch's wife a Chinese spy
CLIVE Palmer has launched a bizarre attack on Rupert Murdoch's wife, describing her as a Chinese spy who was snooping on her media mogul husband.
During an interview on the Today show, Mr Palmer said Wendi Deng, whom Mr Murdoch is in the process of divorcing, had been spying on him.
"Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy, and that's been right across the world," he told Nine's Karl Stefanovic.
"She's been spying on Rupert for years, giving money back to Chinese intelligence. Read the truth about it.
"She was trained in Southern China. I'm telling you the truth... That's why Rupert Murdoch got rid of her. He wants to control what you think."
During the interview the Today host accused Mr Palmer of losing the plot.
The exchange came before Mr Palmer announced plans to sue Mr Murdoch after The Australian published an opinion piece challenging his credentials.
The comment piece by journalist Hedley Thomas questioned Mr Palmer's claims he was a professor, a billionaire and a mining magnate.
But Mr Palmer said he was a professor, did not know whether or not he was a billionaire, and that such issues were "not relevant".
He said he was not the important issue, saying he was simply "an Australian" trying to enter a two party system dominated by vested interests.
The article by Mr Hedley begins with: "Contrary to the flim-flam and spin, Clive Frederick Palmer is not a professor, not an adviser to the G20, not a mining magnate, not a legal guru and not an advocate for freedom of speech. He's probably not a billionaire. And he's a trillion-to-one chance of becoming prime minister on Saturday."
It goes on to say The Australian had spent months tracking Mr Palmer's track record, investigating facts it says are omitted from Palmer press releases.
As well as announcing the claims it says are myths, it goes on to label Mr Palmer an "entertaining buffoon".
Mr Palmer labelled the article false and vindictive, claiming it had damaged his reputation.
"It's time this foreigner Rupert Murdoch and his apparatchiks in his Australian media empire were finally brought to account for their behaviour," Mr Palmer said.
"I will be filing an action for defamation in the Queensland Supreme Court. Mr Murdoch will have to return to Australia to justify these disgraceful attacks on me."
Mr Palmer added his voice to recent claims that News Ltd newspapers have run a perceived fiercely pro Tony Abbott campaign, including a front page on The Daily Telegraph with the headline "Kick this mob out', under a photograph of Kevin Rudd.
"Since I formed the Palmer United Party I have been the subject of some malicious reporting in The Australian newspaper," Mr Palmer said.
"The Australian, under the direction of Mr Murdoch, is clearly campaigning for Tony Abbott in this election and they see Palmer United as a threat."
"Mr Murdoch has sacked journalists and allowed his editors to turn their newspapers into propaganda sheets that Joseph Goebbels would be proud of."
The editor of The Australian, Clive Mathieson, said the newspaper stood by every word of the article.
"Mr Palmer is already suing The Australian for defamation. There has been nothing malicious about our reporting and we stand by every word," Mr Mathieson said.
"Anyone running for the highest office in the land deserves serious scrutiny. Mr Palmer has placed his business competence at the forefront of his pitch to voters.
"All The Australian has done is test the statements and claims made by Palmer about his companies, his business relationships, the source of his wealth and his policies. We will not be discouraged by legal threats and intimidation."