Abbott weighs in on Turnbull's claims


Former prime minister Tony Abbott has responded to Malcolm Turnbull's sensational claims he was dominated by Chief of Staff Peta Credlin.

The former Warringah MP conceded Credlin was a critical part of his government's decision making.

"She was an important part of the Abbott Government, she was comparable to the role of someone like Arthur Sinodinis in the Howard Government," he said.

"She was a fine thinker, great organiser and trusted colleague and I think she deserves a great deal of credit for what she did."

The response comes after Mr Turnbull told ABC's 7:30 Credlin dominated Abbott's office while he was leader.

"You were really dealing with Peta, Peta was running the country and dominating Abbott."

During the interview, Mr Turnbull also opened up about his debilitating descent into the "black hole" of depression after losing the Liberal Party leadership in 2009.

Malcolm Turnbull called Trump a climate denier.
Malcolm Turnbull called Trump a climate denier.

"I started to sink into a very, very deep depression. It was very deep and very dangerous," the former prime minister told ABC's 7.30.

"I'd never given much thought to mental health before. I'd always - I'd been aware that, you know, people have mental health issues, but I'd never really thought about it a lot.

"And I felt myself - I felt these thoughts of death, of self-destruction, coming into my mind unbidden and unwanted.

"And I couldn't get them out of my mind and I got sicker and sicker and sicker. It was a terrible time. And I managed that by … I made an announcement I would retire from parliament.

"The moment I made that announcement, I knew it was a mistake. I then changed my mind, and ran again and I ran again in large part to survive, because I felt this was something I could do to claw my way out of this terrible hole, this black hole I'd found myself in."