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Photo: Michael Masters/Getty Images

An Australian senator critcized by two prime ministers after striking a teenager who egged him and blaming Muslim immigration for the fatal Christchurch mosque attacks defiantly stands by his actions, Australian media report.

What he's saying: Sen. Fraser Anning held a wide-ranging press conference in Brisbane, Queensland, Monday afternoon local time in which he addressed the controversy head-on.

On the boy egger: "He got a slap across the face, which is what his mother should have given him long ago, because he's been misbehaving badly. When someone cracks you on the back of the head you react and defend yourself."

On a move to censure him in Parliament: "I hope it's not too painful."

On a petition to remove him from Parliament: "A million people from Australia — I am not sure they are all from Australia — but yes, a million have signed the petition. However, quite a lot of people have told us they're happy for me to stay where I'm at."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.