Head of Hillsong dismisses claims he was invited to White House
The Hillsong pastor at the centre of a kerfuffle over a reportedly refused invitation to the White House says the entire story is baseless rumour.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Prime Minister Scott Morrison had sought an invitation for Hillsong founder Brian Houston to join him at events that were part of the official state visit to Washington this week, but was knocked back by the White House.
But Mr Houston said the whole story was wrong.
"I have had no invitation to the White House and I have had no discussion with the prime minister or anyone else about this," he said in a statement on Sunday.
"Hillsong Church received no enquiry from any party as to my details or availability.
"As far as I'm concerned this is baseless rumour and totally false news."
Mr Morrison would not comment on the story.
"I don't comment on gossip or stories about other stories," he told reporters in Washington.
Asked four times whether that meant it was not true, he repeated that it was gossip, then said: "I think I've answered the question."
© AAP 2019