The final blow for Mr Turnbull came in the Liberal party room on Friday August 24, but since then the ABC has pieced together an emerging picture of critical contacts with two media titans in the days before, as the prime minister sought to fend off the assault.
It began some weeks ago when Mr Turnbull and Kerry Stokes, the chairman of Seven West Media, began discussing what looked very much to the then-prime minister like a campaign to oust him by News Corp.
He believed it was being led by The Australian newspaper and the Daily Telegraph, egged on by 2GB’s Alan Jones and Ray Hadley and Sky News commentators “after dark”.
The ABC understands that Mr Turnbull and Mr Stokes were in contact a lot in the final days.
Murdoch told Stokes ‘Malcolm’s got to go’
Mr Stokes took it upon himself to inquire with Rupert Murdoch what was going on inside News Corp for the company to be going so hard against Mr Turnbull.
Exactly when and how this happened is unclear, whether it was in person or by phone, but the 87-year-old Mr Murdoch was in Australia the week of Mr Turnbull’s leadership calamity.
He had arrived in Australia on August 10