"The associations of the language were not picked up".
"As to government senators who walked in here like sheep yesterday to stand up behind One Nation and Ms Hanson, frankly, do you really deserve to be here?" It failed 28 votes to 31 coming so close to passing thanks to the support of Coalition Senators and the rest of the right wing Senate crossbench.
The vote in favour of what many see as a white supremacist slogan sparked a furious backlash and demands for the resignations of ministers who backed the motion.
Despite the government's handwringing on Tuesday - which led to it having the motion recommitted in the Senate so it could vote against it - on Monday night Porter was tweeting "The Government Senators' actions in the Senate this afternoon confirm that the Government deplores racism of any kind".
Mark Latham has savaged the government for backflipping on Pauline Hanson's "it's okay to be white" motion.
Senator Cormann said the government originally resolved to oppose the motion when Senator Hanson flagged it in September.
"That is a decision that should have been maintained yesterday and as a result of an administrative process failure it wasn't".
Government leader in the Senate Mathias Cormann echoed Porter in a statement, saying that the support for the motion was down to the email which caused senators to act on incorrect advice. "That is regrettable and I take responsibility".
So how does that work, an administrative error in the Senate?
"As I indicated when this motion first came up, we made a very clear decision to oppose that motion". There is a process involved.
Senate tried to turn things around by playing up the fact that a slim majority voted against the motion, claiming that it proves that the government isn't racist.
When the motion was looming this week, unbeknown to Cormann fresh advice was sought from Porter's office, which again declared it should be supported.
Nationals Senator John "Wacka" Williams said he "had no idea that "it's okay to be white" is a strong signal of racism in America".
"It should go without saying but I suspect many members in this place would struggle to say it. people have a right to be proud of their cultural background, whether they are black, white or brindle", she said.