Morrison said it wasn't his place to comment on the efficacy of Guthrie as managing director, again pointing to the board as the folks in charge of that call.
The daughter of a Chinese mother and an Australian father - and the first female managing director in the ABC's history - her appointment marked a departure from the long list of white males who preceded her.
"(But) the government, I must say, has provided no pressure, no opinion, has not been involved in this decision.
And she rejected Communications Minister Mitch Fifield's suggestion that the ABC could easily accommodate the latest 1 per cent efficiency divided required by the government.
According to a statement released by the ABC, the decision was made when the directors resolved that it was not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation.
"The board felt in the end that her leadership style was not the style that we needed going forward".
"The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC. This is entirely a board decision".
Sally Neighbour, executive producer of 4 Corners, tweeted: "excellent decision".More news: Sizing up Josh Gordon and his impact with the New England Patriots
In a later interview on ABC News, Milne said the board had been "looking at the question of Michelle's ongoing employment for the last couple of months".
"In an ideal world, I would like to see our relationship - I think the relationship between the ABC and Government is, on the one hand, hard because of course we need to be independent from government, but it is an important relationship because the government funds us".
Mr Milne conceded Ms Guthrie had done a "pretty good" job turning the ABC towards its digital future.
"At no point have any issues been raised with me about the transformation being undertaken, the "Investing in Audiences" strategy and my effectiveness in delivering against this strategy".
Guthrie, who had been with the broadcaster since 2015, will be replaced by the current director of entertainment and specialist, David Anderson, until a replacement can be found.
In an email to staff on Monday afternoon, Mr Anderson said he was honoured at the appointment. Philosophy. Art. Science. These are the historic practices of which we should be most proud, of which we are most proud even if we don't concede it, and if our institutions fail to honour them, or take a dump on them, then we lose our trust in these institutions.
What on earth is the government's explanation for Michelle Guthrie's apparent sacking as head of the ABC.