Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping our world.
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Hello and welcome to One Hundred Days Plus.
The White House is plunged deeper into crisis, but the President says
The latest controversy surrounds whether Donald Trump asked
the former FBI director to drop an investigation.
That latest report has White House on the defensive again,
but the President says he is the one who is being targeted.
No politician in history, and I say this with surety,
has been treated worse or more unfairly.
On Capitol Hill, the calls for a special investigator are growing.
Though some continue to warn against any rush to judgement.
The facts: It is obvious there are some people out
there who want to harm the president, but we have an
obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party
Also, here in New York, the financial markets
The US dollar has hit a six month low and the Dow Jones is down more
than 200 points amidst the political turmoil.
And with Washington in an uproar, what do people
Hello, I am Christian Fraser in London.
In the past hour we have had news that James Comey the former FBI
director has been summoned to appear before the Senate
The details of his memo leaked to the New York Times
suggest that in a private meeting within the Oval Office
President Trump had asked Mr Comey to shut down his investigation
into national security advisor, Mike Flynn.
But is that the only memo James Comey wrote?
And does the account of that meeting amount to an obstruction of justice?
It's been a wild week here in Washington and right now
the President isn't even here, he is in Conneticut at the US
Coast Guard Academy where he has been venting some
Look at the way I've been treated lately.
No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been
You can't let the critics and the naysayers
There has been plenty of reaction in Congress today
The Democrats want a special investigator, the Republicans
are increasingly unnerved by what they are hearing.
We need the facts: It is obvious there are some people out
there who want to harm the president, but we have an
obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party
And that means, before rushing to judgment,
we get all the pertinent information.
It seems like we are learning disturbing new allegations
about President Trump not just every day, but every hour.
House Republicans have shown repeatedly that they refuse
to conduct credible, robust oversight over this President.
James Comey met with President Trump in February, the day after Gen.
In his written account of that meeting, Mr Comey says the President
asked the Vice President and the Attorney General to leave
the room, and then, according to a transcript of the memo,
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go,
James Comey has a reputation for leaving a paper trail
when he feels his investigation is being disrupted.
There are reports today that he wrote other memos,
Let's speak to our Washington Correspondent Jane O'Brien,
who's been on Capitol Hill today and joins us from there now.
No point Jane, what are you hearing's I have to say, that of all
the scandals in the last week or so, this is the one that troubles people
the most. Every single senator I have spoken to today says this is
the one that has basically took them over the edge. And that's why you're
having these growing calls for memos, e-mails, any documentation
that might shed light on what exactly it was that President Trump
said to James Comey behind closed doors. And the also want to hear
from him. Even though James Comey has lost his job as the director of
the FBI, he is still the man to watch. And it's not just Democrats
were calling for this, Republicans, too. Increasing unease amongst very
I spoke to a senator who had this to say.
The administration certainly needs to take stock of what it is doing.
And the President needs to listen to his advisers and better
appreciate the nuances of Government and the
different roles that the three branches of Government play.
Lots of talk today about impeachment. We are certainly
hearing that worried now. And the obstruction of justice. Obviously
the buyer for obstruction and justice is set quite high. And it
would be politicians who would make the decision on that? That's right.
It's very, very difficult to prove intent on a constant obstruction of
justice. Although people who want to see this as that will do so, the
legal requirements are extremely tough. Any action against President
Trump will be a political decision. And that's going to be tough, too,
because of course Congress is controlled by Republicans. You have
an Attorney General ahead in the Justice Department which would take
any decision to prosecute. It's all about folks, it's all about whether
Republicans see enough support is drifting away from President Trump
as to whether any action will be taken. We are a long way away from
that. There has to be an investigation first. Until Congress
know the facts, getting back to those e-mails and memos and the
desire to hear from James Comey in person, were not going to be topping
about impeachment any time soon. That if the story on Capitol Hill.
It is your paper in New York that has broken the story.
It's extraordinary that a new headline is being broken on the
situation everyday. We did know that the issue of leaked anonymous
sources to reporters would yield the reports we are seeing at the moment.
We can talk now to a senior writer from the New York Times. He joins us
and their senior writer Eric Schmitt joins us from Washington.
There is no one in the White House that can control their intelligence
leaks. The president had been briefed on general outlines and the
intelligence that's going on in the fight against Isis. He has been
trying to recruit the Russians to do more in that fight. Somewhere in one
of his briefings he had been told about a very sensitive piece of
intelligence that the Israelis had given him and he apparently bragged
about this. He didn't identify them by name, but they are controlled by
Islamic state and talked about the plot, particularly in a lame plot
and batteries, with enough specificity that intelligence
officials recoiled and got was a very dangerous thing that he had
done. It narrowed down the likely source for the Russians to identify
and possibly disrupt in the future. It jeopardises a very special
relationship that the United States has with Israel. The relationship
that is likely to weather this storm. Presumably inmates for
awkward moments that the president heading abroad to Israel when the
country has warned in the past about how the US handle sensitive
information is Mike absolutely. You can only imagine there have been
calls ahead of time by senior officials in the White House and the
intelligence committee to try and smooth is over before he arrives in
STL in this very important first overseas trip he is making to the
middle east and Europe. Can you tell us a list of about James Comey?
Apparently he took good or bad notes all the time when he felt
uncomfortable when he'd like way that a meeting had gone and many
shared it with those closest to him. Presumably, there are more and memos
out there. Yes, and my colleague who broke the story for the New York
Times identified those in history. This started with a dinner that
James Comey had with President Trump in February. He asked for his
loyalty. James Comey said he couldn't do that, but he would give
his best professional work, but he cant do that. I think it was after
that that James Comey decided he needed to document in very close
tale any meeting or phone call he had with the president and let other
people know so that there was a record of this as he went forward,
because he didn't trust where this might lead.
The reason that cat is not with us in the studio is because she is at
the White House. Tell us what you're doing there? Promise you I am not
just enjoying the sunshine. The trouble is, between where I was and
the camera was, there were a lots of impressive looking men bristling
with guns. I will do a lot for the programme, but jumping the White
House wall is not one of them. Here I have a meeting at later on with
some of the senior White House officials and we will talk about
what the president hopes to achieve on the strip. You are right, this is
a difficult time for the White House. The are starting to get
Republicans who are saying we have to look at the possibility of a
special prosecutor, an independent counsel to look at the issue of
whether or not the president had interfere with the investigation. I
spoke to a very senior Democratic senator this morning his hedge was
frustrated with her Republican colleagues and was saying, "Is when
are you going to do something? " John McCain said to this Democratic
Senator that when the presidents approval ratings dropped by three to
five points, then you will see them start to make movements. I was
reading last night that the chair of the oversight committee is saying
that he is quite ready to subpoenaed these memos if they either. He is
actually one of them who is not standing for the election in 2018.
He owes the president nothing, has nothing to lose, and it seems the
other Republicans are quite prepared within the has friend take the lead.
He said he had his subpoenaed pen ready. He has been speaking out a
lot more since he announced he is not going to run and there are a lot
of Republicans were not happy with what they are hearing coming out of
the White House. We are particularly not happy with all the chaos getting
in the Wear business. All the things that Republicans are under voters
want this way as to do, something on tax reform, infrastructure, jobs
bill, that is not happening, because the White House is so consumed with
the drummer of the day. I spoke to a group of businessmen, many of them
voted for Trump earlier today they said they want action from the White
House and all they are getting is chaos. At some point, as Republicans
are starting to say, a little less trauma would be nice. As Eric was
just saying, here is the president with no military or political
experience, that is what the voters wanted an elected. Someone without
any of the history of Washington, but there was a hope he would start
learning the rules and he doesn't seem to have any appetite for that.
He is sort of blundering. If you were to be really charitable, over
the last two days, he seems to be blundering into things without
taking advice from those closest to him. It's good of you to be
charitable. It doesn't happen very often. I think there is some hope
that this foreign trip could mark a reset. That the president goes
abroad, is contained by the confined to being on foreign soil, a very
organised schedule, having also of his senior staff with him on the
plane, all in the same place where they can coordinate the message
better, and the question I'm going to add them in a few minutes is, how
much tweeting is the president going to do overseas? It is a time when
you traditionally get less criticism from Democrats. Politicians are
loath to criticise the president when he is on foreign soil or they
are on foreign soil. He might see some of that being torn down. The
wheels of the investigation are going to carry on turning and seem
to be turning pretty fast at the moment. Having the president
physically out of the country for the next couple of weeks could be
helpful at this stage. OK, we will let you go to your meeting. Tell us
all about it tomorrow. Well, the news cycle
is pretty unrelenting. Remember, we were talking
on yesterday's programme about the reports Donald Trump had
leaked classified information Information we have since learnt,
came from the Israeli's. Well, today Russia's President
Vladimir Putin weighed Yes, President Putin says
he is happy to provide a transcript of the conversation that took place
between his Foreign Minister He also said the reaction
to the story in the United States was verging on "political
schizophrenia." Our Moscow correspondent,
Steve Rosenberg, has more. Well, you can't help
feeling that the Kremlin is loving all of this,
because as the US Administration staggers from one crisis to another,
all seemingly linked to Moscow, Russia is sitting back and watching
a political rival tear itself apart. So, President Putin's comments today
were full of jokes, they were full of sarcasm, they were
full of put-downs. Among the jokes, he said
that he would have to reprimand his who met Donald Trump
earlier this month, because he said Mr Lavrov had not passed
on the secrets that he had He hadn't passed them on to him,
president Putin, or to the And that was very bad of Mr Lavrov,
said President Putin. The put-downs, well,
there were many of those. He said that there was political
schizophrenia in the United States He said that those people
in America who are spreading anti-Russian sentiment were either
stupid or dangerous and dishonest. He said that those people
in America who are spreading anti-Russian sentiment were either
stupid or dangerous and dishonest. He talked about the internal
political struggle in America. And as for his offer to provide
a transcript of the Lavrov-Trump meeting, provide that to
the Congress and the Senate, I don't think the Kremlin seriously believes
that if Russia was to provide a transcript on Kremlin headed
notepaper that that would make this Now, I think that's just another
attempt to have a dig at America, while these scandals
are swirling around the White House. I think we will file that on nothing
stranger than fiction. For more on this, we are joined now
by former State Department Spokesman I am not altogether sure that Donald
Trump will welcome the intervention of Vladimir Putin. I think Vladimir
Putin is having way too much fun with this at the expense of America.
You have been critical of President Trump before any way that he has
been running things. This week has been quite extraordinary, what do
you make of it? I think in the first 100 days we had pure political
chaos. All of us were looking for learning curve, where President
Trump would begin to understand the Normans of the office. What concerns
me now is that in the second 100 days, we are moving from political
chaos to institutional conflict. Donald Trump came to Washington to
dream the swamp and in many respects now, the swamp is at war with the
president of the United States. If you go back, some elements of the
intelligence community where more than happy to provide details of the
phone conversation between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.
Now you have aids loyal to James Comey reading from his memoranda to
the newspapers. It's going to be very, very hard for a White House
that has yet to really get it at interior to be able to drive an
agenda. Right now, they're just reacting to everything. I wanted to
pick up on another point which is that actually, this trip abroad
might give the White House room to breathe, perhaps re-grip. Do you
agree? Certainly, the potential is there. I remember being in the
Clinton White House and the president made a very important trip
to China. He carries it off. Everyone knew that this was
important. It was bringing China into the international system,
getting ready to join the vote dot-mac world trade organisation.
Challenging China about their human rights record. It was a big deal.
The real question here is, can Donald Trump do something like that?
That is the dilemma. He does not seem to want to read. He doesn't
study has brief. He overlooks nuances that are critical to
policies and now he's going into one of the most complex parts of the
world and he doesn't know what he doesn't know. Thank you very much.
Now, on a few occasions on this programme,
we will take the spotlight off the capital and see how this
drama is seen in other parts of the country.
For a week in Washington, it's been terms such as code word
intelligence and congressional committees - all leading to people
But does that really matter if your not in DC?
Scottie Nell Hughes is based in Nashville is a staunch
Donald Trump supporter and has been a frequent contributor to BBC News.
It's good to see you back. Thank you for coming on the programme. A long
way away from Washington, what are the making of the controversy
surrounding Donald Trump? I think it is showing that gossip is not
evidence. The more that you see the drama about the opponents of Donald
Trump, the more the American people get tired of it. We are facing
serious issues right now that Congress should be dealing with.
Everyday mainstream America wishes that they were placing the same
focus on repealing and replacing our Affordable Care Act with something
that we can actually deal with. Here is a president asking the vice
president and the Attorney General to leave the room and he says to the
FBI director, "I hope he can see your way to dropping this
investigation" is. Do you not see that that is a problem? That's
interesting. Thank you for saying the words respectfully. He did not
command. This was the day after general Flynn had been let go by the
president. The timeline is interesting, because it doesn't
work. I think that is why Americans are seeing this as a junior high
drama. The majority of the media, the FBI said they were not going to
investigate Mike Flynn in January. They made that public announcement,
major networks reported it. The FBI said they were not going to
investigate him. President Trump let him go because at the time we got...
He waited a long time to let him go and the very next day, he summoned
in the FBI director. The very next day, he talks to James Comey. He did
not command him. He did not... He said I hope. You let him go. He said
he was a good guy. It was not a command. I think this is going to
show why President Trump ultimately let James Comey go, because if you
have in Italy back and FBI Director who has refused to investigate his
own department for weeks, he also now is refusing... At the time it,
he sat on this memo. If this was such a problem, if he was concerned,
why did he set up on it for four months? Was this a version of
blackmail? Can jump in? Do you think this opens the president up to the
criticism of double standards? Was so much criticism of Hillary Clinton
and her use of private servers to use e-mails which contained
classified information. As a risk now that the same sort of
accusations of Donald Trump not handling classified information
sensitively enough or these memos, do you think there is a risk there?
Think there is definitely a risk. I think there is a double standard
into how it has been treated. The former Secretary of State had a
server and was told not to. The FBI director at the time, James Comey,
said he was not going to look into those e-mails, just like he was not
going to look into the DNC a Mills. You have had the three people in the
room, you are a very high insecurity rankings, respected by both sides of
the aisle, they said there was no risk, no laws were broken, and yet
we are continuing to rely on anonymous sources from a paper that
time and time again has shown there are sources are wrong. You're
putting it more faith in anonymous versus the deputy adviser. Do you
trust names that are willing to stick the reputation or anonymous
people? We'll have to leave it there for now. There was other news today.
Chelsea Manning the army private who leaked thousands of diplomatic
and military documents to Wikileaks, has been released from
Rajini Vaidyanathan is in Kansas for us.
What we know about where Chelsea Manning is now? What are her
movements? We are not clear about where she is. We know she was
released under the cover of darkness about 2am this morning from where
she had been hard for the past seven years. She has been treating a
little bit since her release. She tweeted a photo of the shoes she was
wearing with the caption "Is first steps of freedom.". She also posted
a picture of a piece and she was eating. Her release has been met
with mixed reaction here in the United States. Supporters said you
were the hero and a whistle-blower. They also pointed out that she had
to fight very hard for gender reassignment treatment while she was
in this military prison, because of course, it was after sentencing that
she announced she wanted to live as a woman. There are many people
including Donald Trump retweeted a few months ago that think that
Chelsea Manning is an ungrateful traitor and that she shouldn't have
been released earlier. Thank you very much for that update for the
moment. Still to come - a small but growing
number of Donald Trump's fellow Republicans called on Wednesday
for an independent probe and one And we will play you
a report from Nashville - looking at how the rest
of the country is viewing Good evening. Large parts of England
and Wales had a miserable evening. That Rangers out of