17/05/2017 100 Days+

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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