17/05/2017 100 Days+


17/05/2017

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.

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The White House is plunged deeper into crisis, but the President says

:00:09.:00:11.

The latest controversy surrounds whether Donald Trump asked

:00:12.:00:19.

the former FBI director to drop an investigation.

:00:20.:00:22.

That latest report has White House on the defensive again,

:00:23.:00:24.

but the President says he is the one who is being targeted.

:00:25.:00:35.

No politician in history, and I say this with surety,

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has been treated worse or more unfairly.

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On Capitol Hill, the calls for a special investigator are growing.

:00:43.:00:45.

Though some continue to warn against any rush to judgement.

:00:46.:00:59.

The facts: It is obvious there are some people out

:01:00.:01:01.

there who want to harm the president, but we have an

:01:02.:01:04.

obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party

:01:05.:01:06.

Also, here in New York, the financial markets

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The US dollar has hit a six month low and the Dow Jones is down more

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than 200 points amidst the political turmoil.

:01:15.:01:16.

And with Washington in an uproar, what do people

:01:17.:01:18.

Hello, I am Christian Fraser in London.

:01:19.:01:31.

In the past hour we have had news that James Comey the former FBI

:01:32.:01:38.

director has been summoned to appear before the Senate

:01:39.:01:40.

The details of his memo leaked to the New York Times

:01:41.:01:44.

suggest that in a private meeting within the Oval Office

:01:45.:01:46.

President Trump had asked Mr Comey to shut down his investigation

:01:47.:01:49.

into national security advisor, Mike Flynn.

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But is that the only memo James Comey wrote?

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And does the account of that meeting amount to an obstruction of justice?

:01:58.:02:01.

It's been a wild week here in Washington and right now

:02:02.:02:06.

the President isn't even here, he is in Conneticut at the US

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Coast Guard Academy where he has been venting some

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Look at the way I've been treated lately.

:02:12.:02:25.

No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been

:02:26.:02:36.

You can't let the critics and the naysayers

:02:37.:02:45.

There has been plenty of reaction in Congress today

:02:46.:02:52.

The Democrats want a special investigator, the Republicans

:02:53.:02:56.

are increasingly unnerved by what they are hearing.

:02:57.:03:05.

We need the facts: It is obvious there are some people out

:03:06.:03:08.

there who want to harm the president, but we have an

:03:09.:03:10.

obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party

:03:11.:03:13.

And that means, before rushing to judgment,

:03:14.:03:16.

we get all the pertinent information.

:03:17.:03:17.

It seems like we are learning disturbing new allegations

:03:18.:03:19.

about President Trump not just every day, but every hour.

:03:20.:03:31.

House Republicans have shown repeatedly that they refuse

:03:32.:03:38.

to conduct credible, robust oversight over this President.

:03:39.:03:42.

James Comey met with President Trump in February, the day after Gen.

:03:43.:03:45.

In his written account of that meeting, Mr Comey says the President

:03:46.:03:50.

asked the Vice President and the Attorney General to leave

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the room, and then, according to a transcript of the memo,

:03:53.:03:55.

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go,

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James Comey has a reputation for leaving a paper trail

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when he feels his investigation is being disrupted.

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There are reports today that he wrote other memos,

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Let's speak to our Washington Correspondent Jane O'Brien,

:04:17.:04:20.

who's been on Capitol Hill today and joins us from there now.

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No point Jane, what are you hearing's I have to say, that of all

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the scandals in the last week or so, this is the one that troubles people

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the most. Every single senator I have spoken to today says this is

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the one that has basically took them over the edge. And that's why you're

:04:47.:04:52.

having these growing calls for memos, e-mails, any documentation

:04:53.:04:57.

that might shed light on what exactly it was that President Trump

:04:58.:05:00.

said to James Comey behind closed doors. And the also want to hear

:05:01.:05:05.

from him. Even though James Comey has lost his job as the director of

:05:06.:05:13.

the FBI, he is still the man to watch. And it's not just Democrats

:05:14.:05:16.

were calling for this, Republicans, too. Increasing unease amongst very

:05:17.:05:20.

I spoke to a senator who had this to say.

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The administration certainly needs to take stock of what it is doing.

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And the President needs to listen to his advisers and better

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appreciate the nuances of Government and the

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different roles that the three branches of Government play.

:05:32.:05:44.

Lots of talk today about impeachment. We are certainly

:05:45.:05:50.

hearing that worried now. And the obstruction of justice. Obviously

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the buyer for obstruction and justice is set quite high. And it

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would be politicians who would make the decision on that? That's right.

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It's very, very difficult to prove intent on a constant obstruction of

:06:04.:06:07.

justice. Although people who want to see this as that will do so, the

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legal requirements are extremely tough. Any action against President

:06:11.:06:15.

Trump will be a political decision. And that's going to be tough, too,

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because of course Congress is controlled by Republicans. You have

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an Attorney General ahead in the Justice Department which would take

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any decision to prosecute. It's all about folks, it's all about whether

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Republicans see enough support is drifting away from President Trump

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as to whether any action will be taken. We are a long way away from

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that. There has to be an investigation first. Until Congress

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know the facts, getting back to those e-mails and memos and the

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desire to hear from James Comey in person, were not going to be topping

:06:54.:06:58.

about impeachment any time soon. That if the story on Capitol Hill.

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It is your paper in New York that has broken the story.

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It's extraordinary that a new headline is being broken on the

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situation everyday. We did know that the issue of leaked anonymous

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sources to reporters would yield the reports we are seeing at the moment.

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We can talk now to a senior writer from the New York Times. He joins us

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and their senior writer Eric Schmitt joins us from Washington.

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There is no one in the White House that can control their intelligence

:07:59.:08:04.

leaks. The president had been briefed on general outlines and the

:08:05.:08:08.

intelligence that's going on in the fight against Isis. He has been

:08:09.:08:12.

trying to recruit the Russians to do more in that fight. Somewhere in one

:08:13.:08:15.

of his briefings he had been told about a very sensitive piece of

:08:16.:08:19.

intelligence that the Israelis had given him and he apparently bragged

:08:20.:08:23.

about this. He didn't identify them by name, but they are controlled by

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Islamic state and talked about the plot, particularly in a lame plot

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and batteries, with enough specificity that intelligence

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officials recoiled and got was a very dangerous thing that he had

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done. It narrowed down the likely source for the Russians to identify

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and possibly disrupt in the future. It jeopardises a very special

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relationship that the United States has with Israel. The relationship

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that is likely to weather this storm. Presumably inmates for

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awkward moments that the president heading abroad to Israel when the

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country has warned in the past about how the US handle sensitive

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information is Mike absolutely. You can only imagine there have been

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calls ahead of time by senior officials in the White House and the

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intelligence committee to try and smooth is over before he arrives in

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STL in this very important first overseas trip he is making to the

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middle east and Europe. Can you tell us a list of about James Comey?

:09:31.:09:34.

Apparently he took good or bad notes all the time when he felt

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uncomfortable when he'd like way that a meeting had gone and many

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shared it with those closest to him. Presumably, there are more and memos

:09:43.:09:49.

out there. Yes, and my colleague who broke the story for the New York

:09:50.:09:53.

Times identified those in history. This started with a dinner that

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James Comey had with President Trump in February. He asked for his

:09:59.:10:01.

loyalty. James Comey said he couldn't do that, but he would give

:10:02.:10:07.

his best professional work, but he cant do that. I think it was after

:10:08.:10:10.

that that James Comey decided he needed to document in very close

:10:11.:10:15.

tale any meeting or phone call he had with the president and let other

:10:16.:10:18.

people know so that there was a record of this as he went forward,

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because he didn't trust where this might lead.

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The reason that cat is not with us in the studio is because she is at

:10:33.:10:40.

the White House. Tell us what you're doing there? Promise you I am not

:10:41.:10:48.

just enjoying the sunshine. The trouble is, between where I was and

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the camera was, there were a lots of impressive looking men bristling

:10:53.:10:56.

with guns. I will do a lot for the programme, but jumping the White

:10:57.:10:59.

House wall is not one of them. Here I have a meeting at later on with

:11:00.:11:05.

some of the senior White House officials and we will talk about

:11:06.:11:07.

what the president hopes to achieve on the strip. You are right, this is

:11:08.:11:11.

a difficult time for the White House. The are starting to get

:11:12.:11:15.

Republicans who are saying we have to look at the possibility of a

:11:16.:11:20.

special prosecutor, an independent counsel to look at the issue of

:11:21.:11:23.

whether or not the president had interfere with the investigation. I

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spoke to a very senior Democratic senator this morning his hedge was

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frustrated with her Republican colleagues and was saying, "Is when

:11:36.:11:41.

are you going to do something? " John McCain said to this Democratic

:11:42.:11:46.

Senator that when the presidents approval ratings dropped by three to

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five points, then you will see them start to make movements. I was

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reading last night that the chair of the oversight committee is saying

:11:58.:12:02.

that he is quite ready to subpoenaed these memos if they either. He is

:12:03.:12:05.

actually one of them who is not standing for the election in 2018.

:12:06.:12:10.

He owes the president nothing, has nothing to lose, and it seems the

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other Republicans are quite prepared within the has friend take the lead.

:12:15.:12:20.

He said he had his subpoenaed pen ready. He has been speaking out a

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lot more since he announced he is not going to run and there are a lot

:12:27.:12:29.

of Republicans were not happy with what they are hearing coming out of

:12:30.:12:33.

the White House. We are particularly not happy with all the chaos getting

:12:34.:12:37.

in the Wear business. All the things that Republicans are under voters

:12:38.:12:40.

want this way as to do, something on tax reform, infrastructure, jobs

:12:41.:12:45.

bill, that is not happening, because the White House is so consumed with

:12:46.:12:50.

the drummer of the day. I spoke to a group of businessmen, many of them

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voted for Trump earlier today they said they want action from the White

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House and all they are getting is chaos. At some point, as Republicans

:12:59.:13:02.

are starting to say, a little less trauma would be nice. As Eric was

:13:03.:13:08.

just saying, here is the president with no military or political

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experience, that is what the voters wanted an elected. Someone without

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any of the history of Washington, but there was a hope he would start

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learning the rules and he doesn't seem to have any appetite for that.

:13:22.:13:26.

He is sort of blundering. If you were to be really charitable, over

:13:27.:13:31.

the last two days, he seems to be blundering into things without

:13:32.:13:34.

taking advice from those closest to him. It's good of you to be

:13:35.:13:37.

charitable. It doesn't happen very often. I think there is some hope

:13:38.:13:44.

that this foreign trip could mark a reset. That the president goes

:13:45.:13:50.

abroad, is contained by the confined to being on foreign soil, a very

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organised schedule, having also of his senior staff with him on the

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plane, all in the same place where they can coordinate the message

:13:59.:14:02.

better, and the question I'm going to add them in a few minutes is, how

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much tweeting is the president going to do overseas? It is a time when

:14:10.:14:13.

you traditionally get less criticism from Democrats. Politicians are

:14:14.:14:16.

loath to criticise the president when he is on foreign soil or they

:14:17.:14:20.

are on foreign soil. He might see some of that being torn down. The

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wheels of the investigation are going to carry on turning and seem

:14:26.:14:28.

to be turning pretty fast at the moment. Having the president

:14:29.:14:33.

physically out of the country for the next couple of weeks could be

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helpful at this stage. OK, we will let you go to your meeting. Tell us

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all about it tomorrow. Well, the news cycle

:14:41.:14:43.

is pretty unrelenting. Remember, we were talking

:14:44.:14:45.

on yesterday's programme about the reports Donald Trump had

:14:46.:14:46.

leaked classified information Information we have since learnt,

:14:47.:14:49.

came from the Israeli's. Well, today Russia's President

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Vladimir Putin weighed Yes, President Putin says

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he is happy to provide a transcript of the conversation that took place

:14:57.:15:06.

between his Foreign Minister He also said the reaction

:15:07.:15:08.

to the story in the United States was verging on "political

:15:09.:15:17.

schizophrenia." Our Moscow correspondent,

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Steve Rosenberg, has more. Well, you can't help

:15:19.:15:23.

feeling that the Kremlin is loving all of this,

:15:24.:15:28.

because as the US Administration staggers from one crisis to another,

:15:29.:15:30.

all seemingly linked to Moscow, Russia is sitting back and watching

:15:31.:15:33.

a political rival tear itself apart. So, President Putin's comments today

:15:34.:15:36.

were full of jokes, they were full of sarcasm, they were

:15:37.:15:39.

full of put-downs. Among the jokes, he said

:15:40.:15:43.

that he would have to reprimand his who met Donald Trump

:15:44.:15:46.

earlier this month, because he said Mr Lavrov had not passed

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on the secrets that he had He hadn't passed them on to him,

:15:52.:15:54.

president Putin, or to the And that was very bad of Mr Lavrov,

:15:55.:16:01.

said President Putin. The put-downs, well,

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there were many of those. He said that there was political

:16:06.:16:06.

schizophrenia in the United States He said that those people

:16:07.:16:09.

in America who are spreading anti-Russian sentiment were either

:16:10.:16:13.

stupid or dangerous and dishonest. He said that those people

:16:14.:16:15.

in America who are spreading anti-Russian sentiment were either

:16:16.:16:17.

stupid or dangerous and dishonest. He talked about the internal

:16:18.:16:19.

political struggle in America. And as for his offer to provide

:16:20.:16:21.

a transcript of the Lavrov-Trump meeting, provide that to

:16:22.:16:24.

the Congress and the Senate, I don't think the Kremlin seriously believes

:16:25.:16:27.

that if Russia was to provide a transcript on Kremlin headed

:16:28.:16:30.

notepaper that that would make this Now, I think that's just another

:16:31.:16:32.

attempt to have a dig at America, while these scandals

:16:33.:16:40.

are swirling around the White House. I think we will file that on nothing

:16:41.:16:48.

stranger than fiction. For more on this, we are joined now

:16:49.:16:53.

by former State Department Spokesman I am not altogether sure that Donald

:16:54.:16:59.

Trump will welcome the intervention of Vladimir Putin. I think Vladimir

:17:00.:17:06.

Putin is having way too much fun with this at the expense of America.

:17:07.:17:11.

You have been critical of President Trump before any way that he has

:17:12.:17:15.

been running things. This week has been quite extraordinary, what do

:17:16.:17:21.

you make of it? I think in the first 100 days we had pure political

:17:22.:17:25.

chaos. All of us were looking for learning curve, where President

:17:26.:17:30.

Trump would begin to understand the Normans of the office. What concerns

:17:31.:17:37.

me now is that in the second 100 days, we are moving from political

:17:38.:17:43.

chaos to institutional conflict. Donald Trump came to Washington to

:17:44.:17:49.

dream the swamp and in many respects now, the swamp is at war with the

:17:50.:17:53.

president of the United States. If you go back, some elements of the

:17:54.:17:58.

intelligence community where more than happy to provide details of the

:17:59.:18:02.

phone conversation between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

:18:03.:18:06.

Now you have aids loyal to James Comey reading from his memoranda to

:18:07.:18:14.

the newspapers. It's going to be very, very hard for a White House

:18:15.:18:22.

that has yet to really get it at interior to be able to drive an

:18:23.:18:26.

agenda. Right now, they're just reacting to everything. I wanted to

:18:27.:18:32.

pick up on another point which is that actually, this trip abroad

:18:33.:18:36.

might give the White House room to breathe, perhaps re-grip. Do you

:18:37.:18:41.

agree? Certainly, the potential is there. I remember being in the

:18:42.:18:46.

Clinton White House and the president made a very important trip

:18:47.:18:50.

to China. He carries it off. Everyone knew that this was

:18:51.:18:57.

important. It was bringing China into the international system,

:18:58.:19:01.

getting ready to join the vote dot-mac world trade organisation.

:19:02.:19:06.

Challenging China about their human rights record. It was a big deal.

:19:07.:19:11.

The real question here is, can Donald Trump do something like that?

:19:12.:19:17.

That is the dilemma. He does not seem to want to read. He doesn't

:19:18.:19:22.

study has brief. He overlooks nuances that are critical to

:19:23.:19:26.

policies and now he's going into one of the most complex parts of the

:19:27.:19:29.

world and he doesn't know what he doesn't know. Thank you very much.

:19:30.:19:34.

Now, on a few occasions on this programme,

:19:35.:19:36.

we will take the spotlight off the capital and see how this

:19:37.:19:39.

drama is seen in other parts of the country.

:19:40.:19:42.

For a week in Washington, it's been terms such as code word

:19:43.:19:45.

intelligence and congressional committees - all leading to people

:19:46.:19:50.

But does that really matter if your not in DC?

:19:51.:19:54.

Scottie Nell Hughes is based in Nashville is a staunch

:19:55.:19:58.

Donald Trump supporter and has been a frequent contributor to BBC News.

:19:59.:20:03.

It's good to see you back. Thank you for coming on the programme. A long

:20:04.:20:10.

way away from Washington, what are the making of the controversy

:20:11.:20:16.

surrounding Donald Trump? I think it is showing that gossip is not

:20:17.:20:24.

evidence. The more that you see the drama about the opponents of Donald

:20:25.:20:27.

Trump, the more the American people get tired of it. We are facing

:20:28.:20:31.

serious issues right now that Congress should be dealing with.

:20:32.:20:35.

Everyday mainstream America wishes that they were placing the same

:20:36.:20:44.

focus on repealing and replacing our Affordable Care Act with something

:20:45.:20:50.

that we can actually deal with. Here is a president asking the vice

:20:51.:20:53.

president and the Attorney General to leave the room and he says to the

:20:54.:20:57.

FBI director, "I hope he can see your way to dropping this

:20:58.:21:01.

investigation" is. Do you not see that that is a problem? That's

:21:02.:21:06.

interesting. Thank you for saying the words respectfully. He did not

:21:07.:21:13.

command. This was the day after general Flynn had been let go by the

:21:14.:21:18.

president. The timeline is interesting, because it doesn't

:21:19.:21:22.

work. I think that is why Americans are seeing this as a junior high

:21:23.:21:27.

drama. The majority of the media, the FBI said they were not going to

:21:28.:21:34.

investigate Mike Flynn in January. They made that public announcement,

:21:35.:21:38.

major networks reported it. The FBI said they were not going to

:21:39.:21:42.

investigate him. President Trump let him go because at the time we got...

:21:43.:21:49.

He waited a long time to let him go and the very next day, he summoned

:21:50.:21:53.

in the FBI director. The very next day, he talks to James Comey. He did

:21:54.:22:00.

not command him. He did not... He said I hope. You let him go. He said

:22:01.:22:05.

he was a good guy. It was not a command. I think this is going to

:22:06.:22:10.

show why President Trump ultimately let James Comey go, because if you

:22:11.:22:15.

have in Italy back and FBI Director who has refused to investigate his

:22:16.:22:18.

own department for weeks, he also now is refusing... At the time it,

:22:19.:22:24.

he sat on this memo. If this was such a problem, if he was concerned,

:22:25.:22:29.

why did he set up on it for four months? Was this a version of

:22:30.:22:36.

blackmail? Can jump in? Do you think this opens the president up to the

:22:37.:22:41.

criticism of double standards? Was so much criticism of Hillary Clinton

:22:42.:22:46.

and her use of private servers to use e-mails which contained

:22:47.:22:49.

classified information. As a risk now that the same sort of

:22:50.:22:54.

accusations of Donald Trump not handling classified information

:22:55.:22:59.

sensitively enough or these memos, do you think there is a risk there?

:23:00.:23:03.

Think there is definitely a risk. I think there is a double standard

:23:04.:23:10.

into how it has been treated. The former Secretary of State had a

:23:11.:23:14.

server and was told not to. The FBI director at the time, James Comey,

:23:15.:23:17.

said he was not going to look into those e-mails, just like he was not

:23:18.:23:25.

going to look into the DNC a Mills. You have had the three people in the

:23:26.:23:31.

room, you are a very high insecurity rankings, respected by both sides of

:23:32.:23:34.

the aisle, they said there was no risk, no laws were broken, and yet

:23:35.:23:39.

we are continuing to rely on anonymous sources from a paper that

:23:40.:23:42.

time and time again has shown there are sources are wrong. You're

:23:43.:23:51.

putting it more faith in anonymous versus the deputy adviser. Do you

:23:52.:23:59.

trust names that are willing to stick the reputation or anonymous

:24:00.:24:02.

people? We'll have to leave it there for now. There was other news today.

:24:03.:24:05.

Chelsea Manning the army private who leaked thousands of diplomatic

:24:06.:24:08.

and military documents to Wikileaks, has been released from

:24:09.:24:10.

Rajini Vaidyanathan is in Kansas for us.

:24:11.:24:20.

What we know about where Chelsea Manning is now? What are her

:24:21.:24:26.

movements? We are not clear about where she is. We know she was

:24:27.:24:30.

released under the cover of darkness about 2am this morning from where

:24:31.:24:36.

she had been hard for the past seven years. She has been treating a

:24:37.:24:40.

little bit since her release. She tweeted a photo of the shoes she was

:24:41.:24:47.

wearing with the caption "Is first steps of freedom.". She also posted

:24:48.:24:53.

a picture of a piece and she was eating. Her release has been met

:24:54.:24:56.

with mixed reaction here in the United States. Supporters said you

:24:57.:25:00.

were the hero and a whistle-blower. They also pointed out that she had

:25:01.:25:04.

to fight very hard for gender reassignment treatment while she was

:25:05.:25:10.

in this military prison, because of course, it was after sentencing that

:25:11.:25:14.

she announced she wanted to live as a woman. There are many people

:25:15.:25:19.

including Donald Trump retweeted a few months ago that think that

:25:20.:25:23.

Chelsea Manning is an ungrateful traitor and that she shouldn't have

:25:24.:25:28.

been released earlier. Thank you very much for that update for the

:25:29.:25:29.

moment. Still to come - a small but growing

:25:30.:25:33.

number of Donald Trump's fellow Republicans called on Wednesday

:25:34.:25:36.

for an independent probe and one And we will play you

:25:37.:25:39.

a report from Nashville - looking at how the rest

:25:40.:25:46.

of the country is viewing Good evening. Large parts of England

:25:47.:26:13.

and Wales had a miserable evening. That Rangers out of

:26:14.:26:14.