05/01/2017 Newsnight


05/01/2017

With Kirsty Wark. Is Britain heading for a train-crash brexit? Plus remembering rape campaigner Jill Saward, Obama's legacy and turning off work email after hours.


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Transcript


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results next week and has

been trying to cut costs

0:00:000:00:01

and revive sales.

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Now on BBC News, it's

time for Newsnight.

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A man and to govern America

betrayed. How much of it is true? To

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those who work with Donald Trump

recognise the chaos it describes? We

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speak to the White House insider

Sebastian Mand Janice Middleton. Why

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was the sentence for John Worboys so

lenient? Do we forget about the

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victims of sex crimes too quickly?

We examine how they are treated by

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the justice system. And isn't cruel

to breed puppies like this? Half of

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all flat faced dogs needed treatment

to help issues last year. Why we

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insist on making them that's when

they are so hard to breathe?

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Good evening.

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"The events I've described in these

pages", writes Michael Wolff,

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"are based on conversations that

took place over 18 months

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with the President and most members

of his senior staff".

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The rest of the book is explosive.

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He describes a president who behaves

sometimes like a child,

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other times like an emperor,

neurotic, scared, phobic and scorned

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by his own aides.

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The President himself

denounced the book as lies,

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denied the author even had access.

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He tried to stop its very

publication - that only sped things

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up and put it in

the best-seller list.

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So tonight, on the day

the book is published -

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four days early - and at the end

of a long week when it's dominated

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news the world over,

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we speak to those inside the White

House.

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And to one present on the same

occasions described

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within the book's pages.

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We will ask how much of these

allegations are revelations and how

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much will they change the mind

of the base that brought

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Donald Trump to power.

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Despite threats from President

Trump, the publishers neither this

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nor desisted and instead the

publication of the explosive book

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forward. Fire and fury is the work

of Michael Wolff, journalist who

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says he has access to the White

House to much of the last year and

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spoke to the President while writing

it. Trump 's dismissed it as lies,

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says he never allowed the access.

Others have also questioned the

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accuracy of the detail in the book.

But the President is clearly spooked

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by the allegations within it.

I

absolutely spoke to the President,

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whether he realised it was an

interview or not, I don't know, but

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it certainly was not off the record.

It paints a White House in chaos, a

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paranoid president who was horrified

to actually win, and a host of AIDS

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and advisers who scorned his

abilities. The big question its

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races are existential. Was a

treasonous Trump 's fund to meet

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with Russian officials during the

campaign? Is the president of sound

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mind to run America? But it's the

details that will stop readers in

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their tracks. The council Donald

Trump's phobias, his fast food

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addiction, he is viewing habits, as

well as its relations with his wife,

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his daughter, early bedtime. The

book is a ready claimed its first

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skull, an almighty row has broken

out between the President and his

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former White House to just Stephen

Bannon whose comments first appeared

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in the book. With to sue the other,

then and found himself put out of

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big donor funding since it appeared.

Any questions, who will get his pen,

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I don't know?

It raises the spectre

of an open secret shared by many. To

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those who worked with and around

Donald Trump, they recognise the

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same world Wolf describes, a White

House with no plan, a leader with no

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strategy, an impulsive peak

president who acts upon his

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instincts time and time again with

no interest in third-party views. Or

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has the right to Haka fictionalised

the world? Trump 's critics were

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simply going to see. The bigger

question, the fundamental one

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perhaps if this- will any that is

written in these pages change Trump

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's Palok all the way those voted for

him see him now? The answer is no,

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then Fire and Fury may just be sound

and fury, ultimately signifying

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nothing. To me now is Sebastian

Gorka, to ' -- deputies destined to

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Donald Trump and knows the White

House well. I know in your previous

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news encounters we have analysed

whether Newsnight at self is fake

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news, et cetera, so to the sake of

our few with as the sake of moving

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the story on, what do we agree to

recognise that that is how you view

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things and this time shed a little

bit more light on how you see

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operations in the White House. It is

good of you to join us. Was there

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anything in the coverage of Michael

Wolff's book that struck a chord

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with you, that he recognised?

Nothing at all, especially if you

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look at the basic facts, he gets

completely wrong, it is except that

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of ready been published, he can't

even get right with the President

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new John Boehner, he says on the day

that he became president he had

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never heard of him, the Speaker of

the house John Boehner when any

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child can go on Google and put in

the name Donald Trump and John

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Boehner and find photographs of

those to Mendelssohn with each other

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two years ago.

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On page ten, the author,

Michael Wolff, who has been caught

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lying repeatedly in the past

in his previous books,

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states that he cannot verify

the accuracy of anything

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that is in the book.

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What he says is many of the accounts

are in conflict with one another,

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it sound as if he heard a lot

of conflicting accounts,

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wrote them up and let readers decide

what to think and the accounts came

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from multiple sources

he wrote up as a factual,

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that is what journalists do.

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No if you wrote a story that

conflicted and said I will let

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the viewers decide,

you would be warned or fired.

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A journalist must have

two verified sources.

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Michael Wolff is a

Charlton and a liar.

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His introduction tells you as much.

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He paints a pictures others have

recognised a picture of a president

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who sounds like he has slightly

lost his mind and behaves

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in a child-like way,

do you recognise that

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in the president?

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He repeats the calumy

of all the left-wing Trump

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derangement-suffering people.

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You don't recognise.

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I actually worked

in the White House.

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I'm not a political hack who came

in to write a book to make money

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and please the elite that

failed both nations,

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whether the UK or the United States.

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Donald Trump won on the basis

of facts that Brexit won in the UK

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and wasn't predicted by the elite.

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It is a joke.

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Paint a picture of what you

know to be true then.

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For example, I I think we are told

some of the observations say most

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days Trump preferred

to be in bed at 6.

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30 watching television

and eating cheeseburgers.

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It is such garbage.

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What time does he go to bed.

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He sleeps less than two

and a half hours a day.

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When he is tweeting at 4am no,

one is tweeting for him.

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That is the president

of the United States.

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Forget the palace intrigue.

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What has he done.

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He has revitalised NATO.

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We have had a record-breaking

stock market rally.

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Isis destroyed.

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1.5 million jobs created.

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The lowest unemployment in 17 years.

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Judge the president on the facts,

not on delusional people

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who want to sell books.

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Help us with the details,

it is fascinating and Trump rules -

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no one touched his tooth brush,

he liked McDonald's.

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Are you serious?

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Somebody's tooth-brushing habits.

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Tell us you know it is not true.

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I won't waste people's

time with this rubbish.

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Let's talk about your

tooth brushing.

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How do you brush your teeth?

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The interesting thing...

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Do you floss?

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It is the details that allow people

to know whether the rest

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of it is true.

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Let me quote something.

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Sean Spicer repeating the mantra

"You can't make this shit up"

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or Kelly Ann Conway who mimed

putting a finger gun

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to her head when she reported

the president's word.

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In one book 13 people demanded

he retracts the quotes,

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because they were made up.

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His book is like Harry Potter.

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He has never been told

to issue a correction.

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I have no idea what

he has been told.

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I couldn't careless.

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I couldn't careless whether people

have demanded retractions.

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He is a hack.

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Let's move from the book itself.

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Just even the quotes that Trump has

put directly to the public

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through Twitter, in the last week,

taking credit for airline safety

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for seven years or asking

for good old global warming,

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boasting of the size

of his nuclear button.

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That language makes it easy

for people to believe what they're

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read something.

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No that is the language

that makes it easy

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for an outsiding to decimate 16

members of GOP and wipe the floor

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with a woman who thought

the position was owed

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to her because of her gender.

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The president connects

with the average man and woman

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what has been ill-served

by the elite on the left and right

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for more than 20 years.

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God bless the president

and his Twitter feed.

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A lot of people say it is painting

a very accurate picture,

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one that other reporters

have written about.

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That is a very scientific

term, lots and lots.

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Lots and lots of

people a at the BBC?

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What about Janice Min,

she was at the table

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and at the Roger Ailes/Bannon dinner

and verified everything she read

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in the book.

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Let her talk for herself.

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Thank you very much.

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Thank you.

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Michael Wolff said today

that he stands by "everything

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reported in the book".

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We asked him for an interview,

but he wasn't available.

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Janice Min is part-owner

of The Hollywood Reporter

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and was invited to the dinner party

attended by Steve Bannon

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and Roger Ailes that is

recounted in the book.

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She joins me now from LA.

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Thank you for joining us.

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Tell us what went on that night -

you were one of a very small select

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group, just six guests

at the dinner with Roger Ailes,

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Steve Bannon.

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What do you remember of it?

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I remember almost every detail.

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This was a small party of six guests

at Michael Wolff's house

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and listening to Dr Gorka,

I think that the position from Trump

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loyalists is that Michael

Wolff is an outsider.

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It is from my experience

with Michael, I don't see that.

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He was such an intimate

and a so warmly received

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by Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes

and Roger's wife and had such

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a level of trust with them

that the conversation

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we had was stunning.

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It was...

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The things from start

to finish, for five hours,

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they poured their hearts out

about the Republican Party and how

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they were going to, who they were

going to put into cabinet.

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Roger Ailes offered to coach

candidates in their congressional

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testimony.

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They talked of Rudy Giuliani.

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Steve Bannon said they owed him

something because he had come out

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forcefully and spoke on the shows

in the United States,

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when no-one else would

after the Access Hollywood tapes.

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Roger Ailes said, you know,

just let him be photographed walking

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out of Air Force One.

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Just detail after detail that,

were they openly spoke

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so comfortably in front of Michael.

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To any way characterise him -

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you can try to dispute the facts,

but you can't dispute

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the relationship he had

with people in the White House.

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At that dinner, did it

seem as if Steve Bannon

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was in the driving point,

you had the Fox news Executive,

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Roger Ailes, were they still

in shock that he had won?

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No, you know, I think Roger Ailes

might have been in a bit of shock.

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He had said that, he had said to me,

he was sitting to my right,

0:14:300:14:34

he said, you know, "These guys

are a little right of my tastes

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and I'm a life-long Republican".

0:14:380:14:40

He was surprised, but Bannon,

he is full steam ahead.

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He was invigorated, I think this

whole notion we have of him

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that he is foaming at the mouth

and crazy and he had given

0:14:510:14:54

an interview to Michael Wolff that

made news before this dinner

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where he said "I'm Darth

Vader, I'm Satan".

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He came in with a great mood and sat

down and one of the first thing

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he said, we are going to move

the embassy to Jerusalem in Israel

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and they had

a discussion about that.

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Then they started ticking off

cabinet appointments,

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Supreme Court appointments.

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They were, he was...

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I would say it was his relationship

with the president was he was a take

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charge guy and there were things

he said that made me think he didn't

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think Donald Trump was

dwell on the details.

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He was entrusting Bannon.

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To today now.

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A lot of what Wolff recounts

suggests a man in the White House

0:15:530:15:56

who is not really in control

of his faculties, who is impetuous,

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who is perhaps losing his mind,

who has not had the trust

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of many of his advisers

and start first.

0:16:030:16:08

Is that something that

you see and recognise,

0:16:080:16:19

or is this Wolff going too far

and just writing down conversations

0:16:190:16:22

without verification,

as Sebastian Gorka said?

0:16:220:16:24

I remember Michael Wolff,

for starters, I know

0:16:240:16:26

Sarah Huckabee Sanders got upset

and said they didn't know

0:16:260:16:29

he in there, he wasn't allowed.

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Whatever the actual scenario was,

let's say Donald Trump really didn't

0:16:300:16:33

know, which I don't believe

that there was a reporter sitting

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in the west wing for weeks and weeks

without his knowledge?

0:16:380:16:41

What does it say about

the organisation of the White House

0:16:410:16:44

or its press team?

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I don't think there's a good answer

anyone can come up with about why

0:16:500:16:56

Michael Wolff was in there,

except that he was allowed,

0:16:560:17:00

which in hindsight it embarrassing.

0:17:000:17:01

One last thought, if this is read

by critics of Trump,

0:17:010:17:04

they will happily believe it

because it feeds their narrative.

0:17:040:17:07

Would it make any difference

to his base, and will this public

0:17:080:17:12

split with Steve Bannon hurt Trump's

electoral chances this year

0:17:120:17:15

or next time?

0:17:150:17:20

I think Bannon and Trump

are a lovesick couple that go

0:17:200:17:23

back and forth.

0:17:230:17:24

I don't think it's anything.

0:17:240:17:25

It's a mutually

beneficial relationship.

0:17:250:17:31

I don't think this

is the end of them.

0:17:310:17:33

I'd be surprised.

0:17:330:17:34

There is such a narrative that's

been constructed since Trump

0:17:340:17:44

was running, since he was

the candidate, that everything

0:17:440:17:47

is fake, and it's an easy way

to dismiss things you don't like,

0:17:470:17:50

so do think that Michael Wolff

in a book with troubling details

0:17:500:17:53

will be treated any differently

to any member of the press who has

0:17:530:17:57

sat and reported on Donald Trump

for a year would be naive.

0:17:570:18:00

If Michael Wolff had released a bomb

cyclone of news about Donald Trump,

0:18:000:18:04

that happens to make their heat

on this particular book hotter

0:18:040:18:07

than any story in the New York Times

or the Guardian for what ever else

0:18:070:18:11

has been covering

Trump for this time.

0:18:110:18:15

Thank you for coming in.

0:18:150:18:19

The former black cab driver

John Worboys was convicted of 19

0:18:190:18:22

offences, including one rape,

although police believe he attacked

0:18:220:18:27

many more women.

0:18:280:18:28

Yet he was released this week

after a decade behind bars,

0:18:280:18:31

to the shock and surprise

of his victims.

0:18:310:18:36

What was it that led

to such a short sentence?

0:18:360:18:38

And how likely is it that such

a prolific offender can be reformed

0:18:380:18:42

to the point where he

won't offend again?

0:18:420:18:44

Our policy editor, Chris Cook,

has a look at the sentencing,

0:18:440:18:47

parole and rehabilitation

of sex offenders.

0:18:470:18:49

John Worboys, the so-called black

cab rapist, is suspected of perhaps

0:18:490:18:52

hundreds of assaults.

0:18:520:19:00

After an investigation

riddled with mistakes,

0:19:000:19:02

he was finally jailed

indefinitely in 2009,

0:19:020:19:04

but he's been cleared for release

from prison after just nine years.

0:19:040:19:11

Part of the issue with the Worboys

case is that he was only tried

0:19:110:19:15

and convicted for a subset of

the crimes for which he is the prime

0:19:150:19:19

suspect, so he was convicted

for one count of rape,

0:19:190:19:22

five counts of sexual assault,

one attempted sexual assault

0:19:220:19:24

and a dozen cases of

drugging his victims.

0:19:240:19:27

For all of that, he got

an indefinite sentence,

0:19:270:19:29

so he had to serve a minimum

of eight years in prison,

0:19:290:19:35

after which he could be released,

but only if he could prove

0:19:350:19:38

that he no longer posed

a danger to the public.

0:19:380:19:41

The process is tough on victims,

especially as a number were not told

0:19:410:19:45

that Worboys was going to be

released at the end of this month,

0:19:450:19:49

and most of the 83 complainants

to the CPS never got

0:19:490:19:53

their cases heard.

0:19:530:19:53

There are some victims

who want their day in court,

0:19:530:19:59

but there are others who don't

want to appear in court and feel

0:19:590:20:03

that's right for them.

0:20:030:20:07

But this comes back

to communicating to victims.

0:20:070:20:12

If we are hoping to gain confidence

for victims to come forward,

0:20:120:20:15

in such horrific cases,

I may add, we have got

0:20:160:20:18

to have better communication.

0:20:180:20:19

Where cases weren't taken to court,

it was either because of a lack

0:20:190:20:23

of evidence or because they were not

expected to add to his sentence,

0:20:230:20:26

but not taking them to court also

means the parole court can't take

0:20:260:20:30

account of them.

0:20:300:20:31

If you think about the sentencing

process and the parole review as two

0:20:310:20:34

ends of the same process,

with the sentencing judge deciding

0:20:340:20:37

that the person should

have their liberty taken away

0:20:370:20:39

from them and the Parole Board

deciding at the end of that process

0:20:390:20:43

whether it should be given back

to them, you certainly wouldn't

0:20:430:20:50

consider at the sentencing stage

taking into account the views

0:20:500:20:52

of people who had made untested

complaints against somebody,

0:20:520:20:55

complaints that hadn't

been proven in court,

0:20:550:20:57

and it's exactly the same,

or it should be, as regards

0:20:570:21:00

the parole review.

0:21:000:21:07

One curiosity of our judicial system

is we are not permitted to know how

0:21:070:21:11

Worboys argued he is

no longer a risk.

0:21:110:21:13

The statutory instrument governing

the Parole Board says information

0:21:130:21:19

about proceedings must

not be made public.

0:21:190:21:21

I'm not allowed by law to explain

the reasons for our decision,

0:21:210:21:28

and I've said before,

I'd like to get that changed,

0:21:280:21:30

and so if this pushes the idea

that the Parole Board processes need

0:21:300:21:34

to be much more open

and transparent, and we get support

0:21:340:21:37

for that, then I think some good

will have come out of all of this,

0:21:370:21:41

and people in future will be able

to have much more confidence

0:21:410:21:44

in the system.

0:21:440:21:45

This isn't the first time that

Professor Hardwick has made this

0:21:450:21:48

sort of argument.

0:21:480:21:49

Late last year, he gave

a speech which said,

0:21:490:21:51

"At present, some of the decisions

that we make are subject

0:21:510:21:54

to ill-informed criticism,

but how could it be otherwise

0:21:540:21:57

when we do not provide information

about why we made a decision?"

0:21:570:22:03

He also has concerns about access

to the parole hearings themselves.

0:22:030:22:06

For example, he says that a victim

can attend to read a victim

0:22:060:22:10

statement, but must leave

after they have done so,

0:22:100:22:12

whereas he was impressed that,

in Canada, anyone can apply

0:22:120:22:15

to attend a parole hearing -

victims, academics, the media

0:22:160:22:18

and interested members

of the public.

0:22:180:22:20

Worboys was a serial

predator who drugged women

0:22:200:22:23

before assaulting them.

0:22:230:22:24

Without openness, we do not know how

he persuaded the Parole Board

0:22:240:22:27

that he is a reformed character.

0:22:270:22:33

It's extremely difficult for some

offenders to persuade

0:22:330:22:35

the Parole Board that they

are fit to be released.

0:22:350:22:38

The usual mechanism of doing

so is completing what are called

0:22:380:22:42

mainstream sex offender

treatment programmes,

0:22:420:22:46

and a report last year found

that the mainstream sex offender

0:22:460:22:49

treatment programme wasn't reducing

reoffending rates and,

0:22:490:22:56

in some cases, may have

been increasing them.

0:22:560:22:58

They've now introduced some

new courses, which are

0:22:580:23:03

again completely untested.

0:23:030:23:04

Some of the Worboys complainants

had their investigations botched.

0:23:040:23:06

Most didn't have their

cases taken to court.

0:23:060:23:08

A number weren't told

about his release.

0:23:080:23:10

All of them want to know why

he is now considered

0:23:100:23:13

safe for release.

0:23:130:23:15

Now, Viewsnight.

0:23:150:23:16

Tonight, with another idea for 2018,

author and columnist Grace Dent.

0:23:160:23:19

That was Grace Dent.

0:23:190:23:29

That was Grace Dent.

0:26:020:26:03

In a moment, you're going

to meet Spike and Edward.

0:26:030:26:07

Whisper it quietly, but they have

squashed faces and short skulls.

0:26:070:26:10

They're French bulldogs.

0:26:100:26:12

And vets are urging pet owners

to think twice about buying them

0:26:120:26:15

and their ilk, as they suffer such

bad health problems.

0:26:150:26:18

According to data from

the Kennel Club, registrations

0:26:180:26:20

of these brachycephalic breeds -

pugs, French bulldogs -

0:26:210:26:25

have shot up.

0:26:250:26:26

In 2007, just 692 French

bulldogs were registered.

0:26:260:26:30

Last year, that went over 21,000.

0:26:300:26:34

More than 50% needed

to visit a vet last year

0:26:340:26:37

for respiratory linked problems.

0:26:370:26:38

So is it cruel to create

these pure breeds?

0:26:380:26:42

And should we lose the pug

completely to save these animals

0:26:420:26:45

pain?

0:26:450:26:48

Joining me now, Lindsey Scanlon,

she runs the French Bulldog Saviours

0:26:480:26:51

rescue charity in North Yorkshire,

and Dr Crina Dagu from

0:26:510:26:54

the London Vet Clinic,

a busy practice.

0:26:540:26:57

And Spike and Edward,

who are past their bedtime.

0:26:570:27:08

You used to be a breeder

and you had a change

0:27:080:27:11

of heart, didn't you?

0:27:110:27:12

Yes, after I saw how

they were mass produced.

0:27:120:27:17

I bred one litter and I went to see

somebody who was a big breeder,

0:27:170:27:21

a licensed one, and it was just

something and I thought,

0:27:210:27:24

if there are that many

people wanting these dogs,

0:27:240:27:26

something is going to happen.

0:27:270:27:31

So you recognise they are not well

dogs, healthy, are they?

0:27:310:27:34

In my opinion, if they are bred

right and they are tested right,

0:27:340:27:37

they can live fantastic happy lives.

0:27:370:27:41

Can they be bred in a way

that doesn't hurt them?

0:27:410:27:47

The way that a lot of these breeds

started out, they were not

0:27:470:27:53

as extreme, so if you dial

back hundreds of years,

0:27:530:27:57

then you're talking.

0:27:570:28:06

At the moment, we are struggling

to find a balance between

0:28:060:28:09

the aesthetics

0:28:090:28:09

and what's going on inside them

and the problems it causes

0:28:090:28:12

in their lives.

0:28:120:28:13

When you talk about the aesthetics,

is there a hypocrisy in the public

0:28:130:28:17

mood, that they want

the look of these dogs...

0:28:170:28:19

Are we a nation of animal lovers,

even if it causes the dogs pain?

0:28:190:28:23

Sure, a lot of celebrities have

them, they are friendly characters,

0:28:230:28:31

they are wonderful, very fun dogs.

0:28:310:28:32

It's very hard to not fall

for the round, googly eyes,

0:28:320:28:54

for the Babyface but,

once you have them, you realise

0:28:540:28:57

there are not just breathing issues,

thereafter gastrointestinal issues.

0:28:570:28:59

Your mum didn't even

get through childbirth.

0:28:590:29:01

She was brought in to rescue unknown

that she was pregnant

0:29:010:29:04

but she was purchased

off social media.

0:29:050:29:06

Somebody from the general public

purchaser, gave into a rescue,

0:29:060:29:09

not realising she was

heavily pregnant.

0:29:090:29:11

She got to the end of her pregnancy

and had big problems,

0:29:110:29:15

she had a Caesarean section,

and then we told her larynx

0:29:150:29:18

collapsed.

0:29:180:29:30

I don't think there was an issue

with reading them all.

0:29:300:29:33

If they are bred right,

if health tests are done,

0:29:330:29:36

and we are trying to educate

people on the breed,

0:29:370:29:41

and if that is done,

there isn't an issue.

0:29:410:29:43

What problems are we talking about?

0:29:430:29:46

These two are putty in your hands,

fast asleep, they seem fine.

0:29:460:29:50

But what is it that

happens to dogs like this?

0:29:510:29:57

What might happen, if we took them

outside in warmer weather

0:29:570:30:00

and we trotted them for a few

minutes, problems might start

0:30:000:30:03

becoming quite visible.

0:30:030:30:07

They have a hard time breathing,

oxygenating their blood,

0:30:070:30:11

because anatomically,

they are not...

0:30:110:30:15

They're not functioning well.

0:30:150:30:21

It's not just the breathing,

it's the digestion,

0:30:210:30:23

it's everything inside.

0:30:230:30:24

Putting all that together,

should you be stopping

0:30:240:30:27

their breed completely?

0:30:270:30:31

Should we see an end

to French bulldogs and pugs?

0:30:310:30:42

We don't have to ban breeding.

0:30:420:30:46

I don't think it's

constructive to ban breeding.

0:30:460:30:48

We have two breed them right,

to breed them back to where

0:30:480:30:51

they can function.

0:30:510:30:52

Which means mixing them?

0:30:520:30:56

For Lindsay, when you hear that

could be the end to the pure pug

0:30:560:31:00

and French bulldog, do you think

that's a good thing or bad thing?

0:31:000:31:04

I think it's a bad thing.

0:31:040:31:07

Health tests should be done

before any dog is bred.

0:31:070:31:10

Thank you both.

0:31:100:31:11

I appreciate you coming

down from Yorkshire

0:31:110:31:13

with these little guys.

0:31:130:31:23

That's about it for tonight.

0:31:230:31:24

We are back on Monday.

0:31:240:31:25

Have a great weekend.

0:31:250:31:26

Goodnight.

0:31:270:31:31

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