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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results next week and has
been trying to cut costs
and revive sales.
Now on BBC News, it's
time for Newsnight.
A man and to govern America
betrayed. How much of it is true? To
those who work with Donald Trump
recognise the chaos it describes? We
speak to the White House insider
Sebastian Mand Janice Middleton. Why
was the sentence for John Worboys so
lenient? Do we forget about the
victims of sex crimes too quickly?
We examine how they are treated by
the justice system. And isn't cruel
to breed puppies like this? Half of
all flat faced dogs needed treatment
to help issues last year. Why we
insist on making them that's when
they are so hard to breathe?
"The events I've described in these
pages", writes Michael Wolff,
"are based on conversations that
took place over 18 months
with the President and most members
of his senior staff".
The rest of the book is explosive.
He describes a president who behaves
sometimes like a child,
other times like an emperor,
neurotic, scared, phobic and scorned
by his own aides.
The President himself
denounced the book as lies,
denied the author even had access.
He tried to stop its very
publication - that only sped things
up and put it in
the best-seller list.
So tonight, on the day
the book is published -
four days early - and at the end
of a long week when it's dominated
news the world over,
we speak to those inside the White
And to one present on the same
within the book's pages.
We will ask how much of these
allegations are revelations and how
much will they change the mind
of the base that brought
Donald Trump to power.
Despite threats from President
Trump, the publishers neither this
nor desisted and instead the
publication of the explosive book
forward. Fire and fury is the work
of Michael Wolff, journalist who
says he has access to the White
House to much of the last year and
spoke to the President while writing
it. Trump 's dismissed it as lies,
says he never allowed the access.
Others have also questioned the
accuracy of the detail in the book.
But the President is clearly spooked
by the allegations within it.
absolutely spoke to the President,
whether he realised it was an
interview or not, I don't know, but
it certainly was not off the record.
It paints a White House in chaos, a
paranoid president who was horrified
to actually win, and a host of AIDS
and advisers who scorned his
abilities. The big question its
races are existential. Was a
treasonous Trump 's fund to meet
with Russian officials during the
campaign? Is the president of sound
mind to run America? But it's the
details that will stop readers in
their tracks. The council Donald
Trump's phobias, his fast food
addiction, he is viewing habits, as
well as its relations with his wife,
his daughter, early bedtime. The
book is a ready claimed its first
skull, an almighty row has broken
out between the President and his
former White House to just Stephen
Bannon whose comments first appeared
in the book. With to sue the other,
then and found himself put out of
big donor funding since it appeared.
Any questions, who will get his pen,
I don't know?
It raises the spectre
of an open secret shared by many. To
those who worked with and around
Donald Trump, they recognise the
same world Wolf describes, a White
House with no plan, a leader with no
strategy, an impulsive peak
president who acts upon his
instincts time and time again with
no interest in third-party views. Or
has the right to Haka fictionalised
the world? Trump 's critics were
simply going to see. The bigger
question, the fundamental one
perhaps if this- will any that is
written in these pages change Trump
's Palok all the way those voted for
him see him now? The answer is no,
then Fire and Fury may just be sound
and fury, ultimately signifying
nothing. To me now is Sebastian
Gorka, to ' -- deputies destined to
Donald Trump and knows the White
House well. I know in your previous
news encounters we have analysed
whether Newsnight at self is fake
news, et cetera, so to the sake of
our few with as the sake of moving
the story on, what do we agree to
recognise that that is how you view
things and this time shed a little
bit more light on how you see
operations in the White House. It is
good of you to join us. Was there
anything in the coverage of Michael
Wolff's book that struck a chord
with you, that he recognised?
Nothing at all, especially if you
look at the basic facts, he gets
completely wrong, it is except that
of ready been published, he can't
even get right with the President
new John Boehner, he says on the day
that he became president he had
never heard of him, the Speaker of
the house John Boehner when any
child can go on Google and put in
the name Donald Trump and John
Boehner and find photographs of
those to Mendelssohn with each other
two years ago.
On page ten, the author,
Michael Wolff, who has been caught
lying repeatedly in the past
in his previous books,
states that he cannot verify
the accuracy of anything
that is in the book.
What he says is many of the accounts
are in conflict with one another,
it sound as if he heard a lot
of conflicting accounts,
wrote them up and let readers decide
what to think and the accounts came
from multiple sources
he wrote up as a factual,
that is what journalists do.
No if you wrote a story that
conflicted and said I will let
the viewers decide,
you would be warned or fired.
A journalist must have
two verified sources.
Michael Wolff is a
Charlton and a liar.
His introduction tells you as much.
He paints a pictures others have
recognised a picture of a president
who sounds like he has slightly
lost his mind and behaves
in a child-like way,
do you recognise that
in the president?
He repeats the calumy
of all the left-wing Trump
You don't recognise.
I actually worked
in the White House.
I'm not a political hack who came
in to write a book to make money
and please the elite that
failed both nations,
whether the UK or the United States.
Donald Trump won on the basis
of facts that Brexit won in the UK
and wasn't predicted by the elite.
It is a joke.
Paint a picture of what you
know to be true then.
For example, I I think we are told
some of the observations say most
days Trump preferred
to be in bed at 6.
30 watching television
and eating cheeseburgers.
It is such garbage.
What time does he go to bed.
He sleeps less than two
and a half hours a day.
When he is tweeting at 4am no,
one is tweeting for him.
That is the president
of the United States.
Forget the palace intrigue.
What has he done.
He has revitalised NATO.
We have had a record-breaking
stock market rally.
1.5 million jobs created.
The lowest unemployment in 17 years.
Judge the president on the facts,
not on delusional people
who want to sell books.
Help us with the details,
it is fascinating and Trump rules -
no one touched his tooth brush,
he liked McDonald's.
Are you serious?
Somebody's tooth-brushing habits.
Tell us you know it is not true.
I won't waste people's
time with this rubbish.
Let's talk about your
How do you brush your teeth?
The interesting thing...
Do you floss?
It is the details that allow people
to know whether the rest
of it is true.
Let me quote something.
Sean Spicer repeating the mantra
"You can't make this shit up"
or Kelly Ann Conway who mimed
putting a finger gun
to her head when she reported
the president's word.
In one book 13 people demanded
he retracts the quotes,
because they were made up.
His book is like Harry Potter.
He has never been told
to issue a correction.
I have no idea what
he has been told.
I couldn't careless.
I couldn't careless whether people
have demanded retractions.
He is a hack.
Let's move from the book itself.
Just even the quotes that Trump has
put directly to the public
through Twitter, in the last week,
taking credit for airline safety
for seven years or asking
for good old global warming,
boasting of the size
of his nuclear button.
That language makes it easy
for people to believe what they're
No that is the language
that makes it easy
for an outsiding to decimate 16
members of GOP and wipe the floor
with a woman who thought
the position was owed
to her because of her gender.
The president connects
with the average man and woman
what has been ill-served
by the elite on the left and right
for more than 20 years.
God bless the president
and his Twitter feed.
A lot of people say it is painting
a very accurate picture,
one that other reporters
have written about.
That is a very scientific
term, lots and lots.
Lots and lots of
people a at the BBC?
What about Janice Min,
she was at the table
and at the Roger Ailes/Bannon dinner
and verified everything she read
in the book.
Let her talk for herself.
Thank you very much.
Michael Wolff said today
that he stands by "everything
reported in the book".
We asked him for an interview,
but he wasn't available.
Janice Min is part-owner
of The Hollywood Reporter
and was invited to the dinner party
attended by Steve Bannon
and Roger Ailes that is
recounted in the book.
She joins me now from LA.
Thank you for joining us.
Tell us what went on that night -
you were one of a very small select
group, just six guests
at the dinner with Roger Ailes,
What do you remember of it?
I remember almost every detail.
This was a small party of six guests
at Michael Wolff's house
and listening to Dr Gorka,
I think that the position from Trump
loyalists is that Michael
Wolff is an outsider.
It is from my experience
with Michael, I don't see that.
He was such an intimate
and a so warmly received
by Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes
and Roger's wife and had such
a level of trust with them
that the conversation
we had was stunning.
The things from start
to finish, for five hours,
they poured their hearts out
about the Republican Party and how
they were going to, who they were
going to put into cabinet.
Roger Ailes offered to coach
candidates in their congressional
They talked of Rudy Giuliani.
Steve Bannon said they owed him
something because he had come out
forcefully and spoke on the shows
in the United States,
when no-one else would
after the Access Hollywood tapes.
Roger Ailes said, you know,
just let him be photographed walking
out of Air Force One.
Just detail after detail that,
were they openly spoke
so comfortably in front of Michael.
To any way characterise him -
you can try to dispute the facts,
but you can't dispute
the relationship he had
with people in the White House.
At that dinner, did it
seem as if Steve Bannon
was in the driving point,
you had the Fox news Executive,
Roger Ailes, were they still
in shock that he had won?
No, you know, I think Roger Ailes
might have been in a bit of shock.
He had said that, he had said to me,
he was sitting to my right,
he said, you know, "These guys
are a little right of my tastes
and I'm a life-long Republican".
He was surprised, but Bannon,
he is full steam ahead.
He was invigorated, I think this
whole notion we have of him
that he is foaming at the mouth
and crazy and he had given
an interview to Michael Wolff that
made news before this dinner
where he said "I'm Darth
Vader, I'm Satan".
He came in with a great mood and sat
down and one of the first thing
he said, we are going to move
the embassy to Jerusalem in Israel
and they had
a discussion about that.
Then they started ticking off
Supreme Court appointments.
They were, he was...
I would say it was his relationship
with the president was he was a take
charge guy and there were things
he said that made me think he didn't
think Donald Trump was
dwell on the details.
He was entrusting Bannon.
To today now.
A lot of what Wolff recounts
suggests a man in the White House
who is not really in control
of his faculties, who is impetuous,
who is perhaps losing his mind,
who has not had the trust
of many of his advisers
and start first.
Is that something that
you see and recognise,
or is this Wolff going too far
and just writing down conversations
as Sebastian Gorka said?
I remember Michael Wolff,
for starters, I know
Sarah Huckabee Sanders got upset
and said they didn't know
he in there, he wasn't allowed.
Whatever the actual scenario was,
let's say Donald Trump really didn't
know, which I don't believe
that there was a reporter sitting
in the west wing for weeks and weeks
without his knowledge?
What does it say about
the organisation of the White House
or its press team?
I don't think there's a good answer
anyone can come up with about why
Michael Wolff was in there,
except that he was allowed,
which in hindsight it embarrassing.
One last thought, if this is read
by critics of Trump,
they will happily believe it
because it feeds their narrative.
Would it make any difference
to his base, and will this public
split with Steve Bannon hurt Trump's
electoral chances this year
or next time?
I think Bannon and Trump
are a lovesick couple that go
back and forth.
I don't think it's anything.
It's a mutually
I don't think this
is the end of them.
I'd be surprised.
There is such a narrative that's
been constructed since Trump
was running, since he was
the candidate, that everything
is fake, and it's an easy way
to dismiss things you don't like,
so do think that Michael Wolff
in a book with troubling details
will be treated any differently
to any member of the press who has
sat and reported on Donald Trump
for a year would be naive.
If Michael Wolff had released a bomb
cyclone of news about Donald Trump,
that happens to make their heat
on this particular book hotter
than any story in the New York Times
or the Guardian for what ever else
has been covering
Trump for this time.
Thank you for coming in.
The former black cab driver
John Worboys was convicted of 19
offences, including one rape,
although police believe he attacked
many more women.
Yet he was released this week
after a decade behind bars,
to the shock and surprise
of his victims.
What was it that led
to such a short sentence?
And how likely is it that such
a prolific offender can be reformed
to the point where he
won't offend again?
Our policy editor, Chris Cook,
has a look at the sentencing,
parole and rehabilitation
of sex offenders.
John Worboys, the so-called black
cab rapist, is suspected of perhaps
hundreds of assaults.
After an investigation
riddled with mistakes,
he was finally jailed
indefinitely in 2009,
but he's been cleared for release
from prison after just nine years.
Part of the issue with the Worboys
case is that he was only tried
and convicted for a subset of
the crimes for which he is the prime
suspect, so he was convicted
for one count of rape,
five counts of sexual assault,
one attempted sexual assault
and a dozen cases of
drugging his victims.
For all of that, he got
an indefinite sentence,
so he had to serve a minimum
of eight years in prison,
after which he could be released,
but only if he could prove
that he no longer posed
a danger to the public.
The process is tough on victims,
especially as a number were not told
that Worboys was going to be
released at the end of this month,
and most of the 83 complainants
to the CPS never got
their cases heard.
There are some victims
who want their day in court,
but there are others who don't
want to appear in court and feel
that's right for them.
But this comes back
to communicating to victims.
If we are hoping to gain confidence
for victims to come forward,
in such horrific cases,
I may add, we have got
to have better communication.
Where cases weren't taken to court,
it was either because of a lack
of evidence or because they were not
expected to add to his sentence,
but not taking them to court also
means the parole court can't take
account of them.
If you think about the sentencing
process and the parole review as two
ends of the same process,
with the sentencing judge deciding
that the person should
have their liberty taken away
from them and the Parole Board
deciding at the end of that process
whether it should be given back
to them, you certainly wouldn't
consider at the sentencing stage
taking into account the views
of people who had made untested
complaints against somebody,
complaints that hadn't
been proven in court,
and it's exactly the same,
or it should be, as regards
the parole review.
One curiosity of our judicial system
is we are not permitted to know how
Worboys argued he is
no longer a risk.
The statutory instrument governing
the Parole Board says information
about proceedings must
not be made public.
I'm not allowed by law to explain
the reasons for our decision,
and I've said before,
I'd like to get that changed,
and so if this pushes the idea
that the Parole Board processes need
to be much more open
and transparent, and we get support
for that, then I think some good
will have come out of all of this,
and people in future will be able
to have much more confidence
in the system.
This isn't the first time that
Professor Hardwick has made this
sort of argument.
Late last year, he gave
a speech which said,
"At present, some of the decisions
that we make are subject
to ill-informed criticism,
but how could it be otherwise
when we do not provide information
about why we made a decision?"
He also has concerns about access
to the parole hearings themselves.
For example, he says that a victim
can attend to read a victim
statement, but must leave
after they have done so,
whereas he was impressed that,
in Canada, anyone can apply
to attend a parole hearing -
victims, academics, the media
and interested members
of the public.
Worboys was a serial
predator who drugged women
before assaulting them.
Without openness, we do not know how
he persuaded the Parole Board
that he is a reformed character.
It's extremely difficult for some
offenders to persuade
the Parole Board that they
are fit to be released.
The usual mechanism of doing
so is completing what are called
mainstream sex offender
and a report last year found
that the mainstream sex offender
treatment programme wasn't reducing
reoffending rates and,
in some cases, may have
been increasing them.
They've now introduced some
new courses, which are
again completely untested.
Some of the Worboys complainants
had their investigations botched.
Most didn't have their
cases taken to court.
A number weren't told
about his release.
All of them want to know why
he is now considered
safe for release.
Tonight, with another idea for 2018,
author and columnist Grace Dent.
That was Grace Dent.
That was Grace Dent.
In a moment, you're going
to meet Spike and Edward.
Whisper it quietly, but they have
squashed faces and short skulls.
They're French bulldogs.
And vets are urging pet owners
to think twice about buying them
and their ilk, as they suffer such
bad health problems.
According to data from
the Kennel Club, registrations
of these brachycephalic breeds -
pugs, French bulldogs -
have shot up.
In 2007, just 692 French
bulldogs were registered.
Last year, that went over 21,000.
More than 50% needed
to visit a vet last year
for respiratory linked problems.
So is it cruel to create
these pure breeds?
And should we lose the pug
completely to save these animals
Joining me now, Lindsey Scanlon,
she runs the French Bulldog Saviours
rescue charity in North Yorkshire,
and Dr Crina Dagu from
the London Vet Clinic,
a busy practice.
And Spike and Edward,
who are past their bedtime.
You used to be a breeder
and you had a change
of heart, didn't you?
Yes, after I saw how
they were mass produced.
I bred one litter and I went to see
somebody who was a big breeder,
a licensed one, and it was just
something and I thought,
if there are that many
people wanting these dogs,
something is going to happen.
So you recognise they are not well
dogs, healthy, are they?
In my opinion, if they are bred
right and they are tested right,
they can live fantastic happy lives.
Can they be bred in a way
that doesn't hurt them?
The way that a lot of these breeds
started out, they were not
as extreme, so if you dial
back hundreds of years,
then you're talking.
At the moment, we are struggling
to find a balance between
and what's going on inside them
and the problems it causes
in their lives.
When you talk about the aesthetics,
is there a hypocrisy in the public
mood, that they want
the look of these dogs...
Are we a nation of animal lovers,
even if it causes the dogs pain?
Sure, a lot of celebrities have
them, they are friendly characters,
they are wonderful, very fun dogs.
It's very hard to not fall
for the round, googly eyes,
for the Babyface but,
once you have them, you realise
there are not just breathing issues,
thereafter gastrointestinal issues.
Your mum didn't even
get through childbirth.
She was brought in to rescue unknown
that she was pregnant
but she was purchased
off social media.
Somebody from the general public
purchaser, gave into a rescue,
not realising she was
She got to the end of her pregnancy
and had big problems,
she had a Caesarean section,
and then we told her larynx
I don't think there was an issue
with reading them all.
If they are bred right,
if health tests are done,
and we are trying to educate
people on the breed,
and if that is done,
there isn't an issue.
What problems are we talking about?
These two are putty in your hands,
fast asleep, they seem fine.
But what is it that
happens to dogs like this?
What might happen, if we took them
outside in warmer weather
and we trotted them for a few
minutes, problems might start
becoming quite visible.
They have a hard time breathing,
oxygenating their blood,
they are not...
They're not functioning well.
It's not just the breathing,
it's the digestion,
it's everything inside.
Putting all that together,
should you be stopping
their breed completely?
Should we see an end
to French bulldogs and pugs?
We don't have to ban breeding.
I don't think it's
constructive to ban breeding.
We have two breed them right,
to breed them back to where
they can function.
Which means mixing them?
For Lindsay, when you hear that
could be the end to the pure pug
and French bulldog, do you think
that's a good thing or bad thing?
I think it's a bad thing.
Health tests should be done
before any dog is bred.
Thank you both.
I appreciate you coming
down from Yorkshire
with these little guys.
That's about it for tonight.
We are back on Monday.
Have a great weekend.