The stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark, including fresh Trump Russia revelations. Plus Labour's shadow defence secretary, and Rachel Nickell's son speaks.
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President Trump takes off on his first foreign tour,
but there's no chance of leaving his troubles, and his
If there is evidence is mounting that there might have been efforts
to obstruct justice that would be a parallel back to Nixon and wouldn't
look good for the president. Tonight, as fresh revelations
about Russia and the man he sacked as FBI boss -
who he apparently told the Russians was a "nutjob" -
engulf the Trump White House, we ask whether he can
keep his presidency on the road. Jeremy Corybn's right hand man today
made the bold claim that Labour We ask the Shadow Defence Secretary
what that would mean The little boy who witnessed
the horrific murder of his mother Rachel Nickell 25 years ago
tells his story of the trauma he suffered, and the impact
of relentless press intrusion. All of a sudden we saw this man
lunging forward with a black bag over his shoulder, and then
everything happened. In a matter of seconds I was grabbed, thrown to the
floor, my face dragged across the mud. Seconds later my mother
collapsed next to me. And Newsnight's own battle bus
ventures to the parts of the country You don't get much of a buzz around
here. That's why we are here! This evening, Donald Trump left
Washington for this first Eight days away, visiting five
countries, including Often an outing on the global stage
is an opportunity to draw the heat from domestic travails,
but in Trump's case there's no chance of a let-up back at base,
in a week where it has felt that perhaps the tectonic plates shifted
definitively in the ever-developing scandal over Trump's dealings
with the Russians, and his Tonight, two separate stories
which threaten fresh Our diplomatic editor
Mark Urban is here. No sooner has the President's
playing taken off than two new bombshells were dropped by the
Washington Post and the New York Times. The Washington post saying
that the FBI investigation into possible collusion with Russia in
the election period was gathering pace and had a new person of
interest who was a serving member of the White House staff. People are
speculating on Twitter, some of them quite informed reporters, that that
is none other than Jared Kushner the son-in-law of the president. We
don't know that but that is the speculation. The New York Times
story saying they have a minute, a written record, of that meeting with
the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in which President Trump is
quoted as saying that Comey the director of the FBI was a "nut job",
that he was putting him under pressure over Russia and now that is
taken care of. That does feed those who say this is obstruction of
justice in the case they are trying to make. You wonder if Trump knows
that minutes have been taken. You could say there is a buy the
book answer and people understand the processes involved if this is
going to come to a formal, legal charge, if it's going to get
impeachment. With impeachment the house of representatives have to
vote for it and a lot of the calculation has been, until the
mid-term elections in late 2018, that's not even a possibility
because the Republicans control the house of representatives. Would they
really vote for impeachment. But the pace of the these last two weeks is
causing some people to reassess, and ask if real, hard evidence is
produced by the FBI, or the other investigations on the Hill will
support crumble, and will this become more and more like that
defining presidential scandal, Watergate.
All the President's men made bringing down Richard Nixon seem
like the most romantic of adventures. Particularly if you're a
journalist. Now, many in Washington see the parallels, talk breathlessly
of impeachment, as they watch Donald Trump's legal difficulties multiply.
If there is evidence is mounting that there might have been efforts
to obstruct justice, that would be a parallel back to Nixon and would not
look good for the president. The other thing that I would look for
whether the special counsel is going to bring charges. If we know there
are ongoing criminal investigation is coming out of this
counterintelligence investigation also going on, that's not typical.
Usually you don't see a lot of prosecutions coming out of a
counterintelligence investigation. Depending on who is implicated, that
might spell trouble. Earlier this week it emerged the president had
briefed the Russian Foreign Minister with highly sensitive intelligence.
Bennett leaked that the FBI director sacked Pender memo pressuring to
drop investigations and a fire adviser Mike Flynn. Then on
Wednesday night the Justice Department had appointed a special
counsel to investigate Trump's ties to Russia, prompting claims of a
witchhunt. No president of the United States wants a special
counsel appointed. In the case of President Clinton where he had an
independent counsel, but led to Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky. With
Ronald Reagan we had the arms for hostages situation that tarnished
the end of his term. No president wants a special counsel appointed,
the question is was there an underlying crime in Mr Trump's case.
And so the Watergate analogies begin. The special counsel claims of
obstruction of justice, and Trump's political enemies talking in
impeachment. Key to the drama of Watergate was the character of Deep
Throat, reputedly a deputy director at the FBI who guided reporters that
underground assignations towards their quarry, the president. Well,
that's one of the similarities with today's situation, although now you
could say there are differences. There are so many Deep Throats and
so many reporters pursuing Trump, but according to your prejudice you
could say that's a sign of the resistance at work, or of a deep
conservative establishment trying to thwart his programme of radical
change. We've seen the deep state working round-the-clock... The
President's backers paint what's happening as the revenge of a deep
state against a president elected on a platform of radical change. You
have instance after instance where it is not coincidence, it's fact
that people are leaking classified information to try to harm the Trump
administration. You can have a political agenda, just put your name
in front of it and leaked it with your name attached and get arrested
for its. The president, like Nixon, likes to likes to refer to a
witchhunt, but how far is it now from impeachment? The Case against
Trump of collusion or obstruction of justice isn't yet proven, but
ultimately the judgment of his party is critical, and for that you have
to look to Congress and count the votes. Evidence against him doesn't
have to meet the standards to prosecute him in a court. A bit of
fudge room there and it depends on the support he has. The House would
have to have to vote to impeach, the Senate would have to vote to remove
him, and those are really political issues and will depend on the amount
of support that he has. President Nixon chose to resign before it came
to an actual impeachment, but when he knew his party was slipping away.
Trump may not go so easily, but all eyes will now be on the party and
whether support starts to crumble. Joining us from Washington
is journalist James Fallows, who started his career covering
Nixon's fall in Watergate and went on to become chief speech writer
to President Carter. He's now the national
correspondent for The Atlantic. Good evening. First of all let's
deal with the New York Times story that Trump told the Russians that
Komi was, that the removal of pain me ended the pressure on him and he
went on to call him a "nut job" -- the removal of Comey ended the
pressure on him. The suspicion in most cases like this is you find
some subtle clues of obstruction of justice and the president doing
things because they're some three Domino effect that will reduce
pressure on him. According to these reports, Trump is out right in
saying this was the reason he got rid of FBI director Comey. In any
normal political environment this would be serious trouble for a
president. You say in any normal political environment, so you are
not sure? Yes and the commentary you are having was right that there are
legal enquiries under way but fundamentally this is a political
decision. So far a major difference between this episode and Watergate,
apart from the speed with which things are unfolding, is back during
Watergate there were a number of members of the Republican party who
said, wait a minute, what principles are being violated, what about the
constitution. So far there has been some hand-wringing and concern from
members of the Republican party but none of them have actually voted for
investigations, etc. Let's turn to the Washington Post, that someone
close to the president, speculation is that it is Jared Kushner, is now
a significant person of interest in the enquiry into links between
Russia and the Trump campaign. Is this just another small step king of
the fire or is it important? This reminds me of the actual Watergate
in that news unfolded everyday and you didn't know it would lead. There
are two uncertainties, one is what person of interest means, the other
is whether we are talking about Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon,
somebody close to the president and still on his active-duty service. It
could be a week from now we are looking at this as the domino which
moved things, it could be that some other thing will have occupied our
attention. It is potentially interesting. So these stories, both
of them came out as soon as Trump was wheels up leaving for a foreign
trip. It might suggest that the papers are engaged in some kind of
warfare with the president, and it's not so much the deep state but the
media generally is out to get him. What do you think about that? My
guess is that if either of these publications had had the material
ready to go three hours earlier, they would have used it then. You
could say this is the deadline for a daily paper but it is 24 hour news
cycle now. I think it's when they had the facts they went with it as
soon as they could. Does that suggest that even though when he's
away there may be more dripping out in the next couple of weeks? He's
away now for nine days. How embarrassing will this be to him
abroad, or not so? It is traditionally true that
oversees presidents look stronger but it is hard to see how that can
work with Donald Trump, he has not experienced internationally and he
is going to tricky places, Saudi Arabia and Israel and whenever
things get dicey, his impulse has been to lash out through Twitter or
whatever else and maybe he is under tighter discipline when on Air Force
one but there is wi-fi on that! I think that the momentum of these
revelations is likely to continue while he is overseas. Thank you very
much. Throughout the election,
Newsnight is embedding in the Cumbrian constituency
of Barrow-in-Furness, to capture in close-up
how the campaign looks from the perspective
of one key marginal seat. Barrow's Labour majority of 800,
a Ukip vote of 11% in 2015, and a 60% vote for Brexit,
all make it high on John Woodcock, whilst campaigning
under a Labour ticket, is one of the party's most outspoken
critics of its leader, This week, our film-maker
Nick Blakemore spent time We just hear it on the doorstep,
time and again, people saying: "we've always been Labour,
but we're worried about you nationally,
and we don't know what to do". The national election
is going to be decided elsewhere, and it's going to be decided
in favour of another They have called it because they
know they're going to win. And, I mean, James,
what is your sense of going out There's maybe an 80-90% chance that
they're sticking with us, but there's that remaining 10% that
either aren't sure or they are I feel it is not as high
as 80 or 90%, actually. Hello, I'm Simon Fell,
the Conservative candidate. You kind of, just picture
Theresa May of a morning, setting off to go to Parliament
on the A590, she'd never get there. She would never get
there, would she? And something would be done
about it, because it'd And this is what, I think,
is very frustrating for everybody. It's not to you or anybody else,
but we always feel that this part of the country is,
just get everything palmed off, the dirty work, you know,
the construction, just A Tory nodding dog
won't be there for you. A Tory nodding dog won't be
there for you when it matters. My record shows I've
always put you first. Please re-elect me
on the 8th of June. OK, one more time,
and I may just nail it. Are you campaigning
on the manifesto? So, any discussion of Labour's
manifesto is actually slightly artificial,
because it can show But when people understand,
actually, that the Tories are going to win nationally,
they view it in a different light. It's her policies on
education I don't like. I don't like the way she is putting
pressure on the kids, Justine Greening the Education
Secretary, you know, she is a comprehensive girl,
this is the job she's I think now we are going
to see a bit of a shift We had in Cameron the heir to Blair,
and we now have in Theresa May someone who is recognised as a tough
leader, who will buckle down Her brand of Conservativism
is really different. She wants to turn us
into the workers' party, What makes you qualified
to represent Barrow-in-Furness So you don't live
in the constituency? I've actually put a bet
with a punter, who is going to get sacked first, Corbyn
or Woodcock by Corbyn? I think Nigel Farage is the most
honest man I've seen Prior to that, well,
Enoch Powell, arguably. He was not afraid to hold his line,
even though the rest of the world We've got the Secretary of State
with us to discuss issues on the rail station,
but also the A590 and the A595. I've been up looking
at roads all across Cumbria, both up in Copeland and down
here in Barrow, and the number of things that need doing,
including the A590, probably can't spend the next ten years
going through a farmyard. In Barrow, there are a higher
than average proportion of people on disability living allowance,
so living with disabilities, and they feel that under
a Conservative government they have We don't want to do anything
else but support those people with disabilities
who need that support. But it is reasonable that
when people receive a benefit, that they should have been properly
assessed as to whether they are the right people
to receive that benefit. Simon, it's been almost 25
years since there's been Will anybody from the Shadow
Cabinet be coming to your Well, I would be
delighted if they did! One thing that I know is I've had
really good support from Cat Smith, who is a valiant Shadow Cabinet
member for younger people. Right, first of all I'd
like to thank you for attending. It's a pretty miserable
night out there. To my left, far left, I have Andy
from London and John Woodcock. John Woodcock, who is
the Parliamentary candidate Because there are no
members of Parliament, Anyway, sorry, don't
let me interrupt you! This is a community coming together
to show that we want And through all of the national
staff, who is going to be Prime Minister, this
is what politics is about. I would have been happy if this
general election had been called in 2020,
as was planned. But now it's here, I'm sure
that we are going to make the issue of the post office central
to this campaign. I was actually put in Parliament
to do right by my constituents, We can't pretend to be
something we're not, But what's important
is that there are these Labour voices who'll stand up
for their communities. There are five candidates standing
for election in Barrow-in-Furness. Well, Barrow-in-Furness is a key
centre for defence jobs, and we're going now to examine
the Labour Party's position This week their manifesto launch
boosted Labour's poll ratings to the highest so far
in the campaign. But defence - and in particular
their position on Trident - has been an area of real tension
within the party under Nia Griffith is the Shadow Defence
Secretary and she joins me now. Good evening. That is talk about
this confusion over Trident. There was a line in the leaked draft
manifesto, any Prime Minister should be extremely cautious about ordering
the use of weapons of mass destruction, that disappeared from
the official version. It is clear in the draft version and the final
version that we are fully committed to having a Trident nuclear
deterrent and it is not appropriate to go into detail about how and when
you might use that in the manifesto. We have it, that's deterrent is
there to be used. It is there to be used. It is going to be part of a
strategic defence review? Is that a good idea? When we have a review
coming into government, it is about how we would spend money and what we
would do and in what order, what sort of timetable. It is not about
questioning whether we would have a Trident nuclear deterrent because we
settle that last year. Emily Thornberry tonight suggests that it
was possible that it could be scrapped as part of the defence
review. And indeed, Jeremy Corbyn says that it is part of the
strategic defence, we know his own position and it is different from
the Labour Party's. In a sense, Trident is not secure. In all
respect, Emily is not the Shadow Defence Secretary, I am. We had a
long meeting on Thursday to agree the manifesto as nobody raised the
issue of removing Trident from the manifesto. That was agreed last year
as part of our defence review that we had last year and is part of the
national policy... Emily Thornberry said we're going to have a proper
review and there is no point in reviewing Trident if you are
absolutely committed to it? We are. Emily Thornberry is wrong. Indeed.
Last year we looked at this at the national policy forum and it was
decided to keep the nuclear deterrent and that was reaffirmed...
Three weeks from the general election, the Shadow Defence
Secretary says there is no chance will not be with us, it is a firm
commitment. The Shadow foreign secretary says everything is up for
grabs, it is possible it could be scrapped. We don't know your policy?
I am very clear because it has been reaffirmed every year, we made a
commitment in 2007 to renew the Trident deterrent and that is our
position and commitment to our foreign allies and our industrial
workforce and that has been reaffirmed year after year at Labour
Party Conference and again on Thursday, with the manifesto
meeting, it was fully affirmed by the room. This is a very serious
time, not some count of opposition conversation. 18 months from the
election. There is an election in three weeks, Jeremy Corbyn could be
the Prime Minister, we will have a strategic review, Emily Thornberry
says everything is up for grabs and it could be Trident and the Shadow
Defence Secretary does not say that. You were not even at the manifesto
launch. I was at the meeting last Thursday, when we were looking at
the detail of this programme. It was a money not listening? Not one query
was raised about Trident. On The Andrew Marr Show this month, Jeremy
Corbyn was categoric, there will be no first use of nuclear weapons. It
is not a deterrent? It is important to have the deterrent and that you
are prepared to use it. You will do everything else before, you have a
dramatic means and conventional military means, nobody in any
circumstance would want to use that as your first line of attack. Nobody
is suggesting somebody is going to fire a missile was fired the most
incredible thought but what we are seeing is Jeremy Corbyn said there
would be no first use, it might as well be a very expensive white
elephant. Do you believe you have to be prepared ultimately for first use
if you have nuclear weapons? You have to be prepared, that might be
the circumstance you find yourself in in this very uncertain world and
that is why it is essential we keep that nuclear deterrant but nobody
would put that as the first item on the agenda, what we need to do is
make sure that we actually get in quickly to deal with problems so
they do not escalate. Let us turn to Nato. There is a manifesto
commitment, the same Nato that Jeremy Corbyn called a danger to
world peace and world security? We are fully committed to Nato, it is
the cornerstone of our defence policy and even more important by
coming out of the European Union that we reaffirm that policy and
that we are committed to that 2% spending commitment. Let us say that
Nato is called upon, Russia invades Estonia, for example, Britain is
called upon as a member to put military equipment and personnel in
to resolve that situation. Jeremy Corbyn seems to suggest that we
would not necessarily in certain circumstances come to the aid of a
Nato member militarily? We are fully signed up to the Nato treaty, which
says we would put in that... He is wrong? Of course we all go through
the other processes, also in that treaty, of diplomatic means first
but ultimately, you have to back up your defence... If what we're saying
is you say that if you asked militarily to support Estonia, there
will be no question, Jeremy Corbyn does not say that, I will put it to
you, the Tories say the Labour Party is in chaos, three weeks from the
election, there is nothing graver than defence policy, we do not know
if there will be first use of nuclear weapons and if Britain could
come to the end -- aid of another Nato country. We are fully signed up
to all of our Nato commitments and that means that if the threat was of
that nature, we would put in that military force and we support the
enhanced progress that is in Estonia already. Thank you.
It's 25 years since a young mother, Rachell Nickell, was stabbed
repeatedly and killed on Wimbledon Common in London.
What made the murder even more shocking was that it was witnessed
That put him in potential danger from the killer
The combination of the need to protect Alex's identity
and the intense, shocking media intrusion led his father, Andre,
to take him to rural France and then to Spain to start a new life.
Now, Alex Hanscombe has written a book which contains
extraordinarily vivid detail of that day and tells the traumatic
But most of all, Letting Go: A True Story of Murder,
Loss and Survivial is a tribute to his mother, Rachel.
Waving goodbye to my father as he drove off in his
I remember walking hand-in-hand with my mother
And then, as we ventured deeper into the trees, there was a section
All of a sudden, we both sensed that there was something in the air
so we both turned our heads to the right quickly
and all of a sudden we saw this man lunging forward with a black bag
In a matter of seconds, I was grabbed, thrown to the floor,
my face dragged across the mud, and seconds later my mother
And then I saw him disappear as I was getting myself up
from the floor, still, because it all happened so quickly.
And then he just disappeared into the distance,
And I stood over my mother and I said, Mummy, please get up.
So I was thinking, why doesn't she move?
And then I said it again, Mummy, please get up.
And then it hit me right at that moment.
I understood, I made that connection that she was gone
You feel that very physically in your heart.
For me, more than anything that we may have done together,
what she looked like, what she smelt like, any of these
things is the feeling of being loved and of loving in return.
That is something that will always be with me.
And regardless of me losing her under these circumstances
at such a young age, I have always felt so privileged
compared to so many others, who have never had that experience
of being loved and of loving in return.
How did your father explain your mother's death to you?
The fact that I was there, I already understood it all in my mind.
There wasn't much for my father to say.
But even so, when he came to collect me at the hospital,
as he held me in his arms, he said, your mother is gone
But we are going to continue on together.
One of the most intense moments, when you went to the common,
supposedly privately, with your father, and by this stage
Yes, all the reporters that were on the other side of the fence
So they all came jumping over the fence.
My father had to cover my face with a baseball cap.
We had to run off as we were jostled from both sides and the detectives
tried to stop them from coming and when we reached the spot,
he put me on the ground and we left the rose on the spot.
And for several minutes I stood watching my father
Meanwhile, my eyes were dry and I was just standing
Why do you think the press were so desperate to get you?
The archetype of a young child with his mother and him
being there while his mother was attacked and witnessing
all of that, I think there were so many elements that
The press is a business, we like to think the press as some
But the press is a private-run business with their own agenda.
That would serve them as well as selling newspapers.
So then your father, out of the blue, gets a call to say
You and me would think it is hard enough to get away with one serious
crime yet this person got away with over 100 attacks
on over 80 women before he was finally apprehended.
Had they been more efficient before, your mother would not be dead
and I wonder what you feel about the police's behaviour?
What I feel about the police is everyone is going to make mistakes.
That is an accepted fact, that is just nature.
But when you have a system where people aren't obliged to be
accountable to take responsibility for their actions,
that is when you create dark corridors and you attract a certain
person to that position, which is more prone to incompetence,
Because now what we have is the principal of because the police
are well-intentioned, they shouldn't be held accountable.
In the book you have made it clear that you forgive Robert Napper.
Once you have been through a difficult situation,
it makes no sense to keep feeling pain, feeling discomfort every time
So without condoning that person's actions,
that person's behaviour, you forgive that person for yourself
so you can let go of that negative baggage that you accumulate
Do you think she would think you had turned out well?
I know that she knows that I have turned out well.
Alex Hanscombe, thank you very much indeed.
It wouldn't be a general election campaign without a few
Reporters dressed as chickens pursuing party leaders,
distinguished correspondents playing cards and eating curry
We do things rather differently here on Newsnight,
with our blackboards and uplifting graphs.
Tonight, we unveil our latest Reithian feature,
which basically involves sending an old double-decker bus to parts
of the country that never see a real battlebus,
or indeed much of the campaign at all.
What's worse, the unfortunate souls of these under-covered seats,
who are normally spared politics, also had to put up
Go out and bring us back a complete breakdown.
And that's just what we did with a 1966 Routemaster double-decker.
She's already got more than 2 million miles on the clock.
We're rolling this baby into some of the safest or most overlooked
Ones that rarely get a visit from the party leaders
It's a special feature we're calling "Battle Busted".
We're bringing the Newsnight bus to the rolling constituency
It is one of the most rural and isolated parts of the country.
It used to be a safe Liberal stronghold but the Conservatives
have held it since 2010, and they're expected to retain it.
It's the only seat in Wales that Labour has never won.
I'm on a creaking old vehicle that we're using to explore
But enough about the programme, what do you think of my bus?
I was about to tick you off for rocking the old crate around,
but now that it's you, who better to show me around this
These streets can tell a few stories.
When he was a Lib Dem MP here, Lembit Opik lived in the fast lane.
Dating a weather girl and then a pop star.
He was seldom out of the limelight, but perhaps he attracted too many
headlines for the locals, because he lost in 2010.
Tell us a bit about it, for people who have not been lucky
enough to see this lovely green part of the Earth.
It is a huge constituency, about 70 miles by 70 miles.
Very few people here, more sheep than people,
And do you think that your former constituents will be
excited to see our bus with its associations,
I suppose inevitably, with the metropolis down here?
Some constituents will look at it and hope that this means there's
finally a robust service from Llanidloes up to Caersws.
We have a bit of time, we could take a few.
You will need a lot of time and you could probably
But in the majority, they are a wily local population.
They will look at this London bus and just assume
We asked people in the market town of Newtown whether they suffered
Well, we don't see an awful lot, that is very true around here.
Yes, you feel a little bit left out of things.
There isn't much election fever here on the face of it
and we wondered if people felt they missed out?
I'm not sure whether people are feeling they are missing out.
I think people may be feeling that in the middle of Wales,
Do you regret that they don't tend to come and see
I'm interested in politics, I have been watching television
and all that sort of stuff and I never would expect them
It was time to get back on the bus and resume a job very much
I once spent an entire election campaign in a motorway service
But this time, my billet was out in the fresh air of Montgomeryshire.
People here vote as they have done for generations.
These are young farmers learning to judge livestock.
I place the Suffolk ewes in the following order.
Before they are judged, in turn, by their elders.
There is no lack of appreciation for good speech-making here.
As soon as I am 18 I have got the chance to vote and I should
We have got our Newsnight double-decker bus.
If you heard that Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn was coming to town
tomorrow, would you turn out to hear them?
I wouldn't turn out to hear them, maybe get a selfie
Join us again when we bring all the fun of the campaign
to parts of the country that the election doesn't reach.
That's all we have time for, have a good weekend.
The stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark, including fresh Trump Russia revelations. Plus Labour's shadow defence secretary, and Rachel Nickell's son speaks 25 years after witnessing her murder.