05/01/2018 Newsnight


05/01/2018

With Emily Maitlis. The book that claims to have exposed the Trump White House. Plus a look at the sentencing of sex offenders, following the release of John Worboys.


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Transcript


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The most explosive Kiss and Tell

book we've ever seen

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about a sitting President.

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Does it have the power though

to change anyones mind?

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Allegations, accusations,

stories and quotes -

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it portrays a man unfit to govern

America.

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How much of it is true?

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Do those who work with Donald Trump

recognize the chaos it describes?

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We speak to White House insider

Sebastian Gorka and Janice Min,

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who was at the pre-inauguration

dinner with those closest

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to the President.

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Why was the sentence

for John Worboys so lenient and do

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we forget about the victims

of sex crime too quickly?

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We'll examine how victims

are treated by the justice system

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And is it cruel to breed dogs

like this - half of all flat-faced

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dogs needed treatment for health

issues last year.

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Why do we insist on making them

pets when they find it

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so hard to breathe?

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Good evening.

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"The events I've described

in these pages,"

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writes Michael Wolff, "are based

on conversations that took

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place over 18 months

with the President and most members

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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

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and scorned 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.

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That only sped things up and put it

in the best seller list.

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So tonight, on the day the book

is published - four days early

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and at the end of a long week

when its dominated

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news the world over -

we speak to those inside the

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White House.

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And to one present on the same

occasions described

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within the books pages.

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We will ask how much of these

allegations are revelations?

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And how 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

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neither ceased nor

desisted.

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Instead, they brought the

publication of this explosive

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book forward.

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Fire And Fury is the work

of Michael Wolff, a journalist who

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says he had access to

the White House for much of the last

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year and spoke to the President

whilst writing it.

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Trump's dismissed it as lies,

says he never allowed the access.

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Others have also questioned

the accuracy of the details in

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the book.

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But the President is clearly spooked

by the allegations within it.

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I absolutely spoke to the President.

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Whether he realised

it was an interview or not, I don't

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know, but it certainly

was not off the record.

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It paints a White House in chaos,

a paranoid President, who

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was horrified to actually win,

and a host of aides and advisers who

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scorned his abilities.

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The big questions it

raises are existential.

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Was it treasonous of

Trump's son to meet

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with Russian officials

during

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the campaign?

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Is the President of sound

mind to run America?

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But it's the details that will stop

readers in their tracks.

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Accounts of Donald Trump's phobias,

his fast food addiction,

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his viewing habits, as well as his

relations with his wife, his

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daughter, his own hair,

and his early bedtime.

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The book's already

claimed its first scalp.

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An almighty row has

broken out between the

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President and his former White House

strategist, Steve Bannon, whose

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comments first appeared in the book.

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Both have threatened

to sue the other.

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Bannon has found himself cut out

of big donor funding since

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it appeared.

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The big question is,

who is going to get this pen?

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I don't know.

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LAUGHTER.

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It raises the spectre of an open

secret, shared by many.

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Do those who worked for,

with and around Donald

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Trump recognise this same world

Wolff describes, a White House with

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no plan, a leader with no strategy,

an impulsive, piqued President, who

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acts upon his instincts time

and again, with no interest in

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third-party views?

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Or has the writer

hyper-fictionalised

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the world Trump's

critics were simply dying to see?

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But the bigger question,

the fundamental one,

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perhaps is this -

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will any of what is

written in these pages

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change Trump's power

or the

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way those who voted

for him see him now?

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If the answer is no,

then Fire And Fury may

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just be sound and fury -

ultimately signifying nothing.

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Joining me now Dr Sebastian Gorka,

who was Deputy Assistant

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to Donald Trump and knows

the White House well.

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And Dr Gorka, I know

in your previous Newsnight

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encounters we have spent a lot

of time analysing whether Newsnight

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is fake news, et cetera.

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So for the sake of our viewers

and for the sake of moving the story

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on, why don't we agree to recognise

that is how you view things and this

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time try and shed some

light on how you see

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operations in the White House.

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It's very good of you to join us.

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Was there anything in the coverage

of Michael Wolff's book that you

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recognised?

Nothing at all

especially if you look at the basic

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facts he gets wrong. In if excerpts

he can't even get right whether the

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president knew John Boehner. He said

on the day he became president, he

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had never heard of speaker of House.

Any child can go on Google and put

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in the names and find photographs of

two golfing with each other. If you

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look at the book, I haven't spent

money on it, but the introduction,

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page 10, Michael Wolff states he

cannot verify any of the information

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he has provided and as such it is a

work of fiction.

What he says is

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many of the accounts are in conflict

with one another, it sound as if he

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heard a lot of conflicting accounts,

wrote them up and let readers decide

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what to think and the accounts came

from multiple sources he wrote up as

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a factual, that is what journalists

do.

No if you wrote a story that

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conflicted and said I will let the

viewers decide, you would be warned

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or fired. A journalist must have two

verified sources. Michael Wolff is a

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Charlton and a liar.

He paints a

pictures others have recognised a

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picture of a president who sounds

like he has slightly lost his mind

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and behaves in a child-like way, do

you recognise that in the president?

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He repeats the Calumy of all the

left-wing Trump derangement

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suffering people.

You don't

recognise.

I actually worked in the

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White House. I'm not a political

hack who came in to write a book to

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make money and please the elite that

failed both nations, whether the UK

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or the United States. Donald Trump

won on the basis of facts that

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Brexit won in the UK and wasn't

predicted by the elite. It is a

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joke.

Paint a picture of what you

know to be true then. For example, I

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I think we are told some of the

observations say most days Trump

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preferred to be in bed at 6. 30

watching television and eating

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cheeseburgers.

It is such garbage.

What time does he go to bed.

He

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sleeps less than two and a half

hours a day. When he is tweeting at

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4am no, one is tweeting for him.

That is the president of the United

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States. Forget the palace intrigue.

What has he done. He has revitalised

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NATO. We have had a record-breaking

stock market rally. Isis industried.

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-- destroyed. One and a half million

jobs created. The lowest

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unemployment in 17 years. Judge the

president on the facts, not on

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delusional people who want to sell

books.

Help us with the details, it

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is fascinating and Trump rules - no

one touched his tooth brush, he

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liked McDonald's.

Are you serious?

Somebody's tooth-brushing habits.

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Tell us you know it is not true.

I

won't waste people's time with this

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rubbish. Let's talk about your tooth

brushing. How do you brush your

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teeth?

The interesting thing...

Do

you floss?

It is the details that

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allow people to know whether the

rest of it is true. Let me quote

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something. 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 to her head

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when she reported the president's

word.

In one book 13 people demanded

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he retracts the quotes, because they

were made up. His book is like Harry

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Potter.

He has never been told to

issue a correction.

I have no idea

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what he has been told. I couldn't

careless. I couldn't careless

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whether people have demanded

retractions. He is a hack.

Let's

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move from the book itself. Just even

the quotes that Trump has put

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directly to the public through

Twitter, in the last week, taking

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credit for airline safety for seven

years or asking for good old global

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warming, boasting of the size of his

nuclear button. That language makes

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it easy for people to believe what

they're read something

No that is

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the language that makes it easy for

an outsiding to decimate 16 members

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of GOP and wipe the floor with a

woman who thought the position was

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owed to her because of her gender.

The president connects with the

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average man and woman what has been

ill-served by the elite on the left

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and right for more than 20 years.

God bless the president and his

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Twitter feed.

A lot of people say it

is painting a very accurate picture,

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one that other reporters have

written about.

That is a very

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scientific term, lots and lots. Lots

and lots of people a at the BBC?

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What about Janice Min, she was at

the table and at the Roger

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Ailes/Bannon dinner and verified

everything she read in the book. Let

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her talk for herself.

Thank you very

much.

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. Tell us

what went on that night, you were

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one of a very small select group,

just six guests at the din we are

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Roger Ailes, Steve Bannon. What do

you remember of it?

I remember

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almost every detail. This was a

small party of six guests, at

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Michael Wolff's house and listening

to your guest, I think that the

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position from Trump loyalists is

Michael Wolff is an outsider. It is

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from my experience with Michael, I

don't see that. He was such an

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intimate and a so warmly received by

Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes and

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Roger's wife and had such a level of

trust with them that the

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conversation we had was stunning. It

was... The things from start to

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finish, for five hours, they poured

their hearts out about the

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Republican Party and how they were

going to, who they were going to put

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into cabinet. Roger Ailes offered to

coach candidates in their

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congressional testimony. They talked

of Rudy Giuliani. Steve Bannon said

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they owed him something, because he

had come out forcefully and spoke on

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the shows in the United States, when

no one else would after the access

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Hollywood tapes. Roger Ailes said,

you know, just let him be

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photographed walking out of Air

Force One. Just detail after detail

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that, were they openly spoke so

comfortably in front of Michael. To

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any way characterise him. You can

try to dispute the facts, but you

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can't dispute the relationship he

had with people in the White House.

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At that dinner, did it seem as if

Steve Bannon was in the driving

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point, you had the Fox news

Executive, Roger Ailes, were they

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still in shock that he had won?

No,

you know, I think Roger Ailes might

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have been in a bit of shock. He had

said that, he had said to me, he was

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sitting to my right, he said, you

know, these guys are a little right

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of my tastes and I'm a life long

Republican. He was surprised, but

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Bannon, he is full steam ahead. He

was invigorated, I think this whole

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notion we have of him that he is

foaming at the mouth and crazy and

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he had given an interview to Michael

Wolff that made news before this

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dinner where me said I'm Darth

Vader, I'm say it tan. He came in

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with a great mood and sat down and

one of the first thing he said, we

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are going to move the Embassy to

Jerusalem in Israel and they had a

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discussion about that. Then they

started ticking off cabinet

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appointments, Supreme Court

appointments. They were, he was... I

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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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A lot of what Wolff recounts

suggests a man in the White House

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who is not really in control of his

faculties, who is impetuous, who is

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perhaps losing his mind, who has not

had the trust of many of his

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advisers and start first. Is that

something that you see and

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recognise, or is this Wolff going

too far and just writing down

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conversations without verification,

as Sebastian Gorka said?

I remember

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Michael Wolff, for starters, I know

Sarah Huckabee Sanders got upset and

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said they didn't know he in there,

he wasn't allowed. Whatever the

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actual scenario was, let's say

Donald Trump really didn't know,

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which I don't believe that there was

a reporter sitting in the west wing

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for weeks and weeks without his

knowledge? What does it say about

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the organisation of the White House

or its press team? I don't think

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there's a good answer anyone can

come up with about why Michael Wolff

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was in there, except that he was

allowed, which in hindsight it

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embarrassing.

One last thought, if

this is read by critics of Trump,

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they will happily believe it because

it feeds their narrative. Would it

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make any difference to his base, and

will this public split with Steve

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Bannon hurt Trump's electoral

chances this year or next time?

I

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think Bannon and Trump are a

lovesick couple that go back and

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forth. I don't think it's anything.

It's a mutually beneficial

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relationship. I don't think this is

the end of them. I'd be surprised.

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There is such a narrative that's

been constructed since Trump was

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running, since he was the candidate,

that everything is fake, and it's an

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easy way to dismiss things you don't

like, so do think that Michael Wolff

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in a book with troubling details

will be treated any differently to

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any member of the press who has sat

and reported on Donald Trump for a

0:17:520:17:56

year would be naive. If Michael

Wolff had released a bomb cyclone of

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news about Donald Trump, that

happens to make their heat on this

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particular book hotter than any

story in the New York Times or the

0:18:070:18:10

Guardian for what ever else has been

covering Trump for this time.

Thank

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you for coming in.

0:18:150:18:18

The former black cab driver

John Worboys was convicted of 19

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offences, including one rape,

although police believe

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he attacked many more women.

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Yet he was released this week

after a decade behind bars,

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to the shock and surprise

of his victims.

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What was it that led

to such a short sentence?

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And how likely is it that such

a prolific offender can be

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reformed to the point

where he won't offend again?

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Our policy editor, Chris Cook,

has a look at the sentencing,

0:18:370:18:40

parole and rehabilitation

of sex offenders.

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John Worboys, the so-called black

cab rapist, is suspected of perhaps

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hundreds of assaults.

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After an investigation

riddled with mistakes,

0:18:510:18:53

he was finally jailed indefinitely

in 2009, but he's been cleared

0:18:530:18:58

for release from prison

after just nine years.

0:18:580:19:03

Part of the issue with the Worboys

case is that he was only tried

0:19:030:19:07

and convicted for a subset

of the crimes for which he

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is the prime suspect,

so he was convicted for one count

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of rape, five counts of sexual

assault, one attempted sexual

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assault and a dozen cases

of drugging his victims.

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For all of that, he got

an indefinite sentence,

0:19:220:19:24

so he had to serve a minimum

of eight years in prison,

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after which he could be released,

but only if he could prove

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that he no longer posed

a danger to the public.

0:19:310:19:35

The process is tough on victims,

especially as a number were not told

0:19:350:19:38

that Worboys was going to be

released at the end of this month,

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and most of the 83 complainants

to the CPS never got

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their cases heard.

0:19:450:19:48

There are some victims

who want their day in court,

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but there are others who don't

want to appear in court and feel

0:19:510:19:54

that's right for them.

0:19:540:19:55

But this comes back

to communicating to victims.

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If we are hoping to gain confidence

for victims to come forward,

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in such horrific cases,

I may add, we have got to have

0:20:020:20:04

better communication.

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Where cases weren't taken to court,

it was either because of a lack

0:20:070:20:10

of evidence or because they were not

expected to add to his sentence,

0:20:100:20:14

but not taking them to court also

means the parole court can't take

0:20:140:20:19

account of them.

0:20:190:20:22

If you think about the sentencing

process and the parole review as two

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ends of the same process,

with the sentencing judge deciding

0:20:270:20:30

that the person should

have their liberty taken away

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from them and the Parole Board

deciding at the end of that process

0:20:360:20:40

whether it should be given back

to them, you certainly wouldn't

0:20:400:20:42

consider at the sentencing stage

taking into account the views

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of people who had made untested

complaints against somebody,

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complaints that hadn't

been proven in court,

0:20:500:20:52

and it's exactly the same,

or it should be, as regards

0:20:520:20:56

the parole review.

0:20:560:20:58

One curiosity of our judicial system

is we are not permitted to know how

0:20:580:21:02

Worboys argued he is

no longer a risk.

0:21:020:21:06

The statutory instrument governing

the Parole Board says information

0:21:060:21:09

about proceedings must not

be made public.

0:21:090:21:13

I'm not allowed by law to explain

the reasons for our decision,

0:21:130:21:17

and I've said before,

I'd like to get that changed,

0:21:170:21:20

and so if this pushes the idea

that the Parole Board processes need

0:21:200:21:24

to be much more open

and transparent, and we get support

0:21:240:21:27

for that, then I think some good

will have come out of all of this,

0:21:270:21:31

and people in future will be able

to have much more confidence

0:21:310:21:33

in the system.

0:21:330:21:34

This isn't the first time that

Professor Hardwick has made

0:21:340:21:37

this sort of argument.

0:21:370:21:38

Late last year, he gave a speech

which said, "At present,

0:21:380:21:42

some of the decisions that we make

are subject to ill-informed

0:21:420:21:45

criticism, but how could it be

otherwise when we do not provide

0:21:450:21:48

information about why

we made a decision?"

0:21:480:21:51

He also has concerns about access

to the parole hearings themselves.

0:21:510:21:56

For example, he says

that a victim can attend

0:21:560:21:59

to read a victim statement,

but must leave after they have done

0:21:590:22:02

so, whereas he was impressed that,

in Canada, anyone can apply

0:22:020:22:05

to attend a parole hearing -

victims, academics,

0:22:050:22:08

the media and interested

members of the public.

0:22:080:22:14

Worboys was a serial

predator who drugged women

0:22:140:22:16

before assaulting them.

0:22:160:22:18

Without openness, we do not know how

he persuaded the Parole Board

0:22:180:22:22

that he is a reformed character.

0:22:220:22:26

It's extremely difficult for some

offenders to persuade

0:22:260:22:29

the Parole Board that they are fit

to be released.

0:22:290:22:32

The usual mechanism of doing

so is completing what are called

0:22:320:22:35

mainstream sex offender treatment

programmes, and a report last year

0:22:350:22:39

found that the mainstream sex

offender treatment programme wasn't

0:22:390:22:44

reducing reoffending rates and,

in some cases, may have

0:22:440:22:46

been increasing them.

0:22:460:22:48

They've now introduced some

new courses, which are again

0:22:480:22:51

completely untested.

0:22:510:22:53

Some of the Worboys complainants

had their investigations botched.

0:22:530:22:56

Most didn't have their

cases taken to court.

0:22:560:22:59

A number weren't told

about his release.

0:22:590:23:03

All of them want to know why he is

now considered safe for release.

0:23:030:23:08

Now, Viewsnight.

0:23:140:23:15

Tonight, with another idea for 2018,

author and columnist Grace Dent.

0:23:150:23:18

That was Grace Dent.

0:26:010:26:03

In a moment, you're going

to meet Spike and Edward.

0:26:030:26:05

Whisper it quietly, but they have

squashed faces and short skulls.

0:26:050:26:08

They're French bulldogs.

0:26:080:26:09

And vets are urging pet

owners to think twice

0:26:090:26:11

about buying them and their ilk,

as they suffer such

0:26:110:26:13

bad health problems.

0:26:130:26:15

According to data from

the Kennel Club, registrations

0:26:150:26:17

of these brachycephalic breeds -

pugs, French bulldogs -

0:26:170:26:19

have shot up.

0:26:190:26:22

In 2007, just 692 French

bulldogs were registered.

0:26:220:26:26

Last year, that went over 21,000.

0:26:260:26:29

More than 50% needed

to visit a vet last year

0:26:290:26:31

for respiratory linked problems.

0:26:310:26:34

So is it cruel to create

these pure breeds?

0:26:340:26:38

And should we lose

the pug completely to

0:26:380:26:40

save these animals pain?

0:26:400:26:43

Joining me now, Lindsey Scanlon,

she runs the French Bulldog Saviours

0:26:430:26:45

rescue charity in North Yorkshire,

and Dr Crina Dagu from the London

0:26:450:26:49

Vet Clinic, a busy practice.

0:26:490:26:58

And Spike and Edward, who are past

their bedtime.

0:26:580:27:04

You used to be agreed about you had

a change of heart, didn't you?

Yes,

0:27:040:27:10

after I saw how they were mass

produced. I had one litter and I

0:27:100:27:14

went to see somebody who was a big

reader, a licensed one, and it was

0:27:140:27:17

just something and I thought, if

there are that many people wanting

0:27:170:27:23

these dogs, something is going to

happen.

So you recognise they are

0:27:230:27:28

not help the dogs, are they?

In my

opinion, if they are bred white and

0:27:280:27:34

they are tested right, they can live

happy lives.

-- if they are bred

0:27:340:27:38

right. Can they be great in a way

that doesn't hurt them?

The way that

0:27:380:27:47

a lot of the breed started out, they

were not as extreme, so if you go

0:27:470:27:51

back hundreds of years, they were

talking. At the moment, we are

0:27:510:27:59

struggling to find a balance between

the athletics and what's going on

0:27:590:28:02

inside them and the problems it

causes in their lives.

When you talk

0:28:020:28:08

about the athletics, is there a

hypocrisy in the public mood, that

0:28:080:28:14

they want the look of these dogs...

Are we a nation of animal lovers,

0:28:140:28:19

even if it causes the dogs pain?

Sure, a lot of celebrities have

0:28:190:28:25

them, they are friendly characters,

they are wonderful, very fun dogs.

0:28:250:28:30

It's very hard to not fall for the

round, googly eyes, for the Babyface

0:28:300:28:43

but, once you have them, you realise

there are not just breathing issues,

0:28:430:28:47

thereafter gastrointestinal issues.

-- there are.

Your mum didn't even

0:28:470:28:53

get through childbirth.

She was

brought in to rescue unknown that

0:28:530:29:00

she was pregnant but she was

purchased on social media. Somebody

0:29:000:29:03

from the general public purchaser,

gave into a rescue, not realising

0:29:030:29:11

she was heavily pregnant. She got to

the end of her pregnancy and had big

0:29:110:29:16

problems, she had a Caesarean

section, and then we told her larynx

0:29:160:29:20

collapsed.

So you understand people

saying they should not be bred

0:29:200:29:26

purely?

I don't think there was an

issue with reading them all. If they

0:29:260:29:33

are bred right, if health tests are

done, and we are trying to educate

0:29:330:29:38

people on breed, and if that is

done, there isn't an issues.

What

0:29:380:29:42

problems are we talking about? These

two are putty in your hands, fast

0:29:420:29:49

asleep, they seem fine. But what is

it that that happens to dogs like

0:29:490:29:52

this?

If we took them outside in

warmer weather and we trotted them

0:29:520:29:59

for a few minutes, problems might

start coming quite visible. They

0:29:590:30:03

have a hard time breathing

oxygenating their blood, because

0:30:030:30:10

anatomically they are not... They

are not functioning well. It's not

0:30:100:30:19

just the breathing, it's the dye

gesturing, it's everything inside.

0:30:190:30:25

Putting back together, should you be

stopping their breed completely? --

0:30:250:30:28

not just the breathing, it that I

digestion. Should we see an end to

0:30:280:30:36

bulldogs and pugs?

I don't think

it's constructive to ban reading. We

0:30:360:30:43

have two breed them right, to breed

them back to where they can

0:30:430:30:51

function.

Which means mixing? When

you hear that could be the end to

0:30:510:30:58

the pure pug and French bulldog, do

you think that's a good thing or bad

0:30:580:31:03

thing?

It's a bad thing. Health

tests should be done before any dog

0:31:030:31:09

is bred.

Thank you both. I

appreciate you coming down from

0:31:090:31:14

Yorkshire with these little guys.

0:31:140:31:17

That's about it for tonight.

0:31:170:31:21

We are back on Monday. Have a great

weekend. Good night.

0:31:210:31:28

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