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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The most explosive Kiss and Tell
book we've ever seen
about a sitting President.
Does it have the power though
to change anyones mind?
stories and quotes -
it portrays a man unfit to govern
How much of it is true?
Do those who work with Donald Trump
recognize the chaos it describes?
We speak to White House insider
Sebastian Gorka and Janice Min,
who was at the pre-inauguration
dinner with those closest
to the President.
Why was the sentence
for John Worboys so lenient and do
we forget about the victims
of sex crime too quickly?
We'll examine how victims
are treated by the justice system
And is it cruel to breed dogs
like this - half of all flat-faced
dogs needed treatment for health
issues last year.
Why do we insist on making them
pets when they find it
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
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 its dominated
news the world over -
we speak to those inside the
And to one present on the same
within the books 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 ceased nor
Instead, they brought the
publication of this explosive
Fire And Fury is the work
of Michael Wolff, a journalist who
says he had access to
the White House for much of the last
year and spoke to the President
whilst writing it.
Trump's dismissed it as lies,
says he never allowed the access.
Others have also questioned
the accuracy of the details in
But the President is clearly spooked
by the allegations within it.
I 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 aides and advisers who
scorned his abilities.
The big questions it
raises are existential.
Was it treasonous of
Trump's son to meet
with Russian officials
Is the President of sound
mind to run America?
But it's the details that will stop
readers in their tracks.
Accounts of Donald Trump's phobias,
his fast food addiction,
his viewing habits, as well as his
relations with his wife, his
daughter, his own hair,
and his early bedtime.
The book's already
claimed its first scalp.
An almighty row has
broken out between the
President and his former White House
strategist, Steve Bannon, whose
comments first appeared in the book.
Both have threatened
to sue the other.
Bannon has found himself cut out
of big donor funding since
The big question is,
who is going to get this pen?
I don't know.
It raises the spectre of an open
secret, shared by many.
Do those who worked for,
with and around Donald
Trump recognise this same world
Wolff describes, a White House with
no plan, a leader with no strategy,
an impulsive, piqued President, who
acts upon his instincts time
and again, with no interest in
Or has the writer
the world Trump's
critics were simply dying to see?
But the bigger question,
the fundamental one,
perhaps is this -
will any of what is
written in these pages
change Trump's power
way those who voted
for him see him now?
If the answer is no,
then Fire And Fury may
just be sound and fury -
ultimately signifying nothing.
Joining me now Dr Sebastian Gorka,
who was Deputy Assistant
to Donald Trump and knows
the White House well.
And Dr Gorka, I know
in your previous Newsnight
encounters we have spent a lot
of time analysing whether Newsnight
is fake news, et cetera.
So for the sake of our viewers
and for the sake of moving the story
on, why don't we agree to recognise
that is how you view things and this
time try and shed some
light on how you see
operations in the White House.
It's very good of you to join us.
Was there anything in the coverage
of Michael Wolff's book that you
Nothing at all
especially if you look at the basic
facts he gets wrong. In if excerpts
he can't even get right whether the
president knew John Boehner. He said
on the day he became president, he
had never heard of speaker of House.
Any child can go on Google and put
in the names and find photographs of
two golfing with each other. If you
look at the book, I haven't spent
money on it, but the introduction,
page 10, Michael Wolff states he
cannot verify any of the information
he has provided and as such it is a
work of fiction.
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
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.
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 derangement
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
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
It is such garbage.
What time does he go to bed.
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. Isis industried.
-- destroyed. One and a half million
jobs created. The lowest
unemployment in 17 years. Judge the
president on the facts, not on
delusional people who want to sell
Help us with the details, it
is fascinating and Trump rules - no
one touched his tooth brush, he
Are you serious?
Somebody's tooth-brushing habits.
Tell us you know it is not true.
won't waste people's time with this
rubbish. Let's talk about your tooth
brushing. How do you brush your
The interesting thing...
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
In one book 13 people demanded
he retracts the quotes, because they
were made up. His book is like Harry
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.
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 read something
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
A lot of people say it
is painting a very accurate picture,
one that other reporters have
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
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 din we are
Roger Ailes, Steve Bannon. What do
you remember of it?
almost every detail. This was a
small party of six guests, at
Michael Wolff's house and listening
to your guest, I think that the
position from Trump loyalists is
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. It
was... 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 testimony. 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?
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 me said I'm Darth
Vader, I'm say it tan. 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 cabinet
appointments, 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
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 without verification,
as Sebastian Gorka said?
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
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?
think Bannon and Trump are a
lovesick couple that go back and
forth. I don't think it's anything.
It's a mutually beneficial
relationship. 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.
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
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 -
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 treatment
programmes, 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
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.
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 pain?
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
You used to be agreed about you had
a change of heart, didn't you?
after I saw how they were mass
produced. I had one litter and I
went to see somebody who was a big
reader, a licensed one, and it was
just something and I thought, if
there are that many people wanting
these dogs, something is going to
So you recognise they are
not help the dogs, are they?
opinion, if they are bred white and
they are tested right, they can live
-- if they are bred
right. Can they be great in a way
that doesn't hurt them?
The way that
a lot of the breed started out, they
were not as extreme, so if you go
back hundreds of years, they were
talking. At the moment, we are
struggling to find a balance between
the athletics and what's going on
inside them and the problems it
causes in their lives.
When you talk
about the athletics, 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.
-- there are.
Your mum didn't even
get through childbirth.
brought in to rescue unknown that
she was pregnant but she was
purchased on social media. Somebody
from the general public purchaser,
gave into a rescue, not realising
she was heavily pregnant. She got to
the end of her pregnancy and had big
problems, she had a Caesarean
section, and then we told her larynx
So you understand people
saying they should not be bred
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 breed, and if that is
done, there isn't an issues.
problems are we talking about? These
two are putty in your hands, fast
asleep, they seem fine. But what is
it that that happens to dogs like
If we took them outside in
warmer weather and we trotted them
for a few minutes, problems might
start coming quite visible. They
have a hard time breathing
oxygenating their blood, because
anatomically they are not... They
are not functioning well. It's not
just the breathing, it's the dye
gesturing, it's everything inside.
Putting back together, should you be
stopping their breed completely? --
not just the breathing, it that I
digestion. Should we see an end to
bulldogs and pugs?
I don't think
it's constructive to ban reading. We
have two breed them right, to breed
them back to where they can
Which means mixing? 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
It's a bad thing. Health
tests should be done before any dog
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. Good night.