Ros Atkins with an innovative take on the latest global stories.
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Hello, I'm Ros Atkins, this is Outside Source.
Donald Trump in under increasing pressure as he faces
the most serious allegations of his Presidency.
He's accused of trying to stop an FBI investigation
into links between his former National Security
But the President has come out fighting.
No politician in history - and I say this with great surety -
has been treated worse or more unfairly.
They're demanding an independent commission into the Trump
But the people who voted for the President in
The media is left-wing, Democrats, they do not want to see him do well.
Nada Tawfik has sent us a report from Nashville where she's been
Emmanuel Macron has unveiled the new French government.
It's gender balanced and politically diverse.
And in Outside Source Sport, the fallout over the decision not
to give Maria Sharapova a wild card in the French Open continues.
Donald Trump has always relied on his core base for support.
Most politicians who get to the top or near to it do need a core base of
But according to two recent polls that support is slipping.
This from Politico and Morning Consult shows
his approval has sunk to a new low of 42%.
That is as low as approval ratings have gone. This is a completely
Again his approval is at a record low - 36%.
Both polls were conducted before the latest controversies.
Tim Malloy from Quinnipiac University says it is the erosion
of white men, white voters without college degrees
and deepening concerns about Trump's honesty,
intelligence and level headedness are red flags that the
administration simply can't brush away.
They are also red flags that are hard to respond to because some of
these are reactions to Donald Trump's personality.
Earlier I spoke with Elizabeth Price Foley, a professor of law
at Florida International University, about whether Mr Trump's
alleged actions constituted obstruction of justice.
She said people were overreacting to the sacking of Jim Foley. But some
people are saying he may have obstructed
The statutes require a very specific mindset. But even more important, as
a lawyer, as a textual matter, the statutes simply do not apply for
various reasons. There are several different obstruction statues. Some
prohibit corrupt influence of ground Jewry 's or court officials. Some
require physical use of force or threats of use of physical force.
Some require a quid pro quo bribery attempt and even the broadest
obstruction statute, which is section 1505 of the United States
code would not apply because it uses very specific language that requires
a pending proceeding, which means a pending court or quasi court action,
which is simply not applicable here. Nonetheless the president issued a
tweet saying to Jim Komi, do not think that leaking because it would
not be a good idea. You could say that was threatening. If this memo
exists and if it is true that he told James Komi to let the
investigation go, whether it was technically obstruction of justice
or not, it was not a good idea, was it? No, but those are two different
things. One is prudent behaviour for a politician and the other is what
is legally prohibited by written laws. Yes, although there is an
obstruction statute that prohibits threatening behaviour, again it only
applies to threats to ground Juror or a official. His reactions may be
reprehensible or showed poor judgment, but in terms of technical
violation of Justice statues it has not occurred under the facts as we
know right now. I assume he will face some pretty serious political
fallout for his lapse of judgment again. But isn't the lesson that we
learned from Richard Nixon that with President and senior politicians it
is not just about the law, it is about politics as well. When they
start intertwining, even though an offence has not been proven, it
could still prove fatal politically? It certainly can. Politics to play a
role certainly an talk about impeachment. But in article two of
the Constitution impeachment is reserved for conviction of high
crimes and misdemeanours. So, for example, President Nixon resigned
because the evidence showed that he had in fact violated several
criminal statutes at that point. The evidence was somewhat overwhelming
that if prosecutors chose to prosecute, he would have been
successfully prosecuted and convicted. In order to avoid that
embarrassment he resigned for the good of the country. President
Clinton was impeached by the House, although not ultimately convicted by
the Senate, because of his lying under oath to a ground jury which is
prohibited by a perjury statute. So even historically when there have
been threats of impeachment, it has been because there has been
overwhelming evidence of criminal activity, as there should be as
activity, as there should be as required by our Constitution.
Here's Nada Tawfik with some of Mr Trump's supporters there.
In Nashville it is the twang of the guitar that moves this music city.
And unlike Washington politics is not the topic in the buyers. In the
capital of country music the tune is spelt out the concerns of
finding love. And those who voted everyday
They view the headlines as simply image of the White House in crisis.
They view the headlines as simply noise. You cannot tell me all these
leaks that come to almost daily, hourly, are not because people are
trying to subvert this president? The near daily revelations,
including how the president has possibly interfered with the
investigations into his associates' ties to Russia, do not raise red
flags to his supporters. Obviously we care whether he is colluding with
the Russians and trying to affect the election and if real hard
evidence comes out about that, then we will have to reassess. But in
terms of Donald Trump, he is doing exactly what he has done for the
last year and people love him for that. When you speak to Donald
Trump's most ardent supporters, their views on the man they elected
have not changed. Instead they are convinced that the constant leaks
and revelations are part of a concerted effort to undermine his
presidency. Phil Valentine hosts a conservative talk show, directed at
those who do not trust the mainstream media. He says Donald
Trump needs only to worry about delivering on his campaign promises.
If he does not cut captors and lower the corporate rate and do the things
he said he would do in his campaign, there will be trouble. What has
these hockey fans on pins and needles is whether the national team
will reach the Stanley cup. The conservatives here have no fears
about President Trump. The media is Democrats, left-wingers, they do not
want to see him do well or America do well, they want to give America a
way. The things they are saying our total lies. The media blows things
out of proportion. There is no doubt the President's approval rating is
taking a hit, but there is no sign of an erosion of trust from his
supporters, they feel empowered by his presidency and his defiance.
Let's go to Anthony Zurcher in Washington.
First, here is a message from Tony watching in Chicago. He says how
many Republicans are speaking about this story and which ones are
raising the prospect of impeachment? Can you help Tony out? We are
hearing from the leaders of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell,
the speaker in the Senate, we have not had a lot of Republicans speak
out about impeachment. A congressman has called out for an independent
enquiry, he is from Michigan. He seems to be a constant Donald Trump
critic, but a lot of Republicans are keeping their heads down. This is a
question from David watching in Milton Keynes. I'm sure we have no
idea if the Russians recorded the meeting. I think Vladimir Putin was
joking when he was making comments on Russian television earlier today
about having a transcript and giving it over to the US. I do not think
the US wants that and I do not think Donald Trump wants his help right
now. Then in London is asking this, if we are talking about impeachment,
what would be the next steps? Impeachment would start in the House
of representatives in a committee that would hold hearings and draft
articles and hold a vote and it would go to the floor of the House
of representatives. A simple majority and it goes to trial and
Senate. First it would start in a committee and would require
Republicans getting on board because they have the majority in the House.
We are way away from that? Very far away. We have not seen a break in
the Republican ranks yet that would require that. Ross is asking, what
is the deal with the Donald Trump bashing? I hope we are not doing
that, we are doing and reporting on what we have. The story of the leaks
is hardly being mentioned. We did discuss the leaks yesterday, but in
terms of what happened in the oval office, can we say categorically
whether it was appropriate or not? We do not know. Right now we have a
word of a memo that James Comey wrote. We have not heard from Comey
himself about what happened. We have Donald Trump in the White House
flatly denying what took place. We really do not know. We do not know
whether he had gone up to James Comey and said, back up. That is
highly inappropriate. Donald Trump is James Comey's boss. Maybe if
Donald Trump as a citizen says one thing, but as a president what he
says carries a lot of weight particularly with an investigation
by the FBI. Anthony is in Washington and I am in
London. Let's turn to spot. Real are currently in second place,
level on points with Barcelona. Let's go to Tulsen Tollett
at the BBC Sport Centre. Who else would the opening two goals
for the club, Cristiano Ronaldo. He was on target twice with a left foot
in this game. Just when Celta Vigo got back into which it was 2-1
minute later. Real Madrid are away to Malaga on Sunday. As it stands,
if it remains as it is, 3-1. With a victory at the weekend it would mean
they win the Spanish title. Very exciting, thank you.
Yesterday on OS sport, we talked about Maria Sharapova not
It would have been her first Grand slam since a 15-month doping ban.
Well, since then the Women's Tennis Association chief executive has
I don't agree with the basis for their decision.
There are no grounds to penalise any player beyond the sanctions set
forth in the final decisions resolving these matters.
If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it
No words, games, or actions will ever stop me from
If only she'd brought the same commitment to reading the e-mails
that advised her of a change to the list of banned medications.
She didn't, she tested positive and was suspended.
Coming up: We are talking about Chelsea Manning who has been
released from a military prison where she has been serving a prison
sentence for the last seven years. We will bring you the latest on
that. There's a warning about a squeeze
in living standards today. It follows official figures that
show the cost of living - inflation - is outstripping wages
for the first time in three years. Meanwhile another set of figures
show that unemployment has fallen Here's our economics
editor Kamal Ahmed. A business fair in Leeds and good
news for jobs. Firms hiring plenty of people as economic growth remains
positive. We have just employed a new manager and we have also
employed new ground staff. At this moment in time on our company
was this low was in 1975. The price posted. The
of a pint of milk was 7p, but it was of a pint of milk was 7p, but it
incomes growth is falling. Let's also an era of high inflation
incomes growth is falling. Let's look at the more recent history of
pay and rising prices in Britain. If we go back to the year 2000, you can
see that earnings were consistently above the rate of inflation. On
average people were better off. That came to an abrupt halt in 2008 when
the financial crisis hit. Wages fell sharply and inflation rose as things
like the cost of petrol went up. That led to this long period of pay
squeeze. That did not come to an end until September, 2014. Until today
wages have stayed above the cost of living, but the gap has been closing
and today those lines crossed. Individual incomes on average are
going down again. The big question for 2017 is whether wages respond to
those two big pressures, fast rising inflation and very low unemployment.
If they do not, we will see the pay freeze continue for some time and
that is concerning. Is there a spark to the UK economy, away to produce
more wealth from the hard hours we work? That relies on productivity
going up, but the figures are down again. Until that problem is solved,
the danger of a continued income freeze remains.
This is Outside Source live from the BBC newsroom.
President Trump has come out fighting after a week of damaging
reports. He says no politician has ever been treated worse by the
media. Let's take a breather from American politics and tell you about
the new French government. The new French government
has been announced. Women have been appointed to 11
of the 22 positions, including those of defence,
health and labour ministers. Secondly, Emmanuel Macron has been
good to his word and recruited For example, here are
the new economy, justice One is a socialist, another
a centrist, another form the right The Republicans, by
the way, aren't happy. The secretary general
of Republican party says any of its members in the government
will be kicked out. On French politics we often
turn to Henri Astier He explained whether this
was a surprising move. Usually the announcement of a new
government after a presidential election is boring. People who are
interested in who is in and who is out, who has been fast tracked will
be interested, but usually it follows a fairly predictable script.
The main event is the presidential election. After that you have a
government that is nominated. A few weeks later the party of the
president has got momentum and wins the legislative election and there
we go. But now the announcement of the Cabinet is interesting. Why?
Because the president has no party, odd does not have a party in
parliament. He is creating one and he has got nothing in Parliament. So
the announcement of this government is all about laying the groundwork
towards the legislative election which will allow him to have a
Parliamentary majority. Can a cabinet like that pulled from across
the political spectrum be cohering in the way it pursues an agenda?
That is the challenge. It really speaks to his whole outlook. He says
the old left- right divide is over. We want to work with people, the
moderates from the right and the centre, and the rest will be on the
extreme. He wants to divide and rule his opponents on the right and left
and work with them and he wants to create this big space in the centre
and that is what this government is all about. It reminds me of the
1990s and Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson talking about the third
way. Yes and what Emanuel Macron stands for is this third way. He has
got a Prime Minister who is on the centre-right. It is very important
because his main challengers will be on the right. The left is in
disarray and he does not need to divide it any more, that is already
done. He wants to divide the right and he has done that and he has also
given one of the leading jobs, the economy, to a centre-right figure.
It was a pleasure to get him on, we will be talking to him again as
Emanuel Macron goes about his business.
She was jailed for leaking confidential documents to Wikileaks
when she was an intelligence analyst for the US army.
She's been released - Barack Obama commuted her sentence
Amongst the information she passed to Wikileaks were hundreds
of thousands of diplomatic cables like this one, published
in the Guardian newspaper, detailing how diplomats were told
to gather intelligence on the UN leadership.
There was also this - video footage of an Apache
helicopter killing 12 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.
Rajini Vaidyanathan has been at the prison where Ms Manning spent
Chelsea Manning was released under the cover of darkness in the early
hours of this morning from the military prison here at Fort leave
and wide in Kansas. She spent seven years inside, some of that in
solitary confinement. Even though she was given a dishonourable
discharge from the US military as part of her sentence, she will
actually remain in active service and without pay and that is because
her lawyers are appealing her conviction. While that appeal
process takes place, she will stay on the US Army's books. Her
supporters have hailed her a hero and the whistle-blower, but it is
important to note that Chelsea Manning's release has divided
opinion in America with many people, including Donald Trump, labelling
perpetrated the compromised American security. Let's turn to Aleppo and
we want to tell you what BBC Arabic has been doing with Nasa. It has try
to document the impact of the six-year war on the city by looking
at it from the sky. This is what Aleppo looked like in January 20 12.
This video was released to show how the amount of light given off by the
city decreases as the war increases and that is because of damage to the
electrical grid. You may well recall last government forces made
significant gains and the rebels had to leave and tens of thousands of
civilians were also evacuated. BBC Arabic has been speaking to some of
those people who fled the city about the experience of losing light.
That report ends this edition of Outside Source. If you have a
smartphone you can download the BBC app. All the latest information we
will publish online from the BBC newsroom. I will see you tomorrow.