17/05/2017 Outside Source

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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.