Skip to main content

tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 18, 2017 8:00pm-8:31pm GMT

8:00 pm
it fit hr“ "a “it it‘wnf-‘a e‘fir you have thought it through and understand that they‘ re you have thought it through and understand that they're going to be consequences and actions typically create reactions and so you want to be intentional about it. you don't wa nt to be intentional about it. you don't want to do things off—the—cuff when it comes to an issue this volatile. chrisjohnson? chris johnson? lgbt writes. where is chris? we see a lot of achievements in lgbt writes. don't ask don't tell repeal, marriage equality nationwide, ensuring trans people feel respected. how do you think lg bt rights will feel respected. how do you think lgbt rights will rank in your legacy and how confident are you that it'll continue under the president elect? i could not be prouder of the
8:01 pm
transformation that has taken place in our society just transformation that has taken place in our societyjust in the last decade. and i've said before, i think we've made some useful contributions to it, but the primary heroes in this stage of our growth asa heroes in this stage of our growth as a democracy and a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters, couples, who courageously said, this is who i am, and i'm proud of it. and that opened peoples minds and opened their hearts. and eventually was caught up. buti hearts. and eventually was caught up. but i don't think any of that would have happened without the
8:02 pm
activism. in some cases, loud and noisy, but in some cases just quiet. and very personal. and i think that what we did as an administration was to help the society to move in a better direction, but to do so in a way that didn't create an enormous backlash, and was systematic and respectful of the fact that, you know, in some cases these issues we re know, in some cases these issues were controversial. i think the way were controversial. i think the way we handled, for example, don't ask, don't tell, being methodical about it, working withjoint don't tell, being methodical about it, working with joint chiefs, making sure we showed this would not have an impact on the effectiveness
8:03 pm
of the greatest military on earth. and then to have the defence secretary, bob gates, chairman mike mullen, joint chiefs who were open to evidence and, ultimately, worked with me to do the right thing, i am proud of that. but again, none of that would have happened without this incredible transformation that was happening in society out there. you know when i gave ellen the presidential medal of freedom, i meant what i said. i think... somebody that kind and likeable projecting into living rooms around the country you know, that changed
8:04 pm
attitudes and that wasn't easy to do for her. it's just one small example of what was happening in congress, communities across the country. so i'm proud that in certain places we may be provided a good block downfield to help the movement advance. i don't think it is something that will be reversible. because american society has changed, the attitudes of young people in particular have changed. that doesn't mean there aren't going to be some fights that are important, legal issues, issues surrounding tra nsgender persons. there are still going to be some battles that need to take place. but
8:05 pm
if you talk to young people of sasha and malia's generation, even if they are conservative, many of them would tell you, i don't understand how you would discriminate against somebody‘s sexual orientation, it's just sort of burned into them in pretty powerful ways. april ryan. long before today, you have been considered inaudible under your watch people said you had expanded the rubber band of inclusion and with the election and the incoming administration, people are saying the rubber band has recoiled and it is maybe even broken. i'm thinking back to a time, l force one, going to selma alabama when you set yourjob was to
8:06 pm
inaudible . what gaps still remain when it comes to rights issues and what part will you play in fixing those gaps in your new life? you are the first black president, do you expect it this country will see this again? i'll answer the last question first, i think we're going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corn of this country. because that america's strength. —— corner of the country. when we have everybody getting a chance and everybody‘s on the field, we end up being better. i've used this analogy before. we killed it in the olympics in brazil. michelle and i, we always have the olympic team here, and it's
8:07 pm
a lot of fun first of alljust because any time you're meeting somebody who is the best at anything it's impressive. and these mostly very young people are alljust so healthy looking, they'd be manly pursuit fitness and health, so we have a great time talking to them. —— they'd just exude fitness. they are all shapes, sizes, colours. genetic diversity. that is on display. it's remarkable. if you look at simone biles, then you look at michael phelps, they are com pletely at michael phelps, they are completely different, and it's precisely because of those differences that we've got people here who can excel at any sport. and, by the way, more than half of
8:08 pm
oui’ and, by the way, more than half of our medals came from women. the reason is because we had the foresight several decades ago with something called title nine, to make sure women got the opportunities in sports. which is why our women compete better. because they have more opportunities than folks in other countries. i used that as a metaphor and if in fact we continue to keep the opportunity open to everybody, yeah, we're going to have a woman president, latino president, we're going to have a jewish president, hindu president, who knows who we are going to have? i suspect we'll have a whole bunch of mixed up residence at some point that nobody knows what to call them. —— mixed up president's. and that's fine. what do i worry about? i spend a lot of time on this at my farewell
8:09 pm
address on tuesday, i won't go through the whole list. i worry about inequality, because i think if we are not investing in making sure everybody plays a role in this economy, the economy will not grow as fast, and i think it'll also lead to further and further separation between us as americans. notjust along racial lines. there are a whole bunch of folks who voted for the president—elect because they feel forgotten and disenfranchised. they feel as if they are being looked down on, as if their kids aren't going to have the same opportunities as they did. and you don't want to have an america in which a very small sliver of people are doing really well and everybody else is fighting for scraps, as i said last week. because that is
8:10 pm
often times when racial divisions get magnified because people think the only way i'm going to get ahead is if somebody else gets less, somebody who doesn't look like me or doesn't worship at the same place i do. that's not a good recipe for democracy. i worry about, as i said in response to the previous question, making sure the basic machinery of our democracy works better. we are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote rather than easier. it dates back. there is an ugly history to that. that we should not be shy about talking about. i'm talking about voting rights, yes. the reason we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is, it traces directly back to jim
8:11 pm
makes it harder to vote is, it traces directly back tojim croke and the legacy of slavery. it becomes order backs habitable to restrict the franchise. —— it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise. that isn't when america works best. i hope people pay a lot of attention to making sure everybody has a chance to vote, they get easier, not harder. this whole notion of voting fraud, this is something that has constantly been disproved, this is fake news. the notion there are a whole bunch of people out there going out there and are not eligible to vote and want to vote. we have the opposite problem, we have a whole lot of people who are eligible to vote who don't vote. the idea we put in place a whole bunch of barriers to people voting doesn't make sense. then as i've said before, political gerrymandering that makes your vote
8:12 pm
matter less because politicians have decided you live in a district where everybody votes the same way you do, so these aren't competitive races. and we get 90% democratic districts, 90% republican districts. it's bad for democracy, too, iworry 90% republican districts. it's bad for democracy, too, i worry about that. i think it's very important for us to make sure our criminal justice system is fair and just. but i also think it's very important to make sure it's not politicised, that it maintains and integrity that is outside of partisan politics at every level. i think at some point we're going to have to spend, and this will require some action by the supreme court, we have to re—examine the flood of endless money that goes
8:13 pm
into our politics, which i think is very unhealthy. there are a whole bunch of things i worry about there. asi bunch of things i worry about there. as i said in my speech on tuesday, we've got more work to do on race. it is not, it is simply not true that things have gotten worse, they haven't. things are getting better. i have more confidence on racial issues in the next generation than i do in our generation or the previous generation. i think kids are smarter about it, more tolerant. they are more inclusive, by instinct, than we are. opening my presidency may help that along a little bit. you know, we... when we feel stressed, when we feel pressure, when we are just fed
8:14 pm
information that currently encourages some of our worst instincts, we tend to fall back into some of the old racial fears and racial divisions and racial stereotypes. and it's very hard for us to break out of those and to listen. and to think about people as people. and imagine being in that person's shoes. and, by the way, it's no longer black and white, the issue, alone. you've got hispanic folks, asian folks, this is notjust the same old battles. we got this stew that's bubbling up, people from everywhere, we're going to have to make sure that we come in our own and workplaces, do a betterjob of
8:15 pm
treating everybody with basic respect. and understanding not everybody starts off in the same situation, and imagining, what would it be like if you were born in an inner—city and had nojob prospects anywhere within a 20 mile radius? or how does it feel being born in some rural county, where there is nojob opportunities in a 20 mile radius. seeing those two things as connected as opposed to separate. we've got work to do. overall, i think, on this front, the trend lines ultimately, i think, this front, the trend lines ultimately, ithink, will this front, the trend lines ultimately, i think, will be good. christie parsons, you're going to get the last question. i've known her since springfield,
8:16 pm
illinois. when i was a state senator, she listened to what i had to say. so the least i can do is give her the last question as president of the united states, go ahead. inaudible there you go, go ahead. thank you, mr president, it has been an honour. i have a personal question for you because i know how much you like those. the first lady but the stakes of the 2016 election in very personal terms in a speech that resonated across the country and she really spoke the concerns of a lot of women, lgbt folks, people of colour, many others, and i wonder how you and the first lady are talking to your daughters about the meaning of this election, and how you interpret it for yourself and for them? you know, every parent
8:17 pm
brags on their daughters or their sons. if your mum and dad don't brag on you, you know you've got problems. but, man, my daughters are something. and theyjust surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up. so these days when we talk, we talked... as parent to child but also we learn from them. and i think it was really interesting to see how
8:18 pm
malia and sasha reacted. they were disappointed. they paid attention to what their mum said during the campaign and believed it, because it's consistent with what we've tried to teach them in our household. what i've tried to model asa household. what i've tried to model as a father with their mum, and what we've asked them to expect from future boyfriends, or spouses. we've asked them to expect from future boyfriends, orspouses. but what we've also tried to teach them is resilience, and we tried to teach them hope. and the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world. so you get knocked down, you get up, brush yourself off and get back to work. that's tended to be their attitude. i think neither of them intend to pursue a
8:19 pm
future in politics, and in that, too, i think their mother's influence shows. but both of them have grown up in an environment where i think they could not help but be patriotically matt lock this country deeply, to see its flawed. —— to be patriotic, to love this country deeply. to see they need to be active citizens. they have to be ina be active citizens. they have to be in a position to talk to their friends and their teachers and future co—workers in ways that try to shed some light as opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury. and i expect that is what they
8:20 pm
are going to do. they do not... they don't mope. and what i really am proud of, what makes me proudest about them, they don't get cynical about them, they don't get cynical about it. they have not assumed because their side didn't win or because their side didn't win or because some of the values they care about don't seem as if they were vindicated, that automatically america has somehow rejected them or their values. i don't think they feel that way, i think that part through osmosis and part through dinner time conversations, they have appreciated this is a bit complicated country, democracy is messy and doesn't always work the way you might want, it doesn't
8:21 pm
guarantee certain outcomes, but if you are engaged and involved, there area you are engaged and involved, there are a lot more good people than bad in this country. and there is a core decency to this country. but they've got to be a part of, lifting that up. i suspect they will be. in that sense they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic. i've been asked... i've had some of the record conversations with journalists where they said, you seem like you're ok, but really what are you thinking? and i've said, no, what i'm saying really is what i think. i believe in this country. i believe in the american people. i believe that people are more good than bad. i believe tragic
8:22 pm
things happen, i believe there is evil in the world, but at the end of the day if we work hard and if we're true to those things in us that feel true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, the world gets a little better each time. that's what this presidency has tried to be about. and i see that in the young people i've worked with. i couldn't be prouder of them. and so this is not just a matter of be prouder of them. and so this is notjust a matter of no drama obama, this is what i really believe. it's true behind closed doors i curse more than i do and sometimes i get mad and frustrated like everybody else does. but at my core i think we're going to be ok, wejust have to fight for it, work for it and not ta ke to fight for it, work for it and not take it for granted and i know you will help us do that. thank you very
8:23 pm
much, press corps, good luck! studio: president barack obama with his final press conference to the great and the good in washington, assembled at the brady room at the white house. quite wide—ranging, he talked about american relations with russia, about the israel and middle east. about chelsea manning, the convicted leaker, east. about chelsea manning, the convicted lea ker, whose east. about chelsea manning, the convicted leaker, whose sentence he has commuted. not pardoned. he made that point, but commuted. he talked about giving some advice and some tips to the man who is going to take over hisjob, donald trump. let's go to our washington correspondent, barbara plett usher, who listened in. wide—ranging, but we knew he would have to explain why he has decided to commute the sentence of chelsea manning, it took up the first part of the conference. they went straight to that question with regards to his way of thinking about
8:24 pm
why he decided to release chelsea manning early. he basically said, she's served a tough prison sentence, it sends a tough message to anybody who might be thinking about leaking us secrets, it had been one of the concerns, critics said, it would set a dangerous precedent. but you don't get punished for what you do. he said she had been punished, he felt the sentence had been disproportionate, 35 years. he felt comfortable that justice had been done. he went on to talk about russia and america's interests and the relationship between the countries. he wanted to separate the suggestion being made by the president—elect, at least some people are interpreting this, that somehow the sanctions are related to russia's nuclear arsenal, when they are to do with russian activity in ukraine. yes, he was referring to a comment
8:25 pm
made by mrtrump, yes, he was referring to a comment made by mr trump, talking about the possibility of doing a deal on the sanctions. he suggested if he could get the russians to reduce the stockpile of nuclear weapons, maybe they could do a deal on lifting sanctions and mr obama said, it's not about that, sanctions were put in place because russia annexed crimea, because of its activities in ukraine, because sovereignty was violated. it's important that message stays the same, you shouldn't be able to bully and invade another country and if we don't stand on the right side of that question, which he said america was doing, nobody else would. certainly russia or china wouldn't. he made the point there was a principle at stake with the sanctions and therefore sanctions should not be lifted unless that principle, those requirements, were met. finally, he made the point, while he hasn't always agreed with what the press has written about him, he's made the point that the press a re him, he's made the point that the press are not supposed to be syco p ha nts, press are not supposed to be sycophants, not supposed to become
8:26 pm
the mantra, but cast a critical eye on those who hold enormous power. was he, perhaps, suggesting they have even more of a vital role to play now? that his successor will be taking over on friday. he did say when he started the press conference, it's good to have a press briefing in this building, referring to probably some suggestions the press might be moved out of the white house and therefore underlining his point it is important for press to have access to the halls of power. we saw these comments through the press conference about his concerns about the state of democracy, threats to democracy. and that while he gave a lot of leeway to the president—elect, who has a different vision from him, he has different concerns, the right to test the assumptions, he came back a couple of times and said, if i see core values threatened, like some sort of
8:27 pm
ratification of systemic discrimination, i'llspeak ratification of systemic discrimination, i'll speak out. ratification of systemic discrimination, i'llspeak out. he said, iwant discrimination, i'llspeak out. he said, i want the machinery of democracy to work better because voting laws actually prevent many african—americans from voting laws actually prevent many african—america ns from voting. voting laws actually prevent many african—americans from voting. he linked that to slavery and said democracy in america needed to be protected. some of that time he linked it to the incoming administration. i think it was all pa rt administration. i think it was all part of him being very open to his successor but also signalling there needed to be vigilance and the press was part of that. thanks, barbara. more reaction to the president's last news conference with our guest. it's good to see you, thanks for being with us. maryjordan. i was interested in what the president said about the future, he said he would do some writing, spend time with his family and his kids, but
8:28 pm
he's still a citizen. where he believes the nation's core values are at risk, discrimination, voting problems, institutional efforts to silence dissent and so on, is going to get involved. is he going to be the kind of activist ex—president we haven't seen, do you think?” the kind of activist ex—president we haven't seen, do you think? i do think so. he said he was going to be quiet for a while. i think the striking thing about this last press conference is what we're feeling here in washington this week. that it isa here in washington this week. that it is a completely different style. can you imagine donald trump saying, i'm going to be quiet for a while, read books? he talked about things, he praised the press. everyday we hear donald trump the press. here in washington we were all looking at this thinking, wow, we're in for 180 degrees turn. there were a little bit of news, like you said, he may
8:29 pm
come back and do something. i thought it was very interesting and important the most animated he was in the press conference when he was talking about race and restrictions for voting used against black americans. i think that is where we're going to see him in future. it may take a while, maybe not for the first year, but he's probably never going to be very far away from being active promoting african—american rights. as a writer with the washington post, mary, how are you personally going to change, adapt, a deal with the incoming president? you and your colleagues, how are you going to write about this?” you and your colleagues, how are you going to write about this? i have a new beach called anger in america, i'm writing about the divide and what people are so upset about. the whole scene has changed drastically. we're assigning different people to beat swede never had before. we're going to send more people into rural
8:30 pm
america which we should have done before. there are two americas, people who look at the exact same thing, like guns, some people cannot believe some americans cannot believe, we allow mentally ill people to have guns. other people say it's the right because it's the spectrum. i think we are all adapting here, the media, how to explain the two americas. the trump america and the outgoing obama america. maryjordan, thank you forjoining us, good luck with the new beat, should be interesting! earlier, president—elect donald trump, who has run —— referred to his marlyne ngoa has run —— referred to his marlyne n g oa estate has run —— referred to his marlyne ngoa estate as winter white house.

8 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on