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tv   100 Days  BBC News  January 23, 2017 7:00pm-7:46pm GMT

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join kathie kay and christian fraser [10w join kathie kay and christian fraser now for our new bbc programme 100 days. hello and welcome to 100 days. it is monday afternoon in washington — the first working week of the donald trump presidency. already there are big changes underway. so what will a trump administration mean for the united states and the rest of the world? with such global upheaval over the past year, we will be exploring what happens next. there will be a new way of doing business in washington. this morning, the president signed an executive order withdrawing the united states from the trans pacific trade partnership. a white house press conference is now underway as the war of words between the new administration and the media about the size of the inauguration crowd continues. and when it comes to building the wall, can president trump really make mexico pay? we'll hear from both sides of the border. also, fresh peace talks on syria.
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and it is russia leading the way. could president trump's warming relations with moscow break the deadlock? and when it comes to foreign relations, what does president trump's foreign policy mean for europe and its longer term security? hello and welcome to 100 days. our new programme dominated by the first few months of donald trump's presidency, and what kind of changes it might bring. there are big things happening in europe. upcoming elections, brexit, the conflict in syria. over this next 100 days, we will be looking at all of that and how the america first policy will re—shape relations around the world. but let's start here in washington. in this past half hour, sean spicer, president's trump's spokesperson, has been speaking to the white house press corp. 0ur washington reporter anthony zurcher is with us.
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i was listening to the beginning of the press conference. it sounded like a remarkably normal press conference? it was. this came off the hills of saturday where sean spicer stood up and be raided the press further coverage of the inauguration. today, he said he would not be as popular as his predecessor, but then he took questions from the media. the first questions from the media. the first question he took was on the wall and the promise to begin building the wall. this was a serious priority of his throughout the campaign. he is starting to work with congress on the appropriations avenue. he is doing everything he can to commence with that as soon as possible.” couldn't help notice that your key missing at the beginning of the press c0 nfe re nce . missing at the beginning of the press conference. this still feel quite awkward. taking on the press
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the way they did on saturday is a 0—sum game. it might have worked in the campaign but it doesn't work in the campaign but it doesn't work in the white house. it is definitely risky. donald trump was ranting about the press in front of a cia memorial. to then have sean spicer come out and be even more aggressive to the media, leaving without taking questions, he became the story through much of the weekend. in most traditional white house says, the press secretary does not become the story. the president takes the lead. thank you. we will keep our eye on that press conference. already president trump has been busy signing a series of executive orders, certainly more to come through the week, all built on that promise to put america on top. in the past couple of hours, he signed three of those orders — withdrawing the us from the trans—pacific partnership trade deal, banning american funds for international groups that
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perform abortions and finally he has ordered a freeze on all federal hiring. it is just the start of a big agenda. he had promised a slew of executive actions to advance his agenda and reverse those of president 0bama. he has rolled back the health insurance law known as 0bamacare. today, he withdrew america from the trans—pacific withdrew america from the tra ns—pacific trade withdrew america from the trans—pacific trade partnership. he says it is key to securing american jobs and economic security. in tone and substance, donald trump promises to bea and substance, donald trump promises to be a very different president from his most immediate predecessors. i think he will be quite revolutionary. i expect him to place more emphasis on the growth of
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the economy, higher wages and opportunities for people. i'm not sure he is going to be trying to seek out compromise. he will try to get thejob done seek out compromise. he will try to get the job done that he sent to the american people he would do. i believe he will be looking after the people he says have been left behind. he says his ethos of america first is the scaffolding on which he will build his entire agenda. illegal immigration, tax reform, the destruction of isis, they are all in his immediate sites. we have to build a wall, folks. it means making good on his campaign pledge to build a wall along the 1900 and mile border with mexico. here he could meet his first big hurdle. will congress really pay for it? mist
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trump will need popular support to get these big things done. 0n saturday, i went down to see the women's march in washington, where it was clear just women's march in washington, where it was clearjust how unpopular he is. these people are scared and angry and determined. can they stop donald trump's agenda? probably not. but ina donald trump's agenda? probably not. but in a game that is american politics, ratings are like gambling chips. the republican politicians who sat stony faced at the inauguration as mist trump derided the establishment will give their new president a lot of what he wa nts, new president a lot of what he wants, in return for the power he has given them. of the fact he is not an ideological conservative means the republican congress will undoubtedly also run into conflict with their president. on infrastructure spending, the notion
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we would spend $1 trillion that would be paid for i think will be very difficult for some fiscal conservatives to swallow. for the time being at least i think most republicans, if not all, are willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt. 0nce willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt. once you get out beyond 100 days, when the honeymoon period is over, i think some of those divisions will become a little more clear. mist trump intends to govern as he campaigns, in full flight mode. but he has set huge goals for himself and he will need friends and allies to get things done. let's talk to jan brewer republican governor of arizona from 2009 until 2015 and prominent trump supporter.
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the germans and mexicans have already said that if america is going to withdraw from trans—pacific trade partnership, they will seek alliances themselves with some of those countries. is president trump at risk of alienating just too many allies in his protectionist stance? i don't think so. on the campaign trail, she was clear he thought it was an unfair partnership, dealing with united states and that he was going to resend it. he said he would do it immediately. he didn't like the way it was drawn. it is a huge document. who knows what is truly in it. rework a long time on it, but i think we can come back and possibly regroup and continue working, but i think he has promised the people of the united states he will resend it and he has. he did it as promised. that's what the american people wanted. he won overwhelmingly on the
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electoral real votes in the united states. you know that words have consequences. president trump's inaugural address and his promise of america first and his refusal in that address to reach out to traditional allies has clearly rankled the germans. today, the mexican president said, we will not submit to united states. the bottom line is, we know that mexico is our neighbour. i know that mexico is our neighbour. i know that mexico is our neighbour. the coming. we do a lot of commerce back and forth. with regards to the wall and to nafta, that needed to be renegotiated. we needed to determine things exactly. that all came about in 1990. a lot of things have changed. donald trump
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wa nts to of things have changed. donald trump wants to bring it up to date, make it current, make it work for everybody. i want to ask you about the other executive order donald trump signed this morning, banning american federal funds from financing international organisations that support abortion. are we in for four years of fights over women's reproductive rights issues? use the protests this weekend. it was a big theme. issues? use the protests this weekend. it was a big themem issues? use the protests this weekend. it was a big theme. it was. it was quite stunning to see so many people out there protesting are demonstrating or whatever you want to call it, on the day after the inauguration of the duly elected president. i wish they hadn't done it, but these are conjugated issues and abortion has always been very volatile in the united states because we have, i would say the majority of people, believe they
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don't support abortion. you know, it will be a conflict and it always has been. we are hopeful we will get it resolved donald trump says he would work towards this direction and again delivered on his promise to the people who elected him. thank you. we will speak to you later on in the programme. ijust picked up on one of the first thing she said to you in that interview, about this sense of fairness. she said the trade deals are unfair. that is something that played very highly with supporters during the campaign. i think this is a core belief of president trump's. the idea that america has been taken for a ride, on trade deals, nasdaq, china. also nato. america's allies traditionally have not paid enough on their
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defence bills. ithink have not paid enough on their defence bills. i think this underlines his worldview. america has done too much since the second world war to support allies and friends and in return has had a bad deal. he will now change all of that. and yet you look at his approval ratings and the are some of the poorest approval ratings of modern times. he has to get himself on the front foot. used from the press c0 nfe re nce , on the front foot. used from the press conference, sean spicer was laying out all these big business leaders coming to them. presumably, behind closed doors, they are really saying this is aboutjob creation. yes, that speech he gave on friday was a speech all about jobs. what governor brewer did not mention is that trade is not the big issue here. the big issue in americanjobs is automation. by some estimates, it is automation. by some estimates, it is for 21. computers have lostjobs
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—— fourto is for 21. computers have lostjobs —— four to one. the syria crisis will be one of the big foreign policy issues for the administration coming up in these weeks. right. they will be talking a lot about syria in the coming weeks. talks ongoing today in kazakhstan. the syria crisis will be one of the big foreign policy issues for the administration these coming weeks. yes, although normally — when it comes to syria — the americans would be equal partners in the discussions. not this time. these talks are in the kazakh capital of astana, and it's russia and turkey who are the key hosts. 0ur chief international correspondent lyse doucet has been looking at the shifting geopolitics of the syrian war. this new alliance is reshaping syria's battlefield. president erdogan and president putin still back opposing last week, they conducted their first joint bombing raid against so—called islamic state. and last year they work together to end the decisive battle for aleppo, and then brokered
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a syria—wide ceasefire between president assad's forces and rebel fighters. the first game changer, september 2015. russia entered the war, rescuing the syrian army from collapse on key front lines, transforming russia into syria's most pivotal player in boosting its global stature. its military assets in syria now include an expanded naval facility on the mediterranean, and a new airbase. so what is in it for turkey? well, that's the other game changer. last year, turkey's president erdogan tilted towards russia and away from the west, including the us. blaming it for the july coup and the rise of is, now targeting turkey. he still wants president assad to go, someday, but his main enemy in syria now is kurdish fighters,
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linked to turkey's pkk, which he calls terrorists. turkey sent its own forces across the border last year, ostensibly to fight against so—called islamic state. but mainly to halt the advance of kurdish fighters carving out their own enclave. and that's the deal. russia accepted turkey's sway along its border, and turkey pushed rebel groups to pull out of a losing more in aleppo. and persuaded some to accept a ceasefire, at least for now. so what's next? president trump. he could join this new axis. he says his priority is to work with president putin, to fight is and other extremists in syria. it's unclear if he will continue to support rebels fighting president assad. there are other players with other agendas. iran also backs president assad and is providing an array
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of militias, including lebanese hezbollah fighters. gulf states arm the opposition, but their real enemy is iran. ending this destructive more isn't any easier. even if the great game has changed. and, in the end, it is syrians who will have the final say. thank you both forjoining us. let's talk about syria for a second. the very fa ct talk about syria for a second. the very fact these talks are in a former soviet republic, rather than geneva, says a lot about the new world order? it doesn't say that what's new. i'm not sure anything
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much has changed because of the american election. what it does indicate is how complicated the syrian situation is going to be for trump because on the one hand he said he would like to be closer to russia. in syria, he faces a coalition of russia and iran who are backing a totalitarian dictator. you will have to make some decisions about which side he is on. 0n the issue of iran, that will be the sticky subject. president putin has a close ally in iran? yes, and there are close on a number of issues. trump changes his rhetoric
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from day to day, so it's hard to know what he actually cares about, but in some parts of the campaign, he indicated he wanted to renegotiate the american nuclear arrangement with iran, and that would have a knock—on effect on russia as well. are a popping the champagne corks in russia over the inauguration of president trump? good evening. the inauguration speech and address of donald trump was watched by many russians, of course. i must say that experts believe that the speech was rather promising. and i would emphasise one thing i find very important. as far as foreign policy was concerned,
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donald trump said that america would seek friendship and goodwill with all countries of the world. and they will do that in understanding that each nation, every nation, has a right to put its national interests first. this, to me who has watched the mainstream of several decades politicised, good state and rogue states, this is promising because it means that donald trump at least in his vision, in his thought and his mind, is departing from this very trotskyite like foundation of the idea of foreign policy which produced the mixture of ideology and theodore roosevelt style intervention. that is very promising. and that sticks to
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chapter one of the united nations charter. that is the problem. treating everybody the same is exactly what is alarming america's allies. the comparison he made between angela merkel and vladimir putin. i think we need to step back and think about what it was that constituted american power and american influence for so many decades. the answer to that was america's system of alliances. these we re america's system of alliances. these were alliances not based merely on national interests or on self—interest, but a common sense of security, common and shared values and shared economic interests. this was the way in which america has exercised power up until now. a few minutes ago, previous guests on your programme asked what these alliances brought us, they made america the predominant country and gave them the right to set rules. in many
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cases, it meant that america and its allies were able to preserve the peace. there has been peace in europe for many decades. the question now is really a bit different from how you have just characterised it. the question is, if america withdraws and as a russian colleague has just said, america is not interested in these ideals or democracy, then what happens to it alliances? the question is, will the liberal and economic order be maintained? will the prosperity that we have known for the last few decades continue? that is now the question. i don't think it's in anyone's interests for international trade to break down or for international institutions to fall apart. i don't think it will be good for anyone. donald trump has made the point that warming
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relations is a good thing. we have had reports today that russian jets have been flying in tandem with americanjets. that have been flying in tandem with american jets. that has have been flying in tandem with americanjets. that has been denied by the american side. i can't think ofa time... by the american side. i can't think of a time... that is not true. i haven't heard anything like that. russianjets haven't heard anything like that. russian jets became an haven't heard anything like that. russianjets became an information, but only that. let's take it in another direction, if that was possible in the fight against so—called islamic state, that would bea so—called islamic state, that would be a good thing, wouldn't it? i'm sorry, i think you've fallen for a piece of russian disinformation. it's not true, so why are we talking about it? it has come from the
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russian side. is it a possibility? is it something the two countries could work together on? russia is not really fighting islamic state, it is fighting with assad against whoever he is fighting. you have to be careful. we are supporting the syrian army. it can be qualified as the only serious force that can be put against isis. that is why we are together. but we would certainly welcome the american i believe it is not quite impossible with donald trump's vision because america happens to isolate herself from
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stereo. to overcome this, you have to participate and then you might influence even iran. sorry, but america has been in syria for many months. we have do bring it to an end there. thank you both very much. i have just strayed end there. thank you both very much. i havejust strayed into end there. thank you both very much. i have just strayed into the world of fa cts i have just strayed into the world of facts and alternative facts... it does look like that. it is the question of what america's rule is going to be. we have had 70 years since pearl harbor of america leading the world. talking about ideals, talking not necessarilyjust about america's self—interest. and donald trump on friday ended that system. in that process, there are going to be some winners, perhaps moscow, and some losers, perhaps europe. it will be fascinating to
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watch how this shapes out. yes, theresa may will be in washington. she will have spoken to other european leaders and it will be talking about nato and european security as well, you would imagine. she has already said she will stand up she has already said she will stand up to donald trump when she feels she needs to. there is more on that story on our website and smart—phone app — there's also more from our business team about "trump—onomics" — and what we know so far about the president's economic plans. you're watching 100 days from bbc news. coming up in a few minutes — that wall on the us mexican border — will it ever be built? and a stormy start for press relations between donald trump's administration and the media. we'll speak to the washington bureau chief of usa today. it really has been another day of
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huge contrast across the uk. some of us huge contrast across the uk. some of us have enjoyed some lovely sunshine. it felt really nice out there. for others, the fog lingered all day. temperatures barely above freezing. 0vernight tonight, fog is the main concern because it is already thickening up in some places. go online for the latest updates. some fog over east anglia and lincolnshire. apple tends to clear. find that, more fog developing. this could be the scene first thing tomorrow morning. very patchy, this fog. temperatures below freezing, quite widely. there will
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be some brighter areas. 0ver northern england, the fog not so extensive yea r. northern england, the fog not so extensive year. across the border into scotland and northern ireland, a different setup. milder, breezy and patchy rain. the rain never really amounting to much. it will come and go. the best of the sunshine further south and east. mildest definitely out west. in the east, despite any sunshine, it will be chilly. it should shift. the breeze begins to pick up. some for england and wales. more rain working with intent over the far north—west. further south and east, despite any
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brightness, it will be a chilly day. the stronger wind is coming off a still freezing continent. in actual fa ct, still freezing continent. in actual fact, thursday could be an especially chilly day. temperatures in some spots will not get much above freezing. a very cold thursday to come. welcome back to 100 days. a reminder of our main story. president donald trump has signed an executive order withdrawing the united states from the trans pacific trade partnership. after after a row on "alternative facts" and the size of the crowd at the inauguration, we'll speak to a veteran member of the white house press pool. hello and welcome back to 100 days. during the election, donald trump said that on his first
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day as president work would begin "on an impenetrable, physical, beautiful southern border wall." so what's going to happen to that bold pledge? in a moment we'll be speaking with a former arizona governor and prominent trump supporter, we'll also hear from a mexican senator, but first, a little more detail on the wall itself, from rajini vaidyanathan. donald trump's plan to build a wall is a cornerstone of his immigration policy. during the campaign, he said he wanted it to be "an impenetrable, physical wall" on the southern border. we need the wall, and the border patrol... they all want the wall. we stop the drugs. we shore up the border. he pledged construction would begin on day one. we haven't seen the builders in yet, but some of those close to him say they have an idea of what it will look like. donald trump said the wall would be 1,000 miles long, 35 to a0 feet high, and would look as good as a wall is going to look. 0n the fence... it's not a fence. it's a wall.
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there's already a barrier, which runs along nearly a third of the border, and that was built after the secure fence act of 2006. we don't know if president trump will add to what's already there or knock it down and start again. donald trump said the wall would cost around $8 billion. some engineers believe the price tag would be much higher. and, having promised mexico would pay for it, donald trump recently announced that the us would initially fund it and recoup the costs from mexico later. mexico insists it won't pay. whether its a tax or whether it's a payment, but it will happen. building a wall was donald trump's first campaign promise, and with this pledge, we'll actually be able to see whether he makes good on it. well within the last hour, mexico's president said his country is now obliged to take steps to defend its interests, given america's new position on things like the trans—pacific
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partnership and immigration. let's talk to jan brewer — she was the governor of arizona from 2009 until 2015 — and from mexico city, you have been a supporter of this war but as we have seen in european countries when you build a wall in one place, migrants seem to find a pesky way of coming into another entrance, wouldn't that just pesky way of coming into another entrance, wouldn't thatjust happen here? we absolutely need to address theissue here? we absolutely need to address the issue of illegal immigration as it is coming into our country and arizona has been the gateway for all of the illegal immigration for immigrants coming in for work but also for the drug cartels and we are fed up. we had to deal with the president that turned a blind eye to all of that and wouldn't listen and would protect us and we inherited all the drug trafficking, the extortion, the kidnappings, the
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decimation of our deserts, we gateway so we applaud donald trump, president trumper in his campaign speeches that he said he would secure the border and build the wall. whether he can build the wall completely, all the way, 1000 miles i don't know but we can secure that border and that is what we need to do. we need the wall and they need to come in legally and we need to know who is leading our country. —— leaving. the other half is that mexico would pay for the war. the mexicans have made it clear they have no such intentions and there are have no such intentions and there a re m oves have no such intentions and there are moves in the mexican parliament talking about this and they say they will not pay for the wall so america won't end up paying billions of dollars for this? i still think we have a way to go to determine just
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exactly how this will take place and how it will be paid for. president trump said mexico would pay for it so as trump said mexico would pay for it so as we move to this process in the next few days or next few weeks, we may come up with a solution but we certainly aren't going to pay it on our behalf and i'm looking forward to hearing the solution and maybe something can be negotiated between the mexican government and the united states government but we want our border secured. that's it. we are further, we are tired and we're not going to tolerate it. that was one of the biggest reasons why donald trump won an election as a present of the united states. i have been on the battlefield from the very beginning. doing what the federal government was charged to do i had to do that, it didn't do their job, they did not do theirjob. and it got out of hand. you will know
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that a significant number of the immigrants in the united states came in with a valid visa through the airport and they simply never left, overstaying their visa.” airport and they simply never left, overstaying their visa. i agree that there is also a multitude of them who have coming across the border and i will agree that they come and they want to come to work some of them, but along with all of the people that are coming in illegally comes the drug cartel and all of the drugs and the extortion and the drop houses and it's costing arizona a fortune. i have to pay for their education, health care and incarceration. governor brewer, one thing we have noticed is that when the mexican economy is doing well, few people cross the border through arizona, up until 2014 we saw a decline in the number of mexicans coming across, when the mexican economy is doing badly, the number of people trying to get their rises.
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isn't there here and knock on potentially of president trump's policy of closing american factories in mexico, driving down the mexican peso, you will encourage more migrants to come across the border not discourage them. president trump has listened to the people of the united states and it is about them. he has been very clear and very strong, it is about the united states of america and we want to work with everybody. it has to be working together with third deals. it has to be handled appropriately. i think that the president believes as well as many other people in the united states that we have been taken advantage of over and over again. and it's destroying our economy. it is absolutely devastated certain areas of our country and we are tired of it. we're not going to tolerate it any more and that is why he won overwhelmingly the electoral
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votes. people want somebody that will stand up for us for a change. i agree we have to work with our allies, we have to have the commerce and trade going back and forth, but i'm anxiously awaiting just to see exactly what they can come up with. what is the real solution? thank you so much forjoining 100 days. we are going to finish christian — with some discussion on the other barrier that is going up. and that is the barrier between the white house and the official press corps. they build up pretty quickly, fair to say the relationship has not gotten to say the relationship has not gotte n off to say the relationship has not gotten off to the best of starts, the row over the weekend has been covered but we will talk about where the relationship goes from here because while we have been on air, sean spicer of the communications director has answered the question about his integrity and telling the truth, let's have a listen to see if hea truth, let's have a listen to see if he a more cordial. there are times when we believe something to be true or we get something from an agency or we get something from an agency
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or we get something from an agency or we act or we get something from an agency orwe act in or we get something from an agency or we act in haste because the information available was in complete but our desire to communicate with the american people to make sure you have the complete story at the time so we do it, but again, when you look, we will do our best every time we can. i will come out and tell you the facts as i know and if we make mistakes i will do the best to correct them. as i mentioned the other day, it is a two—way street, there are many mistakes of the media make all the time, they misreport something, they don't report something, they get a factual, that is not to turn around and say you are intentionally lying. i think we'll try to do our best job and do it with a degree of integrity in our respective industries. shaun spicer there. joining us now is susan page, a former president of the white house correspondence and is now paul simpson chief for usa
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today. put this in some kind of historic perspective for us. you have covered campaigns, have you ever seen anything like this in terms of the relationship with the press ? terms of the relationship with the press? this is my sixth presidents i have seen them come and go and all of them at some point or another have tough relationships with the press. especially when they get in trouble, you think about the impeachment of president clinton for instance. 0rduring impeachment of president clinton for instance. 0r during the war accusations of the misuse of intelligence information, the bad intelligence information, the bad intelligence that got us into the war in iraq said there were times when the white house has had bad relations which covers them everyday. what is unusual is that this time it is off to a rocky start from the start. after a campaign which has been contentious. what is unusual is the way the president has questioned the motives of the press. basically accusing them of wilfully misrepresenting things, miss reporting things to make him look bad, that is unusual. what you think
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the press needs to do now that president trump is an office about theissue president trump is an office about the issue of alternative facts, falsehoods, distortions, lies, whatever you want to name them because it does seem that this is a campaign that has frequently put out information that is provably not true. and what's also is that trust in the mainstream media has declined in this country is faith in other institutions here has declined. we have to get up every day and do the bestjob we have to get up every day and do the best job we can to be have to get up every day and do the bestjob we can to be as have to get up every day and do the best job we can to be as accurate and factual as possible and one of the main things we do when it comes to holding the government accountable is pointing out when things are factually inaccurate. that is going to be a big part. isn't there a danger that the press puts itself in a right from the start of being the opposition? not the opposition and our obligation to correct inaccuracies goes to both sides, it goes to democrats on the hill and people marching in the women's march on washington and see
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people at the inauguration so it is abroad obligation. but it is especially critical i think in covering a president especially a president were all kinds of policies are being set. thank you. this is going to be an interesting relationship between the press and the white house because there is a risk we get into the position where we spend our whole time talking about things like crowd sizes and the onus will be on the press there to talk about policy as well and what is happening what is notjust being said. they'll have to pick their way through the facts and alternative fax. a reminder that you can follow us on social media using the hashtag one hundred days. join us at the same time tomorrow, when we'll be looking at what the new china america relationship might look like under president trump. and a busy day tomorrow for the british prime minister — the supreme court will be handing down its ruling on whether theresa may needs parliament's assent to trigger the brexit negotiations. we'll have full coverage of that. just before we go, if you want
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to join in the discussion tonight, i will be on the bbc‘s facebook live page straight after the programme. join me for that if you can. goodbye from both of us. you are watching bbc news. the top stories now. the prime minister has refused to give more detail about the misfiring of a trident missile, during a test last year. the prime minister unveils her new industrial strategy for britain after brexit —— focusing on science and technology. an independent report into the death of dean saunders, a mentally—ill man who took his own life at chelmsford prison last year,
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has found staff failed to do enough to protect him. tomorrow the 11 justices of the supreme court will decide if ministers alone can trigger article 50 of the lisbon treaty, the mechanism by which the uk leaves the eu, or whether they need the authority of an act of parliament. our legal affairs correspondent clive coleman reports on what is being seen as a momentous case, that will dictate the manner and could affect the timing of the uk's departure from the eu. who has the legal power to switch on the process by which the uk leaves the eu? is it the government alone, or does it need an act of parliament? tomorrow, the 11 justices of the supreme court will give their ruling. the government was appealing a case brought by businesswoman gina miller. the result today is about all of us. she had won a judgment at the high court stoppbing ministers bypassing parliament
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and triggering article 50 using what are known as prerogative powers. they are derived from times when all—powerful kings and queens could do pretty much what they wanted. it's accepted that they can legitimately use the prerogative to enter into and leave international treaties, like the one that took the uk into what is now the eu. but that treaty led to an act of parliament, which brought rights into our domestic law, and it's the removal of those rights that lies at the heart of the case. the government argue that we are dealing with an international treaty that our government has signed with the other eu governments, so even though the eu treaty gives rights to british citizens, it is ultimately up to the government to decide whether it wants to pull britain out, and not up to parliament. and in court, the attorney general argued that if parliament had wanted to limit ministers‘ powers, it could have done so. when it comes to leaving
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the european union, parliament has had full capacity and multiple opportunities to restrict the executive's ordinary ability to begin the article 50 process, and it has not chosen to do so. but gina miller's barrister dismissed that out of hand.
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