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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  January 28, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm GMT

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prime minister and a new american president — that they were "fated to get on wonderfully well." he meant that whatever the personal chemistry — or lack of it — the totality of the relationship between the uk and us was so important that it had to work out. but how well does that work with theresa may and donald trump? it seems to me the most interesting thing about it is that it took place within the first few days? yes, the first foreign head to be in to see the american presence, i think the quote from yourformer the american presence, i think the quote from your former ambassador friend is right. these are two countries that need to work hard to get on and i don't think there is any secret that we struggle somewhat under president obama who is not as well disposed to the british interest as the now president seems to be. i suppose my point is this, whether you agreed with brexit or not, that is now the directional travel that our country is on. president obama and his preferred successof president obama and his preferred successor hillary clinton set themselves paul square against that so even themselves paul square against that so even if you voted against brexit
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and power and ardent remainer, you should now be happy, that we have a president who looks optimistic and positively at the path that we are set on. you may dislike donald trump oi’ set on. you may dislike donald trump or many other reasons and those reasons may be valid but on this it is good fry country that it happened, and went the way that we did. do you see this as some british press sees it, as a danger that a prime minister gets too close to an american president. it was said that tony blair got too close to george bush and that lead us into the mess of iraq? when i watch the press conference, i thought the prime minister came out of that exceptionally well and if you think about anyone who's policy positions changed, it was trump, not may. one week ago he was saying that nato was obsolete, with encouragement of theresa may it is now 100% relevant and he supports it. and maybe general matias two. he said that he would step back, and support the general ‘s position. in the same way
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that he seems to be rowing back on torture as well. but he does seem to be bit double, and the other one is ukraine. where theresa made straight that our country and there is has a significant position of difference and she didn't back down one bit. what did you make of it? well i wish i could share your enthusiasm, of course he is the presidents of the united states, the used and nine it and we had to work with the man. on the other hand as a friend britain, i felt, the other hand as a friend britain, ifelt, i the other hand as a friend britain, i felt, i was shivering, just seeing them holding hands which the british media paid seo much of it. it is on every single newspaper. it was a temporary safety measure i believe, they were walking downstairs. he was being polite. he was being polite but ijust don't see angela merkel being led the way that she is. i
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thought it was a bit embarrassing for britain. also, that press conference, the ft said that there was considerable warmth between the two. what i saw was considerable awkwardness, she was walking on eggshells of course and she managed to get him to say at least not on camera, that he was backing nato 100% and that is a in itself, but otherwise, she was going there, ray few words from the president about the trade deal, but article 50 has not been triggered yet so she's not actually cable or starting at entry negotiations. you can have talks of course but you didn't say anything on that trade deal apart from brexit was the most wonderful things. to pick up on alex's point, wasn't the most interesting thing about yesterday that whatever one may say about donald trump and a lot has been said all over the place about
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him, he appears to be pragmatic enough to listen to people who actually know what they talk about. if he listens to general mattis four example is somebody with a long career in defence, it is very clear that he doesn't think that torture isa that he doesn't think that torture is a good idea. i know, but you can't actually ignore, the fact that an american president says that personally, you think that torture works. it is difficult to ignore. but you cannot ignore the fact that he said even if he thinks that, he will defer to someone else. i thought it was an interesting point. it is still to moxon tip becomes a dictatorship. what do you make of it? i think theresa may left washington saying to herself, i cannot trust this man. i don't think she will trust this man. because he isa man she will trust this man. because he is a man who changes his mind every day. and he is a loner in a way. when he stands up in the press
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co nfe re nce when he stands up in the press conference and says, look, i am rich, very, very rich. i if he says rich, very, very rich. as if he says i don't need thisjob and this money so i don't need thisjob and this money so i'm doing you a favour to be here in this position. you cannot trust this man in a way. yes of course he said i'm with you 100% over nato, but give him two or three months, easy going to stick to his position? i doubt it. and i'm sure theresa may doubts it. that is interesting. you've seen lots of presidents at the white house, it has been quite an extremely weak for donald trump? for america? it is such a blizzard of things you can hardly even remember how it began, the speech at the cia where he is standing in front of the wall of the fallen and uses it as a long talk about his own wonderfulness. where he says that the news media made up his differences with intelligence agencies which was a lie. two people
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for whom not lying actually matters because that is theirjobs, trying to figure out things. and to say, that of course there was tremendous voter fraud and that was the only reason why i didn't get the popular vote. that was another lie and he said that to them. that was seven days ago. a long week. and the executive order that was in favour of torture, which has now been rescinded. but there is a law against it anyway so the executive order is irrelevant and james mattis was against it. theresa may, i think it is important for the president and the prime minister tried to get on, yes, there is a little bit of the supplicant trying to rush in but it's fine, this is an important relationship. if it goes well for the us it is a force multiplier for britain, i would the us it is a force multiplier for britain, iwould point the us it is a force multiplier for britain, i would point to the relationship that tony blair and
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george bush had in the days after september the 11th when it actually worked really well where blair would go to washington, he at the second highest approval rating of any public figure in the united states and he would come back to europe and all of the european prime minister 's would line up to have dinner with him because they wanted to understand what bush was saying and he was kind of the ambassador. it all went wrong when he became too supplicant three over iraq and he didn't pull back. so that is a danger, of being a democrat in a conservative thing. i think the worrying thing about this visit, yes it looks like a normal visit, but trump is not a normal president. he does not believe in the liberal international order, he believes in himself coming getting attention for himself. if you look at all of his biographers, they say he has never had any friends. he doesn't have any long—term friends, he discards his wise when they are not useful to him. he doesn't believe in alliances
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and long—term building, he believes in transactions and beating the other guy in in transactions and beating the otherguy ina in transactions and beating the other guy in a deal. here we have britain that has given away its european home and is looking for deals. are you saying that these are two lea d e rs deals. are you saying that these are two leaders that have got no mates? the british don't get on with the european friends and donald trump doesn't get on with anybody? but there is also a system in which they used to operate. i think if vladimir putin now takes advantage of say, lessening some sanctions, i don't think trump is going to opposing like obama did. meddling in the elections and doing things the last of gdp concerning, i think this desire for britain to be paying all of this attention to trade deals within individual countries, and the smallness of its ambitions it is going to feel like it is the wrong choice but it is going to fit in with trump's. the there is false with trump's. the there is false with what you say, i could agree ——
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disagree about what trump was —— agree with trump speaking front of the wall and it was crass. but i disagree with you, in exception is with results. i'm not saying you particularly but the left often says that the result we have had is so bad that it transcends normal systems. when democracy sometimes you get results that you don't like and each side has to live with that result. but i'm so angry that this can't be normal, and therefore the result is whether it be voting to leave the european union will donald trump the president must somehow be invalid. li i don't think it is invalid, i think it is worrisome and it creates risks, and risks of the dissolution of the international order that has triggered peace and security for so many years is a risk. both playing as not
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isolationists, it is i am best.|j think it is a new world altogether, a new political environment, i think everybody is trying to find his or her place. like theresa may. how to deal with this man. it is a very worrying thing to do, because listening to his speeches, the day before, in philadelphia, the mere fa ct before, in philadelphia, the mere fact that she was, repeating, the fa ct, fact that she was, repeating, the fact, the two great nations historically, and reminding. brew wanting to lead together. the other point that i wanted to make, i'm very interested in your country's politics, in the enzyme bridges should because i'm most interested in how britain fares. our prime minister didn't choose this hand,
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she neither voted to leave the european union nor did she have any say on trump being president but she's dealing with hands that she is being dealt and i'm very proud of the way that she is conducting herself actually. one of the things i have wanted to bring up, it has been many years since i have read the art of the deal, donald trump says, or his ghost writer, says something like you make a better deal when the person in front of you is desperate to make a deal. that is the thing that i wonder about. jeff was talking about tony blair and bush, tony blair missed a historical opportunity at the time, because he did have leveraged over bush and he was close to him and he could have done something which he didn't do and that was a historical mistake in many ways. he could have actually just before the invasion, he would have been able to tell bush look,
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this was a mistake. brew but he and colon powell could have had a senior conversation. but also he and colin powell could have had a senior conversation. but britain is very important on the chessboard and can make a real difference, but what i so, yesterday in washington, the british prime minister who of course needs to do what she has to do but she also, there was an element of desperation and she felt really sink a frantic. i'm a tory and i love blaming tony blair for anything, on that one it is the job of the new prime minister to make sure that we are close to our closest ally.|j wa nt are close to our closest ally.|j want to point out that some of the bases, for the cooperation is intelligence and offence. many
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things that are part of this regardless of who the prime minister is. but british spending on its own defence has decreased, the number of aircraft carriers and planes on aircraft carriers and planes on aircraft carriers, the number of submarines, the size of the army. actually it is getting to the point where britain is not gain to be able to make the kind of contributions should there be a gulf of land war. and i think that is important for the future. theresa may does not have as many cards in her hand. the future. theresa may does not have as many cards in her hand! lot has been made in this side of the land sick about these executive orders. i'm tempted to ask, so what? didn't obama signed an executive order eight years ago this month. and whatever happened to that? what i'm trying to get at is the totality of the relationships between britain and the united states also involves theresa may talking to the
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republican party, that went down very well. it is notjust about republican party, that went down very well. it is not just about the president, but whatever you say about all trump, his freedom former mover is more limited than people think. i think that is fair if you look at the executive orders, they are mostly public relations, they are mostly public relations, they are intended to throw red meat to the base and signal a directional travel but they are not legally valid because they contradict legislation or because they are easily provoke a ball or because there are conditions that haven't come to pass, or they say things that are already law but people don't remember that obama has already done about immigration policy for instance. this is a common tactic of new presidents, to issue a flurry of executive orders. i think we have two get used to, trump doesn't care as much about the substance. obama a constitutional
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law expert cares about doing the right thing. what trump always cares about his being at the centre of the news and getting adulation for it and if it takes executive orders that don't add up, or end up in the heap on the floor he doesn't care. how is he viewed in the middle east in particular on the guv, i was talking to a golf specialist and they say do you know what, there is afairwind but they say do you know what, there is a fair wind but i'm trump in gulf nations partly because he recognises the threat as they see it from iran and that is a big story in the gulf? that is true, i think it would please the gulf. people in general. of his stance on iran. if he does what he says, they will certainly be relieved, no doubt about that. this is only one point. you need to think of stability in the long term, in the entire region, not only, assuming he launches a war if you
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like or attacks, hitting the nuclear facilities or whatever. that is what talking about. will it be limited to that part only? would it threaten the entire region itself? they are worried, a lot more than iran, about extremism, fundamentalism in the region itself. it is proper either first priority as far as politics in the region. ease trump prepared to do anything about that? he did say a few things about muslims just if you days ago yesterday. and also his team started talking about building a database of muslims
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inside the us. and barring people from certain countries like syria where you are from. exactly. and that made a person like madeline albright threaten to convert to islam if he does that. is that a bit of froth? i don't think it is froth, we should listen to people around the world. on the other hand, he is far less interested in intervening around the world, it will be not very interesting to liberal interventionists but it would be much more agreeable to people who don't want interventions from superpowers. on the other hand, balmer dropped hundreds of thousands of bombs, on muslims, and was widely regarded by the foreign affairs lobby as a hero. there is a difference between these two things, would i find it
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difference between these two things, would ifind it more difficult difference between these two things, would i find it more difficult to find davies in the united states will get a bomb dropped on me? brew trump is stopping the drone programme and he will be doing the same thing —— programme and he will be doing the same thing -- trump is not stopping the drone programme. how do you know that? brew he hasn't told me, but it is essentially inevitable, that is what the entire establishment has been looking to do. and there are not very alternatives if you want to bea not very alternatives if you want to be a tough guy and if you want to do things from washington. the danger is, let's say that he makes the deal with russia, sanctions gone in return for cooperation. the problem with russia as a ally against terrorism is, they have created a lot of people from chechnya who go to syria because of the tactics they have used. they kill eight times as many people in the bombing as american strikes, and if you look at trump's executive order banning
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muslims, it is from countries none of which sent any of the 911 bombers, the most it affects is iran. as one iranians foreign policy official said, americans have created more people going to isis than iran has. they have two create this notion that you are actually increasing radicalism if you team up with the russians. your point about the orders and restricting travel is reasonable, the ven diagram between countries that have sent citizen between 911 and the countries who are banned, do not overlap one bit. saudi arabia is of course the largest single one. and i wanted to return to your russia point, because on the one hand as they showed in syria, the russians, brutal and effective, rgb only on the narrow interpretation of what you think should happen. the americans and indeed the rest of us. well meant and well—intentioned and utterly ineffectual. you have got to pick
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your preferred option. doing peace with russia, i think there are many people who will look at that and would say that i would rather that russia got on better with united states. if you listen to theresa may before she talked to trump, she was always —— before she talked to trump, she was always — — already before she talked to trump, she was always —— already showing signs that we should have a different attitude to russia. perhaps we will keep sanctions on the ukraine but there is room for improvement. this is happening, if france with you is elected french president, he is for the moment best placed to be the french president, —— fillon. there will be a complete the other side to french foreign policy. it will be a new era of franco russian friendship. and indeed in other countries in europe, i think we are going there because we know, obama didn't do much. in the sense that,
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the us has retreated on the international scene, and with trump it is going to continue being isolationist. so basically there is so isolationist. so basically there is so much room in part of the world in the middle east for russia to play its card and the one is going to stop vladimir putin. so this is where, slowly we are slowly getting there. just to return to the torture point. it now seems to have been shelved but one of the fundamental worries about that, apart from the inhumanity of torture, is that if you torture one person, you may create a thousand others who take the same view. it seems to be a very headline grabbing way of saying something, to talk to his base but something, to talk to his base but something that will offend, notjust many people but make many people much more likely to be anti—american? much more likely to be anti-american? i think that is right, i think torture is always morally wrong, the question now is whether it is effective or not is
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secondary. i also wonder to what extent these are deliberate ploy is to demonstrate a toughness, that is meant for your political audience rather than for your wider international audience. rather than for your wider internationalaudience. i have rather than for your wider international audience. i have no doubt that the signals from the trump campaign on that went down well with its domestic audience, and if your primary aim is to get elected, if you remove morale at you from the question, that is a sensible thing to do. even if it alienates people who are not american citizens outside your country. one question i wonder about jeff, is the question of congress and the republicans in congress, the democrats are in a mess in various ways but if you are a republican in congress facing the election in two yea rs congress facing the election in two years which is the entire house of representatives, how close would you be to donald trump. would you say, i would better get very close because he's the president and he this mandate. or would you say, this
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could come seriously unstuck? brew so far all of the indications are that the republicans have made the bed i happily or not. however bizarre his pronouncements or offensive about grabbing the private parts of women. saved just basically rolled over. the base, the people that voted for them and that they are scared of, to unseat congressman, they cannot afford to get out of the way. foreign policy, it probably won't matter a lot, it is obama care that is perhaps going to matter. obviously the republicans are now showing concern, they have said repeated so many times and now they are actually responsible for its becoming trump care. they lot of the initial proposals would end up
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on insuring 20 million people who would have terrible sob stories, and against them. now they are starting to feel the pressure. but trump to who is not actually really a republican, he is a deal—maker, will be glad to come up with a compromise andl be glad to come up with a compromise and i think there is room for him to work with the republicans. and all of this stuff about impeachment and all of the horrible things that he is doing, all of these impossible things that he keeps doing, they will not get in his way. foreign policy is what is worrying as far as the middle east is concerned. because foreign policy is bottom of the list, no doubt about that. that would give the russians freedom to do whatever they want in the region. in fact, they are now running the peace conference in kazakhstan. and they are the arbiter but they are
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also, the attackers at the same time. that is how they are perceived in the region. that is it for dateline london for this extremely busy week, we are back the same time next week, you can of course comment on twitter. goodbye. i ,we , we have the deep freeze that we had last week, we had some nasty fog around as well, temperatures are rising particularly across england and wales and it is not as cold, milder conditions brought in thanks to an area of low pressure that is also bringing us some wet weather to
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start of the weekend. the rain has been heading northwards, with colder errant scotland and here we have seen a bit of snow over the high ground. one of our weather watchers ca ptu red ground. one of our weather watchers captured the snow coming down, thanks to you for sending this early—morning picture. the snow has been affecting some of the higher routes, most of the snow has been above 300 metres but things could be slippery for a time. the rain is relu cta nt to slippery for a time. the rain is reluctant to clear away from northern areas but it is a different story further south and we will see some sunny spells brought in and there will be a number of showers and the brisk rescue wins bringing some milder, temperatures to 9 degrees. there will still be some rain around for north wells and the north of england, northern ireland brighter, mainly in the western. in the rain is reluctant to use. it will stay cold with temperatures around for degrees. overnight tonight has the rain finally lets up we will see some showers following, snow over the hills scotland and over the pennines. watch out for icy
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surfaces, as it dips down to give us some frost and temperatures will be rising across wales and south—west of england, and we have another weather system sliding in early on sunday. here is your chance for some day, outbreaks of rain pushing northwards and eastwards. north—east england and scotland, probably hanging onto some sunshine, with the sunshine it is still quite cold, temperatures of five or 6 degrees, milder in the south west. looking ahead to next week, it is going to be quite an active week where the atla ntic be quite an active week where the atlantic opens up, initially slow—moving weather fronts across the uk, but then it looks like something meaty will be coming along later in the week so next week we will be looking at spells of rain, there is a chance of catching some severe gales, the winds coming from the south—west and it should be relatively mild. and the mild weather case in point will be monday, bits and pieces of rain, temperatures reaching highs of 11th or 12th agrees. —— 11 or 12 degrees.
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this is bbc news. i'm maxine mawhinney. the headlines at 11.00am. the headlines at 12.00am. tributes to the bafta—winning actor sirjohn hurt, who has died, aged 77. treated so well by such a beautiful woman. his performance in the elephant man earned him an oscar nomination. his wife described him as the most sublime of actors, and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen. sublime of actors, and the most president trump bans the entry of syrian refugees to the us, and halts visas on six other mainly muslim countries. google urges and some staff travelling overseas to return to the us as quickly as possible, saying the move could affect hundreds of their workers.
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