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tv   100 Days  BBC News  June 8, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm BST

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hello and welcome to 100 days plus. james comey says donald trump lied about his firing and he feared he'd lie about other things too. but the former director of the fbi does not accuse the president of obstructing justice — he says he'll leave that judgement to others. at a senate hearing, mr comey says he believes he was fired in order to alter the course of the russia investigation. it is myjudgement that is was fired because of the russia investigation. i was fired in some way to change or the endeavour was to change the way the russia investigation was being conducted. that is a very big deal. at a rally for evangelicals president trump chose to ignore the hearings — it's not what he wants his administration to be about. i have one goal as president, to fight for the american people and to fight for the american people and to fight for the american people and to fight for america and america first. is all this diverting from the
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russian investigation? james comey testifies there was no doubt they we re testifies there was no doubt they were meddling in the investigation. he says it's about as unfake as you can get. this was appointment viewing and such a crowd—puller this morning in washington. the bars even opened early. welcome to 100 days plus, i'm katty kay in washington. christian fraser is in london. the fired director of the fbi doesn't think the current president of the united states tells the truth. james comey told senators at a block buster hearing today that donald trump lied about his firing — mr comey also said he was worried mr trump would lie about other things too. mr comey confirmed much of what we already knew from his testimony — the president asked for his loyalty, he asked him to drop the investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn and he did it repeatedly. but mr comey would not say whether he thought the president
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was guilty of obstructing justice in the russia investigation. although the law required no reason at all to fire an fbi director, the administration chose to defame me and, more importantly, the fbi, by saying the organisation was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. those were lies, plain and simple. a lot of testimony focused on a february 14th discussion about mike flynn whenjames comey was left alone in the oval office with the president. here's diane feinstein asking about how he handled himself in that meeting. why didn't you stop and say mr president, this is wrong, i cannot discuss this with you? it's a great question. maybe ifi discuss this with you? it's a great question. maybe if i were stronger i would have. iwas question. maybe if i were stronger i would have. i was so stunned by the conversation that ijust took it in
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and the only thing i could think to say because i was playing it over in my mind because i remember everything he said, i was playing in my mind, what should my response be. that's why i very carefully chose the words. look, i've seen the tweet about the tapes, lordy i hope there are tapes. this was an important day politically but a sideshow to the main event. the russia investigation. and in the view ofjames comey — the russian interference was driven with purpose, sophistication and right from the top of the kremlin. the russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. they did it with purpose and sophistication. they did it with overwhelming technical efforts and it was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. there is no fuzz on that. it is a high confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community and the members of this committee have seen the intelligence. it's not a close call. did the president in any of those
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interactions you have shared with us today ask you what you should be doing or what our government should be doing or the intelligence community to protect america against russian interference in our election system? i don't recall a conversation like that. never? no. it's interesting; while james comey says the president didn't ask him about the russia investigation, he does say it's the reason he was fired as fbi director. it's myjudgment i was fired because of the russian investigation. i was fired in some way to change or the endeavour was to change the way the investigation was being conducted. that is a very big deal, notjust because it involves me, the nature of the fbi and the nature of its work requires that it not be the subject of political consideration. perhaps most remarkably we haven't seen a tweet from president trump yet today.
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he has just spoken to a group of evangelicals telling them they were under siege and he would continue to fight on their behalf. you fought hard for me and now i'm fighting hard for you. i have one goal as president, to fight for the american prime minister people and to fight for america and america first. . and joining us now from capitol hill is democratic senator chris coons who sits on both the foreign relations and the judiciary committees. are we any closer to understanding whether there was anything criminal in what the president did during the course of the last three months, whether it was to do with the russian investigation or to do with obstructing justice in that investigation? katty, we heard a couple of important things today. former fbi directorjim comey, a
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seniorfederal former fbi directorjim comey, a senior federal law enforcement official testified under oath that he's convinced he was fired in order to interfere with the ongoing investigation into russian interference in our election and that when he met with the president, he felt directed to drop at that pointan he felt directed to drop at that point an ongoing investigation into the former national security advisor general mike flint. —— flynn. there we re general mike flint. —— flynn. there were other things. i do think some significant new developments happened today with regard to the ongoing investigation. but was there anything actually criminal do you think in what the president did? katty, that is not a conclusion for me to make. i'm going to be careful about reaching a conclusion like that. that's why we have special counsel. 0ne that. that's why we have special counsel. one thing that was important to hear from the former fbi director who has i think fairly good knowledge into what that
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ongoing investigation into potential criminal activity by folks in the administration looks like is that jim comey said he thought it was appropriate and possible for the senate to continue its investigations and for the special counsel to conduct his investigation that they could move forward at the same time without interfering with each other. just coming back to the attorney general. mr comey said in his written testimony which he supplied to the senate that he hadn't informed him after the 0val office meeting because, in his view, he was likely to have to accuse himself and it would be problematic for him to carry on with the russian investigation. when asked about that today, he said he couldn't speak about it in a public open hearing. does that create another mushroom cloud for the house? yes, i think that was one of the most intriguing potentially explosive things that was raised today is the suggestion that there is some reason that the fbi director at the time knew that
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the attorney general would almost certainly recruise himself and that whatever evidence or information there was that led him to believe that was of a type that he couldn't share in an open hearing. that was a significant disclosure today by the former fbi director. senator, you have just concern returned from a trip to asia. you were at a meeting with nato members, easternian countries recently too. what impact is this russian investigation having on the white house's reputation abroad and on america's pasty to lead abroad? well, i think it continues to raise a significant concern amongst oui’ continues to raise a significant concern amongst our european allies, oui’ concern amongst our european allies, our asia—pacific allies. first that we are distracted, that the administration isn't going to be able to focus on pushing back on russian aggression or on engaging effectively with north korea and with china in a way that would help keep them safe. there is a question about our continued leadership role
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in the world. some is based on things that president trump said as a candidate, some of this is based on things he's said as president and some is based on the general observation that this ongoing investigation is taking up more and more of the time and energy and space here in washington. i will say that in both places in singapore at the regional security conference there and at halifax at a north atla ntic there and at halifax at a north atlantic security conference, all of oui’ atlantic security conference, all of our allies with whom i spoke were eagerfor the our allies with whom i spoke were eager for the states to continue its strong role and to continue to invest in alliances and partnerships. i was part of a bipartisan delegation to reinforce oui’ bipartisan delegation to reinforce our thanks for the long and special relationship we have with the united kingdom and with many other important allies around the world. senator, it's really good to have you on the show again, thank you for being with us on such a busy day. joining us with his analysis is our north america editorjon sopel. 0h, he is not here. if i said i hope
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you are going tojoin us for 100 days next week, you would know what i meant? i will try and channeljon sopalfor i meant? i will try and channeljon sopal for you. i meant? i will try and channeljon sopalfor you. my i meant? i will try and channeljon sopal for you. my take from this was partly that, as you are suggesting, he said against he said and this issue of how strength the coercion was 01’ issue of how strength the coercion was or the pressure was, issue of how strength the coercion was 01’ the pressure was, was issue of how strength the coercion was or the pressure was, was this an orderfrom the president was or the pressure was, was this an order from the president to drop the investigation into michael flynn. but this is not a bad day for president trump. it could have been a lot worse. james comey didn't say that he thought there was obstruction of justice, that he thought there was obstruction ofjustice, he said he'd leave that to others. he was silent on the whether there was the issue of collusion. he said that in closed session and he could have done a lot more damage to the president. 0n the character issue, it was pretty damning. he said he thinks this president is prone to lying. that's a problem for president trump. but
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it's not criminal. i think that was what the white house was mostly concerned about, that james comey would stand up there, take this investigation further and we'd be getting further to the idea that there was some kind of obstruction of justice. that there was some kind of obstruction ofjustice. that did not happen today in that respect and this is not such a bad day for the white house or at least not as bad as it might have been. jon sopal really is here now. i've been here all along. i know, but we had to chat amongst ourselves. yes. i think i know, but we had to chat amongst ourselves. yes. ithink the i know, but we had to chat amongst ourselves. yes. i think the white house might have hoped that comey would have come unstuck a bit more, that he will have looked a bit flakey, not that he will have looked a bit fla key, not sure that he will have looked a bit flakey, not sure of the detail and i thought that comey came across as extremely poised, humane, grasping all the details very clear and i think his credibility is intact, except for one or maybe two specific areas. there was the feinstein question. why if you thought something terrible was going on
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didn't you do something about it. the other thing i'm sure which will be part of the narrative from the white house. he showed himself to be a politician as well in trying toe leak that information that would build up pressure for a special counsel to be appointed. the white house is going to say, you're one of the leakers, comey, how can we trust you. i think that that would be something that the white house will seize upon and will choose not to make too much of the other stuff because in some ways he'll see it as confirming what the president had said. i wasn't under investigation — confirmed. i didn't order the russian investigation to be stopped — confirmed. iasked russian investigation to be stopped — confirmed. i asked about flynn but ididn't — confirmed. i asked about flynn but i didn't order him to stop it, it wasn't a direction even though that's what comey might have thought. john for me, the most extraordinary thing about today was really the main event, that's the russian investigation and he set out very clearly that the russians had attacked lots of organisations, it
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came right from the top of the kremlin, it's going to happen again he said and when people, even within mr trump's base find it extraordinary that the commander in chief, and that's what he is, and he'd not at any point it seemed said to james comey, what are you doing to james comey, what are you doing to protect america and future american elections? i think this is one of the areas where there is a huge disjunction. a lot of the trump base get ever that he —— everything that he said about administration and health care. he's cosying up to moscow and that was problematic and remains so. that said, now that donald trump is elected president and there hasn't been evidence produced that the russian interference led to ballot boxes being interfered with, i think people think, oh, i'm sick of the russian stuff, let's get on with making america great again, to use the trump language. there are big problems still. if you use the trump
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language, he wanted the cloud lifted oi'i language, he wanted the cloud lifted on russia. has the cloud been lifted today? no, we have got to the end of act one and we are going to see the start of act two now with the special counsel taking this over this investigation. and katty is right, james comey did not say that he had obstructed justice but he didn't say that he hadn't either. he left it ambiguous. act one, act two, this is going to go on for ever. thank you very much. this hearing has legal implications but it will also have political implications for a president already suffering from low approval ratings. so how will republicans react to these hearings? let's bring in bradley blakeman, he's a republican political consultant who was a senior staff member for president george w bush. mr blakeman, paul ryan today said that the reason that the president had put pressure on donald trump to drop the investigation into mike
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flynn was because "he's new at this". frankly, if that is the best defence that republicans can come up with, it suggests the bar is pretty low, doesn't it? no, it does not. the president did not order the fbi director or anybody else to stop an investigation. what he said to the... he asked him... he said at the... he asked him... he said at the time, it was an expression of frustration, if anything, that it's respect that he had for flynn, a decorated general, he thought he'd been through enough and it would hope —— he'd hope there would not be a criminal liability. that's in the a criminal liability. that's in the a direction to do anything and comey didn't do anything based on that conversation. it was not a direction, you are quite right, but it was an ask or a request and they got into that. i wa nt to request and they got into that. i want to get into the question of how republicans respond to this president whose approval ratings are down 36—37, 38%. president whose approval ratings are down 36-37, 38%. at president whose approval ratings are down 36—37, 38%. at what point do
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republicans decide that this president is no longer doing the republican party and their cause any favours and that this russian investigation is too much of a liability. this russian investigation‘s not a liability. the president didn't do anything wrong. if anything, the russians did something wrong. if anything that the president is guilty of is maybe hurting comey‘s feelings which i'm not sure is a crime in america. as far as the republicans are concerned, we all rise and fall together, promises remain. it's incumbent upon us, the president and the republicans to make good on the promises by passing legislation. we have to start winning in legislation. mr blakeman, the best thing you can say about the president if you were listening to this testimony and you we re listening to this testimony and you were in his camp is that he's inexperienced and naive and he doesn't understand that it's
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inappropriate to be talking to an independent fbi director in this way. but the problem is he does it repeatedly. we have got the written testimony here. on nine —cations he's having one—on—one conversations with the fbi director. will people draw conclusions from that?“ anything, donald trump is unorthodox and new to government. there is a fiction. and i'm talking as a lawyer now, as somebody that served in the white house, an fbi director cannot have personal conduct with the president on a professional level one—on—one. comey testified that he had a personal professional conversation with the president alone when he talked about the russian dossier on trump? he's the one who requested a personal meeting with the then president—elect. why is it ok when he requests a one—on—one meeting but not the president? you are talking about tradition, there's nothing illegal, immoral, in the fbi director meeting
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with the president one—on—one, it's a subject matter that matters and nothing criminal occurred. i can tell you this, democrats were chomping at the bit from the time the president was i elected for impeachment and i'm sorry to burst their bubble but there's nothing impeachable about what the president did with the fbi director. thank you very much forjoining us. this is interesting because it gets to the democratic process, so what extent a re to the democratic process, so what extent are democracies built on laws and norms and customs. blakeman is right, there is nothing in the law that says the conversations that the president had with the fbi director shouldn't have ta ken president had with the fbi director shouldn't have taken place but it has in modern american history become the norm, the custom that fbi directors should be independent from the president and therefore this was the president and therefore this was the kind of inappropriate conversation that the president was trying to have and the kind of pressure he was putting on comey was
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seen therefore as inappropriate? yes. i think the problem he's going to have certainly from the republican perspective is the acquiesce sense that he'd been approached by the president cou ntless approached by the president countless times and he didn't flag it up to the doj, the department of justice. there was an interesting bit, he was invited to the white house dinner in february and he'd never been invited to dinner with the president before. this was the first time. he fully expected to be going there, among others, sitting down for dinner with the president. in fact it turns out he's there one—on—one with the president with two navy stewards. yes. i think this slightly gets to the argument about whether the president didn't know what he was doing and didn't know that he shouldn't put pressure on jim comey because, on two occasions, that dinner and then on february 14th in the 0val office, mr trump clearly makes a concerted effort to be alone with the director of the fbi. he doesn't want other people around listening in on those conversations. it suggests to me
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that the president did know exactly what he was doing. 0k that the president did know exactly what he was doing. ok let's look at that critical legal question. is mr trump guilty of any sort of crime? us constitutional scholars are divided. some think mr comey‘s testimony points to a possible obstruction of justice. testimony points to a possible obstruction ofjustice. others are equally convinced the case falls short. mr comey himself refused to passjudgment short. mr comey himself refused to pass judgment today. but we got news from his special counsel and we'll look at this issue. i don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation i had with the president was an effort to obstruct. itook president was an effort to obstruct. i took it as a disturbing, concerning thing, but that's a conclusion i'm sure the special counsel will work towards to try to understand what the intention was and to decide whether that was an offe nce. let's get a little more on this — barak cohen is a former
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federal prosecutor. whether a president can be investigated and prosecuted for a federal crime, other questions aside it rises to the level of something that warrants a criminal investigation. but i don't think right now it brings us to the level ofan right now it brings us to the level of an offence. mr comey made it clear as the president that on three occasions he reassured him that he wasn't directly under investigation. when asked today where the president might be under investigation now, he said he couldn't answer that in a public open hearing. does that suggest that robert muller might be looking at the president on the back of what was said about flynn?“ certainly does. again without being party to whatever mr comey says or said during the closed session, it's ha rd to
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said during the closed session, it's hard to say for sure what he was alluding to. i should bring in that we are waiting for the donald trump's personal lawyer. as soon as he starts speaking, we'll go to that because that will be the first reaction. that is the press waiting for him to start speaking. we'll go to that. on one point, on the issue of who we should believe mr cohen, mr comey said on the issue he was asked about, should we believe you or should we believe the president, who's said that he never tried to put pressure on you to stop the investigation into michael flynn, mr comey said, when it comes to witnesses, you leek at a host of things, consistency, demeanour and temperament. i guess what he was trying to say was that he had the better case for being a reliable witness than the president on those fronts? i definitely agree with that. mr comey is a former prosecutor himself and he was touching on the precise things that prosecutors look at when trying to
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assess the credibility of a witness. when you said there should be some kind of criminal investigation into whether this mounts to some sort of obstruction of justice whether this mounts to some sort of obstruction ofjustice and you couldn't tell that from this hearing, are you suggesting that that would then put the president under investigation himself? that's not precisely what i said. what i said was that all other questions aside, in particular whether a sitting president can be prosecuted, this would particularly warrant opening an investigation. so if this investigation into a sitting conditioning grossman or governor or other person, the evidence that we have now would probably be enough for the government to open a grand jury for the government to open a grand jury and start serving subpoenas and talking to witnesses. thank you very much for being with us. katty, we are going to hearfrom the much for being with us. katty, we are going to hear from the outside counsel for the president shortly. but by all accounts he was in a hotel last night at the trump
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international hotel in washington handing out cigars telling people they'd won and they'd been vindicated by the written testimony. do you think he'll be so confident today? i do think they are going to carry on saying they were vindicated and i've spoken to people who're surrogates of the white house who've had their talking points and that's going to be the official line, that they were vindicated because they are going to be able to say the president was never under investigation and that is what the president's said, they are not really addressing the question of whetherjames comey was put under some kind of pressure to drop the investigation under michael flynn. interestingly, nobody in the white house since comey testified has come out and disputed comey‘s facts. i think that is an important point on this question of credibility. they are not trying to say comey is lying, this is fake news, none of this happened, but my snapjudgment is that this won't be felt to be such a bad day for the trump administration it could have been a lot worse. i was looking at
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watergate inquiry and people have talked about that and whether there are comparisons. it ran for some 900 days, if you take it from the initial reports to the end of the court cases. we are very early in the process and as you have said, the process and as you have said, the real main event is the russian investigation. there will be a bit ofa investigation. there will be a bit of a part of that investigation? this is going to two and two, we are going to have a lot more of this investigation. bob muller has an awful lot to go to, if he expands it into justice, it's awful lot to go to, if he expands it intojustice, it's going awful lot to go to, if he expands it into justice, it's going to go on and on. one thing james comey said he cancelled din we are his wife to have din we are the president. the main take—away from this hearing, don't cancel dinner with your wife, don't cancel dinner with your wife, do not dare. i never would. you've not met my wife, especially not to meet donald trump in a one—on—one. you are watching 100 days plus.
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hello. we have seen more sunshine this afternoon and have continued to see rain. 0ne this afternoon and have continued to see rain. one area of the country that's been plagued is this area near wigan. those are the showers coming in. the wettest weather has been across northern ireland. that weather warning should be fading away as the wetter weather works its way northwards into the north—west corner of scotland. some showers running across other parts of the uk, some clearer skies around as well. not too cold despite the temperatures being disappointing for many of us today. let us move things on to many of us today. let us move things onto8 many of us today. let us move things on to 8 o'clock in the morning heading off to work perhaps into the rush hour. a few showers in south wales up to the bristol channel towards bristol and gloucester. the odd shower further east and in towards bristol and gloucester. the odd showerfurther east and in n towards bristol and gloucester. the odd shower further east and in n the midlands. moving north, much drier weather by the morning across northern ireland. bright sunny starts after the
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downpours of earlier on. some rain for scotland north of the central belt. that rain not as heavy and it will continue to peter out a bit through the day. a mixture of sunshine and showers across the uk. we'll see the main shower risk transferring from the west into the east by the afternoon with more sunshine following on. for a good pa rt sunshine following on. for a good part of the day it should be dry with sunny spells and temperatures a little bit higher for most than they we re little bit higher for most than they were today. a brief respite though because we have a big low pressure coming in from the atlantic. these weather fronts will be spilling our way. not everywhere will catch rain on saturday. it's mainly going to be running north away from northern ireland up into scotland and then the rain getting stuck across northern england, midlands, wales and the south—west. for the south—east, it may stay dry. it will be humid again. pleasa nt pleasant enough when the sun is out.
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that band of rain runs east and fades. should be clear by sunday morning then we are left with sunshine and showers. by for the more frequent showers towards the north—west of the uk where the winds are stronger. a mixed bag then with rain and a breeze on saturday, on sunday, sunshine and showers. welcome back to 100 days plus. i'm katty kay in washington. we are going to go to the washington press club where donald trump's lawyer is speaking. ladies and edelmann, i am lawyer is speaking. ladies and edelmann, iam president lawyer is speaking. ladies and edelmann, i am president trump's personal lawyer. —— ladies and gentlemen. contrary to numerous press accounts leading up to the hearing, mr comey has confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told president trump privately, that is that the president was not under investigation as part of any probe into russian interference. the
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president... mr comey admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any russian interference. mr comey‘s testimony makes clear that the president never sought to impede the investigation into attempted russian interference in the 2016 election. in fact, according to mr comey, the president told mr comey" it would be good to find out" in that investigation if there was "some satellite associates of his who did something wrong". and he, president trump, did not exclude anyone from that statement. consistent with that statement, the president did not
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direct or suggest that mr comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that mr comey" president never suggested that mr co m ey" let president never suggested that mr comey" let flynn go". as the president stated the next day, he did say to mr comey" general flynn isa did say to mr comey" general flynn is a good guy, he has been through a lot. " is a good guy, he has been through a lot." and also" asked how general flynn is doing". testimony today said that the president never directed him to do anything illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate, and never, never" pressured him to do so." director coates said the same thing. the president, likewise,
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never pressured mr comey. the president also never told mr comey" i need loyalty, i expect loyalty." he never said it is in substance. of course the office of the president is entitled to expect loyalty from those who are serving the administration and from before this president took office, to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there had been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. mr comey has now admitted that he is one of these lea kers. forced today,
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admitted that he is one of these leakers. forced today, comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made disclosures to the press of privileged medication is with the president. the leaks of this privileged information began no later than march, 2017, when friends of mr comey have stated that he disclosed to them the conversations that he had with the president during theirjanuary 27, 2017 dinner, and february 1a, 2017 white house meeting. today, mr comey admitted that helix to friends of his purported mermoz of those privileged communications —— he lea ked privileged communications —— he leaked to friends of his purported memos. they were leaked to the press
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in order to "prompt the appointment ofa in order to "prompt the appointment of a special counsel." although mr comey testified that he only leaked these memos in response to a tweet, these memos in response to a tweet, the new york times was quoting from them the day before the referenced tweet, which belies mr comey‘s excuse for this unauthorised disclosure of privileged information, and appears to be entirely retaliatory. we will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated, along with all of the others that are being investigated. in sum, it is now established that the president was not being investigated for colluding with or attempting to obstruct any
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investigation, as the committee pointed out today. these are facts for the country to know, virtually the only facts that have not been lea ked the only facts that have not been leaked during the course of these events. as he said yesterday, the president feels completely vindicated and is eager to continue moving forward with his agenda, the business of this country, and with this public cloud removed. thank you. that was marc kasowitz, outside counsel for president trump. a couple of interesting things there, most particularly this idea that james comey, and we heard this in the testimony in the senate today, handed on information from his memos toa handed on information from his memos to a friend who worked at columbia university, and authorised him to lick the details to the press and
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the outside counsel marc kasowitz say that they want an investigation into that for four potentially leaking classified information. the other takeaway i had from that, they are other takeaway i had from that, they a re clearly other takeaway i had from that, they are clearly going to hammer him on the idea that he was leaking. they are disputing james comey. i said before the break that the white house had not disputed that what james comey said was true but he just did it, they are saying that comey is effectively not telling the truth, that this is a case of he said, he said and the president does not agree with comey‘s recollection. well sitting right behind james comey throughout today's testimony was democratic congressman brad sherman from california and he was tweeting during the precedings. hejoins us now from capitol hill. it looks like the white house is going to say thatjames comey was not telling the truth on two issues,
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one, letting flynn go and secondly, being asked for loyalty by the president. they'll welcome to dispute that, he has raised the possibility that there may be tapes. interesting to hear them if they exist. the fact is that comey‘s testimony was very convincing. if his testimony is true, the president said, let flynn go and fight and comey with losing his job said, let flynn go and fight and comey with losing hisjob if said, let flynn go and fight and comey with losing his job if he failed to do so. that is obstruction ofjustice, a high crime and misdemeanour under the constitution. 0n the question of whether there was criminal activity on behalf of the president, james comey effectively didn't pass any judgment president, james comey effectively didn't pass anyjudgment on that at all, did he? he didn't talk about collusion and he said it wasn't up to him to talk about obstruction of justice. what we learned in watergate is that it isn't the
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crime, it's the cover—up. now, comey has declined to act as a lawyer and say how the facts apply to the law and whether they constitute a violation of the us criminal law. the even bigger question is, do they constitute high crimes and misdemeanours? comey is a lawyer but he wasn't there as a lawyer, he was explaining the facts. the facts are that if you threaten someone with losing theirjob, with halting an investigation... that is obstruction of justice. investigation... that is obstruction ofjustice. in this case, it may have nothing to do with collusion with the kremlin before the election or affecting the election and may have everything to do with flynn's decision not to reveal accurately his discussions after the election
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with the russian ambassador or the money he got from russia and turkey. but whether it's obstructing justice regarding collusion or comey violating the law after the election, the answer is still the same. 0bstruction election, the answer is still the same. obstruction of justice election, the answer is still the same. 0bstruction ofjustice is a high crime. this has been a two-day hearing, we have had some of the top intelligence officials before the senate intelligence committee yesterday. the director of national intelligence, dan coats, was asked whether the president had asked him to get mr comey to back off and he refused to answer the questions in an open hearing. so is it possible that the democrats will start to go after these top security officials to find out if that happened, as was reported in the washington post?“
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would be somewhat difficult for us to call the shots, with a minority in the house and then at, but yes, indeed, we should get first, classified and then, unclassified information from dan coats and others about what donald trump tried to do or didn't try to do to stop the investigation. we have the key element already, the threat to comey‘sjob if he element already, the threat to comey‘s job if he doesn't stop the investigation of michael flynn. we don't have to show that there were innumerable acts of obstruction of justice. 0ne innumerable acts of obstruction of justice. one is enough. thank you for joining justice. one is enough. thank you forjoining us. james comey today accused the trump administration of telling lies about him and the fbi to the american people. in the hearing, he said the administration was trying to defame him. much of the testimony focused on the discussions the former fbi director had with the president, with claims that trump demanded loyalty from james comey and that the president asked him
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to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser over russia links. let's take a listen to what he had to say about those conversations. i was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of the meeting so i thought it important to document them. that, nation of things i've never experienced below but —— experience before but i felt i had to write it down in a detailed way. dinner was an attempt to build a relationship, specifically of loyalty, in the context of asking me to stay. what was odd about it, we had spoken twice about it by then and he said, i very much hope you'll stay. my impression was that something big was going to happen and that i have to remember every word that is spoken. i could be wrong, i'm 56 years old and i've seen a few things. my sense is that
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the attorney general knew that he shouldn't be leaving, which is why he lingered and i thinkjared kushner picked up on the same thing. i think what he meant by the cloud, i could be wrong, but the entire investigation is taking up oxygen and making it hard for me to focus on the things i want to focus on. the asked was to get it out that i come at the president, and not under investigation. you get the impression that there were several attem pts impression that there were several atte m pts by impression that there were several attempts by donald trump to get in the ear of donald trump. he had 21—on—1 conversations with president 0bama and only had one with president bush and found it unusual that he found himself invited to dinner for this that he found himself invited to dinnerfor this one on one conversation. we just heard from outside counsel for donald trump that these documents had been leaked to his friend at columbia university. do you think he orchestrated the special counsel because james comey didn't have any
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faith in the department ofjustice? that's what it sounded like. you we re that's what it sounded like. you were asking a senator earlier about jeff sessions and whether he felt there was something aboutjeff sessions' links to russia that compromised him. pcs to have anticipated that jeff sessions compromised him. pcs to have anticipated thatjeff sessions would have two recuse himself from the russian investigation —— he seemed to anticipate. he didn't feel he could go to the white house and the department ofjustice because he didn't quite trust them. he told people in the fbi, each time he had encounters with the presidency told close associates in the fbi that he was concerned about what the president said but he said he wanted to protect the investigation and investigators, so he didn't want the content and uncomfortable nature of the conversations to get out too far in the fbi, that is comey‘s view. we are used to the attack ads that appear during the elections here.
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but rarely do we see them targeted at a private citizen. but this week a pro—trump ad targeting james comey has been running on some american networks. it has been paid for by the great america alliance pac. newt gingrich who is close to the president is their chair. and it picks up on a theme the president had used himself. that in his view his former fbi director — is a "showboat". take a look. as head of the fbi, james comey put politics over protecting america. after the fbi banned terms like radical islam for political correctness, comey allowed the dangerous practice to continue. when terror attacks were on the rise last year, comey was consumed with election meddling and after he testified before the senate, comey‘s staff admitted that some of his a nswe rs we re staff admitted that some of his answers were wrong. james comey, just another washington insider only in itfor just another washington insider only in it for himself. paid for by great american alliance. such a cosy
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world! we can bring in matt schlapp — the chair of the american conservative union thanks forjoining us. you heard that at that the white house has put out, how sensible is this from the white house, to try and take a shot atjames white house, to try and take a shot at james comey‘s credibility like this? i am all for mr comey having to a nswer this? i am all for mr comey having to answer for his record and a lot of us worked withjim comey in the bush administration and a lot of people who supported hillary clinton for president who are really disappointed with that record, a lot of hillary clinton people think that he acted in a strange way in the election and may have helped donald trump to win the race and for a lot of us who worked with comey in the bush administration, he has a reputation for being a grandstand, all about him, someone who was focused on his own reputation,
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polishing his halo, so a lot of us think that both sides need to be told. but he doesn't have a reputation, as far as i know, for being a liar, and yet, effectively, donald trump's outside counsel marc kasowitz has just said thatjim comey is not telling the truth. yes, andi comey is not telling the truth. yes, and i think that is a perfectly fair response. like i said, the scores of people i've spoken to who worked closely with jim comey tell me that if it comes between the truth and burnishing his own reputation, his own reputation always comes first. does that mean he lies about everything? 0f does that mean he lies about everything? of course not, but i ta ke everything? of course not, but i take everything he says with a grain of salt, i want to find current rating information. this voice in washington, dc believes that there is another side to him. people keep saying he is the nation's top cop,
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and even many cops around the country have been disgruntled with how james comey acted as country have been disgruntled with howjames comey acted as fbi director so i'm cynical of people who say that he is a saint. but doesn't he speaks of the nervousness that are the —— that the rnc are about james comey that you are running this advert about him? they say in the advert that terrorist attacks surged 600% but that was worldwide, that isn't james comey‘s responsibility, it is a false fact. an alternative fact! there is a question of his character and i can speak to that, and my friends from the bush administration and my democratic friends who are disappointed with how he treated hillary kenton can speak to thejim comey that they know. i have nothing to do with the advert —— how he treated hillary clinton. there is an investigation, the american people and the world are going to learn a lot of things but it is fair for
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people to learn that people who worked with jim people to learn that people who worked withjim comey people to learn that people who worked with jim comey find people to learn that people who worked withjim comey find him less than always truthful. i think we might see mr comey in the senate ain! might see mr comey in the senate again! thank you forjoining us. 0ur correspondent rajini vaidyanathan was in the hearing room and joins us now. you've got one of the rare seats?“ is no surprise that it was a hot ticket today. just to get into the building there was a long queue and security but when i got inside i saw hundreds of people queueing through the corridors to try and get one of the corridors to try and get one of the public seats. most of them were interns. a group of them managed to get in and i asked them how long they had been queueing for and they said that they started at liam, so they could witness history. another young man who wasn't as lucky said that the last time he had queued up like this was to get an iphone and he was successful on that count. in the room i was struck by how
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composed james comey was when he was taking questions. i was about three rows behind him. he didn't seem to hesitate when he was asked questions, he seemed relaxed, there we re questions, he seemed relaxed, there were no notes on the table in front of him. even though he had to talk for a couple of hours, answering questions, but he barely drank any of the glasses of water in front of him. that is impressive, i think i would have drunk the whole lot and perhaps thejug would have drunk the whole lot and perhaps the jug of water as well! thank you forjoining us. we've been watching donald trump's twitter feed, there has been nothing from him,i feed, there has been nothing from him, ithink feed, there has been nothing from him, i think his phone has been confiscated today. but knowing people around him, we've been checking on his son, and donald trump junior has been checking on his son, and donald trumpjunior has been on twitter and this is what he has had to say. "knowing my father for 39 years, when he orders or tells you to do something, there is no ambiguity, you know exactly what he means." i'm
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guessing james comey which say that there is no ambiguity, seeing your way through to dropping it against mike flynn, and that was pretty clear for mike flynn, and that was pretty clearfor me at mike flynn, and that was pretty clear for me at least. we heard a little bit there and from republicans in the programme that they are going to push back against they are going to push back against the idea that this was some kind of order thatjames the idea that this was some kind of order that james comey was the idea that this was some kind of order thatjames comey was given, it was gently asking. that doesn't seem to be how james was gently asking. that doesn't seem to be howjames comey took was gently asking. that doesn't seem to be how james comey took it. we are in this rather and such —— unsatisfying position where we will have days of litigation over who is telling the truth. 0ur have days of litigation over who is telling the truth. our previous gassed said that he thought james comey was not always truthful —— our previous gassed. i suspect you will have a couple of days of james comey supporters saying that it happened —— previous guest. if there are those tapes that come out... lordy,
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i hope that there are tapes come i think he said. jeff sessions, it has taken the white house 48 to say that the president has faith injeff sessions, the attorney general. he is clearly frustrated about the russian investigation which is hanging over him and he sees a direct line between jeff hanging over him and he sees a direct line betweenjeff sessions rig using himself from the russian investigation and the special counsel, robert mueller. what he's really annoyed about is the fact thatjeff sessions tenth wwe himself in the first place, this is a president who does not think you should back down —— thatjeff sessions recused himself in the first place. that is where his irritation with the attorney general comes in so we will see how long jeff sessions is in the white house. we will have it all here on 100 days. we will see you next week.
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for those of us staying on the bbc news channel, we have a big event coming up, the results of the general election. pollit stations opened at devon am and you have until 10pm to cast your vote. nearly 47 million people are registered to vote. there are 650 constituencies up vote. there are 650 constituencies up and down the country. first results are expected from about 11pm. gary 0'donoghue is with us and has been watching... let's get his report first. bright and early, the first of the leaders out was the prime minister with her husband, philip, voting in her berkshire constituency. not long after, the man who wants herjob, jeremy corbyn greeting photographers with a smile and a thumbs up as he made his way into a polling station in north london. how are we doing? a
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hint of irony from the lib dem leader tim farron as the brave the elements on his way to the polling station. he was out of the way when tempers frayed among the watching photographers. they are having a proper scrap. up and down the country, party leaders were doing the same. the snp's nicola sturgeon and paul nuttall, from ukip. it isn't just about them, 47 and paul nuttall, from ukip. it isn'tjust about them, 47 million of us are registered in this election, one that has been overshadowed by the terrorist attacks in manchester and london. the attacks have meant a bigger police presence than usual, eve ryo ne bigger police presence than usual, everyone conscious that the threat level is still the fear. this westminster polling station is one of 40,000 all over the uk where you are electing your 650 representatives to the house of commons, down the yard from here. the mps will be here on tuesday and on monday week the queen will open parliament and set out the new
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government's plans. some ofjulia places have been pressed into action as polling stations —— some peculiar ones. this is a launderette in 0xford. this pub was playing host to voters in exeter. last orders for casting a ballot, 10pm. the first results are due in before midnight. a special programme here from 10pm. gary is with us in westminster. this election has been cast in the frame of the two recent terror attacks? there's no escaping that, really, it is an extraordinary election because of those attacks. we had a hiatus and both points in the campaigning, as was right and proper, so that has influenced the nature of the campaign. but we are at polling day now and the mechanics are continuing for another couple of hours. polling
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stations up and down the country, 40,000 of them, no doubt people still casting their ballot but it has been an extraordinary campaign because of those tragedies. we will have an exit paul at 10pm? -- exit pol. it has been commissioned by the bbc and sky news. that will try and predict the outcome. that will be published at 10pm and you can see it in the special coverage with david dimbleby. that will set the tone for the first couple of hours. the first couple of constituencies will be rushing to declare, one of the sunderland and newcastle seats are vying for the fastest count the night. there will be a lot to talk about before that and the exit polls are going to be talked over at length in the average. that will be fascinating. thank you forjoining us. in sunderland south, they
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declared in 48 minutes last time, winning several times in a row. we are going to pause for a moment and get the weather now. a bit more sunshine through the afternoon but we have continued seeing areas of rain and one part of the country being plagued by heavy showers here, near wigan. you can see the main area of cloud and rain pushing northwards over scotland, those are showers coming behind but the wettest area has been northern ireland. the weather warning should fade away as the wet weather moves north into the north—west corner. still some showers around parts of the uk and clear skies as well. not too cold, despite the disappointing temperatures, 11th or 12 degrees in the morning. at 8am tomorrow, going
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to work, some showers in south wales, perhaps running up the bristol channel, the odd shower further east but for many places across in and and wales, it may well start dry with some sunshine. moving north, some dry weather by the morning, northern ireland, a bright and sunny start. still some rain in scotland, north of the central belt, but not as heavy and it will continue to peter out through the day. sunshine and showers across the uk. the main shower risk will be from the west to the east by the afternoon with more sunshine following on and for a good part of the day it should be dry with sunny spells and temperatures a bit higher for most of us than today, around 22, 23 in the south—east but it is a brief respite because we have low pressure from the atlantic. the weather fronts will come our way. not everywhere will get rain on saturday. mainly running north, away from northern ireland into scotland and then the rain getting stuck
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across england, wales and the south—west. for the south—east of england, it may stay dry during the day. quite humid, temperatures of 22 degrees and elsewhere, the numbers are more typicalfor the degrees and elsewhere, the numbers are more typical for the time of the year. pleasant when the sun is out. the rain moving east and fading overnight, should be clear by sunday morning and then we will have some sunshine and showers. the most frequent showers to the north—west of the uk. so, a mixed bag for the weekend, some rain around, a breeze on saturday and on sunday it is sunshine and showers. but this is bbc news, i'm ben brown, the headlines at eight. james comey, america's sacked fbi director, accuses donald trump's white house of lying when it said the bureau was in disarray and poorly led. the administration then chose to
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defame me and, more importantly, the fbi. those were lies plain and simple, and i am so sorry that the fbi workforce had to hear them, and i'm so sorry that the american people were told them. president trump's response to that came from his attorney. the president never told mr comey, quote, i need loyalty, i expect loyalty. he never said it in the form, and he never said it in substance.
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