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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  September 27, 2019 4:30am-5:01am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: leading democrat, nancy pelosi, has accused donald trump of trying to cover—up the details of a controversial phone call to the ukrainian president. in the call, which has triggered an impeachment inquiry, the president pushed for the ukrainian government to help smear his main rivaljoe biden. he's dismissed the impeachment proceedings as ‘another witch—hunt‘. borisjohnson says tempers need to come down after furious scenes in the uk parliament on wednesday. but despite strong criticism, the prime minister has refused to apologise for his own controversial language. france has paid tribute to its former leader, jacques chirac, who's died at the age of 86. in a as—year political career, he served as president, prime minister and mayor of paris. internationally, he was best known for opposing the us—led invasion of iraq, but his later years were marred by scandal.
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now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. the trump presidency has seen us politics become ever more polarised and partisan. but in the words of one commentator, you ain't seen nothin‘ yet. the democrats‘ decision to begin impeachment proceedings based on emerging details of mrtrump?s dealings with the president of ukraine has intensified the political warfare in washington. my guest is anthony scaramucci, former trump cheerleader, briefly his communications director and now an arch critic. is impeachment a trap for the president's opponents?
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anthony scaramucci in new york city, welcome to hardtalk. it's great to be back with you, stephen. the democratic leadership, after a lot of agonising, has decided to launch impeachment proceedings, impeachment investigations, into president donald trump. do you believe they've made the right decision? i don't really think it was necessarily a right or wrong decision. i sort of feel it was the only decision. the inspector general whistleblower report is out, i read through it this morning and there's irrefutable facts in the situation which would require any patriotic person to act
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in the way that the democrats are acting. so to me, i don't think it was a right or wrong decision or a political strategy. the president has done something traitorous and criminal, a result of which now, the way the constitution was set up, noble people have to act in a situation like this and so to me it's not a political thing as much as it's a right or a wrong thing. so there you go, you've already set yourself up as judge and jury, declaring that the president has acted in a criminal, traitorous way. of course, you're not judge, you're notjury. why don't you and all the rest of the president's critics wait for events to unfold, listen to witnesses, read all of the evidence, before drawing conclusions? well, listen, i'm obviously entitled to my opinion. there's a first amendment right in our country so i'm giving
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you my opinion and my conclusion. i'm not on the jury and as you know from an impeachment process, there are 100 people who will have that opportunity if the impeachment inquiry gets voted on in the house and pushed over to the senate. i'm giving you my opinion but if i was on the jury and i was looking at a body of evidence like that, i would be very concerned if i were the president of the united states. 0k, well, i dare say there is some concern in the white house but i'm guessing you've basically seen pretty much what the rest of americans have been allowed to see, and indeed reporters such as myself overseas. that is, you've seen the transcript released by the white house of the conversation on july 25th between president trump and president zelensky of ukraine. you also say you've seen the redacted whistleblower complaint. but you have not seen, i dare say, because certainly i haven't seen it yet, you have not seen any
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clear, explicit evidence that donald trump tied favours he sought from the ukrainians to the release of us aid, or maybe you have seen it, you tell me. i probably haven't seen more than what you have seen but i think i do have an inside track here, despite the president's recent tweeting about and against me, i did work for him for a year. very close personal friends with michael cohen. and if you look at the body of the evidence and you know the president's personality as well as i know the president, it's in there, stephen. what is in there? there was, despite the rhetoric on the republican side, a quid pro quo exchange.
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there was a delay of the vice president going to the ukraine until, quote—unquote, we could see how the new ukrainian president was going to act, based on the president's suggestions. there was... if i may say so, mr scaramucci, everything you've just said is inference. i carefully used the word explicit. everything you've just inferred is absolutely not explicit in the transcripts that have been released thus far. 0k, and so that's why i think we need a full impeachment inquiry and that's why we need witnesses and people inside the white house under oath to explain what actually happened. so again, i'm giving you my experience with the president and the way he handles himself and the quote—unquote inferences you're talking about, this is not a guy that's going to explicitly say something that black—and—white because he's used to this sort of nefarious activity so he will split it the way he is use to doing. so we'll have a full hearing of that. i believe i will be proven correct in terms of my analysis of these facts but i appreciate your scepticism and i understand your scepticism, but... crosstalk. well, i'll tell you what. ..
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the facts are going to unfold, stephen, and hopefully you'll invite me back and we'll see what happens here, but this guy will not be the president going into the november 2020 re—election. he will not be the candidate for the republican party. itjust strikes me as i hear you talk about how clear you think the case is for impeachment proceedings this time around. i have had this similar language before over the last two, maybe getting on for three years, from democrats and admittedly you're not a democrat, but democrats have said for a long time that given their conviction that donald trump was involved in nefarious activities with the russians, so—called collusion over the release of information, they said there was a case for impeachment and then guess what? robert mueller wrote his long report and that clamour, cacophony, for an impeachment
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proceeding, it died away. it may well be that we see the same thing again. ok, i think that's very accurate and if you had had me on the show to discuss that happy to have me on the show to discuss that, i would have told you that the president can't even collude with his own staff and so therefore there was no collusion with the russians. we had a a47 page report that detailed that. there were some things that he did on the obstruction side. i for one feel that those attorneys who worked for mr mueller on that report made the right conclusion as it related to obstruction. these are totally different facts, a totally different case, but again, i didn't become a critic of the president or switch my view on the president because of what's going on right now with ukraine. where i started the slope of criticism is he is out there, man, he is not listening to his staff, he is firing people left and right, 81 people have left the administration, he's a man alone in the white house seeking his own counsel, he's a rank bully with very low self—esteem and maybe the stress and the pressure of the job or maybe other things are effecting hisjudgement
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or personality, but for me, we could stay on the ukrainian thing if you want but in general, this is now a suitability issue for many people that have worked for him, people that are inside the white house, people that are up on capitol hill, and unfortunately, stephen, there's a lot of these people because their lives are tied to this man, they are lacking the fortitude and the courage to speak out about what they are seeing and so hopefully this will open a window for those people to do that. well, you keep telling me about the president's character and how well you know him. i wanted to talk about the psychodrama of your relationship with president trump a little later in the interview but you've talked about it so much, let's get into it right now. it's something we can't avoid. the truth is, you were
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the president's biggest, loudest cheerleader for years. you bigged—up his campaign for the presidency in 2016, you were on the transition team, you briefly served him as an ill—fated communications director, but even when you were gotten rid of after 11 years, you continued to be slavishly loyal. the truth about you and donald trump is that donald trump hasn't changed his spots, you have made one of the most bizarre u—turns in political history, but donald trump hasn't changed. bizarre u—turn, ok, that's an interesting way to frame it. but, so the facts that you just elucidated on the show are contrary to what the president said on twitter, and so what the president said on his twitter account, that he barely even knew me and i had absolutely nothing to do with his elect electoral success, so one of the two of those things are probably correct and so what i... crosstalk. i'm not here to defend president trump, i'm simply pointing out that time after time, you defended president trump. whether it was... no, no. crosstalk. hang on, let mejust, if i may... go ahead, go ahead.
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..illuminate you with a few of the things you defended and apologised for on trump's behalf for. for example, the tape during the campaign when it became clear that he was proud, he was boasting about his abuse of women, you didn't break with him then. when he talked about the cha rlottesville neo—nazi protests and he said that there were good people both on the side of the neo—nazis and those who were protesting against them, you didn't walk away from him then. i did though there... crosstalk. hang on, when he talked about mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, you didn't walk away from him then. when he described countries that immigrants to american were coming from as, i can't even use the word, s—holes, you didn't walk away from him then. you were loyal to president trump throughout. ok, so you're being a little unfair and that's not exactly factual. so on the charlottesville situation, i totally denounced that, you can find a tape of me on george stephanopoulos‘s show, that's a vivid memory for me because that was about six days after i was ousted and fired from the white house. so i was on george's show totally denouncing that... crosstalk. forgive me, i spoke to you last year and i discussed that and many other
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issues and you remained steadfastly loyal to donald trump. you said to me, "stephen, i tell you what, judge a man by his actions, not by his words", that's what you said to me. you are usually a very fair guy so give me an opportunity to speak. i definitely said that i could not ever defend the racist stuff that came out of president trump's mouth. i absolutely said that. in the context of... you told me you did not believe donald trump was a racist. and i still maintain that. i feel that he is objectifying people to such an extent that you're not racist against a black or a white car, you just look at those two things as objects and so unfortunately
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for the president, that's what he does, he looks at people as objects. so i still maintain that. but let's go back over the list of different things that you said. when you're talking about the mexicans as rapists, i was not with the president on the campaign then. i was a jeb bush supporter. when you're fast—forwarding into those other categories of things, what i said to the show prior and i've maintained this, i did my very best as a fellow republican to try to defend him the best that i could and to try to weigh the policies that i thought that republicans would put in place versus the democrats in 2016 and i did a balancing test. if i'm at fault for that, i've issued that apology and i can take you and your viewers to my washington post editorial where i said, you know what? i got this wrong and i'm man enough to admit that i got something wrong. and frankly, i'm not a politician so when you said i did a political u—turn, this is more of a business analytical discussion for me. i'm an american entrepreneur. i have a portfolio of companies. there are many times where you hire somebody into a company and they're not doing a good job and unfortunately you have to fire that person, so for me it's not a political thing as much
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as it is an analytical evaluation of what's taken place over the last three years and the guy's not doing it, you know? 0k, 0k. but this is what ijust don't get — what you have said as you made your big flip this summer and declared that you could no longer hold your tongue and that you felt that donald trump was an outrage against the us political system and against democracy and had to be removed, you said this, you said, "he's gone full—blown crazy. while the president may not have early—stage dementia, he certainly has full—blown early—stage fascism". you then went on to say... oh, that is true. 0k, well let's add another one. "i don't understand", you said, "how elected public servants of the longest—standing republican democracy in existing world history can see this sort of full—blown insanity and not act". but the message comes back to this. donald trump essentially, in the way he behaves, the way he puts his message out there, his impulsive decision—making, he has not changed from when you were his loudest cheerleader, he really hasn't.
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ok, so again, stephen, i have owned that, though. i think that that's one of the criticisms that liberals would say, they will eventually say that to kevin mccarthy, mitch mcconnell and other republicans, and so what i've said to people and i'll say it here on your show, you have to create an offramp for people that have demonstratively gotten this thing wrong. if you want to ridicule me for getting it wrong or you want to say that i said this at one time and now i'm saying something different and the facts didn't change, i'm actually willing to accept that. as somebody who was as close to the situation as me would make the argument that maybe i'm looking at it too closely and i do think the facts have changed, i do think he is in steady mental decline, i do think the evacuation of strong people like general kelly — general kelly frankly fired me — but he was somebody, and i'm being very objective about this, he was somebody that was containing some of the worst elements of the president's personality.
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and so, since his departure, i think you can trace more aggressive, more full—blown insanity, and more full—blown mania. so again, if you want to ridicule me or point out that i got this thing wrong, i own it. but again, i'm an american businessperson and so one of the things that's made me a reasonably successful entrepreneur and gone from a blue—collar family to where i am today is taking calculated risks, assessing bets, sometimes getting things wrong, but also having the strength of character do say, wow, i really got that wrong so let's make an adaptation and a change. so let's talk about what you can achieve now, and your credibility. obviously we want to talk to you. you're an interesting character in us politics, so we've got you on the show. but the question is how much credibility you've got. emphasis on the word character. well, look, you want now, you want to be a player in changing america. you have said that you... 0h, absolutely not. that's not true.
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well, you want to lead a campaign. you are going from state to state, with all your media appearances, talking to people, trying to persuade some republicans to get on what you call the off—ramp away from donald trump. but how can you do that when the republican party has described you as a man with zero credibility, nothing more than a disgruntled employee? how can you tell ordinary republicans across america that you're more than that? well, first of all, i don't think it's fair to call me a disgruntled employee. because you pointed out earlier in this show that i was fired two years ago and i tried to stay loyal and high—minded to the president. and so it'd be very hard to say i'm a disgruntled employee, because why wouldn't i have just broken from him the day after he embarrassed me like that and fired me the way he did? so we can split that you just said, and the gop chairwoman, the person that you're referring to that said i had zero credibility, the total hypocrisy of politics being what it is, was soliciting me two months prior
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to that for campaign donations. and i had given her and reince priebus over $500,000 personally. and so, for me, you'll have to assess my credibility, your viewers will have to assess my credibility. but the truth of the matter is there's a lot of republicans that feel the way i do, but due to the president's bullying and due to his personality they've been reluctant to speak out. and so if i'm a lightning rod for that, stephen, i welcome that, but i'm not really looking to be a player. as i pointed out in my op—ed, i'm accidentally into politics. i actually find the whole thing quite disgusting. there's nothing about politics that attracts me, other than the fact that we have a huge national and potential international crisis now. the president said i wasn't part of helping him get elected, but i sort of feel that i was, given the fact that i was on his executive transition team, when you and i first met in december of 2016. and so we have to correct the problem, and so i'm willing to put my money and time and energy into doing that.
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and if people think i'm credible, that's great. if they think i'm not credible, i'll let them decide. but i am speaking the truth. but let us talk about what's actually happening today. and as we see the democrats rallying around the impeachment proceedings, we also see republicans circling the wagons and beginning the relentless messaging that this is nothing more than a toxic, partisan witch—hunt. now, i'm going to quote to you jim jordan. i'm sure you probably know him — republican congressman, trump loyalist. he said the other day, "pelosi has finally succumbed to unrelenting pressure from the socialist wing of the democratic party. this was never about collusion or ukraine, it's all about the 2016 election and the will of the american people and the democrats‘ refusal to accept it". now, that is the classic republican position today. my question to you, as a guy who knows the republican party well is, how do you change that? well, here‘s what i would say. i think that may be the classic
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position right at this moment. but i think as the facts unfold from the whistleblower‘s report and the inspector general‘s report, i think that there will be republicans — already ben sasse and senator mitt romney have expressed their concern over what they‘re read in the report, and i think they‘ve gotten an unredacted version. you and i have seen the redacted version. and so it‘s my guess, based on conversations i‘ve had on capitol hill, that if there was an anonymous vote related to impeachment, 30 of those 5a senators, who actually hate president trump‘s guts, would vote him out of office tonight. but unfortunately, because it‘s a public display and these are politicians and peacocks, they‘ll have a tendency to do what‘s politically expedient for them and to preserve their personal power. so we‘ll have to see how this thing unfold, but where i would break from jim jordan on what he is saying — this is very different. i mean, this — there are facts on the ground now that,
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in my mind, are irrefutable. that the president was using his power... 0k, imagine if franklin roosevelt said to winston churchill, "hey, i‘m holding back those destroyers until you get me information on wendell wilkie". and so this is sort of stuff that is disgusting from the leader of the free world, the commander in chief, and somebody that runs the country. so, i mean, yeah, look, it is what it is, stephen. however disgusted you may be, there is yet to be any compelling evidence the american public as a whole are sufficiently disgusted. they, according to the polls... crosstalk. hang on... well, that‘s not true. 70% of the american public says they dislike the president, according to the axios poll. i think the people are pretty disgusted with his style and his personality. but it does seem, it does seem from recent american history, that americans can vote for donald trump even if they don‘t like the guy. and we look at the polling evidence which shows, first of all, nancy pelosi right now has worse unfavourable ratings than donald trump in many of the recent polls.
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so she‘s got reason to worry that this might backfire on her. we also have polls which show over the last couple of years american people have not wanted to see president trump impeached, despite all of the allegations against him. so there is a real concern that, for the democrats, for enemies of trump such as yourself, this could backfire. yeah, listen, i don‘t see myself personally as an enemy of the president. i just see myself as somebody that‘s observed the facts on the ground... whoa, whoa, whoa. .. ..and we need a leadership change. excuse me, you can‘t accuse a guy of early—stage fascism and say he‘s not an enemy of yours! i‘m not... hold on a second! i‘m not accusing him of that. those are facts on the ground. he‘s attacking individual citizens on his twitter feed. he‘s attacking publicly traded companies. stephen, he went after my wife, who is a civilian and a suburban housewife on long island on his presidential twitter feed. 0k.
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if you go down umberto eco‘s checklist, manifesto of fascism, he‘s six for ten on the fascist checklist. you know what, you‘re a sensitive flower and if you don‘t want... you can‘t say i‘m accusing... if you don‘t want to be described as an enemy of trump‘s, that — so be it. but my point remains... no, fine. ..that all of those people... call it, you can call me what you want. and who are you really trying to... all of those people... look, seriously, all of those people, whether it‘s nancy pelosi, whether it is the more left—leaning members of the democratic party, or whether as people such as who have turned against trump for one reason or another, you may find that this impeachment process backfires badly. donald trump himself said "bring it on, it‘s only going to help me get re—elected in 2020". yeah, well, again, this is my inference, could be wrong about this, i don‘t think he really believes that. i mean, the tell was a few days ago when he got on the phone with nancy pelosi and said, "hey, can we work this out?" i — i don‘t... when you have 44 people that have been president of the united states and four of them have been impeached or about to be impeached, him being the fourth, i don‘t think he really believes that. i don‘t think he wants to go through the process of impeachment.
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and while people suggest that it helped president clinton, i sort of don‘t believe that. it certainly damaged vice president al gore and it set up the republican party for the electoral success of george bush and then running the card table for six years from 2000 to 2006. so for me, i certainly think he‘s posturing by saying that. i don‘t think anybody actually wants to get impeached. but he knows, he knows what he did. and i think there‘s got to be a tremendous amount of concern inside the white house related to him. but i think one of the things that you‘re pointing at is... ah, just, very quickly, we‘re out of time. but given the state of the economy, the good jobless numbers that continue, given that you‘ve said to me in the past, "judge trump by the state of the economy more than anything else" there is, surely, still a strong likelihood he will run and win in 2020. uh...0k, so we‘ll take a gentleman‘s bet on that. he will not be the republican nominee by november of 2020.
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i don‘t see any way he‘ll be able to survive what‘s going on right 110w in terms of good standing statesmen and stateswomen—like republican. all right. so what we‘ll have to see if that happens, but the economy‘s also weakening, stephen. anthony scaramucci, sadly we‘re out of time. but i do thank you for joining me on hardtalk. it‘s good — it‘s good to be here. thank you. good morning. well, last week‘s high pressure and settled autumn sunshine a distant memory. this week, it‘s been very different, hasn‘t it? on monday, we saw some heavy rain, some areas seeing a month‘s worth of rain injust a 24—hour period. through the middle part of the week,
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it‘s quietened down a little. sunny spells and scattered showers, but there‘s more wet and windy weather to come through this weekend. here it is sitting out in the atlantic, and it‘s going to continue to push its way across the seas towards us for the second half of the weekend. ahead of it, circulating around an area of low pressure, a scattering of showers. some of those quite heavy, possibly thundery, and some of them, as we go through the day today, merging together for longer spells of rain. blustery winds, particularly through the south—west, driving those showers inland. there‘ll be some heavy ones through wales, north—west england, and northern ireland as well. the best of the driest, sunniest lot perhaps reserved for scotland. temperatures a little subdued in comparison to of late. we‘re seeing highs of 14—18 degrees the high. now, as we move out of friday into the start of the weekend, that low pressure will ease away, and we‘ll see a relatively quiet spell for a time. so the start of the weekend is not looking too bad. yes, we will have sunny spells and scattered showers,
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but there will be some drier interludes in between. quite a blustery feel still, and by end of the afternoon, we‘ll see some wetter weather pushing into the south—west. now, the timings for this rain still subject to change, so if you do have outdoor plans this weekend, you‘ll certainly need to keep abreast of the forecast. but that is likely to bring a spell of very wet weather and some windy weather with it as well. so we could see 2—3 inches of rain, and at times, through the early hours of sunday morning, we‘re going to see strong, gusty winds, in excess of 40—50 mph in places, and as that low moves through, maybe for a time 60 mph across eastern england, close to the coast. but that low will move through, and then we start to see some drier weather coming through on sunday. however, the wind direction into the north is going to make it feel a little on the cool side as well. so top temperatures in scotland 13—15 degrees. further south and east, we‘re looking at highs of 17 or 18. so, just in case you haven‘t
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already got the message, it does look at the moment as though saturday will be the better of the two days in the weekend. sunny spells and a few showers. sunday will start off wet and windy, but that rain will slowly ease away. and then, monday into tuesday, things are a little bit quieter, but the temperatures could be better for this time of year. take care.
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this is the briefing. i‘m victoria fritz. our top story: a furious response from donald trump after claims the white house tried to cover up details of his phone call with ukraine‘s president. what these guys are doing, democrats, are doing to this country, is a disgrace and it shouldn‘t be allowed. there should be a way of stopping it. security fears ahead of afghanistan‘s presidential election. taliban threats force thousands of polling centres to close. how of polling centres to close. dare you! and after her uncompromising un address, greta thunberg joins marchers in montreal

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