tv DW News PBS June 8, 2017 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
host: this is dw news, live from berlin. tonight, james comey breaks his silence about u.s. president donald trump. trump's attorney says comey is not telling the truth. his testimony under oath. the sacked fbi chief accused the trump administration of lying about him, saying the white house deliberately sought to defame him and the fbi. we will get reaction from washington. also on the show, who will lead britain into those all important brexit negotiations? there is just one hour left for voters to cast their ballots. theresa may is facing an unexpectedly strong challenge from jeremy corbyn and labour. and meet the contender in the
gymnastics festival. after decades in the sport, he is still wowing spectators. i am brent goff. it is good to have you with us. "those were lies, plain and simple." those were the words james comey's today to describe u.s. president donald trump. comey told u.s. senators that after trump fired him, the president then tried to defame him and the fbi. comey also said he was stunned when trump tried to get him to end a probe into former national security adviser, michael flynn. flynn is part of an investigation as part of a bigger probe into ties between russian officials and the trump campaign team.
we begin tonight with the round up of the three-hour hearing that grabbed the attention of america and the world. >> james comey's testimony before the senate intelligence committee was his first public appearance since he was fired in may. he said he learned of his dismissal from the media and slammed the government. mr. comey: although the law required no reason at all to fire and fbi director, the administration then chose to defame me, and more importantly, the fbi. by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that's the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. those were lies, plain and simple. >> during the nearly three-hour long hearing, comey painted a picture of an overbearing president. he stated that trump demand at his loyalty and described his intense discomfort about his one-on-one conversations with trump, which he needed to document in memos.
mr. comey: i think the circumstances, the subject matter, and the person i was interacting with -- circumstances, first, i was alone with the president of the united states, president-elect come assumed to be president -- president-elect, soon to be president, touching on matters of responsibility that touched on the president personally. and the nature of the person. i was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so i thought it important to document. that combination of things i had never experienced before, but it led me to believe i had to write it down in a detailed way. >> one key focus was russian meddling in the presidential election in 2016. comey was leading the probe against security adviser michael flynn because of his contact with russian intelligence officials. he said he had the feeling trump wanted him to drop the probe.
a senator pressed the issue. >> was he just trying to seek a way for mike flynn to save face given he had already been fired? >> general flynn at that time was in legal jeopardy. there was an open fbi criminal investigation of his statements in connection with the russian contacts and the contacts themselves, so that was my assessment at the time. i don't think it's for me to say whether my conversation with the president was an effort to obstruct. i took it is disturbing and concerning, but i am sure that is a conclusion the special counsel will work toward to try to understand what the intention is and whether that's an offense. >> comey's words could represent a real problem for trump, since they could be considered an obstruction of justice, a criminal offense that once cost richard nixon his presidency. brett: let's pull in our correspondent on the story for us tonight in washington. he is going to help us discuss what really was -- i'm sure you
would agree -- riveting and unprecedented, what we saw today in the senate hearing chamber. comey really did come out fighting. he accused the white house of spreading lies in the aftermath of his firing. those are strong accusations. >> absolutely. the picture former director comey was painting of his interactions with president trump were very damaging for the president. he made it quite clear that he felt that donald trump tried to put pressure on him, that he asked him, for instance, for personal loyalty, if he would like to keep his job, if he had some kind of patronage over him. that did not look very good. so, director comey here trying to paint a picture of an overbearing president. that was quite remarkable,
really. rhett: president trump has been unusually quiet today. we have not gotten the usual response, particularly on twitter, from him. his attorney has been speaking. let's listen in. >> the president never in form or substance directed or suggested that mr. comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that mr. comey "let flynn go." the president also never told mr. comey "i need loyalty. i expect loyalty." he never said it in form and he never said it in substance. host: that is in direct contradiction to what we heard from mr. comey today. >> absolutely. and of course, we have to say
that what we have heard today is mainly mr. comey's side of the story, several hours of that, and the white house -- in this case, the personal lawyer of mr. trump -- is pushing back against that. mr. comey has a very good reputation here. he was meticulously prepared. he has the written memos of that were written right after the meeting with the president. he presented a very strong case. in this hearing, some of the republican senators try to push back, saying the president, even according to mr. comey's statement, never said you have to do this, just that i hope you let this go, but mr. comey said this is the president of the united states in private conversation, i understood this as a direction. one of the senators, kamala harris, a former prosecutor, said in my experience, if
someone puts a gun to your head and says i hope you give me your wallet, the word hope is not the most operative word. clearly, it is not certain if the lawyer for mr. trump does him a favor by trying to play this as he said-he said. we will have to see if there are any tapes of these conversations, but if there are not, i am not sure mr. trump will win the credibility contest against mr. comey. host: now to the days second big story, the election in great britain. voters there are casting their ballots in a general election that will decide who leads the country into brexit negotiations with the european union. polls favor conservative prime minister theresa may, but her expected margin of victory has narrowed thanks to a late surge in support for the labour party. >> decision day in britain.
this is an election which will have far-reaching consequences. it was called three years ahead of schedule in a surprise move by prime minister theresa may. her goal, to win a strong mandate for negotiations with the european union on the country's exit from the block. initial polls suggested she would get that, but over the campaign, the leader of the opposition labor party, jeremy corbyn has closed the gap. his fresh, down to earth style, has particularly struck a chord with younger britons. the strength of his challenge could hinge on having the young voters turn out. for many here, the key issues are clear. >> making sure we have the right party to lead us through that. >> it was very much a kind of
brexit vote, and i don't think that some hearts and minds of -- that's in the hearts and minds of londoners nearly as much as security is. >> security has come to the four after terror attacks in london and manchester. extra police have been deployed at polling stations across the country. after those attacks, the mood is very different from when the election was called, and that could also affect the outcome. host: we have team coverage of the u.k. election tonight. i am joined by our correspondent in london, and our correspondence in the northeast of england. good evening. has security become a prominent election topic, considering we have had three terror attacks in the last three months? >> yes, for sure. where i am in london, it is definitely something that is discussed. we were just, before we came here to westminster, where we
also had an attack about three months ago, we have been to london bridge. we talked to people there and ask them if the discussion about the security situation had any influence on their voting intentions. while most people said it did not and it was not a deciding factor for them, i did get the impression that people i spoke to generally thought they could trust conservatives more when it comes to security, and theresa may, as the former home secretary, would have been seen as the stronger person for that. from what we have seen in the polls, conservatives seem to have the lead. i think i would also go along with a discussion of security. cash that would also go along with a discussion of security. quick -- i think that would also go along with a discussion of security. the >> talk about where you are and what is going on. >> i am in sunderland, one of
the constituencies famous for coming first. there are a total of three seats to be counted and in less than an hour, the first ballots are expected to arrive here in the indoor tennis court and be counted. they have even elected thinner paper so the people running with the boxes and the ballots can carry more faster. they have quite a bit of competition with the neighboring town of new castle. it will be interesting to see which of the two will be able to to clear their result of the election first. >> i will post this to you both -- pose this to you both. from where you are standing, is theresa may going to get her majority in parliament? what have you heard? >> i have to say, i was quite surprised. this is labour heartland. it's clear that sunderland and three seats here will go to labour.
that's almost certain. but i talked to a lot of people who say normally i vote labour, but given the brexit scenario -- and you have to see, this is brexit heartland here. people have said we have to vote conservative because we need a strong mandate, and that is what a lot of people have told me. it will be an interesting indication to how well does the conservative party do in these constituencies? host: what about you? what have you been hearing? >> if we can trust the polls we have seen so far, it is one story hat he saidin the heartland, in theld industrial areas where people have been voting labour for generations, they are indeed voting along brexit lines, and in this case, might be voting conservative. the u.k. is pretty much not on
the agenda anymore, u.k. independence party. labour has the youth phot, but overall, it does look like a conservative majority -- youth vote, but overall, it does look like a cservative majority. if we look ahead to the brexit negotiations, i think a lot of european partners would like a strong government whichever way, conservative or labour. they want a strong majority so the government is able to compromise and is not at the whim of its mps. that is what they are hoping for. post: all right, our correspondents on the story for us tonight, part of our special coverage of the u.k. election in london and sutherland -- sunderland in england. we will be talking with you through the evening as the results come in. we are going to take a short break. when we come back, more world news and the latest business
headlines. stick around. we will be back in 60 seconds. >> to be black and living in germany. what does that mean? dw presenter meets people with stories to tell. find out more in our web special on dw.com/afrogermany. journalism in times of fake news. how our opinions and digital identities formed online, and how can users trust be regained? discussed and influence. influence the future of media,
greeting -- creating relations that money can't buy. at the deutsche welle for him, 2017. the place for minds. host: welcome back. former fbi director james comey has testified before the senate intelligence committee. he was stunned by president trump's request that he dropped his investigation into the former national security adviser. he also accused the trump administration of lying about him, saying the white house chose to defame him and the fbi. prime minister theresa may has joined millions of other britons heading to the polls in today's crucial election. mei looked set for decisive victory, but a series of terror attacks have the focus on security and put her record on policing in the spotlight. let's get reaction from the business world on this story. thank you for joining us.
there is a lot of steak in this -- a lot at stake in this election. >> many global stocks following suit. if the president calls because -- falls because of comey, there could be a correction. we were tracking the reaction from traders as testimony took place. what stood out to you? >> let me may be mention one sentence one of the traders said to me. the unthinkable has become protectable. it simply means the markets are almost used to situations that could cause huge arc it term -- market turmoil and they end up fizzling out because investors don't care in till they care. right now, they don't care too much about the commie hearing. they weren't too surprised about -- until they care. right now, they don't care too much about james comey's hearing. they weren't too surprised by
what he said. they have been waiting for trump to get his reforms underway, regarding regulation, for example. >> is this another episode in what is another reality tv drama for investors? quick so far, they consider this an annoying, time-consuming reality tv drama. they do not see this hearing as a bigger threat to trump's presidency, just as something that is delaying more important issues on trump's agenda. there had been talk about possible impeachment, but the investigations of the fbi against trump will probably take their time. the republicans don't want to trump to be impeached. the democrats don't have the majority to do that. all in all, investigators just seem to be waiting. >> no matter what happens, what is going to be the result? what will change the markets if trump can't get all the reforms
he wants? regulations and infrastructure plans as well. >> that, of course, could be really damaging and painful to the markets, because investors have been pricing all of this in from the moment trump was elected. they might have started to adapt their expectations and gotten less optimistic about the time these reforms might take, but they are still hoping and waiting for them to take shape. that was the only reason for the trump rally, hopes for a good investing environment with less regulation, lower taxes, infrastructure projects. but don't forget that even if trump got impeached, vice president mike pence would be there to fill in, not only in person, but also, probably, to keep his plans running and make at least some of his promises come true. >> thanks for the rep from new york. -- wrap from new york.
as you heard, britons headed to the polls thursday. theresa may hopes the vote will strengthen her hand into force talks with the european union. >> the brexit vote did not just shock u.k. voters, it shook up the british economy. entrepreneurs from nottinghamshire split their vote, one voting to remain in the you that you, and -- in the eu, and one backing the campaign for brexit. >> obviously, we were not successful. now we need to get the right deal with our friends in the european union to make the best of the situation we are in and find a pragmatic solution that works for eveone. >> that's why both brothers agree on which party they are voting for this time around. >> i voted for the conservative
party. it has been made very clear to the u.k. that we cannot pick the best bits and leave the other stuff behind. i believe a complete brexit is what will happen. but it needs to be with a good arrangement for trade because -- i have seen it on both sides -- and we have seen it in the last few weeks, security is going to be important. >> the uk's vote to leave the eu came as a surprise for many. it sent the pound into a tailspin, falling to its lowest value against the dollar in 30 years. thursday's vote is also a vote on who will lead negotiations on the exit from the european union and who will set the terms of the divorce. >> cuba's efforts to transform
from a socialist country to a high class holiday destination are picking up speed. havana now has a five-star hotel. >> the contrast could not be clearer. in the center of the cuban capital in the midst of the dilapidated charm of old havana, the opulent new five-star hotel highlights the stark difference between capitalism and socialism. the government's official line is that tourism brings in foreign capital, which benefits everyone. but public opinion about a prestige project like this very. >> i think anything that makes the country nicer is good for us. it was really ugly before, and now it's quite attractive. >> the very people doing the renovating and cleaning, their houses are falling apart. >> the ceo is well aware of all the opposition. he addresses the critics at the
grand opening. >> we are the first five-star operator open in beijing. the first one in moscow. and we are opening today proudly in cuba. >> for now, the number support his claim. 4 million visitors to send it on the caribbean island last year. this won't be the only five-star in town for long. other hotel operators are chomping at the bit. host: thank you very much. now, here is a look at a woman at the other end of the age spectrum grabbing attention. she is a german gymnast, and she has joined tens of thousands of athletes competing in berlin's international gymnastics festival. it is one of a series of lifelong physical feats by a woman who says you are never too old to roll.
>> johannes does gymnastics like a young girl despite being 91 years old. she is even in the guinness book of world records as the oldest competitive gymnast in the world. she is doing the bar exercise at this year's gymnastics festival in berlin. >> i am nervous before every competition. my legs shake and i have to take three deep breaths before i can continue. >> she used to be a phys ed teacher. later, she was a coach on the east german olympic team. at 57, she returned to gymnastics. her physical fitness is a testament to her great discipline. >> tuesdays and thursdays, i go to the gym. wednesdays, we have a gymnastics group for older people. some of them are in their 80's.
then i take a sauna. fridays, i teach gymnastics, and then i go swimming. >> she is actually extreme about sports. at last summer, she jumped out of a plane to honor queen elizabeth, who is the exact same age she is. at the gymnastics festival, she always meets old companions. one is an american gymnastic legend. he is coaching his friend bruno, who runs the gymnastics school for children back home. >> we love elderly people doing gymnastics. we don't have a competition with them. it's hard to compare. it would be similar if they continued training, but i'm amazed with these people. they must go to their club in practice at least -- and
practice at least a few times a week. >> in the summertime, i do gymnastics with them. they go crazy because i am an old man and a lot of the kids can't do it. >> even if she has been doing this for decades, being dissatisfied with her own performance is part of it. at 91, she understandably has a few minor ailments. >> if you do ahead stand for a long time and then you stand up, you can lose your balance. maybe i didn't practice it enough. i was never much good on the balance beam. >> this time, instead of winning, like she always has in the past, she came in fourth place. but there is one thing you can't take away from her. she inspires many people to get off the couch and get moving.
host: amazing. i don't think i could do that when i was 21. you are watching dw news live here from berlin. thanks from the company. -- for the company. i will be back after a short break. we will have special coverage of the fallout after the testimony of james comey and a look at the election in britain. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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