tv DW News LINKTV March 31, 2017 2:00pm-2:31pm PDT
the u.s. is at a ready to talk, but only on his terms. michael flynn has offered to testify to congress about possible leaks to russia, but only on the condition of immunity from prosecution. the president says that is fine, he should tell what he knows. also coming up, fears grow that venezuela could be moving toward a dictatorship after the country's court seizes power from the national assembly. we get the latesfrom the
capital there. and turmoil in south africa as the president sacks this man, his finance minister. now threats to the preside's power. ♪ anchor: i am brent goff. it is good to have you with us. in wasngton dc, dealmaking the world has not seen for a long time. tonight, the u.s. president has backed his former national, michael flynn, saying he is right to testify to congress about the jump -- trump campaign's alleged leaks to russia. he says he is not worried what he will reveal. he is offered to testify only in exchange formmunity from prosecution. reporter: for just over three
weeks, he was in the front row at the white house. as national security adviser, michael flynn was in trump's innecircle. the retired army general was a close advisor on trump election campai2016gn in back then, concerns were already raised for his ties to russia. like his attendance at a dinner with vladimir putin. michael flynn maintained the relationship even after the election. when president obama imposed sanctions on moscow, flynn call ed the russian ambassador to offer reassurance, even though neither flynn nor donald trump were in office yet. when it emerged that michael flynn had lied to the vice president about the conversation, he was left with little choice but to resign. even then, trump did not fully condemn his behavior. president trump --\ now he is offering to tesfy in probes, but only if he is given
immunity. "general flynn certainly has a story to tell. and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit," his lawyer said on twitter. "but no reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witchhunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution." it is a move that many in washington are interpreting as an admission of guilt. but the trump administration maintains that michael flynn did nothing wrong and the government has nothing to hide regarding russia. >> it is the concern of the whit house that he has damaging information about the president and what during the campaign with respect to russia? >> no. reporter: investigators say it is too early to discuss immunity, it is not clear whether he will testify without it. anchor: for more come i and joined by tyson barker, director at the aspen institute, a u.s.
think pink -- tank. before we start, we want to listen to what michael flynn had to say about six months ago on meet the press, he was asked about hillary clinton and the fbi's investigation into her use of a private email server. >> people like hillary clinton, five people around her have been given immunity to include her former chief of staff, when you're given immunity it means you probably committed a crime. anchor: you probably committed a crime, what do you think? should we take him at his word, has he committed a crime himself? >> clearly we want to make sure we do not get ahead of ourselves in implicating him or anybody who has been asked to testify or is under consideration for testimony in this investigation. for general flynn himself, clearly this is pretty
presumptive to ask for iunity so early in this discussion with the committees and with the fbi. anchor: he has been rejected already today by the u.s. house intelligence committee, yes? >> correct. clearly he knows he could be implicated in something, that is the sense one gets politically or optically. really before anybody can render judgment, there is a lot of investigation that must take place. this has been an ongoing story obviously, the investigation, with many different branches going in many different directions, with people involved, including the former track -- campaign manager. it touches on the trump family's political and business and -- end. there are a lot of strands to untangle and it will be
important for the investigative committee work on. anchor: the u.s. president has been reacting to this today on twitter. we will show the viewer is what he said earlier. he encouraged michael flynn to ask for immunity and he said that this is, "a witchhunt by the media and the democrats." what we make of that? the media again is targeted and democrats, any indication that a witchhunt is taking place? >> clearly we are now about 70 days into the presidency and what we have seen is a familiar playbook. there is a bunker mentality in the white house, always a sense they are under siege. their reaction to any kind of legitimate or whatever that they would call it, perhaps aggressive, investigative tendencies even on behalf of congress, which is rick -- which
is controlled by republicans, is to say that this is fake news. we need to let the legitimate branches of the government play out their investigative roles. that is why we have separation of powers. anchor: you are right. we will have to wait and see what happens because the senate committee must also decide whether or not they will grant immunity. thank you very much, tyson, you will be with me later to talk more about this. see you then. anchor: the u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson has reassured his european counterparts over washington's commitment to nato. speakingt the headquarters in brussels, he also pressed his partners to spend more on their own defense. three years ago, the nato countries agreed to contribute the equivalent of 2% of the gross domestic product to the defense. however, the appeal for more spending was rejected by germany. here is the german foreign
minister. >> to present would mean that germany would put 70 billion euros into the military. i do not know any politician in germany that would claim that this is achievable or even desirable. anchor: the president of the european council, donald tusk, has unveiled a blueprint on how great britain will separate from the eu. he said the talks on issues like trade between the eu and britain would not begin until progress is made on the terms of the divorce. also, the fate of eu citizens in britain and those brits in the eu will be a priority, and britain must fulfill all financial obligations to the eu. scotland's first minister has sent a letter to the british premise or theresa may -- prime minister theresa may, demanding that the government in london
allow a second referendum with scottish independence. the letter says that the people of scotland who had chosen to remain part of the eu must be lowed to choose their own future and exercise their right to self-determination. the british government has said already that they will deny any request. and the fifth round of talks aimed at finding a peace settlement between the two sides in syria has ended with little concrete progress. the government in oosition road -- in opposition do notot meet face-to-face, but are negotiating with a mediator in geneva. he urged the two sides to return to the table for another round. and international leaders have voiced alarm after venezuela's supreme court stripped the
parliament of their powers. the organization of american states has called it a coup by a socialist president. and even the president's on a attorney general has denounced the move. the court says is safeguarding the role of law. [yelling] reporter: the backlash begins against the supreme court decision. protesters hitting the streets and scuffling with the police. they are demanding an end to what they say is a dictatorship. o comiesident is alsng under increasing pressure from outside, peru and colombia have recalled ambassadors. chchile has joined the chorus of condemnation. >> we call on the authorities and we are offering them our assistance to do what they can to resume dialogue with the
opposition and to guarantee the rule of law and democracy. rerter: the decision to strip the lawmakers of their powers is the latest in a struggle between the courts and the opposition controlled congress. this was how the parliament president reacted to the order. [applause] >> this is trash. it is trash. they have kidnapped the coconstitution, , they have kidnapped the rights of the people. and they have kidnapapd their freedom. this is what the ruling by the supreme court means to us. reporter: venezuela's top judges accuse congress of being in contempt, after lawmakers swore
in i -- an opposition leader of voter fraud. since his defeat in elections, the prpresident has been jailing opponents and his s supreme cout has overturned most of the new laws passed by parliament. protesters are demanding new elections and a referendum on a removing the president from office. anchor: to talk more about this we will go to our correspondent oscar who is in the capital of venezuela. good evening. we understand that the attorney general the countryry, a longtge ally of the president, he has broken ranks and has called the court order illegal. is this the beginning of the breakdown of the inner circle for the president? oscar; this a accusation, the attorney general speaking out, speak volumes on many levels.
she is the first government agency to denounce this is unconstitutional and i would be surprised if it does not bring consequences to the judges that draft the resolutions. alsoso because as you menention, she has been a longtime supporter of the president, so it i is a very signinificant gee of possible cracks within thehe ranks. there is also a lot of skepticism about the move. some say it is a bluff from the attorney general to calm down the scaling situation, which has been a blow for the government nationally and internationally. brent: the last time we saw the rallies in the country was 2014 and dozens of people were killed. what do you think, are people afraid we will have a repeat of that right now? oscar: indeed there is fear ofof an escalatioion of violencnce.
we h have seen some already. yeststday, armed forces didispersed protesters and some parliamentarians were attacked. today, some people were detained. a journalist was also injured by armed forces. there could be escalation, but now there is a tense calm, especially after the attorney general's accusations. the opposition has not back down on calling on protests and tomorrow they will be holding concentrations to oppose the government. brent: pressure is also mounting from outside the country. do you think the presidentnt is listenining to what is b being d againsnst him? oscacar: he said he will not bow down to international interferencece. diplomomacy is notot his stronot point. many h have called o on special meetings regarding venezuela. and today foreign mininister canceled a meeting w with those
♪ brent: welcome back to "dw news." our top story, in washington dc the foreign -- former national security adviser says he wants to tell his side of the story about the alleged links to russia, only if he gets immunity. donald trump says that is fine and he has urged him to go ahead with his testimony. and south african president jacob zuma under pressure tonight over his sacking of a popular finance minister, pravin gordhan.
even his own deputy is criticizing the move, calling it totally unacceptable. the sacking was part of a cabinet reshuffle, seen as an attempt to reassert control over his divided african national congress. reporter: after the shocking dismissal of his finance minister, jacob zuma is trying to put a positive spin on a cabinet reshuffle that is threatening to plunge his party into chaos. >> i have e decided to make changes to the national executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. reporter: pravin gordhan's sacking is part of a broader cabinet shakeup that will replace 10 of the country's 35 ministers. the sweeping overhaul has triggered a crisis for south africa's ruling party, the party that has governed since the end of apartheid. gordon was widely respected as a finance minister, pledging to fight corruption, he enjoyed support among many in his party, as well as ordinary south africans.
on friday, his supporters gathered outside the national treasury building to protest. gordon was defiant after his dismissal. he said he and his deputy had nothing to hide. >> this is the so-called intelligence report that said , amongst others, the two of us and the director general are involved in this massive conspiracy to undermine the economy of this country. and if you read this, it is absolute nonsense. reporter: gordon has openly criticize the president in the past and battled with him for control over public funds. the critics of the president say the real reason for the purge was to silent -- silence dissent and put power into the hands of loyalists. a new minister has no experience managing the economy. the impact was immediate. the currency plunged and there
are fears that top credit rating agencies t test agencies could down rain -- bring down the rating. and pravin gordhan had been viewed as a steward of the nations economy, observers saying that this will undermine the president's ability to govern. the president has faced corruption allegations and other scandals during his pregnancy -- during his presidency. so far, he has survived all attempts to oust him from office. brent: here are some other stories making headlines. in pakistan, at least 20 people have been killed after an explosion near a minority shiite mosque. the blast in a remote area bordering afghanistan is thought to have targeted worshipers as they gathered for friday prayers. the leaderer of an insurgency hs vowed to continue the fight against the military crackdown. he has called on the country's
leader to protect the muslim minority. a u.n. report has claimed that the security forces committed a mass killings and gang rapes. ok, time for business news. what is on tap for this friday? >> talking about the u.s. president, who says he has just set the stage for a revival in american manufacturing. his remarks came as he is -- as unveiled executive orders looking at trade and fair practices. this comes after his announcement of plans to put tariffs on imports from five u.s. -- from five european companies. no surprise berlin is filing a complaint to the world trade organization. reporter: the european steel industry is the latest target in what donald trump says is a crackdown on the causes of
america's huge trade deficit. his plan to impose tariffs has been met with a mixture of disbelief and consternation. the range of the plan is enormous. under this scheme, the german steelmaker would face import tariffs of 5%. in austrian group would face a heftier rate. germany's economic ministry has described the cap collation methods used by the u.s. as problematic. he says, it is ready to take this to the highest level. >> the minister of economic affairs says she is in contact with the european union commission on this issue. and she says she will work with the european commission to ensure that the u.s. complies with world trade organization roles -- rules.
reporter: tensions are heating up. donald trump won an election on the promise to put america first, but the fiery reaction from germany shows that europe is more than ready to fight back. steely resolve from both sides in a battle that could turn into a trade war. >> time to cross over to our financial correspondent in new york. how likely is the trade war? >> a trade war is possible, but it is too early to tell. shortly before the weekend, the u.s. president signed an executive order reviewing trade and trade deals, also certain product categories and whatever those will bring, the administration will try to have reaction. how it will look, we do not know. there is still talk about the border adjustment tax.
trade it certainly is high on the agenda now of the new administers and. >> and there is an important meeting coming up next week with the chinese president and donald trump, all this, is this a good omen for the meeting? >> well, donald trump already tweeted on friday, saying that this meeting will be very difficult. he certainly wants to end massive trade deficits with china. it is interesting to see over all the world trade organization still treating china as a developing country, therefore china is allowed under the rules to have higher tariffs, than for the united states, but it is nothing that the u.s. president donald trump takes for granted or likes to see. he certainly wants to cut the trade deficit to china and will see how he is going to do it.
he also had a remark on friday saying that the u.s. corporations should probably look for alternatives when it comes to china. tough talk ahead of the meeting. >> thank you so much for your analysis. who would have thought that recycling would speed up space travel. elon musk's company has successfully launched and landed the first reused rocket booster. it is huge because of the huge cost savings. he says it is a huge day. >> 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 -- liftoff. reporter: off goes spacex's fal con 9. what made this launch special? it was the first time a recycled booster was used.
normally, a rocket is discarded into the ocean after a single flight. it took spacex 15 yearars andnd1 billion to show that a rocket could be reused. >> it is, i was speechless after it happened. it is a combination of work by a very talented team. reporter: another first and an equally important part of this feat. it landed squarely back on the ocean platform, enabling and other future relaunch.\ >> it is rapid reusability of rockets, it is the key to opening up space and becoming a space civilization, and having the future be something that is incredibly inspiring that we will look forward to. >> the falcon is too small to take passengers into space, but learning how to reuse rockets in general could decrerease the cot of spa t travel by as much as a
factor of 10000,otentially bringing t thepires -- stars closer than they used to be. >> from space back to the planet. brent: that is right. here on earth, looking at runners taking part in the marathon in palestine, in bethlehem. the race took place under the slogan "freedom of movement." it was not without controversy as israel banned 36 runners from the gaza strip from participating. 6000 athletes from 26 countries took part, that is more than twice as many as last year. after a short break, i will be back to take you through the day. first, the sights and sounds of a percussion band in siberia, using some unusual instruments. ♪
anchor: 9:00 p.m. from the french capital. these are our top stories. pay your share. u.s.is the message attorney of state rex tillerson took with him. citing russia's ongoing hostility. my client has a story to tell, so says the lawyer for president trump's ex national security adviser as he requests immunity from prosecution in a probe into russian ties. awareness and a few eyebrows. a campaign is launched in mexico tackling sexual harassment on the pu