a special bbc investigation has revealed how muslim children in china are being systematically separated from their families. official documents show the chinese government has built many boarding schools, housing children as young as two. human rights experts say it is part of a deliberate policy targeting the uighur population. families of the victims in the boeing crash in ethiopia in march have told the bbc those found responsible should have criminal charges brought against them. all boeing 737 max aircraft have been grounded because of two deadly crashes. some families claim the manufacturer put commercial priorities ahead of safety. donald trump has presided over an elaborate ceremony to mark us independence day, in an event dubbed "salute to america." but the militaristic tone and cost have been criticised by his democratic opponents, with suggestions he has politicised the 4july tradition.
now on bbc news, stephen sackur speaks to us republican senator rick scott on hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. donald trump is the most unpredictable of us presidents, as is obvious from his policy approach to north korea, china trade, iran and a host of other domestic and international challenges. well, my guest today is the republican senator from florida, rick scott. he was a strong supporter of donald trump back in 2016, now he's created a distance between himself and the president. so just how solid is republican support for donald trump?
senator rick scott, welcome to hardtalk. it's nice to be here. you've been in europe for a few days, you've been meeting politicians, you've been meeting diplomats, how hard is it being a senior us politician defending the trump administration overseas right now? you know, i don't look at it that way. i don't defend, you know, the trump administration. i'd try to explain, you know, both what president trump is trying to do and what i believe in. so something like now it's a positive that we're having conversation with north korea. now, we don't have anything done yet, we need to get something done, it's a positive that we're having conversations with china about trade, because they have taken advantage of america for decades. let us go through some of those issues you've just raised. as you've been in europe, donald trump has done this extraordinary impromptu thing, stepping across the line into north korea. something no other sitting us president has agreed to do. he has just given kim jong—un
an enormous reward, a prize. and you tell me what has the us got back in return? he's not lobbing missiles out. he's not saying, kimjong—un is not saying he is going to obliterate america. so that's a positive. but we're not where we need to be with denuclearisation. i think the president has got to stay focused. are you suggesting there is a real criticism of the president's approach? because from the very get go he said he would engage with the north koreans to get the denuclearisation of the korean peninsula. he wanted north korea to commit to eliminating that weaponry that it now has. no commitment has been... we're not there. we're nowhere near there. you have to look at the positive. you have to say, "remember where we started." he walked in, we walked in from all these prior presidents had pacified kim jong—un and his dad, alright, and nothing good had happened.
so at least he's not continuing to talk about how he's going to obliterate us, lobbing all these, you know... testing missiles out there. you have to say it's a positive. let's consider north korea and compare and contrast with iran. what we have a north korea is a country that went all the way through the programme to get nuclear weapons are now, it seems, donald trump gives them rewards, including this historic visit onto north korean territory. in iran, on the other hand, we have a country that reluctantly agreed, after years of difficult negotiation, to sign up to a programme of monitoring and verification which ensured that iran would no longer enrich uranium in the wait was doing in the past. what does donald trump do? he walks away from that agreement, he imposes tough new sanctions on the iranians, and prompts, it seems, the iranians to abandon the limits on their own enrichment programme. you can, you know, you can argue which is the right approach,
but, you know, the agreement did not stop their enrichment of uranium. but surely the lesson the iranians are bound to draw, if you acquire nuclear weapons, donald trump, you call him a businessman, a wheeler dealer, a guy who negotiates, donald trump, once you have nuclear weapons, will treat you in a very different way. i don't look at it that way. the way i look at it is he, donald trump, you know, love him or hate him, he believes he can negotiate a deal. that's what he believes. i mean, he wrote the book. he believes he can do that. with iran, his belief, you know, and i think a lot of americans‘, including my belief, is that the deal was not a good deal. we gave iran a lot of the money. they didn't stop supporting hamas and hezbollah. there were involved in iraq and syria. they were continuing to enrich uranium. the perception for a lot of americans is that it wasn't
a great deal. you have just been at nato talking to nato diplomats and leaders. you've spent some time in europe. you must be aware that there are grave misgivings in european capitals about the way donald trump is handling iran. well, there's clearly a disagreement. i think america, and it wouldn't be everybody, america's a big country, but the perception was it wasn't a great deal, and iran didn't stop. they become... did they stop and say we're going to stop being involved in terrorism around the world? no. with respect, senator, this isn't just about the specifics of the iran deal or the approach to north korea, this is about a style of governance which europeans scratch their heads and they really can't understand whether there is any coherent strategy at work in donald trump's white house. well, here's the way i look at it. we're having the conversations. i mean, look, he walked into thejob
with problems in iran, problems with russia, problems in cuba, venezuela, china taking advantage of us for decades and north korea. i mean, he didn't create there's problems, right? he walked into nato where nato countries, you know, were not putting the money up that they'd committed to put up. so he's trying to push everyone, one, to solve the problems. let's think about, just briefly think about, donald trump and russia. what we saw at the 620 was donald trump meeting vladimir putin and joking, joking about this idea that russia might have interfered in us elections. they were they yukking it up together, with donald trump wagging his finger in comic style. are you happy with the way donald trump appears still to regard vladimir putin as a friend? well, i don't think he's a friend. i'm from the state that they did infiltrate our election system in 2016.
they got into two of our counties. theyjust get into the voter rolls, they weren't able to change the result of the election, but they tried to change our election. and what i've heard as i've been over here is that that's constantly going on over here, where russia is putting out fake news around elections and trying to infiltrate systems. so i take it very seriously and we, and the country, has, one, congress has provided a lot of money to the states to make sure we focus on our cybersecurity. i did it as governor, i put up a lot of money to add cybersecurity experts to make sure they couldn't impact our elections. and then you look at russia's involvement in syria, russia's involvement in, look, all the bad players. they got a ship, i think, i don't know if it's left, it was in havana, or in cuba. they've got, they've got... they're involved in venezuela. so they're not our friends. interesting you mention venezuela. that's an issue in florida, with its significant venezuelan exile population. you've followed it very clearly. you appear to be very unhappy
that the us administration, having talked so very tough about the need for nicolas maduro to go, appears to have failed to follow through. you said recently, "i absolutely do believe we should dictate a few things to the russians, the cubans and the chinese. we will not allow you to set up shop in venezuela. and, to be clear, i respect those who are cautious about the dangers of military intervention, but it is time to acknowledge that inaction can be just as dangerous." i think i've got two concerns. i've been to the border of venezuela and colombia. if you talk to the families there, all these kids, these kids are dying, they're starving, they're being starved to death. they can't get food on can't get clean water, they can't get medicine. if you go to the hospital you're dying. so step one, we've got a genocide going on.
the world has got, all of us have got to show up, including europe. i've met with the government of spain about a month ago after i went to normandy for the 75th anniversary, and europe's got to do the same thing as we doing as far as sanctions and put pressure on cuba, because cuba's the real key. we've got bad players there — russia, china, and iran, hezbollah. but cuba's got 20,000 people there. so do i believe we ought to be doing more? you better believe it. right now, right now... it's fine to use words like this and to say inaction can be an equally dangerous course. but what, specifically, are you saying the united states today should be doing in venezuela? right now, right now we ought to do a blockade of the cuban ports so there's no oil going from venezuela to cuba. because if you look at it, the 20,000 troops or the 20,000 individuals that are from cuba over in venezuela, they're protecting maduro. if they weren't there i think maduro would be gone. and if we don't deal with maduro now, the same problems we have in syria we'll have there. throughout this interview so far i've been seeking consistency and coherence in trump's national security policy and you've been trying to tell me that there are positives as well as,
you've indicated, some negatives. just one more case study, and perhaps it's the most important of all, that's us—china... hang on, i haven't asked the question yet. do you have any idea what donald trump really wants to achieve in his relationship with china? you know, it's interesting the way you ask the question, though. i've never thought about the way you're asking it, because what i've said iswhat‘s the right approach? i'm a deal guy, i've bought and built companies, right? so i figured if i'm going to do a transaction with you, i've got to figure out why would you want to do it with me? so i'm not suggesting he's doing it the right way, but iran is different than north korea, north korea's different to china, china's different to cuba, they're all different to russia. so i don't know that you can havejust a... say, "i'm going to do just this way." but you can at least seek consistency in your relationships with those different players. in china, for example, we've had extraordinary tough talk
going back to the campaign he accused china of raping the us economy, a phrase which many people have a problem with. now, having imposed various different tariffs, he's putting a freeze on expansion of those tariffs. he is talking about a deal being very close. and he's also, apparently, backing off on his determination to isolate huawei from the us economy. ok, so let's go huawei first. there will be, there will be... there will be no interest, i believe, in the us senate or in congress for allowing huawei to sell up, to work in the united states. but donald trump's just promised the chinese that huawei can have relationships with us companies, including component sales. i think what he said is that they can do component sales to huawei but huawei can't sell them to the united states, i think that's... my understanding is
that's what he said. your fellow floridian senator marco rubio has called donald trump's latest talk on huawei as a "catastrophic mistake". "china's not our friend, huawei's non—negotiable, it is a national security threat, president trump needs to stay strong against huawei." are you with marco rubio or with donald trump? so, here's where i am. they should not be doing business in the united states, huawei should not be. if he's saying that american companies can sell to huawei and huawei sells to some place else, i can understand that. would i do that? i don't know if i would do that. my concern is the national security interests of the united states. now, i don't believe huawei is a part of a trade negotiation. it has nothing to do with that at all. it's all national security. seperately, on the trade deal, i don't believe... i think it's very little to get a deal done with china. they steal, i mean
no different than... cuba stole real property,they steal intellectual property. they don't do... china doesn't care about human rights. they don't open up their market. they militarise the south china sea. they're involved in venezuela. so i dont believe... and, by the way, name the deal that you've ever done where somebody negotiated a deal with you and then all of a sudden said, oh yeah, i negotiated that but i changed my mind and the deal ever closed. it doesn't happen. and so i don't believe china can... we can do a deal with china. so i've not talked to the president about... so you're talking of a long—term hostile, maybe even bellicose, relationship between washington and beijing. i don't see them changing. i mean, they've been stealing intellectual property for decades, why are they going to change? you know, they don't open up their market to our products... are the us consumers ready for all of the knock—on effects of continued expansion of tariffs with all the extra costs they're going to face? i believe that if there's any tariffs, whatever the number is, they've talked about some of the numbers, we ought to reduce the cost and give that
back to our consumers. and i do believe there will be some short—term problems, but we can't continue this path where china steals all of our intellectual property. we can't do that. first of all, it's not in compliance with the wto. it's wrong. it's not true... it's not good for the uk, it's not good for any country. in just a few days, you won't be talking necessarily about all these international and national security issues for the united states so much because you'll be back home and perhaps the biggest issue facing you in florida and the whole country is immigration. are you ashamed of the policy that donald trump has pursued which has seen thousands of children, many of them extremely young and vulnerable, locked up in detention centres, far away from their parents and family? first off, it's disgusting and it's wrong if anybody gets separated, any children gets separated from theirfamilies. it's happening every day, senator. let's go through what's happening.
the democrats have decided, for whatever reason, they don't want to have a secure border. every country has to have a secure border. for whatever reason, the democrats have said we don't want to have a secure border. with respect, the democrats have not put it like that. what the democrats have said is that there are core american values that they will not compromise on and that donald trump's zero—tolerance approach is compromising... crosstalk. no, no, no, stop there, stephen, stop for a sec. if we did have a secure border, and all that means is more border agents, technology, right? and barriers so they know where people are coming across, because the entire border of mexico is controlled by the cartel. the cartel decides, this is where the drugs are going to come across, this is where the people are going to come across, then we have a court decision that said you couldn't hold families. well, what did that do? it increased the odds that people were going to send children, not necessarily their children,
not necessarily children they treated well, and bring them across the border because they would get released. now, who's caused that problem? i tell you, it's100% the democrats‘ fault. because, one... crosstalk. so, you're playing politics with an issue which... no, no, no. ..as you saw last week, produces the sorts of shocking photographs of a father and daughter, face down, drowned in the rio grande river with, according to eyewitnesses, border patrol units from the united states looking on for many minutes, doing nothing to intervene. that is donald trump's america today and you're defending it. no, no, no, not at all. border patrol has been treated horribly because here's what they've done. we just had a testimony last week by border patrol agents. did anybody report the fact that they've saved 400 people in the last 12 months from drowning? no. it's horrible what happened with that young man and his 23—month—old daughter, but this is what our country
is doing right now because of the democrats. secure the border! with respect, you can'tjust pile the blame on the democrats. there are things happening which go to the very top of the trump administration. the fact that records aren't even kept properly so some of these children have parents in the same country in detention elsewhere and nobody can connect the dots because the papers have not been kept! stephen, i'm not trying to defend that, but fix it. even — think about it, even when the trump administration came across and asked for humanitarian relief, what did it take? two months for the democrats to finally agree to it? but you keep coming back to the democrats. because that's the problem! right now, right now in florida, there is, your state, there is the homestead detention centre which has more than 2,000 children in it. bill de blasio, one of the democrats contenders for the presidency, went there the other day, he said he got a ladder, he looked over the fence and he said it felt and looked like a prison camp, and that's in your state. stephen, who set that up?
barack 0bama. barack 0bama set that up. stephen, did one of those democrats that went down there and when they had that debate, did any of them, 2014 when that was set up, did they say, oh, that's wrong? yeah, but here's the rub, here's the rub, and politifact which is a respected fact—checking organisation, looked at this claim of donald trump that actually 0bama began the separation policy, they concluded, quote, it is false. "0bama's immigration policy specifically sought to avoid breaking up families. while some children were separated from their parents under 0bama, it was relatively rare and families were quickly reunited". stephen, it's wrong. they've should never have been separated. but the 0bama comparison is false, it is a lie. stephen, (mumbles) stephen, it's wrong. 0k? it's wrong. what would you do to fix it? secure the border. fix the asylum law so you don't have people in — think what they're doing to these poor little children.
they're kidnapping these kids, right? they‘re shipping these kids back and forth ‘cause they know if they bring a kid across, a child across, they bring a child across, then they get released. who is that helping? it‘s helping the cartels. it‘s not helping these families. right? so let‘s look at our border, we‘ve got drugs coming across our border, we‘ve got terrorists coming across our border and we‘ve got wonderful people trying to come across our border. right? fix our laws, but they won‘t do it! senator, you, it seems to me, have a problem, because as i understand it, correct me if i‘m wrong, roughly 18% of florida‘s voters are latino, hispanic. about 20%, yeah. 0k. so that‘s a political reality for you and itjust seems to me, in what you‘ve called a 50—50 state, such a divided democrat—republican, almost equal state, you need latino and hispanic votes and right now, the republican party is haemorrhaging them. 0k. let‘s hear the facts. the facts are we are an immigration
state and we love immigrants, my state, right? we have about 20%... so you need to start backing away from your president, which i see you have done. no, no, no, no, no, no. you‘ve, on this issue, you‘ve called what you‘ve seen in the detention camps in the separation of families, you‘ve called it "disgusting" and "disgraceful". crosstalk. from day one, from day one. from being a backer of donald trump in 2016, it seems to me, as a politician, you are creating a very, very wide distance from donald trump. here‘s what will surprise you. right after my election in november, we did a poll of hispanics. what percentage of hispanics do you think said they wanted tougher enforcement of immigration laws in my state? i think it was almost 70%. everybody knows that we‘re having these problems because we don‘t enforce our immigration laws. we love immigrants in my state. we‘re an immigration state. when venezuela has problems, where do they come? they come to florida. when colombians have problems, where do they come? to florida. when brazilians, colombians, they all come to our state, we love immigration.
i suspect you need to tell donald trump that because that is not the message that he gives to american people today. here‘s what is frustrating to me. why don‘t we do the things that solve the problems? why don‘t we secure our border? why not fix our asylum laws? no, i understand what you‘re saying. why don‘t we say, you know what? we love immigrants ‘cause we do, but let‘s have an immigration policy that actually works. but, you know, and you didn‘t have to blame both parties. both parties have to have done this. they‘ve sat here and not solved problems. you keep saying, "solve the problems, be practical, make deals". isn‘t the truth about donald trump‘s america, that he thrives on polarisation, he thrives on it, and if you look at the reality of politics today, his approval rating in the low 40s but with a base of 30 plus percentage of people that think he can do no wrong. look at the majority in the united states who think that the country is headed in the wrong direction and that despite a strong economy.
crosstalk. but stephen, it was worse before he got elected! the numbers were worse on where the country going. it was worse under barack 0bama, it wasn‘t better under barack 0bama. and by the way, in florida, just so you know, the last poll i saw, donald trump was at 53%. now, i‘m not here to defend donald trump‘s record, i‘m here to solve problems. i got elected, i represent the state of florida to solve problems. all right? some things i‘m in agreement with donald trump, some things i‘m not. we have the best economy we have ever had. right? in my state, we‘re number one in higher education in the entire country. so, what i spent my eight years doing, add jobs, fix education, keep people safe. 47 year low in our crime rate when i left. so i am a business guy that says here‘s the problem, let‘s solve it. i‘ve spent six months in the us senate and it‘s disgusting, we don‘t solve problems. so you, and this is my final thought, you as a republican senator are very happy to, hand on heart, say that the idea of donald trump
serving in the white house til january 2025 is a good thing for america. it was a simple choice. did i want hillary clinton? there were only two choices. no, no, no, forget hillary clinton, that‘s history. crosstalk. wait, wait, wait, no, stephen, there‘s two choices, there‘s two choices. i‘m asking you whether donald trump in the white house til 2025 is something that americans should welcome. stephen, when the democrats were saying they were going to eliminate your private insurance. 0k? that‘s what they said, they‘re going to eliminate your private insurance, they‘re going to raise your taxes, they‘re going to re—regulate the country, they‘re not going to secure the border, right? they were basically going to, you know, they have this green, new deal. so despite all of your reservations, some of which you‘ve expressed on the record here in this interview... but it‘s only two choices! do i wanna go down this path or this path? i‘m not going down the democrat‘s socialist path of government, i‘m gonna go down the free market path. senator rick scott, we have to end there, i thank you very much
for being on hardtalk. thanks. thank you very much. hello there. if you were looking for the warmest, sunniest weather on thursday, you had to turn your eyes southwards. the further south you went, the bluer the skies remained. a bit of wispy, high cloud overhead in london, but temperatures in the london area got very close to 27 degrees. compare and contrast that with the scene for this weather watcher in ullapool, in north—west scotland. grey, murky, damp, temperatures at 13 degrees. and similar rules apply through the day ahead.
the best of the sunshine to be found across central and southern parts of the uk. further north, more cloud, some patchy rain, some mist and murk, especially for hills and coasts in the west. and then some heavy rain returning to northern and western scotland later in the day, where it will also be quite breezy. so let‘s take a closer look. lots of sunshine for the channel islands, southern england, wales, the midlands, east anglia, temperatures 23 in plymouth, 2a degrees for cardiff, 27 once again across the london area. but some extra cloud will push in across north wales in north—west england, north—east england, to the east of the pennines should hold onto at least a little bit of brightness through the day. northern ireland turning pretty grey, rain pepping up again across western scotland through the afternoon. but, with some shelter for the mountains in eastern scotland, aberdeen down to edinburgh, we should hold onto a little bit of brightness and temperatures around 18 degrees. now that cloud and rain which has been plaguing northern areas will start to move its way southwards during friday night. behind it, the skies will start to clear across scotland and ahead
of that band of cloud and patchy rain we‘ll keep some clear skies in the south as well. temperatures as we start saturday between 10—15 degrees. that band of cloud and patchy rain will start off the weekend across northern england and northern ireland, associated with this, a cold front. you can tell it‘s a cold front by the blue triangles here. and behind that cold front, well, the air turns cooler and fresher. but the front is likely to drag its heels, though, there will be a zone of cloudy here and potentially damp weather. i‘m not expecting huge amounts of rain, that will sink across parts of east anglia, the midlands, wales. to the south—east coast of england, we are likely to hold onto some sunshine and warm all day long. temperatures could get to around 2a degrees. but to the north of the band of cloud and patchy rain, it will be cold and fresher although, it will be largely dry with some sunny spells. and all of us get into that fresher regime on sunday. the front will have cleared away by this stage, there will be some fairly large areas of cloud floating around, some spells of sunshine, just a small chance of one or two showers.
this is the briefing, i‘m ben bland. our top stories: families of victims of the boeing plane crash in ethiopia speak exclusively to the bbc about their search for justice. his opponents say he has politicised independence day to boost his re—election campaign. president trump doesn‘t let the rain spoil his lijuly parade. with this very special salute to america, we celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend ourflag — the brave men and women of the united states military. cheering