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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 11, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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>> this is bbc "world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm sunny days,
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cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, bbc "world news america." jane: this is bbc "world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. donald trump lashes out at claims russian intelligence is compromising information about him, calling it completely false. mr. trump: it was a group of opponents who got together, sick people, and they put that crap together. jane: dealing with moscow is just one of the many tasks that may await rex tillerson. today he made his case for , the job. and a painting for every day of president obama's time in office. nearly 3000 works later, we speak to the artist at the end
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of the 18 year project. 8 year project. ♪ jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. with just a week to go until donald trump becomes president, his rift with america's intelligence agency continues. holding his formal news conference since winning office, mr. trump suggested they have been responsible for reports that russia has gathered compromising information about him. the president-elect angrily denied the claims contained in a dossier, calling it fake news. has been almost half a year since we have seen a donald trump press conference. not great timing for the president-elect. begging foria
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blood, or at least a bone. intelligence chiefs gave mr. trump documents alleging russia has compromising material. it is at-elect trump: disgrace that information would be let out. it is fake news, phony stuff. it did not happen. reporter: and in my six x agent makes unproven allegations that business information and claims involving sex workers. president-elect trump: i always tell them if i'm leaving this country, be very careful. in your hotel rooms, no matter where you go, you will probably have cameras. be careful. you do not want to see yourself on television. all over.ussia,
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does anyone really believe that story? i am also a germaphobe, believe me. reporter: mr. trump and the kremlin are having none of it. the president-elect is clear about who he thinks the. leaked it.hinks president-elect trump: it is shameful intelligence agencies let information so fake out. i say that. that is something nazi germany would have done and did do. reporter: if they come back with any conclusion that any of it stands up, is true, will you -- president-elect trump: there is nothing that could come back. toorter: these are connected the hacking scandal. the kremlin is accused of a hacking scandal on the democrats
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during the election. until now donald trump has refused to single out russia to blame. president-elect trump: i think it was russia, but we also get hacked by other countries and people. reporter: mr. trump still plans to rebuild relations with russia . president-elect trump: if putin likes donald trump, that is an asset. russia can help us fight isis, which, by the way, is number one tricky. since you are attacking us, can you give us a question? president-elect trump: go ahead. not to you. your organization is terrible. your organization is terrible. go ahead. client. -- quiet. don't be rude. >> can you give us a question? president-elect trump: i am not
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going to give you a question. you are fake news. reporter: this was to be about business empire. he is handing over control to his sons, not that he feels he has to. president-elect trump: i could run the company and the country. but, i do not want to do that. the president-elect has left trump tower. be the days time he will 45th president of the united states. this was a cumulative performance. doubts and questions will linger about his business practices, minds, associations that may or may not have existed in russia. he repeated pledges to build a wall on the border with mexico and repeal obama care. you may want to hold onto your hats and seats for the trump presidency. jane: tonight the bbc is
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reporting christopher steel is believed to be the author of the memos that aroused sets controversy. he is believed to be a former member of mi six and a director of the leading corporate intelligence company. for more, i spoke with paul wo od, who has been following this story. how credible are these claims? paul: they're viewed as credible by people who do this as a living. in november, i asked someone to send a message to the cia to see how they viewed it. i got the message back that there was more than one take. it was audio, video, more than than one more location. not only his hotel in moscow, but st. petersburg. the people with the final thought it was credible. that is why it ended up on the president's desk last week.
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that means it is worthy of speculation. jane: how difficult has it been tracking down the various sources? will we ever get to the bottom of this? paul: i suspect no, because of the russians do have a blackmail tape, they are not going to release it. it comes down to the credibility of the sources. the mi6 man is very well regarded. you have a long chain here of somebody talking to somebody, and at the end there either is or is not a tape. we simply don't know that. i think mr. trump is literally correct when he says these are unsubstantiated allegations. jane: the intelligence community says this was not an intelligence briefing, it was an addendum, a two-page synopsis. what does that tell you about how they view this? paul: i think they were worried that this would get out before they had the chance to put their imprint on it, to frame it in the way they wanted to frame it.
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it is very much in the vein of some of this is what is out -- the vein of, this is what is out there, you should be aware of it. but the president of the united states is vulnerable to blackmail, imagine if that's true. there are already senior republicans like john mccain talking about hearings, and the democrats are talking about impeachment. i think this is an unprecedented situation in the history of the republic. jane: for more, i spoke with jim himes, who sits on the intelligence committee. congressman, thank you for joining me. the rift between the incoming president and the intelligence community seems to know serious to be a partisan issue. what could congress do to help heal the division? himes: that answer probably
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centers on a soon-to-be ex member of congress, mike pompeo, who runs the central intelligence agency and is somebody close to donald trump, but also knows and understands the role of the cia and the intelligence community in general. it will be up to mike to heal this rift, which is profoundly serious. what the president-elect has done in denigrating and delegitimizing this $70 billion a year of operation we have has been very challenging for the intelligence community, comprised of terrific people, but also has been profoundly undercutting of his role as whendent and future times he needs to rely on this community that he has denigrated. jane: but his biggest concern at the moment seems to be the source of leaks. how much of a problem is this? rep. himes: leaks are always a problem, and this has been true forever. it is not clear, and i certainly don't believe the intelligence
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community leaked the information that found its way into the press. there are all sorts of third parties, including members of british intelligence, etc. these documents have been out for a long time, apparently, so i think first of all, the president-elect makes a mistake in talking about it at all, but then to finger the intelligence community and to say they did it, and then to go on and say, "what is this, nazi germany?" for a lot of us around here who were with the intelligence community regularly, our heads are spinning. jane: there is also concern of russia's role in this. why is a change of direction with regard to america's relationship with russia such a bad thing? why do you treat the 10 chile -- treat potentially president trump's relationship with russia as a liability and not as an asset? it can't get much worse than it already is.
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rep. himes: i don't think a pre-existing relationship is necessarily a reliability -- necessarily a liability. there are some businessman who have not done business in russia the way the secretary of state designate has. the question is, are there other factors at work? does the president-elect owe money to russians or russian banks? what sort of arrangements were made? was there any communication between the trump campaign and russians? these all point to the possibility of a conflict of interest, a conflict of integrity. a relationship in and of itself is not a problem. when we think about the u.s.-russian relationship, there are profound differences. obviously, putin's activities in crimea, his brutality in syria, the way he is treating his media, there are many areas where we are in profound disagreement, but there are areas where we have to work with the russians. iran, syria, these are areas
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where we need to work with them. totally separate from that, are there apps geared relationships -- are there obscured relationships that could promote blackmail or a conflict of interest? that can be a problem. jane: as a member of the intelligence community, are you going to be able to get to the bottom of that? rep. himes: i hope so. this is not a dead issue. just because they reported this to the president and the intelligence committees with an unclassified version, that does not mean this is the end of the investigation. there is a strong commitment across both parties to the investigation. we are arguing how that investigation should be undertaken and who should be involved, but the hacking of an american election, which very clearly occurred, as far from a -- is far from a dead letter and will be subject to ongoing investigations. jane: congressman jim himes, thank you for joining me. rep. himes: thank you, jane. jane: as donald trump faced the media, some of his key picks for cabinet posts were on capitol
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hill for confirmation hearings. among them was rex tillerson, the choice for secretary of state. not surprisingly, relations with russia were centerstage there, too. our correspondent reports. reporter: rex tillerson was donald trump's surprise choice to be secretary of state as he tried to convince congress he is fit for the job, he appeared to have a tougher line on russia then the man who picked him. pressure is unpredictable, but it has invaded ukraine, including the taking of crimea. and syrian forces brutally violate the laws of war. reporter: but tillerson's background as ceo of exxon mobil involves extensive ties with russia, even receiving the country's medal of friendship from vladimir putin.
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some of his colleagues do not think he will be able to be tough on the kremlin. >> is vladimir putin a war criminal? mr. tillerson: i would not use that term. >> let me describe the situation and aleppo, and that would perhaps help you reach that conclusion. reporter: senator rubio described what he called the targeting of civilians by russian forces in syria. rubio: you are still not prepared to say that vladimir putin has violated the rules of war and conducted war crimes in aleppo? mr. tillerson: these are significant charges to make, and i would want to have much more information. senator rubio: there is so much information out there. i find it discouraging, your inability to cite that. reporter: protesters dressed in kkk robes disrupted proceedings to confirm another of donald trump's picks. jeff sessions is the man mr. trump wants to be is attorney general, a man who in the 1980's was denied a judgeship on alleged racial discrimination.
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mr. sessions: i am not a racist. reporter: in his hearing, some of the leading black voices in congress laid out their concerns. >> he has demonstrated a disregard of the equal application of justice as it applies to african-americans, and fallen short on so many issues. reporter: it is still likely that both rex tillerson and jeff sessions will be confirmed, but also clear that in these choices at least, donald trump has not felt the need to reassure those americans who are concerned about his politics when it comes to russia or race. bbc news, washington. to other news, iraqi forces, reporters have made new advances fighting islamic state militants in mosul. into thet brought outskirts two months ago, but have made steady progress in
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recent weeks. the norwegian attorney general said the imprisoned mass murderer must be kept in isolation to stop spreading far right ideology and inspiring further attacks. a lower court ruling is keeping isolated is said to violate his rights. withng ill on his meeting the french president in paris. he was in touch by phone. he was due to meet theresa may in london on thursday. that meeting has been postponed. you are watching bbc "world news america." bidding farewell in chicago. barack obama looks back on his years in office and has a warning for the future. there has been a dramatic drop in the number of migrants seeking asylum in germany.
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official figures released by the office of migrants and refugees shows 280,000 arrived last year compared to 890,000 in 2015. ginny hill has more from berlin. what: they come closer to angela merkel's critics have been calling for. an upper limit of 200,000 migrants every year. on the one hand there is a sense of relief. ahead.re huge challenges there are hundreds of thousands of outstanding asylum applications. there is the business of integrating people who have been granted leave to stay, and those that will be allowed to stay. this is an election year. angela merkel has to persuade a nervous german electorate that integration can
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happen successfully and they can identify potential terrorists who have come in with the influx. of triumph may be tempered by the fact this reduction in numbers has little domestic policy. angela merkel's government has toughened its asylum policy, but the reason the numbers are down are twofold. the countries on the balkan route closed their doors to migrants sealing off the major route through europe into germany. awareers are painfully this reduction is reliant on the migrant deal struck between the eu and turkey. a fragile deal they don't know if it will hold. it is precarious.
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last night president obama returned to his hometown of chicago to deliver his farewell address. he looked back on his achievements and warned about what he sees as threats to u.s. democracy. the most emotional moments came and he paid tribute to his wife and family. nick bryant was there. of hishe poet laureate own presidency. he returned home to chicago to define and defend his legacy. pres. obama: if i had told you eight years ago that america would reverse a great recession, shut down iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot -- [applause] pres. obama: takedown the masterminds of 9/11, you might have said our sites were said a -- were set a little too high. but that's what we did.
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reporter: four more years became the chance. pres. obama: i can't do that. -- became the chant. pres. obama: i can't do that. reporter: america's first black president never wanted his time in office to be defined by race, but he hopes to do more to bridge the racial divide. pres. obama: after my election, there was talk of a post-racial america, and such a vision, however well intended, was never realistic. race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. reporter: there were no direct attacks on donald trump, but much of the speech read like a rebuttal to the billionaire's campaign to the president-elect's twitter feed. pres. obama: democracy can buckle when it gives in to fear. that's why i rejected discrimination against muslim americans. who are just as patriotic as we are. reporter: it has been such a photogenic presidency, it has had the look of a black camelot,
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and a thank you to his wife michelle left him struggling to contain his emotions. pres. obama: you gave it your -- you took on a role you didn't ownfor and you made it your with your grace, grit, and style. reporter: for a moment, the great wordsmith rendered speechless. he ended with three famous words that brought such hope that created such expectations. pres. obama: yes we can. yes, we can! thank you, god bless you. reporter: it was a presidency that began with a mountain of experience, but coming the first black man to live in a white house built by slaves, but it ended with a valley, with donald -- with the knowledge that donald trump will try to demolish his legacy. >> i hope that president-elect
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trump takes these pointers and carries on the torch of being fair to all people, but i know that's going to take some work, so we will wait on it. we will wait for him to come around. reporter: barack obama is the leader likely to have the word "era" attached to his name, but the rise of donald trump was partly in reaction to his presidency. nick bryant, bbc news. jane: with that speech last night, mr. obama's presidency draws ever closer to its end, and so too does the work of an artist who has followed his daily life for eight years. rob pruitt has painted an image for everyday of the president's time in office, nearly 3000 paintings, now on display in new york, where the bbc caught up with him. >> when he won, i thought to myself, i need a place to put all this energy. i can't go back to life as
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usual. i thought that i would commit to making one painting of him every day of his presidency as a visual diary. it's very rare that you see the image of a president driving a car. but when i started to think about what this visual diary would be like, i started thinking about my hometown, which is washington, d.c., where there are many monuments to previous presidents. this is a good one. i was thinking that i would take a patriotic american colors of red, white, and blue and visualize them as stone, and that's how i came up with the muted interpretations of the american flag. maybe halfway through, i woke up in a panic one night, not 100% in love with the colors anymore, but i had already painted four years on this palette.
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but now, again, i like the colors. it was sort of a moment that i subject myself to. i always saw it as one work, all 2920 paintings. -- 2922 paintings. it is at once a record of his presidency and an interpretation. each day is given the same size and same painting treatment, whether he is getting a shaved ice in hawaii on christmas vacation or he is signing the health care act. it is all given the same weight within my project, because i wanted to make a monument to the entire presidency. so what i look forward to january 20, i think that for myself, for a lot of americans, it is going to be a very difficult and emotional day. president obama is a very visionary leader, and to say goodbye to that is not going to be an easy thing.
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jane: for someone who struggles journal, i find that commitment amazing. that brings today's show to a close.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> inskeep: and i'm steve inskeep. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: >> i saw the information; i read the information outside of that meeting. it's all fake news. >> woodruff: in his first news confernce as president-elect, donald trump takes on reports of russian spying, questions over conflicts of interest with his business, and much more. >> inskeep: also ahead: his choice for secretary of state faced questions at a confirmation hearing. rex tillerson was asked if russia's vladimir putin is a war criminal. >> woodruff: plus, we continue our series "the obama years" with a look at the president's efforts to fight climate change. >> i think that this president believes that climate change is real. he believes there is a moral and

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