tv BBC World News America KQED November 7, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
♪ [applause] >> and now, "bbc worlds." laura: this is "bbc world news americ" reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. attorney general jeff sessions is fired. it ends a rocky relationship between president trump and his top legal offici. the timing comes hours after the results of the midterm elections poured in, giving democrats the house and the republicans a greater margin in the senate. plus, it was a night ofs firsts . across theav country, voterse sent a diverse new group of people to congress.
laura: welcome to our viewers on public tel around the globe.and the beleaguered u.s. attorney general jeff sessions has been fired. it follows months of a dysfunctional relationship mr. trump and hisop legal official which became strained after mr. sessions recused himself from the russia investigation. but today came the final blow. just hours after the results of the midterm elections. here's a look at how things played out. essions: make america great again. laura: jeff sessions was an early trump loyalist, the first u.s. senator to endorse s presidential run. but postelection, he ran into trouble after his confirmation hearing as attorney general when he said russians during the 2016on electi campaign. i afterwardst was revealed that sessions had actually met more than once with russian and so the attorney general had i do this. atty. gen. sessionave now decided to recuse myself from any existing and future
investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaign for president of the united states. laura: by recusing himself from overseeing the robert mueller inquiry into links between the trump campaign and russia, he earned the president's enduring ire over what he saw as an unforgivablect of disloyalty. today came the inevitable. sessions wrote, "at your i'm submitting my resignation." fired, in other words, to the consternation of democrats. sen. schumer: it would create as tutional crisis if this were a prelude to ending or greatly limiting the mueller investigation. laura: the president sees the tbert mueller probe as an existential threathis white fruse and has constantly groused about jeff session even saying he doesn't have an attorney general. this tweet from june is typical. laura: it was always a matteof
when, not if sessions left the post he wanted for so very long. the president teved rapidly the midterms to fire him. ining us now is anthony oaramucci, former director communications at the white house. you said in the past that it would be a nightmare if the tpresid fired jeff sessions. has that come to pass? anthony: i think i said that pursuant to what was going on at the time. and was six, 12 months ago, you saw that there was an evolution, whether it was lindsey graham or other members of the senatindicating that ey were giving a clear signal to the president that if they wanted to make a personnel change at that level, they were ok with it. i did feel that y six months ago, but i don't think that that scenario is the case today. i think the president haosgotten a lot to a lot of these frankly,who,
appreciate the president's very hard work on theovampaign trail the last three or four weeks, in addition to everything else. i think it is totally ok now. attorney general sessions -- i am not a politician, so i will think candidly -- speak candidly -- i thought he was a great guy, take everybody back to the day when he endorsed then-candidate trumpsi, the firt ing senator to endorse candidate trump. that was very helpful to the campaign. i have nothing but good feelings for the attorney general. laura: but doesn't it look as though the president by firing him is trying to end the mueller probe? anthony: i don't think so. i think what theyiresident is to do is do what he does best. he is an entrepreneur. i have been a personal victim of it -- if things aren't working, he does not like the configuration on the jigsaw puzzle, he wants to move the that is what business leaders do. avtheybeen doing that from time memorial.
he is applying that to politics. we know that there has been so personal rubbing between the two, so he accepted his retirement today, and i think that was probably a good idea, rather than letting it linger and have the press and people in the media - laura: well, wasn't really a retirement, was it? i think he was forced out -- anthony: he let him resign. there is a difference between getting someone fired and letting him resign. i got fired. that is like a hard-core "you're fired," like "celebrity apprentice." jeff sessions, they let him resign. he is a 70-year-old guy, very respected in washingor basically, he is a classy person and he iseang reasonably well regarded in washington, and frankly, i think the president likes him. he jn t doesn't like hime role he was in the past two years. laura:th you speak t president all the time. how concerned is he, do you
think come by the mueller investigation and the effect it could have on him, hiss family, and finances? anthony: we about that when i talked to the president. when it does come up, i thinkcoe is a littlerned himself. he believes -- this is a guy that wears everything on his sleeve, and heteas done abso nothing wrong -- as he explained it to stay press conference, he called it a hoax and a joke and he really does believe iat. i think frustrated by the machinery inside of shington, this nonsense of scandals, manufacturing faux scandals and so forth. i cannot speak about his finances and his family. ci am nse enough to that. that i did work on the campaign i was on the transition team. i can tell you, i did not see anything related to those areas. i'm pretty comfortable and confident as well. you were fired by the chief of staff, juhn kelly come as jeff sessions was full
what is it that the president, despite his reality roll on "the apprentice," never wanted to fire people himself? --hony: well, they let you have to ask the president that. they let him resign. we both know the difference between thosewo things. what happened to me was way more harsh than jef sessions. resident probably does not ife that personalt, confl you will. he has been known over the 30, 40 years of his this disc are to like thatli personal co for the elected stay friends with -k not toa crystal conflict. he likes to stay friends with people. he didn't bring david bossie into the administration, but he likes all of us. fired by we a fbl's, oil. -- fired but loyal.
i dusted myself off and went back to work. laura: anthony scaramucci, thank you for joining us. anthony: great to be here, thank you. laura: the firing of jeff sessions came just hours after the midterm electionests came in. democrats were celebrating, regaining contofl of the house representatives. in the senate, itre was blicans who gained key seats and widened their majority.es the ent gave his stint at take at a wide-ranging press conference. jon sopel reports. >> the president of the united states -- bl jon: not verdy, and certainly unbowed, donald trump was the model of defiance at his post-midterm news conference. tired, yes, but he was aglow with his own achievements. pres. trump: i think it was a great victory. i will be honest i think it was , a great victory. some of e news was that it was in fact a great victory. jon: not all the press, though. it is a new political reality, with democrats having a powerful oversight role on how the white house operates. qutioned about this, he rounded on the media in general
and cnn in particular. it was rough have stuff. pres. trump: that's enough, put down the mic. >> are you worried about indictments? pres. trump: i tell you what,ou cnn be ashamed of itself having you working for them. you are a rude, terrible perso'. you shouldt be working for cnn. >> in jim's defense, i've traveled with him and he is a diligent -- pres. trump: well, i'm not a big fan of yours, either. >> i understand. jon: but to the democrats he offered an olive branch of sorts -- don't investigate me and we can work together. play nastynd i will fight back. pres. trump: they can look at us and we can look at them and we will go back and forth and it will probably be very good for me politically. i can seit being extremely good politically because i think i'm better at that game than they are, acally. jon: waiting for the freewheeling news conference to end was nancy pelo, leader of the democrats in the house. she was also making positive noises about working clo tly wi white house but was not offering a blank check.
rep. pelosi: we will str bipartisanship. we believe we have a responsibility to seek common ground where we can. where we cannot, we must stand our ground. t jo virginia suburbs delivered the first election --sults and the first upse democrat gain in the house. m was this theh vaunted blue wave that would see donald trump's republicans swept awayph in a seismic uval? it wasn't.t in the senate,s a very different story. here, republicans made net gains. where donald trump campaigned most, republicans won , like senator ted cruz in texas. cruz: this was an election about hope and a future, and the people of texas rendered a verdict that we want a future with more jobs and more security and more freedom. jon: and that left the rock star of the election, the democrats' beto o'rourke, ruing what might have been.
rep. o'rourke: i am as hopeful as i have ever been in my life, and tonight's loss does nothing to diminish the way i feel about texas and this country. jon: what these elections have profoundly underlined is just how divided america is between young and old, between black and white, between men and women, between those in the suburbs and cities and those in the countryside. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. laura: the democrats' victory in the house was in part because ey won educated suburban votricts that previously republican, while it was mainly that puters republicans in the senate. nick bryant explores the divisions in america. nick: the prosperous suburbs of america's major cities have litraditionally been a repn stronghold. this is golf club country.
ct this seat went democrat because of a whilar revolt against donald trump among more affluent and highly educated voters. >> we either organize or we fail. nick: suburban women have been energized, many like this group t lenders who decided to involved in politics in reaction to his presidential victory two years ago. >> i'm not sure donald trump is able to take much of a message from this, but i hope that other leaders in congress and other national political leaders will recognize that this meof hate and racism doesn't work. >> what we have seen since his election is that a lot of suburban america that didn't feel it needed to be involved before woke up and got involved me out. we are seeing the results of that now. nick: what was striking about the seat on the outskirts of philadelphia was just how easily the democrats won it. in an area full of mulllion dollar homes, republicans suffered a landslide deat. these elections reinfohe realignment of u.s. politics. where democratic strength is concentrated in metropolitan areas, t cities and their
suburbs, and donald trump's america lies beyond. the neighboring congressional district is rural and strongly republican. pennsylvania went trump two years ago partly because of in thesear voters heartland communities. they remain fiercely loyal. >> i think he is trying to keep his promises to the best of his ability. nick: this truck driver thingsum that donalp is that rare thing, a presidential promise keeper. he also likes his hard-line stance on immigration. >> i guess you have to make a stand between breaking the law and not breaking the law. criminals coming in -- if criminals can come in, terrorists can come in the same way. nick: you believe donald trump is protecting the american inrder? >> i think he is tto. nick: philadelphia's independence hall is the cradle of the u.s. democracy, the place where a new nation came together to draft its constitution. but modern-day america is deeply
polarized, and these recoional elections, a divided country has produced a divided outcome. ck bryant, bbc news, pennsylvania. laura: reflections on the meaning of the election. in other news, in yemen the battle for hudaydah has intensified. saudi-backed forces advance on houthi rebel positions. more than 150 people hen killed in the assault began last the u.n. has warned that thursday.ou hundreds of thnds of people could starve if the fighting goes on. in cameroon, 78 schoolchildren have been interviewed by the army after being released by their captors. the children were kidnapped from their school on monday and were founabandoned some 15 miles from where they were taken. the government has blamed english-speaking separatists for ase kidnapping. bibi has been released from prison in pakistan. the woman had been sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010. last week her sentence was overturned by the supreme court,
a decision that sparked violent protests from islamist groups. a number of western countries are believed to have been in discussions with her familng about grantisylum. you are watching "bbc world news igerica." still to come on t's program, an election of firsts. two muslim women and the first native american women to win seats in cgress. laura:us tds of irishmen who fought for britain in world war i will be remembered on sunday. f for muche last century, the contribution of men from the south wasit deliberately n out of history. reporter: they were musicians who became soldiers. when world war i broke out, every member of the londonderry
band found out ruby jordan's fae er played in nd. ise died aged 92 a few days after we filmed interview. her father, archie, went to war when he was 18. he returned to northern iland, but many other members of the band lost their lives. how do you feel today when you heng the band pla >> id. feel pr the war: by the end of in 1918, tens of thousands of irishmen in the south had also fought alongside british regiments. awbut while they wer, the easter rising had been launched by irish republicans tole end british inmate coming home. southern island was no place for irish soldiers who served with the british army. >> had to hang their heads. they did not come back as heroes which they should have
onny's second cousin was the youngest soldier to be killed. it is believed he was just 14. more than 1100 men from this county alone lost their lives in the war. those that return home faced shame andgr de. forth decadesservice of irish soldiers was almost wiped from public memory. fors memorial established the s young john condonfuture generations will remember the thousands of irish soldiers who were once deliberately forgotten. laura: let's return to our top story tonight, the nes. attorney l jeff sessions has been fired. it comes hours after the midterm elections, and was an abrupt end to the tumultuous relationship between the president and jeff sessions. for more, i'm joined by a
federal and white-collar criminal defense attorney. atoes the departure of jeff sessions mean for the mueller probe? >> it is hugely consequential, and first i would like to say that this is not surprising in and of itself. i think the timing of it is quite surprising, but we know that trump has been harboring ill will, shall we say, with jeff sessions since the beginning. he always held it against him , at he recused himself on the russia investigatiich prompted deputy attorney general rod rosenstn to oversee the probe. now all of a sudden in firing epssions, or asking him to resign and him ang the resignation, that leaves it open for trump to put somebody in the position of overseeing the probe other than rosstein. laura: we know that the acting attorney general will be matthew whitaker, who has set in the past that andme repla for sessions could effectively slow down the mueller investigation
by cutting its funding. he is not quite neutral, is the? caroline: he said a lot of things, and the twittersphere is with people thinking he should recuse himself. obviously i don't think that is going to happen. he has already prejudge the situation or prejudge to the case. he had a radio interview where he said there is no obstruction ca here. if you remember, rosenstein's mandate to mueller was two-pronge.d. not only was it to investigate ruian meddling but obstruction of justice by president trump. all of a sudden we have somebody who does not believe there is no obstruction case. laura: wt do we know currently about the state of play with the mueller investigation? the w dark during the midterm election campaign. caroline:er that isgood question, and nobody knows. i think mueller and his an unprecedented way has been so
closet lipped abe entire investigation. they have not talked on the hrecord, but the not even talked off the record to anybody. nobody knows what is going on. journalists can ask witnesses that came to the grand jury td ni can' pontificate -- we can pontificate a wholt long. but there is no real indication that anything -- that we know anything substantial is coming out. laura: what we do know is that the president's lawyer said today that it is time to wrap it up. the president is getting impatient, and perhaps the firing of jeff sessions shows. this is an uncertain period. caroline: no, absolutely. it is a longtime in and of itself, but we look at the history of investigations of this nature, it is quite sho. f investigating this type of monumental question is not going to be finished in a couple months time. i agreel that we w probably -- we are probably nearing the end at some point and mueller has
come down with indictments, but i don't know if you can put an arbitrary deadline on it. laura: and the most recent information we have about the grand jury that was sitting through most of the summer is that roger stone, who was an adviser to the president, was the subject of a lot of inquiries. is it the case that it has gotten closer and closer to the president? caroline: that is certainly true. there have been a lot of roger stone'slose associates interviewed by the special counsel, interviewed by the grand jury. ouoby the question is the wiki leaks connection and with or not roger sto had advance knowledge of the emails. laura: who knows indeed. thank you for joining us. caroline: thank you. laura: i spent there were a seriesf first -- last time there were a series of firsts , ands the united state
women led away with a record number of female candidates elected. among them were the first muslim woman and the youngest woman ever elected to congress, 29 years old. a warning that nada tawfik's report conins flash photography. >> ♪ what you need, you know i gothit ♪ nadaface of congress is changing. election night saw a record number of women and minorities claim historic wins. native americans, muslims, and lgbt candidates ran groundbreaking compaigns that ed a new era of politics in america. an unprecedented numbeof female candidates ran for .e first time alexandria ocasio-cortez in w york became the youngest woman elected to congress. a ampaign ad, she said women like her were not supposed tor run fice. last year she was serving cocktails in new york, and now she is a prominent progressive voice. rep-elect ocasio-cortez: this is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions, no matter how small
or large from our powerful, worthwhile, and capable of lastinchange. nada: democrats rashidtlaib in michigan and ilhan omar in minnesota were the fmest muslim woelected to congress. omar, who came to the country as a refugee, is also the first somali refugee. in congress >> it is an exciting opportunity at a time when somalis are on the muslim ban. to be sending a smalley -- somali refee to congress, minnesota is sending a clear message. nada: throughout the night it was clear that women were instrumental. college-educated women who were turned off by the president's history of sexist remarks turned out in high numbers to flip republican strongholds in
suburban areas. but the president is stronger than ever with his base, particularly white voters in rural area while republicans did not field as many female candidates, it was a night of firsts for them. in tennessee, marsha blackburn became the state's first woman elected to the senate. sen-elect blackburn: they want leaders who are going to tackle the big problems and they wantad leers who are going to be there to work with the president. nada: president trump's rhetorim galvanizy women and minorities to get into politics for the first time. d the question focrats as they look to the next election is how they balance th progressive views of the new political generation with the white working-class male voters they need to take back the white house. nada tawfik, bbc news, new york. laura: and that new one guest -- new congressill look very different. you can find all the day's news
on our website. to see what we're working on at any time, check us out on twitte i would love to hear from you. i am laura trevelyan. thanks for watching "bbc world ." s america >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed to , work around your lifestyso you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stayte up-to- with the latest headlines you can trust. downlo now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation,at and kovler foun, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. ♪ >> possibilities. ur day is full of them.
captioning snsored by wshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, two major stories that could provees to be critical of american politics a justice. president trump asks jeff sessions to resign as u.s. attorn general. what this means for the future of the special counsel's investigation into the hours earlier a different tone. >> it really could be a beautiful, bipartisan type of situation >> we believe that we have a responsibility to seek common ground. >> woodruff: but that tone has already turned. how a new balance of power reflects deep divides in our nation. all that and more on t ight's pbs newshour.