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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  August 1, 2017 4:30am-5:01am BST

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‘you you from bbc news: president trump has fired the communications chief he appointed less than a fortnight ago. the white house said anthony scaramucci had made inappropriate comments in a magazine interview last week, in which he attacked mr trump's then chief—of—staff, reince priebus, who's been replaced by john kelly. los angeles has formally been chosen to host the 2028 summer olympic games in a deal that virtually assures paris will hold the games four years earlier. the president of the international olympic committee said he welcomed the decision of los angeles to accept hosting the later games. president nicolas maduro of venezuela has said that personal sanctions imposed on him by the us are a sign of desperation and hate. mr maduro said he refused to take orders from foreign, imperialist governments. the sanctions were imposed after sunday's controversial vote for a new constituent assembly. now on bbc news
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it's hardtalk. stephen sackur talks sebastian gorka, deputy assistant to president trump. just to mention that the interview was recorded before news of anthony scaramucci's dismissal from the white house. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. donald trump promised to be a disruptive president. right now, the thing he's disrupting the most is his own white house team. he now has a new chief of staff and a new director of communications, but what he can't is the sense of a presidency in crisis, at odds with republicans in congress and still dogged by federal investigations of russia's alleged meddling in last year's election. my guest is sebastian gorka, a deputy assistant to the president on national security. where does the trump presidency go from here? sebastian gorka in washington,
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welcome to hardtalk. thank you, stephen. i want to begin with something you just said five days ago, you said, "the atmosphere here in the white house is absolutely wonderful. we've got a new broom sweeping through the communications shop in anthony scaramucci and we are humming along on all cylinders." plenty has happened since then. what's the atmosphere in the white house like today? fabulous. i literally just left the oval office, where we swore in general kelly as the president's new chief of staff. it was like a family gathering, great, great, great mood, lots of press interest, so we are very excited about recent developments. are you?
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quite interesting, this is a heck of a family you're living in, at the moment. mr scaramucci, who you so warmly welcomed last week, with his words to the new yorker has surely throwing a bomb into the building behind you, the white house. not at all. i know that's what our colleagues on the hill on the left and in the chattering classes of the leftist media would want people to believe, but it's not at all like that. we don't live in the rarefied bubble of pabulum and boilerplate and assessing about things that aren't real, such as the russia collusion delusion. we have a job to do. the president in the last six months has achieved things that most presidents to achieve in years, if you look at immigration, the economy. we broke an historic record for the stock exchange just in the last two days.
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so the fact is, we are excited, the agenda, make america great again, is working. we've strengthened to the team. we have people who can communicate to the base that elected as president in the form of anthony, and we have a 4—star general who, in six months, turned the department of homeland security around, made the illegal migration across the southern border drop not just by 10%, not by 50%, but by 73%. and we're just going to keep on going forward despite what our detractors wish to say. what anthony scaramucci said, and of course he pre—empted the departure of reince priebus, was the chief of staff at the time, since gone, was — well, let's bleep it — a bleeping paranoid schizophrenic, he said the chief strategist in the white house was pursuing his own brand and used a sexual euphemism that i can't repeat to suggest that he was somebody that scaramucci did not rate in the slightest.
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he also suggested that other white house staffers in the communications shop, as you call it, would have to take lie detector tests because he was going to bleeping kill all the leakers. that suggests to me that this is the most deeply dysfunctional white house team i can possibly imagine. then how do you explain the results, stephen? i mean, literally, we have had 2a weeks in a row of stock market—breaking records. we have seen illegal migration planet. we've seen a to revitalise. we've seen 800,000 jobs, almost 900,000 jobs we created... with respect, none of those pieces of data. how is that possible? and none of those pieces of data reflect my question at all. i'm asking you... they have to be connected. question is how do we regard the white house as anything other than deeply and profoundly dysfunctional today? because it isn't. if you want to persist in harping on about fake news concepts of what's going on in the white house, i actually work inside the white house,
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and i can tell you there is no crisis and we are creating the results expected of us and which got the president elected. you can live on that illusion if you wish. look at the track record. i'm going to look at the track record, but i want to take seriously what your director of communications said. he said, for example, that he would get lie detectors in to find out who was leaking from inside the white house. have you faced yet the prospect of taking a lie detector test? well, i don't work for the comms shop, i work for the chief strategist, stephen bannon. and i don't really wish to comment on what i think was meant to be a private conversation between anthony and this reporter, that the reporter clearly recorded. it's just sleazy journalism. it's just unseemly. so, you know, we have a leak problem. if you look at the congressional
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report from last week, we have had 125 leaks in 126 days. 62 of them have been deemed by congress to be of national security import. that is a problem that will be dealt with, not primarily by antony — his remit is the comms shop — but when you have a 4—star general like a general kelly come in, the chief of staff is responsible for things like discipline, and these things have to end, because it is bad for national security. well, with that in mind, just one more question about the teamwork, and the way the logistics works inside the white house. anthony scaramucci made it very plain that he reports direct and personally to the president. now, he said that at a time when reince priebus was still chief of staff, and it was clearly, frankly, some kind of comment on his relationship with reince priebus.
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but to the best of your knowledge, is scaramucci still going to have that direct personal route to the president or, as in most presidencies, is the new chief of staff going to be the gatekeeper who controls all access by others to the president? the chief of staff was literally sworn in about 52 minutes ago. so he is setting in place the procedures by which he will run the white house internally. where anthony fits into that, you'd have to ask general kelly or talk to anthony, but let's give him more than 52 minutes and find out later in the week. let's talk about the relationship between the white house and the us congress. would you accept that on a series of different matters, from the failure of a key plank of mr trump's policy agenda, that is the repeal of affordable healthcare, so—called obamacare, to the congressional reaction to mr trump's comments about the attorney general, the republicans in the us congress are deeply out of sympathy with and alienated from donald trump today? no, i look at it significantly differently.
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you call the president a disruptor. in many cases he is, he's a positive disruptive force in washington and that's why we call washington "the swamp". the thing that has to be remembered is that he may have formally been the gop, the republican candidate for president, but donald] trump was not an establishment individual. think about the fact — the first time since 1766, the first time in american history, we have a president of the united states who has never served in public office before, not even as a governor, and has never held senior military rank, like eisenhower or washington. first time ever. now, stephen, why do you think that is? because the american people are fed up with the establishment writ large, including the gop, leftand right. they look at the last 20 years and they say you haven't served us well.
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whether it is wars in iraq, afghanistan, the state of the economy, the bloated government, the fact if you get a job in government it's a job for life. the president is not from the establishment. as a result, members of the establishment gop will probably have problems with him, but if you're surprised then you haven't watched his campaign and you don't know who this man is. interesting analysis, but if i may suggest one of the reasons the gop, the republican party, is so concerned about donald trump's first six months is that his approval rating is at historic lows. politicians look at the polls and whatever you say about the markets, and indeed, it's true — the market is high and unemployment is low, but the bottom line is even with the economy performing well, donald trump is historically one of the most unpopular presidents after six months in the entire history of the united states. stephen, are these the same polls that said brexit wouldn't happen and hillary would become president, are they the same polling companies? i'm talking about the way the republican party is reacting to the popular disapproval of donald trump.
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what do you base that popular disapproval on? polls that also predicted there would be no brexit and that hillary clinton would win. those polls? you'd better ask the republican politicians, because i'm going to quote to you the sort of politicians, like for example jock grassley, the chair of the senate judiciary committee, who've looked at the way donald trump has hung out his attorney general to dry, calling him very weak, saying he is disappointed in his beleaguered attorney general, and chuck grassley say, "this is wrong and if you even think about firing him, we in the senate will thwart your attempts to appoint a successor." that's what i think is the problem with the establishment on the hill. they don't understand. so last tuesday, i flew with the president to youngstown, ohio, where he had a rally. and you should check out the footage of that rally, this is steel valley, where the factories were closed down because of outsourcing and other issues in the last two decades.
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now, we're talking about a political—type rally, a presidential rally, eight months after an election. and the atmosphere was electric. they barely allowed the president to talk, because they were chanting so much for his agenda, make america great again. doctor gorka... i need to finish, stephen, i'm going to finish. i need to make a point. i didn't suggest donald trump didn't have passionate supporters, that's not the point i was making. but i need to make the point that the polling you are referring to has become like phrenology, it's a fake science. the few pollsters that rodrigo duterte a job and don't have d plus ten samples that over—sample democrats in their polling, like rasmussen. rasmussen just established a poll and just published one last week where they have 70%, 70% of the american populace are finally optimistic and happy in their general situation and their expectations. how is that possible, stephen, if they are displeased with the president?
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how did we win a majority? you are shifting the ground because you dismissed polls and now you want to trade polling data. one of the few that gets it right. i could say ten polls if you want to do that that say he has historic low approval ratings. you can make your point about polls, i will make mine. the bottom line is this, if you take the reaction of the republican party both to his treatment of a republican attorney general that he appointed, jeff sessions, and if you also look at the failure of his signature policy platform pillar, that is to repeal obamacare, you look at a president who after six months cannot get the support of his own party in the us congress. yeah, because the establishment doesn't understand what happened on november 8. let's be clear here, you said obamacare repeal and reform was a signature platform of his administration, not correct. it was very important,
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but the signature 3—part platform on which a billionaire real estate magnate from new york became the most powerful man in the world was to revitalise the economy, to build the wall and defeat isis. that's the tripartite platform and we are going to make those things happen. with obamacare, the president, in recognition, really you have to doff your hat to him, in recognition of the checks and balances and division of power in america said ok, gop on the hill, congress, i'm going to let you lead the way on obamacare reform. why? because they've been talking about it for seven years, stephen. not the president. the president's been in office for seven months. these people have been saying for seven years we will repeal and we will reform and when he says gentlemen, lead the way, what happens? they failed. not donald trump, the republicans failed, and now they're trying to make it look as if this is donald trump's fault, it isn't. they failed. you're making my point
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that there is now a profound rift between the president and the controlling party of both houses of the us congress. but let's move on from that and let's talk about the impact of the continuing extensive federal investigation into those allegations that russia meddled in the us presidential election, and further allegations that there may have been collusion with senior people in the trump campaign. the investigation is digging ever deeper. how on earth... and finding nothing. how do you know? what do you mean how do i know? how do you know they're finding nothing, are you privy to robert mueller‘s special counsel investigation? ten months of hysteria and nobody, not one individual, can point to one illegal act, not one. isn't that strange? 10 months! robert mueller has not been working for more than a few months. how do you know that he's not finding incriminating evidence?
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all i know is that the bubble, the media especially, has been obsessed. it is just absurd. have you ever heard of a news story that has run for ten months, predicated on illegal action, but has found none? i find it fascinating that just last week at chuck schumer from the democrats have started to admit, you know what, hillary lost the election, and it was not about russia, or about james comey. when the democrat party is starting to do press conferences that say we need to look at the mirror, finally, because we haven't... as far as i understand it, this is not about who won the election, but about what the links were between russian interference — which you know, the fbi and the intelligence agencies are 100% convinced happened — but the connections
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between that russian interference and senior people in the trump campaign. now, we know that because of revelations in the new york times that would then backed up by e—mail evidence, we know that donald trump's son and jared kushner had a meeting, injune 2016, with a lawyer who had clear contact with the russian government. and donald trump took that meeting knowing it was designed to give dirt on hillary clinton. that is a profound problem for your president. now it is not. it is not. after the statement made by jared kushner, last week — the superb statement he gave outside the west wing, after the testimony he gave behind closed doors in congress, the thing is dead in the water. you need to read how the new york times are now distancing themselves from the story, because they reel it is a massive nothing burger. you know who does not believe
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it is a nothing burger? i do. donald trump. donald trump himself tweeted that he was being investigated for firing the fbi director why the man who told him to fired the fbi director. donald trump feels under investigation, so surely that is not nothing. you mentioned this meeting at trump tower long before the hysteria of russia began. that was requested by a music promoter, as a favour. she misrepresented herself because she said she had some politically relevant information on hillary clinton. it turned out that she didn't. then she switched the conversation immediately to adoption laws between the us and russia. at that point, donald trumer ended the meeting, because it had been requested on false pretences, and nothing else happened.
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at the same time, hillary clinton is embroiled with russia after an act. why? because the dnc, the democrat national congress, actually sent one of its consultants — not to collect dirt on the trump campaign... i will finish this. they sent their own operative to the embassy of a foreign nation, ukraine, not just to collect dirt on the trump campaign, but to co—ordinate an attack. that is a story. we will put in our next interview with a democrat representative. wonderful. but you're here. so i say that when robert mueller has expanded his investigation to investigate ties between donald trump and russia, going back years, your president has a profound problem that will not go away. you can call that a nothing burger as much as you like, but this is a burger with meat on it. it doesn't even have tofu, i'm afraid, stephen. it is an irrelevance. there is nothing there, and they can spin their wheels as much as they like.
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if i may say so, the arrogance of an assistant to the president, who says there is nothing there when you have no idea what robert mueller is collecting — no idea at all. no, it's not — you can insult me on television, but i actually work for the president of the united states, and when he tells me there's nothing there, privately, and whenjared tells me, i am going to trust my employer. you can insult me, but i will entrust the man elected to be the president of the united states. and if you don't like that, you should look at the mirror and not insult your guests. no insult intended, simply an observation. then don't call me names on television. simply an observation. you cannot know me what robert mueller is discovering. but i know what the president of the united states told me, and that's enough me, because i trust that man.
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i have no connections to robert mueller, and i trust the president of the united states. understood. and for you to insult me is churlish and unprofessional. you made your absolute trust and donald trump very plain. let's move on to national security, because that is what you are paid to do, advise on the president on issues of national security. north korea. donald trump has issued many tweets telling north korea it must desist from this missile test programme. the north koreans are clearly not listening. donald trump now says it is china's fault, because china is not using the influence it should. so what dos the us do now? well, the first thing we do is we don't give our playbook away. that's the obama administration, where they'd tell you in advance what they were going to do, when they were going to mosul, when they were going to do xyz. we don't tell regimes north korea what we are going to do next. because that is bad when you play
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poker, and very potentially dangerous when you are talking about geopolitics. what i can tell you is that since the mar—a—lago summit, when we had high hopes of beijing exerting pressure on north korea, we wanted to implement a programme of peaceful pressure with our allies, with our partners, with the un security council. it is now clear that that is not functioning. it's not bringing the results. there is continued escalation by pyongyang, and now we are looking for alternatives. but i am sorry, stephen, i'm not there to tell you on bbc what we're going to do next. but the ambassador to the un representing the united states, nikki haley, said the time for talk is over. so we have to assume that there are specific actions in the pipeline that we are going to see very quickly. you may assume that, yes. let's talk about your special subject. you came into the white house of a long record of writing and working in think tanks. you had a clear positions and the united states is at war with radical islam, and all other foreign policy issues
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have to be secondary to that. would it be right to assume that you were an advocate of ripping up the nuclear deal with iran? i agreed with the analysis — i worked with general flynn in the transition, after the election, then i came to the white house to work for mr bannon. and i agree with the analysis we had back then. the deal is disastrous. it is not stop nuclear acquisition by iran, but simply delays them. and it is such a weak deal that it does not really delay them at all. and yet the trump administration has just certified that iran is respecting the deal, and if i may say so, looking at where we sit with the struggle against is, well, we've seen is pushed back in mosul, and look like they will be pushed back in raqqa, too. but you can say that the one country that is benefiting most from the situation in the middle east at the moment is iran. so given your long record of saying the iranians are at the heart of the threat to america,
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i'm struggling to see how the strategic position in the middle east today, as furthered by united states policy, is helping national security. i never stated that iran is the heart of the threat to the united states. in fact, i said we inherited a world on fire, thanks to the obama administration's policy of leading from behind, and strategic patience, wherever you look in the world — whether it you look at isis, china, iran, or north korea. we inherited a maelstrom. but when it comes to the jihadist threat to america, i concur with netanyahu, when he addressed congress, and he said all you need to know about the dantean inferno in the middle east and north africa is that it is a game of thrones for the crown of the caliphate. we have two different versions of a caliphate. we have the sunnis, such as al qaeda and isis, the extreme sunnis, and the shi'te version in iran.
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these are not mutually exclusive threats. they both pose a threat to america, the uk, and the whole of the civilised world. i wish we had more time, sebastian gorka. but we don't. i have to end it there. thank you for being on hardtalk. hello, good morning, and welcome to august. but, if you were hoping the new month would bring a new type of weather, well, actually, we're just going to continue with the sort of theme we had at the end ofjuly. a mixture of sunshine and showers. the earlier satellite picture shows clumps of cloud circulating around an area of low pressure, and with that, we will continue to see some showers as we go through the day. some places starting off dry, particularly for northern scotland and towards the south and east of england, but for wales, certainly not starting off dry. in fact, here, through the first part of the morning, showers likely to gang up into a longer spell of rain. that then extending across merseyside, up into northern england and southern scotland, so could be a soggy start to the day in edinburgh and glasgow. brightening up for a time, though,
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in northern ireland, and the north of scotland actually getting off to a fairly decent start, with some spells of sunshine. 14 degrees there in inverness. and then, across parts of eastern england, east anglia, the east midlands, down into the south—east, here should be a fine start, good spells of sunshine, temperatures up at around 15 or 16 degrees at 8:00am in the morning. central, southern england in fine shape, and a lot of sunshine across the south—west of england, too. but a few showers even at this early stage, and as we go on through the day, those showers will become quite widespread right across the map. some places will see more showers than others. some places could see shower after shower after shower, perhaps with hail and thunder. other places might well avoid the showers, and stay dry, that most likely down towards the south—east of england. here we'll see the highest temperatures, as well, 23 degrees in london. a much cooler, fresherfeel further north and west. now, as we go on through tuesday night and into the early hours of wednesday, most places will turn dry, with some clear spells. but then another change out west,
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this band of rainjust beginning to work into the south—west of england, the south—west of wales. with that, some strong and gusty winds. could see gales for a time across the far south—west, because this next area of low pressure will be pushing its way in from the west, with this frontal system bringing outbreaks of rain. tightly squeezed isobars, that shows that we'll have some pretty strong and gusty winds. eastern areas will start off wednesday dry, and some parts of eastern scotland, eastern england will stay dry all day. but the rain migrating its way eastwards, and some of that could be heavy across southern parts of england later on wednesday afternoon. now, for thursday, we're back to where we started. again, it's a mixture of sunshine and showers. our area of low pressure still with us, sitting across scotland at this stage. a fairly cool, fresh feel in blustery winds, and for the end of the week, you guessed it, again that mixture of sunshine and showers. fairly cool and fresh, particularly in the north—west. hello. this is bbc news. i'm ben bland. our top stories: farewell to the mooch: afterjust 10 days in thejob, president trump fires his director of communications,
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anthony scaramucci. paris looks certain to host the 2024 summer olympic games, the third time the city's had the honour. venezuela's president is accused of undermining democracy as the us imposes direct sanctions on nicholas maduro. hello. iam sally imposes direct sanctions on nicholas maduro. hello. i am sally bundock with the business stories. can bp profit in a world awash with cheap oil? the fossil fuel giant releases its latest results in the coming hours. we will tell you all the details. and downgraded: toshiba is set to be removed from tokyo's main stock board because of its financial problems.
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