tv BBC News BBC News January 6, 2018 8:00pm-8:31pm GMT
this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at eight: donald trump rejects claims over his mental health in a new book, describing its author as a "fraud". i consider it a work of fiction and i think it's a disgrace that somebody‘s able to have something, do something like that. the libel laws are very weak in this country. if they were strong, it would be very helpful. you wouldn't have things like that happen, where you can say whatever comes to your head. an ambulance service apologises after an 81—year—old woman died while waiting nearly four hours for paramedics to arrive. airstrikes on a rebel—held area of syria are thought to have killed at least 17 civilians. house of fraser confirms it's asking landlords to reduce the rent it pays for some of its stores. also in the next hour: a record—breaking freeze for parts of the united states. dangerous conditions with wind chills as low as minus—40 degrees celsius are predicted. and in the fa cup, league two coventry city pull off
a third—round shock by beating premier league side, stoke. good evening and welcome to bbc news. donald trump has launched a new attack on the author who's accused him of being unstable and incompetent. the president told a news conference at camp david that the book by michael wolff was a work of fiction, saying he'd been to the best colleges and been a "tremendous success" on television. he also repeated his denials that there'd been
any collusion with russia during the presidential election in 2016. david willis reports from washington. boarding a flight to camp david for meetings with senior republican leaders, the image that donald trump was seeking to project was one of
order, professionalism and control. instead, he finds himself battling claims contained in a book, claims which question his mentalfitness. i went to the best colleges, i went to... i had a situation where i was an excellent student and came out and made billions of dollars, became one of the top business people, went to television and for ten years was a tremendous success, as you probably have heard. perhaps the most damaging allegation, shared claims the author michael wolff, by all the president's senior advisers, is that the leader of
the free world lacks curiosity, does not read or listen, is like a child. they all came to the conclusion gradually at first and then faster and faster, that something was unbelievably amiss here. that this was more peculiar than they ever imagined it could be.
fire and fury also quotes donald trump's former senior aide steve bannon, the man credited with getting him elected, as describing a meeting between a russian lawyer and mr trump's son donald junior as treasonous. other revelations paint a picture of a chaotic white house at the mercy of a petulant, easily distracted commander—in—chief. claims denied by a leading member of the administration. i have never questioned his mental fitness, i have no reason to. we have different management styles. how i make decisions and process information, i have to learn how he takes in information and processes it and makes decisions. having achieved a major success just before christmas with the passage of tax reform legislation, senior republicans had hoped the new year would be a new start for the trump administration but instead of moving forward on key issues like immigration reform, the focus, it seems, is yet again
on the president himself, his personality and his mental competence. david willis, bbc news, washington. this afternoon, president trump was asked about the investigation into collusion between his campaign team and the russians during the 2016 election. he also responded to a question about why he felt the need to tweet about his mental state. only because i went to the best colleges, or college. i had a situation where i was a very excellent student, came out and made billions and billions of dollars, became one of the top businesspeople. went to television and for ten years was a tremendous success, as you've heard. ran for president one time and won, that does not know me, doesn't know me at all, by the way, he did not interview me. he said he interviewed me for three hours in the white house.
it didn't exist, 0k? it's in his imagination. and what i was heartened by, because i talk about fake news and the fake news media, really was the fact that so many of the people that i talk about in terms of fake news actually came to the defence of this great administration and even myself, because they know the author and they know he's a fraud. and what i saw some of the people say, if you look at some of his past books, he did a book on rupert murdoch. it was a terrible expose and it was false. so much of it was false. i consider it a work of fiction, and i think is a disgrace that somebody is able to do something like that. the libel laws are very weak in this country. if they were strong, it would be very helpful. you wouldn't have things like that happen where you can say whatever comes to your head. just so you know, i never interviewed with him in the white house. he was never in the oval office. we didn't have an interview. i did a quick interview with him a long time ago, having to do with an article.
but i don't know this man. i guess sloppy steve brought him into the white house quite a bit, and it was one of those things. that's why sloppy steve is now looking for a job. earlier, our north america correspondent david willis explained that the story is predominantly being fuelled by donald trump himself. by taking this sort of tactic, president trump is in a sense keeping this story running, isn't he? he came out vigorously on twitter this morning, basically saying that he's a smart genius, and refuting claims that he's not fit to run the country and then taking that same subject up in the press conferences he gave at camp david, flanked by republican leaders. by the fake news media, as he calls them, to discredit his administration.
and he clearly takes this seriously and personally, and he believes that the claims in michael wolff's controversial book need to be refuted. he even claims that some of what he regards as the fake news media have been coming to his defence. who and how? well, certainly to an extent, they have, in that there have been those who pointed out that michael wolff has in the past economical with the actualite. that is the view of those who support donald trump. there have been some in the mainstream media who have also pointed out the same thing, and the fact that the book that the book has no fact—checker, that it does contain some fairly elementary errors. that said, it is potentially dynamite and it has sold out. there have been long queues. we have seen them here in washington, dc, for people looking to buy this book in very cold temperatures outside book stores.
they have really wanted to get their hands on it. the president was also critical of the amount of free speech that's possible in the united states, the fact that in another countries, the libel laws might have made this book a bit more difficult to publish. yes, he did say that, that were the libel laws stricter, he would have more room to pursue legal action. the cease and desist notice that his lawyers sent out clearly had no effect whatsoever. indeed, the publishersjust brought forward the release of this book. they have claimed — michael wolff, the author, has claimed that all of this just adds to sales and that publicity is good for him and it is good for book sales. joining me now from washington is daniel lippmann, co—author
of the daily newsletter politico playbook, for the news organisation politico. he's a fraud, according to donald trump. how trustworthy in your view is michael wolff? i know michael wolff personally. i had lunch with him as he was working on the book. he is not a fraud at all. he does know donald trump. they know each other from new york media elite circles. he was let into the white house for months on end. he would ta ke house for months on end. he would take the train down from new york to dc, stay in a hotel near the white house and basically report to work and bea house and basically report to work and be a fly on the wall. so trump should have known that this was happening to stop him from writing his book, which has proved very damaging to his image. his book, which has proved very damaging to his imagelj his book, which has proved very damaging to his image. i assume you have read some, if not all of the book. i have it here! excellent.
what would your criticisms of italy? what would your criticisms of italy? what are its shortcomings?m what would your criticisms of italy? what are its shortcomings? it is on the whole mostly right. and we hear the whole mostly right. and we hear the same things from some of our sources. but there are some inaccuracies, but they are mostly small details. this was rushed into production because the publisher wa nted production because the publisher wanted it to get out there. some of the stuff, he may have heard of the record and then put on the record in the book. and there are some allegations of quotations that were not correct. but the overall impression that trump's aides privately feel that he is almost like a child in how he deals with the world, that is totally true. and a lot of the stuff in the book is accurate in terms of his daily habits, leaving the oval office at 6.30 to go to the residents and watch television if he doesn't have
a dinner. you wonder what the atmosphere is like in the west wing if the president realises this is the view now of many of his staff. yeah, he already doesn't trust a lot of the staff, the girls he thinks they are leaking all the time, and they are leaking all the time, and they are leaking all the time, and they are —— because he thinks they are leaking. it was worst in the first six months of the administration, when they didn't have much experience and they were trying to figure out how washington works. you need trustworthy staff. a lot of white house staffers, if you talk to them, they feel like he just tweets stuff in the morning which totally disrupts what they want to do, policy—wise. totally disrupts what they want to do, policy-wise. you mean saying whatever comes into your head, the thing he criticised michael wolff. where is this story going to go next? has it got legs, given that it isa next? has it got legs, given that it is a book that everyone is reading,
but only at the moment?” is a book that everyone is reading, but only at the moment? i think the book may fade a bit in public consciousness, but the issues it raises about trump are going to dog him until the end of his presidency. democrats have already brought a psychiatrist in to brief them and a republican senator to talk about trump's mental fitness. that republican senator to talk about trump's mentalfitness. that could be grounds for removal by impeachment or the 25th amendment of the constitution, which would mean that a majority of the cabinet and vice president pence would vote on whether to remove trump from office. i would not dismiss that out of hand in terms of what could happen in the next few years. daniel lippmann, thank you very much. and we'll find out how this story and many others are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30 this evening in the papers. our guestsjoining me tonight are eve pollard, the broadcaster and former
fleet street editor, and the economics commentator and author, dharshini david. an ambulance service has apologised to the family of a pensioner who died after waiting nearly four hours for help to arrive. the 81—year—old woman had rung 999 complaining of chest pain. the east of england service said it was stretched, and had warned of the pressures its staff and the nhs were facing. our correspondent sarah campbell reports from clacton in essex. the period over new year was according to the local ambulance service in essex the busiest ever. on the day in question they received more than 4,000 999 calls, far more than usual. a statement in response to the death of the 81—year—old woman said, our sincere condolences and apologies go out to patient‘s family and friends. we have very publicly expressed how stretched the ambulance service is and the pressures the staff and the nhs have been under over the past few days. the union representing health workers also blamed wider pressures on the health service. i think there is chronic
underfunding which is endemic, it tells us the public sector is under so much strain that it is now beginning to kill people. this is the second death in recent days which has been linked to an overstretched service. 88—year—old josephine smalling died following a seven—hour wait for a bed of the queen alexandra hospital in portsmouth. in recent days the health secretary and prime minister has both apologised to patients after thousands of nonurgent operations have been cancelled. the health service says a combination of winter flu and cold weather are adding to pressure on the service. here in clacton, the local mp is demanding answers. i'm furious, it should not happen. we need an inquiry, we need to get to the bottom of this and find out what happened and make sure it never happens again. and is the government doing enough? we will find out when we get that inquiry. with temperatures once again dropping, the worry is the health service simply will not be able to cope. and that indeed is the worry.
sarah campbell reporting from clacton in essex. reports from syria say 17 people have been killed in air strikes in rebel—held eastern ghouta. aid workers say 10 hospitals in the besieged stronghold close to the capital, damascus, as well as in the northern province of idlib, have been bombed by syrian government and russian warplanes over the last 10 days. alan johnston reports. the race through the smashed streets, the dash into a ruined building. for the rescue workers, after the bombs fall, the routine is all too familiar here in the rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta. higher up, people emerge from what might be a flat. perhaps they were at home when the bomb crashed down. the cries of shock and horror at it all echoed through the wreckage.
the injured are gathered up, but there have been reports of deaths too on this day of many air strikes in the enclave. aid workers say ten hospitals have been hit in recent days in ghouta and here in the rebel—held province of idlib. eastern ghouta lies on the edge of damascus. from here, rebels can fire into the capital. government forces have had this area under siege for years. people here come under attack almost daily. there's every danger that tomorrow, there will be more of the same. the headlines on bbc news: donald trump launches a fresh attack ona donald trump launches a fresh attack on a new book which claims he is unstable, calling it a work of
fiction. an ambulance service says it is "truly sorry" following the death of an elderly woman in essex, who waited almost four hours for paramedics to arrive. air strikes on a rebel—held areas of syria are thought to have killed at least 17 civilians. sport now...and for a full round up from the bbc sport centre, here's nick. philippe coutinho's four—and—a—half—year spell at liverpool is at an end after he joined barcelona for a fee worth up to £142 million. the brazilian playmaker quickly became a firm favourite at anfield afterjoining the club from inter milan. he made 201 appearances for liverpool and he was the club's leading goalscorer last season with 1a. jurgen klopp hasjust confirmed the move and said he had been pushing for so long and he couldn't keep him
as part of liverpool's plan. we have also got some breaking news through from stoke city that mark hughes has been sacked. that has come after his most been sacked. that has come after his m ost rece nt been sacked. that has come after his most recent defeat on saturday, where hughes' stoke city lost 2—1 to coventry city in one of the biggest fa cup upsets of this tie. earlier, tim hague had reported on the loss and this is the match action from two hours ago. the fa cup third round. many a football fan's favourite weekend of the season. not if you support stoke city, though. but before that protest ca m e city, though. but before that protest came a tie with league 2 coventry city, and it was the 1987 winners who went ahead. coventry laid! jordan willis. yet willis' afternoon then went downhill when he allowed charlie adam the chance to score his first goal in over a year.
a replay for stoke after all, perhaps. not so, because a right back by the name ofjack grimmer then did this. grimmer! it's in! the shockis then did this. grimmer! it's in! the shock is back on. grimmer, making mark hughes' future look even, well, grimmer. things were looking for miserable for bournemouth as well at home. 2—0 down to leaders wigan inside half an hour. but the 2013 winners on? nearly. in the 93rd minute, bournemouth's blushes were saved. by steve cook, his second goal ina saved. by steve cook, his second goal in a week, his side's second 2-2 goal in a week, his side's second 2—2 draw in a week. and there was another draw, wolves against bottom of the league swansea, yet there we re of the league swansea, yet there were more sendings off than goals. the first was ugly, the second cynical. but whether ten against ten
01’ cynical. but whether ten against ten or 11 against 11, the wolves should have won this one. it ended 0—0, the result neither the promotion hopefuls nor the relegation scrap is wanted. northampton have ended their run of seven consecutive premiership defeats. the 22—19 win over gloucester at franklin's gardens. the visitors led for much of the match. gloucester earned a losing bonus point with tries the james hanson in addition to their own penalty try. just four points in it at welford road as leicester ended their losing run, they beat bottom of the table london irish. manu tuilagi with one of three leicester tries. elsewhere, there was a very narrow win for sale sharks, who beat harlequins by a single point to see them up to sixth place. ospreys won the welsh derby in the pro1li, beating cardiff blues by a single point. this piece of quick thinking from wales' fly half dan biggar set up what proved to be the winning score for ospreys and it was
finished off byjustin tipuric. the blues mounted a late comeback, but the home side held on to win 29—28 in swansea. cardiff are still without a win there in 12 years. great britain's mica moore and misha mcneill crashed in the latest round of the bobsleigh world cup this afternoon. the pair had been in seventh place after their first run but caught the wall halfway through their second attempt and turned the sled over. they both got out safely, but seemed shaken. moore and mcneill have been competing this season with the help of crowdfunding, after their support was withdrawn by british bobsleigh. that's all the sport for now. we'll have more for you on bbc news throughout the evening. including reaction to mark hughes' sacking from stoke city. the department store house of fraser has confirmed it's asking landlords to reduce the rent it pays for some of its shops.
the group is set to release christmas retail figures next week, with some analysts suggesting its takings over the christmas period were disappointing. joe lynam has more. it's one of the key brands on our high streets, with 59 stores and more than 7,000 staff. we do not yet know how christmas was for house of fraser, but we know it has asked its landlords to cut the rent. so what do people think when they think of house of fraser? it has got the shops that i like to browse in within the department store, so it is quite easy to just go from one place to the next. it has a lot of good quality brands, and quite a lot of variety. i think it has a good reputation for good quality products. and i know all the high street has been affected at the moment and is not doing well. in terms of reputation, it is up there withjohn lewis, maybe a bit more down—market thanjohn lewis, so it occupies
that gap in the market. i kind of think it is for older people, but maybe because it is more expensive. it's not unusual for retailers to seek rent reductions from their landlords, marks and spencers and next are already doing so and traditional retailers face challenges such as rising rents, especially in big cities, the national living wage going up, which pushes up costs and of course, online. e1 in every £6 now spent shopping online. and then there's overall sentiment. shopping is a vital part of the uk economy. if consumers tighten their wallets, then gdp suffers. conditions are pretty tough for households. inflation hit a five—year high in the run—up to christmas and this is putting personal finances under pressure. our research showed about 50% of consumers said they spent less this christmas than last year and almost two thirds said they did some of their shopping online. the success or failure of one retailer will not tell us whether the high streets are healthier or not. but if consumers throughout the uk cannot afford to spend as much as previous years, then more big
names may struggle to survive. joe lynam, bbc news. firefighters are tackling a large blaze at the university of bristol. the building, which was unoccupied, is undergoing refurbishment. images posted to social media show flames and smoke billowing from the top floor of the university's five—story fry building. avon fire and rescue service was called to the scene atjust after 5 o'clock this afternoon. seven fire engines are at the scene. easyjet, ladbrokes and virgin money are among the major employers who've revealed that they pay women on average at least 15% less than men. organisations which employ more than 250 workers must publish theirfigures. more than 500 have done so. another 8,000 have until april to reveal the data, or risk being fined under a new law intended to tackle workplace discrimination. plans to improve the reading standards of children from disadvantaged backgrounds have
been announced by the department for education. there'll be a network of 35 literacy centres across england, to work with primary schools in challenging areas. here's our education correspondent, elaine dunkley. church, cheese, can you hear that? closing the inequality gap in classrooms is key to giving every child the best start. research has shown that five—year—olds who struggle with language are six times less likely to reach the expected standard in english at the age of 11 than those with good language skills. today, the government has launched a literacy plan backed by £26 million of investment to improve standards in reading and writing. the idea is similar to one launched in 2014 for maths, and it will enable high performing schools to share knowledge and resources with those in deprived areas. this is about investing around the country, bringing together teachers and literacy specialists, so that we can make sure that we do even better on reading and writing and standards, but also that we don't see any children falling behind. the plans also include a £5 million
investment to improve vocabulary for children before they go to school in the north of england. labour says the funding will do nothing to change government cuts to school budgets. i spoke earlier to headteacher jed whelan, and asked him how effective this investment could be in improving children's literacy. firstly, any additional funding is always welcome, but i get the feeling that this is reallyjust a drop in the ocean, and it may well help if you live near the 3a hubs, but if we are trying to make sure that we reach every child in the country, i cannot see this money going very far. what sort of support do those children need if their literacy rate is to be improved? i think the most important thing is that they have a first—class teacher, and at the moment in education, we are concerned about the recruitment. only earlier this week,
we got figures from the dfe that the recruitment for teachers applying for teacher training are down by one third, which is really concerning. the only two areas where there is a surplus is in pe and history teachers, so actually recruiting first—class english graduates or people who are able to teach literacy would be a starting point. what would make teaching more of an attractive proposition for those graduates? i think actually, that if we work collectively within government to show, actually, how high the job satisfaction in teaching can be, that actually, we have a highly trained and supported, but also valued, workforce in education. however, i think that in regards to the funding cuts which have an impact on resources, and also the accountability measures that are there for teachers,
but also the growing need for teachers to actually provide support for students in terms of mental health and well—being, it's not actually making the profession attractive to young graduates. weather forecasters in the united states have warned that this weekend could bring record—breaking low temperatures in some parts of the north—east. the national weather service predicts wind chills as low as minus—40 degrees celsius. it's been called a bomb cyclone, and it's a weather system which has lived up to its name. on thursday, warm air carried an area of low pressure of east coast of america to meet the already icy conditions. winds to a large part of the us and canada. residents of boston were blanketed in more than 30 centimetres of snow. and while that has largely stopped falling, the plummeting temperatures are now the biggest concern.
here, it's forecast to drop below —30 celsius. add to that the strong, icy winds, and these are temperatures which feel more like —70 degrees, cold enough to freeze and burst pipes, like here in cincinnati. for some, a life on the streets has turned into a fight for survival. right now, this homeless shelter is taking in more than 100 people extra each night. people in the neighbourhood have been looking out for us. they brought us clothes. they are totally looking out for us. socks, sweat pants, more than we even need. here in washington, the offer of a hot meal is not just an act of kindness, but a lifeline. forecasters believe these dangerously low temperatures are set to linger through the weekend, the hope being by early next week,
we may see a return to readings the hope being that by early next week, we may see a return to readings somewhere above freezing and much closer to the seasonal norm. good evening. temperatures have certainly been falling over the last day or so, certainly been falling over the last day orso, and certainly been falling over the last day or so, and tonight they are dropping like a stone. this is how we ended the day. this was taken by one of our weather watchers in nottinghamshire. clear skies, but one of our weather watchers in nottinghamshire. clearskies, but we have not got that blanket of cloud to keep the temperatures up. sunday sta rts to keep the temperatures up. sunday starts very cold. they'll be frost and icy stretches. but lots of sunshine to compensate. any of those wintry showers across eastern england will ease away, but we'll see icy stretches. temperatures in the countryside as low as —10 celsius. potentially —15 in the sheltered glens of scotland.
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