tv BBC World News America PBS May 30, 2019 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
[applause] >> and now, "bbc world news." sne: this is "bbc world n america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. presidentrump unleashes on special counsel robert mueller and vents ger at accusations he was helped by russia. pres. trump: russia did not help me get elected. you know w got me elected? i got me elected. russia didn't help me at all. jane: intense fighting in northern syriaf puts tens thousands of children at risk as president assad's in on the last opposition stronghold. and how do you spell success? students are vying for the top prize, but even parents have problems with some of thos words.
jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and ound the globe. bert mueller has broken his silence, and a day later, president trump is taking his turn, unleashing fury on the special counsel. he called mr. mueller deeply conflicted and a never-trumper. the russia investigation, he says, was a scam. in an early-morning tweet he seemed to acknowledge that russia interfered in the election in his favor.nu s later he was asked about it on the south lawn. pres. trump: you know who got me elected? you know who got me elected? i got me elected. russia never helped me at all. i never thought that would be y ssible to be using that word. to me it is a dird, the word impeach. it is a sgrty, filthy,
ting word. i think mueller is a true never-trumper, somebody who dislikes donald trump, somebody that did not get the job he reques badly, and that he was appointed. and despite that, and despite $4million, 18 trump haters, including people who work for hillary clinton and some of the worst human beings on earth, they got nothing. it's pretty amazing.ja : for more, i spokefo to er advisor to george w. bush ron christie. emthe president has quite reticent when it comes to criticizing robert mueller. why has he decided now that it is ok to take the gloves off? ron: well, good evening to you, jane. i he really believes he has been vindicated. he believes there has been no collusion, no conspiracy with lpe russian government to him gain election as president of the united states. given that robert mueller is exiting the stage, the president is never one to leave that sort
vacancy, so he decided to take it himself and take shots at the former special counsel. seemingd yet he is al to admit that, yes, russia did interfere in the election and it might've benefited mr. tmp. ron: here's the thing that most of the american people and folkr nd the world need to recognize, vladimir putin did his best to try to undermine tht integrof america's electoral system.s that iat we should beou talking ab the notion that the presidentno talks about ollusion, no conspiracy, you think this would -- i t nk this would be a bipartisan opportunity for the president and congress to say that there was an effort by someone who was an adversary, why d't we address that. but instead we get into the personal insults and the back-and-forth that we have seen from the president on his twitter tirades. jane: why is he taking so long to acknowledge this? ron: again, if i were in a position to advise him legally, i guarantee you his lawyers werp to tell him, msident, you need to be very careful, you
don't want to poke the bear, you don't want to poke the prosecutor who could find a grand jury to return an indictment, notwithstanding that notion you have heard that you cannot indict a sitting present. they could issue a report that talked culpability.nality and i believe that is why the president through perhaps his legal counsel told him to keep a lower profile. jane: on that subject, in an interview today, the attorney general william barr said there was actually nothing to stop robert mueller from reaching a conclusion. if he had, do you think that would have p to rest the bipartisanship that this report has continued generate? ron: i look back to when i worked on capitol hill in the 1990's, and then the independent counsel ken starr did come out with very specific allegations of criminality towards then-president clinton. i this instance robertha muellereturned a report that talked about criminality with the trump administration, i
think it would have found a bipartisan caucus and chorus,en perhaps g impeachment hearings similar to what we saw in the 1990's and 1970's with president nixon. jane: very briefly, to impeaac or not to im that is the question for democrats. what would you advise the president right now for r parent for all eventualities -- preparing for all eventualities? ron: i find it very unlikely that the democrats would move articles of impeachment. there is a small vocal wing of democrats in the hou want to impeach him. nancy posi, the now again speaker of the, hou very smart. she recognizes that politically this might not be a good issue for the democrats to pursue. if i was advising the president, i would tell him to keep his powder dry, stay away from twitter and stop talryng about 12 aemocrats and stop insulting the special counsel. jane: ron christie, thank you for joining me. ron: good to see you. jane: the united nations is warning that tens of thousan of children syria are at risk of
being killed or forced to flee for their lives. there is intense fighting in the north of the country where president assad's army is closing in on the last stronghold of opposition forces. syrian government troops backed by russian airpower are attacking idlib province, where rebel islamist fighters are making a last stand. our middle east editor jeremy wen reports. you may find some of the images disturisng. jeremy: is life and death in idlib, the last province in syria controlledy rebels. civil defenseor wrs the white helmets are digging civilians out of buildings,, destroyed seems certain, by attacks frome thgime side. this boy survived. his three siblings did not.n. unicef, the u. children's agency, says tens of thousands of children are in danger as once again syria's war escalates. is should be no surprise the world.
syria's slow death follows a pattern. in january 2017, i walked through the ruins of a hospital in east alpo. the rebel enclave had just fallen to the regime and its russian and iranian allies. thousands of casualties we treated here during the siege. the medics had left in a hurry after shells hit the building.th whole area is damaged. hospitals, civilian buildings international humanitarian law. so there are major questions to be answered about whether warco crimes were itted. wars are less chaotic than they appear. pain and death are inflicted, someone's orders, and wars have laws. some are supposed to protect civiliany in syria thehave mostly been ignored. one of the docto says he
witnessed war cres every day that killed and maimed civilians. , he wouldon in lond like to see the perpetrators in court. >> the syrian regime and t russians, no one else has the airplanes to take the sky -- raining cluster bombs, explosivl barrels,ine gas. no one else can do that. jeremy: what would you like to have happen to them? >> justice. just justice. jeremy: syria's war has ddestroyed a country, kil perhaps half a million people, and left overwhelming evidence of war crimes by all sides, according to u.n. investigators. all the countries involved in the multilayered war have questions to answer. this is raqqa, once the beating heart of the jihadist islamic state.
the americans, helped by britain, leveled it. amnesty, the human rights grouem condemned th for not acknowledging how many civilians they killed. rebels, now mainly jihadist extremists, continue to fight out of idlib. but the president's side has almost won the war. was this regime airstrike a war crime? possibly -- it buried this child and killed another. but turning eviden into prosecutions is difficult. syrian wounds would ve a better chance to heal if criminals woulface the law. but victim's justice tends to g stops.en the fight it looks as if the regime and its allies, for now at least, ll be safe. jeremy bowen, bbc news. ne: a tragedy in syria that
has been going on for the best part of a decade. have gathered in saudi arabia for an emergency summit following recent attacks on oilssets in the gulf, which riyadh blamed on tehran. the saudi king has spoken, urging states to work together to counter what he ciran's criminal actions in the region. our chief international correspondent lyse doucet is following developments from jeddah. earlier she told me how this summit reveals divisions in the arab world when it comes to iran. lyse: turkish present erdogan not here. the lebanese foreign minister is not here. the qatari emir is not here. thit i most senior official, but not the emir. r countries like iraq and lebanon, which have had long-standing historical relations with iran and whose plations with iran are so intertwined in titics and security, this is a very uncomfortable moment.
last night one foreignter said to me that there are people who are playing with fire because they don't want these tensions to keep escalating. the one thing that unites all of leaders of the arab and islamic is tt a solution must be fou to this problem, because it just doesn't go away. some would say thairan is part of the region and you have to make space for it. some say that iran isn't listening but it must be send the strongest of messages that its behavior must not be tolerated. jane: lyse doucet there. in other news, r. kelly has been charged with 11 was sexual court records show they relate 1 sexual assault of a minor between the age ofand 16. earlier this year the r&b artist was charged with 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse, to which heleaded not guilty. he is due in court next week. next week the special relationship will be on full display when president trump
travels to the u.k. for a state visit. it will be a tp for love -- full of pomp and ceremony but also remembrance. between the state dinner and meetings with the prime minister and commemoratio of the d-day anniversary, what will we be looking for? i spoke to victoria nuland, who served as assistant secretary of state for european affairs during the obama administratiojo thank you foing me. what does trump need to get out of this visit? victoria: i think he wants to demonstrate that he is a statesman. i think he is going to enjoy very much his time with the queen. i think he considers his own dynasty somewhat royal, all of those kinds of things. and i hope that when he goes to portsmouth and then goes on to normandy, he can feel the importance of this very special relatiship and he will be imbued a bit with the challenge of maintaining the liberal world
order that so many americans and brits gave their lives for. jane: a lot of people in europe and britain would say that trump has personally put some of that world order under threat.w you reconcile these opposing factions in a state visit? victoria: well, again, i hope that this will be largely ceremonial and historic and give both sides of the atlantic boost in terms of their commitment to the values that everybody fought for. i do think that there are perils in this vit, in the sense that our president s not once but multiple times injected himself into the very fraught british politics that we see now. he is talking about potentially doing that again on this visit
by seeing some of the contders for prime ministership. also, ialso, -- he h think, not done enough, his administration has not done enough to help the u.k. and the eu have a velvet dorce or think about their relationship going forward. it is important for the united states that the u.k. and eu, out of this a stronger position. what what do you would -- to you would make this a successful state visit? victoria: a successful state visit would be one where the president focuses on what we have beethrough together as missions a what we bills that what we have built- and what we have built together on this planet that needs to be preserved in terms of open markets, open democracies, liberalism, defendinour citizens from autocracy and thetatorship, and wher solemnity of the moment is front and center.
a less good visit would be one where it is all about divisive aspects of british politics, american politics, or tries to rip us apart across the atlantic or across the channel. let's hope the better angels prevail.ia jane: victuland, thank you very much for joining me. victoria: thank you, jane. watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program -- >> i won in the end. it was a war, and there are casualties and wars. jane: pardon by the president we speak to conrad black t , media mogul who spent three years in jail for fraud. rescue teamsst in budaay there is little hope of finding more survivors. 21 are missing after a vessel carrying south korean tourists capsize. seven people are confirmed dead.
the rescue effort continued this morning with little hope of survival for the 21 peoplstill missing. according to eyewitnesses, the 26-meter pleasure boat capsed and sank within seconds after she was struck by a large river cruiser. video has emerged allegedly showing the incident. >> what we can see on the cctv footage is the small boat, the mermai is heading north, as is the bigger vessel, the viking. the mermaid turns in front of the viking for some reason, there was aon colli the mermaid got turned on its side, and within about seven seconds it sank. there were 33 south korean tourists on the pleasure boat at the time and twocr hungaria. this is a busy stretch of water, often crowded with large and small ceaft. weeks of rain and snow
melt up rivein the alps mean e river is swollen and flowing faster than usual. mr. efforts were hampered by continuous downpour -- rescue efforts were hampered by continuous downpour. >> we have 17 units in different locations. so far we have hospitalized seven people after their condition had been sbilized, since their body temperature had dropped dangerously. reporter: as the investigation starts in earnest, there are many questions to answer, and foremost about the lexperience andevel of training of the cruise. the wreck of the tourist ship must be raised from the bed of the river. it is expected to contain the bodies of many of the missing. bbc ws, budapest. jane: donaldrump is nothing if not unconventional in how he
wields presidential power, especially his use of the pardon. the mostecent beneficiary is former business associate and vocal supporter conrad black, who spent three years in prison for fraud and obstruction of justice. the bbc's michelle fleury spoke to mr. black in toronto about how the pdon came about. michelle: when did you first know you were going to get a pardon? when did you get wind of this? conrad: i was advised by a friend who has a lot of contact with the white house that i was under consideration. the president telephoned. camichelle: so you get thi. conrad: my first impulse was it was "the daily mail." i took the call and said hello hiand was going to say "isa and the person in that very polite but somewhat authoritative voice said, "please hold for t president." il two or three seconds he came
on. i thought it would be an impersonator, but he said things about material that had been sent to him by one of my counsel that i knew it had to be him. michelle: what do you sa people who think you were pardoned because you wrote very nice things about the presidento ad: they will say what they will say. i don't really feel the need tot respond to it,ince you ask me, i take the president and his word that his motive was not that. we have known each other a long time, and not that i have written supportively of him -- not uncritically, but supportively. his motive was that the white house counsel and legal team concluded that it was something that should never have been charged and he was puttingceight an injus i take him at his word that that was his motive. he said to me, "there is going to be criticism. you are better at responding to this stuff than i am, so i will
leave it to you." michelle: you left jail seven years ago -- conrad:t i don'nt to overstate -- officially in the united states i have never been charged, and i won in the end. it was war, and there are casualties and was. i lost time and money, but my standard of living is i' that -- isn' bad. enam rebuilding. michelle: your codnts did not receive a pardon. conrad: they haven't asked for one, as far as i know. in my opinion, i don't see why they don't apply for one and i don't see why it would be withheld from that. michelle: s next for lord black? coad: ah. well, the one good thing about the legaproblems is it gave me a chance to write more. i'm astoundeat the number of readers i have of the things i write in the u.s. and canada. michelle: will we see you owning a newspaper again? conrad: i don't think itess a good bus when i first got into it it was a good business, high profit
margin.of course, it is interesting. tithe news by defi is interesting. i don't need to tell you that. but it became a very difficult business. ce fragmentation of the media makes it extremepetitive. michelle: do you have ans to return to the house of lords? nrad: yes. i expect to. michelle: is that something that -- sort ofn a more more reality since your pardon? conrad: well, i was going to do it anyway, but i suppose it makes it easier. but the truth is, these last 15 years, i haven't been a interested in british politics as i was before in the thatcher days and john major. it could be interesting again. in fact, it is. as of right now it is interesting. michelle: brexit could lure you back to the house of lords conrad: well, i wouldn't put it
itquite like that, but aurns out, it is my good fortune that at a time when it is feasible, of happens by happy coincidence that it is a timreat fermentation in public affairs. michelle: lord black, thank you very much for your time. conrad: thank you, michelle. jane: do make sure you tune into bbc world this weekend for the full black.ew with conrad if you are anything like me, you use spellcheck to get through life. but right now some of america's brightest students are battling to be named thwinner of the scripps national spelling bee. we know they are good, but we wanted to see if the parents were equally impressive when lining up the letters. >> the first word. ♪
>> you have to work really hard and you have to work efficiently. when i was studying for the spelling bee, i studied for about 35, 36 a week. i studied by typing, like i typed up words like a spreadsheet. just using that muscle memory, it helps me recollect. horripilation -- you learev something ney day. not sure you will find those words on our websi, but check out anyway. to see what we are working on at any time, do find us on twitter.
i am jane o'brien. thanks very much indeed for watching "bbc world news america." e with the bbc news app, our vertical videos designed to work around your lifestyle, soca you n swipe your way through the news of the day and stay up-to-date with the latest headlines you can trust.ad downow from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible byfo the freemadation,et and judy and blum-kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> wt are you doing? >> posbilities. your day is filled with them. >> tv, play "dow aon abbey." >>nd pbs helps everyone discover theirs.
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> brangham: good evening. i'm william brangham. ju woodruff is away. ov the newshour tonight: the figh abortion moves to etssouri. a judge decides r the state's only clinic will be allowed to continue providing the service. then, for the first time in the country's history, israel will hold a second en, as prime minister benjamin atanyahu's attempt to for coalition government collapses. and, three-star general russel honoré led the effort to rcue new orleans after hurricane katrina. now he's back, and taking on a new challenge-- saving his state from industrial waste. >> i spent 37 years, three months and three ds defending this country. i spent 9.5 years overseas. and to come back to my home state and see it controlled by