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tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  November 16, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PST

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amanpour. >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> chaos in britain as government ministers resign in protest over the prime minister's brexit deal. and uncertainty at the white house. as trump weigh as shakeup. the democratic mid-term victory keeps growing and 2020 speculation begins. will democrats look to senator kirsten gillibrand, who wants to restore the moral compass of this country. and as the president keeps us his verbal assault, who will protect the rule of law?
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i speak with award-winning author and national security expert tim wiener. and later, the immortal sound of new orleans. ♪ >> ben jaffe is not the impresario behind the preservation hall jazz band, an american cultural treasure. he's also the tuba player. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour & co." when bee tollman founded a collection of boutique hotels, she had bigger dreams, and those dreams were on the water -- a river, specifically -- multiple rivers that would one day be home to uniworld river cruises and their floating boutique hotels. today that dream sets sail in europe, asia, india, egypt, and more. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, visit uniworld.com. >> additional support has been provided by rosalind p. walter. bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii.
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the cheryl and philip milstein family, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. welcome to the program everyone. i'm "amanpour & co." in london. the brexit deal and the british government could be in a state of crisis as prime minister theresa may fights for her survival and to preserve her plan for leaving the european union in american session in parliament today, may faced jeers from all sides of the political spectrum. >> so mr. speaker, the choice is clear, we can choose to leave with no deal. we can risk no brexit at all. or we can choose -- [ jeering ] >> or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated.
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>> may's government has been hit hit by some cabinet resignations, including her own chief brexit negotiator. now brexit hardliners are in full revolt. formally calling for a vote in no confidence in may's leadership. what's it all about? may's draft brexit deal. reached up to 17 months of painful negotiations with the eu filled with compromises and artful dodges on intractable issues from trade to the tricky status of the northern ireland border. european leaders are cautiously supportive of the draft agreement but it could all be rendered moot if may's government falls. meanwhile, the british pound is falling sharply as fears of brexit chaos rise. simon fraser was head of the foreign office right here in britain. as such, he's perfectly placed to help us understand what this brexit crisis will mean for britain's place in the world. so simon fraser, welcome back to the program. >> thank you.
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>> you're often we called upon you to help us navigate this. because as a top sill servant, former, you are nonparty political. we hope to get straight to the facts of what's going on. first and foremost, how bad is prime minister may's position right now. >> it's difficult. but we knew it was going to be difficult. because she was going to bring this deal back at some point from brussels. and we knew there was opposition on all sides to elements of it. in her own party. in the labor party. from pro brexit people and from anti-brexit people. it's not surprising she's had a hard time but it was a really hard time in parliament today. >> of course she has to potentially face, we do not know whether the numbers will be there to call for a no confidence, even if one is called for, we don't know whether the numbers are there to put it over the top and we don't know what will happen if the brexit deal goes to parliament. comment? >> first of all, she may face a challenge within her party to her leadership. from her own back bench mps. we don't know yet whether that will happen. and of course it is true later on if she finalizes the deal
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with brussels, she has to bring it for a vote in parliament probably in december and that is when parliament could formally vote it down. >> so let us take her latest intervention she just had a press conference. some speculated she might even say she's going to resign. she didn't. she came out fighting and it looks like she wants to take this to the country. and she actually put mps on notice, she said they will do what they have to do and then they'll be held accountable by their constituents. this is what she said about her position right now. >> one simple fact remains, that is that nobody has produced any alternative proposal which both delivers on the referendum and also insures that there's no hard border between northern ireland and ireland. and i understand some people feel uncomfortable about the details in the back-stop particularly in the withdrawal agreement and i share some of those concerns. but there's another inescapable fact. there's no deal which can be agreed with the european union that does note involve a backstop to act as an insurance policy against a return to the
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borders of the past in northern ireland. all the other approaches, norway, canada, plus, et cetera, they would all require a backstop and the alternative of repudiating that back stop would mean not only reneging on a promise to the people of northern ireland. but would also collapse the negotiation and hopes of securing a deal. >> she's right. >> yes, she is right. i mean there has been no other credible alternative to what she's brought back. >> that is true, so those who don't like what she's proposing have not come up with a clear alternative approach. and what this shows is that brexit is a really complicated thing and there's no ideal version of brexit. she's trying to find the least-bad option economically and preserves some very important political points about the unity of this country and the position of northern ireland. >> so you have tweeted over the last few days, and today, i mean you sort of agree, you know, her
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proposal mess request withdrawal deal, but the fact is, there is simply no good version of brexit for the uk. you've said that. and then about the hardliners, you've said about boris johnson, who is one of these, who is probably going to call her leadership into question. but the man who both campaigned for brexit and argued to stay inside the single market has no credibility on this. >> so what do the hardliners, all of these names that are flying around, who want to challenge her, who are they playing to? do the people of great britain want this uncertainty at this moment? >> a lot of these people are driven by a sort of ideological aversion to the european union and they've taken different positions at different times. i'm somebody who favored remaining in the eu and i think i have to say that their position is inconsistent. the people of britain just want clarity at the moment. businesses want clarity and continuity about what's going to happen. because march is not a long way away and at the moment we are on schedule and it's legally written into law that we're going to leave on the 29th of march.
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if we don't have deal with the european union that is going to be a really serious situation. >> what does that look like? because we've already seen the pound fall by more than 1.5% against the euro and the dollar. people are worried. and people are saying that the markets have been remarkably complacent about this potential chaos. i mean i heard interviews about potential you know, making deals to fly in medicine and being worried that some people might not survive actual, there might be people's lives at risk if there's no deal. and we crash out. >> well those are the worst-case scenarios. and personally, i don't think it will come to that. but there's a very serious risk it does. if we don't get the politics sorted out and get a sort of coherent process in place. because we will leave the european union and we'll no longer be governed by the regulations of the european union and unless we've got an
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agreement that we're going to stay in that relationship, for a temporary period at least. then there could be very serious disruption. and i think the markets have not really known what to make of this. and i don't think they've priced that risk in fully in the past. >> to the international audience, because the eu has come out and cautiously welcomed this. so have some government leaders, they have to pass it through the european parliament and then all the eu 27 have to agree. nobody is out of the woods yet. what are the main sticking points? there are three, right? it's about northern ireland, the customs union, backstop, european court of justice? >> well the fundamental question is, what sort of relationship is the uk going to have with the european union? and the uk hasn't really decided that. if you want to stay in a close trade relationship with the eu, you have to accept the rules of the european union single market up to a point that constrains you in other things you do. and so that is the sort of dilemma that we face. the eu are saying if you want to enjoy benefits of trade with us, you have to decide how far
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you're prepared to abide by our rules. that is the under like issue, whether it's relating to northern ireland or the rule of court. that's the essence of the issue. >> so you know put your foreign office hat back on and your negotiating hat back on. was there ever a likelihood that the hard-line brexiters who just wanted a clean break, was it even remotely possible? >> well it was remotely possible if we were prepared to accept great damage in our relations with europe, particularly our economic relation. let's remember that 45% of our trade is done with the european union. so there's an awful lot at stake there. and if we had left abruptly, and said we're going to sever those links, there would have been a big cost. i think that's what people have understood over time. it's not only trade. the complexity of the interconnected relations that we've built over 40 years of membership with the eu really can't just be unravelled overnight. president trump sort of weighed
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in over the weekend during the armistice commemorations berating apparently so we read, prime minister may over a variety of issues, including being a sap when it comes to being a negotiator. that's what he thinks. >> well i mean, president trump can make whatever observations he wants. think she's had a really difficult job. she has pursued it very doggedly. i think she has made mistakes early on. she probably over -- she hemmed herself in in some of her early positions, but it was a very difficult position she inherited she basically came to power in a situation of crisis. and she's been trying to keep a show on the road. so i have some sympathy for her. even if i do think that she's, she hasn't always got it right. >> of course she voted for remain. she's not wholehearted remain. before people were calling her a bit of a euro skeptic. when push came to shove -- a marginal remainer. as home secretary and she stepped into a leadership vacuum and now she's having to implement it.
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this is what the chief eu negotiator said, michele barnier said, about the draft plan. >> very important moment what we have agreed at negotiators level is fair and balanced. takes into account the uk's positions. organizes the withdrawal in an orderly fashion and ensure no hard border. in ireland and lays the ground for an ambitious new partnership. >> so my question to you is, knowing the draft deal and knowing how these things work, is this deal much more weighted towards the eu? and even, you heard what barnier says, he's welcoming this. others are saying that they're still prepared for a no deal. and what impact would that have on the eu? >> well not sure that the deal is weighted towards the eu. it's true, the eu has a stronger hand in the negotiation than the uk. that is the fact.
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we're asking to leave. there are 27 of them. they're a big economy. so it's tough negotiation for us. but both sides have made compromises in the last few days to get this deal. and actually the shape of the deal is very much as i would have expected it to be. and what we always knew is no deal is going to be popular on all sides. and that's what the prime minister is facing at the moment. >> and what would you imagine is going to happen over the next few days? >> well i think we need to see whether this settles down now. so whether today is actually a significant political tipping point in this country, or whether the prime minister braves it through and it stabilizes a bit. if it does, i think they'll do more work together on the document that they're working on of the future relationship and then it will go to the member states in europe and then we will have this european summit meeting on the 25th of november. to finally sign off on the deal at a political level and that is the process.
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but it all depends on whether the situation in this country stabilizes, because the biggest risk is the british political risk. >> are you a betting person? >> no. >> so simon fraser, thank you very much much indeed. we're going see whether there's going to be a leadership contest. whether she'll get the deal through her own parliament. as the brexit drama continues to play out in britain, president donald trump is stewing over his own divided government woes, democrats of course have picked up 33 seats in congress so far. and even as mid term votes are still being counted in florida and georgia, attention is already turning to the 2020 presidential race.
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new york senator kristen gillibrand is at the top of just about every list of democratic prospects. she has just crushed her re-election campaign. she has the name recognition, fundraising credentials and policy bona fides to make her a serious contender out of the gate. she's also just written a timely children's book. it is called "bold and brave." ten heroes who won women the right to vote. and it celebrates the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in america which is coming, wait for it, in 2020. kirsten gillibrand joined me from washington. senator gillibrand, welcome back to the program. >> thank you. >> so we have a big crisis here in britain. with brexit, and governments defecting and ministers and nobody knows quite which way is up. there's a lot of uncertainty in the united states as well. president trump potentially shaking up his cabinet. midterm votes still being counted. but the democrats seem to be doing well. how would you assess the relative strength of your party right now. >> i think we're very strong. because the american people spoke loudly and clearly. that they want a change. over 110 women got elected to the house of representatives, we're going to shake things up
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when they get there they're focused on basic things that families need like health care and education and jobs. but also getting the money out of politics and restoring voting rights. so we can really restore who we are as americans. >> so senator john kerry, former secretary of state john kerry and most notably former democratic presidential candidate john kerry has been in london, talking about the democrats must do to confront as he said and to replace a truculent child president. he said democrats must got bogged down in impeachment and other such things. need to clearly put out an agenda. for progress and change on major issues, sensible, real policy change for the american people. where do you stand on that? on the investigative part of the house and on what the priorities should be for democrats now? >> well certainly you need oversight and accountability over president trump
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and his administration. we have never seen a more corrupt administration. self-dealing, lining of pockets, fraud, there's just -- a lot of very serious allegations. and of course we need to protect the mueller investigation. because he is tasked with the job of finding out what happened with regard to the russian interference so that work has to be done. but as i started, i think the american people want congress and want washington to work for them. they want health care as a right, not a privilege. which means taking on the drug companies, it means taking on the insurance companies. and offering some kind of not for profit public option, so we actually can get health care that's good, that's affordable, that's universal. they're also looking to make sure that no matter what block you grow up on, that you have the opportunity to good education. it means good early childhood education, affordable day care, universal pre-k. good public schools, debt free college. things that can get people into the job training they need. and last, we've always believed that the american dream is for everybody. and so, you need to build a middle class.
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you need better job training. you need to strengthen our unions, you need to make sure workers are invested in. that means rewarding work. equal pay for equal work. higher minimum wage. make sure you have job training so you can earn your way into the middle class. that's the agenda that i think america and certainly new york, that what they're looking for. but you're not going to get this done until you get the money out of politics. the money in politics is so corrosive. it's undermining one person, one vote. it's undermining the fabric of our democracy. to get any of that done, you need to take on the sources of all the money and power that funnels into politics, drug companies, insurance companies. but also the nra. you know nothing gets done because of the corrupting influence of hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on campaigns across the country. >> which of course brings me to the ultimate campaign that everybody is now looking at. the midterms are behind us, that's the 2020 presidential campaign. on the democratic side it's already a sort of crowded field. i mean people are sort of you
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know testing the waters. names are being broad up. camelia harris, cory booker, elizabeth warren, joe biden. and kirsten gillibrand. are you thinking about it? particularly in the age of women? and we've had as you said, an unprecedented number of women voting and an unprecedented number of women elected. are you now ready to consider testing the waters for a presidential run? >> well i will be considering it as i've said. but for me, christiane, i think it's a moral question. i believe in right versus wrong and up until this election, i really felt like wrong was winning. i've watched president trump put so much hate into my state, hate crimes have gone up exponentially in all places in new york whether it's antisemitism. racism, homophobia, anti-muslim, anti-immigrant. that's not who we are as a country, we always believe in the golden rule. that you should treat others how
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you want to be treated and fight for other people's kids as hard as we fight for our own. i want to restore the moral compass, the integrity, the truth that we do care about one another. and i will be thinking about it i'm sure many other people, i think all of us need to think about what we can do to restore what's best about america. and that that we should care about one another. >> so this is an important moment. i want to press you on this issue. because just recently in a debate, you said the following about you know finishing out your own term as senator. just listen. >> i want to make this clear, you're saying you will not get out of the race and you'll not run for president, you will serve your six years. >> i will serve my six-year term. >> now you're saying maybe you won't. >> i'm focused on being the absolute best senator i could be. as i said during the last couple of years, that i was entirely focused on the 2018 election because as you saw, changing the house and holding some of these senate seats are the most important thing we could all do. but in light of where we are right now, i will be giving it strong and serious
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consideration in the future. >> now, we've talked to you a lot about women you know sort of game-changing role in this last election cycle. you've just come out with a knew book. it's quite unusual. because it's not a memoir or a kind of you know presidential book. but it's a different and smart way to do it it's sort of done as a children's book. it's about you thanking the 10 women who helped bring women the right to vote. >> the right to vote. >> yes. >> we're about 100 years since at least white women could vote in the united states. and the book sort of opens with the view or the words of one young woman inez mulholland. mr. president, how long must women wait for liberty? i believe that's the last thing she said or one of the last things she said before she died in 1916. >> i thought it was really important to write this book. i wanted to highlight the lives of extraordinary women who sacrificed everything so that women could have the right to vote.
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many of these women never got to see the right themselves. even though they worked their whole lives to achieve it. some of the women i highlight are well known like elizabeth cady stanton and susan b. anthony. less well known people like sojourner truth or harriet tubman or alice paul or inez mulholland. ida b. wells. each of them did something extraordinary. we are going to be 100 years since america had the right to vote for women in twenty twenty. so telling that story now it's really timely. it's also timely because of what just happened in this 2018 election. the fact that so many women have been marching, since president trump was inaugurated, showing up, going to town halls, doing sit-ins, doing vigils, trying to be heard and being heard at the ballot box. and being heard as candidates. we saw some amazing women win across america. who are changing everything. lucy mcbath won in a seat that
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was lost last cycle. as a black woman who lost her son to gun violence, her voice was not only passionate and authentic, but it was a new voice. and a voice that people wanted to support. and that's why she's going to congress. >> and again, congress, the democrats flipped it. the democrats also flipped seven governors i believe across the united states. and several state legislators. but also it was a record youth turnout. we're hearing. and i wonder what your book or you yourself have to say about young people? you have pictures of yourself in the book. they're drawings of you when you were five. you have your mom, your grandmother, your great grandmother in the book. what is your message for young people and particularly young women. >> want young readers to be able to see themselves in these women's lives and see the courage and the boldness and the braveness that it took to accomplish something so important. and then to value that right to vote more than anything. which is one of the reasons why our agenda right now is to restore voting rights. unfortunately republicans state legislatures have worked over
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the last ten years to undermine those voting rights by making it harder for people to vote with programs like we saw in georgia, with exact match. but stacy abrams, running for governor is going to make sure that every vote is counted in that state. we need future leaders to carry this torch to know that our democracy only works when regular people stand up and demand it. and that they, too, have a role to play in this democracy. not just with voting, but speaking out, speaking up, speaking truth to power in the same way these women did and some day voting. >> talking about leadership. obviously the house now majority leader i guess, hoping to be speaker, nancy pelosi, has demonstrated her amazing leadership. flipping the house and really running a very disciplined campaign, health care and all the rest of it. where do you stand on her desire to run for speaker?
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do you think there's any sort of sexism in the calls for her to step down or step aside? given that none of the male leadership in the senate for instance where you are, are being you know, told to consider their positions, even after potentially not winning certainly on the democratic side in the senate. where do you stand on this? do you think she has every right and justification to run for speaker again? >> i do. and one thing i know about nancy, she gets things done. she's a really tough, tough leader. she knows how to bring people together. she knows what the pulse of the country is right now. they want health care as a right, not a privilege. they want education, they want access to better job training, strengthening our unions and workers' rights. she's going to have a very strong agenda about what's happening in the country. >> do you see any sexism there? do you think it's just because she is such a long and established politician that others are trying to elbow her out of the way? do you think that a man might have you know, get the same treatment? >> well there is a lot of sexism in politics. a lot of sexual bias in pretty much every industry you want to look at. you probably know it in your own industry. so i'm sure that's a factor. but i think she is qualified and she is extraordinary and she is strong. and she will make a very effective speaker.
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>> and just finally, you talked about the mueller investigation. senator mcconnell, the majority leader in the senate has again refused to allow this sort of oversight to protect that investigation. senator jeff flake is challenging that and says that he won't use his position to approve any more judiciary nominees, et cetera. how do you think this investigation this process will be protected until it delivers its final report? >> i think we have to insist with everything we have, with every bit of advocacy, around the country, to insist that we get that bipartisan vote done. we do need to protect the mueller investigation. we have to make sure that he can bring his full investigation to fruition. we've already had scores of indictments of russians actively trying to undermine our elections. and then other indictments of self-dealing and fraud and corruption. and so those investigations need to be completed.
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the american people have a right to know what actually happened and whether laws were broken. and that's his job. so i think the job of the senate right now is to pass our bipartisan bill and i hope that certainly new yorkers and people across the country speak out about how important it is that that investigation is not undermined. >> senator kirsten gillibrand, thank you very much indeed for joining me. >> thank you. and now about that mueller investigation of russian interference. it is still very much on the president's mind. just today he tweeted that the investigation has gone quote absolutely nuts. and he called it a disgrace to our nation. now that the president has fired the fbi director, forced out his own attorney general and sidelined the deputy attorney general overseeing robert mueller, is there anything still standing between this presidency and a constitutional crisis? journalists and author tim
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wiener is an exert on america's national security architecture. his book "enemies: the history of the fbi" is the basis of a documentary series coming to show-time this sunday and joins me from new york. tim wiener, welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> you just heard senator gillibrand speaking very forcefully about the obligation of the legislature, the congress to protect the mueller investigation. do you have any fears that it may still be you know, open for you know assault by the white house? >> i don't think the president can fire robert mueller. i don't think that a stooge of his in the justice department like mr. whitaker. can act against him. were whitaker to do that. mueller's grand jury would take a hard look at whether whitaker was trying to obstruct justice. >> we've got that clear. the president said in his post mid-term press conference that
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politically he wouldn't want to do something like that. but he does keep tweeting about it. and now that the democrats have certainly won power in the house of representatives, jerry nadler, the incoming chairman of the house judiciary committee has written a letter to the whitaker, who is the acting attorney general, et cetera. he wants answers to over 100 letters sent by democrats on the judiciary committee that have been left unanswered. he basically is saying the president's behavior appears to be motivated by an urge to shield himself, his family and business interests from the ongoing work the department and the bureau. meaning the fbi. these actions are not normal and they ignore the guidance of the white house counsel. flout the constitution and undermine our federal law enforcement agencies. you've been doing a deep dive on the fbi. where does this put the process right now? >> the president and his lawyers
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as we speak are trying to answer written questions from mueller about conspiring with the russians, and about obstructing the investigation into the russia hack. they're having a very difficult time doing it. if they answer truthfully, it might implicate the president. if they answer falsely, that's slammer time. >> mueller's grand jury will convene certainly tomorrow. he has a lot of work ahead of him. i think many, many months. he will certainly bring a fresh round of indictments in the near future. and looming over all this, is his final report. which has to be submitted up the chain of command in the department of justice. but will surely see the light of day. >> so -- you know, i mentioned obviously the documentary series on the fbi, that's it's taken from your work, from your book.
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i want to play a little clip and i want to talk about it, and the history of the somewhat fraught relationships between many presidents and their fbi directors. >> the only thing that can destroy the united states is us. by allowing our constitution and the rule of law to disintegrate. >> is the president of the united states above the law? >> it is the fbi that is sworn to uphold the rule of law. and protect and defend the constitution against all enemies. [ applause ] >> what is the fbi to do? when the president breaks his own oath? >> okay. so that's dramatic and it asks you know, a major question, it comes from obviously your book. enemies, the president, justice and the fbi. tim weiner, give us a sense of
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the history. president trump is not the first president who has come into you know, full body contact with the fbi. i mean in recent memory, it goes u got george bush and and the surveillance, you've got before that, president clinton and the monica lewinsky. frought those moments were. >> this story begins when j. edgar hoover dies six weeks before the watergate break-in. president nixon moved to appoint his own stooge to run the fbi -- and the fbi rank and file were on the watergate case, resisted every attempt. and there were continuous attempts, by nixon and his henchmen, in the fbi, and in the justice department, to obstruct the investigation. it was the fbi that finally brought nixon to justice. every -- i would say decade or so, give or take a few years, we
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see this happening again. with ronald reagan during the iran contra affair. some years later, with bill clinton, and his lying under oath to protect the secrets of his sex life. with president george w. bush, and his illegal eavesdropping on americans. it was then in 2004 that robert mueller, the head of the fbi, and his immediate superior, james comey, the deputy attorney general, went to the president and said, you have to bring this program, spying on americans, within the ambit of the law or we will resign in protest. bush backed down. now we see mueller investigating the president and his star witnesses, james comey. >> so you know, expand on that. many of them you know, engaged during the bush controversy as you were just saying, bush backed down.
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what is, give us a sense of comey and the others and mueller. how many are there around him that might also say no, you know we're all going to stand in this together. how are the others all sort of standing tall, still, if they are? >> the key fact here, is that trump can't fire the fbi. even if somehow he subverts robert mueller as investigator. the fbi will carry on. they will gather evidence. they will submit it to the united states attorneys and federal prosecutors in washington d.c., in virginia and here in new york. they can't be stopped. >> do you see any parallels?
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certainly what president nixon did the saturday night massacre, all of that stuff was so utterly egregious. i mean it's not the same with donald trump, is it? it's not as full frontal assaulting. >> well we've seen repeatedly that history has no meaning to trump. precedent has no meaning to trump. he lives in the moment. he lies for sport. but this week we are seeing trump behave like a cornered animal. he's lashing out, in furry and i believe in fear. because he feels the hot breath of mueller's bloodhounds closing in on him. >> tim, do you think that's because of this business of having to -- to give written answers? do you think because that's actually happening now? >> i believe that is the case. >> everybody remembers and everybody brings out this and lester holt of nbc news back in may of 2017. when he actually out and out said -- why he fired james
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comey. just going to play a little clip and ask you for your analysis a year, more than a year later. >> regardless of -- he made a recommendation, he's highly respected. very good guy, very smart guy. in the democrats like him. the republicans like him. he made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. knowing there was no good time to do it. and in fact, when i decided to just do it i said to myself -- i said you know, this russia thing with trump and russia -- is a made-up story, an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> so, the "he" was the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. do you think that on the record commentary from president trump, about why he fired jim comey, is something that mueller is focusing on? >> christiane, that's a smoking gun tape. that is a willful admission of
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obstruction of justice and it will haunt the president for a long time to come. let's keep in mind that mueller isn't only investigating the russia hacks, and potential obstruction of justice in the investigation of the hacks. he has the power to investigate trump's tax returns. trump's business records. trump's self-dealing for profit as president. there will come a time, perhaps in two years, when president trump is citizen trump. and no longer protected by the idea that a sitting president cannot be indicted. i predict that he will be in a world of pain when that day comes. >> and just going back to the nixon/reagan/w. bush/clinton and now trump. we've talked about you know, their confrontations with their various fbi directors.
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and yet, you also write and people obviously observe and you mention a little bit about j. edgar hoover, that the fbi has sometimes in history been out of its box. been overreaching. i mean i want to you tell me a little bit about it. blackmailing martin luther king for instance. the surveillance and harassment of gays for many decades. indefinite military detention without trial of any citizen under president obama's national authorization act when it came to the fight against al qaeda. give me that side of the story. fill in those blanks. >> of course. the fbi under hoover illegally wiretapped americans. bugged them and used secret information as a weapon of political warfare to try to destroy people.
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notably martin luther king jr. hoover has been dead for 46 years, christiane. and the 21st century fbi is robert mueller's fbi. he ran it for 12 years. taking office the week before information. and serving until september 2013 when jim comey took over. i've met mueller, i've interviewed mueller. two years ago this week. this is an extraordinary man. and the fbi for all its flaws, is mueller's fbi. they are straight shooters. and they will follow the evidence. wherever it goes. and if donald trump decides to follow richard nixon down the road to hell, by trying to take down the command structure, of the justice department, the fbi will follow him. they will be on the case and on his trail down that road. >> so i want to get your analysis. you say the fbi is straight shooters, it's mueller's fbi.
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comey worked closely with mueller. of course comey was very very controversial about the whole email situation, with, with hillary clinton and there's some you know reporting now about his own emails and things like that. you know, it's really hard when institutional leaders themselves become embroiled in all these issues. how much damage do you think that has done? the whole email and to this sort of fbi's independence, if you like? >> well comey had two bad choices. going back a little more than two years. to speak to the clinton email case or to not speak. if he spoke to it, clinton might be damaged. and he surely was. if he didn't speak, and there was something there, the fbi would be destroyed. and comey's loyalties were to the fbi, and not to candidate clinton. that decision has come in for a great deal of criticism and that
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criticism is well-founded. nonetheless, you will see comey as a witness for mueller, speaking out. >> interesting, we will stay tuned obviously, tim weiner thank you for joining us. now we make a much-needed turn to the sweet sound of music. so please welcome to the stage the jaffe family, saviors of new orleans jazz in the early '60s allen sandra jaffe created a refuge for musicians. so the preservation hall jazz band was born. it left discrimination at the door. now their son, ben jaffe helms this ship and a new documentary, a tuba to cuba, exploring the legacy of this family and their band. he told our walter isaacson why he believes diversity is at the core of jazz. >> ben jaffe, welcome to the
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your father comes from philadelphia with your mother. al and sandy jaffe, they're at the hall in 1961. it's really an art gallery. but they have a few musicians playing now and then. and they decide that they have to help resurrect traditional jazz. why was that? had that fallen out of favor? >> new orleans jazz by the time my parents had arrived here, was had almost disappeared from the, from the landscape. from the musical landscape. and my parents discovered this gallery and this group of artists, and you know, sort of a preservationist, i guess musical preservationists that were having these very small jam sessions really just for themselves. in this gallery that was, had become an artist collective. and that was the idea for preservation hall. was to continue to bring out of retirement or to help organize this community of
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african-american jazz pioneers. these musicians that had been there at the birth of jazz. and provide a an environment, a stage for them to perform. and that's what preservation hall became. >> new orleans people of course are aware their jazz heritage is disappearing and some are trying somehow to save the only art form that is strictly entirely american. one effort to save it is here at preservation hall. young couple named allen and sandra jaffe started it. >> what we're trying to do here is just present the music, the people are sitting on wooden benches, sitting on the floor. there's no drinks. pretty hot in there, too. in the summer. people come to hear just the music. i think the men realize this. the men play it the way they want to play it. people hear it. >> when al was growing up, i began to realize it wasn't just
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about the music, it was about the musicians that in some ways, they had been resurrected and saved by this hall. >> it was always about the musicians. it still is. on this thing that my parents became a part of. the thing that was most meaningful to them was becoming part of these musicians' lives that had given so much of themselves. >> who did they discover? >> they brought back to life punch miller, incredible trumpet player. louis armstrong talks about punch miller being his rival coming up. george lewis who was regarded as really a king of jazz. outside of new orleans. in europe and in japan. but in new orleans, really didn't have an outlet for his music. willie and percy humphrey. sweet emma barrett. >> these people were employed or unemployed before the hall brings them in? >> there were very few opportunities for them to perform in new orleans. there would be maybe social dances. actually right along here, maybe
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on st. charles or up here at tulane for a prom dance. at carnival time, at mardi gras, they would have parades. mostly it was for themselves at times of mourning when a member of the community would pass away. and musicians would come together to celebrate and honor that person's life with a jazz procession at their funeral. but besides that, jazz in the 1950s wasn't something that was being celebrated on a concert stage. it was, if you were able to find jazz musicians, it was in a barroom setting. and occasionally there would be band on bourbon street with dancers. and you know you would be hustled for drinks, the two-drink minimum and tips and whatever. and there might be a comedian and a tap dance and you know, that kind of thing. but there was never a place that presented music the way that preservation hall did. >> something about those places
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you talked about then, they were all segregated in. >> yes. >> and one of the things that preservation hall does, not only does it provide the jazz, it's strongly in the forefront of the integration of new orleans. >> it was, yes, it was very much on the vanguard of that movement. >> your parents were doing that consciously? >> it wasn't something that my parents had intended to do. but it was a, a product of what they were creating. i -- after talking to my mom for you know, for so many years and knowing my father. it was part of their innocence, they, they -- they couldn't really imagine life any other way. you know. and being outsiders, coming from philadelphia, this was a foreign idea to them. you know, segregation. you know also my dad wanted to play with these musicians, these idols of his, these musicians that he had listened to for so many years on albums and now was
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getting to not only meet for the first time. but also able to employ and provide a sanctuary. you know of source for them. >> when jelly roll morton is playing storiville in the late 1990s, i think he does a song "basin street" and talk about where the black folk and white folk meet. and that was common and we lost that in the '40s and '50s. there was a resegregation. did your parents get push-back for creating an integrated entertainment venue? >> they occasionally would get shut down, the hall would be you know shut down and people would be dragged off to night court. >> your mother must not have been good at night court. >> she's not one to -- be very conservative with her words sometimes and her feelings. but she, it was never anything
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lasting. new orleans obviously has a very different relationship with race than most cities. and that's -- >> better or worse or more complex? >> more complex. but definitely better than anywhere else in america. we were very far ahead of everybody else. and we still have a long way to go. it's never, that battle is never won i believe is something that it's ongoing every generation has to come to peace you know, some peace with its relationship with race. but at that time it was, you know, just being able to have white and black musicians performing together was unheard of. >> some people question when people say diversity, as part of our strength, part of our creativity. why is diversity good. >> i've never thought about it because diversity, we've always celebrated diversity. i mean new orleans is a celebration. >> tell me about that through the music.
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you have haiti, cuba, spanish american war, creole. >> we have -- african. our music is african. it's also western. i mean the instrumentation of our bands, i mean these -- trumpets and clarinets and trombones and pianos, are western instruments that have mixed with this rhythms and melodies you know, traditions, spiritual traditions of you know, of so many different cultures. diversity is at the, the core of jazz. it's i don't even think we talk about it. because it's just accepted as, a key ingredient. ♪ ♪
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>> you just did an amazing documentary on band, the preservation hall jazz band's trip to cuba. why did you do that? >> we as a band had always wanted to visit cuba and the doors had been closed to us and we had been looking for a way to get there. and then the embargo was lifted. and we raised the funds to get the band down. we for us it was important to visit a place that's so connected to new orleans historically. >> is it connected to the music? >> definitely. yeah, definitely. you -- can almost you know see the physical connection in the music. the african rhythms, the melodic continuity, you can hear it in new orleans music. the spanish influence. you can definitely feel the african pulse in our music. and when you're in cuba, you
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know -- it's, it's, it's visual. you can actually see it. >> did you, the people in cuba seem to feel the connection to new orleans jazz? >> they understand the connection better than we do. yeah. we learned almost more about our history from, from them. >> one of the scenes has a lady showing you the picture of harold dejean and the olympia brass band on the wall of a house in santiago? >> just outside of havana. >> and that was your godfather. >> my god parent. howard dejean led the olympia brass band. and my father played with them for many decades. he was probably single-handedly the reason i'm a musician today because of howard dejean. >> where were you when katrina hit? >> i was here in new orleans. i was at my house, helping mugss
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get out of town. i was helping marvin kim bell, who was bed ridden, and his wife get a ride to baton rouge. i was helping to close up preservation hall. helping our musicians get ready for the storm. i had an open door for people at my house. i lived in what they consider a high area. one of the older sections of new orleans. and we stayed and felt we could contribute something. >> after you helped get people out, how did you get people back? >> i started the new orleans musicians hurricane relief fund. and what i knew was, we musicians needed, we all needed immediate financial help to stay alive. just to get through life. because new orleans is that rare place that actually musicians can actually have a career. right here in the city. you can, you can work and go out
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and play five, six nights a week. if you are a tuba player, you can actually work as much as you want in new orleans. >> four marches a night. >> exactly. >> walker percy once said that hurricanes allow us to focus. and figure out what we're supposed to be doing. to what extent do you think katrina allowed you to focus and figure out what you should be doing next? >> katrina put everything into focus for me. my whole life became crystal clear. those, those first two years after katrina, 2005-2006, my entire life came into focus. absolutely. i, i had purpose. my purpose was, to insure you know my community was safe and that my community had a future. that their families were taken care of. we were all impacted differently. some musicians in my band lost everything. they lost their houses, they lost their instruments. when i, when, when i finally
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reconnected with my band, my trumpet player arrived in the clothes that he was given at the red cross. in little rock, arkansas and someone had given him a student trumpet to play. so it was rebuilding lives, brick by brick. and we all suffered differently, whether it was personal loss or the loss of a family member. or just the pain of not being able to return to the city. that is your home. you never come to peace with that. >> ben, this was really great. but there's one thing i learned from your father. which is that -- if something is really great. it's even greater with a tuba. do you want to grab your tuba and show us something? >> absolutely. >> thank you, ben.
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> the sound of novlz. and tomorrow i speak with jeff gold blum. you know him as the brilliant ly off-beat star of movies like "jurassic park" and "the fly" he's no slouch as a musician. take a listen. ♪ ♪ and until then, thanks for watching "amanpour & co." on pbs. and watch us tomorrow night.
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