tv Amanpour on PBS PBS June 28, 2018 12:00am-12:30am PDT
welcome to "amanpour on pbs." tonight, fragile diplomacy as president trump rewrites the rules of engagements with his allies. i speak to a top trump official, deputy u.s. secretary of state john sullivan joins the show. plus he is a supersized artist who creates supersized art work. my conversation with christo, as he unveils a major new exhibit in london's famous hyde park. >> good evening, everyone, and
welcome to the program. i'm christiane amanpour in london. times and tides are changing in the trump age. today the disrupter in chief left his allies guessing again about the meaning of a and he said he hoped u.s./russian relations would see better days. >> even in early days when our countries had differences their leaders and advisers met, i think that was good for both countries and stability in the world. and president trump feels very strongly on that subject. >> now president putin for his part is a deeply divisive figure for the nato allies and the last thing they want is to have another disruptive summit next month. especially on the heels of june's g7 summit in canada where the president insulted his host and refused to sign on to the
final communique. i got a rare chance to speak to a top administration official when deputy secretary of state john sullivan joined me. he's in the danish capital copen hay again, diplomatic swing through europe. secretary sullivan, welcome to the program. >> thank you, i'm delighted to be with you. >> there you are in copenhagen and addressing issues of reform, specifically in ukraine and other issues. ukraine so important for many reasons. but how difficult is it to get reform done? we broke on our show a few weeks ago that the finance minister was being forced to resign or beout right fired for trying to crack down on corruption. >> reform in ukraine, as you know, has been a president for years now. the difficulty that the ukrainians face is they've got an ongoing conflict in their eastern regions. so trying to accomplish difficult reform, political,
economic reform, while also fighting a conflict that's been sponsored by their neighbor russia makes it even more difficult. so we're here, the united states, like-minded countries, to attend this ukraine reform conference to provide support for, encouragement, and economic political support to ukraine as it implements long needed reforms. >> okay. that makes absolute sense and you put your finger on the main irritant. in that you talked about russia, and the conflict in eastern ukraine and there's the crimea issue as well. so president trump will be meeting with president putin, and this has caused a certain amount of questions and anxiety amongst the alliance. what do you think the president will say to mr. putin about this issue? will he tell him to back off crimea, to back off interference in eastern ukraine? >> the president has been clear the united states needs to engage with russia.
he wants to engage with president putin. but our purpose is not to engage for purposes of surrendering our principles. the president's purpose is to engage with president putin so that we can discuss these important issues. whether it's eastern ukraine, crimea, arms control, syria. there are so many issues we need to engage with the russians and have been. unfortunately we haven't been as successful in the first year and a half or so in the trump administration as we would have hoped, but that doesn't mean we're going to stop trying, but it also doesn't mean we're going to surrender our principles. we're committed to ukraine. we're committed to the support of ukraine and a democratic ukraine is a fundamental part of policy in europe. that includes crimea. >> you know, mr. secretary, you could not be more clear in what
you are saying. therefore, i would like to play this sound bite from the president where he spoke about the g7 and russia's participation in what used to be the g8. >> some people like the idea of bringing russia back in. this used to be the g8, not the g7, and something happened a while ago where russia is no longer in. i think it would be an asset to have russia back in. i think it would be good for the world, for russia, the united states, i think it would be good for all of the countries of the current g7. i think the g8 would be better i think having russia back in would be a positive thing. >> i think what you're hearing president trump saying is he himself wants to engage with president putin on these important issues as other parts of his administration have. we have a lot to talk about with the russians as i mentioned before, arms control, the start negotiations among others. ukraine will be top of the list, i assure you. but there are many other issues on which we need to engage, and
i think that's what you're hearing president trump say in that sound bite. >> to be clear, would president trump support russia being back in the g8 if it doesn't reverse its annexation of crimea? >> i'm going to defer to the president's statement on that. it wasn't linked to developments in the ukraine. i can say here at this conference that the united states is committed to reform in ukraine and we want to engage with the russians on reform in ukraine so that we have an independent democratic ukraine that's part of the family of nations. >> now a number of u.s. and russian foreign policy experts say that over the last many years -- well, several years, anyway, the level of trust has been eroded between the u.s. and russia. and the level of sort of eroding the -- what they call the arms control architecture is also
causing what they believe to be a situation potentially even more dangerous than during soviet times. do you share that level of concern about the danger now between the u.s. and russia or russia and the allies? >> what i would say is there is a need for continued dialogue in between the united states and russia on arms control issues, on new start, inf, et cetera. we are dedicated to that. we've been negotiating with the -- with the russians since the start of this administration at lower levels on, for example, start treaty implementation as you know. these discussions will continue, they're important. they're essential for world peace. and the clip you played previously from the president is an indication how he feels about it and how important it is for world peace and stability that we engage with the russians on these issues. >> let me put it to you from the allies' perspective because
they're also concerned. they're quite concerned about this meeting between presidents trump and putin. they want to see what's going to come out of it, and hope that their principles, as you have robustly defended the principles will not be sold down. what can you say to the allies? >> we're going to be open with our allies on the preparations for the nato summit. it's obviously high on our agenda, successful nato summit. where our allies will hear directly from the president, his views on these important issues. reaffirming our commitment to nato, to our nato allies, to our nato treaty obligations, which has been a bedrock of u.s. policy in the post war era. we're looking forward to a successful nato summit, i know the president is. we'll discuss all of these issues openly with our allies and with other eu colleagues. we're very much looking forward to it. >> mr. secretary, as you know there is concern in europe about
what they believe to be an assault by the united states or at least from the president's twitter on the international rules based order, you know that term that's been in effect for 70-odd years. should they be concerned? in other words, is the president's strategy to sort of erode this order in place of something else, or is it just rhetoric? >> well, what i'd say christiane, is that the president of the united states is committed to the transatlantic relationship, to the nato alliance, our nato treaty allies and our nato treaty commitment. the issues that you've referring to, trade and economic issues are one part of a much larger relationship between the united states and europe. as you know going back decades, the vietnam, the missile crisis in the '80s, we've had plenty of
areas to disagree with our european friends and allies, but through it all we've been committed as nato allies and partners, committed to our transatlantic relationship, it's a bedrock of our national security and there's no variance from the united states on that commitment. >> let me ask you about the president's tweets about angela merkel. basically right now considered the leader of europe, the german chancellor. people see it as beating up on her, and your own ambassador who tweeted a while ago, all german companies must immediately stop and desist and stop doing business with iran. they saw that as a step further than your regular diplomatic mission. >> well, our relationship with germany, a strong nato ally, we have areas of disagreement. jcpoa is one of them. our concerns about iranian maligned behavior, their missile program and so forth, we're in constant discussion with our nato allies and germany in
particular on these issues. so the tweets you referred to by the president, the new ambassador, rick ranell, a terrific ambassador, by the way, i spoke to him on friday. we're all committed to improving our relationship with germany. when you hear the president talk about trade issues, for example, he's committed to a fair and reciprocal trading relationship with the eu that is one part of the larger architecture of our transatlantic relationship. >> i want to ask you one final question because even though you yourself have not had a huge amount of previous diplomatic experience, you have sought out, you know, advice and information from a bipartisan group of former officials. and your own family comes from a distinguished diplomatic families. one of your uncles was the last ambassador in iran. so i just want to ask you about your view of, your feeling of solidarity in america's diplomatic and career officials.
>> as you've heard secretary pompeo say we have enormous confidence in the women and men who work at the department of state, foreign service and civil service. as you mentioned, my uncle, bill sullivan, was a career foreign service officer, 32 years serving in the foreign service and our last u.s. ambassador to iran. so i have firsthand knowledge from my own family about the commitment of these men and women in our department, patriots who are representing the united states abroad, often in difficult and dangerous places. so secretary pompeo has come into the department, reaffirmed his commitment to the foreign service and our civil service by the way. you mentioned i haven't previously served in the state department but i have served in three other cabinet departments as a civil servant starting my career at the justice department. so i don't want to underestimate the contribution of our civil servants at state. but be assured that the leadership of the department,
the leadership of this administration is committed to the foreign service and the civil service at state, and recognize their enormous contribution to our national security. >> i think that's going to go down really well with the diplomats at the state department. i just want to ask you then, do you support or do you condone the so-called veno vixen the state department adviser who appears to be, according to reports, taking names and vetting for loyalty tests on career civil service and foreign any sort of partisan witch hunts at the state department. we are looking to empower our career diplomats, our career foreign service officers, civil service officers, we're looking to support and empower them around the world. you've heard secretary pompeo say that. so we, at the state department,
are engaged in american diplomacy worldwide on a nonpartisan basis to implement the president's program and that's what we stand for. >> deputy secretary of state john sullivan, thanks for being with us from copenhagen today. >> thank you, it was my pleasure. >> there seems to be so much happening and the world can be so fast nowadays. to quote ferris bueller, "life moves pretty fast if you don't stop and look around once in a while you can miss it". sometimes it takes something huge, color, so unusual it makes at's what the artist known as christo does. and this is his latest enormous public installation. 410,000 multicolor barrels here in the lake running through london's hyde park. he's been at it for decades working side by side with his late wife. wrapping the german parliament in fabric just after the fall of
the berlin wall. installing 7,000 orange gates in new york's central park. even enveloping entire islands in hot pink skirts off the coast of miami. at 83 years old he shows no sign of slowing down. as spry and energetic as ever. he joined us here right after his latest work was unveiled. >> welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> it's your very first ever installation for london, right? >> yes. >> or for the uk. >> yes. >> why did you take you so long? you've been all over the world. >> i don't know. >> what does mastaba mean? >> 7,000 years ago, first urban civilization but human discord. and from the house they build a bench, two vertical wall, flattop and two slanted wall.
and that is mas a -- mastaba. >> this is the form -- >> you have two vertical sides and two slanted sides. >> that's important? >> absolutely. if you are on on the slanted side, you will not see the vertical side. not like pyramid all the time seeing. >> this is beautiful. >> you see, completely different. the angle is 60 degrees, not invented by me, a cylindrical object. >> it will always be 60 degrees no matter what you stack up. >> exactly. the story is something you need -- pure geometry how that model is created. >> so i want to ask you this. your work always sparks a huge amount of conversation. >> and controversy. >> and controversy. so there are some people who swim here all the time and they say, what is this? why is it blocking our view? and we don't like it.
>> of course. they need the protection. >> you say any -- >> negative, positive, it's all how the world works in the mind of the people. this project was generated by thinking. i do sketches, drawings, scale models. they are not all temporary works. this is how i do -- pay for this projects. that costs a million pounds of my money. >> the artwork? >> yes. that is like a -- the larger drawings, and this type of sketch, very much architectural. >> you sell these and make money for the installation. >> sell these. >> that's amazing. that is amazing. >> after they get -- >> the gates, let's see the gates. >> that take 26 years to get -- >> 26 years to get permission?
>> the project was refused in 1981. '79 was the refusal, we were not successful. finally when michael bloomberg came -- >> he's a patron of the ar. so ed koch, david jenkins, rudy giuliani all said no to you. >> but many project -- >> what is it? >> each project have its own idea to do. very soon i discovered that most important is how many people walk. humans was the most important. only place humans walk pleasurely is in the park. and this project -- with the project we like to have -- >> meet the street it was important. >> summertime. >> that's right. you couldn't see them. >> exactly. where this project in miami is surrounded.
we did it before the hurricanes in miami. >> let's see the miami islands. those were amazing. >> exactly. that was done in the spring, may of 1983. >> the reason you did it in the spring was again? >> again because of the typhoons arrive later. >> so you had to do it before the hurricane season? >> exactly. is special time when it's or technically, visually with the project. when the prjt oject is realizedt happens when everything comes together. we defeated chancellor cole -- >> hold on a second. this was a big enemy of your installation -- >> i tell you the story. >> to wrap parliament -- >> all this, the project passed in 1972, was refused three times. finally in 1995 we did the project. but that happened, we kind of
think, the decision of the work was decided and pulled the best of parliament from the nation. >> which is great. >> our project is political. >> one of the most beautiful ones is the bridge. >> that also deal with that image -- we make -- >> your wife -- >> yes. 1968. we did it for september, also 1985. >> did you get easy permission? >> no. >> or did it get -- long time? >> that's another, the mayor who like to become president, president of france, and because the british national treasure was controlled by the case of france, they talk each other and just enormous to convince them to agree. >> that's just amazing, you got them to agree on that.
the very conservative mayor and the socialist president of france. >> exactly. that was very difficult. take us '75 and '85, three times for permission. >> i need to ask you then, you describe yourself as a marksist, you came from a marxist background. and you fled bulgaria during the communist rule. >> yes. i must object. >> okay. so anyway, with that, under the soviet hammer -- >> yes. >> -- what does the politics say to you? the politics of unfreedom, the politics of being a refugee, because all of that is happening today. >> 17 years, here a period, i was with no nationality. >> for 17 years. >> that time around the world -- really, i was 21 when i escaped.
totally eager to do what i do in art. i was art student already. and i feel today i would not move one millimeter of my freedom, which is why everything i do is myself. nobody asked us to wrap parliament, nobody asked us to do the mastaba here. and this is freedom -- >> you're pretty hard line when it comes to freedom? you won't compromise at all? >> no. not at ul. >> does that mean you won't do commissions? >> never. >> never done a commission? >> i like to do what i like to do. this is when the policies are alive, so powerful because nobody expects it. it's not prepared by somebody, some group of people, some foundation. of course, in the last 50 years, realize only 52 projectings but
failed to get permission for 47. >> you've done 23 and they said no to 47? >> that is again if you're architect. that is not bad. >> not bad. >> but this is that, you should see what our projects, they are very much architecture. they're not like a painting or sculpture. >> you're an incredibly active, energetic happy man. >> i like to be happy, the most important. this is why i enjoy, don't stop. i will never do what is expected. i don't like to do anything to look back in my life. i like to do new things. there are two new projects -- >> come on. tell me. >> no. no. make you excited. this is why it's so excited. >> break it on cnn, breaking news. >> no.
we have breaking news. >> i will come and visit it because i'm mesmerized. would you ever go back to bulgaria? you've never been back. >> never. i only go to places where the people like my work. >> but you don't think they'd like it today? >> buy my work. buy my work i have money to build this project. i'm not german, but the big project is german. i'm not italian, we have project in german. why should i go back to bulgaria? i spend time in england, germany, italy, many people care about my work. >> so you're not very sentimental? >> not sentimental. i'm sentimental about my work. >> what do you think jean-claude would think about it? >> she was always argumentative.
you can see it and feel it that we fighting and screaming, almost like exhausting, but she think i miss out because she knew something, how to do the project. and that is the issue db it's so important because the material how the project is done is not decided in the studio. it's decided in learning in the real world. we do actually one to one live scale of the project, very small size, and then -- >> look at you two. honestly, you really, really put it all out there. but how interesting that she was your fiercest critic and that made the work the best it could be. >> yes. of course, arguments, how to do it, how to install, how to do, hire people, all of that. because it was not right away, it wasn't we had the wrong people. it wasn't something they come
right away. it's slow process and probably the most important to create the team to do the work. we're not visionary, we're not specialists, we need the results to find the right people to advise us. >> thank you so much for coming in. thank you for giving us this tour through this amazing lifetime of art. >> thank you. >> that is it for our program tonight. thank you for watching "amanpour on pbs." and join us again tomorrow night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
♪ christian: you're watching "beyond 100 days" on pbs. in from the cold. president trump has agreed to meet with vladimir putin in summit next month. katty: the russian president said he hopes it will be the first step to restoring full relations between russia and the united states. christian: the meeting is expected to take place in mid july when president trump will be in europe and belgium and britain. a major upset in the democratic party. a top congressman is defeated by a 28-year-old newcomer running as a socialist. and the reigning champions have lost in the world up the to south korea.