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tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  November 26, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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hello, everyone. and welcome to "amanpour" and company, here's what's coming up. >> i would like to begin by condemning -- >> is the u.s. government under attack from within? and is what we don't imagine the most harmful to our health? that is the alarming message of the fifth writ, the new book by brilliant nonfiction writer michael lewis. plus, from the united states to europe, the rise of illiberal democracy. the eu accuses hungary of targeting immigrants and the rule of law. i put this to hungarian foreign minister peter seato. and one year after a heavily armed gunman massacred 58 music fans in las vegas, our michelle martin talks to larry ward, a
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walk walkenheim iii judy and josh weston, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. welcome to the program, everyone. i'm christiane amanpour in london. today, we're looking at how governments response to crises, whether it's in indonesia where the death toll from the devastating earthquake and tsunami is now above 1400. and aid is only just starting to reach the hardest hit areas after six days. critics say the indonesian government's early warning system is woefully inadequate, underfunded and poorly maintained. and this week, reporters have been on the ground talking about how that made those poor civilians there sitting ducks. they simply weren't warned about what was about to befall them. meanwhile, in the united states, the trump administration has embarked on a systematic project of dismantdalling some of its most critical government functions. that's according to a new book by the best selling writer michael lewis. the book is a red flag warning us of the dangers of apathetic
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government, unqualified or uninterested in anticipating and thus being able to avoid a whole panoply of disasters. michael lewis joins me from washington to talk about all this. welcome to the program. >> thank you for having me. >> it couldn't be better timed, actually, because of what we see in the united states, and also we have a real disaster in indonesia that points out what happens when government institutions are hollowed out. i knowia look particularly at the united states. but just tell me what you mean by the fifth risk. how was that coined and what does it mean? >> well, you know, i tell you how it was coined. i started by the story really starts with the trump administration's not bothering to engage in a transition with the obama administration. they were meant to have, you know, hundreds of people flooding into the federal government the day after the elections to receive briefings that had been a year in the
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works. it was essentially the best course ever created in how the federal government ran. waiting for them, and they didn't show. i mean, didn't show to the point where there were like little finger sandwiches on the table that didn't get eaten and parking spots that didn't get filled. when i learned this had happened a couple months after the election, i went and started wandering around the federal government. asking what were these briefings? could i have them? just to find out what they didn't know. what emerges is really a picture of a couple things. one is you can think of a government, a lot of ways to think of it, but the way i'm framing it is it's a portfolio of risks, many of them catastrophic, very long-term in nature. that are being managed. and the white house, to get to the title, the white house had prepared a tabletop exercise to be engaged in between the outgoing cabinet offices of the
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obama administration and the incoming cabinet officers of the trump administration. they planned -- what would happen in the following instances. we're going to scheme out how you're going to react. a pandemic, a terrorist attack of some sort, a natural disaster of some sort, and a cyb cyber attack. i was talking to the person who planned it, i said if there was a fifth, what would you have done? and she went blank on me. i thought that's the issue. the issue isn't the pandemic or the cyberattack or the terrorist attack. the things that are vivid in your mind and that you're already kind of thinking about. it's there's a panoply of other risks the government manages that no one is paying any attention to, and they can blow up in your face at any time. it's sort of like the thing you don't imagine is the thing that's going to come and bite you. and they're not imagining. the trump administration is basically, they're either actively dismantling the government in places or more commonly, just neglecting it. >> you know, there are stats. and by the way, before i get to
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these stats about what you call neglecting it, these transitions that you talked about, you mentioned just between obama and trump. but are they traditional? doesn't every outgoing and incoming hitherto up until now, don't they have those transitions? >> they do. no, no, i hope i didn't make this seem more normal than it is. actually, not only have they had them in the past, laws have been passed in the last five or six years that require the outgoing president to prepare meticulously and require all of the candidates of the major parties or the two candidates of the major parties, i'm sorry, to receive the government. and so what is expected is that literally the day after the election, there will be hundreds of people meeting with hundreds of people to explain what is largely a technical matter. i mean, you go into the center for disease control, and there's not an idealogical conversation. it's we had this outbreak of the zika virus and this is how we
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dealt with it and why it didn't become a pandemic. and this is, you know, you may disagree with what we did, but you need to know what we did because you're going to be running this enterprise. and trump had actually a transition effort in place because he was required to have it in place when he was elected. but the day after the election, he fired everybody. he fired hundreds of people. and so they didn't have anybody to go in and learn about what they were going to manage. and this is, i think, this is the beginning of a lot of the problems they have experienced and that they will experience. >> okay, so i'm going to get to some of these, you know, who's running some of these departments in a moment. just to back up what you're saying, there are government statistics. "the washington post" tracks key administration appointments and notes that of the 709 of them that require senate confirmation, 361 have been confirmed by the senate.
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194 have been nominated, and 152 have no nominee at all. and then, of course, we do have these amazing pictures, for instance, president trump about a year ago cutting red tape. i mean, this is kind of what he ran on, kind of what he does and what he's proud to do and what his voters apparently like. but i do want to ask you, to the point that you make of neglect or disinterest, being unqualified, you remember very, very clearly, as everybody does, the famous moment in a debate in 2011, when rick perry couldn't remember the department of energy as one of the agencies that he actually would have wanted to eliminate. now, of course, he runs it. why is the department of energy so important? give us an idea of what it actually, you know, determines. >> so it manages the stockpile of nuclear weapons. among other things. that's the headline. large part of the bulk of his
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budget is in assembling, testing, nuclear weapons and also cleaning up nuclear waste sites. i mean, which is an enormous expenditure. but think about this for a minute. the level of ignorance required to make the statement he made in a debate. that he wants to cut -- he wants to eliminate entirely the department of energy. clearly doesn't know what it is. and he can't remember its name, but he's the governor of texas at the time. and the nuclear weapons that are being assembled under the department of energy i being assembled in the texas panhandle. it's amazing that he doesn't know any of this. when he finally -- this is what happens over and over. this isn't just a trump phenomenon. this is an american governance phenomenon. these outside er who don't know much about the government claim it's wasteful and lazy. the minute they get to it and realize what it's doing, they say, we can't cut that. that's what perry did. now, the problem is probably not
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here. the nuclear bomb is going to go off when it shouldn't go off. probably there's the physicist in the department who has that under control, but there's this whole other wing which is basic scientific research for the long-term future. i mean, most of the -- the entire solar power industry and the wind power industry has its start in research projects in the department of energy. that's being totally -- trump is trying to cut it. >> you make a lot of interesting points. some you'll agree happen between administrations no matter how they are. you know, they're neophytes, some are industry lobbyists who get appointed to various department heads. you have people loyal to the president who get appointed. it's not that new although some of them you point out are quite egregious. what you mentioned there was this growing risk between government and the citizens. and the fact that in many parts
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of the country, for instance, one mayor basically said that when it comes to rural voters, that they just don't want to be credited with government -- you know, the mayor didn't want to be credited with some sort of life saving and important thing coming from the government even though it really helped. >> so this is a point that originally was made, but it's a curious, curious feature of american society right now. that the very people who are most dependent on the government have voted for a man who is most hostile to it. so rural america, one of the patterns in the last election was that the more rural of a place, the fewer people there were, the more heavily it went for donald trump. and there is a department in the government which i write about in the book, department of agriculture, which could be called the department of rural because you drive around america, you drive through a small town, and there's a nice firehouse and a nice school and
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water and power and all that. almost all of that is coming right from the department of agriculture. that's not something they built themselves. what happens is inside that department is a $200 something billion bank that makes these loans to rural communities. and when those people go from the federal government with the million dollar loans to build x or y, the local politician will say could you please take that check that says from the federal government out of the frame because we don't want anybody -- our people will be hostile to the idea of the federal government being present here. so there is -- it is at this juncture between what the people expect from and get from the government and their feelings about the government. and this is not peculiar to trump. this has been boiling in this country for a long time. >> exactly. you know there will be people in the trump camp and all of those people who want smaller government, and it's a big rallying cry in the united
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states, particularly in the conservative wing in the united states, there is some pushback. "wall street journal" of your book said the following. isn't it likely that voters elected mr. trump precisely because he intended not to follow the obama administration's precedents but to reverse them? didn't voters expect him to disrupt washington's business in usual ways? surely, that's a more plausible reason than incompetence why the trump administration didn't ask for briefings. then they add, maybe you're overrating the risk because trump has been in office for almost two years and the government functions. >> yeah. you know, the government will function for a little while. no matter who's there, because there's a vast civil service that's in place. however, how well is the government functioning? we have whatever, 6,000 children in cages on the border. with mexico, in part because the government has lost track of
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which parents belong to which child. the internal revenue service is shut down on tax day because the computer system collapsed. i mean, you can see pockets. you can see problems emerging. now, the idea that this is some sort of systematic planned dismantling of the government that's going on, there's nothing systematic or organized about it. if there's a pattern to what the trump people have done and who he's put in and who he's nominated, it's -- it's narrow financial interests coming into the government to exploit it for narrow financial purposes. across the government, for example, please explain to me "wall street journal" why this would be useful. they have been pulling down of data from government websites, especially data related to climate change. i mean, that's the fossil fuels industry speaking. the national weather service, which is a critical, a critical enterprise. i mean, why we know hurricanes
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are coming where they're coming, he's put in charge of that or tried to put in charge of that the ceo of a company called accuweather, who has campaigned for the last 20 years to try to prevent the national worth service from communicating with the american people so accuweather can make money doing it. >> wow. >> there is no -- there is no -- this is not like -- i mean, this may be an oxymoron, an intelligent libertarian movement, but let's say there was such a thing that was possible. that's not what this is. >> let me remind everyone of your previous work that's raised all sorts of alarm bells, the big short, around the financial crisis, obviously, and also reminding everybody that you used to be a trader. we have a lovely picture of you in your youth. i want to play the sound bite that's quite critical from the movie. let's just play that to end this. >> there's going to be a bailout.
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>> well, they had to. right? >> they knew it. >> cash will stop coming out of atms. they had to backstop this. >> they knew the taxpayers would bail them out. they weren't being stupid. they just didn't care. >> because they're crooks. but at least we're going to see someone go to jail. right? they're going to have to break up the banks. the party's over. >> i don't know. i don't know. >> i have a feeling that in a few years people are going to be doing what they always do when the economy tanks. they will be blaming immigrants and poor people. >> so we have 30 seconds left. that was your cassandra moment there. what do you take away from that related to today in the fifth risk? >> i think we're living with the political consequences of the financial crisis. i think that the way that crisis
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was internalized by not just the american people but across the globe is that elites have essentially rigged the system. if you want to say, if there was any kind of iffy summary of the trump movement, it's an attack on elites. >> all right. really, really fascinating, actually. you took on the federal bureaucracy. who would have guessed it would make such an interesting guess? michael lewis, thank you so much. if government workers inside the united states feel a little anxious and off balance, as we have been saying, many people i have talked to in countries around the world are feeling much the same way. that's because of the rise of so-called illiberal democracy and president trump making no secret of his fondness for those strongman leaders. this phenomenon is especially and proudly present in hungary under prime minister victor orban. he's the populist nationalist who won a third landslide victory this past april, and he in fact coined the term
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illiberal democracy. he's locked horned with eu leaders over his draconian immigration policy and clamped down on democratic institutions. in fact, earlier this month, in an unprecedented move, the eu parliament censures his government for breaching eu values and began a process that could suspend hungary's voting rights. now, peter seato is hungary's foreign minister. when i spoke to him in new york, i asked him about his government's affinity for the trump administration and vice versa. >> foreign minister, welcome to the program. >> thank you so much for the invitation. >> i want to ask you, you obviously have a close relationship with the trump administration. would you say? does your government support the trump administration? >> we are not american citizens so i think it doesn't matter whether we support him or not because it doesn't make sense, but if you ask me the question whether a political relationship is better currently compared to the democrat administration,
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yes, it is better. >> president trump has an immigrant asylum and refugee program that seems a lot like yours. what do you make of united states at historic lows in their admission of refugees to this country. 30,000 they put limits on. of all the rhetoric that president trump uses towards whether it's immigrants south of the border, the separating of the parents and children, obviously, his rhetoric to muslim nations. to african nations, i don't need to repeat all the slurs. but in general, how does your government assess that and evaluate it? >> what i can tell you is that we consider it as a matter of sovereignty, how a country deals with the issue of migration. we absolutely respect if a country, if a nation would like to make the decisions about whom to allow to come to the territory of that given country
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and whom not. we absolutely respect the rights of the nations to make a decision with whom they would like to live together and what kind of country they want to be created of their own country. so that's why when we make our migration policy, for example, then we expect the same kind of approach towards us, to respect our decision. because we never judge countries with a different type of migration policy. until there's no pressure on us to follow them. >> the problem, of course, is that your migration policy is under the microscope, certainly within the eu, to which you belong, and the eu has certain rules and regulations and policies of tolerance and asylum and acceptance, et cetera. you have said that hungary will never be a country of migrants. and your prime minister has talked about, for instance, he said this. we don't see these people as muslim refugees. we see them as muslim invaders. he's talking obviously to the waves of syrian war refugees and
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others who come in fear for their lives. he sees them as invaders. he even eluded to an epidemic, a disease, they could bring disease or be terrorists. this has caused a huge amount of controversy and negative reaction around europe and other parts of the world to your country. >> look, our country has a direct experience back from 2015, how these migratory flows look like. we don't speak about this issue, as we have seen it on television or heard it from news. we have experienced it first hand. there's over 400,000 illegal migrants marching through our country. disrespecting our rules and regulations entirely. disrespecting the way we live. occupying open and public areas. demanding issues which are absolutely not covered by international law. these people came through at
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least four or five countries until they reached hungary and then they violated our border. my question is, my question is, what is illegal or immoral ground for anyone to cross, to violate the border between two peaceful countries? these people came through serbia, croatia, macedonia, bulgaria, greece, turkey. all these were unsafe countries. not fundament human right that you wake up in the morning, you pick a country you would like to live in, and in order to get there, you violate a series of orders. >> let me try to get your feeling about this. do you agree they're invaders? do you have any respect for the international right to asylum and refugee rights? >> no, we comply -- >> invaders. are they invaders? >> actually, you see them. they come. they violate our border. they disrespect any kinds of regulations. they are not ready to cooperate with your local authorities.
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they affect your policies. they cause injuries to your policy. and the second part of your question, if i may, because i think it's a very important question, whether we comply with international regulations, yes, we do. absolutely and entirely. >> many of these people, as you correctly point out, are trying to get to other countries. hungary was a transit place. they didn't really want to stay in your country. one of the big problems is europe and members of the eu refuse the quota system. refused, including your country, refused to take their fair burden sharing responsibility. >> i don't agree with this part. >> which bit, the fair? >> we took part in this. we have been taking part, and we have been spending $1 billion euros in protecting the border of the european union. and yes, we do not agree with the quota system because quota system is number one violating sovereignty of countries because it is you, you have to make a decision whom you allow to come
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to your country, and number two, it's an encouragement for further migratory rates, and this is something we reject. >> as i try to pursue exactly what your government is trying to be, your prime minister has repeatedly said his main aim is to preserve, quote, christian hungary. you have said we don't accept that multiculturalism is a value by itself. less than 2% of hungarians were born outside of the country. it's weird, that kind of language. it's very out of step -- >> it's honest. >> it's honest, okay, honest from your perspective. but what are you saying? that anything other than white christians into your country are not accepted? >> no one said that. >> excuse me. your prime minister did say it. a christian hungary. >> because we have been a christian country for a million years. i don't understand why it is news that we don't want to change that. i don't understand why it's bad or unacceptable that we would like to stick to our history, to our culture, to our heritage, to
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our religion. in this case, i can tell you that we never judged other countries which had different kind of policies. we never judged countries who said multiculturalism is more valuable than homogenous society, for example. but let's leave it to the certain countries. let's leave it to us to make a decision. many think multiculturalism is more important. i understand. but i respect you have a different position and i'm not going to judge you on that. i find you a very sympathetic person independent from this. i will never judge you, but i expect the same. we think this way, and please, let me make a sovereign decision of the nation, how it would like to continue its life in its own country. yes, we think that the country sticking to its heritage, its culture, its religion is as valuable as another one which thinks that multiculturism is better than that. >> i fully understand.
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i'm just trying to get to the bottom of it and the underlying facts. you claim to have an immigration problem, or you don't want these invaders, sorry. let's put it a different way. you don't want these invaders. >> illegal migrants. >> your prime minister called them invaders. >> i agree. >> yet, you don't actually have an immigration problem. you don't have an asylum problem. you have a population of 10 million or so, with less than 4,000 refugees or people seeking to migrate, and some of those -- you don't have a numbers problem. and you haven't declared a massive crime problem or a terrorism problem. i guess my question is, again, why? what is the basis? is it just cultural? is it just -- >> because if it did not resist or reject, we would have this problem. >> essentially, hungary is trying to be the firewall? >> we're protecting our border. we're complying with our obligations, because look, we are members of the hashangen ar.
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the culture is clear. if you are a country located at the external border like we are, you have to comply with the following obligations. number one, you have to make sure that your border is only crossed through the border crossing points. number two, only with proper documentation, and number three, only during opening hours. we have to comply with that, and we do. >> there are other eu rules that the eu believes you are in violation of, which go to all sorts of issues like rule of law, tolerance, and all sorts of things. the eu is currently proceeding with article 7, which could invoke disciplinary action and the suspension of some eu membership rights. how does hungary feel being sanctioned by the eu itself? >> we are not. >> well, they're talking about it. you know the process is ongoing. >> of course, i do. >> what if you were? how do you feel if you were? >> i'm among the very few ones
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who read the report. it has 69 points with allegations to hungry. they are agreed upon by the hungarian government. 19 are under discussion, and 37 are just lies. now, the government of czech republic, the prime minister himself, and the government of poland made it very clear immediately. >> they are like minded. >> they would veto any kindhung. you know this requires a unanimous decision. the same procedure is going against poland currently. >> i'm going to get to that in a moment. you're all fairly like-minded in your policy. i want to ask you a question, first, about the immigration before i go on. i mean, we were all somewhat shocked when we reported it when in june of this year your country passed legislation which criminalizes lawyers and activists who even seek to help asylum seekers. anyone charged could face up to a year in prison. that legislation was condemned by the eu and united nations.
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the united nations right now, it is kind of shocking. on a basic human level, to punish ordinary activism civilians, lawyers, who want to help some of these poor people who are fleeing in danger of their lives and security. >> the problem is that i'm pretty sure that those who have written this statement on your paper have never read this law. that's the problem. >> what is the law? you're not criminalizing it? >> people who criticize hungary on such kind of issues, i always ask the question, man, have you read what you're speaking about? because in this law, you know what's in this law? if you promote -- if you promote violations of the border of hungary, if you promote illegal ways to come to hungary, if you promote opportunities regarding asylum, which are against the law, which are without a legal basis, then you face conduct measures. it's national security issue. >> let's say someone arrives in
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your country -- >> i wonder what would happen in the united states if i or anyone else would promote the way of illegal entrance into the united states. is that a crime here? >> you have seen what's happened at the border here. there's a huge backlash, and the president has had to retract his zero tolerance policy, which was incredibly draconian. actually, i want to come back to something. >> this is the overall problem with all of the allegations on hungary that you put forward such kind of statement. >> i'm going to let you have your say in a second. >> and the problem is this is not in the law. >> i'm going to let you -- i'm going to play a sound bite of what you said on this issue to the united nations. >> it is obvious that the u.n. officials spreading these lies about hungary are biased, pro-migration officials. i have to tell you that hungary will never be, never be a country of migrants. we will always protect the security of the hungarian people. we will never allow one single illegal migrant to enter the
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territory of our country, and we will always protect our own border. >> so in that regard, you have addressed what you consider the problem with those who oppose you. i guess the reason why we're really interested in having you on is you're emblematic of what's happening in parts of europe right now. you mentioned an alliance between the governments of poland and czech republic, and slovakia. and yourself, even though i misspoke. there is this growing phenomenon of illiberal democracy, which your prime minister coined the term. that sends chills through the hearts of people who believe there is democracy or autocracy. tell us what illiberal democracy is from what you see, because the press are victims of illiberal democracy. in many parts, they get push back. some of this tolerance in terms of migration, what is illiberal democracy and why is it a good
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thing? >> thank you for asking because i can explain, because it was pretty much mischaracterized and has been mischaracterized. what it was, we are faced that if it's not the liberals who win an election, then it is immediately considered a modern democracy. i give you one example. we won the latest election in april for the third time with a constitutional majority. 49.6% of all the votes went to us, with a record turnout and record support. hundreds of thousands of votes, we have more than all other parts of the parliament together. so what was the reaction of the european union, for example? many ministers in the european union, institutions? that the hungarian people are not smart enough to make a decision about their own future. that is what we call illiberal, because immediately after, it's not the mainstream liberals or anyone, to win, then it's considered not a democracy. and my question is, why do we
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have to say words in front of democracy? what we say about christian democracy, for example? is that worse than we consider illiberal. >> what is illiberal? how do you explain -- >> it is a democracy when it is not the liberal party to win. >> but you do act as if the opposition is illegitimate. >> i don't say that. i say you have to be balanced and listening to the government as well. not only to opposition when you dislike the government. >> one of the more serious charges, and i'm afraid it is a very serious charge, is anti-semitism. as you know, your prime minister has been accused of stoking anti-semitism through the way he's dealing with george soros and his praise of the world war ii leader. he was a hitler ally. after meeting benjamin netanyahu this year, he pledged zero tolerance on anti-semitism in hungary. do you accept the criticism?
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and are you going to enact zero tolerance on anti-semitism? >> we have zero tolerance on anti-semitism years ago, and we practice it. no, i tell you. i tell you. i tell you. we are proud on our track record regarding anti-semitism. we are a country, we are a country which has the biggest jewish community in budapest in central europe. we are a country that the jewish community has a renaissance in its cultural life. we are a country where the biggest synagogue of europe and one of the biggest catholic cathedrals of europe are here. we are a country which will host the games next year. we are a country -- >> to be sure what they are, they are the israeli and jewish olympics. >> right, basically. we are the country that -- we are -- >> that's why people are concerned about it. >> we are the country which put
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in that the denial of holocaust must be punished. then putting some kind of allegations to us is much more. >> they are serious allegations. do you regret, then, the government's attacks and slurs against george soros, which look very much like they were using traditional, what's it called -- dog whistle anti-semitic terminolo terminology, or was that just political? >> i reject that. >> okay, then would it be political because he was supporting the opposition. >> we have a very serious debate with george soros. a very serious one. but it has nothing to do with his religion. this has to do with the contradiction of the region about the future of europe. his vision about the future of europe is totally different than us. he would like to see a europe in a post-christian faith. their migrants are being allowed at least 1 million a year.
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our vision is totally different. he called my prime minister a maniac. he called our country a mafia state. so my question is that if he attacks us like that with money, with media, with funding opposition or at least ngos in the country, why shouldn't we have the right to react and say that no, no, we have a totally different concept, and we want our concept to win and not yours. and it has nothing to do with religion. nothing. >> do you regret some of the terminology that was used, whether it was directly by the government -- >> by whom? i can't be responsible for what as a government has said. we don't care about his religion. >> hungary is a beautiful country. budapest is a fabulous capital. you have world renowned food, world renowned culture, music. it's a great little jewel. and it also stood up in a way that taught the rest of europe, you know, against the soviets,
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and it was crushed at one point. it just seems that things are getting way too authoritarian. people can't figure out why this is happening in hungary of all places which should know better. >> i tell you one thing. i hope you won't waste my time. and you will look around. you will see this country is really developing. this country loves. this is the reason tourism increases in a very rapid way. it's a politically stable country. we have leadership. we have a strong leader, which i look at as a value. why do you say author daitarian? we won it based on the will of the people, and please, don't forget the hungarian people, if they were not smart enough to make a decision about their own future. >> did i say that? >> no, generally speaking, not you personally.
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how it comes that we spent eight years in office, and then we won another landslide victory with the most votes ever. that might have a reason. and the reason might be that the people are satisfied and the people want us to continue. >> so given all that, what you have just said, would you then agree with the description by the eu's foreign policy chief, when i sort of asked about the rise of populism and nationalism across europe, and your country and others, i didn't mejz your country, this is what she said to me. i wouldn't call it a populist movement. th their name.e to call things it's far right, extreme right political movement. traditional party. but very little conventional not only europe, but elsewhere in the world as well. >> would you agree? >> i absolutely disagree. she is a far left politician. so i'm not surprised her saying such kind of things.
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you know, we are a very democratic party in hungary with very wide support. i have to reject such kind of statements because they basically form against the people. because with this statement, she portrays people not being smart and mature enough -- >> no, she doesn't say that. >> i know her very well. at she says.'m not surprised i'm not surprised. >> one thing we can agree with, i think, is that politics have moved from the center. and there are the extremes on both sides. and you know, the question is how is that going to evolve? >> well, what i can tell you, the following. that hypocrisy and political correctness have been around for too long time. and people have a hunger for honest and straightforward speech.
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this is what i see in europe. so if you're putting the last four elections in europe, austria, slovenia, hungary, you see those parties gained the most support who were credible in what they said, who were credible in their track record, and who got rid of the hypocrisy and political correctness and named things as they are. >> foreign minister, thank you for joining us. >> i appreciate the invitation. thank you. on that note, we go back to the united states now. this week marks a year since the shooting in las vegas that killed 59 music fans. then, of course, there was the parkland massacre in february, which led to mass protests by surviving students. our next guest belongs to the camp that thinks the solution to gun violence is more guns. that's larry ward, the chief marketing officer of gun dynamics, a crowd funding platform for the firearms community. and he sat down with our michelle martin. >> larry ward, thank you so much
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for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> let's start with gun dynamics. you're raising money to do what? >> helping gun inventors and gun manufacturers raise money to bring products to market. really interesting products. new inventions in the gun space. >> like what? >> we just -- one we just closed is a trigger, an adjustable trigger. helps keep -- >> one gun and different people can fire it. >> absolutely. adjustable trigger for your finger length. our founder took this to a crowd funding platform and got kicked off. then he went to another crowd funding platform and got kicked off. he said we need to build a crowd funding platform. >> to do your own thing. the goal, it seems to me, is to make more guns available to more people. is that right? >> it's -- this is actually to help bring gun technology. and you know, bring technology from an accuracy perspective, from scope, from hunting.
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lots of different products, and quite frankly, the inventors don't have access to capital to bring the things to market. >> you know, the reason i'm curious about why you say that is there are some 300 million guns already in circulation in the united states, so it doesn't seem to me there's any shortage of guns here. >> no, but there's not a shortage of knives either, and occasionally you want to buy a new set of steak knives. there's not a shortage of cars but you buy a new car occasionally. people are turning 18, 19, 20, who want to arm themselves. there's always a need for having new inventive intelligent guns. >> most industries try to meet multiple demands with the market, particularly something like the auto industry. they're always trying to come up with ways to make driving more fun and sexy and exciting, but they also try to meet the demand for safety. i don't see your company doing that. >> that's not true at all. i mean, you know, there are gun
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manufacturers go -- as a matter of fact, if you know any gun owner or people who manufacture guns or sell guns, safety is always -- >> safety for whom? for the shooter or for the people around them. >> safety for the shooter, safety for the person around them. part of the problem is you have a lot of people with good ideas coming up with different ways to bring products and services to market. whether it be recreational, hunting, safety. and the banks and the financial institutions, particularly, the bigger banks that have very liberal boardrooms are not giving them access to take these inventions to market. >> give me a sense, though, of what sense of responsibility you feel to the rest of the public. a lot of people in this country with lots of different points of views about guns. and you have some people who feel really strongly about their guns and feel they're an important part of their sense of
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self, of their citizenship, their responsibilities. you have other people who are desperately afraid and really feel that something has kind of changed in this society where kids aren't even able to go to school without being, you know, without having to have active shooter drills and being afraid of being shot. do you feel any responsibility to meet those citizens somewhere? >> i would suggest anybody who is afraid of guns should go out to a range, should learn how to fire a gun, should realize that it's not as scary as it looks. and that it can be held responsibly, it can be held lawfully, and it can be used to protect yourself and your loved ones. >> we don't take that approach to other things that harm people, like opioids for example. opioids have had tremendous benefits to society. but they also kill people. so we don't just say, you know, this is a good thing. we're going to trust you to use it. we regulate those things. we regulate all kinds of things that are a benefit to society
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that can also harm them. why shouldn't that be the case? >> we don't have a constitutional amendment that says opioid use shall not be infringed. we have a second amendment that is there for a very, very good reason. most people don't truly understand. >> well, the second amendment, we can recite it together. a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep their arms shall not be infringed. you don't belong to a militia. >> what it's saying is we need a military. we need a militia to protect from invasion. so it's necessary for a free state. and the second part of it is that's why we need the citizens to have guns. because it's not just for, you know, for the military and for the state to have the guns, for the government to have guns. it's for the citizens to keep the government in check. you know, and if we all of a sudden elect a tyrant and a
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tyrant goes out and starts acting tyrannical and taking away our other rights and gelling people for political purposes or whatever it is, we have the right to remove that person by force. and we can't do that if we don't have an armed society. >> is there any -- i don't know which word to use here. i'll use the word restriction, on ownership or access to guns that you would be okay with? >> there are restrictions. you know, there's restrictions on automatic weapons. there have been restrictions on those for, you know, 100 years. i'm not advocating we overturn that. i believe that any gun that the government engages citizens with, any weapon the government
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engages citizens with, the citizens have the right to own. to this date, american government has not engaged us with automatic weapons so i see no need for us to have automatic weapon. i was walking out here in new york city, and police officers are carrying ar-15s, and there's nothing wrong with the american people using an ar-15, a semiautomatic weapon. >> i was looking at your website, at your newsletter as it were. these are the recent headlines. corporations are diving into leftist politics. heavily armed illegals cross the border. man arrested in his own backyard. you know, most of the gofundme sites i look at are like, let's put on this record. yours is very much, they're out to get me. who is out to get you? >> of course they are. these corporations are engaging in leftist policies. citi' bank recently released a policy that they won't allow gun purposes without a background check. try to advertise for a gun or on
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google, on facebook, on any kind of social media or internet platform. 99% of them don't let you advertise for guns or gun parts. >> yet somehow, there are still 300 million guns in the country. >> there are still gun stores and people know where to get them. >> exactly. >> that's an unfair business practice. there are lots of coffee shops. but if only starbucks gets to advertise, is that unfair? that's unfair. you could advertise gun control on google. you can advertise gun control on facebook and twitter, no problem. you can't advertise for gun rights. you can't advertise for gun parts or ammunition or anything else. these businesses need to get their message out to the people. >> and they are. talk to me about yourself, if you would. you're from new york. >> from new york. >> born and raised. on long island. >> on long island. >> did you grow up with a gun in the house? >> i did not. long island, new york, is not a big gun culture community.
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>> so how did you get introduced to guns? >> you know, i'm not an outdoorsman, i'm not a hunter, but what got me interested in guns was the constitution. you know, i started looking at, why is this second amendment here? and it makes a lot of sense. we have to protect ourselves from out of control government. we have to protect ourselves from invaders. we have to protect ourselves from people who would want to do us harm. and you know, guns are a tool. >> how old were you when you got your first gun? >> in my 30s. >> in your 30s? >> moved out to virginia. >> so how come? >> why did i buy my first gun? >> yeah. >> to protect my family. >> as i understand it, you claim credit for arming the teachers, at least that as a phrase, right? >> yeah. >> as i understand the story, that in the wake of the shooting in newtown, connecticut, am i right about that? >> correct. it was a protest coming -- my office was between the nra lobby
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office and the rnc, coming down the street screaming shame the nra, two days after newtown. i lefted up my window because i have children, right? and i don't see school safety the way they do. and they're screaming shame the nra like you have blood on your hands and stuff like that. i don't see it that way. i lifted up the window and screamed on the teacher because the only way to prevent the school shooting is to have armed guards or armed teachers or armed principals, not everybody. not mandating people, but having people who want to be armed and to defend their students to be able to do that. not a gun-free zone. that principal at newtown who bravely confronted the shooter and was killed, if she had bravely confronted the shooter and shot him, it would have been a different story. >> so then, forgive me, because this is such an awful construction in a situation like
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that where there's so much loss of life. i'm going to apologize in advance for my language. whose fault was that? >> the shooter's fault. that's the only person's fault it is. you know, i'm not even going to go as far as to say the politicians who made it a gun-free zone. it's not their fault. it's the shooter's fault. it's not a policy's fault. it's not a tool's fault. you know, people make t. mistakes, too. but we don't say, you know what? nothing i can do about that. >> there's lots we can do. >> we say how can this be safer? >> let's make school safer. let's re-enforce the doors. let's have better security on staff. let's have armed guards. let's have places where, you know, the school doors, you close the door and maybe it's locked and re-enforced. there's lots of things we can do to help protect kids in the future from this happening again. >> so the bottom line is for you, larry, you're not willing
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to change anything about your lifestyle and your access to guns, not just you personally, but others who agree with you. you're not willing to do anything? all the change needs to be elsewhere, outside of you. i'm asking you as a citizen of this country, a person, people have a stake in this society, too. >> i say gun control causes more deaths than actually gun rights and having the ability to defend one's self. and that's, you know, proven. in the areas that have the strictest gun control, we have elevated gun violence. chicago is a war zone. regular, you know, good, responsible citizens can't get guns. >> so larry, when are those kids who saw their friends get shot in parkland, florida, whether or not nay have ever shot a gun before. some of them have. some of their parents have guns,
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for whatever reason, and saw their friends get shot, are you really prepared to tell them that's the level of mass shootings in this country is acceptable? >> it's a personal story. i'm not crass. i'm not trying to make somebody feel bad, but there are gun rights folks who came out of parkland who are still talking about the right to defend themselves and talking about arming teachers and talking about, you know, commonsense gun rights legislation. and other ways to protect schools. and there are -- there are plenty of families who see things our way. they don't get their story told at the same level. so i'm not going to tell david hogg or any of those friends that their pain isn't real, because it is real. and their emotions are real. and i stand by their right to
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fight for what they believe in, but what i will say to them is, you know, open your minds, and if you really truly are interested in saving more lives, look at the ability to have an armed guard on the staff, look at some other ways we can keep our schools safe. >> and what about you? have you ever considered they might be right? have you ever allowed yourself to consider they might be right? >> of course. i listen to both sides of the argument. i'll have this conversation. i have been thoughtful of the other side. the problem is the logic doesn't pan out. >> what does society look like five years from now? >> what i see right now, the fight that's going to continue five years from now is in the free market. and i believe that the only way to battle the free market is with the free market. and that brings us back to companies like gun dynamics. there will be other companies that are going to be out there to offer solutions, to go around
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these big corporate monsters. and you know, make sure that they can provide their goods and services and products and inventions. bring them to the marketplace. >> larry ward, thank you for joining us. >> appreciate it. >> interesting view to listen to. as for what society will look like five years from now, perhaps our guest tomorrow is perfectly positioned to continue that conversation. the massively successful best-selling author about what he calls our species' dangerous evolution from man the tool maker to man the digital native. for now, though, that is it for our program. thanks for watching amanpour and company on pbs and join us again tomorrow night. uniworld is a proud sponsor of amanpour and company. when they founded a collection
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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 cruises and their floating boutique hotels. today, that dream sets sail in europe, asia, egypt, and more. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, visit >> additional support has been provided by -- >> rosalyn p. walters, bernard and irene schwartz. sue and egguard walkenhiem. seton millzen. judy and josh weston and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> you're watching pbs.
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>> announcer: this is "nightly business report" with bill griffeth and s bounceback, stocks rise to start the week, but there are a few key things that will drive the market through the rest of the year end. the road ahead. general motors is closing plants and laying off thousands in cities where the auto maker has deep roots as it looks to a very different future. every dollar counts. there's a new front in the battle among the retailers and at the center is your smartphone. those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report" for monday, november 26th. we bid you a good evening, everyone. not bad for a monday. stocks rose sharply at the opening bell


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