tv Amanpour Company PBS November 30, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
hello, everyone. welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what he coming up. the president has misled the country. >> i speak with democratic congressman adam schiff. he'll soon chair the house intelligence committee on matters from muler er mueller arabia. and -- >> i changed my mind because i'm pissed. >> the crown prince meets world leaders of the g-20. i'll speak to the closest insiders. plus a reporter retraces humanity's journey around the
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welcome to the program, everyone. i'm christiane amanpour in london. as saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman arrives to hob nob y with leaders, the senate has voted to advance a bill to end u.s.-military support for the saudi-left war in yemen. the cia said the saudi crown prince was direct lily responsi for the murder and dismemberment of journalist jamal khashoggi. and senators were furious that cia director gina haspel did not brief them with the facts. >> why isn't the current cia director here as well? >> i was asked to be here and i
i'm here. >> reporter: normally you wouldn't be here on an issue this sensitive. why isn't the cia director here? >> i was asked to be here and i'm here. >> that is what we call a stonewall. the administration's response prompted a furious response from lindsey graham. he changed hislast minute to support the war against yemen. the executive director of the arabia foundation in washington d.c. joins me now. ali shahabi, welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> we have been wanting to get the perspective of this terrible
story that happened in october. we're very happy to have you on to answer some questions. >> thank you. >> first and foremost, this has been an ever-changing narrative from saudi arabia about precisely what happened to jamal khashoggi, from denials to outright expressions that he had left safe and sound to then saying he had been killed in an altercation, to then saying it was a strange yulationstrangula saying it was an overdose of a pain killer and a sedative and to admit that he was dismembered. how do you account for the impact and the reasons behind all this changing testimony? >> well, look, the saudi government has limited experience in crisis management. this was a complete disaster carried out by senior el mengem if the government who wanted to please the crown prince, thinking such a thing would
please him. when it went wrong, there was an internal coverup. that led the government to make statements it's regretted very quickly, but you become a prisoner of your statements sometimes. crisis management and coverups are always very delicate and problematic. this certainly turned out to be the case. i think now the government has tried to be as transparent as can and has come out and admitted what has happened and has taken action against the people that the government believes after an investigation are responsible for this. >> so admitted after a point and up to a point. let's just nail down and go through the process of transparency, if you like. i mean, first and foremost, why is it that we do not know what really happened to jamal's body, to the remains? if there's a transparent process, why can't we know where he's turned up, where he is? >> look, i think that's a good question. i think probably the body was disposed in some manner and, you
know, it was also internally covered up. again, governments get caught up in their own coverup and mistakes come and you become a prisoner of your own statements. but at the end of the day, the government did a rush investigation, fired a lot of top people, including five generals and a man of cabinet's rank, and add montamitted this horrible thing that should not have been done and should never have been envisaged. this story has become political football in domestic american politics, and it's taken up a much larger space than something like this would normally take. but that is the sad part of the whole story. >> do you know what, i really want to drill down on that. i harr year you saying it would up more oxygen than it would normally take.
i hear prince mohammed bin salman was very surprised by the reaction. doesn't that get to the heart of the matter, that he's a journalist, he was never a counterrevolutionary. he sat with you on many occasions and called himself a patriot and supported prince mohammed bin salman's reforms. it just goes to the heart of the matter that saudi arabia believes that something like that can happen to someone like that and be surprised at the reaction. >> it's not someone in saudi arabia. it's certain people who don't understand the outside world and overinflated jamal's threat. really jamal was not a threat to the government. he was an irritant maybe but not a threat. from their blinkered perspective, they saw him as a threat and they overreacted. not only did they overreact, they took on a mission which was outside the channels of institutional channels inside saudi arabia and they made a mess of it.
i think people sometimes in history forget to give margin to pure incompetence really, and there was a tremendous amount of incompetence, not just deciding to do something like this but doing it in a consulate. the crown prince i blelieve woud never have approved such a stupid operation in the first place. >> you may say that but it appears that the cia believes differently and has heard the tapes and has made its considered assessment as an intelligence agency would do. it appears that congress still has doubts about the coverup and the denials about prince moha d mohammed bin salman. wouldn't it be better to tell us who it was and how do you know
it wasn't the crown prince? >> the cia came out with a leak like washington leaks like a sieve. it was based on their understanding of how things happen in saudi arabia. with all due respect to the cia, i would think maybe their understanding of what happens in the inner sanctums of the royal palace are imperfect. then you had secretary mattis and secretary pompeo come out yesterday and bluntly said that they have reviewed every document concerning this, read every transcript and there simply is no smoking gun, there is no evidence that the crown prince did that. in the face of that. >> chris: -- in the face of that, it's not just the white house, it's not the institution. the state department has come out and said there is simply not a smoking gun. >> i know secretary pompeo said
that, i'm not sure about secretary mattis. >> i've soon it. secretary mattis said you can go back and look at that, he said in a certain amount of detail very clearly. >> you talks about leaks. we found out the saudi's government and prosecutor admitted was all the, quote unquote, leaks that were desperately accurate that began from the first day from turkey. these were accurate and were denied and denied and denied. let's move beyond that. you talk about no smoking gun. how do you assess, then, what the u.s. is saying, that they heard on the tape in arabic, the perpetrator, the local sort of ring leader say "tell your boss this has been completed?" >> again, this is a leak. we've heard that from the turks. we don't know who the boss that person is. it's taken out of context.
the saudi government fired two senior people who are responsible for this and a number of other generals in the intelligence service who participated in the coverup. i think the saudi government is at fault because it should have come out and put everything on the table much more than it does. uf unfortunately it's not in the dna of the system and they still haven't appreciate how to communicate with people in the world. but it's under investigation, a number of people arrested, a number of people fired. american administration with the secretary of state and secretary of defense has come out unequivocally and said there is no smoking gun. you have to give that some weight. in this polarized environment in washington, people want to hear what they want to hear. the turks have been playing political football with this also, leaking dribbles out over the last seven weeks. some of them correct, some of them not correct. you haven't done an audit of
everything the turks have been saying. they said some things turned out to be correct and some did not turn out to be correct. >> it's a terrible tragedy. and you were a friend of his and t a counterrevolutionary and as he was not a threat. david ignatius of "the washington post," who you also know very well, and who is a longtime observer has great contacts in washington and in saudi arabia. he wrote a really interesting deep dive into all of this. he also as part of that, he said that mbs, mohammed bin salman, became increasingly anxious to those he considered enemies. starting in the spring of 2017 a team of saudi operatives under control of the royal court began organizing kidnappings of dissidents abroad and at home according to saudi experts and he mentions harsh interrogation and covert sites. let me now play a sound bite
from jamal khashoggi after this event 2017 where you were sitting with him and he expressed his fears. >> why are you in, quote unquote, self-exile? explain that. >> simply because i don't want to be arrested. the irony that mohammed bin salman doesn't have an opposition. he doesn't have the tall ban as i have in afghanistan. most of the people, most of the intellectuals -- most of the people in jail are supportive of reform. if they were out of jail, they would be supporting him. there is no need to be arresting anything. >> and there you are in the scene. that was in 2018. there has been a thought that actually the crown prince didn't like any kind of dissent and did have sort of a, as i described it as what david ignatius reported. >> well, two things.
first of all, i have a great respect for david ignatius, but his article is full of inaccuracies and i told him that yesterday. we can go into that if you like. but beyond that, what people don't understand is that the crown prince and the king have undertaken in the last two years the most drenching reform process or change process that the kingdom has gone through in the last 50 years. again, people don't want to appreciate that change is very risky and change brings out a lot of resistance. so is the government correct in being nervous and is the crown prince correct in being nervous? i believe so. because he has to by definition alienate so many people as he pushes through change. for example, he has put the wahhabi class back in a box. that has created a lot of opposition. he has to be very careful of that. the right ring of the clerical class is very dangerous.
we know that in the middle east. we know what happened to the shah, what happened to other leaders. he has had to control in a way the world family and restructure that. that's made a lot of enemies for him there. on the ritz carlton, which people denigrated but played a very important purpose in sending a message to elites that the behavior that had been taken for granted for the last 30 years is no longer acceptable. that also created a lot of enemies. so in this period he has to be tougher than he would have been normally. having said that and having said that, there are certain advisers of his that have been removed since who played the role in magnifying these threats, and their approach was much more harsh than saudi traditionally would have undertaken. and the crown prince realizes that, and these people have been removed. so there is a legitimate concern as you go through change, but there also is an understanding today by the crown prince that
certain people in their desire to be loyal and in their desire to serve the system actually served it badly and that the system has been a bit too harsh than it should have been. >> yup, that is an understatement given what happened to jamal. let me ask you this. crown prince mohammed bin salman is getting off the plane in argentina. i can describe it as his coming out party to the west and world leaders since this horrific murder. do you really believe given what you know about international opinion and public relations and let's just say western moral imperatives, do you think that he can still be accepted as the reformer that he wants to be and that saudi desperately needs given this black mark on if it's not him personally, although some people think it is, then on his entourage and his retinue? he met demonstrations in
tunisia, king of morocco refused to see him, president trump has no plans as far as we know and only president putin said he'll meet him. does mbs still have the standings to do the reforms? >> if i can correct you, president macron is also meeting him. in tunisia, there were 200 people demonstrating. you could fit them into an auditorium. the issues of morocco have to do with western relations. ultimately this tragedy is the horrible murder and death of one person. it cannot stand in the way of the stability of a country as important as saudi arabia and the region. ultimately world leaders understand that. yes, a lot of noise is being made and justifiably jamal did not deserve to be murdered in the horrible way that he did and
people are going to get punished for that, but ultimately geo political relationships are built on much more than that. the kingdom of saudi arabia plays a critical role in the region, in upholding the status quo, in managing the world oil market and has been a stable force for decades. >> the fallout of one terrible murder is the u.s. pulling out of war in yemen. you're losing support in washington. >> no doubt that, look, the yemen war has been misunderstood. nobody has wanted to give a margin for saudi arabia's legitimate security concerns about iran's militia taking over yemen. i tell americans if mexico had been taken over by a communist militia at the height of the gold war, america would have gone berserk. the fact that saudi arabia has
gone to war because it sees itself at an existential risk for what's happening -- yes, they've made mistakes at war. you look at raqqa and mosul, which the u.s.-led coalition has undertaken, there is no such thing as a clean war. having said that, saudi arabia and the coalition have spent tens of billions trying to help, it hosts over a million yemenies. they understand they will be the only people caring about yemen when everybody else's interests goes elsewhere. the houlti militia do not want to come to the table temperat. e the only reason they'll come to the table is -- unless they get pressured militarily, there will not be a political solution and saudi arabia understands there has to be a political solution.
>> thank you. as we said, president trump is at the firestorm of the g-20 in argentina, to saudi arabia and to chinese. he's also leaving a firestorm behind. michael cohen, one of his closest kclos closest confidantes and former lawyer is cooperating with robert mueller. here's what president trump said as he left the white house. >> what he's trying to do because he's a weak person and not a very smart person -- what he's trying to do is end -- and it's very simple, he's got himself a big prison sentence and he's trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up a story. >> but the special counsel says cohen is being a truthful witness. one of the most important
congressmen come 2019 will be democrat adam schiff of california who will take over the chairmanmship of the intelligence committee. i spoke to him about this breaking news from washington. >> if mr. cohen misled the congress about the business dealings in russia deep into the campaign, it also means the president misled the country about his business dealings and that the russians were apparently attempting to gain financial leverage over the potential president of the united states. this just underscores how important it for us to finish the investigation to determine what financial links the russians have to the president and the trump organization, to determine whether they continue to hold leverage. so clearly we have a lot more work to be done, and just as clearly the president has misled the country about his financial dealings with the russians. >> so how important is it at this juncture, this development?
>> i think it's very important. it shows that certainly mr. cohen is providing deep cooperation with the special counsel, even as mr. manafort is not. we will be very interested at the appropriate time in inviting mr. cohen to come back to our committee to share any additional information and insights to clarify his prior testimony before our committee. so there's a lot more that warrants investigation here. >> the kind of picture you're drawing is of michael cohen coming back to congress and potentially hours, if not days, of what could be incredibly damaging testimony, public testimony, about this whole affair. >> well, what i'm saying is this -- if mr. cohen is stating now that he misled the congress about the, tent a extent and na duration of the trump organization's business interests in russia, denials the president made about business
interests in russia turned out to be false, it means the financial entanglement is more than we knew in terms of trump and russia. it also underscores the imperative of finding out do the russians continue to hold some financial leverage over the president? after all, if the president was willing to mislead the country about efforts to get a trump tower deal in moscow during the presidential campaign, is he still willing to mislead the country about financial connections that continue to this day? >> this is now a double whammy. we've heard from the mueller investigation that they are no longer interested in paul manafort and have ended his plea deal because they say he keeps lying. we now have this unbelievably fast revelation about michael cohen. what do you think is at the root of this? do you feel that mueller is trying to accelerate the, you know, the presentation of his findings? >> well, it certainly looks like there is a proliferation of activity in the mueller investigation.
as you point out, manafort caught lying and exposed to the court. you have corsi backing out of apparent plea deal, and now you have michael cohen in court. why is this all happening now with such rapidity. one concern i have is this the result of the appointment of whitaker or a fear that whitaker will somehow act to shut down the investigation. has that heightened the need to move more swiftly? it's going to be imperative for the congress to find out if whitaker is interfering in any way, shape or form. but it does concern me there seems to be such haste to move forward. i hope it's merely driven by the fact that there was that hiatus prior to the election of necessity to follow department of justice policy, but it certainly does seem that there is an added sense of urgency here. >> schiff was referring to matthew whitaker, trump's hand-picked acting attorney
general who of course oversees the mueller investigation now. i also spoke with schiff about his new oversight powers, both at home and abroad, and i began by asking him what he thought about the president's approach to saudi arabia. >> well, i don't think he's leveled with the american people about the murder of khashoggi. i can't go into what the agencies have briefed us, but i don't think he's been candid about it. i think it's really a terrible precedent to set that an american president should be involved in any way in an effort to cover up any aspect of the murder of a journalist. i think it's back fired, frankly, in congress. we saw that in the senate yesterday when the senators were not allowed to hear from the cia director directly about what our intelligence agencies can tell us. and the result was i think even broader support for an effort to cut off u.s. support for the war in yemen. that issue ought to stand in its
own right, quite separate and apart from the murder of khashoggi. but i think it is a sign of how the relationship between the u.s. and saudi arabia has been so deeply impacted that the first action we would take, the first really concrete action would deal with the war in yemen. >> it is really interesting. i do want to just play a sound bite from senator lindsey graham, who is a known backer of president trump. even he said on capitol hill that he could not continue funding the war in yemen, he could not continue backing saudis until they have a proper answer to the questions on khashoggi. we're just going to play that. >> about the briefing, i'm glad we had it. i admire both secretaries. but it was inadequate because the cia was not there. so the question for me is whether or not the cia supports the conclusion with a high
degree of confidence that the crown prince was complicit in the murder of mr. khashoggi. >> do you think that the cia does support that conclusion? >> i have been briefed by the cia in a way that most of the senators have not at this point as a member of the gang of eight responsible for some of the most clo closely held intelligence. i can't go into that briefing, however. i can say what i think so upsets the senators and i share their frustration is the cia director and top cia officials have not been permitted to brief the full senate. we are seeking a briefing in the house as well, thus far without success for our members, and i think there's a conviction that the reason why the white house doesn't want to put the director in front of the senate or in front of the house is it's her job to tell us the straight facts, not to put any kind of glass or spin on them, ands they something apparently the white
house doesn't want to take place. >> what will you do when you take over as chairman of the house intelligence committee? what sort of redress will you take let's just say in this regard, what kind of investigations might you or are you disposed to launch into this particular issue of khashoggi and therefore the war in yemen, et cetera? >> we plan to do a deep dive into issues around saudi arabia, which would include what we know about the murder of khashoggi. it would also include the saudi role in the war in yemen, the saudi role with qatar, the saudi relationship with other partners in the south, their role in the middle east process so we have a full understanding of what saudi arabia is doing, how solid or stable the house of saud may be. this ought to influence u.s.
policy. as we determine what the appropriate response to this murder ought to be, being fully briefed by our intelligence agencies i think is a key component. >> do you believe -- is it your sense that president trump's, you know, persistent siding with saudi arabia and notably the person of the crown prince, mohammed bin salman, has got anything to do with private or economic financial dealings, and would that be the focus of an investigation going forward? >> the short answer is we don't know because the president has been unwilling to be transparent in terms of his financial holdings, still insists on not releasing his tax returns. so we're in a very difficult position to evaluate was the president being honest when he said that he gets tens of millions of dollars from the saudis and of course he likes the saudis for that reason very much, or what he's saying now when he denies having any kind of finance relationship with the saudis.
i think it's important that we find out the answer. whether that will be the responsibility of our committee or one of the other committees in congress will have to be discussed among the leadership, but it is important i think that americans can know and have reasonable confidence that the president is acting in our national interests and not in his family's financial interest. >> i'd like to read you two interventions by both the secretary of state and the secretary of defense on capitol hill regarding the relationship with saudi arabia. so first here is mike pompeo. "is it any coincidence that the people using the khashoggi murder as a cudgel against president trump's saudi arabia policy are the same people who supported barack obama's with iran, a regime that has killed thousands wildwidorld wide and n
people. are both those comments complementary or are they antagonistic? >> well, that are certainly different. and i think secretary pompeo really undermines his credibility had he makes comments like that. you see the old partisan emerging in him when he makes comments like that. certainly the illustration you pointed out earlier of lindsey graham, he was not particularly fond of the iranian nuclear deal but nonetheless has also been very critical of the administration's handling of this. it doesn't cut neatly along the lines that the secretary tried to suggest. in terms of secretary mattis, i think secretary mattis is right. we do need to determine what consequences saudi arabia has to pay for this heinous murder. at the same time, we want to continue to have some
relationship with the kingdom. we do have a mutual interest in pushing iran back, a mutual interest in combatting aqap and isis in places like yemen. we have an interest in working with all the nations of the region to try and resolve the middle east peace crisis and problem. so we do need to have some relationship with saudi arabia. it's going to be a different relationship, though. and what a sensible approach by the administration ought to be is to say, okay, this is what we know, to level with the american people, to push back against saudi arabia, to call saudi arabia to count for this murder, to call saudi arabia to count for the bombing, the increasingly indiscriminate bombing of civilians in yemen and calibrate what the response out to be. that's a sound way to make policy. while we see it in secretary mattis, we don't see it in the
secretary of state right now and we certainly doesn't see it in the president. >> as we did in the cold war and other issues, the united states can walk and chew gum at the same time. can you have allies and adversaries and do vital business at the same time. i think that's what i'm hearing you say. >> that's right. we work with countries that have deplorable human rights issues and we're not going to work with them under those constraints and we would want the intelligence community to brief congress, to brief the administration, not only on what we know of saudi behavior but also what would the saudi response be to different sanctions for any of the approaches that we might take so that we can maximize the
pushback and the express of our values, but at the same time not sacrifice some of the important interests we have, particularly in counterterror and vis-a-vis iran. >> do you advise and would you expect president trump to meet with mohammed bin salman in argentina at the g-20? >> i certainly wouldn't recommend it, but i have to expect -- this is a president who has repeatedly shown an affinity for autocratic rulers, no matter what their human rights record is. you see the kind of warm embrace he gives vladimir putin. i would be astonished if he didn't. certainly any kind of meeting like that i think would only further facilitate the normalization of the crown prince's role, the fact that the u.s. president is willing to overlook any role that he may have played in the murder of khashoggi, i think it would be very unwise, but i would not be
a bit surprised if that's what the president does nonetheless. >> can we move on to you mentioned president putin. we'll talk about ukraine in a second. first to the mueller investigation obviously. there have been developments overnight. there are all sorts of issues that are swirling around the mueller investigation. of course there's this issue of the so-called blocked calls, the numbers of a caller and somebody who was called involving don jr. and, you know, all of that stuff. what can you tell us about that? >> well, this is a perfect illustration of the kind of work the republican majority was unwilling to do. it essentially was arcting as a arm of the trump legal defense team. we found out during our investigation that the president's son, don jr., was in contact with amin aguilarov, a
large real estate in russia known as the russian donald trump. there's calling back and forth between done j jr. and -- is it worth him taking a meeting on this, is it worth bringing his brother in the meeting at a time when the nomination is still in doubt? it's june of 2016. there are calls going back and forth where he's trying to find out the details of this. sandwiched in between those calls is a call from a blocked number. we know donald trump used a blocked cell phone during the campaign, and the obvious question is what was that conversation with dad? one of the things that we learned this week was the president apparently denies to mueller in the written questions that he knew about the trump
tower meeting in advance. if that call nonetheless was from donald trump, that puts that answer very much into question. so we sought to subpoena the phone records and find out. the republicans were unwilling to take that very obvious investigative step because they didn't want to know. we do want to know. that's going to be i think an early step that we take when we're in the majority. >> and just to another junior so to speak, ivanka trump, adviser to the president, her e-mails, the whole flap about using her own personal e-mails and server, et cetera, is that something you would launch an investigation into? >> i think there are other committees that will be looking at that issue, whether she has violated the presidential records act. the biggest issue there frankly is just the blatant hypocrisy. after years of "lock her up" directed at hillary clinton a, s
own daughter is in breach of the same protocols of using a private server for public business. it's just the hypocrisy that reaches out and grabs you by the neck. i think that's really frankly the biggest issue for the trump administration as far as that goes. >> i know it's said that americans' eyes kind of glaze over the more we talk about the mueller investigation or even president putin, who keeps apparently trying to probe and test the will, recently this week of ukraine but also by extension of the west and the united states. this is what secretary mattis said about putin regarding the conversation in the specific straits there. we'll talk about it afterwards. >> it was obviously a flagrant violation of international law. it was, i think, a cavalier use
of a force that entered, ukrainian sailors. it was contempt really for the traditional ways of settling these kind of concerns if they had any. and when you think that there is a treaty tw y between the two countries that shows exactly what happens, it just shows that russia cannot be counted on right now to keep its word. >> what kind of message sending by what he did in ukraine do you think? >> i think the message that putin is sending is that he feels he has free reign to do what he will. i think he is testing the u.s. president but, frankly, that test already took place in helsinki and the president failed it spectacularly. i have to think after the president failed to call out putin on husband unt vens in our election, when the president sided with putin over himself own intelligence agencies, that putin walked away from helsinki thinking that this weak u.s. president would never confront
him, as long as any intervention he might make in the u.s. political system helped trump, either by helping republicans in the mid terms or sewing -- that this president would never call him out on it. i think similarly in ukraine and for whatever reason putin is convinced the president will not stand up to him. now, one of the reasons that we are so intent on determining whether there is a financial form of leverage by the russians over the president is this bewildering behavior by the president. and we do intend to look into the issue of whether the russians were laundering money through the trump organization because that would be powerful leverage the russians might have and it might explain why the president is behaving the way he is. those credible allegations need to be looked into. thus far they have not been looked into by congress, and i don't know whether they've been looked into by the mueller team. we just saw within the last 24
hours deutsche bank offices being searched. we have seen deutsche bank within the last couple years sanctioned in the hundreds of millions by the state of new york for laundering money, and deutsche banks apparently the only bank willing to do business with the trump organization. why is that? why is it that the president's sons at various times have said a disproportionate share of their assets come from russia or they don't need u.s. bank because they get all the money they need from russia. this may be leverage russia has. if it is, we need to find out about it and if it's not true, we need to tell americans that as well. >> do you bleach telieve the ru are a threat to the 2020 election? >> i do believe they're a threat to the 2020 election. my guess is they viewed the calculus on the midterms differently than the presidential. it's hard to have the same kind of impact when you've got, for
example, in the house 60 different races. but when you've only got two candidates ultimately in a presidential race, it's much easier to have a big impact. as i said earlier, i think the russians are convinced as long as they intervene on one side and that is on the side of donald trump, they can certainly expect this president to give them cover. that ought to concern all of us going into 2020. >> just finally, you talk about the midterms. obviously the congress flipped. did you remarkably well by flipping i think 39, 40 seats. nancy pelosi, leader of the minority, wants to being speaker. you support her. will she make it? will she be the next speaker? >> she will make it. we need, i think, her talent in bringing us together given that we will have the most diverse caucus we've ever had and one of the largest democratic caucuses, at least in recent times.
we need someone of her capability at the helm. >> congressman adam schiff, thank you so much for skojoinin from us washington. >> thank you. >> it's said a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. but what about a feat on foot around the entire globe. meet a pulitzer prize winning journalist and national fellow. he's trekking the route his ancestors took telling important stories along the way such as climate change. >> paul, for viewers who might be unfamiliar with the how or the why, let's talk about that first. why take this journey? >> this is at its core a story telling journey. i have a long background in foreign corresponding, i've been a journalist covering the world for more than 20 years for newspapers, and i noticed in my coverage that i was missing big
gaps of the stories that i was encountering across the world by going too quickly and flying over them literally in many cases. so the out of eden work is a experiment, a global laboratory for slowing myself down so we can dive deeper into the stories of the ordinary people who inhabited the major headlines of our day. it's a walked investigation of the world. >> how long has this been going now? how many countries? i remember the first time we spoke you said you were going to be done in about seven years. >> that's true. and that was a bit of an optimistic projection. i have been walking since january of 2013, and i originally projected this long foot journey to last about seven years based on a mathematical calculation of walking half the time and stopping to report stories half the time. the blueprint, the map for this
intellectually is to follow the footprints of the first home owe sapiens who migrated back in the stone age. >> what have been the biggest hurdles about this? a mountain range, a reservoir, they don't really care where human drew lines on a map. >> i started in ethiopia, i've been to africa, walked through a major desert in saudi arabia where the temperature was every day above 100 degrees, i've crossed the mountains in the winter through blizzards, the hindi area through blizzards. >> you've walked with all kinds of people who are leaving where they were. >> that's true. and today, as you know, there are more than ever. u.n. statistics vary but anything up to close to 270 to 300 million people now work and
live outside of the countries where they were born. and it's not always associated with violence or wars or suffering. it's people going to seek opportunities. so in a strange way we've cycled back into a golden age of migration that's a bit of a return to our roots. >> there were periods where you were walking alongside refugees from the syrian war. >> one of the ironies of the eden walk is i bumped into one of the biggest forced migrations in modern history, which is refugees fleeing mass violence in the war in syria. in that situation was walking through basically countryside in turkey and started seeing tent camps everywhere. there were people camped out under orchards, there are people camped out on the outskirts of towns. there were people collected into large refugee camps. i think the numbers at the time, this was in 2014, about 11 million people had been uprooted
by the civil war in syria. walking made me a bit more empathetic because i was literally at boot level and eye level with the refugees who were also fleeing on foot from their war ravaged cities. >> how are societies that you've walked through dealing with the costs of climate change? >> not well. when it comes to climate change, i've walked through several landscapes that have been very significantly impacted by changing weather that is going to be long term. the first was in ethiopia where that part of the valley was experiencing increasinincreasin erratic rainfall. it's already dry. imagine a tan desert with sparse grass, brittle yellow grass, has bursts of rainfall during its rainy seasons. there are temporary rivers that burst to life but then fade away and sink very quickly back into the sand and the peoples who
live there are adapted to that and have adapted for thousands of years. now that the rain is more erratic and moving around more and less predictable, it started conflicts between pastoral groups that depend on that grass and rain for their animals. so sadly this is one case where changing climate is exacerbating violence between human beings. how is the government handling it? by basically encouraging these people to move off the land. in central asia there was the heaviest rain dpaul fall in liv memory. i interviewed 90-year-old people who never had seen the rains that they did in kazakhstan. and the steps had grown so high with so many new kinds of plants that they didn't even have the names of these plants in their folklore. these were seeds that had been lying there for once in a century kind of flood events. >> recently you wrote about ware
scarcity in the region you just went through. >> there are 1.2 billion people innd india. the government has found more than half, 600 million, are living in some for the of water crisis. it's either water contaminated and not drinkable, not usable or it's simply a scarcity of water. what i saw coming through this landscape, imagine the punja, it turned india into a food exporter. they're using so much water that it's like spending your life's blood to keep yourself alive. i've interview farmers along the way whose water table has dropped hundreds of feet, not in a generation, in a decade. i asked them what are you going to do when your little pump pumping up the water from in
precious reserve of antique water that will never be replaced, what are you going to do when you ran out? they don't know. >> you mention your walking partners. you have a global people walking with you through all the years. >> i would say it's probably the greatest reward of this project so far is having the privilege of walking with so many sterling people, so many amazing people who have given me their time, have opened up their homes to me literally, their home countries to me. and they include everybody from tu turkish photographers, to saudi bedouins and now i'm walking with sid, a man who walks out the rivers of india. he's teaching me about river ecology here. >> i'm sure one of the questions that people have is about your security situation. what has that been like as
you've been walking through so many different countries? >> yeah, i get that question a lot and it's a valid question. i'm not naive, i was a war correspondent for many years. i've seen just how badly we can treat each other. but i must say, i've been very lucky. so far in almost six years of walking, i think the total journey right now is about 11,000 miles. we treat each other pretty well. there have been a few incidents like in eastern turkey where i was ambushed a couple times in the conflict between the kurds and the turks. those were cases of mistaken identity. the belligerent parties, the people who ambushed me thought i was with the opposition, the enemy. i was shot at in the west bank by the israeli army, another case i think of mistaken identity. but i can remember those incidents so clearly because
they're so few. >> you've also been detained a number of times. you opinion have a separate map just keeping track of that. >> yeah, my police map. i started being stopped by police almost immediately, even in the remote valley of eith ethiopia's deserts. we live in a world of cars. it's unusual to see people walking on the road these days, and especially if you like like me, my skin, the way i look, my clothing. i stand out. so i get stopped often. so i thought why not start geo tagging these stops and describing them and putting them into categories of friendly police stops, neutral police stops and kind of hostile police stops and pouring them into a digital map as an anecdotal way
to kind of show freedom of movement across the world, right? you can tell something about societies by the way their security officers treats citizens or treat anybody. i've been stopped close to 90 times so far. >> can you give us a sense of the logistics. do you just sleep in people's homes? how does it work? >> i sleep wherever the sundown catches me. if i'm walking through a desert, i camp. if i'm walking through a rural landscape such as this in rural india, i stay with a family, at an ashram, a temple or a mom-and-pop shop that sells food to truckers. they sometimes have beds can you sleep on. when i'm inning about cities, i stay in a hotel and i take a shower and wash my clothes. >> how have you stayed so healthy? just the different types of food
you're eating, the possible water-bornei water-borne illnesses? >> i've been exposed to a certain number of organisms. i've been pretty healthy. i got pneumonia in pal stan aesd i got an infection in lahore in pakistan that knocked me off my feet for about a week. i've been pretty healthy. i think there's two reasons. walking keeps you pretty healthy, right? it's a low form of exercise, keeps the mind exercised and keeps the body healthy. and by moving slowly, think my body has time to adapt. >> you're in india now. what happens after? >> i'll be pivoting into myanmar and then cross the border into
china. it will take more than a year. then cross the river into siberia and walk as far north as i can get before the weather turns so impossible as to make walking impossible, and then walk down the western coast of new world to the very tip of south america. and that's the last corner of the world that our ancestors reached and colonized way back in the stone age. >> we hope paul continues to find the fields to rest in on his journey. that's "amanpour" for tonight. good night.
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this is "nightly business report" with bill griffeth and sue herera. trade hopes. optimism that the u.s. and china will find common ground. spread from the g20 meeting in buenos aires all the way to wall street. >> hotel hack. as many as 500 million people had personal information exposed, ranking this among the biggest breaches ever. >> spending spree, why our market monitor is betting on a joly holiday season for the digital payment stocks. those stories on more tonight on nightly business report for friday, november 30th. >> we bid you good evening, everybody. and welcome. the startling headline we woke up to invol