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tv   Amanpour on PBS  PBS  March 27, 2018 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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pbs. what next as president trump pick a hard liner john bolton, and imposes punishing new trade tariffs on china. my conversation with the former deputy national security adviser james jeffrey many washington, and from beijing, the former australian prime minister. plus, after another weekend, a new revelation, we meet the whistle blower at the center of the storm surrounding facebook and cambridge analytica.
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>> announcer: man pu-- good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. i'm christiane amanpour in london. the president is surrounding himself if hawks and hardliners, while the white house filters out opposing views. enter john bolton, the new national security adviser to donald trump. he's called for bombing and regime change in north korea and iran. he remains a fierce defender of the iraq war that trump himself calls a big mistake. now he'll have the ear of the president at a time of acutely difficult diplomacy ahead with north korea, iran and russia. the u.s., in fact, is today expelled 60 diplomats from moscow with 14 eu member states following suit after the poisoning of an ex-russian spy
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here in the united kingdom. what will john bolton bring to the job? james jeffrey, the former deputy national security adviser joined me from washington, and kevin rud, the former prime minister from australia spoke to me from beijing. welcome to both of you. ambassador jeffrey in washington, big deal today, the u.s. administrationas expelled 60 russi diplomats,he most its everxpelled in history. what do you make of this? and trump is doing a 180, isn't he? >> to some degree, christiane. he's also closing the consulate in aragon. it's a huge step not only to show the russians we're serious, but also to align ourselves with the european union that's taken a strong position on the assassination attempt in england, but also with nato ally britain. and it's very important, if you
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will, in the evolution of donald trump towards a confrontational move against vladimir putin. >> is bolton already making himself felt? he is more hard on the russians than trump has been. really, this is a whole new trump, vis-a-vis vladimir putin, or is it just a show for this particular unacceptable alleged assassination attempt? >> good question. i think under the circumstances the evidence is so clear the united states had no other choice. also, you'll remember, congress passed 99 to 1, or 99 to 0, the senate, anti-russian sanctions a few months ago. the president knows that the u.s. congress is very, very angry at the russians for many good reasons, and he has to bend to that to some degree. >> to you, the former prime minister of australia, there in beijing, kevin rudd, who knows beijing very well, and all the
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associations, what do you make of this -- at least the threats of a trade war? it is something that president trump, in terms of tariffs and the like, promised his voters that he would throw at china. and people are angry about the size of the trade surplus deficit, and about the theft of intellectual property. does trump have a point when he's trying to punish beijing? >> well, in terms of chinese unfair trading practices, there are a range of people, including myself, who believe that the chinese need to lift their game hugely against international trade standards, including on intellectual property. but then the question, christiane, becomes one of the mechanism that you use to resolve the disputes. that's why we all invented the world trade organization on the backs of the general agreement on tariffs and trade, which goe back to 14. we've got a set of rules and procedures and dispute resolution mechanisms under the wto designed for these sorts of
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issues. the problem is, if the united states, under the president trump's administration walks around them, and begins to act unilaterally, then there comes a point where the rules of the overall system begin to collapse, which is why not just china, but other states, europeans, australians and others in the wto in geneva in the last 24 hours have been railing against american actions, for example on steel and aluminum, so far. >> so let's now get to the heart of another matter, and that is the hardening of president trump's america first policy, at least as far as we can tell. jim jeffrey, this idea of having john bolton, a very polarizing, incredibly hard line individual as his national security adviser, just a heart bebeat aw from his office, a couple of doors down from the president's office on a 24/7 basis, there
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are rumbles and fears going through the allies and probably the adversaries as to what this means for u.s. foreign policy. what do you think, jim jeffrey? >> i think we have to wait to some degree. what we know is, and i've worked a bit with john bolton, bolton brillnt. 's very good bureaucratically. and he's very hard on russia, whichresidentrump up to now has not been, and he appears to have trump's confidence, at least from what we've seen so far. those are all pluses. the problem is, as national security adviser, you're not really on an equal level with the cabinet members, with secretary mattis of defense, with mike pompeo, if he gets confirmed at state with nikki haley, you have to coordinate them and basically do the nose to the grindstone work of ensuring the policies are executed. you cannot be the first player, the only exception was kiss inger, and there is no second kissinger.
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we'll see if he can adapt himself to that. but that's crucially important for him to do the job of being the honest broker among these very important players. >> he's very close, and known for very hardline policies. for instance, where kevin rudd is sitting, what are the chinese going to think is trade nationalism going to become the mantra of the day in the white house? is president trump going to be urged by his new national security adviser to dump the iran deal as both of them want to do? what about regime change in north korea? i mean, bolton has expressed himself on both of those issues in that regard, jim. >> right, you're absolutely right. pulling out of the iran nuclear deal is a big mistake, and i think most people recognize this. i don't think the president does, and i don't think john bolton does. in terms of north korea, there is no regime change scenario. we're not going to do this militarily. bolton will not command any
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divisions, there's no way the u.s. military will do it. the risk is, if he thinks there is a fantasy island, as i call it, solution to foreign policy problems where you don't have to do the hard work, mobilizing the national community and then accept compromises, then he could possibly blow up the opening that we now have with north korea's freeze of its nuclear program and the summit with president trump by demanding things like a commitment to total denuclearization before any meeting happens, and the north koreans will never do that. that's the kind of worry i have in practical terms. >> kevin rudd, you know john bolton, interacted with him, and you obviously know china and the whole north korean issue. do you have these kinds of concerns that a john bolton could torpedo it one way or another, including ditching the iran deal? >> well, i know john bolton to a limited extent. i met him a couple of times in his work during the bush
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administration. he's certainly a hawk. let's call a spade a spade here. i agree with ambassador jeffrey. we need to give ambassador bolton time to settle in. he's never occupied the position before. let's see how he plays the game ahead of him. i would say this on the question of north korea, i would agree again with ambassador jeffrey, the military option frankly leads us to a world of pain, much greater than we currently confront. but secondly, we now have, i think, a real problem in terms of the china-u.s. relationship on north korea. why do i say that? i mean, up until now, china basically has accepted the american lead on north korea, has supported u.s. proposals for sanctions in the u.n. security council against the north koreans, multiple sets of sanctions getting harder and harder. and then we have this unilateral action by president bush -- president trump some weeks ago when he indicated that he would
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have this summit with kim jong-un. now, the chinese were blind sided by this, as were the japanese, and as were a whole bunch of american allies in addition to those as well. so this leaves the chinese out in the cold. that's bad, particularly if the north korean summit with president trump itself goes bad because we then need to ensure that china is still with the united states in bringing future leverage together against the north koreans, against a failed summit if, indeed, the summit occurs. this chinese reaction may well be, well, thank you, uncle sam, we notice we've been left out of the cold on this, we might try some of our own bilateral diplomacy with the north koreans and see what contribution we can make to this equation as well. i don't want to see a fracturing of the u.s. china position on north korea, that's not helpful for anybody at this stage. >> i see ambassador jeffrey nodding, and particularly, of course, it raise it is question, if you actually want, as you
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described, china's good offices, or its help, you know, to add these ideas of a trade and tariff, and all of this business, ambassador, doesn't really help, does it? >> i think in terms of the overall approach, both to north korea and china, i don't think trump is doing all that badly because you can separate out security issues and trade issues to some degree. but what you do need is better coordination. i was smiling when kevin mentioned china being left out in the cold. because the perfect example of what a national security adviser should do is when you get the offer to meet with the north koreans, let the boss say yes, but before anybody says anything, say how about a call to president xi and make sure 's not blind sided? this is exactly the kd of nose to the grindstone detail work you have to do as a national security adviser. >> let's talk a little bit about
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bolton. he is not known for diplomacy. i don't know whether you saw, but "the new york times" is carrying an op-ed by a former deputy secretary of state, a former obama administration official anthony blinken who reminds all of us it was the republicans in congress who basically -- so worried were the republicans in congress about bolton and his policies that bush had to make him a recess appointment. it's not very encouraging, ambassador jeffrey. >> you have a point, as does tony blinken. on the other hand, again, when he was up in new york, that's where i worked with him on negotiating a very sensitive security deal with the u.n. secretariat, and i found him effective. he is a guy who is in the limelight. and that's what he is not going to be able to do working for the
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president because among the people what will take the he's got to watch that resident, carefully. he is a hardliner, very tough. and that's not where the other members of the cabinet are in some cases. >> except for pompeo is. people are actually a bit concerned that it's now an alignment of views around president trump, which i want to put to kevin rudd. this perception of an alignment of views, not just of america first, but on specific policies around president trump now, but also especially john bolton, we were reminded, you know, he has a reputation of dismissing or distancing or getting rid of people who don't agree with his viewpoint. he has a big reputation of getting rid of the experts whose views do not align with his political views. how worried are you about that aspects of it, kevin rudd? >> well, the history of the iraq war and the decision in 2003 to
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invade iraq on the grounds that there were weapons of mass destruction about to destroy us all, frankly, is a sobering lesson for all of us today, particarly in the case of those who supported that action in 2003, and for those who may continue to defend it to this day. however, i go back to my which is part of practical diplomacy, it is what it is. ambassador bolton has been appointed, and he is therefore the point man on this critical relationship with china and this critical question of north korea. and i go back to what i think ambassador jeffrey was pointing to before, which is mr. bolton's quite sharp professional skills when he is given a task. that is to execute. given the dimensions of the rupture in the u.s. china relationship at present, which is not just the trade issue we've talked about before and the possibility of a trade war,
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not just a beginnings of a temporarying of the position on north korea, and not just, what we haven't discussed tonight, which is the decision by the united states to pass the taiwan travel act which enables administration officials now to go officially to taiwan, we now have a u.s.-china relationship which is looking spectacularly ragged. what i would strongly say is, we need to rely -- we need to give, i think, ambassador bolton an opportunity to congressman strait his wares. this relationship needs to be harnessed to solve major global problems. including, most critically, the north korean security question. but also to frankly put the trade question to bed as well. otherwise we leave far too much damage in our wake. so let's give the guy a bit of time to pre himsel >> all right. on that note, kevin rudd in beijing, jim jeffrey in washington, thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> good to be with you.
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so while we wait really for that big unknown, we're turning now to the ongoing cambridge analytica data privacy scandal en gulfi en -- another whistle blower said the official campaign broke the law by coordinating overspending. the man at the center of all this is the former cambridge analytica employee and the crucial link between all these organizations and campaigns, christopher wiley who's now telling all to the authorities and joining me here in the studio. welcome to the program. >> thanks for having me. >> it has been yet another weekend of revelations. but i want to start first, since we were just talking about john bolton, former u.n. ambassador, now to be president trump's national security adviser, you were the first to reveal that he, too, had a superpack many years ago. >> yes. >> that used cambridge analytica. is that correct?
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>> yeah. so the bolton pack was actually one of the first clients of cambridge analytica to use and exploit the algorithms that were developed using the misappropriated facebook data. they spent half a million dollars on that program where we deployed advertising online, and looked at essentially how to make americans more mitaristic in their views. >> more militaristic. what do you mean? >> the purpose of the pack, as i understood it, and as i understood the project, was to really make americans, you know, more conscious of national security issues and more generally the thesis of the pack was that america and americans have become too limp wristed, as it were. and that in order for america to maintain its place in the world, you know, john bolton and his pack wanted americans to feel
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more militaristic in their world views. >> we have been just been talking with the ambassador and the former prime minister about the potential views of a john bolton as a national security adviser. so it's really interesting to hear you say that. because he obviously, as everybody knows, has a great love of the use of the military. >> yeah. it's ironic that john bolton's pack used, you know, cambridge analytica whose parent company scl group is a military contractor. >> so just to get this straight, it was in 2014, before the trump campaign, before brexit. so you're saying it had nothing to do with the political campaigns, the boll ton pack was just this issue. their contract describes the services as "behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging." what does that mean. >> cambridge analytica uses behavioral microtargseting its te to describe the modeling that predicts personality traits
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in the target audience. so the facebook data was taken and combined with survey data that asked questions about personality traits, psychological disposition. those models were then combined, that survey data and that facebook data was then combined so that we could predict personality traits and psychological disposition in the target voters so that we could figure out ways to exploit mental vulnerabilities and target messages at underlying psychological disposition. >> it really is extraordinary. and, of course, we have to say at this point that bolton's pack, the superpack says it had no idea that -- >> actually, that's not true. if you look at the documentation of the project, it made very clear that the source of a lot of this data was from facebook, from, you know, facebook apps that were harvesting data of
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millions of americans. >> we're going to put that to him, obviously, if you say that. you say the tactics and messaging used by superpark were designed to exploit people's mental vulnerables. do you mean trying to engage and see who's more militaristic? >> a mental vulnerability is where you -- no one is perfect, right, and so, you know, i'm the first person to admit that. and when you look at, you know, diffent psychological dispositions, people are more prone to believe certain things, or think in a certain way. and that when you profile people, and you look for, for example, people who are more prone to conspeartorial thinking, or highly anxious responses or highly disgusted responses, for example, if you know this person looks like a type of person who is more prone to believing conspiracies, that gives you the ability to target messaging to exploit that
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disposition. >> so, in other words, you're revealing here a whole new layer of this microtargeting, not just to win elections or influence elections, but to actually, let me put it this way, to influence foreign policy, for instance. >> yes. the idea -- >> military policies. >> one of the things the bolton pack was interested in is that you can lobby in washington. you can buy expensive dinners. you can put pressure on, you know, senators and congressmen all you want. but, really, at the end of the day, what talks is voters, right? and if you can rile up voters, and make them more militaristic, you don't need to lobby senators. the lobbying bubbles up. >> has it had an impact, this particular pack? >> you know, well, john bolton is now the national security adviser and donald trump is president. >> let me ask you about something i was fascinated the whey you described this microtargeting. you compared it to reaching
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voters of old in the town square versus -- >> versus. when you think about what is cracy, right, and how democracy has evolved, it used to be that if you were a candidate or you wanted your voice heard, you would stand in a town square, ring your bell, and people would gather and you would talk to them about your ideas. the fundamental, you know, the fundamental fact of that scenario is that everybody is hearing exactly the same thing. you are saying the same thing to everybody. there's a common understanding of the reality of that situation. the difference is, here, that we are able to understand the -- and get to know every single person in that town square, understand how they tick, and then go and individually whisper something in each of their ears. and that this person hears one thing and this person hears another thing and this person hears another thing. and fundamentally you start to erode a common understanding of, first of all, what you're actually saying and what you're proposing and also more broadly
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the common reality of what this election is about. >> the revelations were by a different whistle blower, alleging that brexit vote leave the official campaign had, by far, overspent, and you have termed it improper, and potentially illegal. >> yes. >> so that is -- that's a major thing. obviously they're all busy denying it. let me just read you what they're saying. they basically deny it. but in the past, domonic cummings, the head of the vote leave campaign, said this on aggregate iq, the whole other name linked to cambridge analytica. without a doubthe vote leave campaign owes a great deal of success to aggregate iq, we couldn't have done it without them. he's kind of admitting that it was vital. >> they played a pivotal role. 40% of vote leave's spending went to aggregate iq, which was set up during my time at cambridge analytica to support cambridge analytica projects.
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during the time of the referendum, all of its clients were cambridge analytica clients. although this company has a different name, it is so closely linked to cambridge analytica. the concern here is that this company was used to funnel money that allowed vote leave to massively overspend, potentially one of the largest, you know, breaches of electoral spending limits in british history, or at least modern british history. and that's deeply concerning because brexit was won by less than 2% of the vote. >> that's so crucial to remember. it was less than 2%. let me ask you this, the new head of cambridge analytica's, the other one, the new guy says christopher wiley was a part-time contractor who left in july 2014 and has no direct knowledge of our work or practices since that date. he was at the company for less than a year, after which he was made the subject of restraining undertaking to prevent his
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misuse of the company's intellectual property while attempting to set up a rival one of his own. >> let me clarify some of these points here. first of all, i was research director at scl group before cambridge analytica existed. they're using weasel words here. secondly, i did not sign any intellectual property license. i did not sign any of the contracts they were trying to force on me. i contest the claim that i took any ip that they developed because i never licensed any ip to them in the first place. and thirdly, the july date that they're referencing is when i handed my notice is. it isn't when i finished working. >> let me ask you very briefly, 30 seconds left. you were fundamental to cambridge analytica. why are you coming out and sort of bringing the house of cards down? >> because when you look at the impact that this firm has had on the 2016 political cycle, electing trump, and then being involved in brexit, both directly, and then through a
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related company, aiq, i felt compelled to tell people about some of the unlawful activities of this company because it has had such a huge impact on the political cycle. >> it's really extraordinary. i'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more in the days and weeks to come. and hardball tactics being played to try to deny all this by those you've outed. christopher wiley, thank you so much indeed. appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. that is it for our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour" on pbs, and join us again tomorrow night. ♪ >> announcer: "amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the generous support of rosalynn p. walter. ♪ walter. ♪ >> y
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