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Interviews with NY Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Actor Gary Oldman. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired December 11, 2017 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, three women come forward to publically accuse President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. New York
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who's long led the congressional charge for women's rights joins us for an exclusive interview. Also ahead, my
conversation with the actor Gary Oldman nominated today for a Golden Globe for his uncanny portrayal of Britain's wartime hero Winston Churchill.
Good evening, everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Today the world is watching as for the first time the Me Too
campaign takes aim at President Trump. Three women out of more than 13 who have accused the president so far appeared at a press conference in New
York to share their stories of being groped, fondled and otherwise harassed by then Citizen Trump.
Here's Rachel Crooks who alleges that Trump forcibly kissed her when she was a young receptionist at Trump Tower back in 2005.
RACHEL CROOKS, TRUMP ACCUSER: I want to believe that as American's we can put aside our political inclinations and admit that some things in fact do
transcend politics, that we will hold Mr. Trump to the same standards of Harvey Weinstein and the other men who were held accountable for their
AMANPOUR: The women's seen there with the producer - film about their allegations are calling for a nonpartisan investigation in Congress of the
alleged sexual misconduct. President Trump denies all the allegations although he was caught on tape bragging about groping women at will.
The White House calls these false claim saying, "The American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory in the 2016 election." The
allegations against the president are reemerging at an unprecedented time in American politics. Tomorrow there's a special election in the state of
Alabama when voters could send an accused child predator to the United States Senate.
President Trump has been all in for the republican candidate Roy Moore. Meanwhile, democrats in Congress forced two of their own prominent members
Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers to resign their seats.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand led the movement which was started by women in the Senate to compel Al Franken to step down. She's been
wrestling with issues of abuse and accountability throughout her career, battling against sexual assault in the military and on college campus.
And, she joins me now for an exclusive interview from Washington. Senator Gillibrand, welcome to the program.
KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, UNITED STATES SENATOR: Thanks, Christiane. It's great to be on.
AMANPOUR: So, as I said, this is an extraordinary moment, an unprecedented time in American politics and the world is gripped by this saga. I mean,
here it now takes aim squarely at President Trump as this whole Me Too movement gains momentum, should he, should the White House be worried?
GILLIBRAND: Well, President Trump should resign. These allegations are credible, they are numerous. I've heard these women's testimony and many
of them are heartbreaking. And, President Trump should resign his position. Whether he will ever hold himself accountable is something, you
know, you really can't hold your breath for.
And so, Congress should have hearings. They should do their investigation. They should have appropriate investigations of his behavior and hold him
AMANPOUR: So, you are standing by your prominent senator colleagues, Senator Cory Booker and others who have called today for the president to
resign. I hear you very clearly agreeing with them. Do you think, though, that there should be as these women have called for a bipartisan
investigation or are you calling for an immediate resignation?
GILLIBRAND: I think he should immediately resign and if he doesn't we should have the investigation.
AMANPOUR: You know, I wonder you've read anything different into some of the prominent woman around the president. It was quite extraordinary over
the weekend when his own U.N. Envoy Nikki Haley said quote that, "These women who accuse anyone should be heard and they should be dealt with. I
know that he, the president, was elected but women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them."
GILLIBRAND: That's right.
AMANPOUR: Is there a movement on his own side do you think now amongst women?
GILLIBRAND: Well, I think the point she's making is this is a very powerful moment in America's history and not only should women be heard but
they should be believed and they should be investigated. So when you have these allegations come - coming forward those allegations should be
investigated just like you would invest any other allegation of fraud of any other crime committed.
Why do we not believe women? Why do we not investigate their allegations? And so they should be believed and they should be investigated as a
consequence and so I think President Trump should be held accountable and that's why I think these women are coming forward because they want that
They see CEO's being fired on the spot for this kind of behaviors and worse and President Trump has committed assault according to these women and
those are very credible allegations of misconduct and criminal activity and he should be fully investigated and he should resign.
AMANPOUR: So, before I move onto Roy Moore, the candidate - the republican candidate for the senate special election in Alabama, can I first ask you
about what you sort of started in the senate regarding your own senator, Al Franken, and then in congress with John Carney as a long time congressman.
You say they should resign, why was it not OK for you to wait for the ethics investigation process to take its course? What made you - what was
the tipping point for you and the other women?
GILLIBRAND: Well, this was very heart breaking for all of us. We worked well with Senator Franken and it was hard for us personally. But when we
heard about the eighth allegation it was too much and I felt enough was enough, these were credible allegation from multiple sources and having a
debate about what's the difference between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping.
If you're having that debate and trying to split hairs, you're really having the wrong conversation. None of this behavior is OK and I wanted to
finally speak my mind of that issue and that's why I expressed myself as I did with my abed (ph) and talked about how I see this issue. I don't think
we should be having a conversation splitting hairs about different conduct and to me it was enough was enough and I wanted to express myself which is
what I did.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you senator, you have made it a course and you've been very prominent in trying to level the playing field for women across the
board in their professional endeavors. Military, I said on campus, I've said and now in congress, in the Senate. Has it ever happened to you?
GILLIBRAND: No, I have been blessed that I've never had to feel that sting of a harasser or a sexual assault and had to relive those moments publicly
like so many brave women and then have. But we can't lose sight of, Christiane, in this moment is there are so many women around America who
can't tell their story.
There are so may low wage women, women who are on hourly wages whether their working in bars or restaurants, in service industries, on farms
across America and their bosses aren't famous like Harvey Weinstein. They can't see accountability be held in the public eye when these allegations
come out and they may never see justice and they may never feel they're at a position to come forward.
And that's why I'm grateful for all of these women who are coming forward and asking for accountability and trying to hold President Trump
accountable for his outrageous conduct.
AMANPOUR: I want to dig down a little bit because obviously, you democrats have forced two of your own prominent members to resign before even the
ethics investigation and the exact opposite is being seen on the opposite side of the isle. I just spoke about Roy Moore; President Trump has now
got right behind him. Is this a political matter in that they want the seat, they wanted to pass their agenda and they are just going to go for
GILLIBRAND: Well, I don't think this should be a political matter, it's about doing the right thing and it's about holding congress accountable.
Holding congress to the highest standards, not the lowest standards and I hope voters in Alabama reject Roy Moore because of the allegations of
pedophilia are horrendous.
I think these allegations are credible. I hope that votes will vote for Doug Jones, somebody who has dedicated his life to public service and
justice for all and I hope they will reject him as someone who's not fit to serve in the U.S. Senate.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it is mind boggling, the world is really riveted. How could somebody with that many allegations, including allegations of going
after minors actually almost about to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Now a Senior Republican - sorry, a senior republican, the Senator form Alabama, Richard Shelby, has said yes, I could vote for Roy Moore, the
state of Alabama deserves better but you've got a woman, a female Senator, Senator Susan Collins saying you know, if the allegations are known prior
to the election, we have a tough decision to make about whether it's our role as senators to overturn the will of the people.
Wat's going to happen if he joins you in the U.S. Senate?
GILLIBRAND: Well I hope that there will be (in-office) investigation; I hope I'll actually have an opportunity to vote to not seat him. I hope
they will make a recommendation to explosion which is a role they can take, but I think Senator Shelby's right when he says I couldn't vote and this
person shouldn't be in the U.S. Senate. Again elected leaders should be held to the highest standards, not the lowest and we should be
fundamentally valuing women and that's what this larger conversation is about; do we value women, do we make a space for them to come forward? The
Me Too movement is a powerful movement and we want to make sure it's a lasting movement and that it's not just this moment in time, but we reflect
on how do we treat women? Do we value women in our communities?
And then empower more women to be heard and I also hope this continues to drive more women to run for office. We have seen overwhelming numbers of
women running for office in the last election and we need to change the player list whether it's in Congress or whether it's in corporate America
or whether it's small businesses so that we women can not only change this climate, but hold the perpetrators of this horrible behavior towards women
AMANPOUR: Look I need to ask you this because it's suddenly starting to bubble to the surface. Including women, there was a big article in the
American Interest Newspaper magazine basically saying quote, that there should -- there could be a backlash, mass hysteria has set in, it's become
a classic moral panic; one that's ultimately as dangerous to women as to men. In other words the idea that you know a hand on a knee is being held
to the same standard as a rape or a serious abuse. Are you worried about that?
GILLIBRAND: I'm not worried about that, I think we all know what kind of conduct is unacceptable. It is not acceptable to harass someone's --
people that work for you, it is not appropriate or acceptable to attack a woman, to have unwanted groping, unwanted kissing, throwing them up against
a wall, you can just list the behavior. It just is not hard to understand and I hope that this country is strong enough, is thoughtful enough to have
this conversation and take from it that we must value women and men who are also victims of sexual violence.
We need to value one another, we need to care about one another, we need to treat each other with respect, we're not asking for something more than
that. And so I hope that people do not feel they need to retaliate against women or exclude women because that would show that we are not up to this
moment; we should be big enough to handle this moment and create safe work places and places where men and women can thrive together, that's what
makes our economy grow, that's what makes our country strong.
We should be up to this moment and so I would just urge everyone not to make an excuse in some way to see this as a retaliation against women, we
should absolutely avoid it and we should just stay strong; women should be heard, they should keep coming forward and aspire to positions of power
where they can change the players list and change the climate.
AMANPOUR: Senator, can I ask you one last question about what Democrats stand for? You probably read the leading article in The Washington Post
today and it basically said in recent weeks, you've scored huge electoral wins in Virginia, cultivate public oppositions to the Republican tax plan,
purged two liberal Senators, all of that, but still can't agree on what the party stands for. What does the party stand for? And are you a potential
candidate in 2020 for the presidential race?
GILLIBRAND: No but what we stand for is we care about one another, we believe that if you work hard every day your work should be rewarded, we
believe every American should have a right to the American dream that if you work hard every day you can work your way into the Middle Class and
provide for your kids, that I care about your kids as much as I care about my own. That is what we stand for; we have always stood for that. And so
whether we're fighting to reward in this country with national paid leave or equal pay or affordable daycare or universal Pre-K or whether we're
valuing all of us by fighting for women's voices and making sure we are all valued in this county.
That is what we stand for we have always stood for that and it is a moment in time where we have extraordinary candidates that are coming forward and
a lot of them are women; first-time candidates winning in record numbers certainly in the last election in November and even in this next election
in 2018 we have more women candidates than we've ever had in the history of this country.
AMANPOUR: You're so passionate, why wouldn't you run?
GILLIBRAND: Well I want to serve in the U.S. Senate and I'm up for my own election in 2018 and I'd be blessed if my state voted for me again.
AMANPOUR: All right, Senator Kristen Gillibrand, thank you so much for joining me from Washington tonight.
GILLIBRAND: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: Now the Me Too movement began in Hollywood of course and as award season begins, it'll be the first time in decades without the larger
than life influence of Harvey Weinstein. Today the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its Golden Globe nominees and actor Gary Oldman has
been nominated for best actor for his incredible performance as Winston Churchill in the "Darkest Hour." In this clip we see Britain's iconic
wartime leader saving the world as know it by staring down the Nazis and refusing to surrender to Hitler.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY OLDMAN, ACTING AS WINSTON CHURCHILL: .between ourselves. (Inaudible) that they learn. You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in it's
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I take full responsibility.
OLDMAN: Really. Yes sir. It is the reason I (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: All was nearly lost then back in 1940 as plucky little Britain stood alone against a monstrous tierney. It would be another before the
United States entered the war to defend our liberty. Rapturous critics have praised Oldman's ability to capture, "the funny, terrifying,
introspective, drunk, cunning, caring and cold sides of the man."
In conversation, as the film opens here in London, Oldman tells me about disappearing into the role after hundreds of hours in the make-up chair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Gary Oldman, welcome to the program.
OLDMAN: Thank you, yes.
AMANPOUR: You are the talk of the town. People are talking about you as a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination, Golden Globes and you did just win an
award from the British film industry. How does it feel?
OLDMAN: It feels very good. I mean, it's always when people acknowledge the work and they think it's good and there's some highs and there's some
lows. It's with any career, but at the moment it's ascending.
AMANPOUR: And it is extraordinary, I should have told you, because you're taking on this unbelievable, I would say, establishment icon Churchill and
your first big film was a completely anti-establishment icon in "Sid and Nancy," Sid Vicious. Is there any sort of poetry in that?
OLDMAN: Maybe I'd like to think there is. Winston is a bit of both. He's sort of -- he establishment and when he's -- he could be a bit of anti-
establishment too. So, I'd like to think that there's, perhaps, some very small tenuous connection between them both.
AMANPOUR: And they did call it because they thought he would save Britain at the worst and most precarious time, 1940, and he went to Parliament and
he gave one of his legendary speeches. These are incredibly well known speeches.
AMANPOUR: How did you prepare for them? How did you even -- were you daunted by delivering them?
OLDMAN: I was excited I think. We shot them last.
OLDMAN: Yes. And.
AMANPOUR: Because they're the heart of the film.
OLDMAN: .yes. But we shot them over a two and a half day, three day period. I started the whole building of Winston with the voice because
it's so iconic.
AMANPOUR: But, before you even get to the voice, the face.
OLDMAN: The face.
AMANPOUR: You're unrecognizable Gary Oldman.
OLDMAN: Yes. Right.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's incredible.
OLDMAN: So -- well, the make-up was a process which over months we worked on that.
AMANPOUR: It was prosthetics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLDMAN, ACTING AS WINSTON CHURCHILL: We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in
the streets. We shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender. (END VIDEO CLIP)
OLDMAN: I see Churchill as a bit of a -- like looking at a dinosaur and as much that these were great men who once roamed the earth. There were
actually people like that. Great orators, great speech writers, great writers, great statesmen, great leaders and.
AMANPOUR: One of the scenes that was so affecting and I know that it was not real, but in the subway where Winston Churchill, the Prime Minster, is
allegedly meeting real people to ask what they would do in his situation. And they say, never surrender, never surrender to the factious.
AMANPOUR: And I wonder what you make of the fact that so much far right is rising in Europe right now?
OLDMAN: His mission in life, we know that he hated -- he hated that (inaudible) with every fiber of his being and solved the menace. And did
everything he could to completely eradicate it and wipe it off the face of the earth. He did a pretty good job, but these -- there -- it's like.
AMANPOUR: It's waiting for it's opportunity to breath and come back to life.
OLDMAN: Breath and something comes back to life.
AMANPOUR: Your grew up from what I gather in a place and you played and your playground was sort of a place that was bombed out buildings that
still hadn't been put back together 10 to 15 years after the war. What was it like, how did you grow up, what memories do you have of that period?
OLDMAN: My Mother would talk constantly about the War. The War was very much in the air and when my Mother would walk me to school as a you know a
kindergarten there were houses, there was a row of houses and then there was a huge hole and then another two houses and then a big whole where
three were completely wiped out.
The (fascia) like (fascia) of a building was standing almost like with struts like a movie set behind it. So it would be just a brick wall with
empty windows and door.
AMANPOUR: In the film we see his secretary, this beautiful young girl who takes dictation while the great man's in bed in his bath robe.
AMANPOUR: We see her taking dictation and hearing him declaim his speeches from the (boss) and announced that he's about to get out in the all
AMANPOUR: Obviously everybody took that for granted in those days, but would the Harvey Weinstein and the whole bathrobe, naked, harassment
scandal that has.
AMANPOUR: consumed Hollywood, The Press, politics for the last several months. It is extraordinary that - that happened back then. I mean that
there's nothing on toward, but that was just normal.
OLDMAN: He does announce that he's coming out of the bathtub naked does that count?
AMANPOUR: I think it counts, he warns her off. Right?
OLDMAN: Yes, I mean it's a little different to opening the door in a bathrobe.
AMANPOUR: Precisely, so that means that.
OLDMAN: When you're going to a business meeting.
AMANPOUR: Correct. So how do you feel about - do you know, did you ever work with Harvey Weinstein, did you know any of this stuff? Was it in the
air that people just didn't talk about?
OLDMAN: I was never in the orbit of Harvey. I met Harvey in 92 and did not like him and said let's not do this in cinema.
AMANPOUR: What did you not like about him?
OLDMAN: He's creepy, I met a physical reaction. Just and I had also heard first hand accounts of Directors that he had taken away the movie and he
had bullied people and he was a bit of a shouter and a screamer and the whole thing with the massaging and all of that, it is a total
(graboration). I mean I have not truly have not heard any of that.
AMANPOUR: What do you think of the backlash, the reckoning, the fact that so many women have come out with the Me Too and the fact that Time Magazine
has rewarded that, recognized it, the silence breakers as their Time's Person of the Year?
OLDMAN: I sort of see - I think of it as a sort of evolution. It's evolution that - it's good to think about what we say and how we say it and
what we do and who we do it to and who we say it to. I think it can only be a good thing and it's progress.
AMANPOUR: Last question back to Churchill. I think one of the most extraordinary and effecting parts of the film is that everybody read about
the so called "black dog" the fact that he had bouts of depression and felt out, but here we see it in (Technicolor). I mean there is a lot of effort
to portray this great hero also with all his vulnerabilities.
OLDMAN: I mean that was one of the reservations that I initially had a part of course from my striking resemblance to Winston Churchill.
AMANPOUR: Only 200 hours in the makeup booth.
OLDMAN: Because he is such an icon and so mythologized that you wonder can you get passed the marble statue and reach the man. Do you know that you
talked earlier about the beginning about the (inaudible) in that we had a visit - a set visit. 17 of the churchills.
They have embraced this film and they loved the movie and they and (Randolph) just loved the portrayal. And that's to me and he feels oh
you've captured my Great Grand Papa you know the humor the energy and that's my Oscar right there.
AMANPOUR: Gary Oldman, thank you very much.
OLDMAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And, a final thought tonight. We perhaps, put hashtag ph MeToo Movement ph in perspective. I have been covering war on women's issues in
Afghanistan since 1996. Now, my friend and fellow journalist, Rod Nordland of the New Your Times, has written about the impact the movement is having
there. In Bolden, ph by what's happening in the western world, some brave victims of sexual harassment and assault are speaking out.
But, in Afghanistan, sharing their stories can be a death sentence. It is still a country where women, are sometimes, killed by their accusers or
even their own families just for reveling the truth. The MeToo Movement ph knows no boarders so let's hope, women in Afghanistan and all over the
world, can one day, feel safe and after ph against the daily abuse, so many face, just for daring to step outside the home and go to work.
And that it for our program tonight, remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online, amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.