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"Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back" By Gretchen Carlson; Capitol Hill, Preparing for the Most Watched Hearing; Saudi Arabia's Support for President Trump's Iran Policy. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired September 26, 2018 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
From Bill Cosby to allegations against a Supreme Court nominee, the #MeToo movement faces its biggest test yet. With me to discuss this watershed
moment is Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor who started the ball rolling on sexual harassment and won.
Also, ahead, my exclusive interview with the Saudi foreign minister on Trump's OPEC oil attack, women's rights in the kingdom and Saudi's war in
Yemen which turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. And the president of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, has just returned from
that country and she share his eyewitness report with our Hari Srinivasan.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
Bill Cosby woke up in jail today. He was once American's favorite TV dad, but he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs and in disgrace, having
been sentence to three to 10 years at a maximum-security prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago. At least 60
other women have accused the comedian, but Constand was the only case that fell within the statute of limitations.
This is the first major conviction since the emergence of the #MeToo movement. A defining moment, the reckoning around sexual abuse and consent
continues as so many levels of society, including the Supreme Court and the allegations against President Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. A third
witness has made new allegations of sexual misconduct, and Capitol Hill is preparing for what will be among the most watched hearing since Anita Hill
took on Supreme Court Nominee Clarence Thomas back in 1991.
With me to discuss this is Gretchen Carlson, who is no stranger to taking on the powerful. She blew the whistle on sexual harassment at Fox News and
she sued her former boss, the late but once mightier Roger Ailes. And, she shared her own experience in her book "Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take
Your Power Back." And Gretchen is joining me here right now.
Welcome to the program.
GRETCHEN CARLSON, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: Great to be back. Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: Just to say, as these new allegations come out in the last few seconds, President Trump has called them lies and Judge Kavanaugh has
publicly denied them. But it does seem to be a mounting pattern of these allegations.
So, I just want to ask you, given all that we said leading in, given this moment now, where do you think the reckoning is and are we at a very
dangerous, precarious moment or do you think this could be a moment to push it over the top?
CARLSON: So, I think this example with Kavanaugh is different than some of the other #MeToo examples we've seen over the last two years because we
have so much politics involved in it. Both sides have probably made mistakes with the way in which they handled information and the way they
So, if you take politics out of it, I think it's not surprising to see that once you have one accusation you tend to have another and another. We've
seen that pattern play out over the last two years. I do think it will be a mistake to try and rush this vote before we can actually hear from more
of these women, and more witnesses for that matter. Because unfortunately, Christiane, we're still in this he said she said. And without actual
evidence, it remains he said she said.
AMANPOUR: Are you amongst those who tend to believe the first accuser, the first witness, Christine Blasey Ford?
CARLSON: Well, I think here's what's changed since my story broke for them two years ago, women are actually believed or at least they're given, you
know, a second thought, right. It's not just immediate. Some people immediately say they don't believe them. But I think that that's changed
I think that in the past, when a woman would come forward, and this is why women didn't come forward in the past, was because you're automatically
maligned, you're a liar, you're just doing this for fame. I think that's changed dramatically. But as I said before, usually where you have one
person you tend to see that there developed some sort of pattern.
AMANPOUR: I just want to bring up a New York Times full-page ad that was in the newspaper today, and it is almost a replica of an ad that came out
in 1991 and it's 1,600 named remembering the 1,600 African-American women who said that they believe Anita Hill back when she was making these
accusations against Clarence Thomas. Of course, he, as a Supreme Court nominee, was then confirmed and he sites on the Supreme Court today.
But now, this latest one mirrors the number, 1,600 names but they are men who believe Christine Blasey Ford along with the women who signed petitions
for her. How much of a dramatic move is that to see men standing up and having their names in print to be counted?
CARLSON: Huge. You know, my first television job was actually covering the Anita Hill hearings.
CARLSON: Yes. And I was promptly sexually harassed thereafter on the job.
AMANPOUR: By your own -- by people inside your own --
CARLSON: Where I was working.
CARLSON: So, my initial inclination as a young woman in her early 20s at that time was, well, of course I believe her. I mean, why would a woman
put herself up to something like that unless she was telling the truth. And so, I was horrified at the way that she was denounced.
The idea that 1,600 men now in 2018 would sign their names to say that I'm standing up for these women is huge. Because, to me, Christiane, the final
part of this tipping point in this cultural revolution that we've been experiencing over the last few years is men.
AMANPOUR: And that is so important because at the same time, you've got very powerful men, the president of the United States. You know, at first,
he said, you know, she should have her say. But now, since it's got more and more close to a vote and maybe Kavanaugh's confirmation hangs more in
the balance, he is joining the -- you know, the bandwagon against these accusers. That's a very powerful man.
And then you have the specter, a very powerful men in all male Republican majority on the Senate Judiciary committee. And they've had to be dealing
with this. Do you agree with what they've done, which is, to call in a female prosecutor, mind you, a sex crimes prosecutor, to interrogate both
Christine Blasey Ford and presumably, to ask questions of Judge Kavanaugh?
CARLSON: And this is what I was saying earlier about politics. Listen, those same senators who were there 20-some years ago for Anita Hill, they
saw what happened to the way in which they were portrayed after that, right, and even more so now, all of these years later.
They don't want to be in that same situation. So, I understand politically why they want to bring in a prosecutor and especially, a woman. But it's
very transparent to me in that sense. I mean, I -- my one hope would be that is the sense that it's a prosecutor who specializes in this, that she
would be able to understand exactly how to ask the questions and maybe we won't be listening to members of Congress go on and on about themselves and
we might actually get to the facts.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's interesting because -- you're not a lawyer, I'm not a lawyer, but I did speak to a very prominent defender, this morning, of
women who have made these allegations and she's won cases in court.
You know, she said, "Look, this isn't a trial. To bring a prosecutor has all sorts of risks, and it does allow the men on the Senate Judiciary
Committee to sort of dodge their responsibility. Apparently, the Democrats will get --
AMANPOUR: -- to actually ask their own questions.
CARLSON: I think they're choosing to do that. Right. So, I mean, it will be interesting to me to see how that plays out. You're going to -- it's
going to be criticized no matter who does what. But again, I think that this case is so different from other cases that we've looked at in the
#MeToo era because it is so heavily politicized.
AMANPOUR: I want to bring up, you're a former Fox News anchor, you know all about the power of the interview, the power of public relations. I
want to play a little bit of what Judge Kavanaugh and his wife, well, I mean, they were sitting together in a Fox News interview earlier this week,
tears and the whole thing. I want to play you what Judge Kavanaugh said and then ask your opinion of whether this was the right PR move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: I've always treated women with dignity and respect. I went to all boy's Catholic high school, a
Jesuit high school, where I was focused on academics and athletics, going to church every Sunday at Little Flower, working on my service projects. I
did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, that's what he says. And what do you think? Was it a smart move to take it to television?
CARLSON: I can see why his advisers suggested that he do that.
AMANPOUR: I mean, this is unpresented. In the history of -- well, modern history of Supreme Court nominations --
AMANPOUR: -- there's never been the public statement or a public interview like that.
CARLSON: I can understand why his PR people may have recommended that. But I do think that there's a difference between whether or not you're
celibate or you haven't had any sexual encounters as a young person and whether or not the accusations could still be true. And you know, those
two things aren't necessarily the same.
But I understand from his PR perspective why he wanted to get out that messaging.
AMANPOUR: And if -- presumably, you watched the interview?
AMANPOUR: What do you think? How did he do?
CARLSON: Well, I think that he repeated a lot of the same answers over and over again. So, you could tell that that's exactly the message that he
wanted to get out. But listen, if he has not done any of these allegations, then that's how he would continue to answer it no matter what
the question was.
AMANPOUR: And what about so many -- and it's not just, you know, the men on the Senate Judiciary Committee, but sort of there's quite a wide debate
going on, about should in discretions, I'm saying in discretions now, not serious allegations, but in discretions when you're a high school student
be considered so many years later, you know, 50 odd years later or should what goes on in high school, as Judge Kavanaugh has alleged, stay in high
CARLSON: I guess it depends on what the accusation is. I mean, if it's --
AMANPOUR: So, you don't buy that --
CARLSON: If it's drinking too much --
CARLSON: -- you know - well, I'll just share that -- I mean, I did that too. So, I mean, I'm not sure that that is something that should keep you
from becoming a Supreme Court Justice. I mean, obviously, if it's sexual harassment or assault, it's a completely different conversation.
AMANPOUR: I want to play what President Trump has said about one of the witnesses who has come through, Ramirez, Deborah Ramirez, who talked about
-- well, she alleged that the judge, well, at the time at Yale, exposed himself to her, and this is what President Trump has said about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITES STATES: There were gaps. And she said she was totally inebriated and he was all messed up and she doesn't
know it was him but it might have been him. Oh, gee, let's not make him a Supreme Court judge because of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Again, you know, there's a lot of this going on in public, trying to discredit these witnesses. Now, of course, if they're lying, of
course, the judge needs to have his day on Capitol Hill and his testimony, but they too need to as everybody has said.
Again, you know the politics of all this much better than I do. How do you think this will play out in the Senate Judiciary Committee in the wider
Senate which has to actually vote on whether the Senate Judiciary Committee recommends at this time? The at this time is really important, this time
CARLSON: Yes. And here's what I think about it, seeing the president do that or any other member of Congress or anyone for that matter, is it harms
the entire movement and women in general feeling the confidence and the courage to come forward when you automatically say to somebody, "I don't
believe you no matter what."
I mean, we have members of Congress who have said, "I'm voting a certain way no matter what." Well, that harms everything that we have worked so
hard for over the last couple of years and before that time. Harassment is a political. You can't choose who you want to believe based on your
politics. So, statements that are so black and white, on both sides, harm the entire movement. Because how does President Trump know what the truth
is? He doesn't know, I don't know, you don't know.
But to automatically come right out and say from the outset, "I absolutely don't believe anyone," it's not fair to the process.
AMANPOUR: I mean, the obvious question is, will this process be one that gets us to the truth or is going to be a continued sort of each side will
get their say for a certain number of minutes or hours? And just to -- before I ask you to respond to that, because, you know, the senior most
leaders in the Senate are saying the following.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCH MCCONNELL, U.S. SENATOR REPUBLICAN LEADER: The weaponization of unsubstantiated smears, that's all we have here. The weaponization of
unsubstantiated smears will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, you know, it's kind of sort of tortured logic because the whole idea is to see, you know, whether each side can have their say.
Do you think we're going to get to the truth?
CARLSON: If it's just one witness and one witness, probably not, because it will go back to the he said she said, which is why I advocate in my book
and everywhere that I go across the world, please try and get evidence. I know it's difficult. And certainly, we're talking about 36 years ago. So,
there probably was no evidence.
But because we're still in this culture where it is he said she said, having another witness would certainly help in this process.
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, they just said no, we're not going to have that. Apparently, there are others and bits and bobs of notes and various other -
- apparently, there's a polygraph test result that has not been admitted or will not be allowed. And the senator said, this is not the FBIs job to do
this kind of stuff. This is what we are meant to do.
You're working on a particular bipartisan effort, aren't you?
AMANPOUR: To try to address some of these issues. Tell us about it.
CARLSON: Yes. So, it's a taking away arbitration build that we introduced back in December. And bipartisan, imagine that. Wouldn't it be great if
we actually did something for women together? It was introduced in the House and the Senate on the same day. So, it's the ending Arbitration Act
of sexual harassment.
Arbitration is a clause that has been added to millions of employment contracts in America and all around the world. And basically, what happens
is if you're being sexually harassed or decimated against, you have no choice but to have your case go to arbitration. And why is that a problem
with this issue? Because it's a secret chamber.
So, you give up your Seventh Amendment right here in the United States to have an open jury process. And instead, you go to this land of secrecy,
where no one ever knows about your story. So, imagine how that changes if suddenly a woman in a workplace has a voice and the perpetrator, they're on
equal footing now, maybe the harassment doesn't happen to begin with or at least, this person has a voice and others within the workplace also
understand that that person has a voice and they may too come forward. AMANPOUR: Again, because of your work on this, your experience, the fact that you took on the powerful at your own network, and this actually
started this whole ball rolling. I wonder what you make of some of the men who have been accused who are now coming forward, testing the waters to see
if they can get back their reputations, their employment, their jobs. And obviously, there are, to an extent, certain gray areas, not everything is
an attempt to drape and not everything is just a sloppy kiss, there's stuff in the middle.
There have been two comedians who have come out, Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari. And they came and did their routines and they were very open but
they didn't start by acknowledging the massive elephant in the room, and that's being criticized by some - by many in fact.
Then there are two others, a professor and indeed, a former radio reporter, who had more serious allegations against them, and they've also come out
and they've written long thousand-word articles. But the criticism is being, that they've just focused on themselves and the pain that they've
gone through and the jobs that they have lost and the prestige that they have lost, without, at any point, doing a massive mea culpa.
What's not to -- I mean, the denial is still there, that's very strong.
CARLSON: It's very strong. And my answer to that is that these men may be able to be rehabbed, I don't know. But the discussion shouldn't
automatically be, from the beginning, where are these men going to end up next. In other words, how are they going to have their careers brought
back to life. Because you know what the focus should be, the focus should be the thousands of women and maybe millions across this world who have
lost their professions because they simply had the courage to come forward and say that they were treated wrongly, right.
Now, why aren't we giving those people back their job, all of those women? To me, that's what the focus should be on. I've talked to thousands of
these women, 99.9 percent of them lost the career that they love and the profession that they worked so hard to achieve simply for having the
courage to stand up and say, "This happened to me." And they never worked again, and that is outrageous.
AMANPOUR: So, just remind our audience, I mean, it's in your book, you've been very public about it and you just mentioned that write after covering
or amidst covering the Anita Hill hearings, you were sexually molested, harassed. Can you tell me what happened then and just remind us how bad it
was for you and the courage it took to stand up?
CARLSON: So, this is when I was in my early 20s and I was with my cameraman and we are out on assignment in a rural part of the state and
when we got back near the car, he asked me how I had liked it when he had put on my microphone and touched my breasts, and it went downhill from
I actually envision myself rolling out of the car door in the passenger side just to get away, like I had seen done in the movies. And the
absolute panic that a woman goes through when you're going through something like that and you have no escape.
But I didn't want to come forward. And so, I understand complete why women don't. I didn't tell that story to anyone until I wrote my first book 25
years later, and other assaults that had also happened to me in my 20s.
So, for people to say, "Well, women are part of the problem because they don't come forward," well, why wouldn't they. Look what happens to women
when they do. It's improved. But look what happened to me when I came forward just two years ago, maligned, liar, just doing it to be famous, end
of your career potentially.
So, I think we need to take a long hard look about why women don't come forward and why they wait so long.
AMANPOUR: Do you have any thoughts about your former boss, Bill Shine, being President Trump's main communications director and adviser at this
particular time, particularly since we've seen the Fox News interview? I mean, maybe that was his idea.
CARLSON: Yes. It could have been. You know, unfortunately, because I signed a settlement I can't comment on any of the employees that you used
to work there.
AMANPOUR: What do you think then of what will radically change, not just individual's situations, but just change the society? Is it what we're
seeing right now, the sort of backlash movement of women in their hundreds unpresented numbers in the United States running for office, for instance,
in these upcoming elections?
CARLSON: That's part of it. I think watching the Cosby verdict for me and his sentencing, I mean, that's emotional for me, that's emotional for any
woman who's ever gone through this. Because, wow, to think that that actually happened, we could have never ever predicted that.
But fixing harassment in our nation and around the world is a tangled web. I wish it was just one easy solution, but it's changing laws, it's changing
the way we raise our young boys, it's changing the way in which we handle it inside the workplace, making it safer for victims to want to come
forward, it's changing the way we train our employees, it's changing the way the person at the top sets the tone in the company, it's changing the
way that women are promoted and paid fairly and women are put in positions of power. Because guess what happens when you have more women in power?
You don't have as much harassment.
So, it's a tangled web of all coming together to decide that we're going to fix this. And I'll finally say, men, as I said earlier, we need them. We
need them to help us in every single area and we're seeing that start but we have a long way to go.
AMANPOUR: And just very quickly because we're at the end, what do you hope is the single most important thing to come out of the testimony by
Christine Blasey Ford tomorrow? What's on her shoulders?
CARLSON: That she's not attacked. That's the first thing that victims face unfortunately.
AMANPOUR: All right. We're all going to be watching. I'm sure the whole nation, much --
CARLSON: We are.
AMANPOUR: -- of the world will be watching. Gretchen Carlson, thank you so much indeed.
CARLSON: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Turning now to the U.N. General Assembly here in New York where President Trump met with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and
publicly came out for a two-state solution for the Palestinians and the Israelis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I like two-state solution. That's what I think works best. I don't even have to speak to anybody. That's my feeling. Now, you may have
a different feeling, I don't think so. But I think two-state solution works best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And with Mr. Netanyahu firmly in his corner, President Trump then turned on Iran, warning even his allies to boycott trade with Iran all
face severe consequences from the United States. Iran is still reeling from last weekend's attack at the Ahvaz, which killed at least 25 people
and injured 53 others. Al-Ahvaziya, an ethnic Arab separatist group which towns (ph) its links to Saudi Arabia claimed responsibility for the attack.
After listening to Mr. Trump's opening speech at the U.N., the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, came here to the study to talk about that
in an exclusive interview. We also talked about their strong support for President Trump's Iran policy, chances of a two-state solution in the
Middle East and those rising oil prices.
Foreign Minister, welcome to the program.
ADEL BIN AHMED AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Donald Trump launched a broad side at OPEC countries, he called them. Well, obviously, Saudi Arabia is the biggest OPEC country. And
we're going to play a soundbite of what he said regarding high oil prices at the moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: OPEC and OPEC nations are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world and I don't like it, nobody should like it. We defend many of these
nations for nothing and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices, not good.
We want them to stop raising prices, we want them to start lowering prices and they must contribute substantially to military protection from now on.
We are not going to put up with it, these horrible prices much longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, Saudi Arabia, as I said, is the biggest and most powerful OPEC nation. Were you surprised by that? I mean, we're not going
to put with these horrible prices any longer and accusing OPEC of being responsible for these high prices.
AL-JUBEIR: It wasn't surprising because the president has articulated this position before. Saudi Arabia is committed to balancing the oil markets,
we're committed to ensuring that prices are at moderate levels so that consumers are not hurt and producers are not hurt.
We have seen an increase in the demand for oil and we're going to see a reduction in the supply of oil by Iran. And I think the markets are
putting up with pressure on the price of oil. We have increased our oil production. We continue to increase our oil production to bring more oil
to the market so that we have moderate prices.
You see production increases in the United States, you see production increases elsewhere. There's a commitment to stabilize markets at prices
that do not harm consumers or producers. This has been our policy for the last four decades, and we continue to explain this to our friends in the
AMANPOUR: And isn't true you just actually alluded to it that it is your friends in the U.S. who potentially may have been responsible for the spike
in prices by taking off more than a million barrels of Iran oil from the market, right, with the sanctions and therefore, lowering the supply?
AL-JUBEIR: I think the price of oil began to increase when the world economy began to recover. The price of oil began to increase when American
Shell production came down as a consequence of lower prices. Now, American supply is increasing and we're providing more supply to the market.
With regards to the Iran sanctions, we are fully supportive of the president's policy on Iran. We believe it's the right police, whether it
involved withdrawing from the JCPOA or whether it involved imposing more sanctions on Iran to make Iran comply with international laws and
international laws and behavior. So, we're fully onboard with that policy.
AMANPOUR: That's true. Saudi Arabia has been, along with Israel, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, very, very pro getting out of the Iran
Which leads me to ask you, because the Iranians have alluded to it and almost accused of it, somehow being behind the terrorist attack on the
military parade and civilians in Ahvaz over the weekend, where dozens of people were killed, including kids, what do you make of that?
AL-JUBEIR: It's a ridiculous charge and it's laughable charge. The Iranian regime has consistently lied about things. The Iranian regime has
had very difficult situation internally. They have responded usually with force and brutally against their own people. Every time they have a
domestic problem they try to point the finger at others. They accused us of being responsible for their economic misery when it was mismanagement by
their leadership. They accused outside yourself.
The revolts that happened in 2009 after the Iranian regime rigged the election to allow Ahmadinejad to have a second term. They accused others
for all the problems when, in fact, it is the Iranians who are interfering in the affairs of other countries. And Iran is the world's largest ones
AMANPOUR: What about this group, Al-Ahvaziya, it's an ethnic Arab separatist group with links to Saudi Arabia, they claimed responsibility
and a lot of the claims came through Saudi link channels.
AL-JUBEIR: I think the -- this is -- I want to say again that this is the Iranian charges preposterous and outrageous. There was --
AMANPOUR: So, these are people who are claiming --
AL-JUBEIR: Was in Iran are people who have their rights denied, they cannot learn their language, they cannot practice their faith. And so,
there's massive disclination against them and there has been an opposition by the Ahvaz (ph) against the Mullah regime in Iran for decades.
AMANPOUR: You mentioned Yemen and the nefarious activity in Yemen. The problem is that now, the Saudi campaign backed by the United States is
coming under quite a lot of pressure, from Congress, from -- even the president today talked about it in a sort of roundabout way. But there is
a backlash against your campaign in Yemen because CNN, many other journalists, everybody can see what a terrible civilian catastrophe exists
there right now.
It seems that you can't work your way out of how to stop this. Is there a plan to stop with the war and try to figure out some kind of diplomatic end
to this humanitarian catastrophe?
AL-JUBEIR: Well, Christiane, this is a way that we didn't want. It was a war that we didn't seek. It was a war that was imposed on us. We worked
on a transition from (INAUDIBLE) temporary government. We worked with Yemenis on establishing a national dialogue where they came up with a
vision for their future. They appointment a group to write a constitution and then Houthi struck and took over the country and wanted to -- now, we
have a situation where a radical militia allied with (INAUDIBLE) Iran, stay in charge of the critically important country that has enable --
AMANPOUR: So, this was a military (INAUDIBLE) to the end?
AL-JUBEIR: We have said from the beginning that this was a political -- that the solution has to be a political solution based on the three points
of reference, the GCC initiative, the outcomes of the national dialogue in Yemen and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216.
There have been more than 70 agreements made, every single one of them the Houthis have rejected. There have been peace talks held the Houthis agree
and then they could go back and remake. They have launched 197 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, randomly at cities, terrorizing people. They
have hijacked Yemen. They have laid siege on towns and villages and left starvation. They have prevented the World Health Organization from
vaccinating people for cholera. And then the world, CNN included, blame Saudi Arabia.
AMANPOUR: Well --
AL-JUBEIR: There's something that's not fair about this.
AMANPOUR: It may or may not be fair. But the fact of the matter is Saudi Arabia is the big power backed by the biggest power, which is the United
States. And it doesn't seem to be working. You're not winning.
AL-JUBEIR: That's not true. The Houthis used to control 80 percent of the country. Now, they control us in 20 percent.
AMANPOUR: Do you still feel that peace in the Middle East, the greater Middle East, the Gulf Region wherever is very very much tied to the
Israeli-Palestinian situation? Do you still believe that or is it in irrelevance now?
AL-JUBEIR: It's everything else. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that permeates throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Every time we have
radicals emerging, they claim to be doing it in order to liberate Palestine. We have a formula for political settlement there. We just need
the political will to implement it.
AMANPOUR: Jared Kushner is meant to be the guarantor, the guardian of this new U.S. peace plan. Jared Kushner is also saying at the same time it's
kind of playing hardball. In these last couple of weeks, we've seen the United States increase its pressure on Palestinian civilians frankly,
withdrawing money from NRA, withdrawing money from sort of NGOs and little sort of Israeli-Palestinian civilian organizations that might be able to
promote a little peace and tolerance and understanding.
Obviously, closing down the office here in Washington and et cetera, et cetera, not to mention moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They
believe because they've said it that this increases the odds, this pressure of punishing the civilian, increases the odds of the Palestinians coming to
the negotiating table in a serious way. Is that the Saudi position?
AL-JUBEIR: Our position is that the Palestinians are the ones who have to make a decision in terms of what they accept, what they don't accept. Our
position is that we support a two-state solution with the Palestinian State within 67 borders, with minor mutually agreed to adjustments with East
Jerusalem as its capital. And we believe that the putting pressure doesn't work, that it has to be a cooperative approach. And we're hoping that we
can turn around the situation of mistrust that now exists between the U.S. and the Palestinian authority so that they can focus on building towards
AMANPOUR: See, there's a thought that's running around Washington which is that at this moment now with President Trump, with your global attempt to
isolate and whatever in Iran, the Saudi Arabia's interest is in moving closer to the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, further away from
the Palestinian because. Even the Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer says he senses a change among Arab countries towards Israel, saying
that you all are "No longer dancing flexibly to the Palestinian tune." Is that correct?
AL-JUBEIR: I think that may be an exaggeration. We have no relations with Israel. Our position on the peace process is clear. Our position on Iran
is very clear and the fact that the Israelis see it in similar terms does not mean that we're allies nor does it mean that we will work at the
expense of the Palestinian cause. For us, we have said time and time again the number one issue is Palestine. His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz
named the last Arab Summit the Jerusalem Summit. We tripled our support with the Palestinian authority. We gave $150 million to Islamic
institutions in Jerusalem or trusts. We provided $50 million to NRA in order to make up the gap and the deficit and we continue to support the
AMANPOUR: But what would you say to your friends the United States, who are your friends in the Trump administration supports you and you are
supporting them? Even though, by the way, Chaz Freeman, a former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia said recently that as a result of the joint
combined Obama Trump sort of withdrawal from activity in the Middle East that Saudi Arabia does not see the United States as a reliable protector
anymore. Would you agree with that?
AL-JUBEIR: No, absolutely not. And I don't believe that the Trump administration is disengaged from the Middle East, quite the contrary.
AMANPOUR: We want you to pay more though. You saw the sound bite that I played.
AL-JUBEIR: I don't believe that this was directed at us. We have always paid our fair share since the beginning of our relationship with the U.S.
We believe in fair sharing and we believe in making sure that we pay our own way and we carry our own cost.
AMANPOUR: So do you think the two-state solution is closer or further away now?
[13:35:00] AL-JUBEIR: We have to always be hopeful that everything is possible. This is the longest-running conflict in the Middle East and
we're solving it on a fair and equitable basis. It's going to help stabilize the region and help remove an issue that has been taken advantage
of by radicals. Every Coup d'etat that was stationed here our world was staged in the name of liberating Palestinian. All the terrorist
organizations, many of them that emerged under the pretext of wanting to support Palestine. Let's eliminate this problem and -
AMANPOUR: Does Jared Kushner understand that? Does President Trump really get it? Do you think the solution involves moving the embassy from Tel
Aviv to Jerusalem for instance?
AL-JUBEIR: You have the sort of tactics and the way we see it is they move the embassy to West Jerusalem. They've said that the boundaries of
Jerusalem might be determined in Palestinian talks and they said that the status of the holy sites remains as is which basically means if you don't
recognize Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, they recognize it of West Jerusalem. West Jerusalem has now occupied territory.
AMANPOUR: Let me then move on to something that the world is really watching and that is you and I go back a long time to the First Gulf War
when the U.S. first came to defend Saudi Arabia against Saddam Hussein. And at that time, there were in fact demonstrations by women inside parking
lots at supermarkets, not even outside to drive. And now the crowned prince has allowed it and it's happening.
How far is this going to go? We've got cinemas have opened for the first time in 35 years. We've got local elections that women can stand for. But
how far will it go because women are also really upset about the guardianship law for instance? They can't basically go to a shop without
their male relatives.
AL-JUBEIR: I mean I think the changes that are happening in Saudi Arabia are amazing. The idea is to reclaim our lives, to introduce a culture of
innovation and progress, and you can't do that in fact if your company is not part of it. So women have to have their rights and women have to be
participants in our society.
We now have women who are CEOs of some of our largest banks and companies. We have increased the participation of the women in the workforce and we
continue to push to the cinemas and entertainment and thriving our secondary issues but they're important signals. This is how it is moving
forward. The guardianships I think has been exaggerated. Women can now go get jobs. They consume -
AMANPOUR: Not according to (INAUDIBLE) you respect.
AL-JUBEIR: Well, let's go take a look at Saudi women and ask them and see. When you say they can't go to the shop without their male partner, that's
AMANPOUR: You know what I'm saying. They can't go leave the country. They can't do important things, drive, take a trip across the border. I
mean they can't do a lot of things without their husband or if they don't have a husband.
AL-JUBEIR: Yes. I think the guardianship system has the perception of this is exaggerated. There are certainly some restrictions and I believe
it's a matter of time but I think the way people describe it today is vastly exaggerated.
AMANPOUR: To that point, it does seem a little bit one step forward, one step back because even just as the driving ban was being lifted, quite a
lot of female activists were in fact arrested. And, in fact, one of them, she's a shoe activist and she potentially faces the death penalty for
protest-related charges. This may not be about driving but other kind of political protests. What's the world meant to make of that?
AL-JUBEIR: Christiane, I think the notion that these were activists and they were arrested because they're activists is not correct. The
prosecutor said that their charges are going to national security. Their charges are related to working with one government. Their charges are
related to working with people who seek to undermine the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Their charges were related to trying to recruit people in
sensitive positions in order to extract information from that and then pass on the hostile powers.
And those charges are being investigated. Some of them have been released. Others will face trial. When they go to trial, the world will know what
the charges are and the world will see the evidence. So the idea that these, who are activists, that were arrested because they support women
driving is ridiculous.
AMANPOUR: Well, I did say they probably necessarily weren't. These women, the previous ones were protesting for more freedoms around the driving ban
and they were arrested.
AL-JUBEIR: But not for that reason. These were not about the human rights or seeking rights. These arrests were about national security.
AMANPOUR: Right. On that note, Adel Al-Jubeir, thank you very much for joining me.
AL-JUBEIR: Well, this is a pleasure.
AMANPOUR: So going back now to the issue that we've discussed that the U.S. backed the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia's widely criticized role in
the ongoing human suffering there, our next guest gives us a look at the cost of Yemen's bloody conflict. [13:40:00] David Miliband was the British
foreign secretary but for the past five years, he's been head of the International Rescue Committee. And he told our Hari Sreenivasan what he
learned from his own trip to Yemen and how the world is failing its refugees.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: David Miliband, thanks for joining us.
DAVID MILIBAND, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: Thanks for having me.
SREENIVASAN: You were just in Yemen. Impressions?
MILIBAND: It's the world's worst humanitarian crisis according to the statistics and it's heartbreaking when you see it with your own eyes. I
mean this is a country which was always poor. It's got real stress from climate change but three-and-a-half years of war, 18,000 bombing raids have
left the country where 80 percent of the population depend on humanitarian aid, where half the population have no access to clean drinking water,
where three million kids are out of school and where the world saw the largest ever cholera epidemic last year, a million people affected.
And I got this terrible sense that things are more likely to get worse than better because the fighting looks like it's going to intensify in this
critical port city of Hodeidah. I got within 450 kilometers of it. And that is the port is in the north-west of the country, 70 to 80 percent of
all humanitarian supplies and commercial supplies go through there. And that is the center of the fighting at the moment, which even the Saudi-led
coalition tried to reestablish the control of the holy government and the Houthi rebels who took power in 2015.
SREENIVASAN: And there's been a challenge getting humanitarian aid in -
MILIBAND: Well, there's a choke there. There's a choke there. And we have good stock in court, we have -- the U.N. calculates a fraction of the
food, of the medicines that need to get through, are getting through despite the fact of a report of dangerous to open. Sanaa Airport which is
key for commercial operations is closed. And this war is a stalemate frankly because neither side is advancing its position.
The only people thriving in the chaos are extremist groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS and the victims are these poor civilians of Yemen, seven-and-a-half
thousands of them directly killed in the fighting. You reported last month of this appalling bombing or missile attack on the coach of 40 plus kids.
And then you've got the wider ramifications for a society that's frankly on the edge of meltdown.
SREENIVASAN: How can it be a stalemate? It seems like on the one side, the Saudi side which the U.S. supports, is lopsidedly better armed.
MILIBAND: But it's lopsidedly strong. It's got a total monopoly of air power but as in any asymmetric conflict, the rebel group, the Houthis who
took power are dug in. They dug in the cities. They dug in Sanaa. They dug into Hodeidah and you can't bomb your way to victory against an
occupying force on the ground. And the Saudi-led coalition for obvious reasons don't want to fight street by street through Hodeidah, the port in
the city and the Houthis know that.
And the terrible thing is that the pain is being felt by the civilians. There's a U.N. envoy that extremely experienced British Diplomat Martin
Griffiths, he needs a ceasefire that allows humanitarian aid to go through, that allows the commercial traffic to be reestablished and that gives him
space to try to broker an enduring peace.
SREENIVASAN: Do the Yemenis know that the world is watching? Do they feel like the world is not watching?
MILIBAND: Well, they want the world to wake up but they do know that there's American bombs dropping on them. I mean as we drove from Sanaa to
Hodeidah, the checkpoints on land sometimes by child soldiers but sometimes by us, one of the kids chanting as we went through in a U.N. land cruiser
death to America because they say America's bringing death to us.
And that is a -- it gives a lie to the idea that what starts in Yemen stays in Yemen. This is how Yemen becomes a center of radicalization that can go
further. And this war is making no progress. I'm not coming on this program to say to you the costs of war are too high because of the
humanitarian cause. I'm telling you the costs are too high in humanitarian terms, the world's largest humanitarian crisis, and in geopolitical terms
because this is not a war that anyone is winning. It's an all lose, no-win war. And it's going to take bold leadership to say, "We need a ceasefire,
we need to create the space for a political settlement."
SREENIVASAN: What is the responsibility of the U.S. in getting to that settlement?
MILIBAND: I think it's high. I mean the U.S. is a permanent member of the U.S. Group Analysis, the most powerful member of the U.N. Security Council.
It's the leading backer of the Saudi-led coalition. [13:45:00] This isn't just about the Trump administration either. It's important that people
understand in 2015, the U.N. passed a resolution which frankly was a carte blanche for war, not a roadmap to peace.
It was an unbalanced resolution and it came at the time when the Obama administration wants to reassure the Saudis that they had their back when
they were doing the Iran nuclear deal. It was a payoff for the Iran nuclear deal in some ways. We need to start again because it's not the
basis for the kind of political settlement that a complex society like Yemen needs.
SREENIVASAN: I mean you've got Syria, you've got Rohingya, you've got people migrating out of Venezuela, right. I mean there are migrations
happening all over the world, refugees being created by different causes but it seems the world is on the move in certain ways.
MILIBAND: Well, not that different cause. I mean the cause is conflict. I mean the biggest driver of extreme poverty today is conflict and some of
that's seen in the internal displacement, some of it in refugee flows. The world is on the move for economic reasons which is a different, easier
thing to do than immigration but it's on the move because of a failure of peacemaking.
You've got fragile states that can't contain the ethnic and political- religious differences that exist within them. Myanmar would be a good example of that. That's where the Rohingya 700,000 fled across the border
into Bangladesh. You've got tumult the Islamic, inside significant parts of the Islamic world, Afghanistan, Syria big flows of refugees. And you've
got a weak and divided international political system in which the U.S., I'm sorry to say, is in retreat. The Western powers are in retreat. The
powers that traditionally at least in word upheld human rights alongside states' rights as the foundation of the international system. Those powers
are in retreat.
And into the vacuum, we've got all sorts of actors moving. Russia moves into the Syria theater. Al-Qaeda and ISIS moving in parts of Yemen that I
was talking about earlier. And this retreat from global engagement under the excuse "All politics is local" is dangerous in a world that's more
connected than ever before. Because what starts in Syria doesn't stop in Syria, what starts in Yemen doesn't stop in Yemen.
SREENIVASAN: You know part of the Trump administration's rationale is listen, let the rest of the world start picking up some of the slack.
We've done more than our fair share, maybe we need to focus on our own problems at home.
MILIBAND: Well, there's nothing to stop you fixing the bridges and airports of New York because you're also doing active diplomacy around the
world. Walking and chewing gum at the same time is meant to be started here. And look, the truth is European countries together now spend more on
humanitarian aid than America. That's a big change.
And the danger is that what Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations here calls the abdication as foreign policy, the retreat
from global leadership, the retreat from a rules-based international order. The great danger is that far from serving America's interests, that retreat
actually compromises. those interests.
SREENIVASAN: Then it makes us more at risk over time?
MILIBAND: It makes you more vulnerable and it also exposes your allies. I put it this way, you can't have the blessings of globalization unless
you're willing to bear the responsibilities, the burdens of globalization. And so what I would like to see President Trump and his administration
recognize, fine to put America first but America first is not served by American retreat.
SREENIVASAN: There seems to be an anti-refugee movement that's happening, not just in the U.S., but across Europe as well, much more talk of walls,
much more talk of borders than bridges.
MILIBAND: That's a good point. And there's a lesson in the countries that are actually hosting refugees. I mean where are the most refugees? One
percent of the world's refugees in America, six or eight percent in Europe, 86 percent of the world's refugees are in developing countries. So
Bangladesh, when those 700,000 Rohingya were driven out of Myanmar, Bangladesh didn't say, "We'll build a wall." They said, "We're going to
look after these people." Kenya, when a million people came from South Sudan over the last year and a half, didn't build a wall. They said, "It
could have been us. We'll look after these people."
So you're right to say that in the countries that created the U.N. refugee convention in 1951, U.S., U.K., after the Second World War, there's a
retreat from the values that led to that long period of peace and prosperity but that doesn't make it right. And I would say one other
thing, I'm just going to be careful on this, it's true that the administration here is reducing drastically the number of refugees who are
allowed to come here.
SREENIVASAN: The last week, there was Secretary Pompeo said the cap's going to be 30,000, the lowest since the Refugee Act went into effect.
SREENIVASAN: When, 1980?
[13:50:00] MILIBAND: Exactly. So the historic average was 90,000 refugees are arriving to the U.S. I mean a small proportion of the 25 million
refugees around the world. They slashed it to 30,000. In fact, this year, there's only 21,000 refugees. So America retreating from its global
responsibility but we as well as being an international humanitarian aid agency, we resettle refugees who are the small number of refugees who are
allowed to come.
And the American spirit when a refugee arrives next door is to go out and help them, it's not actually to be fearful. And America has a proud
tradition of being a home for refugees. My organization, the International Rescue Committee was founded here in New York by Albert Einstein who was a
refugee. He was stuck in America when Hitler came to power in Germany. He couldn't go back. He was Jewish. And so that proud bipartisan tradition
is under threat and that doesn't serve America's interests.
SREENIVASAN: You're a child of refugees.
MILIBAND: My parents were lucky but they were allowed into the U.K. My dad was allowed in the U.K. in 1940, my mom in 19946. So I'm not a refugee
myself but I was a child of refugees. And I think that's -
SREENIVASAN: Does it change the way you look at this work?
MILIBAND: Well, I think it -- I certainly feel that when I hear someone say, "I fled my country when it was invaded", I think of my dad. When I
hear people say, "I'm in hiding", I think of my mom. So I don't want to put myself on a pedestal in any way but this may be a different religion
with these people of God these days.
They're not Jewish like me. They might be Muslim or it might be actually a number of Christians who are being allowed, minority Christians who are
being allowed into the U.S. is also being slashed. So it's not just the Muslim populations being targeted. So the religion may be different than
mine, the region of the world may be different but the sense of fellow feeling is strong.
SREENIVASAN: One of the things that you're working on along with the Sesame Workshop is creating an education infrastructure. You both ordered
$100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation. What are you working on? What are you doing?
MILIBAND: We're working to address something really telling. A child who is traumatized by war and forced to flee their country suffers what's
called toxic stress. That's effectively the damage to the brain that comes from being exposed to a traumatic experience. And we're working with this
new workshop because we've shown, between the two of us, that we can reverse that toxic stress. If you get to those kids early enough, you can
So for children between the ages of zero and eight in the Middle East, in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Iraq and actually inside Syria itself, we're setting
up a program to reverse the effects of that toxic stress, to help 1.4 million children by visiting them in their tents, in their homes, in their
SREENIVASAN: In their community centers?
MILIBAND: Well, with the -- yes is the short answer to that. But with educational material that includes assessing accounts, includes a special
new version of Sesame Street that will reach far more than the 1.4 million, about 7.9 million. It's a five-year program so it's not a short-termism.
We're not promising a quick fix but we're promising that evidence-based systematic engagement can actually rescue a generation rather than leave
them on their own.
SREENIVASAN: As we look across the world, this is a generation of young people when they're in these refugee situations, education stops.
MILIBAND: Yes. It's a matter of scandal. Look, half of the world's refugees are kids and two percent of the world's humanitarian budget goes
on education. What a stupid thing to do, not just an immoral thing to do.
SREENIVASAN: Is there a refugee crisis that we are not paying attention to or that's not gathering the headlines in a way all of them are not
gathering the headlines?
MILIBAND: Well, you've mentioned the Rohingya which is right. You know about Syria. You mentioned Yemen. I would mention a couple of places.
There are more poor people, extremely poor people in Nigeria than in India today. That's a transformation in the situation of the world. The world
has set these sustainable development goals to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. The places where it's not being eradicated are the places affected
by violence and by conflict.
In Northeast Nigeria, on the border with Cameroon and around the Lake Chad Basin, there's a massive displacement crisis caused by a group called Boko
Haram which you'll know about. So that doesn't get much attention and it goes to the heart of this question. The geography of poverty is being
changed around the world. And we're not going to meet the sustainable development goal of eradicating global poverty, of extreme poverty unless
we get to grips with the failure of diplomacy that is leading to more people fleeing conflicts than ever before.
SREENIVASAN: David Miliband of the IOC, thanks so much for joining us.
MILIBAND: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: And really fascinating to hear this two gilling and diverging views of what's happening in Yemen and also about U.S. leadership. First,
from the Saudi Foreign Minister and now from the Former British Foreign Minister and IOC Chief David Miliband. Really interesting.
And just a final note. Tomorrow, our show will air later on CNN as the network covers the live hearings of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett
Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill. [13:55:00] We'll have all those developments. And we'll also have my interview with the President of Colombia where a
peace process hangs in the balance and cocaine production is soaring.
But that's it for our program now. Thanks for watching. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at amanpour.com. And, of
course, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Goodbye from New York.