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Saudi Arabia Faces Diplomatic Pressure; Saudi Arabia Strongly Deny Any Wrongdoing; DeRay Mckesson, a School Teacher to Prominent Civil Rights Activist; "On The Other Side of Freedom"; "Wildlife". Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 15, 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 is what's coming up.
International pressure mounts on Saudi Arabia over the shocking story of Jamal Khashoggi. The journalist hasn't been seen since entering the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago. I'll hear from Former Senator Bob Graham, who says the U.S. has placated Saudi Arabia for nearly 20 years.
Then, we'll hear from Princeton Professor, Bernard Haykel, who has regular contact with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Also, ahead, the remarkable story of DeRay Mckesson and his journey from school teacher to prominent civil rights activist.
Plus, Actor, Paul Dano, tries his hand a directing to great reviews. We hear from him and his lead actress, Carey Mulligan, in the film "Wild
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
President Trump has dispatched his Secretary of State to Saudi Arabia to see the king. As the kingdom faces intense diplomatic pressure to explain
the whereabouts of the missing journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
A mid horrific reports of his possible murder, the Saudi kingdom continues to strongly deny any wrongdoing, without though providing any evidence or
credible information about what happened after he entered the consulate in Turkey.
Turkish investigators have now entered that consulate. It's the last place Khashoggi was seen.
Meantime, the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is facing a direct backlash as an array of influential business and media partners pull out of
his economic summit in Riyadh.
The burning question though remains, what action will the United States and the world take if Saudi Arabia is, in fact, found to be culpable?
President Trump's latest public comments reflect evolving explanations in some quarters of this case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to leave nothing uncovered. With that being said, the king firmly denies any
knowledge of it, he didn't really know, maybe he -- I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe this could have been rogue,
killer, who knows. We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon. But his words are flat denial.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, while some worry that Donald Trump is placing business deals before traditional U.S. moral leadership on the international stage,
the outrage over Khashoggi's disappearance has put U.S.-Saudi relations squarely in the spotlight. From backing the Saudi war in Yemen, the
world's worst humanitarian crisis to the kingdom's high-profile diplomatic spats with Qatar and Canada.
And my next guest, the Former Senator, Bob Graham says, "The U.S. is now paying the price for decades of failing to confront what has been a
steadfast ally for nearly a century."
Senator Graham, welcome to the program.
BOB GRAHAM, FORMER U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: Thank you, Christiane. And I would withdraw the word steadfast ally. In fact, I think Saudi Arabia has
been extremely perfidious, maybe mostly for its involvement in 9/11 and the enormous cover-up which has kept that from the minds of Americans and the
people of the world.
AMANPOUR: I would like to get that -- get to your views on that and the immense amount of work you did as chair of the Senate Intelligence
Committee and in the whole lead up the 9/11 commission.
But first, I want to ask you, because -- I mean, it has been for decades, since the days of President Roosevelt and King Saud, an ally over many,
many issues in that region. And I want to know from you, what do you think the Unites States -- you know, what position has this left the U.S. in
GRAHAM: It's left us in a position of an enigma which must be resolved. The Turks have a reputation of having an excellent intelligence capability
by international standards. This murder occurred on their territory. I think the first step should be to ask the Turks to conduct a fulsome
investigation, let all the interested parties share in that information and then see where the facts lead in terms of criminal responsibilities.
AMANPOUR: Senator, you seem to be absolutely sure that a murder has taken place. The Saudis deny it vigorously. As I said, there is no evidence to
prove what did actually -- you know, that their answer that he came out of the consulate.
But I want to ask you what you make of President Trump's latest public statements that we just aired, that, you know, obviously, the king denies
it but that he felt that there was a story of rogue elements coming out, rogue killers. What do you think about that? Is that credible?
GRAHAM: Well, it seems that one of the responses that the president gives to any questionable intention to his own action is to bring other people in
as responsible parties. Remember back during the presidential campaign when asked if he thought the Russians were involved, he said, it could be
the Russians, it could be the Chinese, it could be an overweight man in New Jersey. I think this is the equivalent of the overweight man in New
AMANPOUR: Well, then let me play this then, because this now goes to the heart of what yourself and many across both sides of the aisle in Congress
is saying, how best to hold Saudi Arabia accountable should that become necessary, and they have talked a lot about banning arm sales and sanctions
and the rest.
So, here is what the president said to "60 Minutes" about this last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It depends on what sanction is. I'll give you an example. They are ordering military weapon. Everybody in the world wanted that order,
Russia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it. We got it.
LESLEY STAHL, ANCHOR, 60 MINUTES: So would you cut that off --
TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you what I don't want to do. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, all these -- I don't want to hurt jobs. I don't want to lose an
order like that. There are other ways of punishing, to use a word, that's a pretty harsh word, but it's true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Senator, it is complex because no leader wants to take economic measures that will hurt their own people, as President Trump put
it. But on the other hand, many cases have to be, you know, stood up to. For instance, what the Europeans did putting sanctions on the Russians. A
lot to the detriment of their own economy.
What should the United States be doing and signaling and what should it not be signaling at this precise time?
GRAHAM: Christiane, I won't suggest what the forms of the sanctions to be. They're a wide range of those. But what we should not do is what we've
done for the last couple of decades relative to 9/11, and that is, we should not ignore and play an assertive role in covering up for the role of
the Saudis or any other nation state which might be involved.
You question my use of the word murder. I certainly don't have any facts in that matter. But responsible journalist from the United States and
elsewhere have used that word. And given the -- what we do know, almost two weeks of disappearance with no taint of where this man might be, it
appears that something serious has happened and someone -- some -- or some nation state should be held accountable.
AMANPOUR: Now, Senator Graham, you keep mentioning 9/11 because, of course, you were heavily involved in the aftermath of that and trying to
get to the absolute bottom of it and hold those responsible, accountable.
As we remember, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. But to this day, there's not been, as far as I know, any evidence that the Saudi state, the
Saudi kingdom, actually sponsored it. I want to ask you why you believe or what do you believe about that?
GRAHAM: Christiane, I would modify what you just said to say that the people of the United States and of the world have not been given the
information which exist, which shows the very strong linkage between Saudi Arabia and the incidents of 9/11.
I personally, what I know, would say with no hesitation that 9/11 would not have occurred without the complicity of Saudi Arabia. And it may well be
that without that complicity, the murder of the journalist would not have occurred.
AMANPOUR: Why do you say that? Based on what? Since you -- you're very, very, you know, strongly, you know, sticking to that and you did look at
all or whatever evidence was available during the 9/11 commission hearings.
GRAHAM: Well, the answer is, I cannot go into the fullness of what I know because that would be a violation of our intelligence standards. But I
will say that there is ample evidence which the government of the United States has in its possession and which it should make available to the
public, which would draw the strong linkage between Saudi Arabia and 9/11.
If you recall, immediately after 9/11, President Bush said that we will go to any lengths to find who is responsible for this tragedy and that we
think that it was a nation state. And almost immediate, the government said that it was Iraq which was responsible for 9/11 and that's where all
of our attention went until at the end of a very gruesome and high death toll war, it was admitted that Iraq was not, in fact, responsible for 9/11.
AMANPOUR: So, Senator, I just want to try to get down to why America is constantly standing with Saudi Arabia. And clearly, there are geostrategic
reasons for it. They support the U.S. position against Iran, they are considered strong allies for security in that region despite what you say
about 9/11. In that region, they sell a lot of oil not just to the United States but to the rest of the world and they do actually have a huge
influence over the price of oil.
How much beholden still, for oil, for instance, and to security in the region, is the United States actually factually? How much does it depend
on Saudi Arabia for that?
GRAHAM: Probably less than it has at any time since the end of World War II. The United States has become much more self-sufficient in terms of its
oil production and has the capability of being more so. That has leveled the geo-economic position and it should have put us in the place where we
are no longer so subservient to Saudi Arabia and can make decisions in the interest of the United States.
I hope that this tragedy maybe the turning point in our recognition of what our relative self-sufficiency and power, economic and military and
AMANPOUR: Well, I want to know what you make of Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who after all, did come to the United States not so many months
ago, to a massive red-carpet all over the country, whether it was in Hollywood, at Silicon Valley, in Washington, in New York, all over the
place, the top, top titans of every aspect of American corporate and public life and business life met with him and were very happy to do so.
So, I want to know what you think about his reforms at home, his policies abroad and how you evaluate him at this moment.
GRAHAM: The United States throughout its history has stood for certain values of human rights dignity freedom. We are -- we have not -- until the
statement that President Trump made last week, it was indicated that money and specifically sales of military weapons trumped our long-held values.
I think that's the -- maybe one of the things that is going to be most at stake in this matter. Will we put 120 billion, an enormous and I think
inflated figure arm sales to Saudi Arabia above the values that we have represented throughout our nationhood.
AMANPOUR: Over the weekend, there was a very strong sort of angry comment by one of the Saudi newspapers saying that if the U.S. even dared to
consider sanctions, the retaliation would be fierce. I mean, you know, sort of economic retaliation. They've since walk that back.
But what -- do you fear that the United States could pay a price for any kind of accountability should that become necessary? And do you believe
that senators, Congress people are in a state right now where they will hold President Trump to, you know -- and make him impose sanctions, the
whole Magnitsky law and all the other things that are at their disposal?
GRAHAM: Yes. I think we would. The United States has historically been willing to put its nation at risk, think World War II, in order to defend
our values. And I think if we were willing to do it in the second World War, we -- our generation of Americans would be equally prepared to stand
for what America stands for and not particularly to threaten economic blackmail.
AMANPOUR: Senator Bob Graham, Former Governor Bob Graham, thank you very much indeed for joining me this evening.
GRAHAM: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: So, let us turn now to Princeton Professor, Bernard Haykel. His academic expertise, of course, lies in the Middle Eastern region and he
talks frequently with the Said Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Professor Haykel, welcome to the program.
BERNARD HAYKEL, PROFESSOR OF NEAR EASTERN STUDIES, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: You just heard a lot of what, you know, Senator Graham said, his of elected many, many decades as governor and senator in the United States
and feels very strongly that this is a turning point or could be turning point in U.S.-Saudi relations.
How do you view it given how much you talk to Prince Mohammed bin Salman and you had potentially see a little bit from their side?
HAYKEL: Well, I mean, I think that Senator Graham put his finger on it and that he -- you know, the U.S.-Saudi relationship is at risk and this is an
extremely important relationship for not just the United States but the global economy and for stability in the Middle East. And that, that should
be, first and foremost, in the mind of President Trump and his Secretary of States, which is why I think the president spoke to the king and is now
sending the Secretary of State to Saudi Arabia.
You know, this is a country that I believe Senator Graham mischaracterized. It has been an ally of the United States, it played a very strong and
important role during the cold war in fighting communism. It has played a stabilizing role in the global economy and has been a reliable supplier of
oil. Has not used oil as a weapon. So, these are all important points.
And, you know, in the Middle East today where you have at least four states that are failed and with chaos raging in Yemen and in Syria and Libya and
the Sinai, we don't -- we cannot afford to have another unstable state. And certainly not a state of the importance of Saudi Arabia. So, it's
extremely important that we focus on stability and on order and on -- of that country.
AMANPOUR: I wonder what you feel about what President Trump said when asked, you know, what he might do. He started to talk about rogue killers
and we've all been reading, you know, in the press that potentially at the beginning there was going to be some sort of "face-saving agreement"
between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to potentially call it a rogue operation, absolve the Saudi authorities and the like. I wonder what you think about
And I just want to play for you what a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia told CNN this morning. And it really, it was about how he
interacted with them in the direct aftermath of 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT JORDAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA: Let's remember, this is the same King Salman who told me right after 9/11 that the 9/11
attacks were an Israeli plot, and he said that firmly. Now, did I believe that, of course not.
So, I don't think you can go in with wide-eyed acceptance of anything some of these world leaders say. It's also, by the way, quite possible that
King Salman didn't know about this. It was in the hands of his son, the crown prince.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Professor Haykel, what do you make of that and what would you advise them to do? I mean, there's a lot of Philippa string right now.
I mean, you know, they say they deny it, that's their prerogative but they haven't showed any counterweight evidence to back up their claims.
HAYKEL: Yes. Well, I mean, you know, anything that I say about what happened is mere speculation because I don't actually know what happened
and I think that, you know, the killing, if that indeed happened, to Jamal Khashoggi is a crime and if someone should pay the price for this.
By the way, Jamal was a friend. He's someone who has come to Princeton, has spoken here. I had a regular exchange with him. You know, he's been
described as a reporter, he was really more of dissident and have clearly lost his patronage in Saudi Arabia and was now much more closely allied to
the Muslim Brotherhood and to Qatar and to Turkey.
Now, having said all of that, what I have been telling the Saudis is that they have to come up with a narrative, with a story that is plausible,
that, you know, rebuffs the leaks that the Turks have been deliberately engaged in, that they lost the narrative thread because of the Turkish
leaks and they have to explain what happened to him.
And that, in fact, if this was an operation that involved in abduction or interrogation, they should explain. I don't believe the Saudis would have
tried to kill or murder a journalist or a dissident even in their own consulate. I mean, no one does that. There are many other ways to do it.
And this may have been, you know, an operation that went badly. I don't know. And President Trump seems to be intimating that that may have been
Whatever, it is, the Saudis are not in the tradition of killing a dissident. I mean, they abduct them. They have abducted them in the past
but they do not kill their people in foreign land.
AMANPOUR: I think this is why this case and all the grizzly details that have been leaked and the lack of any evidence to show us what might have
happened to Jamal is exactly that's why it's so -- it's grabbed everybody to such an extent because nobody has heard of this kind of thing before.
But I do want to ask you, you know, you talked about him being a dissident, Jamal. Well, he, obviously, would strongly reject that. He always did.
He said, "I'm a patriot." And I know that people are trying to say that he's in Muslim Brotherhood and he's s an Islamists, sort of potentially
trying to say that he's radical extremist, which he also denied.
So, I want to play a little bit of what he told the economist, literally just this past August in conversation with a friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMAL KHASHOGGI, SAUDI JOURNALIST: I'm not an extremist and I disagree with those who are calling for a regime change and stuff like that. It's
just ridiculous. We don't need that in Saudi Arabia. I believe in the system. I just want a reformed system.
Actually, I want the system to give me a voice, allow me to speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's, in your view, monarchy can also encompass free expression?
KHASHOGGI: Yes. It should. Kuwait has that, why can't we? Jordan has that, why can't we? Morocco has that, why can't we?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You know, these are really interesting to hear these words at this time. And that was obviously in May. In August, he actually talked
about the issue of the Muslim Brotherhood. He said, the eradication of Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than abolition of democracy and a
guaranty that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes.
And then, fast-forward, he said --
AMANPOUR: -- there can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that pollical Islam is part of it. I mean, you
would agree. You're a professor and an academic. There's a difference between political Islam and radical violent Islam.
HAYKEL: Yes, absolutely. And Jamal was not an extremist, he was not a member of Al-Qaeda, he was not -- you know, he was against (INAUDIBLE) or
Isis. But he was an Islamist. And when he came to Princeton he asked whether it was possible for him to return to Saudi Arabia as an adviser.
And the system saw him as a dissident, and you had asked me initially --
HAYKEL: -- how the system viewed him. They saw him as a dissident, they saw him as working for an organization that was aiming to topple the Saudi
royal family, that is the Muslim Brotherhood was. And therefore, there was no place for him in the system.
AMANPOUR: So, tell --
HAYKEL: That he had looked for patronage elsewhere. And you'll see that he never criticized Qatar or everyone in Turkey, ever.
AMANPOUR: I mean, as you say, one system locked him up. He was trying to get patronage from another system. The question though is just really
profound, I think, because he was always so in with the royal family. You know, they let him set up a news organization in Bahrain before that
collapse. You know, if he was a real radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, I assume they wouldn't have let him do that. He was an adviser to Prince
Turki, the former intelligence minister, when he was ambassador in the U.K. and in the United States.
I guess, I'm trying to figure out what's changed and do you think that Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, represents a different form of
leadership in Saudi Arabia? But all intense and purposes, he is the power behind the throne. How would you evaluate and describe what he's --
HAYKEL: Well --
AMANPOUR: -- what he's been doing?
HAYKEL: Well, let me explain to you first, you know, the Saudi monarchy was a place of asylum for Muslim brothers from the 1950s and '60 onwards.
And many Muslim brothers work with the Saudis and, in fact, worked with the United States in the fight against communism.
Mohammed bin Salman has decided that that relationship with the Islamists, not Jihadi's Islamists but just moderate mainstream Islamists, is
unacceptable because these moderate mainstream Islamists have a political agenda, which is revolutionary ultimately.
So, he has separated himself from the Islamists. You can see that Mohammed bin Salman is clamping down on Islamist inside the kingdom. He wants to
get rid of their influence, and that's why Jamal could find no patronage --
HAYKEL: -- inside Saudi Arabia.
AMANPOUR: So, what do you think then? Because, you know, people have seen him as a reformer, as I described, you know, he's been all over the place
in the United States and all over Britain and everywhere, you know, with this reform agenda.
AMANPOUR: What is going to --
AMANPOUR: How severe a backlash and how bad is this for his efforts and how bad is this for U.S.-Saudi relations and what should the U.S. do?
HAYKEL: Yes. Well, a series of questions there, Christiane. So, first, I do see him as a social reformer and economic reformer and he wants to
diversify the economy away from oil. He has socially reformed by, you know, allowing women to drive, by opening the place to movies and to
entertainment, clamping down on the religious extremists and the religious activists in the country.
So, there's definitely a social reform agenda in the direction of greater openness. He is not a political reformer and he never claimed to be a
political reformer. He's an authoritarian. And he feels that authoritarianism is important because if you politically liberalize, the
country would split apart. OK. Now, that's a self-serving argument, but it is how he feels about politics. He is not going to liberalize politics
any time soon.
Now, in terms of the effect of all of this on him and on his agenda, his reform agenda, it's certainly extremely costly. You can see that a lot of
people are withdrawing from relationships with the kingdom, not showing up at conferences, wanting to withdraw from business deals. So, the Saudis
have to come up with a plausible narrative and try to put this crisis behind them.
I think as far as the relationship with the United States, that is a structural relationship. It's not just a transactional relationship, it is
a profoundly structural one because of the importance of Saudi Arabia in the global economy and regional stability and the geopolitics of the world,
and that's not going to go away whether Mohammed bin Salman is power or not, it is a permanent of American policy.
AMANPOUR: Professor Bernard Haykel, this is a story that is not going away. Thank you very much for joining us this evening.
Now, back to the United States where the fight for truth and justice is a battle. My next guest knows all too well. Following the faithless
shootings of African-American teenager, Michael Brown, DeRay Mckesson left his job as a 6th grade Math teacher to join the 400-day long Ferguson
Wearing the same blue vest, he became one of the most prominent faces against U.S. police brutality, spurring on the Black Lives Matter movement.
His new memoir, "On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope," is a powerful and personal reflection on racism today. And he speaks to our
Alicia Menendez about it.
ALICIA MENENDEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: DeRay, thank you so much for joining us.
DERAY MCKESSON, AUTHOR, "ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM": It's an honor to be here.
MENENDEZ: There are suddenly way too many young Black men who are killed by the police. What was it about Michael Brown's death that motivated you
to get in your car and drive to Missouri?
MCKESSON: You know, I had my own experience with the police in Baltimore about 2009 and (INAUDIBLE) at a traffic stop, and I thought that that was
like an isolated experience. I had no clue that this was happening all across the country.
And when Mike Brown got killed, I remember hearing the story and being like they killed that kid, you know, a teenage. And I spent my career in public
education, it was a like the least that I could do is just go to St. Louis and stand and respond to a call, they said they needed people to come, so I
Second, I was in St. Louis, it's the first time that I was tear gassed and that changed everything. It was like I've been told that that part of
American history was something that we had sort of lived through, that we wouldn't have to experience, that our generation wouldn't.
MENENDEZ: Meaning, the civil rights?
MCKESSON: They're like, you know, the dogs being sick of people and like the teargas. And like I was told that that was in the past and then I
lived it. It was like, "Oh, I'll do whatever I can to make sure that nobody has to experience this again."
MENENDEZ: And what did you learn on the streets of Ferguson?
MCKESSON: I learned so much. One is that I was one of many people. There were so many people on the street and being a part of that community was
actually one of the most important sort of places I've ever been, important communities. The second is that people in the streets had gifts already.
Part of our work as organizers is helping people find the gift and being able to access that gift.
And so there were so many people who've never led a meeting, who've never led a march, who've never had plan before. But like they had those core
skills and like we define them. The good thing is I know so much more about the data that I didn't know before. I know that there are people
killed by strangers. This country is killed by police officer. I know so much more about like how accountability works and doesn't work with regard
to policing that I just didn't know four years ago.
MENENDEZ: How did your lived experience of what happened in Ferguson differ from the imagined experience of what happened in Ferguson?
MCKESSON: It's interesting. I think that some people think about the protest in Ferguson as like a long weekend. They're like, "Wow. That like
happened." And, you know, like, no, 40 days, right. It's a long time. Now, people also forget that in those early days that we saw Martin, it
wasn't that we thought Martin was the cool.
It was only going to stand still in Saint Louis in August, September, and October 2014 that we stood still for 45 seconds, we were arrested. I was
one of the plaintiffs in the court case that got overturned by the court. And like people forget those things.
MENENDEZ: And what was the theory of why you had to keep moving?
MCKESSON: I think that for the police, the police were like, you know, if we make it, let the leaders stand still and then we'll just go home. And
instead, we were like, "Well, if we're going to walk all day, we'll walk all day." And like that's where we came. So we walked in circles
essentially night and day and like they had to stay out there, marching with us.
And I think that they were like not -- they weren't ready for that but we were like, you know, we don't know everything but we know one thing really
well and that's how Mike Brown should be alive today.
MENENDEZ: When did you realize that that protest was going to become a movement?
MCKESSON: Interesting question. It's not like I didn't know. You know, one of the things that was so beautiful about the work that we were all
doing is that we had television, right. We were like head down, focus on what's in front of us. You know Mike Brown's name. The police killed nine
people right after Mike Brown. They killed Kajieme Powell the next weekend right during the day.
So there was so much happening that I actually didn't realize that the world was watching us, until much later, until some of the first wave of
protests in India. And I traveled to other places and I was like, "Wow. Like people actually have seen everything that we've been doing."
MENENDEZ: How has the work changed over time?
MCKESSON: You know, I think on the beginning, the beginning was about awareness, right. Like, you know, I know protest isn't the answer.
Protest creates space for the innocent. We were in the street to force people to deal with the issue of police violence, force people to think
about systemic violence and state violence. And if we haven't shut down those streets all across the country, then people would have ignored it.
I think that now the question is how do we turn that awareness into impacts. So we think about some of the work that we've done around police
contracts, it's like -- and laws. In California, there's a law that says that any investigation of an officer that last more than a year can never
resolve the discipline regardless of the outcome. Just wow.
In Cleveland, they destroy the police office disciplinary records every two years. And Maryland has a law that says that you can file an anonymous
complaint for an officer for everything except brutality. That just doesn't make sense. So I think there's a focus now on the data. There's a
focus on policy and structure since we built the awareness.
MENENDEZ: It feels like there is a constant drip drop of these stories both in terms of black individuals killed in their own home, stories about
officers being allowed to go back and be on the streets again after an incident.
MCKESSON: Tamir Rice. The officer that killed Tamir Rice who got rehired.
MENENDEZ: Yes. How in the light of that do you keep on?
MCKESSON: You know, mindful that that so much of this work is like how do we uncover and then how do we respond and how do we plan proactively right.
Those are sort of the three buckets. The uncover work is work that I think we've undertaken to just say like what's the weapon? We know that it's
like 97 percent of officers are never even like charge, 99 are never convicted, right.
So like what we know now is that there are laws, policies, and practices that almost make that impossible. So we've been trying to attack those
things. We think about the organized in Austin, successfully organized to get the whole city council to vote against the last police contact. And
like that was actually really powerful. So I think those things matter.
The second is that you talk about the slow drip is that we actually don't have any great official data on police violence. And like if you get
killed in this country by a police officer, and then you (INAUDIBLE), you just don't exist. So I think the numbers we have are probably
underreporting and that's even more wild.
And the third is like, you know, [13:35:00] I have this unwavering sense of I hope. I think about hope is a belief that our tomorrow is going to be
better than our todays. Well, people say the system is broken and some people respond by saying that like, "Oh, that was designed to be like
this." The takeaway is that it was designed, that people made this up. And because we all made it up, we can make something different, something
MENENDEZ: What's the difference between hope and faith?
MCKESSON: You know, and King says that the more occupants towards death, that's about faith. That's saying (INAUDIBLE). We say the occupants
because people been there, that's hope. Just a reminder that like the world can be better. It will necessarily be better. I always think about
hope as a work, not hope is magic.
MENENDEZ: In civil rights history very often, marginalized voices even within the movement, women's voices, fem voices, clear voices get
marginalized, pushed out, and get written out of their history. What responsibility do you think you have to make sure that the women at the
center of Black Lives Matter are included in the narrative?
MCKESSON: Yes. I think that you know, in the book, it was important to me to make sure that I highlighted all this civil like you never heard of but
without who and there will be no protests. Like what's so beautiful about the movement is that it was organic, there was no like 1, 2, 3, 10 people
that started it but there were so many people who without whom, there will be no space. I write about Mamacad (ph) who made sure that people were
MENENDEZ: (INAUDIBLE), yes?
MCKESSON: Right. I write about Elizabeth Vago (ph) who did incredible art actions. I write about Alexis who helped plan some of the most important
things that happened in Saint Louis. It was really present and Brittany Packnett and Johnetta Elzie. All these people who without who, there would
actually be no space for us to talk about so that I'm sensitive to that.
And I know that the platform that I have, it doesn't exist just for me, that part of my work is to tell the truth, make sure the truth is amplified
and not be arrogant enough to think that I'm the only person that can tell the truth. My work also means that I have to keep the door open and open
up as much space as I can because there's enough space for all of us.
MENENDEZ: The Kavanaugh hearings have forced us to have really difficult conversations about why survivors don't report and don't report immediately
following an assault. You came forward with your own story. And I wonder if you would tell us a little bit about your process of deciding to share
MCKESSON: Yes. You know I was actually sexually abused when I was seven and didn't talk about it until I was like 11. I write about in the book, I
have tweeted about why I didn't report recently because, you know, we often don't talk about men who are victims. We just like -- that's like not a
part of the conversation. So I wanted to like highlight and model for people what it was like just to have the conversation and remind people
that there are male victims.
You know when I think about it, in the book I also write about what it means to be a gay black man in this moment. And for all the work that
we've actually done sort of uncovering stories of people movement work like we actually don't talk about the gay men in any substance, and ways, and
times. I wanted to -- it was important for me to write--
MENENDEZ: Why do you think that is?
MCKESSON: You know I think that like the -- I think homophobia is like still pretty potent. And you know, you think about westerns and ratio, and
I was like there is no march on Washington without westerns, right. There are so many queer black men who also have done a lot of work and like we
have to start telling those stories as well.
MENENDEZ: Do you think that's about homophobia real large or homophobia within the black community?
MCKESSON: I think it is not homophobia within the black community. I think it might be homophobia towards a black man. It's just like how black
-- gay black men sort of fall in the hierarchy of power. So yes, I wanted to talk about all of those things because they're important. They're part
of my story and like they mean something to me.
MENENDEZ: It was interesting to me reading the book because you definitely opened windows into your past and into your private life but not doors. It
feels to me like there is a piece of yourself that you are still trying to preserve. And so I wonder if you think that's fair and if so, why that is?
MCKESSON: You know one of the hard part is that I feel like I've lived a public life amongst my peers for a long time. Like I was student body
president in college, in high school, and middle school and, you know. And now I'm, you know, living a public life in activism. And there are so few
things that are just mine. There are still a few stories, a few things that I've not shared before.
So the book is sort of hard in some ways because like I was sharing all these things that like used to just be mine, right. Like I just share with
people that I intimately do but now I'm talking about them broader. And I think there's still a few things that are like just mine, that I get to
share with. You know, people know about my parents being addicted to drugs and my father raising us. My mother come back when I was 30, left when I
was 3, right. Like people know those things. And I wanted to write about that.
The reason I wrote about my mom is that I know that we walk into every room carrying more than we name. And one of the things that I walk into rooms
carrying is what does it mean to be worthy. That because she left, there's this question of like anybody could leave. We all carry things into each
room and that impacts the way we organize, the way that we build relationships with people, the way that we communicate. So I wanted to
model those things.
And you know, a part of me will always be that sixth-grade math teacher that is like always trying to like sneak in something that I like want
people to pick up and take away.
[13:40:00] MENENDEZ: Now, this expression in the book that I love. You write freedom is fragile. And I wonder is that inherent in the nature of
freedom or is that about the way that we construct freedom here in the United States.
MCKESSON: It's a fragile freedom for there to be rules that like you can't stand still. That like just shows you how like pliable all of this work
is. You think about the hundreds of thousands of people purged from the voter rolls in Georgia. That's like fragile freedom, right.
You think about FEMA not doing anything in Puerto Rico of substance. Like that shows you how fragile this is to me. I never want to forget it. Like
you can be in enough cool rooms sometimes or like get a cool bang or like have a cool conversation and people that you get lost sometimes about like
all the things happening in the world, I never want to forget that.
I think freedom is necessarily fragile. So when we fight, we fight not only to win but to protect the women. And the protection part is what
people forget. Yes, it's great to get that new law, great to get a new policy. We need to make sure that that's not even like overturned in like
one year when we're not paying attention.
MENENDEZ: You had four federal lawsuits --
MENENDEZ: -- five pressed against you. One was recently dropped. Tell me about the cost of freedom.
MCKESSON: I have had five lawsuits from officers against me. Three from Austin, Dallas, their families and two in Baton Rouge. There's a movie,
you know, (INAUDIBLE) when somebody tweeted a death threat to me. The first person ever permanently banned from Twitter was banned for raising
money for trying to get me killed. So there's a part of me that like knows they want to me to be too afraid to do the work. That's a part of the
strategy is that like I'm always looking on my shoulder, I can't actually focus.
The second is like how do I plan and strategize. So that like I'm mindful of safety but not distracted by it. And there's always like a fine line.
I think some days I'm really good at it, some days, I'm like this --
MENENDEZ: Who is the they? You said they want me to be distracted from the work.
MCKESSON: Well, I think the people -- there are a host of other people on the right who feel like, you know, the National Review called me this
generation's race baiter. I think about like their readership. I think about the people who think that like our cause -- these things are racist
are like being dramatic. The people who say like Colin should just like shut up and play football. Really that whole set of people who are trying
to delegitimize both the message in this space are people who are trying to silence both me and ton of other people who are engaged in this work
MENENDEZ: How do you think we'll look back on this moment in time?
MCKESSON: Well, I hope that you and I talking when we're both like 70 and we're like, "Remember that conversation and we won, right?" That's what I
want us to look back. They can rewrite the tax code on the back of scrap paper, don't tell me that a mass incarceration is a 400-year solution and
we can actually do this. I believe that. It's why I'm like willing to sacrifice whatever, do whatever because I like think that when I'm like 70,
80, I'll look back and be like, "That was really hard, pretty dicey, and we won."
MENENDEZ: DeRay, thanks so much.
MCKESSON: So good to be here.
AMANPOUR: Great conversation.
And we move now to a different kind of drama. One that's set in a small town in 1960's Montana. The act of Paul Dano's first stab a directing
"Wildlife" is one of the best-reviewed films of the year is going to be released in the United States this coming weekend.
Now, the movie follows the struggles of the Brinson family against the backdrop of a natural disaster. In fact, a wildfire. A family falling
apart before the eyes of their only child, a son who is wise beyond his years. The film is being praised for its visual splendor and for
masterfully capturing life in post-war America. The actress Carey Mulligan is receiving standout for playing its complex lead.
Paul Dano and Carey Mulligan join me to explain what drew them to this beautiful yet somber story.
Carey Mulligan and Paul Dano, welcome to the program there.
PAUL DANO, DIRECTOR, WILDLIFE: Hi there.
CAREY MULLIGAN, ACTRESS, WILDLIFE: Hi.
AMANPOUR: It's really good to see you. I watched the film. I know it's coming out later but it's really quite a dramatic film. I just wanted to
ask you because would I be right in thinking that both the male and the female characters are quite unsympathetic?
DANO: Well, I think it's OK for you to have that opinion. However, I don't think so. I feel like it's sort of about people being human. I
remember learning when my parents were actually people, that they sort of had past lives and that they struggled. And sort of what that felt like as
a kid to suddenly realize they had lives beyond me and sort of stepping out of like the even of childhood and then to the adult world which I think
frankly is quite messy.
And even though I experienced that, I still love my parents. So something I responded to in the book was the great sense of love there is even though
there's a great amount of struggle or [13:45:00] pain. So I personally am not looking to condemn either of these parents. In fact, I feel empathy
towards their struggle.
AMANPOUR: Well, look, the way you describe it makes a whole lot of sense and I'm going to take back what I said maybe but it is -- but actually that
is the whole other side of the coin to what I just saw. And it's really interesting because Carey, you are the mother in this triangle of mother,
father, and child. And I wonder how you saw it then because I sort of saw it from the kids' point of view. And maybe it was a flawed point of view
or flawed reading of it. I just felt so sorry for this child being caught between you two parents.
MULLIGAN: Yes. I mean I think that's so interesting because I think, you know, we've spoken. There's quite a lot of audiences who've seen the film.
And everyone seems to identify with a different character. Some people see themselves in the child, in the character played by Ed and the film is told
through his eyes. And then some people really identify with the father or the mother or they see echoes of their own experience. So I think it's
just, you know, it's a family portrait so you can, you know, follow or be with each of these characters in different moments.
From my perspective, I similarly felt despite her flaw or despite the obvious wrong move she makes, she still is hopefully a character that you
can feel empathy for. And what I loved about what Zoe Kazan and Paul had written was this flawed female character. And I think, you know, often we
have such idealized ideas of what womanhood and motherhood and wifehood looks like on screen.
And if a mother is failing on screen, she's only failing. And I don't think that's the case of this. I think you're missing her in a very
difficult week of her life and all of the cracks showing but up until that point in her life, she's sort of spent the last 14 years being pretty much
AMANPOUR: Well, right. And that definitely came across at the beginning of the film. In fact, it looked like a beautiful, perfect family unit.
And it was sad because the father played by Jake Gyllenhaal was fired from a job that he was clearly suited for.
And you, Carey playing the model wife and model mother confront this moment when the father decides to just go away and try to do something, anything.
And in this case, try to help fight a wildfire that was crashing through the area. So I'm going to play this clip and we can talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BRINSON: Dad, what's going on?
JEANETTE BRINSON: Your father is leaving us to go and fight those wildfires.
BRINSON: What? Dad, why?
BRINSON: (INAUDIBLE) grocery store. We'll go over a bunch of deadbeat getting killed.
JERRY BRINSON: You don't have to go and leave this house.
BRINSON: What does it pay?
BRINSON: What does it pay?
BRINSON: Dollar an hour.
BRINSON: Jerry, you don't have to do this.
BRINSON: I want to leave. It won't be for long.
BRINSON: What? You're not going to get yourself killed.
BRINSON: It's going to snow. The fire is going to go -
BRINSON: Joe, what do you think? Is this a bad idea?
BRINSON: Oh, don't ask him.
BRINSON: Don't say that. Jesus.
BRINSON: You can't keep running every time something wrong goes your way.
BRINSON: All right. You don't know what I'm doing.
BRINSON: Don't know? I'm a pro-woman, Jerry. Why don't you act like a grown man?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So that is supercharged but it's that first moment in the film where you see the rift beginning. What do you feel when you watch that
again? I saw you both look at each other sort of grimacing. Paul, you're the director and co-writer. What do you think when you see that scene?
DANO: Well, first, I think how good Carry and Jake are. That was a really tough day. And that was a big lesson as a filmmaker actually because I had
sort of blocked the scene in my head a different way. And we did many many many takes of them just going at it and for me, it was so fun to watch
these two guys.
This time, watching it, the key line that jumped to me actually was you can't keep running every time something doesn't go your way because I think
a lot of what the film is about is the way that information is sort of revealed to the kid. You know, sort of the mystery of who your parents
are. So these little things that start coming out at this point in the film and which character continues to sort of drop now or these things
start to come out of her. So I guess that really struck me.
AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean that -- you're absolutely right. You can't keep running. And again, you keep feeling this guy's, you know, pain, his pain
of rejection, his pain of not measuring up to his wife and to his child. And he keeps sort of running in a lot of -- I suppose trying to find his
fatherly and manly role in the house. And at the same time, then, Carey, your character is left picking up the pieces essentially trying to keep the
Your son-- the son, Joe, doesn't really perform so well in school. He's a lovely [13:50:00] lovely boy. I mean he's such a sympathetic character, so
agile, so amazing, and so loving to both his parents. What do you see happening to your character, the mother, the wife?
MULLIGAN: I think she spent so many years keeping everything together. And I think particularly in that period, you know, this is a character
who's responsible for keeping a really nice home on a lower income, constantly moving and making nice wherever they go, trying to settle, have
fun wherever they go, making do with what they have, and sort of keeping it together every time her husband has to change jobs.
And I think that's sort of a basic injustice to, in her mind, to the fact that he can leave. I think that point where she wants to leave. And she's
trying to figure out she has an identity within it, with the horizon to be simply as a mother and a wife or if there's any kind of person left
underneath from her to leave.
AMANPOUR: Paul, this is your first directorial work and potentially your first writing I think. And I'm really fascinated to hear that you had
written your version of it and, you know, you showed your partner and she was not impressed. And she ripped it up and metaphorically anyway. And
then you got to working together. I mean this is sort of quite life imitating art or the other way but it's interesting because the whole thing
is the male-female dynamic.
DANO: Yes. Thank you for bringing that up. So I took a crack at a first draft which I grew to secretly think was really pretty good, you know, once
you get invested in sort of what you're doing. And Zoe being my partner and being a proper writer, she was the first person I gave it to read. And
I sort of waited outside the door and she read it and she came out. And she was like, "It's good." You know, and it was clearly -- and she was
And she had gone dear on every page, notes on every page. We've got through maybe five pages before it was like, OK, this is, you know, it's
too hard. We started fighting. And she said, "Why don't you just let me do a pass? I see what you're trying to do." I think showing is going to
be easier than telling so we don't just like fight forever.
And for me, that was like great. I don't know if I was like unconsciously trying to bait her into like helping me with it or if I was just like,
"Great. If you're so, you know, smart, you do it." And she did a pass and brought a great sense of structure to it and many more things. And then we
just -- we had a really natural rhythm to working which was we traded it back and forth.
So we would sit down, we'd talk for a few hours, ask questions, why, why, why, why, why. And then one of us would take it. And because we'd option
it ourselves, we got to just kind of like cook it at home for sort of as long as we wanted. One of us might go work on something else and then come
back to it and our eyes would be fresh. And I actually think it turned out to be a really beautiful thing to share such a big experience of making a
film. It's a really big experience. So to share it, I think turned out to be really quite nice.
AMANPOUR: Well, I think it's a really incredible story because it's not obvious when partners, you know, have to evaluate each other's work.
Carey, what do you think in terms of that -- just symbolizing a little bit if I could sort of extrapolate, the whole post-Me Too or the current Me Too
environment, men, women working together. I want to know what you feel being a female actress working in, you know, in Hollywood and around on
stage everywhere, do you see a shift in the dynamic in your direction?
MULLIGAN: Yes. I think so. I think, you know, there's really concrete change that has come into effect in the last year but I think it's really
important. You know, speaking through our industry, I think there are things that have been put in place now as a result of this that are really
You know, there's obviously a lot more awareness but for instance, the first place that I worked after all these revelations came out was at the
Royal Court for London and Vicky Featherstone who's the artistic director put together a code of conduct pretty immediately after. She was very
vocal about everything then she put together this code of conduct. When you work, you have to agree and sign the code of conduct.
AMANPOUR: Paul, just your comment on that because, you know, I don't know whether onset they've done that in the United States or what.
DANO: No, I don't think so. It sounds like a wonderful idea because it is so gray and because it is scary and difficult to talk about. And there's
a, you know, I think a big reaction to just the political climate in general with the reaction of our industry, I think would be really helpful
to have some more concrete things in place like that.
AMANPOUR: Paul Dano and Carey Mulligan, thank you so much.
DANO: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: "Wildlife" which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal is based on a novel by the American writer Richard Ford.
For now, that is it for our program. Thanks for watching.
And remember, you can always listen to our podcast. See us online at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.