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800,000 Federal Employees Still Affected by Government Shutdown; Trump Working with the Russians or No? "An Acceptable Loss," A Political Thriller Starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired January 14, 2019 - 13:00 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.
Extraordinary times, the FBI once investigated Trump as a possible Russian agent. And is he really going to bomb Iran? We digest these latest
headlines as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues. I'm joined by the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee,
Republican Mike Rogers.
Then, a political thriller on the silver screen. Hollywood legend, Jamie Lee Curtis, on her new movie, "An Acceptable Loss."
Plus, the entrepreneur who blends corporate success with tackling biggest challenges, innovator and disrupter, Ankor Jane talks to our Alicia
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Now, in week four, and no end in sight. Some 800,000 federal employees continue to be affected by the government shutdown. Many of them face
financial hardship and possibly even ruin.
Amid this political game of chicken, the latest headlines underscore the remarkable state of play in this White House. FBI officials revealed that
when President Trump fired Director James Comey of the FBI, the agency says it explored all options, trying to figure out why Trump seemed to be
beholden to Russia, from investigating whether there was nothing out of line at all to whether he might have fired Comey at Moscow's behest. The
president says is insulted by the accusation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I never worked for Russia and you know that answer better than anybody. I've ever worked for Russia. Not only did I
never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even ask that question because it's a whole bit fat hoax. It's just a hoax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That, amid more bombshell reports. The "Washington Post" says that Trump may have taken unprecedented and possibly illegal efforts to
keep private the records of his conversations with Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.
Plus, the "Wall Street Journal" says in a terrifying account of lurching into another Middle East war.
This past summer. the White House reportedly asked the Pentagon to draw up plans to attack Iran.
Now, to discuss is whirlwind of government dysfunction and new American foreign adventures overseas, Mike Rogers joins me. He's the former
Republican congressman and chair of the House Select Intelligence Committee.
So, Mike Rogers, that is some set up. Welcome to the program.
MIKE ROGERS, FORMER U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: Yes, exactly. I think I'm going to head straight to the bar after.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, I mean, I don't know. In your lifetime, has an American president ever even been considered to have an investigation
launched on whether he might possibly have been working at Moscow's behest by the FBI nonetheless?
ROGERS: Yes. I can't find any time in history that would exactly parallel. Because remember, he was a sitting president. This was -- this
decision was made in 2017. So, this was after he was elected to president of the United States and it surrounded, I think, those conversations,
according all the press reports, happened when they were talking about his firing of Comey.
And so, what's really going to be important in this, I believe, is what predicates, and the predicates are really important. So, it's -- I'm a
former FBI agent. So, when you open up a case, you would have to show the -- any prosecuting attorney that these are the crimes, I think, that were
committed. Here's why I think that these crimes were committed. You don't have to have the answers to all of those questions but you have to have
enough to say, "OK. Let's investigate this."
So, the predications of which they used in this case is going to be fascinating to me. And I think all of this is going to -- you know, will
come out at some point.
AMANPOUR: So, you are, as you said, a former FBI agent, you also have been in Congress. So, you've had all sorts of access to classified information
and the politics around all of that.
So, when you say predicates, do you mean some of this context and some of the facts like, you know, it's believed that Russia interfered in the
election to help Trump. Trump has said he believes President Putin's denials of interfering. Trump has had almost nothing but praise for
President Putin. Trump's former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with the Russian
ambassador. Paul Manafort, the campaign adviser, heavily in debt to a Russian oligarch, alleged to have shared private campaign data with someone
close to Russian intelligence. On and on and on.
Is that the kind of predicate that you're talking about?
ROGERS: Well, they would be instances of kind of collaboration of a predicate, but the predicate must be, was the president committing some
sort of -- the possibility, that's really important here, the possibility of some sort of criminal activity? All those things you listed in and of
themselves taken separately are not criminal acts, but those could be context to say that we believe he may have been, you know, acting as a
foreign agent or fill in the blank, whatever they decided that predicate.
So, the predicate is actually the crime itself. All of the details of which you listed would be used in that as saying, "Here's all the things
that lead us to believe that there's something more going on here that we should understand. And in fact, may be, you know, criminal in nature."
If it was just a counter intelligence investigation, that would have a less higher standard. Meaning, if it's going to be a criminal investigation,
you have to show X amount of information. If it's a criminal or a counter intelligence investigation, you have to have a little bit of a less
threshold, and all of the material you cited could be used in that lesser threshold to say, "We just need to understand, are the Russians in some way
trying to or manipulating with the president's knowledge, decisions that he makes as president of the United States?"
AMANPOUR: So, just for our viewed, and frankly, for my sake, can you explain the difference? You've explained of bars, how they're different,
but what is the difference, in this case, between the counterintelligence investigation and the criminal investigation?
ROGERS: So, a criminal investigation is you specifically to say, "Hey, I'm going to put Mike Rogers in jail because I believe he's done these three
crimes, he's robbed a bank, he's done wire fraud, he's, you know, embezzled money from a bank, whatever those charges are." And so, the -- every piece
of evidence goes to what would be a public disclosure in a court of law to prosecute that person, if in fact they were found to be guilty of those
charges or at least enough that a prosecutor would prosecute those charges.
In a counter intelligence investigation, it's collection of intelligence. So, we would want to know -- there's lots of counter intelligence saying,
you know, "Is person X who happens to work for whatever, the State Department or Department of Defense, are they acting as -- on a part of a -
- as a part of an agent of a foreign government? Are they passing information that is not intended to be in the hands of foreign
governments?" Those kinds of things you could use to collect information.
And then at the end of it, you might say, "Whoops. Guess what, we found out that they are committing espionage or they're computer fraud and abuse
act, they're causing information to be leaked, you know, that commits a crime here in the United States."
So, the intelligence piece means, I'm just collecting information, I'm trying to figure out what this person is up to or if -- is the -- are the
Russians, excuse me, trying to influence either the office of the president of the United States or the president himself, you would collect that
information then you would move into a criminal case, at some point, with, again, the bar is higher, everything that you do would go through, you
know, a third and fourth set of eyes to make sure that everything -- all the Ts are crossed and the Is are dotted, not so much in a criminal or a
AMANPOUR: OK. So, it's really complex and there's a lot of, you know, words that we have to use and caveats and all the rest. And to be fair,
the reports on this, you know, explosive headline, do say that the FBI agents or officials in question took the whole gamut, the whole range of
possibilities, either that the president was working at the behest of the Russians or that there was nothing to it and he's totally innocent and this
whole thing is much ado about nothing. So, those were the parameters.
When you add tool of this, the other reports, that the president didn't want anybody to see the notes, not even his closest advisers to see the
interpreter's notes when he was alone with President Putin on several occasions, including in Helsinki, for several hours, how unusual is that,
first of all? And where now do you fall in, was he working for the Russians to there was nothing to it? Where do you fall on that spectrum?
ROGERS: Well, I don't know yet. I mean, certainly -- and I think this is part of the president's problem. He interjects himself into these
discussions when he should not and it just leads to more questions about the whole narrative of, was he or was he not knowingly working with the
Russians during the 2016 campaign or after in any way, shape or form?
And so, this is such a serious thing. I would like to see more evidence of that, which we haven't quite seen publicly. But all of these little
instances, I mean, the fact that Manafort went to Spain to meet with someone who is affiliated with Russian intelligence and share information
inside of the campaign with that individual, the fact that the -- you know, Roger Stone, who is a campaign advisor, also had conversations with the --
with Wikipedia and possibly the Russians about what was -- what information they may have had and would there be any value in causing that information
to be disclosed.
All of these things -- you know, General Flynn, who is now, you know, pled guilty to a felony and cooperating with the investigation, all of them just
continue to build this question around, what is your relationship with the Russians?
And here's the crazy thing about this, Christiane. If you're in real estate -- the real estate business in New York City you are likely to run
into Russian businessmen who are in the real estate business in New York City. And so, why are -- I don't understand the shroud of secrecy around
all of that. I think the president should have come out and said, "Yes. I bump into these guys all the time in my business practices in New York City
and the work that we would have done in Moscow."
The fact that he didn't even disclose this portion about Moscow just, again, continues to feed the narrative that, "Gosh, where there's smoke
there must be fire. And if not, why are you kind of obfuscating the truth in what your relationship is here?" And that, to me, is as, you know, both
from former FBI guy, chairman of the Intelligence Committee and candidly a Republican, it's a little frustrating for me.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And again, you had a very privileged and unique perch and you could see all this stuff. One of your successes now, Adam Schiff, the
Democrat who's now the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said that, "Last year, we sought to obtain the interpreter's notes or
testimony from the private meeting between Trump and Putin, the Republicans on our committee voted us down. Will they join us now? Shouldn't we find
out whether our president is really putting America first?" What do you think?
ROGERS: I mean, I think now because of this clouded narrative about relationships and why the president made certain decisions in not having
staff a part of these meetings, you know, taking the notes from the interpreter and saying that, "You can't talk to anybody about this," which
by the way, is highly unusual. You want someone else in the room listening so that you can feed that information back into our Intelligence Services,
Department of Defense, so that the policy positions that we make subsequent to these meetings are based on real conversations.
And now, you know, we have the -- our Intelligence Services kind of have to guess about what happened in there or they use other intelligence means to
find out what the Russians are, at least, saying happened in these meetings.
So, again, all of this is a bit troublesome. I do believe that the notes from the interpreter will eventually be made public. I don't know, at this
point, how. Now, there may have been some classified discussions, they'd have redact some of that and that would be -- I would argue, wholly
appropriate. But the context of those notes is going to come out.
There are really -- when you're the president of the United States, it's pretty tough to hide, you know, these senior level conversations, head of
state to head of state like this from everybody, it's just darn near impossible. And so, now, with the House being in Democratic control,
they're going to go after this in multiple ways. The Foreign Affairs Committee now has an Oversight Committee. And I don't remember when
they've ever had an Oversight Committee to try to get access to this kind of information.
So, I do believe it's going to come out. I think the administration would do themselves a favor in articulating what their policy is, so the rest of
the world, our allies, would also understand where we're going and then find a way to start talking about what happened in these meetings and make
it clear. The president believes it's a hoax, then this is his opportunity, I think, to frame that right by providing the right
information so people can make that decision.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you about these other policy headlines that have come out. As I quoted from "The Wall Street Journal," we learned that John
Bolton, who became national security advisor back in April wanted, the Pentagon to look into striking Iran. There had been a bunch of missile and
other sort of projectiles aimed at some sort of U.S. and other locations in Iraq. They didn't cause any damage, they didn't hurt or kill anybody but
it turned out that a group affiliated with Iran and Iraqi group claimed responsibility.
You know, what do you make of that and "The Wall Street Journal," you know, does quite a lot of heavy lifting and digging, talking about how others in
the administration like in the Pentagon were "surprised and alarmed" by the cavalier nature of just being asked to, you know, draw attack plans for
ROGERS: Yes. Two things on this. If they were asked to draw up the plans, to me, that's one discussion. If they were -- if the national
security adviser at the time said, "Hey, what are my options?" that to me is a different conversation. And I would expect in all cases with all of
our adversaries that discussions of options happened and you want -- just like the FBI that went from nothing to see here to he is in the pocket of
the Russian intelligence services, they covered the whole gamut, you'd want those kinds of discussions internally for that.
If in fact they were saying, "Hey, were hell bent on, you know, launching some attack into Iran," you know, that's a wholly different conversation
that would certainly raise concern, certainly for me, about what their intentions were and do they really understand the magnitude of what they're
talking about doing.
I'm not sure that -- to me -- I read that story and read it several times. It wasn't quite clear if it was we want to do this, tell me how to do it or
it was, give me options if we decide that this is something that we would consider doing. Again, I hope it was the first and I hope that they -- you
know, it's OK to have that conversation. If it's the latter, boy, that to me is a big judgment problem in their national security team.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me just play this soundbite, it's an interview that Secretary Pompeo did. It was it was a while back, actually in September,
about this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We will not let Iran get away with using a proxy force to attack an American interest. Iran will be held
accountable for those incidents.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even militarily?
POMPEO: They're going to be held accountable. If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, I mean, look, you are in Iran Hawk, you always were. But do you think given the state of affairs that striking Iran now, having another
war in the Middle East, I mean, what do you think on that? Is that even doable, possible, sensible, smart?
ROGERS: It's none of those things for sure. So, one of the things we do worry about Iran, and I think you and I have had these conversations, they
do have proxy forces fighting across the Middle East. Houthis, a great example in Yemen. They were armed and trained.
And when I was chairman the Intelligence Committee, we watched them ramp up their activities there for years and it was always subject to conversation
about what you do and how you do it. And there are -- they are in other places, they -- you know, we see their activities in Afghanistan and Iraq
and Syria. And so, we -- you know, Bahrain, other places around the region. We see -- certainly, not in the interests of those nation states
activities on behalf of Iran forces of some sort, either Quds force or other proxy forces around the Middle East.
So, we know that. I don't think that's a disputed fact. But having open conversations about striking into Iran, to me, is that's not the most
responsible course of action. There are other things that we can and should be doing to push back on Iran and building international coalitions
around what Iran is doing and what, together, we can do to push back and keep them back in the box, that would, to me, would be a very productive
But this very cavalier -- and the reason I worry about it is because it's not consistent either. And so, you have, you know, tough talk in one hand
and then they pull back on the other and you have the defense folks saying one thing to our allies and our intelligence folks saying something that's
close to that and then the political appointees saying something very different, the president tweeting out policy on Twitter, which is
inconsistent with everything all of those folks have been telling our allies, is really -- that's the most concerning thing to me.
I think they need to get back to a process. There's a reason -- you know, process can be frustrating and believe me, I was just frustrated with some
of the processes by both Bush and Obama in conversations we were having on international affairs. But they're there for a reason and this is the
reason, you want to present a unified message and you want all of the arms of the United States government, our intelligence services, our defense
services, our diplomatic services aligned in its missions set so that we could be more impactful with less likelihood of having to use violence or
military interaction or intelligence operations to accomplish the goal.
ROGERS: Ad so, that part is confusing. And I think it's -- I know it's confusing to our allies. I talk to a lot of them.
AMANPOUR: Yes. It certainly is.
ROGERS: That piece they certainly need to get right and they haven't gotten it right yet.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And including on Syria and the dispute with Turkey of all, it is very, very, very muddled.
But let me just bring it closer to home now. The shutdown, we said, it was in -- it is in the fourth week, you've got it impacting 800,000 federal
employees, coast guards, people have been encouraged to have yard sales to make ends meet, hundreds of TSA agents, the people who guard and check at
airports and other places aren't being paid, calling in sick.
Apparently, we've learned a passenger who boarded a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo was carrying a gun for heaven's sake. How concerned are you that
this shutdown might have a very really impact on security?
ROGERS: I -- well, security for sure. And I think economically, we're starting to see this impact. And so, we know that the FBI Agents
Association has been talking about how it impacts investigations from lab work and other processing issues they need to go forward on both criminal
cases as well as counterintelligence cases, that's a problem.
You look at the TSA, is -- they're starting to have some problems. Remember, these folks are like every other American and sometimes they live
check to check, right, that's exactly where it is. Now, they don't have a check to go to and that's causing personal problems which it's impossible
when human nature not to take that into your workplace if you're being asked to show up and not get paid, all of that to me is a problem.
The economics part is also starting to wear thin. And I think this is where president is going to lose Republicans, is it's starting to impact
the economy writ large. You can't take that much money out of the economy and it spending without having an impact but also things like initial
public offerings they're stopped to be -- they stopped processing those to get them into market. All of those things are starting to add up.
And I -- to me, it just shows a fundamental failure between both Congress - - and the Democrats have some blame here, and the president who has made the issue very small, you're either with me or against me, which is never a
good way to go into any negotiation when you're dealing with a legislative body of multiple parties. It's created a significant problem where there
doesn't appear to be a break to the impasse, that's what I worry about more than anything.
They're going to have to broaden this out, they have to bring more people into the solutions so that people could say, "Hey, we've got the government
back running." And again, this is nowhere -- the way to run a railroad. I think a lot of Americans who sent Donald Trump to the presidency believe,
"Hey, shake that place up, break some China. We think some things are broken." The longer this goes they think, "Yes, I want to break some China
but I also want the lights to come on and I want the -- you know, the trains to run on time," and that piece, I think, and you can see the loss
in his numbers short -- within a short period of time of support, really are starting to indicate, "Hey, Americans don't think this is the right way
to do it."
ROGERS: So, I hope they both come together and get this solved soon. And what message is it sending to our international partners all over the
world, how dysfunctional the U.S. government is in its ability to just function in normal process of business.
AMANPOUR: All right.
ROGERS: I worry about all of them.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, it is very worrying. And thank you again, you have a very unique perspective. The FBI chairman of the House Intelligence
Committee, thank you so much indeed, Mike Rogers, for being with us tonight.
ROGERS: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: So, ruthless politicians on Capitol Hill and a White House with a highly controversial national security policy, just some of the theme
lines in the new political thriller, "An Acceptable Loss," starring Jamie Lee Curtis.
She plays a political veteran involved in a controversial military strike designed to end the war on terror. It's the latest role in a remarkable
career for Curtis. She is a queen of the screen who became queen of the screen after making her name in the horror movie, "Halloween," which
redefined the entire genre and made box office records when it was revived last year.
And in 1988, she starred in the lacerating comedy, "A Fish Called Wanda," with Monty Python's John Cleese and in this clip, Kevin Kline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN KLINE, ACTOR: Don't call me stupid.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS, ACTRESS, "AN ACCEPTABLE LOSS": Oh, right. To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people. I've known sheep that cut out
with you. I've worn dresses with higher I.Q.'s. But you think you're intellectual, don't you, ape?
KLINE: Apes don't read philosophy.
CURTIS: Yes, they do, Otto, they just don't understand it. Now, let me correct you on the couple things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The
central message of Buddhism is not every man for himself.
KLINE: You need --
CURTIS: And the London underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto, I looked them up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Oh, my God. They make me laugh even now. Away from the screen and in her personal life, Jamie Lee Curtis, has enjoyed a 34-year-long
marriage. But she also knows pain and destruction, having suffered a fierce opioid addiction. And she's joining me now from Los Angeles.
Jamie Lee Curtis, welcome to the program.
CURTIS: Wow. Well, it's fun -- it's actually good to laugh after your last guest.
AMANPOUR: Well, yes, it is good laugh. It is. But, you know, I'm going to get to that in a second because -- I mean, it's almost like, you know,
art is imitating life when you consider your film in terms of what we were just discussing.
But I just want to know, you were laughing at those lines that you delivered in 1988. I mean, they are still hilarious. Do you miss that
sort of comedy genre?
CURTIS: Sure. Yes. Of course, I do. But I did a TV show two years ago for Ryan Murphy called "Scream Queens," which was a comedy. So, you know,
you try to mix it up a bit. But that one in particular was so beautifully written by John Cleese and it was just sort of a magic moment for all of
us, and it still makes me laugh, which we need to do.
AMANPOUR: We really do. But your new film is no laughing matter, "An Acceptable Loss," and you play the baddy, you play a baddy politician,
Rachel Burke, trying to cover up for American strikes that have killed thousands of civilians.
Before I play a clip, I just want to know, you know, what was it about this that attracted you, why did you take on this role? It is a bit of a
departure for you, it's not horror, it's not comedy, it's a political thriller.
CURTIS: Well, I'm an actress. So, as I like to say I'm a freelance actress, which means I'm unemployed most of my life. Joe Chappelle wrote
this script as his answer to the election in 2016. And it posits a question which we are, as you said, seeing writ large in taking place
today, art imitating life, life imitating art.
And the posit is that a nuclear device is detonated in Homs, Syria to counteract the gathering of certain terrorist organizations on faulty
intel, which, as we know, with the weapons of mass destruction has happened in our lifetime.
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, it is quite scary to think that, you know, a nuclear device could be used in this manner. Here's the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURTIS: Doesn't it bother you that the idea of American exceptionalism is an anachronism.
TIKA SUMPTER, ACTRESS, "AN ACCEPTABLE LOSS": Of course.
CURTIS: We're a router less ship, where just getting by is enough. And Los Angeles certainly showed tenuous even that is.
If Maleki's (ph) tire does not blow out, if the CHP does not pull over, if Maleki (ph) does not panic, if, if, if. And if prevented a catastrophe
that would have made 9/11 look like a footnote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, it is really interesting because, you know, yes, you said you're an actress, you're drawn to these issues, you're drawn to the same
person who wrote on the "Halloween." But I guess the idea of this kind of another military adventure, which I was broaching with Mike Rogers given
what some in this administration have talked about, potentially drawing up plans to strike Iran.
Do you sort of feel, even though you're an actress, sort of a kind of a political warning, signal or political, you know, activism on this issue?
CURTIS: Well, I'm an actress and this is -- I am playing the auld position to my own personal beliefs. But it's not just Iran, it's North Korea. I
mean, there is a tenuousness to these relationships. Even to Russia, I mean, on some level with the INF.
In the movie, I play the vice president of the United States, who's national security advisor makes the case to the president of the United
States based on false intel, that this group of terrorist organizations are going to be in the same place. And in her enthusiastic endorsement for him
to approve dropping a nuclear weapon, her line, which really made sense to me, which is really why did the movie because I think there are a lot of
people who feel this way, she says the point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know we are prepared to use it.
And that in itself made me feel that we have hit a sort of nuclear indifference in the world and we have to be very, very, very wary of that
nuclear indifference and do everything in our power, make movies that show these auld ideas as a way to counteract that.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it is so, you know, desperately serious what you're talking about. I just want to shift lanes of for a moment and talk about
the recent "Golden Globes," another really serious issue, that's women, that's women aging in Hollywood.
You created an absolute viral, you know, storm really by looking so amazing on the red carpet, your white dress your, white hair, everybody was
thrilled by the way you look. But more so the point or equally -- look at that. I mean, that is pretty amazing.
The film "Halloween," which you've just done broke box office records, it brought in more money than any film with a female lead over 55 years old.
What do you make of that?
[13:30:00] CURTIS: Yes. Oh, you know, it's not my -- it's not really my business to know what to make of it. I was very proud to represent. I am
proud to represent. Women are incredible, and I'm very happy to see that women are beginning to be appreciated for that. We have a long way to go.
You're an example. You're an example to me and to many, many other women all around the world of someone who can proceed and grow with tremendous
intelligence and grace and articulation and be at the head of her industry. I mean, you are brave, you are out there in ways that -
CURTIS: - many men wouldn't do. And so, I just think it's important to recognize you're complimenting me, but really I'm sitting here talking to
you. You have a show. It's named after you.
AMANPOUR: I don't - any minute now it'll disappear. But no, seriously, do you think - first of all, thank you, but do you think that older women are
being less easily written off now than perhaps in the past? It really does seem that there are a lot of older women getting a lot of good jobs and
being very public about it.
CURTIS: Yes. There has been a shift. That's great. There have been a shift, obviously, in roles, but we have a long, long way to go in the
technical side of the movies, directors, producers, writers. There have been many new cameramen - camerawomen, excuse me, who have - see how
AMANPOUR: Yes -
CURTIS: - you say cameraman?
AMANPOUR: - unconscious bias.
CURTIS: Unconscious bias -
AMANPOUR: Yes, so -
CURTIS: There. Right there, it just happened live on television.
AMANPOUR: It did indeed. Look, I said in the lead you are part of Hollywood royalty. You know, your farther was Tony Curtis, you mother,
Janet Lee. They have, you know, I mean, dominated films for so, so long. But, you know, I guess I ask you that because with the #metoo movement, I
just want to know whether that protected you from being taken advantage of or from being aggressed or harassed in any way. You were also married
through lots of your career as an actress. Did you feel that - or did you have, you know, horrible experiences?
CURTIS: I don't know a women in showoff business who hasn't had a horrible experience, and I am one who has. My experiences were when I was much
younger, and I've been very fortunate. I was - you know, I can't say that I was sexually assaulted, but I definitely had the oppression of the power
and some feeling of needing to succumb to that power.
AMANPOUR: And you had another thing that you had to deal with and you kept it quiet, and for some miraculous reason, nobody understood or figured it
out that there you were turning up for movies and this and that and you had a long, long time opioid addiction. How did that start -
AMANPOUR: - and how did you kick it?
CURTIS: So I had a small plastic surgery procedure and I was prescribed pain killers which really stimulated an ongoing addiction to them for a
very long time. I will say that it was a very controlled addiction in the sense that I was able to somehow compartmentalize it. Obviously I was not
high at work. My work you can't really be high when you do your job very similar to yours.
And so, it was a very private addiction, but more than an addiction, it was a private dependence. See, it's a dependency on something, some
alternative to just being clean. It is a dependency that became the secret, the shame, and the way I confronted it is that I confronted it.
You know, there was a moment of looking in the mirror and realizing I had problem, and I reached out to some friends and I found recovery in rooms
all around the world, and I continue to support that recovery. I will be God willing 20 years sober in a week.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's incredible, and I just wanted - I mean, you obviously have had tragedy
CURTIS: I lost -
AMANPOUR: - with this. Can you hear me still?
CURTIS: Oh, there you are.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Your brother - half brother tragically died of a heroin overdose.
CURTIS: Yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: You have said I'm breaking the cycle that has basically destroyed the lives of generations in my family. Getting sober remains my
single greatest accomplishment, bigger than my husband, bigger than both of my children, and bigger than any work, success, failure, anything. That,
you know, again, is huge what you say, and I wonder whether you had any notion on your comments on how much of the country is - is affected -
CURTIS: I'm sorry. I'm lost you after "any notion."
AMANPOUR: How much of the country is affected by this opioid addiction and heroin addiction.
CURTIS: I'm aware of it. Obviously, I have written about it for a long time, and you know, sadly, it often is that somebody famous has to die
before you will pay attention. And it certainly was the case with Michael Jackson and Prince.
Both of their deaths brought focus to this opiate crisis, and obviously, I'm aware of it. And when I say it's the single greatest accomplishment,
you see, it has - it has destroyed generations in my family and in how many others families.
And for me, the buck stops here; my goal is one day at a time to stay sober and clean and enjoy my creative life and enjoy my family and enjoy reaching
my out my hand, my hand and yours, to other people, and then linking up with people, because it is the linking up that becomes the bridge back, I
think, for people. That's when they don't feel alone.
AMANPOUR: Yes, and - and what a joy that you have - you know, you're married; you've been married for 34 years, and in one of the interviews I
read, you know, your secret to a happy marriage. You said, "Don't leave." There's a recovery phase that says, "Stay on the bus; the scenery will
AMANPOUR: Tell all those couples out there.
CURTIS: You know, you tell me any married couple that hasn't struggled, that they haven't had a moment where they have felt anger towards their
spouse. That's insane; we're human beings. And so, my quip, don't leave, is it will get better; the scenery will change. You can make it though
And believe me, my family has made it through hard times, and my family has made it through beautiful, joyous times. It is the process of life, and
somewhere we were fed some idea that bad stuff doesn't happen. Well, look at the world today, and look at the guest you had on prior, and look at the
state - look at today; the teachers are on strike in California - Go LAUSD (ph) - teachers, not the LAUSD part.
And look at the country; we're on a shutdown. People aren't being paid; they can't pay their medicine, they can't pay for their children who are
sick. It is a crisis, and it's important for people to remember there are good times and bad times. And I hope we, as a country, can come together;
I hope that the president will listen and understand he cannot make this sort of unilateral this or nothing, because that's just not how this works.
And I hope he'll listen.
AMANPOUR: And - and we just did -
CURTIS: Not to me, because people think I'm -
AMANPOUR: Well, we just heard from Mike Rogers, as you were saying, and he also hoped that there would be a broadening of this sort of, you know -
AMANPOUR: - situation, so that people can come together and find a compromise. But listen Jamie Lee Curtis, thank you so much for joining us.
CURTIS: Thank you, Christiane. And thank you again for being the example, for me and many, many other women of integrity, intelligence and
AMANPOUR: Well, you were really sweet. Jamie Lee Curtis, thank you very much indeed.
CURTIS: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And now we turn from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, where technology is stitching the fabric of today's society, impacting everything
as we know, from employment to housing costs.
Enter 28-year-old Ankur Jain; he is the founder and CEO of Kairos. It's a venture tackling social issues by investing in young entrepreneurs. And he
explained to our Alicia Menendez how millennials can combat the challenges ahead.
ALICIA MENENDEZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Ankur, thank you so much for joining us.
ANKUR JAIN, KAIROS FOUNDER & CEO: Thanks so much for having me.
MENENDEZ: Let's start at big picture. How would you characterize the current state of technology and tech industry?
JAIN: It's so funny. So technology for the longest time has been this holy grail of change; it's been this opportunistic, do no evil, incredible
place to be. All of the sudden, though, tech is starting to touch people's lives in ways that I don't even us in tech ever expected - to the point
where the I think technology companies, in many ways, are becoming more powerful than governments. One of the problems with that -
MENENDEZ: Can you give me an example of that?
JAIN: Yes, I mean if you look today, companies like Amazon have more impact on the level of employment in cities, the cost of housing in areas -
- I mean, if you look, Amazon just announced that they were going to open up a headquarters in Long Island City. Home prices skyrocketed. Right?
And so if you're not participating in that ecosystem, you're suddenly being priced out because one tech company decided to move into a neighborhood.
I mean, that's a bigger impact than New York State can have with a ton of their different subsidies. Right? And you have city governments and state
governments fighting and offering tax packages and government bills just to attract technology.
MENENDEZ: So it's not even just the way you're interacting as an individual with the technology, it's --
JAIN: That's right. It's so much wider spread than that. Right? And -- and you look at the impact from a product standpoint, these companies that
now own our data are using it in ways that I don't think any of us, again, expected. The challenge is that embedded in the DNA of these technology
companies isn't the same level of social responsibility that at least hypothetically a government has. Right? And so you're starting to see
this emerging distrust and backlash against these tech companies as people start to realize my health care prices are going up because of tech
companies, my ability to get hired is disappearing because of tech companies.
All of a sudden these tech companies are choosing winners and losers in society and that starts to open up kind of a Pandora's box.
MENENDEZ: Explain how they do that.
JAIN: Well again, like, you look at today, these new -- even algorithms that are determining hiring today. On one hand it can be used for good to
help remove bias from hiring. Right? And there's some companies that are doing that. But on the other hand, there's now an opportunity where if you
don't have certain skill sets that the algorithm has decided qualify you for a job, you just don't get it. And all of a sudden insurance models for
things like healthcare can start to price people-- this is one of the biggest fears of a lot of the new healthcare partnerships with Facebook, is
what will happen when health insurance companies can more accurately price you based on your potential risk in the future.
Right? And like 23 And Me is another example, like if genetic data opens up to health insurance companies, things changes. Right? So all of a
sudden technology companies have this significant role in people's lives that aren't just kind of this separate bubble.
MENENDEZ: Is it that all of a sudden they have this significant role in people's lives or all of a sudden we're realizing that they have a
significant role in people's lives.
JAIN: It's both. Right? It's -- it's -- over the last 10 years, Id' say, tech has started to mature as an industry. Right? And as tech has
matured, you started to see these giants come in. And these giants have been able to aggregate kind of distribution, data et cetera. And so again,
if you look at even things like Amazon, it's very hard, even as a non- consumer but a small business to compete in a market where Amazon has distribution. Because you just can't compete with one-hour free delivery
at scale the same way Amazon can.
MENENDEZ: Can a giant tech company reincorporate social good into its DNA?
JAIN: Well, so look, I actually -- I'm a big believer in capitalism as a force for good if prioritized. Right? And so if you think about it, some
of the biggest problems in the world are also the biggest market opportunities. So when people ask should companies like Amazon bake social
DNA into their corporate for the sake of doing good, I think they should. Will they? Probably not. But will they do it because there's a big market
opportunity? I think yes.
And so if you think about today, over 80 percent of all income today is just spent on five basic needs. Housing, child care, health care, food and
transportation. Right? I don't think it's a coincidence that two of the five categories are where the biggest tech companies have grown in the last
five years. So transportation, you look at Uber and DiDi and Lyft and food, where Amazon and these guys have made their biggest investments.
And so all of a sudden I think you're going to see an opportunity for technology companies to hits these basic needs because there is a big
market. But the social --
MENENDEZ: They're addressing the needs but they're not actually making those needs more affordable.
JAIN: Well this is where I think -- so if you look at where -- let's take a step back. Right? The average consumer today, despite all the economic
growth, has been left behind. And when average Americans, millenials especially, can't afford to pay their rent, they can't afford child care to
go back to work -- I mean these are serious, serious problems. And so I think what you will see is a new growth of start-ups focused on those type
of areas with a focus on affordability.
MENENDEZ: Your company Kairos, tell me about some of the work that you're doing in that sector.
JAIN: So we are one of the groups pushing more and more capital towards new technologies to help solve that. So I'll give you an example. If you
take housing, it's the biggest expense for people across the world. Right? And yet as rent has taken up a bigger and bigger piece of people's income,
it's actually not what's tipped people over the edge. What's the problem today is that if you want to rent in any city -- New York, St. Louis,
Miami, San Francisco -- in addition to paying monthly rent, you have these massive up from costs. So security deposits, sometimes broker fees, moving
And when you combine that with a lack of savings, you start to see an explosion. So today, people have $45 billion of their savings tied up in
security deposits. You know, when you sign a lease they make you take a month of your rent? The average millennial only has $1,500 in savings. So
you're talking about double their life savings locked away in a security deposit that you can't touch. I mean, that's crazy.
And so, one of the companies that we've been building at Kairos has said, "hey, we can give that money back to people while creating a business
opportunity." So we launched an insurance company called Rhino where for just $5 a month people can now insure their landlord and keep their
security deposit. And so, all of a sudden that money that was being locked away can be used to pay off debt, to put into emergency savings, et cetera.
MENENDEZ: So you're focused on housing.
MENENDEZ: How about child care?
JAIN: So as people start to have families, almost 20 percent of household income is now going to childcare. So you have this weird situation where
you have a growth in dual income households. So 7 in 10 new moms are going back to work. There's this massive emergence, and yet they're not actually
making much more income because most of that new income post tax is going to childcare costs which just doesn't make sense, right?
And so, one of the things that we're doing is we're trying to say how do we actually change that dynamic by grouping demand? So we've launched a
company called Kindisde in the childcare space. And like in health - in healthcare, the insurance companies pull patients sot that can buy
essentially health services at discounted pricing and increase kind of quality care.
We're doing the same for childcare. So now people can sign up for a childcare membership kind of like an AARP or something of the sort, and
we're actually negotiating cheaper prices by buying childcare spots in bulk and allowing them to apply their $5,000 tax credit automatically. So
you're cutting the cost by almost 40 percent.
MENENDEZ: You're building a for-profit organization that is focused on addressing social needs but at the same time needs to remain profitable.
JAIN: Yes, yes.
MENENDEZ: How do you truly balance those needs?
JAIN: This is why I think it's much easier for a startup to drive change than it is for a big company because truly at the beginning of the product,
tech is for - tech companies have typically started in two ways - problem first or technology first. I think part of the challenge that you're
seeing is so many of these businesses who've started with technology first of just what if we could do with Y technology, right? And then they try to
figure out the use case and you have like what Facebook became which is a lot of unintended consequences.
On the other hand, you have solving the problem first. And I think in that case it's not a tradeoff. The question doesn't apply. It should be that
the more you solve the problem the more revenue the business makes.
JAIN: And so, it's a true aligned incentive from the beginning.
MENENDEZ: How do you keep your eye on that north star?
JAIN: I think the bigger risk is not whether the company's alignment remains with solving the problem. It's can we identify the unintended
consequences before it's too late?
MENENDEZ: For example?
JAIN: So, again, if you think about, you know, at premise Amazon had set out to make things more affordable from my - like whether it's buying books
or whether it's buying products -
MENENDEZ: From a consumer perspective.
JAIN: (ianudible) I mean, by the way, part of the reason Amazon hasn't been broken up as a monopoly is because under the monopoly trust law, it
has to show that it's been in the negative interest of consumers where Amazon has actually made products cheaper and more accessible. And so,
it's been hard for people to make the case that it's a monopoly in a bad sense. But the unintended consequences have been significant. And so, I
think this is where it's an actual moral responsibility of technology leaders to actually spend time thinking about these unintended consequences
and saying how do they address them head on.
MENENDEZ: Do you have an intention of taking any of these companies public?
MENENDEZ: And then what happens when you are beholden not to your own vision but to the vision of shareholders?
JAIN: It goes back to the same thing, right, is that our ability to drive returns for shareholders should be tied to sovling these problems, right?
And I recognize that this is - there's a lot of distrust in the tech world, right? And so, ultimately the only way to show this is by actually making
that impact, right? I mean, we can sit here and talk about it all we want and there will always be some level of distrust, but I think the product
has to speak for itself, right? If people are better off because of your product across, you know, again, intended and unintended, then you're
actually driving the change people want. And if they're not, then people will continue to distrust. And by the way, they won't purchase your
product anymore. I mean, that's part of the power of today's consumer is they can be very vocal and they get to take their money where they believe
they can trust the brands and the companies, right? And so, it's not - it's not an entirely lopsided system.
MENENDEZ: Both of your parents are entrepreneurs.
Your dad, notably, was the CEO of InfoSpace. What did you learn from watching the two of them?
JAIN: A couple things. I mean, one is my dad's always focused on big problems as an opportunity. Right? And so I remember even from the
beginning of InfoSpace days he always talked about success as how many people you're touching. And so you can build a luxury brand that reaches a
small amount of people, but then that's not really successful. Right? And so how do you reach as many people as possible? It forces you to then take
on some of the big problems.
MENENDEZ: So you saw the boom, you also saw the bust.
JAIN: Totally. Look, I think the bust of the tech 1.0 is something we should all learn from, by the way, now. When you look at today, the
markets have been pretty topsy-turvy. I think it's very likely we're going to hit another recession in 2019. So the question is what does that mean
for tech companies, what does that mean for average people. And I think right now, if you think of the underlying datas -- if you look at in the
`90s bust, a lot of technology companies didn't have the fundamentals to back the valuations. And so they imploded, but the impact was fairly tight
with the tech investor community.
In 2008 the housing market was so over-inflated that everybody who had home ownership exposure went under. This time I think it's much bigger risk
because now everyone has so much debt and so little saving that it's not the debt from -- you know, frivolous spending like buying homes when you
can't afford it. We're talking student loan debt and credit card debt. All right? And most people -- even, again, like you look at all these
folks coming out of university, the last 10 years debt was so cheap you could get variable interest rates and all of a sudden people are starting
to see those payments go up and you have no savings because interest rates are rising.
So if we don't find a way to fix that and start to create wiggle room -- which is why I keep hitting on affordability -- then this collapse could be
bigger than any of the recessions. Because you're putting everybody underwater. And a whole young generation. The last time was slightly
older generation who still had the -- some nest egg savings they'd accumulated over 20 years. This could hit the millennials really hard.
There are a few tips that I hope every young millennial follows to help prepare for a downturn.
And I would love to --
MENENDEZ: Let me just get out my pencil. Go ahead.
JAIN: So look, number one is student loans. Right? I mean, most people don't realize that their interest rates on their student loans are going to
be rising much faster in the next six months than they have over the last five years. And so this is the last chance to refinance them at a fixed
rate and lock in that low rate so you can budget properly if the economy turns. So I think that's number one. Number two, most people who have --
starting a family don't realize that you have a tax credit for child care. So the FSA tax credit gives you $5,000 of money that you can put tax-free
to child care and most families don't even know about this.
Right? So that's on average 20 percent of your childcare cost can get covered by that. So I think people need to look at that. Three is if you
don't have a strong credit score, now is the time to build it. And then lastly -- I'm going to talk about this with Rhino (ph), but like, if you
don't have emergency savings, now is the time to do it. And I realize it's not as easy as just putting money from your paycheck, which is why we built
this insurance company, so you can take money that you have but is not accessible, put it back in your bank account and kind of hold it as
MENENDEZ: OK, thank you so much.
JAIN: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: And that is really valuable and important advice for millennials. Just before we go, a note. On tonight's show, just earlier,
we discussed U.S. foreign policy and Iran. We heard how National Security Adviser John Bolton favors regime change in Tehran as do Secretary of State
Pompeo and President Trump, although they say it's not official government policy. But how does that affect trying to release and repatriate their
citizens detained in Iran at this time? There are at least six U.S. citizens held in Tehran prisons right now with no word on their cases.
Some of those are Iranian-Americans and an Anglo-Iranian, Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe, jailed in 2016 has now gone on hunger strike to protest being denied proper medical care for her illness.
We'll continue to follow these cases. But that is it for now. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast at any time. See us online at
Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.