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Chair of the House of Intelligence Committee Says Barr Should Resign; Adam Schiff, U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chair, is Interviewed About William Barr`s Decision on the Mueller Report; Joe Biden Rocketed to the Front of the Democratic Presidential Pack; Kimberle Crenshaw, Assisted Anita Hill`s Legal Team, and Barbara Boxer, Former U.S. Senate Democrat, are Interviewed About Joe Biden`s Apology on the Anita Hill Hearing. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired May 1, 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don`t want to characterize how Bob`s thought process on this.
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): I`m not asking you to characterize it. It`s in his report.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Attorney General Bill Barr faces Capitol Hill, amid revelations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller directly criticized him. The chair of
the House Intelligence Committee now says Barr should resign. I`ll speak to him, Adam Schiff, from Washington.
Then, Joe Biden races out ahead of a crowded Democrat 2020 field, but can he shake off doubts about his record and his treatment of Anita Hill?
Plus, the things that make White people uncomfortable. Super bowl champion, Michael Bennett on the brutal realities of American football.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I`m Christiane Amanpour in London.
The attorney general testifies on Capitol Hill, facing accusations that he mischaracterized the Russia investigation to make it seem unduly favorable
and to justify his decision not to go after President Trump for obstruction of justice.
It`s emerged that even Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote twice to William Barr in March expressing misgivings about the attorney general`s
four-page summary to Congress. Mueller said, "There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This
threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the
The question now, what will Congress do about it? Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the attorney general defended his actions,
saying the president did not act with corrupt intent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: If the president is being falsely accused, which the evidence now suggests that the accusations against him were false, if he -- and he knew
they were false, and he felt that this investigation was unfair, propelled by his political opponents and was hampering his ability to govern, that is
not a corrupt motive for replacing an independent counsel. So, that`s another reason that, you know, we would say that the government would have
difficulty proving this beyond a reasonable doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, says the attorney general is obviously biased and should step down.
Congressman Schiff joins me from Washington.
Welcome back to the program, Congressman.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Thank you, it`s great to be with you.
AMANPOUR: So, why did you make that call this morning, even before William Barr began his testimony?
SCHIFF: Because it was clear before he began his testimony when the Mueller letter was revealed that he had deliberately misled the Congress.
He was asked very specifically a couple weeks ago whether he was familiar with concerns that had been reportedly raised by the Mueller team about the
accuracy of his four-page summary, and Barr`s answer was an unequivocal no.
Well, that was false. He was aware of it, because he spoke to Mueller directly about it, because Mueller put his concerns in writing. So, that
was a deliberately false statement. And coming on the heels of misleading summaries that he had given the public, a false narrative he had supplied
to the White House, his ability to be an impartial top law enforcement officer of the country has been so called into question, I don`t think he
can effectively serve as attorney general and I do think he should step down.
AMANPOUR: So, before we ask you how you`re going to manage that issue, let us play this particular piece of testimony that you`ve just referred to.
It was in answer to Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Because I`m not asking what`s in the Mueller report, I`m asking about your conclusion. Let me ask you this --
BARR: It was the conclusion of a number of people, including me, and I obviously am the attorney general. It was also the conclusion of the
deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.
VAN HOLLEN: I understand. No, I`ve read your letters.
BARR: And I will discuss that decision after the report --
VALL HOLLEN: Did bob Mueller support your conclusion?
BARR: I don`t know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, it`s a tiny bit different than what you said. You said it was an unequival no, he said, "I don`t know." Do you still standby the
fact that that was misleading?
SCHIFF: Well, actually that`s a different exchange that you played. The exchange I`m referring to was on the House side with Representative Charlie
Christ where Charlie asked him in a way that was uncandidly similar to the contents of the Mueller letter, "Are you aware of concerns by the Mueller
team that your four-page letter essentially lacks the context, lacks an accurate summarization of the Mueller report," and his answer was, no.
That was directly false and I think even more unequivocal than with respect to the Chris Van Hollen questions you just [13:05:00] played back. So,
that`s what I`m referring to.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, now that you say that he should step down. What method is going to achieve that? Do you believe that Congress has the will, the
power, to start such a process?
SCHIFF: Well, I mean, here`s the dilemma that we face with an attorney general not doing his job, with a president who we believe has committed
various acts of obstruction of justice, and that is, there`s no Howard Baker in this Watergate scenario, there is no Republican of stature willing
to stand up to this president.
And we saw, I think, on display among the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing an utter willingness to carry the president`s
water no matter how unethically the president behaves. The Republicans on the Senate committee were not interested in what Russia did in our
election. They were not interested in why Bill Barr arrogated to himself a decision that Bob Mueller wanted the Congress to make about obstruction of
justice. They`re interested in going after Hillary Clinton still and talking about Hillary`s e-mails
And in the absence of a GOP willing to defend the constitution, defend our separation of powers, to stand up to this man in the oval office, our
options for removing him are very limited. And so, you know, we haven`t ruled out impeachment, either of the president or now of the attorney
general. It is a serious undertaking, but we are also mindful of the fact that that would not be successful in the Senate when you have only one
party willing to look at the facts and uphold its constitutional duty.
AMANPOUR: I mean, as you`re considering and contemplating all of this, you know, you have described, you said that it was an unequivocal no, and he
just said, you know, no about this thing that you now know he knew about, I mean, where does that stand? Is that obstruction itself? Is that a crime?
What is that?
SCHIFF: Well, you know, look, if it wasn`t the attorney general of the United States, the Justice Department would probably be looking at this as
a potential perjury case. Now, there shouldn`t be a different standard for the attorney general or if there should, it should be a far higher
standard. We ask that people in the Justice Department and I used to be one of them, avoid not just impropriety but the appearance of impropriety.
I think his ability to bring about public confidence in the result of investigations is now so seriously undermined that if he`s interested in
what`s best for the Department, he should step down. And here is another profound concern, and that is, there are over a dozen cases that the
Special Counsel has now spun off to other offices. That also may implicate either the president or people around him.
We know about one in which the president has been referred to as individual number one directing a corrupt campaign finance scheme. What confidence
can the American people have if Bill Barr is the ultimate decision maker on those potential indictments? And the answer is, little or none.
And so, I`m not sure what the remedy is, again, when you have only one party willing to challenge this kind of unethical behavior, but we`re going
to have to hold oversight hearings, we`re going to have to use our compulsion, our subpoena power, we`re going to have to use the power of the
purse to hold the administration accountable in every way that we can.
AMANPOUR: Do you expect that the attorney general will appear on Capitol Hill before the House committees, the relevant committees tomorrow as he`s
been called to do? Do you think he will do that?
SCHIFF: You know, I don`t know. I think what we are seeing in the Senate is a display of the attorney general`s arrogance, and what we are seeing
overall in this administration is a contempt for the co-equal branch of government, unwillingness to sit for any legitimate oversight.
So, the attorney general now with respect to the House Judiciary Committee is trying to decide how he thinks the committee should conduct its
business. Well, that`s not for him to decide. The House Judiciary Committee will conduct its own hearing in the manner it believes is best
designed to get at the truth, and that may be exactly why the attorney general is so reluctant to come before the House.
AMANPOUR: And what about Bob Mueller himself? Where do you see that landing? I mean, he -- presumably Congress wants to hear from him as well.
SCHIFF: We do want to hear from him. We would like to hear from him and the Intelligence Committee and also the Judiciary Committee, and I`m
confident that`s going to happen. But I think we`re seeing the attorney general take the same approach he`s been taking for over a month now, which
is delay getting the real facts to the American people as long as possible so that he and the president can put forward their own false narrative,
because he knows that Bob Mueller`s account is going to differ from what he is saying.
So, he wants his own narrative to sink in as long as possible. That`s just the kind [13:10:00] of unscrupulous conduct in the administration that we
have come now, regrettably, to expect. So, we`re going to press to bring in Bob Mueller as soon as possible. I fully expect they`re going to try to
delay, but we will subpoena him if required and we are going to make sure the American people get to hear directly from Bob Mueller because they
cannot rely on what the attorney general says by way of characterization of his testimony.
AMANPOUR: I wonder whether you can sort of think about why this is suddenly happened and these questions raised about Bill Barr, because even
former FBI Director, James Comey, spoke to me in April, it was after, you know, Barr had received the Mueller report, and he, like many others, were
giving the attorney general the benefit of the doubt and speaking about his long-time record of public service. And this is what he said to me at that
time. Again, before it became public, but after he had received the report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: He is an institutionalist. He loves the Department of Justice. The only thing he has to lose at this point in his
career is his reputation. I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt and us, uncharacteristically, showing some patience to give him a chance to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Just comment on that for me.
SCHIFF: Yes. Well, you know, I have heard from a number of people who expressed very much the same thought that you just played from James Comey,
that they wanted to give Bill Barr the benefit of the doubt. And now, that they have, they regret having done so.
Look, I think what we are seeing with Bill Barr is an abject example of the conundrum that anyone who serves this president faces and that is, how do
you ethically serve a deeply unethical president, and the answer is, you can`t. And Bill Barr failed that worse than most.
Why he wanted this job so badly to begin with is a mystery. I said at the time of his confirmation, he should never be confirmed unless he recuses
himself because he has such an obvious bias. So, I blame the Senate in part that confirmed him, but we are now seeing that bias so vividly
displayed. And not just with respect to his arrogating to himself to make this consequential decision about obstruction of justice but now, his
lobbing out this incendiary term of spying, accusing the Obama administration of essentially spying on the Trump campaign. That is a
Donald Trump campaign rally talking point.
Bill Barr is smart enough to know just how charged that word is. And to see Barr, again, dissemble about this today, really, I think, for anyone
like Comey who gave him the benefit of the doubt, they now have to conclude that Bill Barr is no better than Rudy Giuliani, maybe worse because he
brought a certain stature to the job, but he is no different than anyone else acting as a spokesman or personal lawyer for the president.
AMANPOUR: It is quite interesting, though, to remember that Bill Barr and Bob Mueller have been long-time colleagues but also friends, and these
letters and apparently a phone call from Mueller to Bill Barr over what we`ve just been discussing, you know, others have said shows the extent to
which there`s so much wrangling and sort of thought about how to deal with the investigation into this president and all the allegations.
And particularly, I just want to play this little bit of Bill Barr today to refer to what you just talked about. You know, aggregating to himself the
final decisions to be made. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: Bob Mueller is the equivalent of a U.S. attorney. He was exercising the powers of the attorney general subject to the supervision of the
attorney general. He`s part of the Department of Justice. His work concluded when he sent his report to the attorney general.
At that point, it was my baby, and I was making a decision as to whether or not to make it public, and I effectively overrode the regulations, used
discretion, to lean as far forward as I could to make that public and it was my decision how and when to make it public, not Bob Mueller`s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, that`s a fact, right? I mean, that was his decision and he played it out.
SCHIFF: There actually were multiple false statements in what he just said. He wasn`t required to override the regulations to make this public.
He had the discretion to make it public. And indeed, he is not prohibited by law from making grand jury material available. He can go to court as
others have in his job in the past to seek court permission to make that public, to make that available to Congress.
These are choices Bill Barr made. Nothing was compelled here. He wasn`t compelled to make a decision on obstruction of justice. He decided to do
that himself. But what you also see displayed in that statement [13:15:00] is his arrogance. "Bob Mueller worked on this for two years, but he is
nothing. He`s my subordinate. When he gave me that report, it was mine to do with as I choose. He was done."
In fact, we have learned he wasn`t done. He was asked for his help in making redaction -- making recommendations, so he wasn`t done. He is still
today on the payroll, but Bill Barr wants us to believe that Bob Mueller was simply an insignificant subordinate. And that in 48 hours, he had the
ability, Bill Barr, to make this decision that Bob Mueller had to consider for two years.
And I think we are seeing that kind of arrogance result in yet another grave disappointment to the country and one of the top officials in the
country, and that is believing that somehow he is unanswerable to the public and the Congress, he can do as he will, he can ignore what Bob
Mueller intended or meant, he can spin this on the president`s behalf and there`s no repercussion.
AMANPOUR: Can you describe what you think, in terms of the counterintelligence nature of this investigation? You know, we were told
for a while that it was being characterized, particularly, obviously, on the Russia side, that this was as much a counterintelligence investigation
as anything. Where do you stand on what has been revealed and how satisfied you are by the answers that have been given?
SCHIFF: Well, this is a very key point, because as you mentioned, this began not as a criminal probe but as a counterintelligence investigation to
determine whether people around the president and ultimately the president himself as a candidate were somehow compromised by a foreign power, either
wittingly or unwittingly. And indeed, the report does include some of that evidence. For example, you know, all of this context, all of what we
colloquially refer to as collusion is set out in the report contrary to what Bob Mueller -- contrary to what Bill Barr has to say about that,
innumerable contacts, injunctions by the president to find out what WikiLeaks had, all of that. All of that is deeply compromising.
But what we don`t have is the counterintelligence findings. Is that investigation ongoing? What happened to those counterintelligence agents
embedded in Mueller`s team and the reports they sent back to headquarters? Now, our committee has asked for those reports on a bipartisan basis, one
of the few things that Devin Nunes and I agree upon. We will subpoena that information if necessary. There`s a statutory requirement, they provide it
to our committee, they have not upheld their legal obligations.
So, we`re going to get answers to these questions. And maybe among the most important because criminal or not, if a foreign power has leverage
over the president of the United States, that is, dictating U.S. policy in a pro-Russia direction, that has to be exposed.
AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you a different issue about Russia, which I`m sure comes under your purview as intelligence. We know that Russia is
taking advantage of America in places like Syria and it`s present on the ground in Venezuela and the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has said that,
you know, with all the protests in Venezuela yesterday, the dictator, Nicolas Maduro, was prepared to leave the country, apparently an airplane
was prepared to fly out but was talked out of it by the Russians.
Do you know anything about that? What more light can you shed upon that and what does that say to you?
SCHIFF: Well, you know, I can certainly confirm that the Russians have a significant influence and important presence in Venezuela, that they are a
malign influence there and are certainly doing what they can to prop up Maduro.
In terms of the specifics that the secretary of state mentioned, I can`t comment on that. But this is a -- you know, this is an adversary that
views the world in a zero-sum term, that is, anything that helps the United States is harmful to Russia and vice versa. And there`s a particular
interest, I think, in Maduro by Putin, and that is, if popular discontent can result in the removal of Maduro, it can result in the removal of
This is why the colour revolutions were so terrifying to Putin, why the Arab Spring was so terrifying to Putin, because it provides a model for the
overthrow of autocratic regimes. So, there are many reasons, I think, the Russians have a deep interest in propping up Maduro, not least of which
they believe it is unamicable to the U.S. interests but also, they are fighting this idea around the world that people can topple their autocratic
AMANPOUR: It`s fascinating. Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you so much indeed for joining us.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Meanwhile [13:20:00], the former vice president, Joe Biden, has rocketed to the front of the Democrat presidential pack. A new poll out
this week shows that 39 percent of Democrats and Democrat leaning independents say that he is their top choice. That`s just six days since
he entered the race. And that`s up 11 points from March before he was officially a candidate. And it puts him more than 20 percentage points
ahead of his nearest competitor, Senator Bernie Sanders.
But Biden`s relations with women cast a long shadow over this campaign, not only invading women`s personal space but his conduct in chairing Senate
confirmation hearings for then Supreme Court Nominee, Clarence Thomas, back in 1991. Thomas, of course, faced allegations from a colleague, Anita
Hill, of sexual harassment.
Biden now says he takes responsibility for what happened during those hearings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believed her from the very beginning, but I was chairman. She did not get a fair hearing. She
did not get treated well. That`s my responsibility. And I committed that I am determined to continue the fight to see to it that we basically change
the culture in this country where a woman is put in a position where she is disbelieved. As the committee chairman, I take responsibility that she did
not get treated well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Let`s dig into this issue with Kimberle Crenshaw, a law professor who assisted Anita Hill`s legal team back in 1991.
Kimberly, welcome to the program.
KIMBERLE CRENSHAW, ASSISTED ANITA HILL`S LEGAL TEAM: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: So, take us back to that moment, and your involvement and what actually was going on at that time and bring us forward to today, because
we know that Vice President Biden has actually called Anita Hill, shortly, just around the moment that he was making his announcement. But take us
back to that time.
CRENSHAW: Well, yes, I was in Washington to support Anita Hill. And I think, you know, when I reflect back on it, one of the first ways that I
was sort of publicly part of it was a result of a decision of mismanagement of Senator Biden.
There were so many decisions that were basically dictated by the Republicans, including whether Anita would testify first, whether Clarence
Thomas would testify first. Well, they made a decision that he would testify first but then suddenly Anita had to come on and testify. Her
family wasn`t there. So, all of us had to march out beside her. That was just the first signal that this was not going to be a balanced hearing.
The Republicans were able to dictate the terms, they were able to dictate who would be allowed to testify.
To this day, because Biden made the decision not to allow the corroborating testifiers, those who had also experienced sexual harassment to come
forward, most people don`t even know that there were other women who were prepared to testify.
So, from A to B to C to Z, every decision that was made was made in a way that reproduced what we know happens when women come forward. They`re the
ones that are attacked. They`re the ones whose character is assassinated. They`re the ones who are not believed and the men can just perform
righteous indignation. Other men think it`s unseemly to go behind the indignation and to actually interrogate what they were accused of doing and
this is exactly what happened.
So, this apology that we`ve heard, I call it a bystander apology. It`s in passive voice. I regret what happened to you. It was a terrible thing,
What Biden needs to say is, what role he played in making those things happen and what he will do to actually show accountability. So, he`s got -
- he`s getting a little closer. Every time he says something, he`s coming closer, but it`s sort of an apology by testing the temperature, is this
enough, is this enough. And so far, it`s not enough.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, testing the temperature is really an important issue here because it plays into not only the issues that you were just
rightly bringing up but also, the difference between that time and this time and the -- certainly, the different political, you know, issues right
now and the climate.
We`re joined now also by Barbara Boxer, she`s a former Democratic senator who ran for office in response to the treatment of Anita Hill.
Senator Boxer, you were one of our -- the first sort of big group, not that big at the time, but nonetheless, significant group of women to get into
politics and get into the Senate because of the Anita Hill travesty of justice, basically, is how it`s been portrayed and how people believe it is
What do you make of vice president`s apology and the answer to, you know, Kimberle`s ongoing complaints about it being insufficient?
BARBARA BOXER, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Well, as [13:25:00] one of the House women who marched over demanding that Professor Hill be heard, I want you
to understand that she is one of my heroes and without her, I never would have gotten elected. That is a fact.
Having said all that, and I respect her, whatever decision she makes about Joe is her decision, and I will support whatever decision she makes. I
personally have forgiven Joe, and I wanted to explain why. Number one, if you remember back then, the hearings had been shut down, and they were
over. So, for Joe to be able to even get agreement to reopen them, I`m sure there was some back and forth, who`s going to go first, who`s going to
I know this happens because I was a committee chairman for many years, and I once got ahead of my committee on a toxic waste bill and it was too
environmentally sound for them and I had to really make some decisions I didn`t want to make. So, that`s number one.
Number two, what did he do after? What did he do? He went to Carol Moseley Braun, a newly elected senator, and he said, "Please -- " and woman
of color, African-American, great lawyer, "-- will you come on the Judiciary Committee." He asked me if I wanted to go on environment
committee. He went to Diane.
So right away, we had two women on the committee. He worked his heart out to get the violence against women law passed. And I don`t want to
overstate or understate how important that was. It was so important and he had a civil rights remedy in that bill. Unfortunately, it was thrown out
by Rehnquist later, but it really gave women a civil right if they were harassed.
He made adjustments along with Ted Kennedy and others to the sexual harassment laws. And then later in the White House, when he had learned
that the violence against women on campuses were bad, he set up a task force and now, there`s a nonprofit called "It`s On Us."
So, yes, I`ve forgiven Joe but it`s up to Anita to decide if she is going to forgive him.
AMANPOUR: So, to that end, let us just read out what Anita Hill has said. She said it to "The New York Times" in response to their questioning about
the call that Vice President Biden made to her. And she basically said that she didn`t find Biden`s conduct disqualifying for this presidential
race but she couldn`t support him until he takes full responsibility. She said, "I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I`m sorry for what happened
to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose."
So, to both of you, do you think he needs to go one more round to make it crystal clear and to apologize unreservedly for his role, including in not
calling the other women who would have come to her corroborating defense.
And I ask you that also, Kimberle, because Biden has received a massive bump from his -- you know, since he`s entered, including from African-
American women. 47 percent of those say that they support his run for office.
CRENSHAW: Yes. So, first of all, I have to say, also, that, you know, I deeply respect Former Senator Boxer. I`ve written a piece that talked
about how the Boxer rebellion made this possible. But that said, I think good deeds after an injurious act has happened does not erase the injurious
act. So, there are many things that have not been accounted for.
And I actually don`t think it`s fair to pin it totally on Anita Hill. It`s not just up to Anita. Joe Biden owes a full apology and accountability to
the entire public, and here`s why. What many women who experience sexual harassment at the time and after have clearly said and seen is that the
cost of coming forward, having to experience a complete and total assault on one`s character, while those who supposedly are interested in getting at
the truth stand by and allow it to happen has completely suppressed what has now -- we recognize to be the #MeToo moment.
A lot of that is pent-up frustration about the fact that we know that we`re not believed. But I`ll go even further. He also owes an apology to
What we saw on display was not just misogyny, it was misogynoir. We saw attacks on black women. We saw all kinds of speculation about why Anita
would say what she said, why she would attack Clarence Thomas.
And it actually caused incredible harm and damage within the African- American community. So much that African-American women had to take out a full page ad in "The New York Times" called African-American women in
defense of ourselves.
So, yes, this bump is significant but it`s a long campaign. He owes it to, I think, women, African-American women, to actually say, here is why this
happened, here are the cultural institutional conditions that made it happen, here`s how I could have been a better leader, and this is why I`m
prepared to be a better leader to you now.
Until we hear that, I don`t think we have a sense that the Joe Biden that we saw then is the one that can stand up against the erosion of democracy,
erosion of truth, erosion of equality.
AMANPOUR: Let me just broaden this out just a little bit with you, Senator Boxer, and you, Kimberle, as well, because what we have here is, as I say,
Vice President Biden who comes into the race, obviously with great positives in terms of polls, with sort of a nostalgia for President Obama
amongst Democrats, no doubt, and with this regular guy reputation, and particularly somebody who can appeal to working-class Democrats and
Independents and people who may be, you know -- the Democrats want to win back from President Trump.
Do you -- how do you see, Senator Boxer, and both of you, the current movement here whereby you have the activist wing of the Democratic Party
which is much more left, which is much more vocal, and the more centrist people who clearly Biden is appealing to? How do you see his presence in
today`s democratic landscape?
BOXER: Well, you`re asking a bigger question than the Anita Hill question. And I just wanted to say to Kimberle, look, she`s laid out a very good path
forward, but it may be that Joe could never say enough to get every single person to forgive him.
The man has said he takes full responsibility. The man has said he regrets. The man has used the word, sorry. I don`t know what else he can
do. But I think what he should do --
CRENSHAW: Well, Senator Boxer, I said what he should do. I don`t think it`s just about --
BOXER: Let me just -- if I could just finish --
CRENSHAW: It`s not just a regret.
AMANPOUR: Kimberle, let her finish. Kimberle.
CRENSHAW: I`m frustrated with this idea.
BOXER: If I could just -- if I could just -- if I could just finish.
CRENSHAW: Yes, please. Sorry.
BOXER: Some people will -- it`s OK. Some people will never, ever get past an injurious act and you described it as such and it was. And no one knows
it more than I. Believe me because I was in the middle of the battle.
But it may be that maybe somebody can never be forgiven by somebody else or by a certain group of people. I would hope not because I think life is too
short. We all make mistakes. Lord knows I have. Maybe you have. Maybe you haven`t. I have.
And I can`t undo that injury. But I can dedicate myself to equality, to making sure it doesn`t happen again, that the Violence Against Women Act is
updated. And I think there were ways because I know Professor Hill, I`ve stayed in touch with her, she`s working on some incredibly important work.
And maybe there`s a way for them to team up.
But to answer Christiane`s larger question, I think Joe is kind of a crossover candidate. He does appeal to working people but he also appeals
to what he described as regaining the soul of the country. When he kicked off his campaign, it wasn`t about, I did this and I did that. He could
have done that.
Instead, he showed Charlottesville. He showed the racism. He showed the anti-Semitism. He showed a president who could care less, who is giving a
wink and a nod. And so I think he does appeal to a broad array of people.
And the last thing I`d say is, as one of the few women in the Senate at the time, I could tell you that Joe really helped all of us, whether it was
Carol Moseley Braun or Dianne Feinstein or Patty Murray or me. I mean I could tell you he helped me get on the committees I wanted.
He helped me diffuse some difficult situations I was facing. He`s a good human being. And yes, I think he needs to continue to do more and I do
hope, it is my fondest hope, that he and Professor Hill can come together and work [13:35:00] together going forward.
AMANPOUR: I want to bring up another -- I know you have a difference of opinion, Kimberle. I know you do and I think you`ve aired it really well.
And we`ll get back to more of it if we can.
But I do also need to ask you a couple of other questions because he is also being criticized for his opposition to bussing and people say he
should explain that and potentially apologize for that. He`s also been criticized and been told to explain and defend his support for the Clinton
era draconian criminal justice, you know, movement and crime and punishment record, including in the legislation that led to this
unequal punishment over cocaine, whether it was powder cocaine or crack cocaine.
Obviously, African-Americans were disproportionately affected by being so harshly penalized for the crack, whereas the whites were less penalized for
having the powder cocaine. This is what Biden says about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I might say at the outset, in full disclosure, I`m the guy that drafted this legislation years ago. I am part
of the problem. I`ve been trying to solve since then because things that I think the disparity is way, way out of line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Do you think, Kimberle, that those issues are equally, you know, precarious for him, particularly in the African-American community, and has
he done enough or is it just different times now to deal with those issues?
CRENSHAW: Well, I, of course, think that, to answer your first question, yes, this is really a -- some tension that`s going to develop between the
liberal wing of the party that has long opposed things like the crack cocaine distinction, long opposed some of the draconian policies. And
frankly, has long been at loggerheads with the centrists in the party, not only over criminal justice but over welfare reform and a whole range of
So I do think that these are going to be issues that come up. I think that the Me Too moment has elevated the sexual harassment piece of Joe`s history
to the forefront at this moment, and others will come out. But I will say this, and I have to say that I feel somewhat like the black women who had
to take out the ad in "The New York Times," there are some particular things that need to be addressed and it`s not simply enough just to say,
what else could he do.
That`s really frustrating for people to hear who are looking for accountability. What`s the difference between I`m sorry and
accountability? Accountability is more or less what he`s starting to do somewhat on the criminal justice issue.
Say what it was that he was not seeing correctly, what it was about the institution and the moment that did not allow his leadership to come
forward, and what he will do about it in the future. And it`s not about one person. It`s not about, you know, just saying, flagellating. That`s
not the point.
The point is what it is that you will lead us to away from this moment. And I`m not opposed to Joe Biden. I`m just saying we need to hear more
about what it means, what it meant, and what the future holds.
AMANPOUR: And I think there will be more of those similar calls on the campaign trail, Kimberle. But also, Barbara Boxer, on the crime, on the
bussing, on those, how is he going to explain that he was a politician back then and a politician now?
BOXER: He`s going to say the hardest things any politician could say. I was wrong. I was wrong, believe me, several times in my career. I wish I
could have certain votes back.
But if you look at the Crime Bill, it was overwhelmingly passed. We didn`t realize certain consequences, unintended, that would come out the other end
of it. And so, I think that he -- look, anyone who`s been in public life for so long is going to have to address mistakes that were made.
And I think it is important, including the Anita Hill issue. And I understand that Kimberle is frustrated. And I hope that Joe can find a way
to get the right words.
But for me, again, I look at the totality of the man, and what he`s done for women and what he`s done to stop violence against women and what he`s
done to help my female colleagues. And yes, he made terrible mistakes on civil rights and other ways.
Look, he voted for the war in Iraq and I didn`t and eventually, he recognized he was wrong and he tried to get us out of there very early on.
So, yes, he`s made mistakes. I guess it`s the whole issue of whether or not you want to vote for someone who doesn`t have a record.
Joe`s got a record, warts and all. He has suffered in his personal life. He has a whole slew of things to talk to us about. [13:40:00] And you
know, I haven`t endorsed in this race but I`m very happy he`s running because I think that he may be the only one who could beat Donald Trump.
AMANPOUR: All right.
BOXER: And at the end of the day, I think that`s the most important thing.
AMANPOUR: Wish we had longer for this. Barbara Boxer, Kimberle Crenshaw, thank you so much for joining us.
And as we`ve seen tonight, America is a nation divided but football is a unifying passion. Michael Bennett is an NFL star and Super Bowl champion.
In the wake of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bennett decided that he would no longer stand during the national anthem.
He joined the protest made famous by black players like Colin Kaepernick who started a national conversation by taking the knee during the pre-game
Michael Bennett joined our Michel Martin to discuss that and his new book, "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable."
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Obviously, the take a knee protest are the thing that makes some people deeply uncomfortable. And so I wanted to ask
you a sort of start by talking about how you decided to take a knee.
MICHAEL BENNETT, NFL PLAYER: I think a lot of times when you make a stance or you make a protest about certain things, there are going to be certain
people who are going to -- you`re going to have backlash. but you got to be able to withstand the criticism.
I think the criticism, a lot of people can`t deal with it. when you play sports, you get criticized every single day. Everything you do is about
criticism. And when you`re taking a stance, people are going to criticize because they don`t want to see change.
And I think taking a knee was really about changing the trajectory of life and changing the trajectory for our kids and changing it for everybody that
we saw an issue with. It wasn`t just about the police brutality. Maybe for some people but overall, it was about humanity, it was about how can we
change humanity and create a better place for our kids.
It was about being -- living ancestors and trying to find something that we can -- that our kids could look on and see that the people before them were
really courageous and they wanted something different.
MARTIN: OK. But talk to me about you, the you part of it because I think a lot of people are familiar with Colin Kaepernick and they`re familiar
with Eric Reid and they`re familiar with how it started with them. What made you, Michael Bennett, decide that you were going to participate?
BENNETT: I think it was a reaction to society. Reaction to what was happening around me. The reaction to, you know, police brutality. The
reaction to women`s rights. The reactions to the border, reactions to equality and with water, just pure equality for people.
And I think for me, there`s a lot of different issues but the one that probably was more publicized was Charlottesville. Seeing all that and
you`re like, where do I play a place in that? What can I do with my platform? How can I inspire young kids?
Just like we all look at things that happened in the past, we look at, you know, Jim Crow, we look at Holocaust, we look at slavery, look at all these
different things and we`re like, well, I would do that if I was there, this is what I would do.
But this is that time where we`re supposed to be doing things that we said we would do because then you will look back and be like, I have a lot of
regrets because I saw something happening but I didn`t have the courage to speak.
MARTIN: What`s your understanding of the people who are vehemently opposed to the protests that the players were involved in? What do you -- where do
you think they`re coming from?
BENNETT: I think they`re coming from a place where they see things as good as it can be for society. I think it`s good for them. I think it`s good
the way that America is.
They don`t really understand what it`s like to be something other than themselves, like they haven`t taken the time to really dig deep down inside
their spirit and spend time with somebody in the opposite position. I really don`t want to make it like, oh, they don`t know, this, that. But I
just want to take this time to, if they read the book or they get a chance to spend time with other people, really take that time and break down that
barrier of, like, I already know what`s happening.
Allow yourself to build that bridge to somebody else who`s the opposite of you. And that`s what I really want the people who I think don`t really
understand what`s happening with the protests. They just need to be able to build a bridge and then they`ll have a better understanding of what it`s
MARTIN: You were never afraid that you would get fired per the suggestion of the president?
BENNETT: There are things that you have to be able to stand upon and what you believe on because, at the end of the day, it`s not just for me or just
the community. It`s also for my children because my children are going to judge me on not how many touchdowns I score, not what I do on the football
They`re going to judge me on what kind of man I was and did I stand up for what I believe in and I can never tell them to do things that I wasn`t
willing to stand upon. And I think that`s really what it is, it`s really the children.
So if I lost my job for something that I believed in before them and society, I think my kids would understand that. And I think that`s what`s
the most important thing because you can`t really take your trophies with you. You can`t really take that. All you can take is your legacy, the
legacy, what you leave behind is the only thing that really matters.
MARTIN: And you know which is interesting too because you have a whole menu of involvements in things that don`t get as much attention. I mean
you`re involved in S.T.E.M. education, particularly for girls. You`ve been involved in a lot of international, you know, relief and educational
efforts. [13:45:00] Does that frustrate you, that those kinds of activities don`t get the same level of attention?
BENNETT: No, that`s -- to me, that`s what I was saying. Like I`m not doing things so I can get, like, a clap. I`ve been in the stadium. I`ve
been in the big games. I`ve been in things.
And I understand that at the end of the day, it`s not really about how people perceive it. It`s really how you are willing to help people and
what you really feel. Like when you are somewhere and you`re helping somebody and you`re doing stuff for people, you`re not really doing it for
yourself, you`re doing it for them.
And I think that`s really ultimately the goal. And I think for me, that`s always been that. So I understand that there are certain things that
people are not going to want to talk about because people don`t like my politics, they think I`m pro-black, they think I`m this, they think I`m
So automatically there`s not going to be companies who want to work with somebody who has a voice like mine, who has an opinion like mine because
for me, I hold a certain amount of integrity on things that I believe in and so that they know when you talk to me, I`m not going to sway all of a
sudden because you want to share a certain message.
I`m going to say what I said before and I`m still going to stay with it. And if you want to work, we can work. If not, then move on because it`s
about the people. It`s not about -- it`s about the individual person, it`s about the group, it`s about the collective.
MARTIN: But one of the other interesting things about this book is how you talk about women and how important it is to you to not just stand up for
and support women but to be understood to be standing up and supporting women and their aspirations, women, and girls in their aspirations. And I,
you know, I think there are people who will find that surprising.
BENNETT: I think a lot of people find that surprising. I think they don`t really get it. They don`t get it. Like I think they will never get it
because they`re only going to see me for one thing and they`re going to see me just playing football and not anything else.
They won`t see me as a father. They won`t see me as all the other stuff. But to me, it goes back to my daughters, just, like, there`s a time in your
life when I say being uncomfortable, for me, to be -- I`ve been comfortable with the way things are happening to women or this and that.
It wasn`t until I had my daughters and really started to, like, really understand, like, oh, this is what -- OK, this is different. If I had a
son, I think it wouldn`t have allowed me to have the growth that I have had because it opens up another side of your brain to being able to listen,
like, OK, let me listen because I really don`t listen.
And I think that helps you grow and I think my daughters have done a great job and also my wife. My wife is a powerful being on her own and it`s
incredible to be around that much girl power all the time.
So it`s like important that men speak up for women and show that women have value just as much value as us. And I think that`s something that a lot of
people aren`t willing to do because they want to keep it a certain way.
MARTIN: You are very candid about a lot of the things that players feel but don`t often express. And I want to go through a couple of those
One is where you say in the book, particularly being a college player, you talk about being half God, half property. But whichever half they were
dealing with, I was never fully human. Is my being nerdy of interest? Do they celebrate things like that have happened in the life of my Community?
You come to find out painfully that the answer is less no. Then, why should we care?
I found that sort of fascinating being like half God, half property. Tell me about. Like how did you come to that understanding?
BENNETT: It`s funny. I was really -- it came -- I was writing a poem one day and I was writing this poem about the great athletes and I was like
half God. And I started thinking, and as I was starting the book, and it`s just half God, half property because you are -- to some people, you are a
God because the things that you do, the things that you could do with your body.
But to other people, they see a sense of ownership in you. And I think in college, that happens a lot. They see you but they also say, well, we pay
for your scholarship, we do this for you.
They don`t see you as a human. They never can connect to the humanity in you, whether you have a child, whether you have a family. They just want
you to perform.
There`s a sense of people feel that they own you. And you evenly worry when you talk about football and teams, they say the owner. It`s like that
word holds a lot of weight, you know, it`s like, the capacity to think that you`re -- somebody owns you, it just makes you feel less than. You know
what I`m saying?
MARTIN: So on the one hand like the waters part when you walk in, right?
MARTIN: But then still, you`re told what to think, you`re told what to study, right? You`re told how to express yourself.
When did you start to think, this is not right? Like how did you start to think, wait a minute, this is not right? Because some people will think,
well, so what? I mean that`s the price you get for being famous. You get to be famous, you get to have the big show, and you get to --
BENNETT: But that`s what they`re forgetting is that that`s really not fame. It`s you in your adolescence. You`re an amateur and you`re really
trying to figure out who you are in life and what you want to be and how you want to get there.
And all of a sudden, people don`t see the value in your growth. They don`t see the value in you. So they stunt your growth as a person because nobody
sees the value in what you can be and how you can be that.
So it`s like, yes, they part the doors open, they part the sea for you when it`s game time but when the season`s over and everything goes down to, all
you have is you and the way that you look, people are going to judge you on that. And when college people get injured, [13:50:00] they just kind of
get washed away.
And if you`ve ever been a part of a tribe and human beings are a tribal people. And all of a sudden, you`re part of a tribe and then once you
become injured, you get isolated, it starts to wear on you and there`s a lot of people that happens to.
MARTIN: You also talked about how suiting up every week, really not even every week, even at practice, you honestly consider death.
MARTIN: That death is a possibility.
MARTIN: Would you talk about that? I don`t know that a lot of fans really think about that.
BENNETT: I don`t think people -- it`s that, you know, and I talk about that. It`s like you love something and there`s a deal with the devil
almost. Because one wrong hit can leave you paralyzed so it`s a lot of things that you have to deal with.
We don`t like to think about those things because then the reality of what can happen to us won`t allow us to play anymore. It`s like you have to
think that it won`t happen to you.
But every once in a while, you see that you are human when it happens to somebody and you think like, man, that could have been me. You try to put
that in the back of your mind because you want to be able to progress but sometimes you think about that and you think about when you get injured and
somebody gets a concussion and you see how hard they got hit you worry, like, damn, that could have been me.
MARTIN: I was fascinated to read in the book how young people can be and show symptoms of CTE. And I just wonder when you were starting your career
as a, say, as a high school player, did you think about brain injury?
BENNETT: I don`t think we ever thought about that. I don`t think -- nobody really thought about it at the time because it wasn`t at the
forefront of it. I don`t think there was a language for it.
It wasn`t like that -- now it`s that coded language, they say concussion instead of saying bruising of the brain, all these different issues that
are happening that are traumatic to your head. And I think before there wasn`t really -- couldn`t really explain it or maybe they didn`t know and
nobody really said anything.
MARTIN: But what about now? Is that something that you all talk about? Or do you not even allow yourselves to talk about it?
BENNETT: I think there`s definitely that line between where people don`t want to talk about it because they want to live in a fantasy that things
can happen to them but because of fear, because every player has a fear of what can happen to their body after they play sports, every player has that
fear that they don`t -- that they can be the person who has that injury.
So because of that fear, I wouldn`t say it`s not lack of courage. I just think it`s a fear of the people who are depending on them to think that
after all the work that they`ve done, there`s still a possibility that they can let their family down.
So that`s a lot to weigh on your brain when you think about it. So I think a lot of times guys don`t really want to really talk about it because of
MARTIN: What about you? Are you ever afraid?
BENNETT: I`m always afraid. I don`t think anybody can look in your eyes and tell you that they are fearful, they would be lying to the young and to
I think everybody should have a small bit of fear if you do something like this. Because then it keeps the reality and you can weigh in the options
of it. And you can really feel the pain when you have it because when you have that, when you don`t have that fear, you just think you start to
believe in the own -- your own mystic and your own fables and you start to become your own fairy tale.
And it`s not until you realize that when the doctor`s there and you`re like, this is reality and I think it`s important to keep that fear and to
keep the humanity in your own self.
MARTIN: I take it you would not let your own son, if you had a son, play football.
BENNETT: Probably not.
MARTIN: Probably not?
BENNETT: Probably not. and I think also, too, I think football and a lot of times it`s the way to get out of your situation. And I think right now
when you are in a certain place, you can put your kids in a space where they can compete and have the opportunity to do something else outside.
And I think that`s the greatest thing about being able to be with my daughters is that I don`t feel that force need to force them to be
something that they don`t have to. They can be equal and better than me through just their own genre or whatever they want to do.
And I think that`s important for a parent to understand that, that just because you`re great at something, doesn`t mean you have to force your kids
to be great at it. And you have to be able to support them with what they want to do. And I think that for me has been a whole full circle.
MARTIN: Wow. That`s really deep. I mean to realize that you created this opportunity for your family through the sacrifice of your body.
MARTIN: That`s a --
BENNETT: It`s poetry.
MARTIN: It`s a hard thing.
BENNETT: It`s like -- it`s a lot of poetry. And like I said, I feel like sometimes -- like I feel it`s like Romeo and Juliet. Like you love
something so much but it could still cause death or it could cause harm. They loved each other so much but at the end, they both died. And they
left the world, the world still kept going.
And I think that`s something that we don`t really talk about a lot and I think when you talk about a lot of great people and you talk about a lot of
great things that a lot of people have done, we love to glorify and honor the things that we see fit. We love to honor, like, seeing Giancarlo take
a fist. We love all these people when Michael Sam took his stance.
But then you look at the other part of it, the sorrow part of it and that`s [13:55:00] where the poetry and the love comes in because nobody ever
really talks about that side of it. We all just glorify the part that we see, that we can give people hope.
But I think when you give somebody hope, you`ve got to give them the whole spectrum of a person`s life. And I think a lot of times we don`t really
dig that deep. And I think when you look at the whole spectrum of it, sometimes it`s really sad.
MARTIN: So why do it?
BENNETT: Why do it?
MARTIN: Why keep playing?
BENNETT: That`s the contradiction. That`s the imperfect of me, the imbalance of it. That`s the thing about it. It`s like, you love being
And I also think, for me, I just always love the group of guys that I play with. It`s getting to that point where someone said, it`s like you love it
and you`re living it but at the same time, you don`t really know why you love this thing so much when it`s -- you know the pain of it.
But I think it`s kind of like -- I think love is like that sometimes. Love is like ups and downs, the pain.
MARTIN: It`s irrational.
BENNETT: It`s irrational. And it`s irrational when it comes to playing something like this.
MARTIN: Well, it`s nice to meet you.
BENNETT: It`s nice to meet you too.
MARTIN: Thank you so much for talking to us.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: And that`s it for our program. Thanks for watching. And goodbye from London.