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Biden Speaks One Day After Capitol Siege; Interview with Ashraf Ghani and Rula Ghani. Aired 2:27-3:37p ET

Aired January 08, 2021 - 14:27   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, ANCHOR: And you have been watching President-elect Joe Biden list the last members of his cabinet, one that reflects as he said

the diverse face of America. Amanpour is up next.

And hello, everybody, welcome to "Amanpour." Here is what's coming up.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): As the House moves to hold Trump accountable, we get insights from former National Security Council official and 2019

impeachment witness, Fiona Hill. Then --

RICK WILSON, CO-FOUNDER, LINCOLN PROJECT: We don't think it's a survivable philosophy for a governing party in this country to embrace

ethnonationalism as status on authoritarianism.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): A Republican reckoning, is the GOP ready to ditch Trump ex party member and Lincoln Project Co-founder Rick Wilson talks to

our Hari Sreenivasan. Plus --

SONIA GANDHI, PRESIDENT, INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS: I still hope that the systems that are existing in the United States are protecting the republic

in the United States.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Good wishes from Afghanistan, one of many looking on in dismay from overseas. The first couple join me from Kabul to talk about

war and peace, and the next American President Joe Biden.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. The walls appear to be closing in on President Trump in the waning

days of his presidency, a result of his behavior and incitement of extremists invading the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is actively

working to block Trump from accessing nuclear launch codes. White House staffers and Cabinet members hand in their resignations. Prosecutors

explore possible charges against the President.

The Wall Street Journal calls for his resignation, and now the House says it'll move quickly on impeachment. And at least one republican senator says

that he is open to that idea.


SASSE: The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because as I've told

you, I believe that the President has disregarded his oath of office. He swore an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the

Constitution. He acted against that. What he did was wicked.


AMANPOUR: Wicked, indeed. Five people died in that attack, including a 42- year-old Capitol Hill police officer who was injured trying to hold back the crowd. And now a murder investigation is being opened into his death.

After falsely crying election fraud for months, Trump yesterday pledged to help the smooth transition of power. But then today, he said he would not

attend Joe Biden's inauguration, making him the first president in modern history to skip his successors swearing in.

Fiona Hill served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on the National Security Council. And she

understands well the battle for truth against alternative reality, and the delusions that have led to the chaos we've seen.


During the 2019 impeachment hearings, she urged Republicans to stop pushing the fictional narrative that Ukraine, instead of Russia, interfered in the

2016 election. And Fiona Hill is joining us now from Bethesda, Maryland.

Welcome to the program. It has been an unbelievable few days. And now as we've laid out, the walls are closing in. I just want to get your reaction

having been on the inside to what you saw this week, and to what seems to be happening, many in the national security and others are deserting this

President now.

FIONA HILL, FORMER SENIOR DIRECTOR, US NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Well, yes, Cristiane. I mean, clearly we have a crisis under where a political

democratic crisis, even a constitutional succession crisis, completely manufactured, as you've been pointing out, and many others have as well. I

have an interview in the last day or so we're going to call this an attempted coup.

I mean, really, what this is is a self-coup, something that was operating over a longer timeframe in plain sight. The President has been talking for

months about the rigged elections, the fact that if he lost the election, it would have been stolen from him, laying the ground for the kind of

moment that we've got ourselves into.

Now, clearly, what matters the most when you look around the world and historically, it's episodes like this, it's how we handle it moving

forward. And I think, you know, obviously, we've got a lot of work to do in shoring up our democratic institutions.

They've gone through a stress test, many of them have worked, certainly at the federal and state level, with election officials doing their job with

the Speaker of the Senate and the Vice President, you know, refusing to go along with these last minute objections, and obviously, with so many other

people in the institutions across the government pulling together.

So although this hasn't succeeded at this stage, it's clearly a lesson for all of us about how much work we've got to do moving forward. We've got to

bring the rhetoric down, and we've got to pull the country back together.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And I want to dive deeper into what you must do to protect yourself and your democratic institutions from mischief from overseas as

well in a moment. But first, I want to ask you, because you work for the President as I said, you traveled with him.

You've known him for those several years that you worked inside the National Security Agency. What do you think he might do in the next 12

days, given, as you said, all of this happened in plain sight? All of this was clearly telegraphed. In fact, you even predicted several weeks ago that

there was going to be violence potentially on January 6th.

HILL: Well, I think a lot of people have been predicting this. You know, there's been a number of people recently saying, all you have to do is have

ears and eyes, and be able to read to see this unfolding. I think the problem is that people have not been taking it seriously. I think now what

we have to do is look at all the safeguards, and whatever we do, we have to do it legally as well by the book.

I think what an important lesson for the rest of the world, is how we handle this. And American democracy has been challenged many times in the

past. And again, as I've just said, this is like a stress test for our democracy. And if we make sure that we stick to the legality to the

Constitution, to the limits of what our institutions can do as well, and what individuals in that system can do, we'll get through this. So I think

that's what the most important thing is, not just what the President may or may not do in the time remaining to him.

AMANPOUR: Well, I asked you that because the big news today is that the House Speaker as well as talking to her caucus about impeachment

proceedings, we'll get to that in a moment because you are a key feature of the last one. She's asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to assure her

and the country that this President cannot get access to the nuclear codes or give any orders that that might risk more this country. What do you make

of that?

HILL: Well, she's clearly channeling anxiety that a lot of people have at this moment, when they kind of run through worst case scenarios in the

mind. But again, as I just said, we have to make sure that each one of the actors operates within their legal remit at this point. And, you know,

there are procedures for putting in place. I, you know, I see already that these debates are underway. And, you know, if we look back to the role that

I and others played in 2016, we were there as fact witnesses in a playing the part that we were supposed to as people who have taken an oath to the

Constitution and bearing witness to things that we've seen.

So, I think we all have to be very careful about, you know, engaging in commentary and rhetoric at this very delicate time. Because, again, it's

going to be very important how we handle this and making sure that everyone plays the role that is accorded them in the Constitution. Because what

we've seen the President tried to do in this attempted self-coup, is to try to denigrate many of the critical institutions that provide checks and

balances, and proof against this kind of attempt. And so, we have to make sure that they're all working as they should do as we're moving forward.


So again, you know, I'd like to make sure that everyone who's an actor in what happens next is playing the right part, so there'll be no

recriminations after the fact. Because it'll be going to see and moving forward as well, there's still a lot of grievance out there. As Mitt Romney

said, in the Senate, after all of the events, a lot of lies have been told to people. And we have to be able to look back and be able to tell the

truth and lay out the facts to people as we engage with bringing the population together in the next year or so.

AMANPOUR: So I want to get to, obviously, what you've been studying for much of your career, and that is Russia, and Russia's influence, Russia's

malign intentions and what Russia might take away from what happened this Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, said the following. She talked about the assault on Congress. And she said that it plays directly into

President Putin's hands. Just want to play this little sound bite and then get you on it.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Putin want to undermine democracy, that's what he's about domestically and internationally. And the

President gave him the biggest of all of these many gifts to Putin the biggest gift yesterday.


AMANPOUR: And I'm sure you know, Fiona Hill, that Russian state television has been playing the scenes over and over again, certainly played them all

live for a long, long time. They were taking a lot of pleasure, and schadenfreude out of what was going on. So what do you think this says to

Putin? And was it a big gift as Nancy Pelosi said?

HILL: Well, it's a big gift if we don't fix it moving forward and if we don't handle it in the correct manner. And you just want to put this in

perspective here. I mean, Russia, in its history, has had many episodes of succession crises when it was a monarchy, under the czars have very

similar. In fact, in many respects, some of the events that we've seen over the last few days, and they've also had several attempted coups in 1991, in

August. People can look back on this, you know, if they'd like to, to see some of the circumstances.

In 1993, President Yeltsin actually fired on the Russian Parliament during a constitutional crisis in a standoff with his own vice president and

members of the Russian Parliament at senior levels. I mean, took the (inaudible) and shelled the building. And we've also seen President Putin

put forward constitutional amendments just this past year, in 2020, to enable himself to stay indefinitely in office. Well, at least,

theoretically, up to 2036.

And just as President Trump was relying on people like Senators Holly and Cruz to put forward his case in the Senate, President Putin also used a

member of the larger Russian parliament, Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, to put forward the idea of amending the constitution, to

enable Putin to stay in office for two more terms.

So, you know, what we're seeing here is the Russians now, you know, being able to hide these kinds of activities, you know, in a kind of plain sight

because they're able to point to what the United States is up to, as well.

And I think what is giving a great deal of schadenfreude and pleasure, you know, to Putin and many others around the world is that the United States

has always been the bastion of democracy. We've prided ourselves and rightly so on the peaceful succession, from one president to the next, for

the very excellent, , you know, secure context of our elections.

And as everyone has said, this last election was the most secure in US history. It was extraordinary smooth, notwithstanding the pandemic. And now

what they're able to say, because of this disgraceful episode is, look, the United States is no worse than the rest of us, what right do they have to

preach about elections or democracy.

And so again, what we have to do now is to show that we can, unlike many other countries, fix our problems. We've had this stress test, we can

rebuild our institutions. And that's always something that the United States has been able to present to the world, that, OK, we make mistakes,

sometimes we make big mistakes, but we're actually quite good at fixing them of pulling together in a crisis. And moving beyond this and setting an

example in that way. And I think that that's going to be the key as we look to how the Russians, Chinese, you know, you name it, are going to react in

the aftermath of this.

AMANPOUR: I want to get to how you think that the United States can heal its internal divisions to ward off this kind of exploitation from bad

actors abroad. But first, I want to ask you, it wasn't divisions in the United States that allowed Russia which apparently the intelligence

community has concluded, that Russia has conducted this unbelievably daring hack of, I don't even know whether you call it a hack or total

infiltration, of some of the most important parts of the US government, including in the nuclear realm as well. Tell about that and how even the US

cyber forces, military and otherwise didn't find it. They did not find it.


HILL: Well, we have to bear in mind that the Russians actually have very sophisticated cyber teams and intelligence services. And, you know, we've

known, you know, for years, of course, that they've been trying to find ways of penetrating into our system. So it's not a surprise that they've

been doing this, of course, it's a surprise and a shock at the scale that has now been revealed.

And we've seen, you know, where the vulnerabilities have been. They've been in the supply chain, in, you know, various software programs and in the

private sector, because the United States being a much more open economy, not just more open government, has a lot of private sector supplies into

the government, and including into some of our secure systems.

So clearly, we have vulnerabilities. And it's not that dissimilar for the kind of hacks that we saw into our election. We have the same public

private vulnerabilities in our own government system through the use of social media and the way that they were able to exploit holes in our

democratic systems in 2016.

So really, what we're seeing here is that we really have to have a concerted effort now to pull together a very serious effort. It has to be

the public private sector. It's an all of government and an all of society, and an all private public sector effort to basically find out exactly the

extent of the penetration, and to be able to then mount an offensive defense, getting them out to the systems and making sure that they can't


And the other lesson from this, Christiane, is it's not just the Russians, of course. And whatever we do in dealing with the Russians on this factor,

you know, what they've done. We have to bear in mind that other adversaries want to, again, the same kind of access.

And so, you know, I think the Russians are trying to draw us out in a major cyber security negotiation here. Basically, it's a deterrent factor. It's

the shock in all of what we've done or could do, because we don't know the full extent of the information or all of the systems that are penetrated

yet, that he wants us to get us to the table.

But we have to bear in mind that whatever we talk to the Russians about, this is, you know, the full landscape of concerns that we should have,

internationally, the Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans who, you know, tried in various points to also penetrate the system, non-state actors. We have

to make sure that whatever we do, we're tackling all of the range of threats that could come to our cyber and security systems.

AMANPOUR: Well, I still can't get over it because this happened over a period of many months, apparently, is still ongoing. And we've always been

taught that the United States has a two-enemy policy. It can fight two threats at the same time. And now we've been told that they were so busy

trying to protect the election, that they couldn't protect their own institutions. So this is a big, big challenge for the future.

I do actually want to ask you as well, because you were, as I said, a 2019 impeachment witness. You know, you were there. You heard. I know you

weren't in the administration at the time, but you heard the transcript and the tapes of the Trump call to the president of Ukraine, trying to get him

to, you know, turn up dirt on the Biden family ahead of the election.

I just wondered what went through your mind when you then heard the tapes of the call of the President trying to shake down the Republican Secretary

of State of the State of Georgia, trying to get him to give him votes that he didn't actually win. Just -- what was going in your mind when you heard

all that?

HILL: Well, of course, I thought that there was a direct parallel here. And I think what we're seeing here is the fact that on many fronts, including

in our elections, domestic politics is on personal politics in this case, the President in his own interests and his own power, and continuation

office, have superseded the national interest. And I think this is the lesson that we take away from all of those episodes.

First of all, national security shouldn't be a partisan issue. I mean, I completely agree with what you just said, Christiane, about, you know,

looking over at one issue, and then perhaps neglecting as a result of the worries about securing the election, what might be happening in all of the

regular systems. And it's the same thing with the election of President was so focused on getting his own votes, that wasn't thinking about the larger

implications of national interest for the US democratic system.

And I think the lesson again, when we take forward from this is we have to be very careful about making sure there are checks and balances in all the

system. And we have to take the parties on fighting and the personal element out of our domestic politics as much as we possibly can. Because

there are some issues that should supersede this partisan politicization of his personal narrow interest in power. Now, this is part of obviously a

national discussion, resolve it here, but I think this is what we're going to have to be all talking about over the next few weeks.

AMANPOUR: Well, in our last one minute, how would you address then the fact that part of this is because of two totally different echo chambers and two

completely alternate realities, where one is based in reality the other is based in conspiracy theory.


An example, the woman who was killed on Capitol Hill, you know, her supporters are saying kill. No, she wasn't killed. She's not dead, this is

just fake. I mean, they're literally rewriting history before our eyes right now. What is the hope of reuniting a country to believe in a set of


HILL: Well, we're going to have to work very hard to that. The media is going to have to play a role. Social media are no part of the same complex,

politicians are as well. We're going to have to kind of figure out how to hold people accountable for telling lies. And I think, you know, what Mitt

Romney said, this is about leadership.

The tone can be set at the top. I mean, obviously, President-elect Biden is doing his utmost right now to speak out on this score. That all of our

senators, you know, everyone all the way down to members of Congress, they have a duty to their fellow Americans to basically try to get out there and

tell the truth.

And, you know, as many people as can get on as possible, talking about these issues on your program. I know there's people like yourself, being

able to highlight when people are telling lies, falsehoods. Social media have already started to do this. It's long overdue.

But this is really incumbent on all of us. I mean, again, this is for everyone to be out there, casting a spotlight on falsehoods, and being able

to tell people the truth. And that's why I said going back to the beginning, it's very important how we handle what happens next. And we make

sure we try to stick to the lake level to the letter of the law, and within the constitutional frames, in the action that people take over the next

couple of weeks.

Because we have to be able to defend and demonstrate our actions, to demonstrate that they are in line with what is appropriate and to defend

the actions backed up by the truth and the fact. It's a tall order but, you know, I'm also confident if we do pull together, we can at least make some

progress on this.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you and, you know, I know that you are a technocrat and a scholar, and a national security official. But I want to ask you because

you're involved in one impeachment. Surely, the world needs to see any leader held accountable who does what you just said, incites a coup inside

their own country or wherever it might be. So do you think he should be impeached or removed by the 25th amendment?

HILL: Look, I think people are discussing this right now. I think that there has to be some accountability --

AMANPOUR: So what do you think?

HILL: -- everyone for their actions. Well, I'm not going to be very frank, I am not a legal scribe myself, have been looking into this today trying to

read up, you know, as I did during the last impeachment, trying to understand this.

And, you know, I guess, you know, we have a lot of people on Capitol Hill, and these circles discussing this right now. And just before the program, I

was reading, you know, through myself, you know, some of the for and against. And, you know, I just simply don't have the training to be able to

rule on this. But, there has to be some kind of accountability.

So, getting back to your point here, there has to be a reckoning and an acknowledgement of what's gone wrong here. And everybody has to, you know,

figure out how to address this. But also to move the country forward because as we see in these kinds of circumstances, there are still a lot of

people, like you said, who completely believe that something different happened.

So how do we address this? Some people will be irreconcilable. We're going to have within our myths now, all of the seeds for civil conflict for some

considerable time to come. And I think, you know, people like myself have to be very careful on what we comment on.

You know, I didn't use the word coup likely as a self-coup. But I think, you know, if I -- if you run through, for example, all of the various

elements of a coup and many other people have spoken, who are, you know, scholars of, you know, this kind of political action, you can see so many

elements there. But what worked is an awful lot of people at different levels of our institutions actually did their jobs and prevented it from


AMANPOUR: Yes. And we can take, I guess, some hope from that. As they say, democracy was tested and it's held on tenuously. We'll see what President-

elect Biden can do to repair it. Fiona Hill, thank you so much, indeed.

Now, watching Wednesday is terrifying and illegal invasion of the Capitol. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan mobilized state police and the National Guard

only to be blocked from sending them in for 90 minutes by the federal government. Governor Hogan, a Republican is now calling for President Trump

to resign or be removed from office.

Joining calls for the President's impeachment is the Lincoln Project which is the anti-Trump Republican group that was formed back in 2019. The

project's co-founder, Rick Wilson, called the violence sedition and insurrection, and here he is talking to our Hari Sreenivasan about what is

at stake.


HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN ANCHOR: Christiane, thanks. Rick Wilson, you have worked with the Lincoln Project for years now to get to this point where

Donald Trump would leave office and, the other day, when you're watching TV and you saw, essentially an insurrection. Anything surprised you?

WILSON: No. Sadly, the idea of armed and violent insurrectionists charging the US Capitol, seizing our legislative seat of governance at the direction

of the President and the encouragement of his allies in the Senate, particularly in the House, did not shock me. This is a point where we have

declined so far from the norms of American exceptionalism and become essentially poised on the verge of the collapse of those norms. At the

best, Donald Trump doesn't surprise me.

You know, I meant it sort of flippantly when the first time I said it five years ago, when I said everything Trump touches dies. But it has become

increasingly evident that everything that he has corrupted and reduced over the last four years in our governance has come home to (inaudible) and is a

painful lesson that institutions are fragile.

SREENIVASAN: There was a recent economist you got --

AMANPOUR: So, we're going to go back to President-elect Joe Biden, who's now taking questions, and then we're going to come back and show you our

interview with the first couple of Afghanistan, the Gandhis. Let's listen to Joe Biden taking questions now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President-elect, while we have been here, as you've been announcing your economic team, we've learned that House

Democrats are currently planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump as soon as Monday. At that point, it'll be just a

little over a week before the President leaves office. Do you believe this is a good idea?

BIDEN: Look, I've thought for a long, long time that President Trump wasn't fit to hold the job, that's why I ran. And my job now, in 12 days, God

willing, I'll be president of United States of America. And I'm focused on the urgency of three immediate concerns. One virus, getting under control,

getting the vaccine from a vial into people's arms. I think what has been done now has been very, very sad.

Number two, we've had 4,000 deaths, 4,000 deaths yesterday, and things continue to rise to escalate. That's my number one concern, to get the

virus under control. We lost over 125,000 jobs this last month, and people are really, really, really in desperate shape. And so, I'm focused on the

virus, vaccine and economic growth.

What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide. But I'm going to have to -- and they're going to have to be ready to hit the ground running

because when Kamala and I sworn in, we're going to be introducing immediately significant pieces of legislation to deal with the virus, do

with the economy and deal with economic growth. So we're going to do our job, and the Congress can decide how to proceed with theirs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But if a Democratic member of Congress were to call and ask for your advice about whether they should proceed with this, what

would you tell them?

BIDEN: I tell them that's a decision for the Congress to make. I'm focused on my job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did you speak with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before this decision was made? Or is that conversation that's still going

to happen?

BIDEN: I'll be speaking with Nancy and the Democratic leadership this afternoon, as a matter of fact, about my agenda, as well as whatever they

want to talk to me about.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Mr. President-elect.

BIDEN: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to ask you about your agenda in light of the jobs report that came out today. You're going to be laying out the principles of

your plan. Do you think that the need in the COVID relief bill is greater than you anticipated? And what is the price tag that you're looking at?

I've been told it could be in the $2 trillion to $3 trillion range.

And then as it relates to the direct cash payments, you've talked about the need for $2,000 checks. Do you want to see that in a Senate standalone bill

as a way of speed up the process, or do you think those direct cash payments should be part of the package that you're going to be proposing?


BIDEN: We're going to be proposing an entire package. And parts of that package are of equal consequence to people. Unemployment insurance, being

able to continue with rent forbearance, a whole range of issues. And so that's number one. We think that they all have to be dealt with.

The price tag will be high. But as I said, made scant reference to in my opening comments, the overwhelming consensus among the leading economists

left, right and center is that in order to keep the economy from collapsing this year and getting much, much worse, we should be investing significant

amounts of money right now, to grow the economy.

And that's a pretty wide consensus. And as you know, Moody's had done an analysis what I originally had been talking about, and said that it was

necessary to keep the economy from going down. We'd raise, we'd create 18.6 million jobs, create $2 trillion more in economic growth and the other

administration with this outgoing administration.

So it is necessary to spend the money now. The answer is yes. It will be in the trillions of dollars, the entire package. But it will be your -- I'll

be here next Thursday laying out in detail how that package is going to go. But the basic story is simple, that if we don't act now, things are going

to get much worse and harder to get out of the hole later. So we have to invest now.

Secondly, we're going to have to meet the emergency needs of the American people. I mean, literally, I know, you know this, that people are having

trouble just putting food on the table, just having a stay, keep the payment of their car, maybe unable to turn the lights on. There's a dire,

dire need to act now, purely out of what is humanitarian aid here at home.

And thirdly, we're going to, in the third stage of this, the whole story is we're going to have to invest, as I suggested throughout the campaign in

infrastructure and health care, and a whole range of things that are going to generate good paying jobs that will allow us to grow the economy.

So that's a long answer to your short question, which is that the idea of, with interest rates as low as they are, with the fed having had its power

sort of taken away in terms of what they could do to help this administration like last, it's important across the board, every major

economist thinks we should be investing in deficit spending in order to generate economic growth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I wanted to ask you about what took place at the Capitol this week. You served in the Senate for 36 years. And importantly,

you were there in 1983 when there was an explosion in a Senate quarter. You were there in 1998 when two Capitol police officers were shot. You were

there during the anthrax attacks in 2001. What kind of an investigation needs to take place and what steps need to take place to improve the

security of the Capitol?

And then secondly, how do you think the people who are involved in the storming of the Capitol, how should they be treated by your Justice

Department? Should they be treated as domestic terrorists?

BIDEN: Yes, they should be treated as they're a bunch of thugs insurrectionist, white supremacist, anti-Semites, 6M is not enough. I mean,

come on, you know, these shirts they wear. These are bunch of thugs, thugs, and they're terrorists, domestic terrorists. And that'll be a judgment for

the Justice Department to make as to what charges should be.

But the fact is, they should be prosecuted. They should be prosecuted. The difference here is this had the active encouragement of a city, President

of the United States, and the way in which the breakdown in security occurred, needs to be thoroughly investigated.

I'm not going to prejudge what it was. But the idea, the idea that these people were able to just march up the stairs, March in and do it the way

with we had there's a great debate. I don't know the answer, great Debate now, was as the governor of Maryland correct when he said that I was ready

to send in the National Guard, I couldn't get authorization. What happened?

It deserves a full blown investigation. People be held accountable and act steps taken that something like this could never happen again. And the

difference this time is, everybody, every nation has dealt, every democracy is dealt with individual terrorist attacks by groups that are in very

targeted. The largest target was 9/11 and the buildings.


Well, right down to blowing up -- a bomb going off in the Capitol when I was there and two Policemen, but the idea that thousands of people,

thousands of people could be marching up the steps of the United States Capitol, breaking windows, breaking doors, forcing their way in, stepping

aside and the photographs of, I don't know what the circumstances, the photograph that looked like you had some of the Capitol police taking

selfies with people.

That has to be thoroughly investigated. The authorities responsible have to be held accountable for the failures that occurred and we have to make sure

that this can never, ever happen again. The damage done to our reputation around the world by a President of the United States encouraging a mob, a

mob -- this reminded me of cities -- states I've visited in the -- over the 100 countries I've gone to in authoritarian (ph) dictatorships.

It just cannot be sustained. It has to be immediately, immediately investigated in depth and people have to be held accountable.

UNKNOWN: And lastly, do you think you need to change any of the planning for your inauguration as a result of this?

BIDEN: A totally different entity is in charge of the inauguration that was in charge of protecting the Capitol, the Secret Service. I have great

confidence in the Secret Service, I have great confidence in their ability to make sure that the inauguration goes off, goes off safely and goes off

without a hitch.

So it's a different -- so I have confidence in what is going -- in the planning that has been under way before this and continues with the Secret

Service as the lead agency.

UNKNOWN: Thank you.

BIDEN: Thank you.

UNKNOWN: President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, good to see you both. I want to pick up on something that you just said about President

Trump actively encouraging the insurrection at the Capitol. Given that -- given the perceived threat that he poses, my question to you is not so much

about the role that Congress should play in impeachment but rather should President Trump, in your estimation, remain in office?

BIDEN: I didn't think -- look, I've been saying for, now, well over a year he is not fit to serve, he is not fit to serve. He's one of the most

incompetent presidents in the history of the United States of America. And so the idea that I think he shouldn't be out of office yesterday is not the


The question is what happens with 14 days left to go or 13 days left to go? And I think that what 81 million people stood up and said it's time for him

to go. And the United States senate voted 93-6 to confirm that we should be sworn in. We were duly elected. So I think it's important we get on with

the business of getting him out of office.

The quickest way that that will happen is us being sworn in on the 20th. What action happens before or after that is a judgment for the Congress to

make, but that's what I am looking forward to, him leaving office. I was told that on the way up here -- way over here that he indicated he wasn't

going to show up at the inauguration. One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It's a good thing him not showing up.

UNKNOWN: Earlier, you said that if -- you'd hoped that he would show up only in the sense that it was valuable to send a signal to the world about

the transfer of power. You've clearly changed your perspective on that.

BIDEN: Because he has clearly demonstrated -- he has exceeded even my worst notions about him. He's been an embarrassment to the country,

embarrassed us around the world. Not worthy, not worthy to hold that office. If we were six months out, we should be doing everything to get him

out of office.

Impeaching him again, invoke -- try and invoke the 25th amendment, whatever it took to get him out of office. But I am focused now on us taking control

as president and vice president on the 20th and to get our agenda moving as quickly as we can. Thank you.

UNKNOWN: Another question about holding public officials to account, and this is about an issue that's no longer a headline but is no less

significant and serious, and that's about the more than 600 children who were orphaned under the Trump administration as a result of the family

separation policy along the border.

During the campaign, you said that practice was criminal. Can you commit -- will you commit to making sure that the Trump administration officials

responsible for that policy will be held to account?


BIDEN: I'll commit that our justice department and our investigative arms will make judgments about who is responsible, how they're responsible and

whether or not the conduct is criminal across the board. But as I said yesterday, I am not going to tell the Justice Department who they should

prosecute and who they should not.

That's a judgment that will be made by the Attorney General of the United States of America, not influenced by me. But there will be a thorough,

thorough investigation of who's responsible and whether or not the responsibility is criminal. And if that is the concluded, the Attorney

General will make that judgment. I will not intervene to tell him who he should or shouldn't indict or if he should indict.

UNKNOWN: And lastly, beyond the COVID plan which you've detailed, what is your -- what are your legislative priorities? You've talked about

infrastructure, you've talked about introducing an immigration bill. After January 20th, you'll control -- Democrats, rather, will control the House

and the Senate. What do you do first?

BIDEN: Two different -- three different issues there in that same question. One, the commitments I made that I would introduce, not

necessarily we would move to, but introduce in the United States Congress first I will do, I will introduce an immigration bill immediately and have

it sent to the appropriate committees to begin movement.

I will, in fact, counter manned executive orders that the president has, in fact, initiated that are contrary to what I think is either his authority

and/or even if his authority contrary to the interests of the United States on environmental issues and a whole range of other things.

And thirdly, I will immediately move though to the most urgent need of asking the Congress to give me the financial wherewithal to deal with the

virus, to deal with the virus, to be able to move so that we have Operation Warp Speed really working. Warp Speed got the vaccine to places that were

delivered, but did not get them from those vials into people's arms.

And so it is a gigantic logistical concern of how we do that. I'm committed to get 100 million shots in people's arms in the first 100 days. I'm

committed to insisting that in all federal jurisdictions, any place I have control as president, everyone will be mandated to wear a mask, in

international -- interstate transportation as well as federal facilities.

And thirdly, I'm committed to moving as rapidly as possible to get the vaccine to teachers and the material to children that can provide for the

safe opening of our schools at the end of that -- beginning at the end of that 100 days. They are the most urgent things we have to do now.

Now, immediately upon getting in office, there's going to be multiple things, as you know well know because you're a seasoned veteran of how this

policy, how we work, and that is that there will be other committees that'll be holding hearings on a whole range of issues from my positions on

infrastructure and what we should be doing to generate green economy and how we -- and so on.

But in terms of the immediate need to get done, not just introduced, but to get done, voted on and get the money and resources to do it, it turns out

that the most urgent need is dealing with the virus, number one, and economic relief to Americans who through no fault of their own are really

getting battered. Thank you.

UNKNOWN: Thank you.

UNKNOWN: Thank you. Mr. President-elect and Madame Vice President-elect. I want to follow-up, with respect, to what you just said about the

inauguration and that it's a good thing that the president is not coming, but what about the Vice President Mike Pence?

BIDEN: He's welcome. I think it's important that the -- as much as we can stick to what have been the historical precedence of how and the

circumstances in which an administration changes should be maintained. And so if Mike -- if the vice president is welcome to come, I'd be honored to

have him there and to move forward in the transition.

UNKNOWN: Have you spoken to him at all?

BIDEN: No, I haven't.

UNKNOWN: And you have called for unity and healing in this country, but after the events of Wednesday, does that make your job easier or harder?

BIDEN: I think it makes my job easier, quite frankly. I've had a number of my Republican colleagues, former colleagues; I used to serve in the senate

for a long time call me. They are -- many of them are as outraged and disappointed and embarrassed and mortified by the president's conduct as I

am and Democrats are.


And I think -- as I -- I have said from the beginning and I have not changed my view, my overarching objective is to unify this country. We must

unify the country.

And I think that, you've heard me say this before and I apologize for repeating myself, but understandably the questions are repetitive and good,

I mean they're -- I'm not being critical of the question, and that is that there's two ways people are inspired, by inspirational leaders and by

terrible leaders, by terrible leaders.

What this president has done is ripped the band-aid all the way off to let the country know who he is and what he's about and how thoroughly unfit for

office he is. And you see already a number of republicans. I was so proud, I know we're on opposite sides, I'll get criticized from some of the people

in my party for saying this, but I have worked very hard with and against the former, the president -- the former, soon to be former, Majority Leader

Mitch McConnell.

I thought what he said on the floor of the United States Senate was, in fact, the right thing to do. He stood up. He's ashamed. I've spoke with the

guy I have enormous respect for, enormous respect for, and I ran against him, Mitt Romney. I spoke to Mitt this morning again.

This is a man of enormous integrity, enormous integrity, who lives his faith. There are so many more, but there's others who should be ashamed of

themselves, but they make up a minority of the Republican Party. This isn't about Republican and Democrat anymore. This is about people who understand

what this country's about and the things we have to agree on and move together on.

I just think that if you look at it, speaking to some of my Republican colleagues and I've spoken to a number of them over the last month since

I've been -- since we've been elected, through recently as the day in which this god awful debacle was taking place up on the Hill, and I think they

understand that they're going to have to -- we need a Republican Party, we need an opposition that's principled and strong.

I think you're going to see them going through this idea of what constitutes a Republican Party. And to hear some of my colleagues,

Republican colleagues, talk about how shameful it is of the way Ted Cruz and others are dealing with this, how they're responsible as well for what

happened, I.

UNKNOWN: Do you think some of them should resign? Should Senator Cruz or Senator Hawley resign?

BIDEN: I think they should be just flat beaten the next time they run. I think the American public has a real good clear look at who they are.

They're part of the big lie, the big lie. I was being reminded by a friend of mine, and maybe you were with me, I can't recall, when we were told that

Goebbels and the great lie, you keep repeating the lie, repeating the lie.

Well, there was a print that when Dresden was bombed, firebombed, there were 250 people that were killed, or was it 2,500 people were killed. And

Goebbels said no, 25,000 -- 250,000 were killed, and our papers printed that, our papers printed it. It's the big lie. People will know this one

thing for one man, one woman, to repeat the lie over and over and over again.

By the way, Trump said that before he ran, if you say it enough, I'm going to convince you. I'll say it enough, the press is bad, the press is bad,

the press is bad, the press is bad, if he's the only one saying it, that's one thing, but the acolytes that follow him, like Cruz and others, they are

as responsible as he is.

And so, it's not about whether or not they get impeached. It is about whether or not they help -- can continue to hold power because of the

disgust the American people have for their actions. There are decent people out there who actually believe these lies because they've heard it again

and again.

I was with a friend of mine who's a medical doctor, telling me that his neighbor said to him, he lives in another state, his neighbor's a good

person said "but you know doc, this is true, there's a lot of chicanery that went on in this election." He said "tell me what." "Well, I just know

there was, they say it is, they say it is."

This is a human condition, you say it and say it and say it. The degree to which it becomes corrosive is in direct proportion of the number of people

who say it.


And so it's interesting to me and I was pleased to hear some of the more prominent Republicans say to me that the Ted Cruz's of the world are as

responsible in terms of people believing the lies as -- not as responsible but similarly responsible like Trump. But they didn't say go to the

capital, I'll be with you follow, that's a different story. Thank you.

UNKNOWN: Thank you.

BIDEN: Thank you all very, very much, appreciate it. Thank you.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right. Let's take it from here. I'm Brooke Baldwin, you're watching CNN. You have been listening to

President-elect Joe Biden, forceful, strong on the violence, the mob, the domestic terrorism that we saw this week descending upon the U.S. Capitol

and also on the current sitting president, President Trump.

I've got Gloria Borger, Dana Bash, and ladies as we walk through all of what we've just heard, a couple of news nuggets and of course I want to get

to the inauguration and what he said. He was asked point blank do you support impeachment? We've been hearing that the democrats are going to be

introducing these articles as early as Monday.

He is essentially saying it's up to Congress, right. So it seems to me he's not going to lead the charge but he's also not going to get in Speaker

Pelosi's way. Secondly, he said that there should be a full blown investigation into the U.S. Capitol police, into law enforcement and to the

failures on so many leaves.

But Dana, let me begin with you on this third news nugget where we learned today that President Trump would not be attending President-elect Biden's

inauguration January 20th and he said that is one of the few things we agree on. Biden is clearly thrilled that Donald Trump is not coming. He

said Trump has exceeded, this is a quote, "exceeded my worst notions about him." What did you think of that?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very strong, especially given, as Gloria knows better than anybody, how much of an institutionalist Joe Biden is for

him to go that far, particularly since he told our colleague Jake, I believe it was not that long ago, but he hoped that Joe Biden -- that

Donald Trump would come to his inauguration.

And that changed because of the quote that you just read, because he said he's not worthy because of his actions over the last, you know, couple of

weeks but particularly over the last 48 hours or so.

Remarkable, but the kind of traditionalist came out when talking about Mike Pence, saying he would be honored for Mike Pence to be there and it's clear

that he believes that that is the sort of symbolic show that there still is a, you know, an American style peaceful transition with Mike Pence

attending his inauguration.

BALDWIN: Gloria, what do you think?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, I think Joe Biden made it very clear that he's going to go his way and the Congress will go its way.

And as Dana says, he's not going to get in their way, but he sort of slipped at one point and he said if this were six months out, I would do

everything to -- that's not a quote here to get rid of the guy, right, it seems to me that that's what he was saying.

Which -- but with less than two weeks left, he's kind of going to focus on what he's got to do on day one. So I think he's going to have a really

interesting talk with Nancy Pelosi and I don't think he's going to stand in anyone's way, but he doesn't want it to get in the way of his call for

national unity, which is something he still wants to do.

And in an odd way, the reason that he's changed his mind about having Trump there at the inauguration, is that I think it's easier for him to make the

case for national unity without Trump making a scene somehow in the stands behind him. I think the question still is, of course, what will Donald

Trump do on Inauguration Day?

Will he play golf at Mar-a-Lago? We don't have any idea, but I think at this point, Biden is so disgusted, and you could hear it in his voice, he's

just so disgusted with him that he just wants to get past him.

BALDWIN: Yes, yes.

BASH: And can I just add one thing, Brooke, if I may on the.


AMANPOUR: And Joe Biden who also knows so much about the world and has so much foreign policy experience spent a lot of time during his Q&A talking

about what a terrible image of America this insurrection, this invasion, this incitement by the sitting President of the United States, what a

terrible image of America it projected around the world.

Now, the whole world is watching America right now as it grapples with the aftershocks of a home grown extremist assault on democracy.


The office of the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, tells us "The president has been following the events that occurred in the U.S. over the

past 48 hours and he believes that American democracy is deep-rooted and strong and that American democracy and the American people will prevail.

That is important for the U.S. and for the world. The president is looking forward to working with the incoming U.S. administration on issues of

mutual interest."

Now of course one of the biggest issues that Trump is handing over to Biden is Afghanistan, it is America's longest war. Just hours before the Capitol

was stormed, Afghanistan's President and First Lady Rula Ghani sat down for a joint interview with me about engaging with the Biden administration.

Here they are.


AMANPOUR: President Ghani and First Lady Rula Ghani, welcome to the program. You know, it's rare to see the first couple speak at the same

time, and I wondered whether you had a message this new year, particularly with the incoming administration in the United States.

ASHRAF GHANI, AFGHANISTAN PRESIDENT: Well first of all, a very happy New Year. Our deepest sympathies on the losses from corona, our gratitude for

the sacrifice of the American servicemen and women, 2448 of whom they've paid the ultimate sacrifice, our thanks to over a million American men and

women in uniform who have served in our country.

I look to a world that would be healed, that would become whole, that our partnership will be strengthened and based on mutual interest, mutual

respect and mutual trust and I trust that we will be able to obtain peace in Afghanistan and hopefully stability in the region.

RULA GHANI, FIRST LADY OF AFGHANISTAN: All I would like to say is that COVID has taught us humility. We find out that no matter who we are, we're

not in control of our lives and we need to always to adapt. So that's the lesson I get from those two.

AMANPOUR: Well, let's address all those issues. First, I want to ask you both because I think it matters to you both as representatives of all the

Afghan people, what is the latest in the peace talks, the so-called peace process, that the United States has backed and initiated between your

government and the Taliban forces?

A. GHANI: Well, first of all, the beginning is important because after what, nearly 20 years of conflict, we are beginning to speak. The process

has been slow because over four months was spent just dealing with procedure, but this second round message is can we agree on the goal that

the international community and the region has agreed with us, namely a sovereign democratic united Afghanistan at peace with itself in the region.

If that goal becomes accepted, then we can move forward, but if the objective of the Taliban is to dominate and give us the peace of the grave,

then that will have very negative consequences. Our society is united and seeking peace, but we want to have a positive peace.

R. GHANI: Yes, I would like to mention that when the peace talks started in Doha, we always heard that it would be at the cost of the rights of the

women. And what was really very interesting and very warming for me is that the women did not lie down and accept it.

They did stand up and made their voices heard. And through several interventions, they showed a lot of political maturity and they were able

to insert themselves or at least to be part of the process, fully part of the process. Not only do they speak for themselves now, but they speak for

the country and for the whole people of Afghanistan. So, this is a positive aspect of what has happened.

AMANPOUR: I want to play a little bit of an interview that I conducted with the commissioner of your civil rights commission a few months ago as

some of these talks were under way. You're absolutely right, the fact that several women have been sat across the table from the Taliban who never

recognized that women actually had the rights to be out of their home is pretty dramatic. This is what Gaisu Yari told me about her and other

women's concerns.

GAISU YARI, COMMISSIONER OF AFGHANISTAN'S CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION: One point that is very important for the international community to focus is

that we are not ready to give up.


We are not ready to lose the achievements that we have had in the past almost 20 years now. So if we -- yes, we do want peace in the country, but

are we going to with the price of losing women's rights or the achievements we have had in the past two decades?

AMANPOUR: I want to ask you because you've spoken about how the Taliban actually talks about women when they think they're not being listened to in

public, do they really respect, are you confident that even if a peace deal is signed, the respects the gains women have made, respects what your

constitution provides for women's rights, that if the Taliban's involved, those will be respected?

R. GHANI: Let me answer it in a different way. The Taliban's are our brothers and our sisters and as Afghans, they have the right to come and

live in Afghanistan. And actually, quite a few of them do. What -- here, the question is whether or not they should bring with them their own way of

thinking and impose it on the rest of the population. And they can, if they want to have -- if they have political ambitions, they can do it through

the electoral process.

AMANPOUR: Mr. President, you have been the forefront of the post-Taliban Afghanistan since the fall back in 2001. You served under the previous

president and now you, yourself, are president. What do you think -- what is your gut telling you about whether you can or this longest of American

wars can end in any way that actually guarantees the rights of all your people and that ends the violence?

A. GHANI: Well, we're in an open moment. The incoming Biden administration is in the midst of opportunity to work with us A, to define what U.S.

security interests in Afghanistan and the region are. No one wants a return to a heavy footprint. Second, in agreement on the future stability of

Afghanistan, guaranteed both by the region and by the international community is essential to end 40 years of conflict.

Third, I have been leading the peace process. I've owned it. I secured the first cease-fire in 2018 in our history. The process must now be truly

owned by the Afghan government and the Afghan people. Fourth, the scale and scope of U.S. presence in Afghanistan needs to be defined.

Here, the most critical issue is how to marry a condition-based approach with a time-based approach. My basic goal is to be able to hand power

through the will of the people to my elected successor. This is crucial to enable us to both honor the sacrifice of our civilians, our activists and


One thing needs to be clear, Afghan society is not willing to go back and we are not the type of society that the Taliban type approach of the past

can be imposed on us. That was the peace of the graveyard. We want a positive peace where all of us together, over time our past, embrace each

other and together a build of -- rebuild an Afghanistan that can be, what I call, a roundabout, where all civilizations, all people, all activities can


AMANPOUR: I hear you saying we don't want a heavy footprint forever, but I wonder what you feel about first President Trump calling for the reduction

by half of American forces there and secondly, Vice President Biden, President-elect Joe Biden, who is also not a massive interventionist to say

the least, I just want to play a little bit of an interview that he gave to CBS a year ago.

This was before he won the nomination, obviously before his election, but this is what he was talking about a year ago.

BIDEN: Do I bear responsibility? Zero responsibility. The responsibility I have is to protect America's national self interests and not put our women

and men in harm's way to try to solve every single problem in the world by use of force. That's my responsibility as president and that's what I'll do

as president.

A. GHANI: I agree with President-elect Biden that his responsibility is protection of American people. You know, since I've been president, the

number of Americans, this is since 2015, that have lost their lives is 98, while we, the Afghan people, have lost over 40,000 civilians and military.


We are in the frontline of your security. The key issue is not charity for as our responsibility. We would be grateful for the United States for what

is done with us. The question now is what is the threat of terrorism? Is it the system or is it individuals? That is where our common interest is. And

it's on that basis that we move forward.

In terms of blood, the sacrifice has been reduced very substantially this year. The question is not the endless wars because Afghanistan is not a

civil war. The question is whether there are endless threats to our current global order and how Afghanistan fits within that.

We are assuming responsibility for our future. So if the United States would like to withdrawal, all we ask for is a process that is predictable,

that is mutually agreed. I had the honor, as you mentioned, of leading the transition process where over 100,000 American troops during four years

left Afghanistan, General Petraeus was commanding 150,000 troops, now we are approaching 200 -- 2,500 troops by '15.

So it has come down, President-elect Biden must make his decision and then together we will forge a pathway to make sure our mutual interests are


AMANPOUr: I want to ask you, Madame First Lady, because you have spoken in other forums about the effect and the presence of international forces and

international NGOs, non-governmental aid agencies. If you were to put on your role, your hat as a former journalist, how would you assess what

happened in your country with all this outside intervention, unbalance, what does it look like today?

R. GHANI: Well, basically what I have been talking about is that the NGO model is not a sustainable one because it's a cyclical model and at the end

of every cycle, the NGO people have to go around with their begging bowl and ask for more funds.

I much prefer that it would become -- they would become local associations that rely on the population of Afghanistan. They still can receive funds

from abroad, but they should be accountable to the people they're supposed to be serving.

AMANPOUR: What are your fears for COVID in Afghanistan? And now that vaccines are coming out, do you believe that countries like yours will

benefit from that?

A. GHANI: Well, first of all, I think Afghanistan showed that despite our small and limited resources, we could predict accurately the onslaught of

COVID. We categorized it in five phases, awareness, diffusion, adversity, relief and recovery.

The first wave we took very strong measures and our casualties were minimal and equally the destruction to the economy was handled because thank god

agriculture. The second wave, again, just in the last week is going down. Our fear is of a third wave.

We managed the first two I think remarkably well, mostly because of our population configuration. Fully 70.6% of the Afghans are under 30 years

old, so the youth give us that and also collective immunity. The third wave that is now started from the U.K. is the focus of our attention. On

vaccines, we are hopeful. The first wave -- the first access badge (ph) that will come to cover 20% has been agreed.

AMANPOUR: I want to turn finally to you, First Lady. Your husband mentioned that his goal is to transition peacefully to whoever is his

elected successor. When you see the hullabaloo that's going on in the United States right now with the current president not transitioning

peacefully and putting up a huge amount of obstacles to the duly elected president-elect, what message does that send to Afghanistan and to other

countries in your neighborhood?


R. GHANI: Well, I suppose we're finding out that America is not very different from our countries and that maybe the efforts that we are doing

here in Afghanistan to install a solid republic, a solid constitution and a system that allows a voice for everyone with respect, mutual respect and

trust, is something that will be durable and probably might be an example for other countries.

I still hope and I can already see -- I still hope that the systems that are existing in the United States are protecting the republic in the United

States and are allowing that whatever disruption has happened during the past few years will be just that and that there will be a return to normal.

AMANPOUR: On that note, First Lady Rula Ghani, President Ashraf Ghani, thank you so much for joining me from the presidential palace in Kabul.

A. GHANI: Well, thank you. It's an honor and pleasure to be with you.

R. GHANI: Thank you for having us.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: A frank conversation there and talking of, back in the United States, President-elect Biden did say that the country had to start

reflecting again its values around the world and he also announced his final round of cabinet selections, saying that he's assembled a team that

looks like America.


BIDEN: This will be the first cabinet ever that is evenly composed with as many women as men in the cabinet. This will be the first cabinet ever with

the majority of people of color occupying this cabinet. And it has more than a dozen history making appointments, including the first woman

secretary of treasury, first African-American Defense Secretary, the first openly gay Cabinet Member and the first Native-American Cabinet Secretary.


AMANPOUR: Quite a group. And finally at the end of this calamitous week for America, we honor a man who upheld a fundamental pillar of democracy, a

free and independent press holding government accountable, and he was Neil Sheehan, the crew-saving Vietnam war correspondent who has died at the age

of 84.

His family says the cause was complications from Parkinson's disease. Reporting for the New York Times in 1971, Sheehan broke the explosive story

of the Pentagon papers, a secret trove of documents that exposed widespread government deception about America's ability to win that war. The Nixon

administration was furious at this revelation, but Sheehan's story led to a landmark victory for press freedom at the Supreme Court.

And Sheehan himself later defended his actions, saying the papers belong to the American people who "paid for them with their national treasure and the

blood of their sons." That is it for now. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London. And now we go back to my colleague Brooke Baldwin who

has more on the aftermath of what's been happening in the United States and around the Capitol.