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Trump's Hold on Republican Party?; Congress Holds Mark Meadows in Contempt; LGBTQ in Afghanistan Under Threat. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 15, 2021 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Damning new details and a significant moment in the investigation into the January 6 insurrection, why this investigation
is crucial to American democracy and what these revelations tell us about the state of the Republican Party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't can step out of house. And if anyone identifies us, our lives would be under threat.
GOLODRYGA: The harrowing reality of life under the Taliban for Afghanistan's LGBTQ community. I'm joined by activist Nemat Sadat, who's
working tirelessly to get people out of the country.
INDRA NOOYI, CEO, PEPSICO: we have a chance to see women rise in corporate America to be leaders of big companies.
GOLODRYGA: Indra Nooyi, the first woman of color to run a Fortune 50 company, on her life, work family and our future.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, who will be back later this week.
Dramatic new evidence in the investigation into the January 6 insurrection. Those images of the U.S. Capitol under siege now etched in the minds of
Americans and people around the world.
The House of Representatives has voted to recommend the Department of Justice pursue criminal charges against former White House Chief of Staff
Mark Meadows for failing to appear at a deposition. And Mark Meadows is crucial to this investigation.
That, of course, is made clear this week in the form of explosive text messages, which reveal that Donald Trump Jr., FOX News hosts and Republican
lawmakers urged Meadows to get President Trump to stop the violence. The vice chair of the committee, Liz Cheney, read those messages aloud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): "He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."
"Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy," Laura Ingraham wrote.
"Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished," Brian Kilmeade texted.
Quote: "Can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?" Sean Hannity urged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: The committee is trying to establish a full account and understanding of the events that led to the deadly riot and to understand
who should be held accountable.
So why is all of this so important to American democracy?
Neal Katyal is a former acting U.S. solicitor general. And he joins me now from Washington.
Neal, welcome to the program. So, we know that the DOJ has received a criminal contempt of Congress report. They have it in hand now. What is it
that Merrick Garland will be considering when they're determining whether or not to press charges against Mark Meadows?
NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: So, they will be evaluating whether or not this information should have been turned over by
Mark Meadows to Congress.
And, Bianna, I know there's a lot of legal terms here, like executive privilege and contempt and all sorts of stuff. But here's the bottom line
for our viewers, which is that Congress is trying to seek information about what Mark Meadows knew, what he said, what he did, and what others were
saying to him on January 6.
And what he said is, no, I'm not going to give Congress that information. It's not a valid investigation. And it's protected by presidential privacy
and executive privilege idea.
This argument was rejected resoundingly by our nation's second highest court last week in a different case. And it's pretty bogus, because the
current president, which the Supreme Court said decides executive privilege matters largely, has said there is no executive privilege over this
And so while Meadows has stuck to his guns and says, I'm not going to go and tell the truth, I'm not going to give you these documents or tell you
what happened. And so the Congress has asked Merrick Garland to refer him to -- for prosecution, because he's not willing to tell the truth.
And I suspect Merrick Garland, in a period of days, will reach the determination that this information is important to the investigation, and
you can't just have anyone, whether it's a presidential adviser or any ordinary citizen, just saying, hey, I'm not going to give you this
important information because I don't want to.
GOLODRYGA: So -- but Meadows and his attorney are arguing that, at the time, he was not just any ordinary citizen, right? He was the chief of
staff to the then-sitting president of the United States, which is where the executive privilege claim comes to bear.
And that differs from what we saw earlier with Steve Bannon, who had not been in the White House for many months prior to his contempt of Congress
charges. And we know that that case is expected to move forward later on next year.
Is there any merit? And can you explain to our viewers what this executive privilege claim means?
KATYAL: yes, so that's a very fair point. But there is no merit, ultimately, to Meadows' suggestion of privilege here.
So executive privilege is this idea -- it goes all the way back to the founding -- that you want a zone of secrecy around presidential decision-
making, like about foreign affairs or something. You don't want, like, treaty negotiations to spill out into open court.
But the Supreme Court has always said, whatever the contours of privilege are, they can give away if there's an important need for the information.
And, here, we're talking about literally the most important need, Bianna, imaginable, figuring out who was responsible for the January 6 armed attack
on our Capitol.
So, that's one set of problems that Meadows faces, which is that the Supreme Court has been resolute in saying executive privilege isn't
absolute. And if there's ever an investigation that's going to pierce executive privilege, this is it.
The other -- and this is very Meadows- specific -- is that Meadows isn't just some ordinary chief of staff who is trying to protect secret
information from the president. He wrote a book about all this stuff. And he turned over thousands of documents already to Congress before he got
into a personal fight with Donald Trump and changed his mind about testifying.
And so you can't, on the one hand, like, try and make money and write a book about supposed secrets and then, on the other hand, say, oh, these are
secrets, and I'm not going to tell you about it.
KATYAL: So, for those two reasons, this is a bogus executive privilege claim, to use the technical legal term. And I suspect Garland will move in
very short order to commence a criminal prosecution of Mark Meadows.
And that is a sad moment. I mean, Mark Meadows served in the Congress. To have your former body say, you're engaged in a crime is really quite a
remarkable thing. The last time it happened was 1832.
And what makes this case so interesting and I would say curious, even, is the fact that not only did Mark Meadows write this book, which then he
later called some of the most damning details of fake news after former President Trump called it that. He also was cooperating up to a point with
the committee and releasing some 9,000 pages worth of records to the committee.
And, as we heard earlier, the text messages that were exchanged were text messages that he himself hand-delivered to the committee. So I have heard
anecdotally some people refer to him as sort of the John Dean of this investigation.
How damning has his cooperation thus far been? And what do you make of this sort of thin line he's trying to walk across?
KATYAL: Well, first of all, Mark Meadows is no John Dean.
John Dean ultimately came around and did the right thing. But Mark Meadows hasn't. You're absolutely right. There was a point at which he was
providing some documents, not full cooperation or anything like that. And I guess, by contrast to all the other people in the Trump White House, it was
So you can think not just about Steve Bannon, who refused to testify and is now facing criminal prosecution, but also Jeffrey Clark, the Justice
Department official, John Eastman, the supposed presidential lawyer/scholar, in air quotes, Roger Stone.
All of these people are refusing to go and tell Congress the truth under oath. So, by that standard Meadows, at least at one point in time, was
better off. But now Meadows has fully thrown his lot in with the other Trumpistas and basically is refusing to say anything, and that's why
Congress voted the way it did yesterday.
GOLODRYGA: So, now the Meadows case is in the hands of the DOJ.
But Liz Cheney, for one, has made clear that she is not stopping there, and really has focused on Donald Trump and his actions or, rather, his
inactions leading up to the insurrection in the hours as it was evolving and what had transpired.
I want to play sound for you for what she specifically said about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: Mr. Meadows testimony will bear on a key question in front of this committee: Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to
obstruct or impede Congress' official proceeding to count electoral votes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Today, Cheney went on to tweet: "As we know, for multiple hours, President Trump chose not to take the specific and immediate action
many urged as the violent mob besieged and invaded the Capitol, attacked and injured scores of Capitol Police and obstructed Congress' count of
electoral votes. This was a Supreme Court election of the president's duty, and the January 6 Committee is examining these issues in detail."
This instruction -- this obstruction or impeding, where do you see her taking this right now? And could we possibly see it leading to criminal
charges against President Trump himself?
So, Liz Cheney is doing something incredibly important. She's the person who, by the way, used to run television ads against me when I was at the
Justice Department calling me part of the al Qaeda seven and so on. And I don't agree with her on very much.
But, on this point, I think she is absolutely right. She's a great lawyer. And what she's referring to is a congressional statute, 1512, which makes
it a federal felony punishable by 20 years in jail if you obstruct an official proceeding.
And just last Friday, Judge Dabney Friedrich, who's a Trump appointee to our D.C. federal court, wrote an opinion saying that that statute applied
to the January 6 insurrection, and that you don't need to prove that someone intended violence.
So what Cheney is referring to, what Representative Cheney is referring to here, is the fact that Donald Trump's actions and inactions very well may
fit that criminal statute. That's an extraordinary thing to have a president criminally prosecuted.
But the statute exists for a really important reason, to prevent things like the January 6 attack. And anyone who gave aid and comfort to these
insurrectionists falls within that statute under this interpretation written by a Trump appointee, Judge Friedrich.
GOLODRYGA: Neal Katyal, all of this, making clear that this investigation is far from over.
We appreciate your time. Thank you so much for joining us.
KATYAL: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, continuing with this story, let's dig into what these revelations say about the Republican Party today.
Tim Alberta has closely documented the GOP for years. And his latest piece for "The Atlantic" examines how the party treats those who don't fall into
Tim, always great to have you on, and so many people now talking about your lengthy profile of Michigan Congressman Peter Meijer just days into the
job, really being thrust not only into an insurrection, but following into a crisis within the party itself.
Talk about what he revealed to you, not only about his state of mind, but where the party is sitting right now.
TIM ALBERTA, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": Sure.
Well, as you said, literally days into the job, this is a new member of Congress who, on his third day at work, was trying to find the bathroom.
And that's how new he was. He was wandering the halls of the Capitol trying to find a bathroom, when he realized that the building was being overrun.
And it was, in many ways, not just a watershed for American public life, a watershed for the modern Republican Party, but a watershed for this
individual congressman who had come to Washington, I think, with a certain degree of naivete and sort of believing that, yes, things were bad, and
things have gotten ugly during the Trump presidency, but that America has seen worse, and we're going to pull through this and put this behind us.
And he came to realize very quickly on his third day at work that this was far worse than he had ever imagined. And when you think about the
individual journey of someone like Peter Meijer, who arrives in Washington, as sort of a political romantic, very idealistic about what government is
and what it can be, and then he begins to be transformed in his first week on the job.
And then, of course, one week after the insurrection of January 6, he votes to impeach the president, the only freshman member of Congress in the
history of the United States Congress to vote to impeach the president of his own party.
And he did so, Bianna, really because he believed that the events of January 6 were so significant and so traumatic that they had to force a
reckoning on the American public and on the Republican Party specifically to sort of confront this ugliness and this violence head on, and to try and
see if there might be a cleansing or an exercising of some of these demons, if you will.
And he really believed that that opportunity was at hand. And, of course, as we have seen in the nine or 10 months since, he was mistaken.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, it was fleeting at the most optimistic point, right, those few days where he thought that the momentum was in his favor, and along
with others who believed, A, that the election wasn't stolen, and that, B, January 6 was really a turning point.
And you talk about some of the examples that he gave you of the dissonance within the party, what they say publicly and what they say privately. There
were many of his colleagues who acknowledged that they felt similar -- similarly to how he felt going into that vote.
And on top of that, one talked about invoking the 25th Amendment. Then this person then voted -- didn't vote to impeach. Can you just give us a sense
of what he said to you about the internal dynamics that many of these other party members were feeling, but couldn't express publicly for whatever
And I would just say, to set the table for all of that, that this has been a through line of the Trump presidency, the disconnect between what it is
that elected officials in the Republican Party are willing to say privately, when the cameras are off, when the recorders aren't rolling,
when they know that they're in a space where they can speak freely and candidly, the things that they would say about the president, about his
administration, about the chaos and the tumult at the White House, vs. what they would then say publicly, and what they would tell their constituents
Those things were often in direct contradiction with one another. So yes, Peter Meijer, again, who's brand-new to all of this, who doesn't yet speak
Washington, if you will, who's just sort of finding his way in those early days of the new Congress, there are really these three separate exchanges
that all happen in the space of about 48 hours that sort of tell the tale of the entire -- of the entire event.
The first is, a day before January 6, when Peter Meijer and several of his fellow freshman Republicans, they are being lobbied by both sides of their
conference, some people in a Republican Conference arguing that they should vote to certify the election result because it's the right thing to do and
because it's the constitutional thing to do, and others arguing that they should not because they believe that election fraud was real, or they
believe that this is what they should do to position themselves on the right side of then-President Trump and his base.
What's so interesting is that Peter Meijer describes this conversation at that point, the day before January 6, with a senior member of Congress, a
longtime Republican member, who admitted to him that he did not believe that the election had been stolen, that he did not believe there was any
But he was going to vote to decertify the election. And he said to Peter Meijer, look, this is the last thing Donald Trump will ever ask you to do.
And just place yourself in that position for a minute, right? It's like something out of a bad mafia movie. So that's the first scene. The second
scene is, in the hours after the attack on the Capitol, when Peter Meijer and many other members of Congress are moved into a secure space. And, for
hours, they're in there sort of waiting as the Capitol is under siege and, as you know, the Capitol Police are attempting to restore order.
And Peter Meijer wanders into a backroom. And he overhears two of his senior Republican colleagues talking. And they're discussing phone calls
they have made that afternoon to the White House, talking to Cabinet officials, urging those Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment,
right, to essentially strip the powers of the presidency away from Donald Trump.
And Peter Meijer hears that. But then he recalls that, one week later, when there was a vote to impeach President Trump, those same two Republican
members did not take that vote. They did not vote to impeach the president, even though they were urging Cabinet officials to remove him from office.
And then, thirdly, I will just add briefly, when the Capitol finally was secured on January 6, Peter Meijer goes to the House floor, believing that,
because of the events of the day, that any member of Congress who might have been willing to entertain this ruse that President Trump was pushing
to decertify the election, he believes that those members of Congress are going to be so angry and so offended, and so sort of intruded upon by those
events of January 6, that they will now return to the House floor and, in a show of resolve, they will vote in massive numbers to certify the election,
to show that Congress will not be intimidated from fulfilling its constitutional obligations.
But, instead, what he realizes is that even more members of Congress will now vote to decertify because they are scared. They're intimidated. They
are fearing for their lives in some cases. And he approaches a member of Congress who he had just gotten to know.
And this member of Congress told him: Listen, I don't believe there was any election fraud. I don't believe in any of this stuff. I was prepared to
vote to certify this election. But after seeing what these people just did, how can I possibly feel safe for my family, taking this vote anymore to
certify the election?
So those three instances all in a period of about 48 hours really tell the tale of the entire episode and really confirm for Peter Meijer that this
was an event of domestic terrorism. And that began to shape his entire outlook moving forward.
GOLODRYGA: Listening to you just go through all of that as meticulously as you did, I mean, you take away the United States of America, and that would
-- that explanation and that ticktock would make you think that you're talking about a failed, if not already failed democracy, right?
And yet here we are at a place where he and a handful of others are outliers in the party. And what I want to point out to our viewers, because
so much has transpired, and then add to that a pandemic, that there was a brief moment when there -- this did seem to be a changing point for the
party as a whole.
I want to play sound just a few days after the insurrection, just hours -- one piece of sound you will hear after -- hours after the insurrection,
where it looked like things had turned. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately
denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Trump and I, we have had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh, my God, I hate it.
From my point of view, he has been a consequential precedent. But, today, the first thing you will see -- all I can say is, count me out. Enough is
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: So that lasted about 24 hours. I believe, shortly after Kevin McCarthy said what he said and blamed Trump, he flew down to Florida, and
we saw that infamous picture of them arm in arm.
My question to you moving forward, I have heard people say, following the revelation of these text messages, and your reading that exchange that
Peter had with others wanting to invoke the 25th Amendment and that made me think of whether or not this would bear true today, because there are
people who wonder if the second impeachment of President Trump would have actually gone through, whether he would have been impeached, if some of
these more damning details had come out.
And I'm wondering, given everything that you have read upon and in your reporting, would anything have mattered, if these text messages had been
revealed at that time?
ALBERTA: You know, it's tough to envision a world in which any amount of documentable evidence, damning evidence, even things that we're beginning
to see now that the January 6 commission is discovering and making public, it's really, really difficult for me to imagine any of that changing the
minds of a critical mass of Republicans to make them turn on Donald Trump.
And it's not because of some unflinching loyalty they feel to the man himself. It's not because of any great affection they have for him
personally. It is very simply and for the same reason that the Republican Party has been sort of in his control for the past four-and-a-half to five
years, it is very simply because of their fear of his voting base.
They understand that Donald Trump is immeasurably more popular with their voters back home than they themselves are. And so, for that reason, most of
these Republican elected officials, for whom self-preservation remains the name of the game, they want to hold on to their jobs, they want to hold on
to their power, they want to hold on to their influence, they are not willing to take the gamble of crossing Trump.
Even if they know that he has crossed a line, even if they believe that he should be impeached, that he should be removed from office, that he should
be barred from ever again, seeking the presidency, that sort of reflexive instinct towards self-preservation has tended to override every bit of
reason and sort of common political sense in the last few years.
And I don't know that anything we could see out of this investigation or others would change that, ultimately.
GOLODRYGA: And, quickly, what's next for Peter Meijer? He's being primaried, correct?
ALBERTA: That's right, yes.
He's facing a primary challenge from a former Trump administration official, someone who, frankly, is not taken terribly seriously by
political observers. He's somebody who doesn't have any experience, doesn't really have any roots in West Michigan, in the district where Peter Meijer
And yet he has the endorsement of the former president. He has the backing of Trump's entire political apparatus. And so Peter Meijer, like the other
nine House Republicans who voted for impeachment, he has his hands full trying to survive in a party that is controlled by the man that he voted to
exile from office.
And we have already seen two of those 10 House Republicans resign -- or announce their retirement, rather, in the upcoming election. I think we
will probably see a few more before long. And so Peter Meijer may be able to survive this next election. But as far as his long-term future in the
Republican Party, all bets are off, because until the party makes a pivot away from Trumpism, anybody who thinks the way that Peter Meijer does is
going to have a target on their back.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. And that's for speaking the truth, right? That's all that he did.
Really a fascinating deep dive into what is a sad state of affairs for one of our two parties here in this country.
Thank you so much, Tim Alberta, for joining us. We appreciate it.
ALBERTA: Thank you for having me.
GOLODRYGA: Well, now we want to continue our coverage of the crisis facing Afghanistan.
A desperate humanitarian situation is coming as winter sets in, with fears millions are on the brink of famine. And, of course, there's the reality of
living under the repressive Taliban regime. For some people, that reality is a matter of life or death.
Afghanistan's LGBTQ community is living in extreme fear. The Taliban consider homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
Nemat Sadat is an Afghan LGBTQ activist who's hoping and helping to get those people out of the country to safety. And he's joining me now from San
Thank you, Nemat, for coming on with us to talk about this really important and heartbreaking story that's unfolding for the LGBTQ community in
Can you give us a sense of what life for them is like on the ground there now?
NEMAT SADAT, AFGHAN LGBTQ ACTIVIST: Thank you, Bianna.
Life is -- basically, LGBT people have no outlet for them. They are trapped between the Taliban and ISIS, their families and society all crushing them.
There's no way for them to get out there. They are -- they have lost their jobs. They have lost their livelihood.
There -- a lot of people on my list of 800-plus people who are LGBT do not have passports, don't have visas. They're starving. And they're basically -
- they feel like they have been betrayed by the international community, because the last 20 years, they were at the forefront of bringing social
progress into Afghanistan.
They were basically working as wedding dancers in different functions. They were hosting like concerts and fashion shows and working in the mass media
pop culture and on TV. They had their, like, youth programming where they were talking about controversial topics, all of these things despite being
So while the U.S., for example, has prioritized evacuation of interpreters and translators who are considered allies in the battlefield in the war on
terror or the war on radical Islam, it's really been LGBT people who've been pushing the social progress on the ground in Afghanistan, which was --
these are the courageous warriors that have been doing the battle of ideas.
And now they have nowhere to go. They have been hiding in rooftops. They have been hiding in basements. They have been -- now it's so cold, you
can't even hide in a rooftop. They have been hiding anywhere they could find. They have become internally displaced, because there's a Taliban kill
this for LGBT people. So they're just basically moving from one place to another within the country.
And a lot of them -- it's sad to say a lot of them have been forced, even in this Islamic emirate of Afghanistan, to be forced to do sex work,
because there's nothing else left for them to do. And a lot of them are in conditions where they're being, like, held as sex slaves and prisoners.
It's a horrible situation. And, really, the situation is becoming magnified, because now we have the winter coming. The Hunger Games is going
to be reenacted in Afghanistan. And there's nothing that LGBT people can do. They're going to slowly all perish under the Taliban's extermination
campaign against LGBT people.
GOLODRYGA: And it's coming as part of a cascade of just ominous and devastating headlines and numbers and statistics continue to come out.
The World Food Program says 98 percent of Afghans do not have enough to eat. As you mentioned, winter is coming. The economy is collapsing. Every
day, the country does seem to be moving more and more towards fail state status.
The Taliban and its repression of citizens has been in the news. And we have spent a lot of attention it, and rightly so, in particular, their
treatment of women and girls.
What is their stance publicly to the LGBT community?
SADAT: That's a great question.
Well, Mullah Gul Rahim, who is a Taliban judge, last July told "Bild" paper, the German newspaper, saying that basically there is no amnesty for
We know now that even the people they promised amnesty for in the peace deal, they're not even giving amnesty to. But with LGBT, they basically
have said, either you're going to be toppled with walls or you're going to be stoned to death.
And the minister of finance on October told Reuters, basically, you know, in our -- under Sharia Law, there is no room for LGBT people. LGBT people
are a good barometer for what extremism is like under Islamic Sharia Law. So, they've been a force for moderation and secularism in Afghanistan for
the last 20 years. And now, that, you know, we know what the Taliban have been doing to different kinds of groups, this silent, this hidden war, you
have a nation of LGBT people who are like Anne Frank hiding and screaming in silence and no one is hearing their voices, no one is interested in
taking them out.
There are countries like Canada that have taken the initiative to realize that, you know what? There is a serious risk towards LGBTQ people of
Afghanistan, they've put them on the priority list and in terms of evacuation that they're planning to do. And -- but what about the United
States? What about the U.K.? What about other European allies, NATO allies, other countries in the world? Why aren't they speaking up for LGBT people?
It's like you use LGBT people to be your foot soldiers to social transformation in Afghanistan, but now, you're like, OK. Well, you know, we
really don't have the desire to evacuate you and relocate you and resettle you. That's just a horrible thing. What does that say about us and our
culture and our society and what values we have if we're not going to go, take the most vulnerable people in the most dangerous country right now?
People are saying that the kind of extreme brutality and violence, state sanctioned violence that LGBT people are facing in Afghanistan is
unprecedented in our lifetime. I mean, the only good example we could compare this to is under Hitler, under Nazi Germany, when the basically
took homosexuals to the camps and exterminated them. There's really nothing like that we're seen at this kind of wide scale ubiquitous level that's
happening in Afghanistan right now where people are being dragged from their homes.
Villages -- coming into -- Taliban are coming to village elders and saying, hand us over your homosexuals and transgenders. If you don't, then we're
going to do to you what we'll do to them. I mean, what does that remind you of? A completely tyrannical terrorist regime and this is the people we've
negotiated with, this is the people we've settled, we've made peace with. The least we could do is basically not leave any LGBT person behind. Make
sure that every LGBT person is out of Afghanistan and out of harm's way and given us asylum where they could live freely.
GOLODRYGA: And, Nemat, let me give our viewers a sense not only, obviously, from what your detailing is how repressive the life is for LGBT
in Afghanistan, but let's listen to sound from an Afghan gay man who luckily was able to leave the country. But here's what he said back in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UUNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, when they know about you, they definitely know that you have been involved in certain acts, and you identify yourself as a
certain person, in this case, as gay. So, they will either throw you out from a tall building. That's their law. In 1996, there were not a lot of
tall buildings in Kabul, but now there are a lot of taller buildings. They will just throw you out. If you come out alive, that's you. Or they will
throw a wall on you. That's their law. Or they will just shoot you. The easiest one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: I mean, does this horrific detail match what you're hearing in the sense of what any LGBTQ member living in Afghanistan right now is
fearful of on a daily basis?
SADAT: Bianna, if you were to see my e-mails, the messages I get from social media on Signal and WhatsApp, you would be horrified by the kind of
images and videos people are sending me of the brutality that has been taken in them, pretty much like the Taliban are going door to door looking
for LGBT people. And anybody that they find and any accusation, they'll take your phone to find homosexual content.
If they find it, you're eliminated. If they don't find it, because now, my LGBT community that I represent, we have information campaign. We're
telling them to hide and lock your information and delete it. So, they basically -- they will still get punished just on the mere fact that they
have been accused of being LGBT people.
And so, the Taliban right now, we have between the moderate wing that just wants to expel LGBT people and other degenerates so that they can negotiate
with the U.S. and international community in exchange for legitimacy, and we have the radical elements that are saying, you know what? No. We don't
want them to be free. We want to make sure that LGBT people remain here so that we keep them as prisoners and slaves and we torture them until they
each -- each and every one of them perish.
It's like for them, they don't know how to run a government. So, for them, they get joy and pleasure from the complete and total annihilation of LGBT
people. And not just LGBT people, we know that anybody that they deem as an offense to Islam and their interpretation of it. Let's remember that LGBT
people are the worst creatures according to the Taliban and Sharia Law for being homosexual, for being sodomites and being apostates. And on top of
that, they know that --
GOLODRYGA: Well -- so, I was just -- briefly, because we only have a moment left. And just to get a sense of what can be done to help the
community, if in fact there is this battle going on between the moderate and more extreme wings within the Taliban, what can the U.S. government and
its allies do to perhaps work with that more moderate wing, if possible, negotiate their exfiltration?
SADAT: Yes. I think what the United States needs to do give (INAUDIBLE) designations as refugees for LGBT people. And NATO allies need to all set
up to Canada's example. You know, and support my efforts. You know, I have a GoFundMe page on my social media accounts. I'm also planning to start a
non-profit called (INAUDIBLE).
And also, what you can do is just listen to the voices. Reach out to LGBT people in Afghanistan and help them directly. Sponsor them. There's stories
like, for example, they just want to live. That's all they want, Bianna. And there are some of them that are dreamers. They're like -- you know,
Elios (ph) wants to go and become an astronaut and serve the country that he gets asylum to.
Anisa (ph), is a lesbian woman. She and her partner want to be able to chance to get a university education and they want to become cosmetic
plastic surgeons and make people beautiful. That's all these people want. We're not asking for much.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, Nemat, it's not asking for much at all. And I think you just said it powerfully there, they want the chance to live. Thank you so
much for joining us today and giving us insight into what is happening on the ground there in Afghanistan. Thank you so much for all of your work in
trying to help the community as well.
Well, our next guest is a trailblazing business woman who made her name as the first female CEO of drinks giant, PepsiCo. Indra Nooyi was the first
woman of color and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company. Well, now, she's looking back at the experiences that shaped her in a new book called "My
Life in Full: Work, Family & Our Future." And here she is with Hari Sreenivasan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, thanks. Indra Nooyi, thanks for joining us.
So, you grew up in India, self-described as a tall nerdy girl that played the guitar and you had the support of your parents to not just play the
guitar but go away to school, who didn't pressure you into getting married right away. I mean, culturally speaking, that sort of support from your
father and your family, that's sort of hitting the lottery ticket in itself.
INDRA NOOYI, AUTHOR, "MY LIFE IN FULL: WORK, FAMILY & OUR FUTURE": You're absolutely right. If there's one big place where I won the lottery of life,
it's the family that I was born into and the time that I was born into it. Because, remember, I was born eight years after independence. It was very
early in the evolution of India. And nobody knew what the role of women was going to be in society at that time.
And here I am in this very progressive family, where my grandfather and my father are saying, the women should be allowed to be educated and they
should soar, they should dream, they should do whatever they want to do. And we're not going to differentiate between the men and the women. And my
poor mother, who, you know, on the one hand, was living her life vicariously through her daughters, on the other hand, had to conform to
society and think about what guys should we match make with the daughters for the arranged marriage. So, she had one foot on the break and one foot
in the accelerator.
We were allowed to dream and do whatever we wanted to do, within the frame. So, there was freedom but within a frame. So, it was a great upbringing.
SREENIVASAN: There's a quote that I wanted to read out. It says, "As a study in contrast, India respected worshipped women and mother remained the
most revered person in our family. But she was ignored in a most curious way, unpaid and toiling to keep everything going even when her husband
retired. No one seemed to ask too many questions about any of this, even though it was the labor that formed the backbone of society.
You know, and I think back in my own life when I was kid and my mom working two jobs and I never really thought about how it was magically a hot meal
was still there for my father and I every day.
NOOYI: And, you know, many families that I see, the father, even if he's retired, is sitting on an easy chair and calling for the wife to bring a
cup of coffee and that poor mother has to make herself her own cup of coffee. Nobody does it for her. So, I think the mother has been unpaid
worker and the backbone of all families.
And, you know, people rarely say thank you to the mom. She's the punching bag. And I think that in today's world, mothers are still the backbone, but
I think mothers also want economic freedom and financial freedom in saying, hey, you know what? I count.
SREENIVASAN: You know, as we read through the book, you have this pattern diving very deep and doing the homework in whatever you're about to tackle,
whether it's, you know, a chemistry or an engineering problem. And so, I want to ask like, when you started to look at this about performance in the
workplace, about women, about leadership, what did you find as the sort of common best practices that exist today that we're not taking advantage of?
NOOYI: Well, I must have read research papers published world over, I read book, I talk to authors, talk to people from thinktanks. There isn't a
stone that would be left unturned. Really did the homework. And numbers were not pretty at all. Because every which way I turn in whichever county,
women were getting more college degree. They were hungry to progress in the workplace. They wanted to power of the purse. They want economic freedom.
They don't want to be borna and be viewed as the unpaid laborer for life. They want to be counted as people. And all the women I was coming across
are reading about were unbelievable talents. But for some reason, the same women were struggling to balance, you know, family, you know, nurturing and
And even inside the workplace, even though we've made some progress, they were all facing incredible bias, you know, subtle bias, improving over time
but it was still there, which was sapping their confidence and in turn, their competence.
I throw one statistic out to you, Hari. MIT has got 47 percent women engineers. Caltech, Georgia Tech, these topnotch engineering schools are
30, 35 percent. Do you know that Silicon Valley only has 2.3 percent of its funding going to women founders? 2.3 percent. That's not a number. That's a
So, I sit there going, what happened to all of these brilliant, brilliant, brilliant women? They go to Silicon Valley. They're dead. And I think we
have to really start to rethink how we view women as a talent, not as a gender. You know, gender is secondary. They're just an awesome talent.
SREENIVASAN: You advocate for different policies near the end, but you also write about how lucky and privileged you were to have paid family
leave when your father was ill. How you had good medical care when you got into a car accident. You had good health care and family leave when you had
your children. This is just not the norm for the bulk of workers in the United States right now.
NOOYI: And I feel guilty about the fact that I had it and they don't. If the first paid leave at BCG and my father was -- you know, a guidance to
cancer was not given to me, I don't know what the trajectory of my life would have been, because I would have had to quit the job because my family
came before everything else and I was going to take care of my father.
And, you know, even though they gave me six months, at the end of three months he died and at three months, two days, I was back at work. So,
didn't abuse the paid leave. So, I really worry about the people who don't have access to any paid leave.
Now, I will tell you, I think paid leave is a human issue, it's not a political issue. Having children is a family issue, not a female issue. And
if we think economists, not feminists, I think we would be doing everything possible to encourage family creating, nurturing families and paid leave as
a part of that.
Now, I understand small and medium size enterprises will have an issue with paid leave because if you have few employees and two people leave because
they're going to have a child or take care of an ill parent, we have a problem. But let's start with the concept of saying, we want to implement
paid leave. And then, put the best brains to figure out how to come up with solutions.
SREENIVASAN: I want to ask a little bit about your time as the head of Pepsi. I mean, here you are implementing or trying to implement these
changes, which are, in some part, cultural. You said -- you had a story in there about the search for a sea level executive in PepsiCo India. What
NOOYI: This is one perhaps one that amused me so much. I was in PepsiCo India and the senior management were all men and I said, hey guys, you're
looking for a CFO. Why don't you use that position to bring a really qualified woman into the job? And they looked at me and said, no, not
really because if woman comes in and her husband gets transferred, she will leave. I said, oh, really? So, what? What happened to the CFO that you had,
the guy? Oh, his wife got a big promotion, so he left.
I couldn't believe they were telling me this. You just told me the guy moved for his wife, which makes all the sense in the world, it's a
partnership. But you're telling me that if a guy moves, you automatically compliment him for being supportive of his wife? But if the wife moves,
it's a destruction. Why this double standard?
You know, when it was pointed out to them and they sort of were embarrassed for a while, they went out and got an outstanding woman who was a CFO for a
long time. I think in many cases, we have to call people out on their behavior, which they don't even understand as crazy, and then coach them
into changing their behaviors. And I think we have to do more and more of that because that's just one example I put in the book, Hari. There's just
so many of these that are amusing in retrospect.
SREENIVASAN: One of the insights that you gained was that you had visibility into how people were getting and giving performance reviews. And
you talk about the sort of and but dichotomy. Explain that.
NOOYI: So, one of the things I found sitting in performance appraisals, as a senior, on my direct reports of bringing sort of the very senior people
and their teams and talk about their performance for the year, and I found a disturbing pattern. When it came to the men's performance appraisals, it
would say, he delivered on most of his objectives and his potential is fantastic. When it came to the woman, it would say, she delivered great on
all her objectives, but I'm not sure she has potential.
And I just look at them and say, he didn't deliver on all his objectives but his potential is great. She did great during the year but for some
reason, you decided her potential was not great. Can you help me understand this? And they look at me and said, well, she's too abrasive or she's just
too tough on people. For men, that was considered normal behavior. Some for the woman was considered not acceptable behavior.
So, I had to tell people, go back, figure out how to work with her to give her the right coaching, but I want you to figure out how to make it work.
Now, to be honest with you, Hari, in some cases, I managed to change people's attitudes about that particular female executive. In some cases, I
didn't because the points of view were very entrenched or they had a point. So, I had to make allowances for that, but pointing out this behavior of
and and but, I sensitize the organization to an implicit bias that needed to be rooted out.
SREENIVASAN: Now, recently, I heard a CEO of a major retailer say that the pandemic gave him an opportunity to watch his granddaughter learn how to
crawl, how to stand, how to walk and he realized that he hadn't seen that of his own children, that he was too busy on airplanes and hotel rooms. And
I'm wondering, do you feel like that? I mean, here you are advocating for this better balance but do you feel like you missed out on a lot as you
were climbing these rungs on the ladder?
NOOYI: I missed it and my husband missed it. Both of us missed it. We were very good parents and that one of us was always home every night and if my
kids were ill or they needed me, I was the first one out of the office to go to the kids. If the school called to said, your daughter sprained an
ankle, I was the first one out. But I did miss a lot of seminal moments. And the technology had not progressed enough when I was rising.
So, there was no smartphone, there was no Zoom, there was no nothing. So, if I traveled, I was on a different clock. And so, I couldn't even respond
to the kids right away. Pagers was as advanced as we got. So, if I had to do it all over again, Hari, I wish I was CEO in these times because I would
have had the glory of all technologies, I would have had flexible work hours. Boy, I would have been such a hands-on mom, my kids have gotten
crazy but -- having mom around, but at least I wouldn't have missed as much as I missed.
SREENIVASAN: You know, there's also this dichotomy that the pandemic revealed white collar work who have access to flexible schedules and remote
work, and then what were largely categorized as essential workers or shift workers who can't zoom into their jobs, right? So, ho doesn't an employee
who has workers, who have to show up at cash register every day for whatever, on the factory floor for a number of hours, what can they do to
try and improve that relationship that the employee has with their families?
NOOYI: You know, that's a great question because want to, you know, almost challenge CEOs and say, the amount of time you're talking about future of
work for their workweek, hybrid flexible work hours for the office worker who actually has the luxury of thinking through all this, I wish we could
spend as much, if not more time thinking about the essential worker.
What are they getting paid? What kind of support structures are we building for them? Do we have traditional hours and non-traditional hours? Because
what happens to the third shift worker who is working the, you know, 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. shift? I think the effort we are putting in for the
office worker, which is very necessary because you need them to keep the companies going.
The knowledge worker. I think we have to expand that much if not more energy figuring out how to keep the essential worker on the job and happy
and engaged. Because they don't get paid big bucks. They don't have potential, for huge outside stockings, they don't get all the benefits that
office workers get. So, I think it's critically, critically important that along with putting families at the core of the discussion, the essential
worker has to be in the core of the discussion because they enable the life that we're all leading today and will lead in the future, Hari.
SREENIVASAN: When you came in, there were very few, if any, women leading Fortune 50, Fortune 500 companies. And when you left, sadly, it hasn't
improved that much. I mean, it's -- when you look at these numbers, they're still startling, how systemic and structural the changes need to be to see
leadership in the biggest companies in the world reflect half the population.
NOOYI: You know, it doesn't happen often overnight though, you've got to build the pipeline very, very systemically, and that's where I started.
Because when I stepped down, people kept saying, you didn't replace yourself with a woman. How come?
So, you know, first, I feel terrible about it. Believe me. But then, I had two thoughts as I thought through why I didn't replace myself with the
woman. First, I gave industry a lot of women executives, because they left PepsiCo in about the third or fourth level of the company to run smaller
companies because they didn't want to stick around for, you know, the choice to run this big company, this big behemoth. So, they left to become
CEOs with smaller companies. That's OK, but I still didn't replace myself with a woman.
The problem lies here. They never asked the male CEO when he steps down, why didn't you replace yourself with a woman? But they asked women CEOs,
why didn't you replace yourself with a woman? Very fair. 8.5 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have got women CEOs, tiny, versus 0 and 94, about 2
percent in 2006 and now it's 8.5. So, I'll take this progress, glacial though it might be.
What do we need to do? Let's look at the pyramid, Hari, it narrows massively when it gets to the top. So, there's about 10,000 people at the
entry level, it becomes 15 people as direct reports to the CEO and then then one CEO. And after 15 reports, probably six or seven are CEO
contenders. For a woman to be considered, that person is going to have to be super extraordinary or there's going to be a lot of people at the senior
management level that you can pick from.
So, for a disproportionate representation of women at the senior level, we need to build a pipeline. And what we find is we're losing women about the
second and third level in their prime childbearing years. They go, can't do it. There's no support structure. I can't come into work and face
unconscious bias and then go home with all that baggage. I just can't do it. So, they their leave big companies or they leave the job, you know,
situation completely or start up something on their own.
And so, I think that if we put in place in large companies the right support structures to keep them, even from workplace flexibility, I think
we can actually keep them. And that's what prompted them to put the onsite childcare in PepsiCo, onsite and nearside childcare. And the employees paid
for it but it was a fantastic perk, which actually gave families peace of mind where they could come to work and their child was very well taken care
of and they could actually go and check on the child now and then.
Now, you add flexibility. I think our chances are getting better that we could actually see women advance in the workforce a lot more provided we
don't say, people who come into work five days a week are going to get preferential treatment over people who only come in three days a week. I
worry about these two classes of citizens emerging. If that doesn't happen, Hari, we have a chance to see women in public (ph) America to be leaders of
SREENIVASAN: Indra Nooyi, thanks so much for joining us.
NOOYI: Thank you, Hari. Thank you for inviting me. It was a pleasure talking with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Real opportunity to increase gender diversity, specifically in this pandemic.
And finally, recognition for the rumba. Well, you may have heard of UNESCO's list of world heritage sites. But what about its list of
intangible cultural heritage? This, the Congolese rumba is the latest edition to that list honoring traditions passed down through generations.
It features in celebrations and warming in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the next-door Republic of Congo. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: It now joins Jamaica's reggae music and Spain's flamingo on the list of global cultural treasures. A well-deserved recognition there.
Well, that is it for now. Thank you so much for watching and good-bye from New York.