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Interview With Rafael Nadal; Interview With Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas; Interview with Former British Conservative MP Alistair Burt. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 06, 2022 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The Ukraine war grinds on. Will the Western coalition hold firm?
Estonia is on the front lines of Russia's aggression. Kaja Kallas, the prime minister, joins me here in the studio.
RAFAEL NADAL, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I think we achieved our dreams. I achieved my dream and I am doing what I'm doing.
AMANPOUR: Making history with 14 French Open titles, 22 Grand Slams. I asked the indomitable Rafael Nadal, is he the greatest male tennis player
of all time?
And a tense day for the British prime minister, Boris Johnson. His own party votes on whether to remove him from office.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London, where the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, faces a vote of
confidence from his own party all over Partygate. And we will have more on that later in the program, along with my in-depth interview with tennis
legend Rafael Nadal fresh off setting a new record that even his peers say might never, will never be broken.
But, first, the political crisis in the U.K. is happening as the war in Ukraine grinds on, with Russia hammering Eastern Ukraine with intense
airstrikes and artillery assaults. The United States and Britain are stepping up, supplying Ukraine with long-range precision missile systems.
But even as Ukraine fights to hold its ground, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, weighed in on the diplomatic front, saying the West must
not humiliate Russia. Well, the Ukrainian government's response, Russia is humiliating itself.
And as Sweden and Finland move towards NATO membership, the alliance could soon surround Russia all across the Baltic Sea.
As prime minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas has already and ardently supported Ukraine's defense even before the invasion, giving the most
weapons per capita of any European country. Dubbed the Iron Lady of Europe, Kallas is in London meeting with the British prime minister as his
political survival is on the line.
And she's joining me now.
Prime Minister, welcome to the program.
KAJA KALLAS, PRIME MINISTER OF ESTONIA: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So I'm sure you didn't expect this, but you were in Downing Street as Boris Johnson was, frankly, trying to figure out how to stay in
What was your view, what was your feeling on how he was feeling?
KALLAS: Well, he was failing OK, of course, considering what is going on, so quite confident, I must say.
AMANPOUR: Do you think -- I know you don't want to get into British politics.
You yourself are also facing an internal political drama. You have dismissed part of your coalition and you're hanging on to your own
position. Do you think your position, Boris Johnson's position has any material impact on the Western support for Ukraine and how that support
KALLAS: Well, U.K. has been a leading voice in helping Ukraine with military aid, as well as Estonia has also given a lot of military aid per
capita, trying to help them politically as much as we can.
So I don't know if I'm staying in office. But I will definitely keep the same line. And I understand from British politics that Ukraine is on
everybody's mind, and this line doesn't change.
AMANPOUR: So is there a potential Ukraine fatigue amongst allies?
Is the incredible unity that we have been witnessing since February 24 beginning to feel strained? Are you still all fiercely on the same page?
KALLAS: It was clear from the start that it's going to get more and more difficult over time, because the war fatigue is coming, new crises emerge,
but also that we move on, and if we put sanctions, then, first, they're going to hurt Russia, but then they're also going to hurt our side.
So the question is how much pain we are willing to endure. And there may be the difference between those countries who have much better neighbors than
we do and those countries who have a different history. Like us and Baltic countries, Poland, have had different views.
AMANPOUR: So tell me about your history because I think it informs clearly -- I mean, I called you the Iron Lady. That's what people have dubbed you.
And you have been very, very, very steely strong in defense of Ukraine, in the face of Russia's unprovoked war.
You don't think that they knew that there need -- that there should be a deal right now?
KALLAS: No, I don't think that there -- it's right to have any premature cause for peace or cease-fire.
And why? Because, even if there is peace, it doesn't mean that the atrocities or human suffering will end for the occupied territories. This
is the experience from our own history. We had peace after the Second World War, but we had mass deportations, tortures. My own family was deported to
Siberia in 1949.
So it doesn't mean that the atrocities will stop if there is peace. And, of course, if there is peace, then the aggressor will just get the signs that
it's OK, the aggression pays off. And then there will be a pause of one year, two years, and everything will continue.
And we shouldn't allow that.
AMANPOUR: So how successful are people who think like you do in convincing the rest of them?
And we mentioned what President Macron has said, a main leader in Europe. He said: "We must not humiliate Russia, so that the day when the fighting
stops, we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means."
Now, I don't think he said, we should make any peace deal now, but that, at some point, we need to be able to have some kind of relationship to make
any kind of peace or exit ramp possible.
KALLAS: Well, we are in this for the long haul. So we also have to keep in mind that all the war crimes will not go unpunished.
And, therefore, if we think about the long-term relationship with Russia, with Putin, then we also have to have prosecution for the war crimes, the
incitement of genocide that we have seen in Ukraine. That has to go punished and has to be prosecuted. Otherwise, it will be a clear sign for -
- to all the would-be perpetrators in the world that aggression pays off.
AMANPOUR: You seem to be on the same page certainly as the United States anyway, and as Britain.
But we have seen the balance of power on the ground shift, and more. First, everybody thought Russia was going to win in three days. Clearly, that
didn't happen. The Ukrainians push them back from Kyiv. Then there was some success in the east for Ukraine. But it looks like now Russia is
relentlessly, inch by inch, swallowing up territory.
I understand they have got some 20 percent of Ukrainian territory right now.
Well, the fighting is going on. And Russia has not changed its aim or its calculus. And, therefore, we shouldn't talk about how Russia gets away with
this, and because this gives the wrong signal to Russia as well. I mean, we have to isolate them politically, economically, on every level that we can,
so that the aggression doesn't pay off, and the human suffering will stop.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that the sanctions are actually hurting? And how is it manifesting itself, I mean, the sanctions against Russia?
KALLAS: The sanctions are hurting. Otherwise, Putin wouldn't bring this up all the time that lift the sanctions, if they didn't hurt.
So we have to keep the sanctions as long as we can. As I say, we are in this for the long haul. We shouldn't talk about lifting the sanctions, not
in the near future.
AMANPOUR: Do you feel -- we talked about the fatigue a little bit -- but a little bit of a split within the alliance about what the end will look
And, by the way, what is NATO, Europe's endgame? What is the endgame? Is it what President Zelenskyy says, that we're going to fight back and win back
every inch of territory? Is it status quo ante to before February 24? What is it?
KALLAS: It's up to the Ukrainians to say, because it's their land. It's their territory.
AMANPOUR: True. But you're helping them fight.
AMANPOUR: What does it look like?
KALLAS: It looks like Russia goes back to where its borders are, because if he or the -- Russia, Kremlin, Putin claims territories and gets away
with this, then they have something that they didn't have before.
And, therefore, I think what the Ukrainians are saying, what they are living with, we should listen to the Ukrainians how the victory should look
AMANPOUR: So, in the meantime, as we have seen, there's been some struggles over E.U. sanctions packages.
Hungary, which seems to be a special friend of Vladimir Putin, has managed to get the Europeans to step back a little bit. I mean, they have taken off
the sanctions on Patriarch Kirill, who's the Orthodox patriarch in Russia, Putin's favorite, who's blessed the war.
It's got a -- I think Hungary has got -- been given a lifeline in terms of gas and oil sanctions, because it needs that. How much more damage -- or is
it damage -- can various different individual Europeans create on sanctions?
KALLAS: I would focus on what we have done together. And we have done a lot.
So, of course, one could pick things that we didn't achieve. But considering that Putin doesn't believe in multilateralism, and we have
managed to keep the unity for so long -- even for Hungary, I mean, if they are pointing out the problems that they have, but eventually agreed to
common approach, then we still have the unity together.
So, as long as they do the right things, even if they say the wrong things, I think we are on the right track. But saying that, I also understand that
first the sanctions only hurt Russia, and now we are going to move to sanctions that also hurt our own countries, and, therefore, it's going to
be more painful and more difficult to reach an agreement.
AMANPOUR: Things like inflation, obviously, the cost of energy, the cost of food.
To that end, as we know, Russia has blockaded the Ukrainian ports, blockaded tons and tons of wheat, and other grains that are meant to go to
the rest of the world. We had the African Union president, the president of Senegal, who was in Sochi with President Putin, and then came out and
publicly parroted the Putin line that it's the West's fault, it's the sanctions are the reason for this grain shortage around the world.
KALLAS: He was also invited to the European Council to speak, and he was also saying there the same lines. And he was corrected, that it's not the
sanctions, but it's Putin's war in Russia that is causing this.
So we have to speak to the African leaders more, but we also have to understand their historical background and why they are leaning to
believing more Russia than they are believe...
AMANPOUR: And why is that?
KALLAS: Well, the colonial past, I would say. I mean...
AMANPOUR: During the Cold War, when Russia had their client states.
KALLAS: Yes, exactly.
And,I mean, that the European countries have their history with Africans.
AMANPOUR: Of course.
KALLAS: And so they tend to lean to the other side.
But we have to be very clear why we are seeing this happening.
AMANPOUR: So let's just be very, very clear. The E.U. has not -- neither the U.S. nor the E.U. have banned imports of Russian fertilizer or wheat.
So it's a total lie again from the Kremlin.
But, as you say -- and this actually does bring up another really relevant point. Africa and other countries just don't agree that the United States
and Europe are right to do these sanctions. I think they agree that Putin is the aggressor in this, but they're not on side for all of this.
I mean, the world is divided over what you are all trying to do in Ukraine.
KALLAS: Well, if we look at the votes in the United Nations, then they were widely condemned, two-thirds, a majority, condemning what Russia is
doing in Ukraine.
But, of course, as I say, when we move forward, you have the war fatigue. Everybody has their own crisis going on. And then it is a matter of
survival for some of the countries. And when it comes to the grain export, then the share in the global grain export of Ukraine is not that big, but
it is big for certain African countries.
And, of price, this is definitely something that they have been relying on. So this is something that we look -- we have to look into what we can do
with this to help them, and also not to compromise the war in Ukraine, in a sense that Russia gets access to Odessa or some other areas that they would
want to get.
So they are also threatening and using the power that they have, I mean, Russia, right now.
AMANPOUR: A lot of people, including the NATO secretary-general and others, are beginning to say -- quote unquote -- "We're in this for the
This war in Ukraine shows no signs of abating. It's 100 days now. It may go on for another 100 days or more. I mean, and it may just continue in this
stalemate, although we have seen Russia again bomb Kyiv. Where do you see it going? And can you hang on for the long haul?
KALLAS: We can hang on for the long haul, if we help Ukraine to defend themselves by military aid mostly, so that they can push back the
And we also have to isolate Russia politically in all the organizations, actually. Is it really wise that we are sharing information in Interpol
with them, or we are debating the rules of cyberspace with a country that clearly doesn't respect international law?
I think these are the questions we also have to ask ourselves, because the isolation might bring the message through that there needs to be a change.
And there is no way that Russia is going to win this war, because we are backing Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: You are, but you just said, if we give enough weapons and in time.
Are you sure that there will be? I mean, there's a NATO summit coming up at the end of June. What do you look for coming out of that summit?
KALLAS: Well, to my own country and our region, of course, we are looking for very strong decisions on strengthening the eastern flank, so that, if
the level of aggression has risen, the level of defense should rise as well, so very strong decisions in this regard.
And, also, we have to continue supporting Ukraine. Of course, it's not done in NATO, but by the NATO different allies that give military aid. And we
have given a lot. And we really don't have more to give, but there are bigger allies that definitely have something in their warehouses that they
AMANPOUR: And very briefly, finally, do you feel safer or less safe, given that Finland and Sweden are going to join NATO?
KALLAS: We feel safe because we are in NATO right now.
So, every NATO ally has said that we will defend every inch of NATO's territory. When Finland and Sweden will be joining, then I think the
security of our region will be even stronger.
AMANPOUR: And do you think Putin will take any action? He hasn't yet.
KALLAS: He's threatening. And we shouldn't buy into his threats because it is to make us move from the decisions we have made. And we shouldn't let
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Kaja Kallas of Estonia, thank you very much for being with us.
And now: What can you say about a legend like Rafael Nadal? How many more superlatives can be lobbed his way? Celebrating his 14th win on the clay
courts of Roland-Garros with two more Grand Slams than his rivals, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
He was 19 when he first won in 2005. Now he's the old man of tennis at 36. And yet even his peers say what he's now achieved can never be matched.
His philosophical leadership style, his personal humility, while defying every possible mental and physical challenge, his expressions of pure love
and motivation for the game transcend tennis, maybe even sports itself.
We met this morning in Paris.
AMANPOUR: Rafael Nadal, welcome to the program.
NADAL: Thank you very much. Hello.
AMANPOUR: You know there are so many superlatives, the greatest of all time, inspiring, unique.
The only word I can think of is hallucinatory. What you produce these two weeks, it defies reason. It defies logic. It defies physics. Do you believe
NADAL: Well, have been, yes, an interesting two weeks, emotional two weeks. And we went through, yes, a little bit of everything.
But, at the end, the things finishes the best way possible now. So, yes, I can't be happier and I can't be more thankful to everyone, because the
support and the love that I received during the both weeks have been unforgettable.
AMANPOUR: A lot of love.
And there's the cup. I mean, there we have it, a great trophy. Fourteen times, 22 Grand Slams, a whole load of other -- U.S. Open, Australian Open,
tow Olympic gold medal medals.
Are you ready to declare or at least have people say that you are now the greatest of all time? You wouldn't agree when I asked you last time.
NADAL: I honestly don't think much about that.
And from the bottom of my heart, I really don't care that much. I mean, I think it doesn't matter. I think we achieved our dreams. I achieved my
dream, and I enjoy what I'm doing.
Yes, I understand the question. And I know the press and people is always caring a lot about this stuff. But, in some way, I know I am in an
important part of the history of the sport now. And that makes me feel proud, happy. And, at the end, it doesn't matter much.
AMANPOUR: When you came off the court yesterday in your on-court speech, you said I never thought that, at 36 years old, and with all these
injuries, that I would be in this position.
And we see your fingers bandage, like Muhammad Ali after he takes off his boxing gloves.
AMANPOUR: We see your feet, and you're limping today.
It is an amazing achievement, because you yourself said and you turned to your team, saying: I didn't think I would be here.
Then what made you achieve this?
NADAL: Well, yes, it's unexpected.
Last couple of years have been very difficult. After the pandemic, something happened in my foot. And I am not able to manage the pain to play
often and even practice. And, in the past, I have a lot of things, starting from the foot for the first time in 2005. Then, of course, the knees have
been a big issue for me for such a long time. Then, a couple of time, I break my wrist.
I don't know. But the only thing that I can say is going through all this probably challenges, I always hold the passion for keep going. And I always
hold the love for the game. And I always wanted to keep going. And that's probably why I am in the position that I am today.
AMANPOUR: So, because you have just said that, you always wanted to keep going, there was a whole load of gossip and innuendo and rumor that you
might announce your retirement and that, particularly, if you hadn't won, you might announce your retirement.
Clearly you haven't done that, and you're going to Wimbledon, if you can.
NADAL: No, nothing -- nothing changed for me. Winning or losing don't change my mind in that case.
No, it's all about having the chance to be happy playing tennis or not. And if the pain is impossible to manage, then you can't be happy, because live
and go on court, and in practice days without having the chance to practice in a -- not in a fantastic way, but in a decent way, then, for me, it don't
make sense, no.
So I never had in my mind to announce any retirement after this event. But, of course, there is a possibility that the things are not improving, then I
don't know what -- what can happen.
AMANPOUR: So you have a syndrome. Is it called Mueller-Weiss Syndrome on your feet?
AMANPOUR: What does it actually do? And you said yesterday that you had to inject your feet to numb them to play the final? Was it just that one day?
Or did you have to do it throughout this few weeks?
NADAL: No, I did every -- I had to do every single day.
NADAL: Because, if not, I was not able to -- I will not be able to give myself a chance to compete well, no.
NADAL: Three weeks ago, I played in Rome. And I -- after one set and a half, I started to play on one leg, because I was not able to run at all,
So let's see. I am just super happy about the things that happened. But, of course, I need to keep finding solutions for that.
AMANPOUR: So I think it was your coach, I think it was Carlos Moya who said that, at this time, at this time in your career, yes, you have to
manage the pain and you have to see how -- where that leads you, but, in terms of tennis, you have got.
I mean, you have obviously got that down. There's nothing more that you can achieve in the technical side, that it's all about the mind now.
NADAL: Well, I always think that there is always room to keep improving.
I understand the sport that way. Every time that I go on a practice, I go with the goal of improving something, no? And that's the way that I
understand the sport. For me, it don't make sense just practice for practice. No, when I go to practice, I go with the determination to improve
something, no? And that's the way that I approach it all my tennis career.
Of course, today, the physical issue is -- makes a difference now, because, if I am healthy, I can practice the proper way, I am happy, I enjoy what I
am doing. Of course, this year, I am playing well. So, then my chances are increasing.
AMANPOUR: But when you're in the -- I don't know, the Australian Open final in your two sets down, and you're playing the guy who won the U.S.
Open final, what goes through your mind?
Even here, you were -- back when you played Felix Auger-Aliassime, I was there. I watched it.
AMANPOUR: And it was very touch-and-go.
AMANPOUR: What steel trap do you...
NADAL: Well, my mind is a normal thing that I lose.
NADAL: But if I lose, let the opponent win me, no? I...
AMANPOUR: Beat you.
NADAL: Beat you, exactly.
AMANPOUR: So they still have to beat you. You're not going to anything go.
NADAL: Exactly. I don't have to lose. I don't have to give -- I don't have to put the things easy for the opponent.
No, and, in my mind, it's OK. Things are super difficult, but let's keep trying to find a solution. Let's keep trying to find a way to play a little
bit better, to make the opponent feel a little bit more uncomfortable, I don't know, just try to fight mentally and in terms of tennis, of course.
AMANPOUR: You have a reputation of being just a good guy. You have a reputation of being humble. You're always generous.
Where does that come from? Where did that come from in your youth or in your experience as a winner?
NADAL: Well, I think I grew up with -- I think with good values.
No, I think my family -- I never felt the pressure from my family to play tennis. I always felt the pressure from my family to be educated, to be
respectful, not to win, honestly. And that helps, no? And I think I had the right people next to me during all my life, no?
And I think I am a -- I think I am guy that listen a lot, look around and try to take the things that I like from the people, no? And because of
tennis, I think I was able to live experiences that I will never enjoy without tennis, no, and know people, know different parts of the world.
And then, in that case, you see how fortunate we are for all the things that we are able to live.
AMANPOUR: You must feel some joy at beating Federer and Djokovic in terms of the Grand Slams.
AMANPOUR: Can you take some joy?
NADAL: Yes, of course.
NADAL: No, no, of course, I -- as I said, of course, I want to be the player with more Grand Slams of the history. That's competition.
But it's not something that I am upset at all. And it's not something that honestly change my mind, no? And I'm...
AMANPOUR: Maybe that's how you keep achieving.
NADAL: You never know.
But, honestly, it's something that not bothers me if Novak win 23 and I stay within 22. I think my happiness will not change at all, not even 1
percent, no? So...
AMANPOUR: So people like McEnroe and Mats Wilander others have been saying never again, this is never -- this record will never be touched, it will
never be broken, specifically the 14 French Opens.
A, do you agree with that?
NADAL: Difficult to say that from myself, no.
But, I mean, I always have something in mind, that I always consider myself a very normal guy. So, if I did it, maybe somebody else can do it. But it's
obvious that the record of 22 Grand Slams, I think, is something much more possible that somebody increase that record.
NADAL: I am sure that is going to happen.
I mean, 14 Roland-Garros is something, I mean, very difficult, I don't know, then because -- yes.
AMANPOUR: Yes, very, very difficult. And you love Roland-Garros. And you always say that it's your favorite.
But I understand that clay is the toughest surface to play. So tell me about what it takes to win on clay.
NADAL: Well, clay, in terms of physical demanding, yes, is the toughest, because, in terms of tactics too, because you have more time to think, you
have more time to prepare the points.
And, in some way, I think it's a surface that allows you to play aggressive or play defensive. You have different chances. But I love to play in every
single surface, no? I...
AMANPOUR: On all the surfaces, yes.
I enjoy it a lot playing on grass, doing all my life, on hard too. Even, sometimes, the hard courts are a little bit tougher for my foot, honestly.
But I don't know. I like the tennis in general in every surface. And that's one of the beautiful things that we have in our sport, that, to be a great
player, you need to improve your game in very different circumstances.
AMANPOUR: Passing the torch is a big theme. And we have seen a lot of young great players come up, and then they meet you in whatever round it
is, and then that's it.
AMANPOUR: I thought it was really sweet when Casper Ruud said yesterday: "I'm not his first victim."
AMANPOUR: But he is also -- you're his hero. And he came up, he said, through your Nadal Academy.
What do you think when you're playing somebody like that, who clearly is hero worshipping you, but also wondering about where the torch is going to
go? Do you ever think of that?
NADAL: Well, in some ways normal, because we are old. It's always normal that the young players --
AMANPOUR: But that's what makes it abnormal, that you are old -- I'm sorry, you're not. But for tennis.
NADAL: Yes, for tennis, yes.
AMANPOUR: And you're still winning.
NADAL: Well, yes. And for me, something very beautiful that today I can still be competitive against players that they are young and they watch us
play on TV when they were growing. It's something that it is beautiful. I think it is beautiful for them. It is beautiful for us. And that's a good
combination. You know, generations facing each other, I think it can create something special.
AMANPOUR: Now, I want to ask you about the war in Ukraine and the fact that Wimbledon, for instance, has banned Belarusian and Russian and
athletes. Do you have a view on that?
NADAL: Well, first of all, the world of tennis is zero. So, when you see plenty of families, kids dying, suffering, then the rest of the things
don't matter, you know, it doesn't matter if Wimbledon do one thing or another thing, or if they (INAUDIBLE) or do one thing or another thing
because the real thing and the real drama is that people is dying. You know, and a lot of families are suffering. That is the main thing. The rest
of the things don't matter.
But, of course, if you ask me about the position of Wimbledon, I -- from my humble point of view, I have a clear view. I understand what Wimbledon did,
I respect what Wimbledon did, because it is something that from, my point of view, is fair enough because they have, in some way, the pressure of the
government and they have their point of view. But from the ATP side, they have to protect their members too.
NADAL: You know, it's not about what Wimbledon did is terrible and what ATP did the right thing, no. I think both ways, both things are good.
Everyone is defending their interest and I respect both things. And nothing is better than the other. But in that case, I have my colleagues on the
tour that I know them very well that they can't say much, honestly, but --
AMANPOUR: Like Medvedev and others?
NADAL: Exactly. But they, for sure, don't have nothing to do with the war, you know, and they can't do anything. So -- and they are not in favor of
AMANPOUR: Here, there was a little bit of controversy that, for instance, those who pay for the prime-time slots, the TV slots, mostly chose men's
matches. I think there's might have only been one in the evening, one female match, and there's been some calls to level it out a bit, put more
female matches on in the evening. Where do you stand on that?
NADAL: I don't think that's the case. It's always a lot of talk about the equal and stuff and I think prize money is equal, matches on the center
courts are equal. Two matches per day, women, two matches per day. Men, during the day that is when the women are playing too much is when the men
are playing only one match.
The television, it's open, you know. We see the matches on TV in an open channel, France television, for example. During the night you see in a
private broadcast. So, not everybody is allowed to watch our matches during the night sessions. So, from --
AMANPOUR: So, you think it kind of equals out?
NADAL: So, my -- from my perspective is if I have to say what I think, it's -- we have to find the right balance, it's -- we are losing more than
the women in that case. Because the women are showing two matches in and open broadcast for everyone. So, everyone in the world can see more women
matches than men matches.
AMANPOUR: And what about you? Do you prefer playing at night or do you prefer playing in the day? There was a lot of talk about when you play
Djokovic? It was --
NADAL: Oh, yes. Well, depending on the place. You know, for example, U.S. Open, night session is amazing. I like to play there. But Roland Garros,
for us, well, I had been playing in Roland Garros for -- in 17 years. So, I know Roland Garros during the day. So, you like to play in the conditions
that you are used to playing. Since the beginning that I played the U.S. Open, I know the U.S. Open for the night sessions too. But not here.
AMANPOUR: Do you think you'll play the U.S. Open? I ask because it's a hard surface, and you're talking your feet.
NADAL: If I'm --
AMANPOUR: If you can you will?
NADAL: Of course.
AMANPOUR: And, I guess, finally, what makes Rafael Nadal happy? What makes you -- beyond tennis?
NADAL: Well, first of all, the good health of myself, of course, and the people that I love. Because without health the rest of the things are
impossible. I'm not talking about injuries, no, I'm talking general health.
NADAL: Then, I am lucky that I have my friends since I was a kid, the same group of friends, a very close family next to me. I don't know. Share
moments with the people that I like is what really makes me feel happy.
AMANPOUR: Rafael Nadal, thank you so much.
NADAL: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: Congratulations on making history. Thanks for being with us.
NGUYEN: Thanks so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And now, we turn to the tense political situation here in Britain, where Boris Johnson, the prime minister, faces a vote of
confidence, triggered by discontented lawmakers in his own party. The vote is actually happening now, behind closed doors with the results due to be
announced later this evening. Even if Johnson wins the vote, history shows he will have a tough time surviving long as prime minister. If he loses, he
will be forced from office, less than three years after winning a landslide general election.
And why? Well, it's all about Partygate. Corresponded, Bianca Nobilo has the latest.
So, Bianca, it is happening behind closed doors. What do you know, if anything, right now?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: So, I've been hearing from MPs, who, at the beginning of the day, felt fairly certain, Christiane,
that Boris Johnson would able to win this vote. There was no question because, at least 160, slightly more, MPs are actually on the government
payroll in some capacity with the cabinet ministers or junior ministers. So, they'd naturally expected to vote for the prime minister. He only needs
a handful more than that in order to survive.
But I hear that the mood after he address the MPs was very grim. And those who came out of the room first were saying, they weren't going to vote for
the prime minister, but they believe that he might be able to stagger on. So, it definitely seems like more of a question mark that it did a few
hours ago. And as you mentioned, president suggest, even if he wins, he will be drained of political authority and power.
In terms of your question of why, Partygate is the obvious precipitator of the events that we're seeing. Because even though Boris Johnson is someone
who has courted controversy and scandal throughout his political and previous careers, this was different because of the hypocrisy, because the
visceral hurt the people who made sacrifices and didn't see their loved ones when they needed them, or they were dying during the pandemic while
parties occurred in the buildings behind me cut very deep and really changed the public perception of Boris Johnson.
But even beyond that, Christiane, in the country at large, but even with the conservative MPs that I've been speaking to, who I would not call
idealists and who have supported Boris Johnson in the past, they have said to me that they are concerned about the loss of public trust, loss of
perception of integrity and also, the damage that Boris Johnson might be doing to trust in public officials and democracy writ large.
As you know, the prime minister changed the rules around the ministerial code just a week or so ago, removing any references to MPs needing to
resign if they break those rules. And also, removing any references to accountability, transparency or honesty in the ministerial code. That
speaks to a larger issue that MPs I've spoken to have, that's he's actually degrading the view of MPs on the conversative party in the public eye.
AMANPOUR: Bianca, you know, as you say, this has been going on for a while. We've had the Sue Gray report, we've had all these rumors about what
might happen to him. But why now, briefly? Why now has this now come to a vote?
NOBILO: The real reason is partly accidental. This is not like when Theresa May faced a vote of no-confidence where it was quite clear that
there was agitation from the Brexiteer faction, he was just fundamentally unhappy with her approach to Britain leaving the European Union.
What makes this so dangerous for Boris Johnson is this vote of confidence has occurred through discontent broadly across the party, desperate and
broad, from those on the far-right, those on the progressive wing of the Conservative Party, who basically agree on nothing politically other than
the fact that they want a new leader.
So, it's happened through a trickle of letters overtime, mainly from Partygate but also displeasure with the way that he's conducted himself,
the way that the prime minister's office is viewed in the public eye, his handling of staff, broad issues that they have with the prime minister,
which is why it's going to be so difficult for the prime minister to try and convince anybody early this afternoon to side with him and rally them
Because all of the different people who are voting against him today will have different reasons for doing so. It is not one thing, one decision, one
policy that he can promise them that can bring them back into his court. That simply no longer is an option for him.
AMANPOUR: Fascinating, of course. So, political upheaval at this time. Bianca, thanks a lot. And, obviously, we'll be following it.
Now, Alistair Burt was a conservative member of parliament and served under Boris Johnson at the Foreign Office. He stood down though as MP before
Johnson's 2019 election, citing "fundamental and unresolvable disagreements with him over Brexit."
Alistair Burt, welcome to the program.
ALISTAIR BURT, FORMER BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: You heard Bianca talking about what's actually happening at this moment. To the why now, also, as she indicated, there was a -- and there
has been a popular upsurge, right? I mean, this is kind of voter driven. We hear from of the MPs who thought that this was going away, the whole
Partygate Sue Gray report, thought that they had, you know, managed to dodge a bullet, went back to their constituencies. What did they find?
BURT: I think Bianca's analysis was spot on. This is a discontent and a worry about Boris Johnson's leadership that crosses ideological boundaries
and goes to the heart of character and how he's run the government.
Policies you can change. If the policy isn't successful, you can always change it or it might prove to be successful. If, however, it's all about
you, and if, as in this case, it contains the unique experiences of the United Kingdom under COVID, where people are contrasting what they went
through with what they now know, not just about Partygate and what was said to parliament, but the activities in Downing Street during that period, it
has intensified a sense amongst the public.
And I suppose the worst thing for MPs is that more and more appear to be reporting that what their constituents are saying to them is they just
don't believe the prime minister anymore. And if have you lost that essential element of trust, people may not like what you say. But if they
believe it then you have something. But if they actually don't believe what you're saying, there's a real deep crisis. And it seems that has what has
accelerated over maybe the last couple of weeks post the Sue Gray report.
AMANPOUR: And actually, over the last 24 hours, even last night and early this morning, they weren't expecting something so rapidly. A poll that just
come out says, has six out of 10 British adults say the conservative MPs should vote to remove the PM from office. What do you think? You think he
should be removed from office?
BURT: This has consistent over a period of time now, there's been a significant number of people who feel that there should be a change, that
Boris Johnson should go, that they don't believe and these polls have been increasing (ph) all the time, you have a public display on the weekend in
relation to --
AMANPOUR: You are talking about the booing as he came out of (INAUDIBLE) for the queen's jubilee?
BURT: That's right. I mean, political leaders can expect a degree of controversy and they will be booed and cheered at different times. But it
was quite remarkable and the intensity of it was very worrying. I don't think --
AMANPOUR: Particularly on that occasion?
BURT: That's right.
AMANPOUR: It was actually quite --
BURT: This was not a political crowd. This was a crowd that was essentially going to see the royal family and celebrate the jubilee, but
they just had a sense that if Boris Johnson was there, they were going to express themselves. That will worry MPs considerably.
Do I think he should go? You know, being honest, of course, I didn't support him in his bid for the leadership, I didn't support him in what he
offered in relation to Brexit. So --
AMANPOUR: But that was policy?
BURT: That's right. That was policy and people could -- you know, can aim off in terms of what I said. Objectively speaking, I struggle to see how
you can overcome this feeling that you have about how he has conducted himself from government over the last year or so. I think that's much more
difficult to change than a policy. And I think that is why he is struggling so much with colleagues right across the spectrum.
AMANPOUR: So, I just want to read a little bit, a fragment to the letter he wrote to each and every one of those MPs, and we hear that he's took,
you know, a lot of time today actually signing each one himself. And he knows that his situation is very difficult. He says, tonight is the moment
to draw a line under the issue that our opponents want us to talk about and to focus instead on what really matters, the needs of the voters who sent
us to Westminster.
So, consider that. And now, I'm going to play a soundbite from a cabinet minister who is supporting Boris Johnson in that sentiment. Let's hear from
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADHIM ZAHAWI, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Well, it is not what I wanted to see. I think the country wants to see us
focused on the big challenges at hand. But, you know, we are a very proud Democratic Party, I have full respect for all of my colleagues. I
understand their frustrations for those that have called for a vote, but as a Democratic Party with very clear and fair rules, this vote will now take
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: OK. So, we just heard, as we were listening, that the leader of the Scottish Tory Party, a pretty powerful person.
BURT: Douglass Ross.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Has just said that he votes to remove Boris Johnson. So, that's a trickle going into maybe a bit more of a flood. What do you think?
What do you think the vote will be? With all of your experience and all the other no-confidence votes that we had in the past?
BURT: Same path what you said a moment ago. It isn't for the prime minister to draw a line. I'm quite sure his sentiment is entire well met.
Of course, he wants to draw a line. The problem is the public are saying where they want to draw the line in relation to this.
Nadhim Zahawi was absolutely right. You know, we're a Democratic Party. We are used to making this sort of judgments. It's very difficult that the
party has a six sense when a prime minister or a leader has run out of road. And Douglas Ross has expressed his opinion before about the prime
minister and there is a loss of support in his part of the country, in Scotland, and their concerns there. So, this is in no particular surprise.
I think the buildup today has suggested that the sentiment is very strong. It will be immensely disappointing for the prime minister if he comes close
to losing the vote. I don't think he will lose the vote tonight. I think there is enough inertia, really, in relation to a leadership contest. I
think the prime minister is most likely to win. But it's the numbers again.
AMANPOUR: So, I noticed you say inertia versus enough support for the prime minister.
BURT: Yes. I think it's a certain amount of inertia to keep the status quo. There are a number of colleagues, of course, who owe their time in
parliament to the Brexit election, everything else. It's perfectly understandable that they would want to support. But -- and removing a
leader is always very hard. You need a huge tied to win an actual vote.
But the damage will be, if the vote is relatively close. If a significant number of colleagues if -- over 100, 150, something like that, vote
against, it's very difficult to see how the prime minister can claim confidence in his party, let alone the other way around. And of course, you
leave yourself open to an attack from the opposition.
And my former colleagues are thinking about the next election. They are not just thinking about their own seats, they're thinking about where the
country is going and how they want to take it forward. So, there's a lot for them to think about.
AMANPOUR: Can I just quote David Cameron, and it's kind of a vulgar comment. But he basically said Boris Johnson is a bit like a greasy piglet.
He can always get out of any scrape and he has done. Can you see a route to get out of this scrape? I mean, what if we are all wrong -- you're wrong
rather? What if he gets a massive vote of support?
BURT: There's another phrase that you and I are both very familiar with, that nothing matters until the day it does matter. All sorts of things
happen. Political leaders have all sorts of baggage that the public sort of put to one side, and it does not matter until the day it does.
And equally, the greased piglet escapes until one day he doesn't. And it could be that it is this.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you, because this is something -- it may have happened with, you know, Labour leaders as well, but, my goodness, the Tory Party
has a bit of a history. Theresa May, confidence vote in December 2018. Now, she won it, a majority of 83. But as we know, they all gained up against
her and she did, in fact, lose in the end. She had to leave. She resigned several months later.
Ian Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader had to resign when he lost a vote in 2003. John Major, a former prime minister, was forced to resign when --
no, sorry -- when he triggered a leadership context in 1995. He defeated his opponent, but then he was defeated roundly --
BURT: In an election. AMANPOUR: -- in an election.
AMANPOUR: So, this is something that's -- is it just because I've got the Tory figures or is this that happened throughout history?
BURT: There's a little bit of apples and pears and that leadership contests don't always lead to an election defeat. When Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher lost her position, John Major won the election after that even though Mrs. Thatcher's supporters said, why would you remove a prime
minister who's won three elections on their own? When Theresa May lost her position, Boris Johnson won the next election after that. So, if the
Conservative Party gets the judgment right, you can still win another election.
But equally, if you win a leadership contest but you are unpopular, and it is not going to work, as in Theresa May's position, though, it should not
be forgotten that Theresa May was brought down not by a broad spread of colleagues but the quite deliberate attempts of those including Boris
Johnson to bring her down. And there are those going around the lobbies today looking for loyalty, when some of them voted dozens of times against
Theresa May, making her position difficult.
AMANPOUR: And that was about Brexit?
BURT: And that was about Brexit. This is not ideological. Brexit is done. Brexit is not threatened. And no matter who takes over the conservative
leadership, Brexit will certainly continue. But colleagues are thinking about wider issues about what the Conservative Party stands for and whether
or not Boris Johnson can achieve the objective of being able to remold himself and give the party something new that the public has confidence in.
And problem over the past few months, it would appear to be very difficult that he is going to be able to do that.
AMANPOUR: You know, there is a lot. And, you know, you've spent your career in the Foreign Office mostly and dealing with huge global challenges
that Britain has been front and center of. How has this kind of thing, do you think, affect that, not only Britain's global reputation, but its heft,
its ability to do the things that it needs to do?
BURT: People abroad read the papers. So, they know what is going on at home and they know that the prime minister's position is unstable. If the
government changes its leader, does it affect Britain's position? No. I'm quite confident that there is enough talent to come through. The situation
in Ukraine will be taken over by the competent people, I'm sure, who are continuing to run Britain's relationship with Ukraine and prosecute that
If the government is strong, that will be respected by people abroad. If a leader is changed, well, it happens democratic politics. The thing you
learn over the year is that the waters closed over incredibly quickly.
AMANPOUR: So, what happens next? Is it immediately triggering an election like a general election? Does it -- does the party choose a new leader?
And, you know, again, there's a lot of issues, I mean, the big disagreements in this country about sending refugees to Rwanda. You know,
obviously, you got inflation. You got all the things that many other countries are dealing with.
BURT: OK. The convention works like this, the prime minister of the day is the person who can command a majority in the House of Commons. If a
Conservative Party elect a new leader, if that new leader has a majority support in the House of Commons, it won't matter that the leader has been
changed. He or she will be the prime minister and will be able to go on until the next election is likely, within the next two years. So, there is
no change of date to the election. Removing the prime minister does not trigger a general election.
Would it trigger a general review of policy? Almost certainly. But a new leader will have to balance the interest of the party. As Bianca was
indicating, there is a wide spectrum of view in the Conservative Party from center --
BURT: -- centrist, people maybe more on the right-wing. And a majority of those will have to come on board with the policies that a new leader will
put forward if that is the case. But it will give the change of a party to have a fresh start, approach the public without feeling that they have to
explain, you know, what Boris Johnson was doing when he was a leader and deal with that political issue with the British people.
AMANPOUR: And we heard and you reminded me earlier that one of the more ideological members of the party, Rees-Mogg, he said this morning that one
vote is enough. One vote is enough to put him over the top. Do you agree that one vote is enough to keep him in his job?
BURT: One vote wins the contest tonight, but it's not enough to keep him in this job. And Jacob would know that. He would -- you know, he's quite
right defending his prime minister. He would say what he wants to say. But no objective viewer of the situation would agree with him, that if the
prime minister scraped home with one vote, it would not be a catastrophic vote against him.
I don't think it will be as tight as one vote. I think Boris Johnson will win by more than that. But then, he will then have to assess himself, can
recover from that position, can he regain the confidence of the Conservative Party, or has that lack of confidence exhibited by the
constituents and people who have been talking to MPs is that fairly reflected in the vote tonight? And if so, what is in the best interest of
the Conservative Party in the country going forward? That is a tough call for any prime minister who's faced a leadership election to make.
AMANPOUR: Alistair Burt, former Tory MP, former foreign office minister, thank you very much indeed.
BURT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And finally, remembering the day that changed the course of history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Men and women of the United States, this is a momentous hour in world history. This is the invasion of Hitler's Europe, the zero
hour of the second front. The men of General Dwight Eisenhower are leaving their landing barges, fighting their way up the beaches into the fortress
of Nazi Europe. They are moving in from the sea to attack the enemy under a mammoth cloud of fighter planes, under a ceiling of screaming shells from
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That is how NBC Radio broke the news 78 years ago today, when 160,000 troops from Britain, United States, Canada and other nations,
landed on the Normandy beaches, that was June 6, 1944. D-day brought on the gradual defeat of Hitler, the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany, and
the beginning of the end of World War II.
Over the weekend, the dwindling survivors paid their respects to fallen comrades, and the tributes of special meaning, of course, this year as the
forces of totalitarianism and democracy battle it out into Europe again with Russia's unprovoked war on Ukraine.
And that is it for now. Remember, you can always catch us online, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course, our podcast. Thank you for watching and
goodbye from London.