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Global Food Crisis; Interview With Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson; Interview with U.N. Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine Amin Awad; Interview with New York Times National Political Correspondent and "This Will Not Pass" Co-Author Jonathan Martin. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 07, 2022 - 13:00   ET




Here's what's coming up.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We just don't believe dictator should be invited. And that's -- and so we don't regret that and

we will stand -- the president will stand by his principle.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): The Summit of the Americas kicks off in Los Angeles, but the uninvited threatens to derail it from the start. The

former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson joins me.


CHARLES MICHEL, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: You may leave the room. Maybe it's easier not to listen to the truth, Ambassador.

AMANPOUR: Walkout at the U.N., as European Council President Charles Michel slams Russia for engineering of global food crisis.

We analyze this catastrophic consequence of Putin's war.

Then: The January 6 Committee hearings finally go public. "New York Times" political correspondent Jonathan Martin gives Walter Isaacson a preview and

discusses his latest book, "This Will Not Pass."


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Leaders from Canada to Chile are arriving today in Los Angeles for the ninth Summit of the Americas. It's an important opportunity to hammer out

Western Hemisphere priorities. But some of the region's most notable figures are nowhere to be seen. The host, President Joe Biden, has excluded

his counterparts from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela for their human rights records, a move that prompted a boycott from Mexico's president, Andres

Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The squabbling over the guest list threatens to hinder the agenda focused on climate, migration and the pandemic. It also throws into question the

power of America's influence in the region, just as China seeks a stronger foothold there.

Roberta Jacobson is best placed to discuss all of this. She led the U.S. delegation to Havana for historic talks in 2015 that led to the opening of

a U.S. Embassy there and a Cuban Embassy in Washington. And she then served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

Roberta Jacobson, welcome to the program, joining us from Maryland.

So we laid it out there. Are you surprised that, to use his acronym, AMLO is boycotting? Former Biden officials and Obama officials have said that

this is an unmitigated disaster. The Mexican former foreign minister said the Biden administration hasn't done its homework on this issue.

Are you surprised by all of this?

ROBERTA JACOBSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO: Well, first of all, it's nice to be with you, Christiane.

And, second of all, I don't feel particularly surprised. AMLO has only left Mexico twice, I believe, in his presidency. He does not like to travel

abroad. Those two times, I think, have been to the United States.

But, indeed, we have to remember that it's every leader's decision whether or not they come to a Summit of the Americas, something that we're hosting

for the first time since 1994. But it's also true that, in 2001, the hemisphere came together around the Inter-American Democratic Charter,

which said that leaders who were democratically elected would be invited to these summits.

So I think it's a shame that Lopez Obrador is not coming. But I think it's a bigger shame that Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua don't respect the human

rights of their citizens.


AMANPOUR: So, can we just be very clear, Ambassador?

Sorry. I just want to be very clear, because you just sort of said it in passing.


AMANPOUR: Those to be invited all only democrats, democracies? Is that what you're saying the summit is about?

JACOBSON: Well, I don't have the language in front of me, but I believe that the -- all of the members of the Organization of American States at

the time, which was everybody, I believe, other than Cuba, which was suspended, agreed that the leaders participating in such summits would be

those leaders who are democratically elected.

And so I think that talks about the -- whether this is a meeting of democracies. Now, obviously, that's been honored in the breach in the past.

There have been invitations to Cuba for the past two summits. I was at the summit in 2015 when President Obama met with Raul Castro.

And so I think that the biggest problem is that the focus on attendance takes us away from the focus on substance, but that is the logical thing

that happens ahead of a summit. It's like the sausage-making period. We don't talk much about the substance because the summit hasn't started yet.

We talk only about who might be there.


AMANPOUR: OK. So, yes, but the issue is, is this going to affect the ability to get to any substance?

And AMLO, as we call him, because he has a long name that we can trip over, is, in fact, going to the United States, to the White House for a bilat

meeting with President Biden next month?

So the question is -- and you have kind of laid it out -- was it right to exclude them? But, more to the point, can you achieve any kind of

meaningful consensus or action on the main issues, trade, migration, et cetera.


No, I think that's a really important point. And my strong belief is that you're going to see agreements reached, despite participation level. For

example, Mexico, as far as I know, will send its foreign minister and has been very engaged in the conversations about migration for a declaration to

come out of Los Angeles. That has not wavered, regardless of what the president decides to do.

And I think that's true of most of the countries of the region. They will participate, they will be active in making their voices heard, regardless

of whether or not their leaders come. So I believe this summit will come out with some important agreements.

AMANPOUR: What is the most important that you think has to happen? Remember, Mexico, who's not going, the president -- you have laid out the

case as to why potentially the foreign minister can do the job in this regard.

But what is -- it's one of America's biggest trading partners. Plus, it has the biggest south-of-the-border migration issue that's constantly their

aggravating politics there and your country and elsewhere. What are the biggest issues that they have to be able to come to some kind of agreement?

And I ask you because the U.S. has been accused also of kind of letting Latin America drift off without any real agenda for it in recent years.

JACOBSON: Well, I should just say, Christiane, that during my own time at the State Department, we were constantly accused of not paying attention to

Latin America. And so that's a pretty common refrain, even while we're hosting a Summit of the Americas, only the second time we have ever hosted.

And given the fact that President Trump didn't go to the last summit, I would say that there's considerably more engagement by this administration

and its senior leadership than we have had in the last four years of the previous administration.

But I would also say there are a number of things that we should be looking for coming out of this. You mentioned migration.And migration clearly is

one of the most important things the leaders can address. I think it's important to understand that migration in this hemisphere is not just a

U.S. issue.

You have got more than six million Venezuelans who have left their country and are in countries like Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador. That is a very

important issue. We have increasing numbers of migrants coming from outside the region, up through South America, and into the isthmus towards Mexico.

So I think that migration is an important discussion at this conference. But I also think what we're going to see is a new approach that will be

very welcomed by the regional countries, a focus on stabilization. How can countries that have been historically welcoming to migrants, Costa Rica,

Ecuador, Colombia, especially how many Venezuelans are there, how can they be supported, financially, as well as in other kinds of resources, so that

people don't have to move further and make that journey beyond the first country they might go to?

How can we ensure that migration is seen as a driver of economic prosperity? We're in a historic labor shortage in this country. We know we

need temporary worker programs, so that people can come legally and then return to their home countries. And that is something that the Biden

administration is working on multilaterally.

And I think that's the other important point about this conference. It is multilateralism. It is not the unilateralism of the previous

administration. But you also have to be looking for a focus on economic progress.



AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to say -- no, no, I was going to say -- you led me right to it.

There's been an announcement today that the vice president and the president of the United States are pledging some $300 million in

humanitarian aid, food aid...


AMANPOUR: ... and nearly $2 billion, actually, as you have been discussing, in investments into the private sector.


AMANPOUR: But I just want to ask you, because those are important issues, and everything you have outlined right now is an important issue, but also

perception is an important issue.

And, right now, the president and the White House are getting hammered because they make one set of moral judgments about Venezuela, Nicaragua and

Cuba, and quite another set of judgments about a country that the president himself said he would turn into a pariah, Saudi Arabia. And that is a place

where the president is going.


And, obviously, we know why, because of the oil. And so it's all about the money and the interests. And this is what the -- this is what the White

House press spokeswoman said.


JEAN-PIERRE: There's no question that important interests are interwoven with Saudi Arabia. And the president views the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as

an important partner on a host of initiatives that we are working on.

There's also no question that, as with many countries where we share interests, we have concerns about its human rights record. That is a very

important thing to the president.


AMANPOUR: So quickly, Ambassador, I'm going to -- and I'm going to bring in our Cuba colleague in a moment, our correspondent there.

But, on this issue, then if he can bring up human rights issues and issues of interest with a country like Saudi Arabia, which the United States has

practically accused the crown prince of engineering, approving the murder of a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, not to mention all the other litany of

human rights abuses there, if he can do that there, why can he not talk human rights and other issues to these countries of Latin America who are

not being invited to the United States?

JACOBSON: Well, Christiane, I can't tell you exactly what's behind the president's decision on Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

And I know that Saudi Arabia obviously presents a significant challenge to the United States. I do think it's important that we focus on the fact that

the president will go to this summit really focused on partnerships. Where can we partner with countries as equals to advance the situation on the

ground for their people and for the American people?

I think the president felt he could not really do that with, frankly, the distraction of Cuba and Venezuela and Nicaragua in the room, who cannot

speak to the needs of their people in the same way, because they're not listening to their own citizens, because they're not respecting their

rights, whether those be electoral or human rights.

So I think the most important thing that you're going to see from the president is, he feels strongly about speaking with people. He went to the

region. I traveled with him something like 19 times when he was vice president. But that does not mean that he always believes that engaging

will advance U.S. interests.


JACOBSON: And he did not believe so in this particular case.

AMANPOUR: So let me just -- stand by, Ambassador, because I want to bring...


JACOBSON: I think...

AMANPOUR: Just stand by a second.

JACOBSON: Sorry. Yes.

AMANPOUR: We will continue in a second.

I want to bring my colleague Patrick Oppmann in, because it's important to get the other side as well.

Cuba is a place -- Patrick, welcome -- that Ambassador -- Ambassador Jacobson and the Obama administration worked hard to try to -- quote,

unquote -- "normalize" a little bit of relationships there. And you did hear the ambassador say that a lot of Cubans are dissatisfied, can't talk

to their own government, and actually are voting with their feet right now, leaving because of medical shortages, inflation and the lot.

What is the reaction in Cuba ,if at all, Patrick, to this so-called snub?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Cuban government, ironically, yesterday was blasting the Biden administration for

undemocratic behavior, excluding a country that's part of this region from a summit about the region.

And you're absolutely right, Christiane, that we are seeing the largest exodus of Cubans since the Mariel boatlift. hit is a crisis. And,

certainly, it would lead you to expect the Biden administration to need to sit down with the Cuban government.

But when you speak to Biden administration officials, they say that, after the protests we saw last summer, where the Cuban government came down hard

on mostly peaceful protesters, locking people up for years simply for taking the streets asking for change, that it really is not tenable for the

president to be in the same room with the Cuban leader, to perhaps receive a tongue-lashing from Cuban officials over issues like the Cuban embargo

and to be seen in the family photo pictures next to a Cuban head of state.

So they're choosing to exclude Cuba. And that has led to a backlash. It's not just Mexico and leftist countries. You have other countries across the

region that say, Cuba is part of this region, it should be included. And that is a change from years past. Cuba was included in the past two Summits

of the Americas.

And it seemed like that page of the Cold War, Cold War history, finally had been turned. And now to backpedal and essentially say we're going to

exclude Cuba at the time when the U.S. probably needs to address some of the issues, this surge in migration that we're seeing from Cuba that is not

going to change anytime soon as the economy here worsens. It's probably only going to increase.

AMANPOUR: Patrick, thank you for that.

And let's go back to the ambassador, then, because I'm going to just play the sound bite from President Obama dealing, again, with you all and when

you made that outreach to Cuba in 2015, dealing with the realities on the ground. Let's just play this sound bite.



BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, obviously, there are still going to be deep and significant differences between our two


But I think what we have both concluded is that we can disagree with a spirit of respect and civility, and that, over time, it is possible for us

to turn the page and develop a new relationship.


AMANPOUR: So that was President Obama with then Cuban leader Raul Castro.

On the bigger picture, Ambassador Jacobson, it is a question of, how do you have some kind of relationship even with your adversaries, whether it's

Cuba, whether it's China, whether whoever it might be, Saudi Arabia, let's say?

What grade do you give the Biden administration on that?

JACOBSON: Well, I'm not sure that I can grade them certainly on the global engagement. My expertise and my focus has always been on Latin America.

And, obviously, I proudly served the Obama administration in leading the diplomatic negotiations with Cuba. I believed then and I continue to

believe that engagement with the Cuban government and with others makes sense if we're trying to advance some of the most important issues to both

of us.

But I do want to say that it's important to understand that the fact that the president won't be engaging with President Diaz-Canel of Cuba, or with

Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, or with President Maduro in -- of the regime in Caracas does not mean that other U.S. officials are not engaging.

U.S. migration talks with Cuba continue. And I do think it's important that we understand that, when it's in our interest, and these are important

issues in our interest, we continue to engage with countries. And for that reason, I think the Biden administration is doing right by continuing that

engagement where it serves the American people.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Roberta Jacobson, thank you so much for your perspective on this important summit and the important issues at hand.

Now, next: Russia's invasion of Ukraine has wreaked, as we know, destruction and havoc in so many ways, including on the very basic element

of life, which is food. There is mounting anger over what the United States calls Moscow's blackmail around global grain supplies.

At the United Nations, the European Council President, Charles Michel, could barely contain his scorn.


MICHEL: Mr. Ambassador of the Russian Federation, let's be honest. The Kremlin is using food supplies as a stealth missile against developing


The dramatic consequences of Russia's war are spilling over across the globe. And this is driving up food prices, pushing people into poverty and

destabilizing entire regions. And Russia is solely responsible for this food crisis, Russia alone, despite the Kremlin's campaign of lies and


Let's get to the facts. The E.U. has no sanctions on the agricultural sector in Russia, zero. And even our sanctions on the Russian transport

sector do not go beyond our E.U. borders.

You may leave the room. Maybe it's easier not to listen to the truth, Ambassador.


AMANPOUR: So the ambassador apparently walked out at that diatribe, but the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, is in Ankara right now, as

Turkish officials work to try to solve this crisis.

And correspondent Jomana Karadsheh has more on this.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From his Istanbul terrace, Yoruk Isik, has watched part of Russia's invasion of Ukraine play

out in Turkey's Bosphorus Strait.

First, it was the military buildup. Now the ship watcher and founder of "The Bosphorus Observer" has been documenting Russia's theft of Ukrainian

grain. With the help of satellite images and Ukrainian activists, he tracked and filmed this Russian ship transiting the Bosphorus. The ship

appeared in Maxar Technologies' images obtained by CNN last month. It was smuggling stolen Ukrainian.

YORUK ISIK, FOUNDER, "THE BOSPHORUS OBSERVER": This is like a bottleneck spot. And there aren't so many spots like this. It is easy to monitor it.

we almost miss nothing coming out of Black Sea from here.

Only in last two, three weeks we witness at least 10 journeys of 10 different ships carried wheat from occupied Ukrainian ports into -- mostly

to Syria. Because people are worried about the sanctions et cetera, they are usually carrying first to Syria, and it's getting distributed to the

other Middle Eastern customers from Syria so far.


KARADSHEH: Turkey's straits are governed by the 1936 Montreux Convention. It's already restricted access to Russian naval vessels under that

agreement. But when it comes to commercial traffic, it's limited in what it can do.

But Russia is not only accused of theft. Ukraine, the U.S. and the E.U. have all accused it of holding the world to ransom, blockading Ukrainian

ports and stopping the export of more than 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain that dozens of countries rely on. Russia blames Ukraine for the

blockade and says it's Western sanctions that are causing a global food crisis.

(on camera): Turkey is trying to use its strategic location and its close ties with both its Black Sea neighbors, Russia and Ukraine, to try and

broker a deal that would establish a sea corridor for Ukrainian grain exports.

(voice-over): That potential green corridor through the Turkish straits will top the agenda when the Russian foreign minister meets his Turkish

counterpart on Wednesday, a meeting Turkish officials are hoping will lay the groundwork for talks soon between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the

United Nations.

YUSUF ERIM, EDITOR AT LARGE, TRT WORLD: Turkey could definitely provide service as an auditor to make sure that grain is being sent out from both

Ukraine and Russia. Being one of the Black Sea powers, it has the capacity to provide security inside the Black Sea as well.

So it can be a player that provides security, that provides observation, provides auditing that could be acceptable and considered legitimate by

both Kyiv and Moscow.

KARADSHEH: But the Russians will have their own demands likely unacceptable to Western powers. They have already indicated they want

sanctions lifted.

ERIM: I expect the Russians to want a waiver on their grain sales as well. And they feel that they have the leverage right now. Turkey is going to be

very important in being able to negotiate between Russia and the West to be able to get a sanctions waiver for the Russians for their grain sales as


KARADSHEH: When few will trust what Russia promises, there is no easy path out of this. But Turkey is hoping it can at least begin the complex process

of trying to end the blockade and avert a crisis the U.N. has warned will lead to famine and instability around the world.


AMANPOUR: Jomana Karadsheh reporting there.

Now to discuss are Amin Awad, assistant secretary-general and the U.N. crisis coordinator for Ukraine -- he's in Kyiv -- and Michael Dunford, the

World Food Program's regional director for Eastern Africa. He's in Berlin.

Gentlemen, welcome to the program to discuss this mounting and very, very serious ripple effect of this war and this blockade.

First, I want to ask you, Amin Awad, because we're getting news from the Russian Ministry of Defense as we're on the air, which is basically

claiming that it's creating or has created two maritime humanitarian corridors in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, allowing for the safe

movement of ships there and thereabouts.

Have you heard about this? What do you make of it? Will it affect the blockade of grain from Ukraine ports?

AMIN AWAD, U.N. CRISIS COORDINATOR FOR UKRAINE: Well, if that is the case, at least on the Black Sea, that's very much welcome news.

I got my news also from the open sources, as you did. However, there is a mechanism that agreed on by the three parties, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey.

And, as your correspondent also or one of your guests have illustrated, Turkey may be better placed to maintain neutrality in this war between

Russia and Ukraine to really monitor movement, the resumption of maritime on the Black Sea and the export of the Ukrainian grains to the rest of the


AMANPOUR: Let me just quickly ask you before I go to Michael Dunford for fallout.

From your perspective, Amin Awad, there in Ukraine, what exactly is the situation? We have the blockade that we know about? What else is stopping

Ukrainian grain from getting out and to, let's say, Africa, which needs it and elsewhere?

AWAD: Well, simply that the issue is a blockade of the ports that are available to Ukraine now on the Black Sea.

Mariupol is occupied by Russia. And Russia opened it for business. However, of course, in such circumstances, one would prefer the Black Sea for

neutrality for good order and also for purposes of monitoring. There are 20-million-plus tons that need to be exported out of Ukraine. The silos

have to be emptied.

Harvest season is coming up in July-August, where another 40 to 45 million tons of grain that have to be brought to the silos. So it is really a

pressure time for Ukraine, for the world to really have a smooth operation here of emptying the silos and exporting the food.


It needs 100 ships a month, 100 ships a month. That was the trends here before, five million tons a month to go to the outside world, 55 to 60

million tons that Ukraine used to explore to the outside world.


AWAD: So, a huge quantity. It needs a lot of supply chain capabilities. It needs a lot of discipline in the Black Sea, and no mistakes.


AWAD: Also, Ukraine is worried about its own security, and that has to be addressed.

AMANPOUR: OK, so let me now ask Michael Dunford, because it's all about where it's getting to and where it's got to go to.

So I think -- well, tell me. How much of -- how dependent is Africa and other countries on this grain, what percentages, et cetera?

MICHAEL DUNFORD, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: Thanks very much, Christiane.

The region that I'm overseeing, Eastern Africa and the Horn, is hugely dependent on cereals being imported from the Black Sea, and also from

fertilizer. Much of the fertilizer that is used in the region originates from Russia and Belarusia. Without the grain, without the wheat, and

without the fertilizer, a bad situation is going to get worse, and it's going to get worse very quickly.

AMANPOUR: Well, tell me about what is actually happening right now. I know prices have spiked. I know there's some instability in some countries with


And, also, I have heard that places like -- I think it's Somalia, which is historically vulnerable to famines. And, again, you're responsible for that

region. There are hundreds of thousands of people teetering on the brink.

DUNFORD: Exactly.

This war in Ukraine is coming at the worst possible time. Already, the food security situation in the region had deteriorated dramatically over the

course of the last 12 months. This time last year, we estimated there were 50 million people acutely food-insecure, acutely hungry. Today, that figure

is up at 84 million, so 34 million people additionally.

It's not all because of the war, but it's the combination of conflicts in places like Tigray and Somalia. It's the effects of climate change. We have

got the worst drought in 40 years in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Then, of course, there's the macroeconomic impact of the COVID, which has decimated

economies across the region.

And now we have the war in Ukraine, which is accelerating the levels of hunger and malnutrition across the region.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you again, Amin Awad?

Not only is the blockade, but you know the United States has sent out letters to about 14 countries, including in Africa and elsewhere, warning

them that what they believe to be Russian grain stolen from Ukraine is busy being shipped and maybe being sold at a discount and warning them

potentially not to accept it.

Can you fill us in more about that?

AWAD: Well, I we -- got this news, Christiane, from the open sources to the 400,000 to 500,000 tons that were taken from the non-government-

controlled areas in the two provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. But we don't have a way of really verifying that.

But to tell you frankly, this is a side issue a 500,000 tons. What we are facing here is an issue of tens of millions of tons that are really

supposed to sail to the rest of the world, and as my colleague from WFP illustrated the danger of the situation.

And I think the world have to come together really to concentrate on the issue of supplies of food out of Ukraine through the Black Sea, but also

out of Russia, as far as fertilizers, and food also that were not sanctioned, and I think to lift the transactional problems that are

associated with the sanctions, so that both Russia and Ukraine can really start, without the politicizations that we hear.

Really, we have to focus on the real issues, the people, the food, the hunger, and the spike of prices, the inflation, all that the world is

facing today, and the supply chain system that is collapsing because there was no business for the last three or four months that have to be put in

place and mounted against, so that the flow of food can reach the corner of the world as we speak.

AMANPOUR: So let me ask you both, because you have just said and we heard Charles Michel say that, despite what Russia claims, either publicly or to

any of its interlocutors, like the head of the African Union just a few days ago, that this crisis is because of the West and because of Western

sanctions on Russian food, Russian grain, et cetera, et cetera. And you have seen that they have said there are no sanctions on that, nor on the

transportation of it out.


But there is, you know, an attempt to try to influence the -- certainly the African continent.

Michael Dunford, how successful is Russia in convincing African, including the A.U. president who called him, my dear friend, Vladimir, when he tried

to seek some kind of resolution to this, in buying the Russian narrative on this? And does it matter?

DUNFORD: What matters is that the food moves and that the World Food Programme and other humanitarian actors are able to meet the needs of the

population. We have never the situation as bad as it is today across the region. And my fear is that it is going to continue to deteriorate. And the

conflict and the politics occurring in Ukraine, Russia, and beyond, is making the situation on the ground in countries like Somalia, countries

like Ethiopia, much worse than it needs to be.

So, we are employing all actors to come to a resolution of the conflict and also, to facilitate, as Amin Awad has already indicated, the flow of

commodities and fertilizers from the region so it can improve the availability and then, the access for populations.

AMANPOUR: Amin Awad, you are -- I believe you're Sudanese. You're definitely, you know, had have so much experience then. I want to ask you

the historical -- I guess the historical connection between certain African or many African nations and Russia, how they've depended on Russia through

the Cold War and through all of these proxy wars that we saw going on during that time. What is the ability of President Putin to sway them? And,

again, does it matter to you as coordinator for humanitarian affairs in Ukraine?

AWAD: Well, it is an important moment. And it's not only Africa, it is also the Middle East. Remember, Christiane, and you know, you were covering

that the spring -- the harvest spring was -- part of it was also shortage of food at that time and climate change, drought and what have you. But

now, this is a time, really, where the world have to come together, East and West. And I think I see -- we see a lot of politicking here. It's a

straightforward issue with food that the world needs.

And who is going to score first? Politically, is not really the issue. I think Africa needs the food. The Middle East needs the food. Many places in

Asia and other parts of the world, they need it. This is an initiative, also, it was launched by the secretary general. I think they should give

room for negotiation that is going on.

We were in Moscow discussing with Sergey. We agreed or -- the secretary general agreed on a try apartheid kind of composition of the way forward.

And the U.N. there to oversee that and push it. He got goodwill from the visits he made in Ukraine and Russia, just last month. And I think he

launched a process. And that process is going on.

So, I really do hope that too much politicking cannot derail that and we really have to stay the course and make sure that this is an objective of

the world today, responsibility. And we want to see the light very soon in the next few days, hopefully, if we stay the course and if we do not

politicize it too much.

AMANPOUR: OK. Let me play this, because it is all being politicized by all sides it seems. Let me play what's the secretary of state, Antony Blinken,

has said about this and about Russia's role. And I will get reaction from both of you.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This is all deliberate, we know that. President Putin is stopping food from being shipped and aggressively

using his propaganda machine to deflect or distort responsibility because it hopes it will get the world to give into him and then, the sanctions. In

other words, quite simply put, it is blackmail.


AMANPOUR: I want to ask you, Michael Dunford, because, as we said, there are no sanctions on grain, food, the agricultural sector or even the

transport sector when it comes to this matter. However, Macky Sall, the head of the African Union, did talk about sanctions on Russian banks that

have made it difficult if not impossible to buy grain and fertilizer from Russia. Do you have a view on that? And do you think that that is a problem

for Africa to be able to buy that because of the sanctions on the Central Bank?

DUNFORD: The sanctions have been imposed. Unfortunately, what we are feeling is the indirect impact of those. Again, I come back to the basic

message that we are on the verge of a crisis, a crisis that the world globally has never seen when it comes to food security.


It's estimated there are 276 million people globally in the Middle East, Latin America, where I am based, in Eastern Africa, people who are

desperately in need of the conflict to be resolved, the issues resolved -- in relation to the sanctions to be resolved so that the food, the

fertilizer, and the other commodities can start to flow and improve the situation. Until such time, it's going to continue to be speculation. There

are going to be a lack of availability. And unfortunately, it is the people on the ground who are going to feel the most severe impact of this.

AMANPOUR: Very, very, quickly, 20 seconds, Amin Awad, do you believe there is a way to unblock this, people's lives depend on, no matter what's the

politics or the war?

AWAD: Absolutely. And more so, there are -- there is inflation, there are financial problems, there's energy problems on top of it. And I think the

West need the food as well, because the spike on prices and I think stability is always food.


AWAD: Stability of the people of the population, nutrition, it is important. And I think there is a way. There is an agreement sponsored by

the U.N. and I think that process should be given time and a space to really succeed.

AMANPOUR: All right. Amin Awad, Michael Dunford, thank you both so much on this massively important issue.

And now, to the United States and politics and a date which still reverberates, of course, January 6, 2021. The findings of a 10-month

investigation into that day's insurrection against Congress will be presented on Thursday. The first public hearing will likely feature

videoclips and some of the nearly 1,000 interviews the investigating committee has conducting.

Our next guest has documented the political twists and turns over the past 18 months, in his new book, "This Will Not Pass." Jonathan Martin is a

national political correspondent for the New York Times and he is joining Walter Isaacson.


WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And, Jonathan Martin, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: You and Alex Burns have written this great book, you know, "This Will Not Pass," that really sets the stage for this week's hearings on

January 6th. The whole thing is in the book. What are you hoping that those hearings will do?

MARTIN: Well, thanks for having me. Yes. And I do think the book does capture the mindset of the senior GOP leadership in the days after January

6th, and their mindset was very different then than it is now, Walter. And we have Kevin McCarthy on audiotape talking to fellow House GOP leaders

about how just quickly they can get Donald Trump out of office.

It's not a debate about Trump's culpability on the 6th, Walter, it's an urgent question of, what is the most effective and efficient method to get

Trump out of the presidency because he represents a threat to the country. They talk about the 25th Amendment, about, obviously, going to Trump and

urging him to resign and then, of course, whether or not impeachment will be carried out.

And I think to go from that point to -- by the end of the month of January 21 where McCarthy is back at Mar-a-Lago does show you how the Republican

Party sort of came back to Trump. But in those hours and days after the 6th, there was no question that the senior leadership of the party wanted

to cut ties with Trump and wanted to cast him out immediately. And I think this committee's inquiry is going to capture just how different the

thinking was in the party immediately after the 6th. And just how grievous they believe -- they, being people like Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell,

Trump had behaved and what he had done to the capital and to the country.

ISAACSON: You talk about Kevin McCarthy being aggrieved, trying to get Trump out of office, being furious, and you reported this and something

amazing happened. Kevin McCarthy, repeatedly, in statements said it was totally false and you had made it up. And then, boom, you popped in the

audiotape --

MARTIN: Right.

ISAACSON: -- that proved to you exactly right.


ISAACSON: How did that happen? Was that some set up? Did you know he was going to deny and you'd have to use the tape?

MARTIN: We couldn't have predicted how Mr. McCarthy was going to respond. But obviously, when you make an emphatic and sort of sweeping denial like

he did while knowing that the recording is accurate, it does raise questions about your integrity. And I think Kevin McCarthy has done grave

damage to himself in the long-term by openly lying about our reporting. That, obviously, as you point out, the audio tapes that we obtain did prove

him to be, you know, wrong.

And he has not faced accountability for that yet. And I think in the long- term, I think, there's real question about him going forward because of his denials, not just because of the matter, Walter, that it raises about his

integrity, but also, because the question that raised about his political judgment, as well.


So, doing that when you know that what he said was out there, people heard it, I think is the kind of thing that makes people in his own party wonder

about McCarthy's capacity.

ISAACSON: Wait a minute. Trump just, a day ago, endorsed him, again. He is going to be the leader in the House Representative of the Republicans,

probably, you know, speaker of the house.


ISAACSON: What you say seems wrong, the Republicans have rallied around him even though he's done this. Why is that?

MARTIN: I think in the short-term there has been a sort of a rally, a fact, sort of circle of the wagons. But, look, Trump is not exactly a

trusted supporter of Kevin McCarthy or of anybody. He's not known, Walter, for his loyalty. And I think Trump, of course, wants to keep McCarthy close

to him and loves that Kevin McCarthy scrambled to fix this political problem. And McCarthy, the night that those tapes came out, you know, got

Trump on the phone and tried to make things right.

But I think none of that is a guarantee of Trump's support over the long haul. I mean, I can cite chapter and verse, examples of people that Trump

has turned on over the years. And look, when we interviewed Donald Trump for this book in the spring of 2021, we asked him about Kevin McCarthy, an

ally of his then and now, and Trump said McCarthy has an inferiority complex, and that is what he said about his allies.

So, look, I just think in the long-term, you can't bank on Trump supporting anybody and especially if somebody is on tape having criticized him, he is

not going to forget that.

ISAACSON: Yes. But what about the entire Republican Party, especially the Republicans in Washington, they had totally turned-on Trump, it seems, from

your book, especially McConnell, especially, you know, Senate Leader McConnell.

MARTIN: Right.

ISAACSON: How did that change?

MARTIN: Sure. So, this is one of the most interesting things in our book, that immediately after the 6th, McConnell thinks Trump is totally

discredited. In fact, Walter, I saw McConnell in the capital late on the night of January 6th, and McConnell told he felt exhilarated from the

events of the day. And I said, how can you feel exhilarated? And McConnell said to me, Trump put a gun to his head and pull the trigger. He is totally


And, Walter, that captures the mindset of the highest ranks of the party that day. They believe this was Access Hollywood all over again. There was

no way that Trump can recover from this. And we, as a party, could happily wash your hands of him and move on. And, obviously, what happens in the

days and the weeks after that is McConnell and McCarthy realized, just like after Access Hollywood in 2016, that their voters don't want to move on and

their voters, frankly, aren't terribly bothered by Trump's conduct.

And so, they have to, in McConnell's case go mute, or in McConnell's case, re-embrace Trump. And that is the real come down that we chronicle in this

book, this great deference of Republican leaders to their voters when it comes to Donald Trump. And I think that is really what has sustained Trump

now for seven years in American politics, the elites of the party being uncertain about or downright scared of their own voters.

ISAACSON: You talk about speaking to Senator McConnell on the evening of January 6th when you are in the capital. You were in the capital for that

entire day. Tell me, what was it like?

MARTIN: Sure. It's kind of like being in a submarine in the bottom of the ocean, you can't sort of see what is happening on the surface. But with a

periscope, and we did not fully appreciate, Walter, the scale of the attack in those hours because we weren't watching it on TV, we weren't really

seeing it on our phones like everyone else at home was.

And so, I was evacuated with the entire U.S. Senate to one of the Senate office buildings via the tunnel under the capitol building. And so, I was

in seclusion with most of the Senate. And I can tell you, there was great anxiety that day, as we record in the book, we have an entire chapter in

the book on this, among the senators about their safety and security.

Lindsey Graham, at one point, interrupted a capitol police officer who was speaking to the Senate, trying to brief them, and demanded that the capitol

police use any means necessary to retake the U.S. Capitol, almost shouting at the police officer. And that set off a brief altercation between Graham

and some Democratic senators who weren't too happy about his interjection.


And I think that kind of anxiety quickly became anger at Donald Trump, again in both parties, for inciting this riot. In fact, later that day, on

the 6th, Lindsey Graham gets the White House counsel for Trump on the phone and says, if you don't have Trump, tell these people in the capital to go

home, we are going to call for the 25th Amendment. And I think that captures the sort of intensity of the anger towards Trump that day. It was

bipartisan and there was a sense of he has really gone too far this time.

And there were real concerns about physical safety. I mean, Walter, I can recall Lisa Murkowski, the senator from Alaska, you know, putting her arm

through the arm of one of her colleagues who used to serve in the marines and saying, I got my marine right here, and holding him tight. That doesn't

happen in the American seat of government, to put it mildly, where lawmakers are scared for their lives, but that was certainly the case on

January 6th.

ISAACSON: You know, one of the news that's come out more recently, what you have it in the book, but even more so, is -- as Donald Trump's

treatment of the vice president, Pence.

MARTIN: Right.

ISAACSON: And almost being willing to encourage people to hang him.

MARTIN: Right.

ISAACSON: Explain that to me.

MARTIN: Yes. Trump had no sympathy whatsoever for the life of his vice president, who along with his wife and daughter, were in the capitol on

January 6th. And, you know, Trump is more fixated still on overturning the results of the election than the physical safety of his own very loyal V.P.

And, Walter, I don't think that the relationship will ever recover from that day and from Trump's lack of concern about Pence. He never really

called on Pence to check in on him. And there is now reporting that Trump was happy to hear about the chance of hanging like Pence. So, he's

delighted in the pressure being inflictive on Pence.

Even Pence's inner circle recognize that by rejecting the president urging to overturn the election, Pence was going to invites threats to his safety

and that Pence's own staff warned the secret service about that eventuality. So, yes, I think Pence and his staff are going to be key

players in this January 6th investigation because I think that they feel somewhat radicalized, Walter, you know, four years of loyalty bordering on

servitude and that is the reward they get because Pence won't overturn the election? It tells you a lot about Donald Trump.

And I think for Pence it was the moment where he really did put country over party. I don't think people fully appreciate the constitutional crisis

that we would've had in this country if Mike Pence makes a different choice on January 6th, the uncertainty between January 6th and January 20th when

Biden was to be sworn in if Mike Pence folds and bends to Donald Trump's pressure. It would have been, you know, deeply, deeply, alarming and I

think a real challenge to the fabric of our country's democracy.

ISAACSON: Do you think Mike Pence is going to run for president and do it on the integrity that he showed?

MARTIN: I -- to the first part of your question, I think he wants to run for president and I think he would be happy to run against Donald Trump, in

part because of what we are talking about here. I mean, I think he wants to be sort of vindicated about what he did on the 6t. I interviewed Pence a

couple weeks ago and he told me he travels the country and has people coming him up to bank all the time for what he did on the6t. And I think --

ISAACSON: But do you really think that the Republican Party and its primaries will thank him for this?

MARTIN: That is a different question. Look, I'm -- look, I think that Pence would have real difficulty getting the Republican nomination, whether

it is against Trump or anybody else in part because of Trump's contempt for him now. I think that creates challenges for Pence.

But, Walter, just the fact that he wants to run and there's now this fissure between he and Trump, really captures the extraordinary danger of

these times. And it is part of the reason why we wrote this book on the last two years of American politics, it is just unprecedented to think of a

former V.P. to running against the person who put him on the ticket a mere eight years later -- or 12 years later.

ISAACSON: But even more astounding is what happened on January 6th and how unprecedented that was and how everybody felt that day, democrats and

Republicans. And yet, you say, this will not pass, and in some ways it has passed. The most amazing constitutional crisis we've had in 50 years has

passed. Do you think the hearings that start this week could reignite interest, and perhaps outrage, about what happened to our democracy?


MARTIN: I think it will definitely reignite interest. I'm not sure about outrage because I think the people who were outraged after the 6th, and

still are, probably don't need to be reminded. And I'm not sure that those who have kind of moved on can fully be A, touched and B, outraged. Maybe

they'll be touched by it. I just think that Americans have a capacity to move on and they focus on the here and now of their own lives more than the

health of the democracy or what happened on January the 6th.

I think that is just a sort of commentary on who we are as a country. I am not terribly surprised by it Especially, Walter, in this very polarized

moment. We are in our tribal camps and I think because of that siloing that we have in this country, it does make it harder to kind of summon outrage.

It is very different moment from when Nixon was president, and that is why we call the book, "This Will Not Pass," because what won't pass is this

tribalism, is this idea that we are sort of locked in red versus blue and sort of Cold War for years to come.

You know, just think about the difference between now and the last president who left office in disgrace, Richard Nixon. You know, the idea,

Walter, of Republican leaders in Congress in the 1970s, you know, trekking to San Clemente to kiss Nixon's ring and try to get Nixon's blessing for

their primaries in 1976 would've been unthinkable because Nixon was a pariah. He was tainted by Watergate. His own party didn't want to touch


I think now, we just have such different information systems that the idea that Trump would sort of collectively be banished from the country is just

never going to happen no matter his conduct because a good chunk of the country is just never going to care.

ISAACSON: One of the stars of this hearing, I suspect, is also one of the stars of your book. And that is Liz Cheney. And what do you think she can

do? What were her feelings that you report in this book and how will that affect her role as, I think, co-chairman or vice chairman of the January

6th Committee as a Republican saying, wait a minute, we have to focus on what happened?

MARTIN: Yes. I mean, speaking of being radicalized by the events of the 6th, look no further than Liz Cheney who her -- this is important to note,

a down the line conservative. And this is what is so striking, Walter, about this era, that the Republican Party has become, you know, such a

personality dominated faction in which the test of loyalty has nothing to do with guns or abortion rights or taxes or unions or regulations, it is

entirely about fealty to one person.

So, Liz Cheney hasn't deviated from party orthodoxy. And that is what is different about this moment. You know, in the past, we have these grand

clashes, Walter, within the two parties. It was always over ideology and ideas. I think that is what is different about the Republican Party today.

Yes, Cheney is going to be a central player in these hearings. I think Pelosi has gained trust in her and I think Cheney wants to use this moment

as kind of the clarion call for the country. I think she knows that she's in a tough spot politically. She may not survive her primary in August. She

may not be back to Congress next year. And this is her opportunity or best opportunity to use platform she has to speak out about what she thinks is

the threat Donald Trump still poses to America and the constitution.

ISAACSON: Jonathan Martin, as always, thank you for joining us.

MARTIN: Thank you, Walter.


AMANPOUR: A defining moment, indeed.

And finally, tonight, here is a riddle. When is a bee not bee? Answer, when it's a fish. At least, that is what a California Appeals Court ruled this

week. The court finds that some bumblebees can be considered fish under California's endangered species law. While the law, as written, does not

protect insects, the court found a loophole in the word, invertebrate. For instance, snails are invertebrates, and some snails live on land. QED, the

court was able to extend endangered species protections to other land-based invertebrates, in this case, bees.

If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating case, you can read all about it in the local newspaper, of course, "The Sacramento Bee."


That is it for now. And if you ever missed our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. On your screen now is

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Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.