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Interview With Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson About NATO Application; Interview With Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez About The NATO Summit In Madrid; Interview With "How Fascism Works" Author Jason Stanley. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 29, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: -- wants less NATO, President Putin is getting more NATO. Why? Finland and Sweden are joining our
AMANPOUR (voice-over): NATO enlarges as Turkey lifts its veto. The Swedish prime minister joins our program. Then --
PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER: We tried to give Russia an opportunity and to Putin especially an opportunity, and perhaps, over the
years, we've been a bit naive.
AMANPOUR: My conversation with the host of the Madrid Summit, the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, on how committed NATO is to making sure
Putin does not win in Ukraine. Also ahead.
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: The president says something to the effect of, I'm the effing president, take me up to the
AMANPOUR: Jaw-dropping testimony as the January 6th hearings continue. We have all the details in a special report, plus --
JASON STANLEY, YALE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: So many of our leading politicians knew exactly that this was a lie and went ahead with his
attempt to overthrow U.S. democracy.
AMANPOUR: The importance and implications of these hearings with Yale professor and fascism expert Jason Stanley. His frank discussion with Hari
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
NATO leaders are gathered in Madrid, Spain for the most consequential meeting in the organization's history. The summit kicked off by enlarging
the alliance, giving Putin more NATO, not less. President Biden saying that Finland and Sweden's accession would show a major miscalculation by the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Putin is looking for the Finlandization of Europe. He's going to get the NATO-ization of Europe. And
that's exactly what he didn't want but exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe. And I think it's necessary and I'm looking
forward to it happening tomorrow morning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And you can see in this map just how long a border Finland shares with Russia. When Sweden and Finland become NATO member states, it will
lengthen Russia's border with the alliance by some 800 miles. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says this move proves that Putin is failing, at
least on this front.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STOLTENBERG: The decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members demonstrate that NATO's door is open. It demonstrates that President Putin
did not succeed in closing NATO's door. NATO's door remains open.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: But danger does remain, as Russian forces continue to dominate in eastern Ukraine. I discussed all of this and more with the Swedish prime
minister, Magdalena Andersson.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, thank you for joining us from Madrid. Can I first ask you about the historic nature of you now being back
on the fast-track, you will be a NATO member. What do you think this says to Putin, and what can you bring to the alliance?
MAGDALENA ANDERSSON, SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, definitely this is a historic day for both Sweden and for Finland. And for Sweden, becoming a
NATO member would actually mean that we leave 200 years of military nonalignment. So this was not the easy decision to take for me as prime
minister. But I'm sure it was the right decision, and it has an overwhelming support in the Swedish parliament.
What we want to do, of course, this is something that would make Sweden a safer country and safer for Swedish citizens. But we want to be a security
provider in NATO and contribute to the security of all NATO countries and all citizens in the NATO countries.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, you know the many members of the Baltic States, which feel almost the most vulnerable right now, at least that's what they
say, said that, you know, up until now, there was really no plan for NATO to actually defend them if there was to be a rapid strike by Putin. But
now, your accession specifically protects the Baltics a little more. Is that correct?
ANDERSSON: Definitely so. Now, I mean, states around the Baltic Sea will be members of NATO. For a very large part of the Baltic Sea. And of course the
geographical situation of both Finland and Sweden will make it easier to protect the Baltic States if something happens. But of course, as members
of NATO, we want to contribute to the security of all NATO countries.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, again, we all know that there was a last-minute obstacle. Apparently at the very beginning you had all canvassed all the
NATO members, including Turkey, and that there was no initial objection. Then Turkey raised obstacles and now, after many hours of discussion in
Madrid, they lifted their veto, so to speak.
Some are asking, even in your own country, whether Sweden and Finland but mostly Sweden, caved into Turkish demands. For instance, by refusing to
support the YPG, which is the Syrian Kurdish group that has helped the West particularly the U.S., fight ISIS in Syria.
ANDERSSON: I wouldn't agree with that description of the agreement that we were finally able to agree on yesterday after many hours of difficult
discussions. The support to PYG is set in the context of the Turkish national security. So that would mean that we shouldn't support them with
financial means or military support. And this is not something that Sweden is doing today. So it wouldn't change the course of action we're having
AMANPOUR: What else did Turkey ask that you and Finland agreed to? For instance, there is controversy over a demand for extradition. That always
is very difficult for people in the West to accept because who knows, I mean, we understand some journalists were on the extradition list. Have you
pledged to allow extradition to Turkey?
ANDERSSON: I mean, we have agreed -- this agreement has I think three dimensions. One dimension is the fact that we are right now doing several
things in both Finland and Sweden to counter terrorists. For instance, we are -- we would go forward with the much stricter legislation on terrorists
that will actually come into reality the 1st of July this year. That's one part.
The other part are things that will come as we become members of NATO, things will change for Sweden, for instance, on how we would see our
legislation when it comes to arms exports. And then the third thing is a close cooperation between Sweden, Finland and Turkey when it comes to
fighting terrorism. And particularly with PKK. And one part of this is the fact that Turkey has earlier asked for extraditions, but, just as before,
we in Sweden will of course follow Swedish legislation and international conventions when it comes to extraditions.
And of course, this is a concern among some Swedish citizens, but I've stated very clearly today for those that are concerned, the first thing is
we never extradite anyone who is a Swedish citizen. Number two, we will continue to follow Swedish and international legislation. So, if you are
not involved in terrorist activities, there is no need to worry.
AMANPOUR: So what would you say then to this independent Swedish politician? Her name is Amineh Kakabaveh. As you know pretty well, she's
told a newspaper, quote, "It's unbelievable that Sweden is so scared of Putin that it would abandon everything it stands for for another dictator,
ANDERSSON: I know that Amineh Kakabaveh's critical towards Sweden -- the Swedish NATO application. And I have respect for that view. But, of course,
Sweden will continue to stand up for our values. And we will also be a strong voice globally when it comes to democracy, rule of law and an
international based world order.
AMANPOUR: So, Prime Minister, tell us a little bit about what it was like in the room and how difficult it was to get Turkey to lift its veto.
Because, you know, a lot of the color that's being written about it says that it was really going nowhere for the first couple of hours. Then there
was a coffee break and then somehow the negotiation's unblocked.
Can you give us a little bit more about the atmospherics around these negotiations?
ANDERSSON: I think we were all keen to solve this issue. And when you have three or four parties in the room and you want to solve a problem, most of
the time you are able to solve a problem. And that was the case also yesterday. So I'm very happy that we could reach an agreement. I mean,
there is no secret that Sweden and Finland and other NATO and E.U. countries do come from different viewpoint when it comes to certain areas
that we discussed with Turkey.
And we were in the discussions very clear on Swedish stance and our fight against the terrorism, our stance on PKK and how we are improving our
legislation when it comes to terrorists but also financing of terrorism. And I think that was also important.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, the real threat, of course, as you've all identified is from Russia and Putin. Not just to Ukraine but to the West,
and to the rest of the world. And so I just wonder, how you think Putin will react to you and Finland acceding to NATO, becoming members, and in
the interim, the so-called gray zone before you are full members. Are you - - have you been given absolute, ironclad guarantees that you too will be defended and every square inch of your territory will be defended if there
is a threat from Russia?
ANDERSSON: Yes, I think that's important to always remember. The reason why Sweden and Finland have decided to apply for NATO membership is the Russian
invasion of Ukraine and its clear threat to the European security order. So, far the Russian reaction has been rather mild.
And I think that makes a lot of sense, actually, since both Sweden and Finland, I mean, we have been members of the European Union for decades and
we are also been working closer and closer to NATO during the last years. And we have participated in most NATO operations globally. So from that
perspective, it's not such a big step. And I think maybe that's what this Russia is also seeing.
When it comes to this great period from the application until we are full members, of course, an important step is what we now will reach, that
invitee status, but we have also spoken with many of the NATO member states and got security assurances from them. Among the countries, the United
States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, or Spain where we are today. And of course, the combination of those assurances and an invitee status I
think makes Sweden in a more secure position than we were before we sent in the application.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned against Ukraine fatigue, so-called. And he's talked about how the
support for Ukraine must be maintained until they are able to get their territory back. This is what the NATO secretary general said today in terms
of what support will go to Ukraine. Let me just play this for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STOLTENBERG: Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes. Allies will continue to provide major military and financial help, and today leaders
agreed to strengthen our support by agreeing for comprehensive assistant package for Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, are you concerned that there is -- or will develop Ukraine fatigue? And are you concerned that there are splits
beginning to show in terms of the United States, we understand, internally, is wondering whether Ukraine actually can win, no matter how many weapons
are sent, and can regain its territory? What do you say about that?
ANDERSSON: I'm definitely concerned about potential Ukraine fatigue, and therefore I think it's so important that we, who are leaders of our
country, that we also take the time to explain to our citizens that Ukraine is not only fighting a war for Ukraine, but also for democracy's right to
choose their own destiny and live in peace and freedom. And I know that the whole world is now affected by this war.
But that is because Russia has decided to invade a peaceful and friendly neighbor. And therefore, this war has to stop and Ukraine has to win the
war. So we must continue to act united. We have to continue with the sanctions. And we have to continue to support Ukraine. Humanitarianly,
financially, and not the least, with military support. We have to keep on sending weapons to Ukraine so they can defend their country in the way that
they are legally allowed to do.
AMANPOUR: So what you're saying leaves me to ask, then don't you believe that this is all a case for escalating aid to Ukraine, not just maintaining
it, but escalating, particularly military aid, as you see what the Russians are doing, particularly in the east right now?
ANDERSSON: Yes, I think we need to send more weapons to Ukraine so that they can defend themselves. Yes. And we in Sweden, we are working on the
next package for military support to Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: Can I just quickly switch a little bit to -- presumably we'll be having discussions with your other counterparts, including President Biden.
I just wanted to ask you, you know, Sweden has, for a long time, had a certain feminist foreign policy. You know what's happened in the United
States, the reversal of women's rights in the United States for the first time ever in the Roe versus Wade Supreme Court decision. And you can see
the hearings and what they are saying about President Trump's attempt to reverse democracy writ large.
What kind of things have you been saying to President Biden as you all talked about trying to maintain democracy in the world against Putin?
ANDERSSON: What -- I mean, what is happening when it comes to women's rights in the United States is of course something that is worrying me and
so many other women and men across the world. We in Sweden, we've had a feminist policy, a feminist government for many years now. And of course,
we stand up for women's rights all over the world.
I'm so worried that the decision in the United States will make so many women suffer, both for their lives and for their health because this is
what we see in countries where abortions aren't legal.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Andersson, thank you so much. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden.
ANDERSSON: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: I also spoke to the host of this historic NATO summit, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. From Madrid, he told me this is about
nothing less than defending our whole way of life.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, welcome to our program.
SANCHEZ: Thank you very much. Happy to be with you.
AMANPOUR: On such an important day, this is a very consequential -- in all of your words -- NATO summit. Perhaps the most consequential since the
beginning of this alliance. Tell me in what regard you think that's true.
SANCHEZ: Well, I think it's true, first of all, because of the historical context that we are hosting this very important summit. Second, because we
are about to approve the Strategic Concept, which is how NATO will work in the next decade, for the future. Third, because we are enlarging the NATO
alliance, two very important democratic European countries, such as Finland and Sweden. And of course, because, at the end of the day, what we're doing
is sending a message of unity against Putin in solidarity with Ukraine. So at the end of the day what we are doing is gathering and hosting a very
important summit of democracies that defends our common values which are democracy, freedom, and a rule-based international order.
AMANPOUR: In other words, Prime Minister, everything is on the line. And I just want to mention the Finland and the Sweden situation. What would have
happened if you could not have gotten some kind of agreement for Turkey to lift its veto? What message would Putin have taken away?
SANCHEZ: Well, I think that sooner or later it was going to happen. So we're very glad that we reached this agreement in Madrid. I think it's
If we go back to the '90s, '97, the alliance, NATO, was accomplished by 16 members, 11 of those were Europeans, were belonging to European Union.
Nowadays we have an alliance of 30 countries. So before this agreement, yesterday evening, we were 21 countries coming from the European Union. And
after this agreement, we will be 23 out of 30 member states of the alliance coming from the European Union.
So I do believe that this agreement and this summit also, I would say, will highlight the Europe, Europeanization of NATO, which is by the way
undermined by the war in Ukraine by Putin.
AMANPOUR: We're going to talk about Ukraine specifically in a moment. But first, I want to ask you about Putin's threats and capabilities beyond
Ukraine. I want to first play you a little soundbite from what the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, said a couple of months ago about
America's intent for how this should all end up. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things that it has done in invading
Ukraine. So it has already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability
to very quickly reproduce that capability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Mister Prime Minister, the idea was to weaken Russia so it couldn't what it's doing in Ukraine. Do you believe now, you know, more
than 100 days in the fifth month now of this war, that Russia has been weakened? Because all we see is it consolidating its grip on the east and
the south of Ukraine.
SANCHEZ: Well, actually, I think that Putin has reviewed his military strategy since the beginning of the war. But I do believe that perhaps we
are facing a longer conflict that we expected in the beginning. That is why I think it was so important the G7 Summit last week in Germany, and now the
Madrid summit, because we are sending a clear message to Putin which is we are going to support Ukraine, and, of course, we are not -- we're ready,
sorry, to support Ukraine until the Russian troops leave the country and they respect the territorial integrity and international sovereignty of
So I think it's important to send this message of unity and determination of the international community, especially NATO allies and of course the
G7, in order to, you know, to make possible to return to a scenario where different countries, especially Russia, in this case, respect a rules based
international order, which is, you know, undermined because of this terrible war in Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you specifically, because there have been now a lot of reporting about, yes, the international community, NATO is making a huge
effort to bolster Ukraine's defenses, and obviously sending weapons but know some of the governments who promised to send them have not done out.
Germany has been very slow. France has been slow. There are questions about what's Spain has actually sent in terms of what actually needs -- what the
Ukrainians need now in the east, the long range artillery, the kind of stuff to ward off the Putin doctrine of attrition which is what you're
seeing in the east.
Tell me what you have sent, and are you convinced that your counterparts have no Ukraine fatigue and will keep this up?
SANCHEZ: Well, so far what I heard from all the allies in the summit is our commitment to send military capabilities to Ukraine. So far, in Spain, what
we have done is to send 400 tons of military capacities and of course humanitarian aid to Ukraine. And within the European Union framework, we
are financing this European peace facility, which is used by the European Union institutions in order to provide military capacities to Ukraine. So
we are ready and we are stand by with the Ukrainian army forces, and of course the government, to help them to repeal this invasion.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Prime Minister, you remember very well, because you mentioned it today, that, you know, in 2010 when the last major Strategic Concept of
NATO, you know, was established in Lisbon, at that time, President Medvedev of Russia was invited.
Russia was considered, quote, "a strategic partner." Now NATO is saying, you're all saying, that it's the major strategic threat to Europe and this
part of the world, and its values. Just, you know, if you had to do it all over again, was it a mistake, even in 2010, to consider Russia a strategic
partner, given what it had already done in Georgia, Moldova, et cetera, and what Putin was already saying about the West and NATO?
SANCHEZ: Well, I think that at that time we try to give Russia an opportunity, and to Putin especially, an opportunity. Perhaps over the
years we've been a bit naive in our relations with Russia because nowadays what we are seeing is an expansionist and imperialism behavior by Putin and
his regime. And this is something that's unacceptable. At the end of the day we're not speaking only about a European security matter.
If you speak with African leaders, with leaders from Latin America, all over the world, they will tell you that this is a global challenge. This is
a global threat for the international order. And this is something that we need to keep in mind. So at the end of the day, what we are doing in Europe
is to defend our values, our democracies.
You know, the entrance of Finland and Sweden in NATO is not because they want to expand their territories, but to defend their values, their
democracies, and of course the international order based on rules, clear rules that provide certainty and security to our societies which is at the
end of the day the basic rule in order to provide prosperity and well-being to our societies. So I think that this is a global threat, not a European
And secondly, perhaps -- well, not perhaps, we've been a bit naive after Crimea, after all the movements that Putin put in place over the last
decade. So I think it's important what we are now approving in this Madrid summit, which is to define Russia as a strategic threat for the allies. And
it will defend what it means, the instruments that we are going to put in place in order to respond to this global threat.
AMANPOUR: So just to expound on that, you're talking about preserving democracy, which affects all of us, obviously. And you've been having one-
on-one and other talks with President Joe Biden. You've obviously been watching a certain amount or hearing the hearings about January 6th, the
insurrection, the very deadly and bloody insurrection against American democracy.
What have you been discussing about that? And what is your reaction to, for instance, what just came out about what Donald Trump was doing on that day?
SANCHEZ: Well, I think, you know, after what we knew with this resolution of the Supreme Court in the U.S., with this majority of conservatives in
the Supreme Court regarding abortion, you know, I was born in 1972 so the law and the recognition for abortion of women in the U.S. was passed the
law in 1973. So also this lesson means how difficult it is to advance in this civil rights for women and for other groups of our society, and how
easy it is -- you know, backlash as we are now witnessing with these very controversial decisions.
And of course, I participate some months ago in a forum that President Biden organized with all the democracies in order to see how can we show
our societies that democracy is the best system ever to -- in an effective manner we can solve the challenges that our societies have. Inequality, of
course, is certainly the biggest challenge that we face. But of course, we have others. Security, climate change, and so on and so forth.
So I think that now we are -- our democracies are, you know, under this pressure from our societies to respond effectively to this challenges and
to, you know, reinforce our international order base in this rule-based uncertainty that we need in order to provide economic growth and prosperity
to our societies.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, thank you so much for joining us today.
SANCHEZ: It's a pleasure. Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: For his part, President Biden announced at the NATO Summit today that the United States would beef up its military presence in Europe,
establishing a permanent army headquarters in Poland, sending 3000 more troops to Romania and increasing troop deployments in the Baltic States.
Bolstering U.S. commitment to democracy abroad while, at home, as we've discussed, explosive testimony from a Trump White House aide is sending
shockwaves through that country.
Speaking before the January 6th Committee, Cassidy Hutchinson revealed extraordinary new details about President Trump's conduct that awful day.
Correspondent Ryan Nobles has this report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): From the moment she was sworn in --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you swear of affirm --
NOBLES (voiceover): Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, made it clear she had much to share.
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on
NOBLES (voiceover): Providing unique insight into a chaotic White House in the days leading up to January 6th and a president who cheered on the
rioters. And she says she was told, desperately wanted to be with them.
HUTCHINSON: The president says something to the effect of, I'm the effing president, take me up to the capitol now. The president reached up towards
the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel, Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel.
We're going back to the West Wing. We're not going to the capital. Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel.
NOBLES (voiceover): Hutchinson detailed Trump's insistence that he follow his supporters to the capitol on January 6th despite being told repeatedly
it was dangerous and potentially illegal.
HUTCHINSON: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're
going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen. We had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or
defrauding the electoral count.
NOBLES (voiceover): She outlined repeated examples of an unstable commander-in-chief who lashed out in anger often after losing the 2020
election. Like when he learned Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press there was no widespread voter fraud.
HUTCHINSON: There was ketchup dripping down the wall and there is a shattered porcelain plate on the floor. The valet had articulated that the
president was extremely angry at the attorney general's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall.
NOBLES (voiceover): Sitting just doors away from the Oval Office, Hutchinson was central to key moments leading up to January 6th. Meadows
himself warned her.
HUTCHINSON: Things might get real, real bad on January 6th.
NOBLES (voiceover): She also made it clear, White House officials knew about the vast array of weapons the crowds carrying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got three men down the street in fatigues carrying AR-15s. Copy at 14th and independence.
NOBLES (voiceover): Including Trump, who said, in a tent at the rally site --
HUTCHINSON: I overheard the president say something to the effect of, you know, I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not there to hurt
me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the capital here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We're going to walk and I'll be there. with you. We're going to walk down to the capitol.
NOBLES (voiceover): Hutchinson said she was also in contact with Republican leaders, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who warned
her that Trump should not come to the capitol.
HUTCHINSON: He said, well, well, he just said it onstage, Cassidy, figure it out. Don't come up here.
NOBLES (voiceover): As the crowd was raging, Hutchinson testified that Trump was cheering them on, agreeing with the chance to "hang Mike Pence."
HUTCHINSON: (INAUDIBLE) responded something to the effect of, you heard it, Pat, he thinks Mike deserves that he doesn't think they're doing
NOBLES (voiceover): And recounted White House counsel Pat Cipollone's reaction.
HUTCHINSON: People are going to die and the blood is going to be on your effing hands.
NOBLES (voiceover): The day after the violence, the White House counsel and advisers urged him to give a speech condemning the rioters.
HUTCHINSON: We need to get a stronger message out there and condemn this, otherwise, this will be your legacy. We're also talked about the 25th
Amendment, you need this as cover.
NOBLES (voiceover): Trump wanted to float the idea of pardons for those who broke into the capitol, something he ultimately did not do.
HUTCHINSON: Mr. Meadows did seek that pardon.
NOBLES (voiceover): And according to Hutchinson, many others, including Meadows and Giuliani, sought pardons from Trump. A once loyal Republican,
committed to Trump and his mission, Hutchinson now says --
HUTCHINSON: I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed and really, it felt personal. I -- it was really sad. As an American, I was disgusted. It
was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the capitol building get defaced over a lie.
NOBLES (on camera): And the Secret Service is refuting aspects of Hutchinson's testimony. They say that incident that she talked about
involving the former president inside the presidential limo on January 6th is not exactly how she portrays it. They say their agents are willing to
testify under oath to the Committee about their experience. They say it didn't happen that way and they also say they never told Hutchinson that
Meanwhile, the Committee is standing by their witness. A source was close to the Committee tells me on background that she was willing to stand up
and testify under oath, but they're also willing to hear from anyone who has information that would help with their investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Ryan Nobles reporting those shocking details.
Our next guest has advised the January 6th Committee with his expertise on authoritarianism. He's the author of "How Fascism Works," Jason Stanley.
And he joins Hari Sreenivasan to analyze the hearings and the state of American democracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Jason Stanley, thanks much for joining us.
First, let's talk a little bit about the hearings yesterday. What struck you about them?
JASON STANLEY, AUTHOR "HOW FASCISM WORKS": Well, what struck me about them is they confirmed what many have suspected, including myself, that Trump
was not -- if the testimony is accurate, that Trump was not a passive actor in the events of January 6th but was deeply emotionally involved and wanted
to be there on the scene and was perhaps conflicted, but certainly, was not removing himself from the actual active move toward the capital.
SREENIVASAN: You know, for our audience, we should point out that at some levels you have advised the Committee and I don't know what you can share
publicly about that, but is this going according to any conversations that you might have been a party to?
STANLEY: Well, I think, for me, in my case, they asked me about coups and authoritarianism and fascism and the structure of the rolling coup that
we're seeing, they -- which was not an aspect that they particularly covered. I think we have covered it in the sense that we've seen that
everyone in Washington knew that the election was fair, everyone in Washington, all the people who surrounded the president, knew that it was -
- he was lying. And went -- and many of them went along anyway.
And so, that, to me, is the aspect that needs the most attention for Americans, that so many of our leading politicians knew exactly that this
was a lie and went ahead with this attempt to overthrow U.S. democracy.
SREENIVASAN: What about the levels of accountability or I guess, in this case, lack thereof? I mean, for the Committee to come and, you know,
present people one after the other that did the right thing, partly because there was a concern that the rule of law would catch up to them. But we
really haven't seen a catch up to anybody yet.
STANLEY: Absolutely. And that's why the coup is, as it were, ongoing. Because it's abundantly clear that everyone surrounding the president felt
that there -- they were in legal jeopardy. They were in severe legal jeopardy. And that is what held them back from going ahead. We know that,
state by state, from state legislatures such as Michigan to national, to Trump's inner circle, they saw clearly and obviously that this was an
illegal attempt to overthrow the United States of America. And were blocked from going forward.
You know, I wish, as a philosopher, that Socrates was right that justice could be its own reward. But Socrates -- interlocutors claim people are
only just because they can -- they are punished for it if they're not. And what we've seen is the fear of punishment is what kept American democracy
alive. And now, that everyone has seen that there is no accountability, that there are no consequences, that means that the next time, what is to
stop the coup from succeeding?
SREENIVASAN: I also wonder about the violence, not just the day of, but the idea that there were so many people that knew that this had a very high
probability of getting out of hand and yet, continued. We're talking multiple e-mails and text going back and forth where people were in
consultation and they were actually scared of what could happen on January 6th.
STANLEY: I'm very glad you asked about that, Hari. That it's one thing that I am regularly asked about in this context. In my expertise as a
philosopher of language and, in particular, in my role as an expert and scholar on rhetoric that encourages unjustified violence. What we've seen,
as I've talked about on the show before, is explicit calls for violence and revenge.
A narrative that lays out the justification for political violence. You know, any expert on political violence would tell you that this kind of
talk is exactly the kind of talk that justifies political violence. You're saying, take back our country. You have been betrayed. This is a
revolution. All of this kind of vocabulary, the setting up -- is setting up mass political violence.
Then you have this new revelation from yesterday, that I really focused on, about weapons that the president said, OK, they should be allowed in with
their weapons, according to the witness. Think about that in the context of the recent Supreme Court decision, allowing arms to be carried everywhere,
essentially. So, this idea that we're going to have a mass prevalence of weapons in the run up to an election that, by all indicators, looks like it
will involve political violence. And then the president saying, they should be allowed to bring weapons.
So, I'm very concerned about this kind of normalization of political violence. This kind of, you know, this is the American way, to carry guns,
to have a militia. The Supreme Court is saying, no, the correct reading of the Second Amendment is, you know, when -- you know, be armed to defend
yourself against what? Against what? Well, you know, the president -- really, that testimony yesterday seem to suggest that the president was
building a narrative that revenge for a supposedly stolen election could involve, you know, things in the constitution that allow us to bear arms.
And that kind of gelling of the narrative between the Supreme Court's decision and yesterday's testimony concerns me deeply.
SREENIVASAN: You know, you mentioned the Supreme Court, I want to talk a little bit about that. I mean, the cases in the last couple of weeks have
indicated a court that's kind of finding that it has the power and is willing to use it. It is also shaken for a lot of people the legitimacy of
the court. I mean, public opinion numbers are down in the 20s. And I wonder what that does to a functioning democracy if we lose one branch of
government or at least perceive it as similar to the others, partisan.
STANLEY: Well, a one-party state needs to ceases (ph) the courts. And this court is clearly a Republican court. I mean, this kind of started with Bush
v. Gore in -- 20 years ago or so. But this court is very clearly a partisan court. I don't think -- I think, you know, it's kind of owning the libs is
not actually in the constitution.
And so, these rulings on Roe v. Wade, on Pence about undermining other rights, there -- fulfilling a sort of kind of nakedly partisan agenda, the
ruling, I believe, yesterday about the gerrymandering in Louisiana, that very severe Republican racial gerrymandering was constitutional, these
certainly seem to check off -- they check off Republican dream points on the platform.
And you have to ask yourself, is it really the case that the founders wrote the constitution expecting to legitimate every kind of Republican wish list
in recent years? I think that's probably constitutionally dubious. I think it's probably doubtful that the founders had access to the Republican Party
platforms in the 21st century. So, it's extremely worrisome.
We had a president voted in by a minority of the population, appoint three radical right Supreme Court justices to join already some radical right
Supreme Court justices. And they are fulfilling sort of point by, point a Republican Party platform to the point where Congresswoman Boebert said,
you know, the founders intended the church to guide the government. This -- the constitution is becoming a kind of part of this mythic past, this
invented mythic past that justifies everything the Republicans -- you know, that the Republicans are just inventing, justifies their political
And that's something that, obviously, is characteristic of a one-party state. And that's where we are tilting, at the very least, into a one-party
state where that party is supported only by a minority of the population. If you look at the poll numbers, the majority of Americans are not for
overturning Roe v. Wade.
SREENIVASAN: I want to talk about the role of fear. Because of one of the things that came up in testimony, recently, in these hearings, is that the
Committee asks witnesses, has anybody basically tried to intimidate you? And they get a series of responses that almost read like a script from some
sort of a mob movie. Hey, are you going to be a team player? I'm going to remember you. You know, the day before their testimony.
How is it that either the president or his supporters still have this much power and sway being out of office?
STANLEY: This is a long theme in the literature on authoritarianism and fascism. People always make a comparison between the fascist leader and a
mob boss. In a rule of law state, everyone is equal, everyone is subject to law equally. In a fascist state or maybe even an authoritarian state of
whatever kind of strike, it's all about loyalty to the leader or -- and loyalty to the party. It's loyalty rather than rule of law. So, that's how
you have to think about it.
So, there is a lot of literature, say, in the Frankford School, about theorizing about the relationship between the mafia boss, the mob boss, and
the leader of a one-party authoritarian state, Stalin or a Hitler, because its loyalty to the leader that replaces the rule of law. And this is just
classic what we are seeing. We are seeing loyalty to the leader. And the way it works is, like, you know, if the -- we are headed towards a one-
party state in this country, let's be clear about what's happening, if it's not led by Trump, it will be led by someone else, because what we have seen
shows a bunch of people what is possible. So -- and there is no accountability. So, that is where we're headed unless Americans wake up and
we all do something about it together.
And the way that works is, you know, the people who show loyalty will be protected, the institutions that show loyalty will be protected and
everyone else will be smashed. This is really central literally on authoritarianism.
SREENIVASAN: So, what should happen to the people that supported the president? Obviously, there are trials happening to people who actually
walked into the capitol right now and they are facing consequences. But relatively speaking, they are small fries in this all. The people who have
the ability to stop this before it started, or even after it started, the ones who were advising the president in ways that were anti-democratic,
what could happen to them? And if nothing happens to them, then what?
STANLEY: I'm really against the idea that only the small fry get punished. I mean, I think they are, to some extent, victims as well here of their
leaders. The fact is that when the leaders of a country say that people should go on the streets and overthrow that country, because they have been
betrayed, then many people will believe them.
And so, I think the United States has been betrayed by political leaders. Some accountability must occur. If it doesn't occur, then you will see what
we see right now, which is, in state after state, election -- the election apparatus being taken over by people who know that it was a complete lie
that the election was stolen. And think, well, America should be run just by our team and American democracy, that's what the enemy is.
So, there must be accountability. There is a large portion of today's Republican Party that has proven itself to be against democracy. What the
January 6th Commission did that was so important for our democracy is they showed that Senator Hawley, Senator Cruz and the other senators who went
along with this, knew it was a lie. So, they were part of a conspiracy to overthrow American democracy and they should not be allowed to be political
leaders. I think that, to me, is the kind of accountability I would like to see.
You know, I don't think prisons need to be in the picture, but some accountability must happen. We cannot have a political party that is
opposed to democracy.
SREENIVASAN: That brings me to maybe my last question here. What is uniquely American that got us into this situation, or prevented it from
being worse? Are we capable of preventing something like this from happening or is our structure built where this is bound to happen again?
STANLEY: Democracy is always fragile. Democracy is hard. This idea that we will perpetually be a democracy is a fiction. We are actually a new
democracy. We only became a democracy once black Americans were given the right to vote in the 1960s. So, we were -- and right now, we are still a
partial democracy. Democracies are fragile things by their very nature. A small sliver of humans throughout history have lived in democracies. Though
democracy dates is an ancient system of government.
The reason we are powerful, as a country, and the reason we are special and the reason I'm so proud to be an American is because democracy -- the
vocabulary of democracy is interwoven with being an American. So, unlike other countries that can sort of like, you know, use democracy sort of like
as a fig leaf, the vocabulary, Americans, democracy is something that is a rallying cry.
So, it's something that the civil rights movement used. It's something that liberation movements in America have always been able to use, from
Frederick Douglass on, they've been able to say, we are these ideals and we are not living up to them. And that gives us a unique kind of power. And
that has always, in the past, helped us in fits and starts. We always go but we often go back. But slowly move ahead, forward and then backward. Two
steps forward and one step back. We are seeing that again.
Those of us who study democracy, those of us who study philosophically, historically, understand that democracies are fragile because one group
will always want to rise up and seize power and take it for themselves. And that's the natural state of things. So, it's always hard. This -- and we
should recognize that it's always hard. And preserving democracy is and will always be a difficult thing to do.
SREENIVASAN: Jason Stanley, thanks as always.
STANLEY: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And as one who has covered plenty of minority authoritarian one- party countries around the world, that sobering warning from an expert on democracy in the United States and the threats therein is very, very
And finally, tonight, an update on a beautiful beach with an ugly past and a happyish ending. In a historic vote, the Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors has unanimously agreed to return Bruce's Beach to the descendants of the original black owners, Willa and Charles Bruce. The
prime piece of real estate was taken away from them nearly 100 years ago, under the guise of eminent domain, that is governments seizure for public
use. Though rarely, really, it was taken away because they were black.
County officials will now rent the land from the Bruce family for $413,000 a year with the option of buying the property, which is worth some $20
million right now, sometime down the line. Descendant Anthony Bruce called the vote bittersweet. And he hopes similar cases will follow. Telling the
New York Times, let this be the drop that creates the ripple, that creates the wave, that creates the tsunami, that covers the country.
And that is it for now. Thank you for watching. Goodbye from London.