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Interview with Former Acting U.S. Solicitor General and Former Special Assistant to the U.S. Department Attorney General Neal Katyal; Interview with Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS); Interview with World Food Programme Haiti Country Director Jean-Martin Bauer; Interview with Historian and "The Pioneers" Author David McCullough; Interview with 23- Time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired August 09, 2022 - 13:00:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN. More people get their news from CNN than any other news source.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone and welcome to "Amanpour". Here's what is coming up.

An FBI raid for the history books. After agents search Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, I discuss the latest with a former top lawyer at the U.S. Justice

Department, Neal Katyal. And --


REP. SHARICE DAVIDS (D-KS): We do not want the government making our health care decisions for us in Kansas.


GOLODRYGA: A Democrat in a ruby red State. Congresswoman Sharice Davids, joins me on Kansans' surprising support of abortion rights. And why she

thinks she deserves another term.


Gang violence erupts in Haiti and ordinary citizens are caught in the crossfire. I get a shocking report from the ground and speak to the World

Food Programme Country Director, Jean-Martin Bauer.



DAVID MCCULLOUGH, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR, "THE PIONEERS": We have heroes all through our history who have never been given the light that they deserve.


GOLODRYGA: Remembering historian David McCullough. We look back at Walter Isaacson's conversation with the Pulitzer Prize winner about his book, "The


Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

The news came from former President Trump himself. The FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home. The first time ever federal agents have searched the

residents of a former U.S. leader. It took place under the utmost secrecy and there are still many unknown questions. But what we do know is that the

search was related to the handling or alleged mishandling of classified documents. For a deeper look at the legal angle, let's turn to a former top

lawyer at the Justice Department, Neal Katyal.

Welcome to the program from Washington, Neal. So, talk about the significance of this move. Because I would imagine the threshold for

something this unprecedented would be rather high.


think you got it exactly right in your opening. I mean, this is very big news. It's never happened before, to my knowledge, in the United States

history to have the home of a former president searched by law enforcement.

And what it means is that it is likely, it's not 100 percent, but it is likely that the former president is the target of a criminal investigation

by the United States Justice Department. And it is historic because what you have here is really two different branches of government signing off on

this because it's not just the executive branch through Merrick Garland and the Justice Department.

They had to go to a federal judge and get permission for the search. And they had to go to the judge and say, look, we have probable cause to

believe federal crimes were committed. That there are documents in Mr. Trump's house that are relevant to proving whether those crimes were

committed. And they had to convince the judge that an ordinary request, what we call a subpoena, wasn't enough. That they were worried that Trump

would destroy the documents, not turn them over, and the like. And the judge obviously sided with the government on all three of those things.

So -- and also, this is an executive branch that, you know, the FBI director is -- his own appointee, Chris Wray. So, it's hard for Trump to,

kind of, say, oh, this is political and stuff. Obviously, he is trying. But this is a really, really major step. If Donald Trump were my client, and

thank the Lord he is not, I would be telling him to call his family and say we should make arrangements. I might be going to jail.

GOLODRYGA: Wow. Let's take a step back for our viewers to refresh everyone as to what these documents are in the original scandal involving these 15

boxes that the president left the White House with of classified information. Left the White House with earlier this year when he moved to

Mar-a-Lago. Now, if that sounds familiar, it is because the story in the investigation into those 15 boxes, the missing boxes, had been ongoing for

the past few months.

And investigators had arrived, I believe it was earlier this month -- this summer, at Mar-a-Lago and had retrieved some of those boxes. Ultimately, it

appears that they were missing some classified material which led to this search yesterday. Without having to put you on the spot, because there is a

lot that we don't know, what could these documents possibly be?


KATYAL: Yes. There's a lot that we don't know. So, I want to be very careful here. What we do know is as early as February, because of Jackie

Alemany, Ashley Parker, and other reporting in "The Washington Post", we know that Trump had taken some documents to Mar-a-Lago that he shouldn't

have taken. That included both classified and unclassified documents.

Obviously, taking classified information, I'll talk about in a second, is a much more serious offense, but both are problematic. The Presidential

Records Act and other things require preservation of this material. Not taking it to your home and keeping it away from the American public and

historians and the like.

So, that's what we know. There's some reporting from "The Post" that included some stuff with North Korea. Again, details are vague, and they

should be vague because, Bianna, this is a criminal investigation that's ongoing. And the last thing you want is, kind of, the FBI or Justice

Department leaking that fruits of their investigation or what they are finding. And so -- and Merrick Garland has run a very tight ship on all of

this. So, that is not surprising.

The other thing we know is that taking classified information and putting it in your house is a serious offense. It's one thing if you do it by

mistake. You know, document cuts in your briefcase or something like that. But this kind of, what looks like to be, very intentional mishandling of

classified information and keeping it for yourself is a very serious thing. I've been in two different administrations where I handled incredibly

sensitive documents. And we're told almost every week, you go to jail if you mishandled these.


KATYAL: This is like, you know, you're repeatedly, repeatedly told about this. So, that's one thing. And that is what we know the search warrant was

about, it was the classified information. It's also the case though that when you're executing a search warrant, you can also find other evidence of

other crimes. And if that evidence is in plain view or is otherwise authorized by the scope of the search warrant, then you can get that too.

So, it's not as if it's just necessarily about classified information. They might have find -- found information about January 6th or the like, we

don't know. Just the last thing -- I'm sorry to talk so long, but one other thing to get on the table, those reports came out in February in "The

Washington Post", we're now in August. Why did the search happen now? I think that's a really interesting question.

One possibility may be that the FBI has a source on the inside at Mar-a- Lago who said, you know, check the safe or check, you know, this particular area and the evidence is going to -- might be destroyed or something

otherwise. He's hiding it. I don't know. But it does seem unusual to me that so many months later, all of a sudden, the search is authorized.

And if you're the prosecutor, if you're the FBI, if you're Merrick Garland, the last thing you want to do is authorize a search like this, break into

the safe under -- with the (INAUDIBLE) or federal judge and come up empty- handed. So, my guess is there was a lot of like work done beforehand.

GOLODRYGA: Well, we do know from previous reporting that the former president had a history of mishandling classified information. Just

yesterday, Maggie Haberman, in her upcoming book released photos of torn documents that the president had flushed down the toilet. There you see

them. That having been said, and I know that there are former government officials, administration officials that have been prosecuted for the

mishandling of classified information in the past. Many people would have viewed the Presidential Records Act as, sort of, being toothless.

And I'm asking this because I'm going to put you in a place of having to separate just your legal background with the politics of the land right

now. And if this were something that had just been a simple mishandling of a classified piece of information that perhaps, you know, a dinner menu one

night or a list of guests who attended a certain event or what have you. Would it have gone this far? Would it have been justified politically, in

your view, given the unprecedented nature of this search and the consequences subsequently to have pursued it?

KATYAL: There's no question in my mind, Bianna, that if you or I did what Trump is accused of, we'd be not able to talk. We'd be talking from a jail

cell behind bars. You know, this -- you know, again, we don't know exactly what the evidence is. But if it is classified material, if it's sensitive,

compartmented information, which is the highest level, yes.

Now, sometimes, can you plead? Sandy Berger pled guilty and just got a fine for one discreet violation. Here it looks like there's more. Here it looks

like there's many possible reasons for it and to keep these documents away from the American public and others. Maybe that's not the case and it's all

inadvertent and he just happens to be flushing documents down the toilet and bringing them to Mar-a-Lago by mistake and putting them in the

fireplace and burning them. You know, maybe all of this is inadvertent. It's possible.


KATYAL: I'd also say that I think that --


GOLODRYGA: I don't mean that it's inadvertent, I'm sorry to interrupt you. I just mean, there has been a debate as to the overclassification

potentially of documents over the years. And I'm just saying the significance of this, given the consequences in the fallout from a former

president having his home searched potentially will run for president again. Do you -- does all of this play into the rationale and decision-

making on the part of the attorney general, and even the judge, before they sign off on this type of search?

KATYAL: Absolutely, I think it does. So, if this is, you know, documents that are truly, truly overclassified and irrelevant, I could, you know, I

could see Garland even though it's not strictly legally necessary, I could see him asking those very questions, Bianna, that you're asking. Of course,

the remedy for overclassification is in hot, oh, bring the documents home and keep them away from the American public for ages to come. It's to

declassify them in the appropriate way.

And that, again, doesn't necessarily look like it was done here. I suppose he has an argument that, as president, he had inherent classification

authority but his time ended on January 20th. So, we don't know exactly when those documents were brought out of the White House. But, you know,

these are all, I think, important questions that I'm sure Garland has looked into.

And I guess that's one other really important thing to say here, which is, you know, if there's anyone to be attorney general at this one time, it's

someone like Merrick Garland. Someone who is, frankly, frustrated me at times with the pace of the investigation and his incredibly slow bookish

methodical nature when we're talking about, you know, possibly the destruction of the rule of law when it comes to, for example, January 6th.

But it's precisely because he's not that bloodthirsty prosecutor.

He is someone who really did, always have the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike in my town, Washington D.C. He is just so careful and

meticulous. That's the kind of person you want for this historic first time a former president has been searched and perhaps the target of a criminal


GOLODRYGA: And we should note, the search doesn't mean prosecutors have determined that he has committed a crime, right? And it's interesting that

he took to public media and social media and saying this is something that would only happen in a third-world country. And that this is all political

because he has the warrant himself, I would imagine. Either he or his attorneys do. So, he could make that public if he wanted to be completely


Neal Katyal, we'll have to leave it there. Thank you so much. We will, of course, continue to follow this developing story. We appreciate it.

KATYAL: Thank you, so much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, when Kansas voters surprised the country with a strong backing of abortion rights, Congresswoman Sharice Davids breathed a major

sigh of relief. The only Democratic member of Congress from State. Davids' campaigned hard on the issue and it paid off. Now, she's gearing up for

another fight. This time to hold on to her seat in November.

Congresswoman Sharice Davids, welcome to the program from Roeland Park, Kansas. We appreciate your time. I have to begin this interview by asking

your reaction to this unprecedented search of the former president's home in Mar-a-Lago by the FBI. Your thoughts on this? And the legal and

potential consequences going forward?

REP. SHARICE DAVIDS (D-KS): Yes, well -- I think, I was glad I got the chance to listen to the previous segment about this. I think that you know,

we've heard this word time and time again, unprecedented. But I think that when we have actions that are unprecedented, we have responses that are

unprecedented. And I think that right now what we are seeing is an FBI that is being led by someone who was appointed by former President Trump, who is

being diligent and doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing.

And I think as a policymaker, as a lawmaker, and someone in Congress, it's certainly something that I'm going to keep apprised of, as I've been doing.

And I'm just -- I'm glad that we have an attorney general and an FBI director who really take their roles really seriously.

GOLODRYGA: And this is an independent branch of government. We were reporting that -- CNN reporting that the White House and the president

himself were taken by surprise and had no heads up ahead of the research. That hadn't been said, given the politics of the land right now and the

polarization, you know, many in the Republican leadership have now called foul and said that the FBI should retain all their documents and secure

their calendars, and mark their calendars. Their argument is that this is political.

Are you concerned at all that this will have implications on the former president's decision to run in the midterms as a whole?


DAVIDS: Well, I'd -- so, I don't -- I actually -- I wouldn't presume to know what informs the former president's decision-making framework. But I

will say that I do think that people, at least here, you know, folks in Kansas are very pragmatic and practical. The argument that this is solely

political, it just carries less weight knowing that -- first of all, the FBI is predominantly made up of people who are career civil servants. These

folks go into law enforcement and go into the FBI. They go through rigorous training. And then we have an appointee that President Trump himself


So, I do think that, you know, those seem to clearly be very politically motivated comments and rhetoric that we're seeing from, you know, the

Republican Party, that I'm sure the Republican leadership has encouraged them to adopt.

GOLODRYGA: Let's talk about the frame of mind and, sort of, practicality of voters, as you just mentioned in your state there. And the huge

referendum, the turnout in the vote there to uphold a woman's right to choose, that was a constitutional right in the State's constitution that

they kept in place. Surprising, many, obviously, given that Kansas is a very red state. You had been fighting hard and campaigning hard against

that amendment. It paid off. And I'm curious to get your thoughts now on how that feels and what you think it means going forward for the State on

this issue and perhaps others as we gear up for November.

DAVIDS: Yes, yes. And I think, you said this earlier, relieved, the -- that -- I think there are a lot of folks who really were able to take a

deep breath and feel that sense of relief because after the Dobbs decision, for sure, you know. And I'm sure this was true for folks across the country

but I came home the same day from D.C. back to Kansas after the Dobbs decision and people were scared and having tons of anxiety. And I think

that that's the kind of stuff that -- the intangible feelings.

But, you know, I've said this so many times, we had been working on this amendment for a while. And it really -- I do think, you know, because we

saw voter registration increase after that. That it certainly motivated people to show up. But we also had to educate folks on what a no-vote

meant. Because, you know, while this was a win -- I mean, this was absolutely a win for Kansas and for Kansas families and our rights.

It also was a broad diverse coalition of people who pushed back against really these extreme positions that we're seeing as too many politicians

take that, you know, would encourage politicians to be interfering in the reproductive health care decisions that, you know, should be made between a

woman and her doctor or, you know, within a family.

GOLODRYGA: Has this vote changed your perspective or priorities in terms of how you, yourself, are campaigning in approaching the midterms?

DAVIDS: Well, I can tell you I probably gave more people hugs right after the Dobbs decision came out in an advance of this -- in advance of the

amendment vote. But in general, I think the best thing I can do is be responsive to the people here at home. And what that's meant is making sure

that folks know where I'm at on this position, what I've done to help protect, you know, a woman's right to choose, and help make sure that

politicians aren't interfering in our personal reproductive health care decisions.

And to make sure that people know I am also -- because I -- you know, I think, something people wonder about is whether or not we're still going to

be, you know, talking about and trying to address issues of rising costs, you know, gas prices, inflation, supply chain issues. And the answer is

yes. Because at the same time that I have conversations with people about, you know, the -- either the amendment vote or making sure folks know where

I am at on the issue of reproductive health care access.


I also guaranteed almost every single conversation, people are going to tell me about the, you know, the supply chain issue that their small

business is having, or the ways that gas prices or inflation are really impacting their families. And so, I think that it's really important for us

to make sure that we are -- that we're being responsive to the concerns and issues that people in our districts are bringing up.

GOLODRYGA: You're a history maker on many fronts. Obviously, the only Democrat there. The first of two native American women to ever serve in

Congress. The second ever openly lesbian member of Congress. The first openly LGBT person to represent Kansas, as traditionally, as we said, a

deep red State. The first gay rights activist who fought for years against bills that you viewed as discriminatory.

All of that having been said, do you see that as a -- an advantage for you moving forward? Are you viewing this as something that can, perhaps, help

single you out from your opponents and move you to further leadership roles in Congress?

DAVIDS: That's a -- I mean -- I think -- there's two things that I want to say. One is, I do think that you know -- of course, I'm very proud of all

those things. And I'm also really, one of the things that I've been most proud about is that Kansas got to be part of sending the most diverse class

ever to the United States House of Representatives. Because to me, that's an example of the ways that Kansas is -- it's more diverse than people

think and there are so many other pieces of that.

But the other thing, I would say, as it relates to just, like, my race and my ability to connect with folks here at home is that I just -- I think

it's really important that people know that they have a clear choice in, certainly, in my race. And I hope people get to see that in their own

districts if they're not here in Kansas, is that, people should know that I am somebody who has fought for reproductive health care rights and access.

I am working on concrete solutions to lower costs for folks here at home. And I have an opponent who is wildly out of step. Not just on the abortion

issue but so many other issues. She's wildly out of step with this district.

And I think that -- I think we get to be excited about the ways that Kansas is part of the, like, really -- I mean, I'm just going to say -- the really

cool increase in representation that we've seen in Congress. And also, you know, it matters that we're -- I'm here trying to do as much work as

possible for the Kansas term.

GOLODRYGA: Well, Sharice Davids, thank you so much for the time and for walking us through these really important issues. We appreciate it.

DAVIDS: Thank you. Good to see.


Well, turning now to Haiti, a country deep in the throes of a political and humanitarian crisis over a year since the assassination of president

Jovenel Moise, gang violence has spiraled the country towards collapse. Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh rode along with the police SWAT team in the

country's capital trying to reclaim territory taken by the gangs.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voiceover): The descent into the abyss in Haiti is fastest here. But one certainty is when

the police SWAT team we are with cross into gang territory, they will take fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They're shooting. They're shooting.

WALSH (voiceover): It is now a blunt war for control of the capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Where are they shooting from?

WALSH (voiceover): The police need to prove they can be here, the gangs but the police cannot. And it is ordinary citizens who are caught in

between. Here, a passenger on a civilian bus that was hit in the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Take the injured people to the hospital. Make sure you take them to the hospital with the armored vehicle.

You guys are close to there.

WALSH (voiceover): In the days before, police said they've rescued six hostages in this same area. And killed a leader of the 400 Mawozo gang. But

the police struggled to hold ground so the gangs, whose currency is kidnapping and drugs, are gaining far too much. Especially right here.

Rounds hit the armored vehicle. They think that they see where the gunmen are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The building that says "SMS". The yellow and red one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get away. You're too exposed. It's dangerous.

WALSH (voiceover): They run, but not like it's their first time under fire, perhaps even this day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As soon as we get to that point anything that movies, light it up.

WALSH (voiceover): They slide back, perhaps the gang have fled down the alley.

WALSH (on camera): It's this kind of intense violence that so many cite when they talk about Haiti's spiral towards collapse.

WALSH (voiceover): The firepower they bring does not in itself change who's in control. Gangs are able to block main roads at will with trucks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Stay behind the wall there.

WALSH (voiceover): And it requires a major operation to clear them. Gangs now often match or outgun the police. They have a bulldozer too,

demolishing rival houses in one area, Cite Soleil. Locals fled at night during 10 days of clashes in July that left over 470 dead, injured or

missing, said the U.N. as the G9 gang expanded control, burning and demolishing. Those who survived fled tonight here where a mix of flies and

rain stop them from even sleeping.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They burned my house in Cite Soleil and shot my husband seven times. I can't even afford to see him at

the hospital. Down here, the children are starving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I have four kids, but my first is missing and I can't find him. I looked for him everywhere, but I can't

find him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My mother and my father have died. My aunt saved me. I want to go to school, but it was torn down.

WALSH (voiceover): To see where acute desperation can lead, we travel to where what's left of the government rarely treads. Don't be fooled by the

beauty, there is no paradise here, only hunger, heat, trash and the business of leaving. Traffickers boat out to the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, if

you are lucky. And while these places are sending Haitians back in record numbers, the U.S. Coast Guard is also stopping four times as many this year

as last. These exits are what Johnny arranges.

JOHNNY, MIGRANT SMUGGLER (through translator): If we die, we die. If we make it, we make it. I am the one who buys the boat. It can cost up to

$15,000. We are hoping to get 250 people for the next trip, because the boat is big.

WALSH (voiceover): Not everybody made it on their last trip three months ago.

JOHNNY: The boat had an engine problem, water got inside of the boat, we called for help, but it took too long, 29 people died on that trip.

WALSH (voiceover): These are not people who usually share their trade secrets, but maybe now they are relaxed as the authorities are busy. The

boat is aging, scraps of the net plugging holes, engines not fixed yet. But this is where Johnny hopes that 250 people will huddle, maybe as early as

next week.

WALSH (on camera): I mean, not something you want to be in on dry land, let alone out at sea for days.

WALSH (voiceover): One man tells us why he saved for a year to get into here.

I graduated and worked as a teacher, he says, but it did not work out. Now, I am driving a motorcycle every day in the sun and the dust. How will I be

able to take care of my family when I have one? I am not afraid. I will be eaten by a shark or make it to America.

A hope so remote, it could only exist here, where they say the choice is between fire and water even if all day, every day, already feels like



GOLODRYGA: Really sobering report there. Our thanks to Nick Paton Walsh.

Well, my next guest, Jean-Martin Bauer. And he's working to ease this crisis. He is the World Food Programme's country director in Haiti. And he

joins me now from the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Jean-Martin, thank you so much. I don't have to tell you what an uphill battle this is for you. As ambitious as it is, I'm just curious, it's

something that's not new to the country, unfortunately, crime, the economic issues, poverty, obviously, the earthquakes. Why is the situation still so

dire there?

JEAN-MARTIN BAUER, HAITI COUNTRY DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Thanks for having me on. There are many reasons why Haiti's facing chronic food

insecurity. You mentioned that this is a very hazard-prone environment. Just think of what's happened over the past dozen years in Haiti. You've

had a major earthquake in 2010, followed by cholera. There's also Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Then major earthquake last year that killed 2000 people.


So, it just doesn't stop. There are a lot of hazards affecting this country.

And again, one of the reasons why there's so much food insecurity in this country and as of today, we believe it's at least 4.5 million people who

are acutely food insecure. One of the other key reasons is the weakness of agriculture. This country is not able to feed itself. It used to be able to

feed itself. Nowadays, it's not able to feed itself.

It depends on imports for about 50 percent of the food it consumes. And for some foods, the dependency on imports is even higher. 80 percent of all

rice consumed in Haiti comes from overseas. And this is one of the consequences of choices that were made in the 1990s, when the Haitian rice

tariff was brought down from 30 percent to almost zero. And this bankrupted Haiti's farmers and made them less competitive. And overnight, Haiti's rice

production has suffered. And the same is true for other crops.

So, Haiti's problems have been -- they have existed for a while. and they persist this year. And what we're seeing this year is, in addition to the

gang violence you have described, has been the impact of international factors on this country, and especially the increase in food prices due to

the war in Ukraine.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and this has just turned into a vicious cycle over the past. This isn't something new. This has been going on, a problem that's

existed for decades now. I know the WFP is asking for some $39 million in assistance over the next several months. How does that fit in with some

real difficult questions in debates as to whether financial solutions are the solutions that are going to work right now?

In the past, there had been those who said, don't send money. There's other aid that can come because of corruption. How do people who want to help

know that their money that is going to help you today will go where it needs to go?

BAUER: An investment in Haiti right now is as important as it's ever been. What we need to be able to do is support the population in its time of

need. This means providing humanitarian assistance like food, water, other basic needs to the population that's affected by the violence we saw in

your videos and the other factors that are in play. We can also provide cash transfers to boost the local economy and make sure Haitians themselves

are able to pick themselves up.

I have to say that the systems that are used to provide aid in Haiti do provide a quite a good level of transparency and accountability for what's

done. You see, the internet -- the international organizations who have worked here, including the World Food Programme, have very close links with

local NGOs, with local charities. We work directly with communities to provide the assistance that's required. And we do have impact.

And we need to be there and increase what we do to make sure Haitians get the assistance they need at the time that they need. Again, Haiti is 4.5

million people who are acutely food insecure. Out of that 4.5 million, 1.3 is in what we call, emergency food insecurity. That means they need more

assistance right now and we need to step up.

GOLODRYGA: Who are the most vulnerable among the population there?

BAUER: I think we've got two groups. There are -- the most vulnerable area in Haiti right now includes rural areas that have been affected by drought

and by food price increases. I'm thinking of -- there's part of the south and also part of the northwest where all this has led to high levels of

food insecurity. And there's also the poor areas of Port-au-Prince. A recent survey showed that one out of five children in Cite Soleil is

acutely malnourished. You only see those statistics in very serious emergencies. So, Haitis' children need to be a priority.

GOLODRYGA: You know, it's easy to just see these numbers and statistics given all the crises we are covering around the world. And that's why it's

so important to have people like you there on the ground, especially when you hear these statistics and figures about children. We saw images of them

at school. I believe 20 percent of children don't even attend primary school.

So, this is an urgent matter that we are really appreciative the organizations like you are on the ground there trying to help out on it. Of

course, we will continue to cover this story as well. We appreciate your time, Jean-Martin, thank you.

BAUER: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And now, we member David McCullough, who died at the age of 89. A historian, author, and narrator. He was known as the voice of American

history by his colleagues. Walter Isaacson sat down with him in 2019 to discuss his last major work, "The Pioneers", and started of the

conversation by reading the first line about the crucial role of a Massachusetts reverend.



WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: I'm going to read the opening sentence of this book, "The Pioneers" because it's amazing to me. It's never before, as he

knew, had any of his countrymen set off to accomplish anything like would he agree to undertake. A mission that should he succeed would change the

course of history. I think it's impossible not to keep reading. What was that mission?

DAVID MCCULLOUGH, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR, "THE PIONEERS": To create in the - - what was called the northwest territory, which was that territory ceded to us by the British after the end of the revolution which would eventually

include five States, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. An area that was all still wilderness and would double the size of our

country. The Ohio Company which was called -- which was hatched in the old bunch of grave taverns in Boston by veterans of the revolution was to

create a new America, in effect out there which would be based on four fundamental precepts, four fundamental objectives.

One, that there would be complete freedom of religion. Two, that the native peoples living there would be treated with respect and faith in them.

Three, that there would be public education for everybody, starting at grade school all the way through college. No State had anything remotely

close to that. And, of course, it turned out to be the birthplace of all our state universities. And fourth, and most important of all, most radical

of all, there would be no slavery.

This man who's starting off was determined that the idea of all men are created equal would not just be words on paper, but would be a fact, a part

of American life. That there would be no slavery in that huge empire, as it were.

ISAACSON: This was Manasseh Cutler.

MCCULLOUGH: Manasseh Cutler who was a classic, like, your Ben Franklin. 18th-century polymath who was a doctor of law, a doctor of divinity, and a

doctor of ministry, all three at once. And probably because he was a minister, and probably because he was there for completely trusted in him,

and rightly so, he succeeded. He got it through, through Congress. And as a consequence, slavery would not be permitted in this new empire. Up until a

point when after years later, when Jefferson became president, it was a big movement to end that rule and to admit slaves.

ISAACSON: Getting to the slavery thing, Jefferson is an interesting figure here because he's in favor at first in the northwest ordinance of keeping

slavery out. And he wrote that sentence. You know, we hold these truths to be self-evident. But he backslides.

MCCULLOUGH: Yes, he did. He said it wouldn't be good for his political standing back home if he voted for it. Also, he was leaving to become our

representative, our ambassador to France. So, he had that much on his mind. He was going out leaving the stage, as it were.

ISAACSON: How do we judge, from today, these people of the past? Like a Jefferson, who is a larger-than-life character in the formation of our

values and yet has this thing where it's just so, you know, bad in our current light that he keeps arguing for slavery?

MCCULLOUGH: History is human. You know that as well as I do. It's about people. And many of the great figures of history, our history, history of

civilization have been often quite imperfect. And -- but that doesn't mean that what they accomplished wasn't important or valuable or admirable.

Jefferson was a brilliant architect. If he had been nothing but an architect, he would be someone we should know about.

But my feeling strongly now, and I think this is one of the motivations that drove me in this -- writing this book, is that we have heroes all

through our history who have never been given the light that they deserve. Never been brought on stage or front and center stage. These are all people

-- the people that figure in my new book are people you've never heard of.

ISAACSON: This is in Marietta?


MCCULLOUGH: Marietta, Ohio. Marietta, Ohio was the first legal settlement in all the northwest territory. The white men and women in that territory

were either hunters or trappers or squatters. They're there legally. And they're there because they're being compensated as veterans for what and

how they had been paid for their service in the -- to the country which was -- in what was called script, and it was virtually worthless. 10 cents on

the dollar.

So, they were saying, here is this land which you can have, buy for a very inexpensive price. Where the topsoil is five feet deep. Where there's every

kind of tree from which you can make boats or anything else you want to build or make. And then we're going to build boats because it was on the

Ohio River, and they were going to take it down the Ohio to the Mississippi, down the Mississippi to New Orleans, and out to sea.

And nobody had had the imagination to realize this was going to be possible. The river isn't the heart of the story. When they decide to

create this new settlement at a juncture of the Ohio in Muskingum, which is about 90 miles downstream on the Ohio from Pittsburgh, where the Ohio

begins, and a beautiful location and it still is. Absolutely stunning. One of the most beautiful locations in our whole country. They named it for

Marie Antoinette, Marietta, because they felt that she, as much as Ben Franklin, maybe more, they felt, had brought France in to help us win the

war. And, of course, we wouldn't have won the war without their-- the help of the French. Not just with money but with military force. And -- so it's

a tribute to France. And then they set about to create this ideal community, and they did.

ISAACSON: Once Manasseh Cutler who helped get the ordinance passed --


ISAACSON: -- his son, who helped fund Marietta.


ISAACSON: These are, sort of, the unsung heroes that you're write --

MCCULLOUGH: Right, Rufus Putnam.

ISAACSON: -- you know, writing about. Were they doing it mainly as a commercial enterprise?


ISAACSON: Or mainly --

MCCULLOUGH: Absolutely not.

ISAACSON: -- as an errand into the wilderness?

MCCULLOUGH: No, they were not doing this to get rich or to get famous or to have a lot of possessions. They were doing it to create what they hoped

would be an ideal community. And to be sure, essentially in New England community, and essentially New England which was based on the puritan


ISAACSON: One of the core values of the northwest ordinance and this group, besides eliminating slavery, was to live in peace and harmony with

the native Americans --


ISAACSON: -- and the Indians there.


ISAACSON: They fail at that.

MCCULLOUGH: Well, they themselves did not fail at that. But the white settlers that priest came after them. And to some extent, some of their own

people, to be sure, failed. But Rufus Putnam, who was the leader, he was really the man who made it happen. He starts through the principle, as best

as he possibly could. When this warfare began in 1891, there was never any attack on Marietta because of the respect that the native tribes had for

Rufus Putnam and his integrity.

ISAACSON: Well, to some extent, in the book, you know, you called these people the settlers. But of course, it wasn't a real wilderness that had

not been settled.


ISAACSON: There was a flourishing civilization back 2,000 years, really, right? When you talk about the mounds of the native Americans.

MCCULLOUGH: Yes, and dated back to maybe 1000 B.C. And one of the things that Rufus Putnam did was to make sure that that property, that territory -

- 90 acres would not be molested and changed. So, he made that where the mound is, about 30 feet high. He made it a graveyard for people who were

living there then and would die there and be buried there, including Rufus Putnam, in that way it would be saved and it's still there. It's a


ISAACSON: You have some of the settlers here. You quote them as calling the Indians, you know, savages.


ISAACSON: And even you mentioned that a couple of times. And yet there is a guy, Horus Ny (ph) who's one of the settlers, who says, maybe we're the

savages. I'm looking at it --

MCCULLOUGH: Oh, absolutely.


ISAACSON: Could you have done more and try to find more to see it in the other direction of what the native Americans may have thought about people

taking their land?

MCCULLOUGH: Well, I think -- well, I'd like to think, I've included everything related to my story, to my characters. I wanted to see things

through their eyes. And they didn't call them native Americans. For example, they called them Indians or they talked of the tribes. I think one

of the things that most people don't understand is how many different tribes there were and how they weren't the same. They weren't all the same.

And I think one of the most telling examples of all of this empathy for the native Americans among several of the five characters who were the

principal subject in my book is that when Samuel, Dr. Hildreth went to speak before a medical convention in Cleveland about 1831, I think it was,

he, in this effect, delivered what was a him to the vanished wilderness, by then vanished, and to the original occupants that once occupied that


ISAACSON: And do you understand the criticism that some native Americans have felt about that or do you think that, sort of, missing --

MCCULLOUGH: I don't know that they felt -- I know some of the scholars feel that way. But I hope they would know that I am all for what they are

doing. I'm all for anything they can do. One of the things we don't have is the letters and diaries and memoirs written by the Native Americans. We

don't even have a picture. We don't even know what blue jacket, one of the key figures in this drama, we dont even know what he looked like.

And one of the thrills of this collection that I had collected somewhat, is that an oil portrait of each of the five characters. And all were living

and they're playing out their roles in life before photography had been invented. Otherwise, I would have to try and suppose from descriptions

written about them and what they look like.

ISAACSON: You started your career as a journalist. To what extent do you bring your journalistic skills to writing a book?

MCCULLOUGH: I never imagined I would be writing history. I don't know about you. I never imagined I'd be writing a biography. But I was working

for the USIA during the Kennedy years. And I went up to the Library of Congress to look for some material, the editor of Life Magazine, Style

Magazine, these are a lot of pictures. And came in one day and there were - - you know, a big table that spread out, photographs taken by a photographer who got over the mountains down into Johnstown within the few

days after the terrible flood there.

And I could not believe what I saw. And when I saw those photographs and I thought, whoa. How in the hell did that ever happen? And I got going on

reading about it and I realized I love doing this. This is what I'm going to do from now on.

ISAACSON: You talked about the values of decency, caring about community, neighbors that were part of the founding.


ISAACSON: You do that in your earlier book. And then here with the westward expansion of America. So, you look at our leadership today and you

keep talking about humility.


ISAACSON: Not bragging.


ISAACSON: Having the basic values of Kennedy. Do you think we've really lost that in Washington? And what should people do?

MCCULLOUGH: They should straighten up and look back at the values that they were brought up with, that we are taught in schools, the lessons of

history. Many of our finest presidents have been historians, as well as colonial leaders. I think history should be required. If for no other

reason that young people should realize, if they don't already, that some things in life are required.

And if one of them is, to be honest and truthful, a decent to your fellow citizen and helpful to the needy. Treating everybody alike. Recognizing

that it's from immigrants that so much of what we've achieved in this country has happened because of the genius of people who've come into this

country from elsewhere.

ISAACSON: Throughout your career, you've had a really important partner, your wife. And I've watched her influence on you. Tell me a story about



MCCULLOUGH: She was reading my book about Theodore Roosevelt, "Mornings on Horseback" aloud to me. And we were making changes and so forth. And we got

to -- at a point near the end of the book, and she was reading aloud and she stopped and said, there's something wrong with that sentence. And I

said -- I didn't want to hear, I said, well, read it again. And she read it again. She said, there's something wrong with that sentence. I know there

is. Here. Give me that. So, I took it from her and I read it aloud to her. And she said, there's something wrong with that sentence. I said, forget

it. We move on.

So, we moved on. Finished the book. Sent it to the publisher. Book was published. And it got a very favorable review in the New York Review of

Books by Gore Vidal. And he said, sometimes, however, Mr. McCullough doesn't write very well. Consider this sentence.

ISAACSON: Well, it's probably worth it to have that bad sentence --

MCCULLOUGH: Yes, right.

ISAACSON: -- because you got a good story out of it.

MCCULLOUGH: Thank you.

ISAACSON: David, thank you for being with us.

MCCULLOUGH: Oh, honored. Thank you for including me.


GOLODRYGA: David McCullough, a journalist who had become one of the most prolific writers, storytellers, and historians in American history.

And finally, tonight, Serena Williams is evolving beyond tennis. The tennis giant won her first singles match in 430 days at the Canadian Open before

hinting towards retirement. Shortly after an Instagram post sharing the September Vogue issue, titled Selina's farewell, confirming the countdown

has begun. Christiane sat down with the 23 -- yes, 23-time Grand Slam champion earlier this year to discuss her and her sister Venus's impact on

the sport and the elusive record, a 24th Grand Slam title.


SERENA WILLIAMS, 23-TIME GRAND SLAM TENNIS CHAMPION: I think I'm the kind of person who's like, well, honestly, I should have been at like 30 or 32.

So, that's kind of how I look at it. But you know --

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So, you feel you've done it in some sort of way?

WILLIAMS: I haven't done.


WILLIAMS: I haven't done it at all or else I would have done it, right? Let's just -- that's what it is. But I don't know. I should have had it.

Really, I've had many opportunities to have it

AMANPOUR: But does it bomb you out? I mean, does it tick you off that people keep asking you this question? Is it too much pressure? Is it

unreasonable? Do you think that you've had enough of people asking you this question about the record?

WILLIAMS: As our friend says, fresh is a privilege.

AMANPOUR: There you go, Billie Jean King.

WILLIAMS: You know, what's the alternative? Is having someone ask about no record, you know? And I think that's a privilege. I would rather you ask me

that, to be clear, any day, you -- anyone is allowed to ask me that any day as opposed to the alternative of having like three or six or 10 or 15.

AMANPOUR: Or, yes.

WILLIAMS: You know.


WILLIAMS: So, I enjoy that.

AMANPOUR: And the race factor, obviously. I mean, obviously you guys stand out because you're the two great black female champions. Althea Gibson, was

the trailblazer, but nonetheless, it is, as you said, a white sport. How did you perceive that? How did you get over that? How did your father deal

with that?

WILLIAMS: We changed it from being two great black champions to being the best ever, period. And that's what we did. We took out color and we just

became the best. And that's -- the records are not, like, it is proof and that's -- it is what it is. We changed the sport. We changed the fashion.

We changed how people think. We changed how people think in business.

So, we never looked at it as a color thing or -- we knew that we were entering an all-white sport. But for us it was like we're entering tennis,

and we're here to win. And yet, we had to play harder and we had to be better, but it made us better. And at the end of the day, every time we

face the challenge and every time we overcame that challenge, it created Venus and Serena.


GOLODRYGA: Serena Williams evolving from the sport of tennis as the best ever. We look forward to seeing what's next for her.

And that is it for us tonight. You can always catch us online, on our podcast, and across social media. Thank you so much for watching and

goodbye from New York.