Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With University Of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor Of Modern Persian Literature Fatemeh Shams; Interview With Senior Adviser To President Zelenskyy Mykhailo Podolyak; Interview With "Move: Where People Are Going For A Better Future" Author Parag Khanna; Interview With "Confidence Man" Author Maggie Haberman. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired October 04, 2022 - 13:00:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.

In Iran, people continue to demonstrate for their fundamental rights as security forces keep cracking down. Former protesters Fatemeh Shams says

this could be a turning point for the Islamic republic. Then.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The enemy army is suffering more and more losses. And there is a growing

understanding that Russia made a mistake by starting the war against Ukraine.


AMANPOUR: As Ukrainian troops liberate more of Russia's illegally annexed territory, Zelenskyy's government declares peace talks now would be

impossible. I speak to Ukraine's lead negotiator, Mykhailo Podolyak.

And the world enters a new age of mass migrations. Author Parag Khanna explains why we're on the move. Also.


MAGGIE HABERMAN, AUTHOR, "CONFIDENCE MAN": I often wonder had the riot at the Capitol not happened what the following two weeks would have looked



AMANPOUR: Maggie Haberman chronicles the catastrophic end of the Trump presidency. In her new book, "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump

and the Breaking of America".

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

And the world is watching Iranians, young and old, confront the Islamic regime amid fears of worsening crackdown. It's day 18 of unprecedented

protests that erupted after the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

President Joe Biden is weighing in with this tweet today. The United States stands with the Iranian women and Iranian citizens who are inspiring the

world with their bravery. This week we will impose further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protestors. We'll continue to

support the rights of Iranians to protest freely.

The regime, though, has a bloody history of repressing dissent. Students claim that a police crackdown at the elite Sharif University in Tehran this

week turned a campus demonstration into a war zone. And Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded publicly for the first time,

laying the blame on the United States and Israel.


AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, IRAN'S SUPREME LEADER (through translator): I see clearly that these riots and the insecurity were engineered by the U.S. and

the occupying false Zionist regime as well as their paid agents with the help of some traitorous Iranians abroad.


AMANPOUR: Khamenei made that speech at a police academy. Correspondent Jomana Karadsheh spoke with a young student protester who says, this time,

there'll be no turning back.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): A snapshot of a night of horror at one of Iran's most prodigious universities. Chaos,

panic, and fear as students, some of Iran's best and brightest, ran through the Sharif University carpark in Tehran, chased by security forces on foot

and on motorbikes. Those who couldn't escape the violent crackdown, hooded and taken away.

We don't know what happened after this shot was fired. Birdshot and paintballs were used to crush the protest and to stop those who are trying

to film. As news spread, crowds gathered outside chanting, free the students. CNN tracked down one of those who rushed to save student trapped

inside. For his safety, we're concealing his identity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw this SOS call from Sharif coming. And one of my friends called and he just told me that, please come save us. They are

shooting as us. So, we got on our bikes and we went there. We practically had to Captain America our way into the university. It was a war zone. And

there was blood everywhere.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): No one really knows how many were hurt or how many were dragged away. The little video and harrowing accounts still trickling

out paint a picture of the ruthless forced used.

Students in their thousands are staging protests on campuses and on the streets across the country. What started with demands for justice and

accountability for the death of Mahsa Amani has quickly morphed into more daring widespread calls for regime change for bringing down the repressive

Islamic republic.

Anger that has been building for years captured in video like this one.


Protesters in Tehran tearing down and destroying the Islamic republic street sign. The regime that has a bloody history of suppressing dissent is

only just beginning to unleash all it's got against its own people. But defying protesters say, this time there will be no turning back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no. This is far from over. We are not scared. We are outraged. We are furious. You know, these people think that we are

the previous generation. That if they do this, we're going to just stop. We are not going to stop. This is a one-way road for us. Because if we stop,

they are going to kill even more people. Take even more people into custody. Torture them, rape them. These people can do anything. So, we

won't stop. This is not the end. I promise you that.


AMANPOUR: Defiance there. Jomana Karadsheh with that report. And Fatemeh Shams took part in the anti-government protest of 2009 before having to

flee Iran for the United States. She now teaches Persian literature at the University of Pennsylvania. And she's following the current protests

closely on social media. And she says the movement is already changing politics in Iran.

Fatemeh Shams, welcome to the program. Can I --


AMANPOUR: -- can I start by asking you to respond to that young student who said, we are not the previous generation. We will not turn back. You

are the previous generation. I actually watched your protest on the ground in Iran and saw them crushed by the regime. Do you think it'll be any

different this time?

SHAMS: Yes, absolutely. I think this is a turning point. And precisely that's the reason because we see a generational change and a fundamental

shift in the norms and values of this generation. I was born in the 1980s. And those were peaceful protests that in 2009, we still had hope in

electoral reform and in the structural reform in the Islamic republic.

Our wrote -- our slogan, (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) or give my vote back. But we see today is -- you know, we see that the women and the

women's right is taking center stage in these protests. And that most of the protesters in the street in fact belong to the generation that was born

in 2000s onward. And a lot of teen protesters that over the past three weeks have been shot in the streets are 16, 17-year-olds.

And I think this is a very clear and obvious change in -- and shift in, you know, the future politics of the Iranian society. As well as the

generational shift in the fundamental norms and values.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, let me ask you about the significance of what happened at Sharif University. It's a very elite university. Many Iranians who get

through that, you know, go to Harvard, go to all sorts of, you know, important high-level academies around the world.

But also, the fact that there has crackdown there. So, the significance of that location, coupled with the fact that Khamenei came out from what some

people thought was, you know, his deathbed, to condemn and do it at a military police academy. What's the significance of both of those issues?

SHAMS: Yes, I think -- first of all, I think the unprecedented and violent crackdown on Sharif University of Technology campus is an extremely

important and alarming sign that the current government, you know, historically, obviously, they have a history of cracking down on the

university campuses. But I think Sharif University, in particular, is important because it's, you know, one of the most prestigious universities

in the country and representative of, as you mentioned, in the world is a very important academic institution.

And what we saw in response to this violent crackdown on the students and professors who were shot by rubber bullets and were arrested afterwards is

that the international academia is actually responding very quickly and strongly condemning this crackdown on the -- on Sharif University campus.

And on the other hand, I think the fact that Khamenei chose the police academy, you know, for his speech after three weeks of silence is a very

telling gesture against academia --


-- and against the student movement that has been one of the main -- major engines of change and social protest in the past four decades in Iran. What

I saw yesterday in Khamenei's speech was a call on the armed forces to brutally crackdown on the protesters and particularly on the student

movement. But I also see that he's creating a very clear and very dangerous binary between independent academics and researchers and scholars and

students and the armed forces --


SHAMS: -- and the police -- and basically promoting the police brutality against the protesters.

AMANPOUR: So, you have been -- well, I mean, you have that experience yourself there. But you're watching very closely on social media. And

clearly, almost all of the evidence that we have of this uprising comes from social media. I just want to play a few little clips. Here's one with

what looks like school girls with their backs turned, singing a rather well-known song that's become an anthem. We'll play a little clip and then

we'll ask you about it.



AMANPOUR: So, you know, it's a little difficult to hear anything, but at the end they're clapping for their future. It's quite --


AMANPOUR: -- it's quite brave of them. And then there's another clip that we have and we'll just play it as we're talking, with even younger girls or

maybe the same age, but going after the administrator at their high school. Calling him dishonorable and bisharaf, as they say in Farsi. This is a huge

amount of courage that is ongoing by such a young, young girls mostly.

SHAMS: Absolutely. And I think this is, again, in response to your first question about the generational change and it's important in this

particular revolutionary episode in Iran is that what we see today is brave acts of civil disobedience across the country in high schools and in

universities. Let's not forget that these girls, these high school girls, came out exactly one day after the brutal crackdown on the university. And

this was completely spontaneous.

These girls don't have a leader. These girls are not calling upon a leader. They are the leaders. And the fact that they are the major agents of change

right now, I think tells us that there is a shift in, you know, the future politics of Iran towards a much more radical citizen or ordinary citizen-

based politics that really links this to transnational movements across the world.

Those leaderless movements that, you know, we are witnessing and have witnessed in the past, such as Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., or

the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, or the anti-austerity movement Chile and Ecuador. I think these are examples of, you know, extremely

empowered and empowering citizens of the country.

And you know, Islamic republic is actually committing -- this is an act of political suicide that Islamic republic is committing against itself by

targeting this generation. This generation is very different from the 1980s. Their imagination is different. Their aspirations are very


My generation, those of us who actually were born and raised under the Islamic republic during the eight years of war and in the post-war time, we

did -- we could not imagine a day that, you know, women go to the streets and make bonfires with their veils. And I think this is the major and

radical shift that comes with the generational shift in Iran.

AMANPOUR: Yes, bonfires with their veils, it's a really powerful statement and it's a real -- really powerful image. You, yourself, rebelled against

the hijab and the-- you know, the forced nature. And of course, I would have to wear it if I was an Iran, covering it and -- you know, and working

there. You know, it's strictly enforced. Sometimes less strictly than other times. What was your experience?

SHAMS: Yes. So, you know, for many of us, Christiane, who were born and raised under the Islamic republic, we really had to fight this

institutionalize misogyny on so many levels. It wasn't just, you know, in the streets. It -- for many Iranian women, they have to fight their

families. They have to fight their -- you know, sometimes -- you know, school principals and later on in universities.


Sometimes they rebel against themselves years later after following those strict, you know -- and internalizing that misogyny.

So, for me, it was particularly costly and difficult because I renounce -- publicly I renounce the hijab following the 2009 uprising. And, you know, I

was the target of the hard-core radicals, as well as other, you know, some so-called opposition groups that did not particularly endorse or welcome

renouncing, you know, publicly their compulsory hijab.

And let me just also clarify that when I say making bonfires with veils, it's really, really important for those in the west to know that what we

are protesting against in Iran today is compulsory hijab. This is not about the hijab. This is not about Islam. This is about taking ownership and

reclaiming ownership over our body to have the free choice of choosing how we want to dress. We don't want to be told by the state or by anyone else

how to dress.

And I think these women are taking a huge risk. But we have reached a point that I think their -- you know, their rage is -- has gone beyond control.

And this collective rage --


SHAMS: -- is going to mark a turning point in the -- I think, in the history of the women's movement in Iran.

AMANPOUR: And we're going to keep watching it. And of course, just to remind everybody, the slogan of this movement is women, life, freedom.

Fatemeh Shams, thank you so much for joining us.

Now, in Russia where women also are on the streets against the forced conscription there, a member of parliament has pointed out an obvious

wrinkle in the Kremlin's illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory. That is that not all of these areas are actually under Russian control.

Nonetheless, that senator voted to rubber stamp Putin's annexation. And President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that negotiations with Putin would

now be impossible.

His military continues to press forward in the south and the east, liberating ever more territory as he goes. And a map used by Russia's own

defense ministry in its daily briefing today confirmed significant Russian losses in the Kherson region.

Mykhailo Podolyak is a senior adviser to President Zelenskyy and he led negotiations with Russia last spring. When I reached him in Kyiv a little

earlier, I asked him whether these advances would push Putin over the brink.


AMANPOUR: Mr. Podolyak, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Can you tell me how important and how sustainable are your military gains right now. We've seen what's happened in the Lyman and we

understand your troops are moving to the south near Kherson. Give me a sense of the battlefield.

PODOLYAK (through translator): Of course, it is possible. Not only to hold on to those territory but to broaden our liberation front. And we are

liberating cities and towns in all sorts of directions in the south, in Kharkiv, in Luhansk. We will have to hold on to those territories in order

to diminish that escalation for over that Putin was annexing those territories.

And of course, it is possible to -- with using western weaponry which our partners are sending to us. It proved to be more effective than old Russian

weaponry that Russian army is using. And after all, all this mobilization panic that Russia is demonstrating showing that Russian army doesn't have

enough soldiers.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Podolyak, can you tell me, given your battlefield success, whether you are afraid of Putin and his veiled nuclear threats.

PODOLYAK (through translator): We are really serious about those threats because escalation could happen. But there's a certain problem, we are not

a nuclear power. We're not part of the nuclear deterrent doctrine. So, it will be much more feasible that the nuclear powers like the United States

would bring the message across to the Russian Federation that the break -- the breaking the architecture of the nuclear security is very dangerous for

Russian Federation. And clearly, we need to bring this message across to the Russian Federation leadership.


When we talk about the nuclear threat, this is not the matter of suicide war. It's a matter of how the world will feel tomorrow when the nuclear

power, any nuclear power could use nuclear weapons as advance tool against non-nuclear power. And this is a problem.

AMANPOUR: Because of Russia's threats, will Ukraine go any slower? Will Ukraine back off or will you continue to try to liberate all the territory,

including what they say they've annexed?

PODOLYAK (through translator): It's is a very good question. It's a question of liberty, of values, of freedom. Ukraine is not waging war

against Russia. Ukraine wants to protect the key and fundamental rights for freedom, for democracy, for choice, as an optional form of the existence of

the society. That's why we have a key consensus.

We are for western values. We want to liberate all of our territory. It means of two things will stop. First, war will stop. Second, the Russian

Federation expansionist will stop. Because if we won't stop it, Russia will be doing like -- acting like that on and on and on.

That's why all the threats by the Russian Federation will not stop Ukraine in order to liberate our territory. And we'll the internationally

recognized borders of Ukraine, including the occupied territories back in 2014.

AMANPOUR: That's an ambitious agenda because you're talking about Crimea and elsewhere. But let me ask you then, do you have now the weaponry, the

assistance, the money that you need to be able to keep pushing your military objective and to hold the current victories, the current

territories that you have one back?

PODOLYAK (through translator): Firstly, this is not an ambitious plan. This is a plan of peace. Because if Russia won't be stopped in Ukraine, it

will be spreading all over the world. It will be waging other wars. Will be provoking other countries. Will be creating those criminal enclaves. Will

be attacking the European Union. And will be blackmailing certain political forces in Europe and elsewhere. This is not ambitious target. This is

something that should be done.

Secondly, as to the money and the military equipment, this war is of high technological nature. And this is artillery war. And I want to emphasize,

the American weapons, the artillery, the rockets proved that this is more affective than the Russian Federation uses against Ukraine. It's more

modern. And it allows us to achieve bigger results.

Of course, we believe that we can -- will receive more munition -- receiving more munition and rockets because it will make things faster,

make it quicker, the (INAUDIBLE) financiation (ph). The end -- to put an end to this war. And we're expecting this from our partners.

As to the support, we're absolutely honest that without any support, first of all, from the United States, there won't be this quality of

counterattack of our achievements on the battlefield. And this is -- but now, this is a key task to liberate all of our territory with the help of

our partners. We'll put Russia in its place and it will have an opportunity to transform internally in a political way after the -- losing the war

against Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: President Putin said when he announced the annexation that he appealed to the Ukrainian officials, yourself, your president, to

negotiate. Is this a time when Ukraine would negotiate?

PODOLYAK (through translator): This is a simple reply. It's definitely not the time to negotiate with Russia. And I want you to understand the main

thing, Mr. Putin or Russian Federation as a whole, they do not suggest negotiation as such. They suggest something under the form of negotiation.

This is a Russian ultimatum.


Meaning, give us your territory. We will take it from you. And after that we will talk. We will tell you how to live. What values you should be

following. What historical heroes you'll be following. And main thing, you will have to be a puppet of the Kremlin politburo.

This is principally impossible for Ukraine because Ukraine follows different values. And the negotiations under the hospices of the Russian

Federation, under the condition of the Russian Federation, it will keep moderating war as such. But the war will be different. Today is hot war,

tomorrow it will be a cold war. And we have a key opportunity to stop Russian Federation.

If the Russian Federation will lose this war -- tactically, will lose this war. Leave Ukrainian territory that inside Russia itself, the very

important democratic process will start. The political transformation will begin. And that could be different political elite. More adequate to the

processes that is going on in the world. And it's very important.

AMANPOUR: Mykhailo Podolyak, thank you so much for joining us, adviser to President Zelenskyy.



AMANPOUR: Now, Russia's war has caused terrible food poverty around the world. And recent climate catastrophes have displaced millions of people.

In Pakistan, Vietnam, as well as in the United States. It all could be a harbinger of what my next guest, the best-selling author Parag Khanna

calls, a new age of mass migration.

In his latest book, "Move: Where People Are Going for a Better Future". Khanna says mobility is a good thing. And society only functions normally

when people move. So, Parag Khanna, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: So, listen, you're in the United States where nobody believes that all your politicians want to do everything they can to stop migration.

I'm in the U.K. where nobody believes that. And yet, in all these places they desperately need more and more people for jobs and actually to keep a

functioning society going. So, tell me, how you explained your thesis?

KHANNA: Well, first of all, Christiane, we have to stop talking about the relationship between climate effects and migration in the future tense. A

lot of people look at the climate models and the IPCC reports, the CAP diplomatic process, the Paris Agreement. And they always tell us that by

2040, by 2050, we have to reduce emissions. We have time. We can, therefore, get climate change a bit more under control.

That is not correct. We are already experiencing -- and you know this so well from your reporting and coverage that if you look at Darfur, you look

at Syria, you look at Yemen, so many of today's geopolitical crises that are resulting in mass migrations and refugee flows actually have climate as

among their underlying drivers. And even with the recent hurricanes in the United States and fires and heat waves in Europe, there is mass migration

resulting from climate change affecting countries rich and poor.

So, yes, it is in fact human to move. It is part of the human story going back hundreds of thousands of years. And now with climate change

accelerating, we have to accept that fact.

AMANPOUR: So, given that that is the fact, and the U.N. said that we could have a billion environmental migrants in the next 30 years, you argue in

your book that mobility is essential to society, as I alluded to. Here's a quote that you -- you know, from you, "Society only functions normally if

we can move. Once you stop pedaling a bicycle, it quickly falls over. Our civilization is that bicycle. And move we will." But it's a hard story --

it's true, but it's hard to convince, you know, politicians to get behind that notion.

KHANNA: Well, one of the things we have to remember is that the populist, nationalist, xenophobic politics that we tend -- that we even tell

ourselves are the norm aren't actually. When we focus on the politics of Italy, or Hungary, or Russia, that's not actually representative of the

major western leading societies that have been immigration magnets and benefited massively, not just in recent decades but centuries from being

open to migration.

We should be looking at Canada, the United States in fact, Great Britain, Germany, even Japan has never been more open to migrants as they are right

now. So, if you look at Canada, a country that is increasing its population by one percent every single year, that's 400,000 people.


So, pound for pound, perhaps the most generous country in the world when it comes to net annual inward migration, that's representative of where

countries are actually going as they become much more pragmatic about their economic and demographic needs.

In fact, a country like Canada actually thinks about immigration policy as economic policy. And in the United States, remember, this year will be a

very high migration year after immigration had fallen for the last eight years. It's set to go back to the levels that we saw in the 1990s and


So, the west is not succumbing on the whole to these, again, reflexive, negative, rejecting political waves against migration. The leading

societies are the ones that have been the most open. Again, Germany, Canada, the United States.

AMANPOUR: It's really, really, interesting and important for you to be, you know, to be pointing this out, sort of an alternative narrative. And I

was actually fascinated by some of the solutions that you proposed. You're even suggesting -- and let me just get this right, that maybe people should

start moving to Russia. That the -- you know, you suggest several, you know, times where large-scale population resettlement could happen.

How do you see that? I mean, I read something extraordinary that because of climate change and the de-icification (ph), if you like, the melting of the

Tundra that could open up, you know, some arable land, some places for people to move to.

KHANNA: Well, that's already happening. Remember, that if we were having this conversation 15 years ago, we wouldn't have known, or posited, that

Russia would be one of the world's largest food producers and one of the world's largest wheat exporters. And of course, that has become very

apparent to everyone in light of the supply chain disruptions related to the war with Ukraine. So, climate, conflict, agriculture, all really coming


Now, you mentioned yourself the studies that are saying that about a billion people could be displaced by climate change. Actually, to be more

specific, it's a billion people might be displaced from the optimal latitudes of habitation for every single degree of temperature rise that we

might be experiencing. So, it could be well more than a billion.

And again, the process has already begun. The number of -- the total number of displaced people in the world today, refugees, asylum seekers and so

forth, already in this century, in the past two decades, about a third of them are attributable to climate effects. Not the traditional political or

economic drivers that we tend to think of as forcing migration.

And since you mentioned central Asia, and Russia, north Asian regions, let's be clear that the most populous region of the planet earth is South

Asia. India alone this year is going to have a population that will exceed that of China. And if you take just Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, South

Asia's largest countries, that's about 1.8 billion people.

Well, if we look at any of those climate models and maps, as you note, Christiane, this is the most climate stress region of the world. And over

the last 20 years that I've been traveling extensively in Central Asia, across the former Soviet Union, Russia, you can almost -- you can already

see, literally see, a growing, sort of, visibility presence of South Asian peoples in these regions.

So, I'm actually forecasting that we will see new vectors, new directions of migration that we've literally never seen before. Asian populations

moving north, moving further west towards Europe. And that has a lot to do with the acceleration of climate change.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you something that you're probably not on top of because you're actually in Singapore, not the U.S., like I said. And

there's an article in a tabloid in the New York, "The Post", which the mayor is looking into. It's suggesting that Venezuelan migrants are being

bused down to Florida to help with hurricane cleanup.

And as you remember, the governors of Florida and Texas did exactly the opposite in a political stunt not so long ago, sending busloads of these

migrants to Martha's Vineyard and elsewhere. I mean, what do you make of that? I mean, on the one hand, it's hypocrisy. But on the other hand it

shows that there just aren't enough people to do the kind work that America needs.

KHANNA: I think you're raising two very interesting points. First of all, migrants, whether they're political refugees or climate migrants, those

fleeing deprivation, repression from countries like Venezuela have actually played a very important role in the post-disaster recovery and

reconstruction of parts of Florida and elsewhere in the United States. And I think that's a very heroic story that has actually gone very positive



The other part of it that you're raising is about labor markets, right? We are an aging society across the entire OECD world, whether we're talking

about the U.S. Canada, Western Europe, Western Asia, Japan. We actually do need that demographic lifeblood. The next generation of young people.

I would go so far, as to say, Christiane, that whether we're talking about climate change or not, when I'm assessing countries, evaluating which

countries will be successful in the 21st century, I'm basically looking for one thing. Are they attracting and embracing young people today? Because we

are aging societies. If we don't attract the taxpayers, the caregivers, the construction workers, the nurses, the doctors, the entrepreneurs,

innovators --

AMANPOUR: We'll never know what --

KHANNA: -- the homeowners, renters. What is our economy going to be in the future? So, again, even if it's the dire negative circumstances that are

driving people to us, we actually need to embrace them and corporate them into our economies, into our societies for our own long-term well-being.

AMANPOUR: Again, this is a hugely political issue that as yet, apart from those countries that you mentioned, most politicians have not got their

head around it. So, I want to ask you, just in our last few seconds, you also posit a solution called terraforming. Most people know about that in

science fiction. What do you mean?

KHANNA: That's right. Well, terraforming actually refers to how we turn planets, other planets with the moon to become livable like the Earth. In

one of the things that I point out is that, you know, there are parts of the Earth, you mentioned Siberia, for example, earlier or Northern Canada.

Some of the de-populated regions of the world are going to be relatively more habitable than they used to be, and certainly more habitable than

places that are being devastated by climate change.

So, we need to make those places fit for habitation. But I hope and plea that we develop them, cultivate them in ways that are sustainable.


KHANNA: So, mobility is a human right and an existential necessity. But do so with the latest sustainable technology so that we don't bring the

tragedy of the commons wherever we go. But instead, can have a more sustainable future and model of civilization. And we do have the technology

to do that today.

AMANPOUR: All right. That's a very interesting note to end on. Parag Khanna, thank you so much indeed.

Now, immigration plagues every world leader. And President Donald Trump was no exception. Following President Obama who was known as deporter in chief

for a while. Trump actually campaigned on overt hostility to migrants.

To understand former president's motivations, Pulitzer Prize winning Maggie Haberman chronicles Trump's life in her new book, "Confidence Man". And she

joins Walter Isaacson to discuss his rise and life post-presidency.


WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And Maggie Haberman, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: Well, congratulations, your book comes out this week. And it's already making a big splash. One of the things that interests me is you're

long-standing, odd, relationship with Donald Trump. I mean, you were in the "New York Post" covering things in the 1990s. He once called you his


Tell me about why he gives you so many interviews when you've been such a strong and tough reporter about him.

HABERMAN: Well, Walter, Donald Trump doesn't experience press coverage the way other politicians do, or really almost any other humans does. You know,

I have covered him as I have any other subject over a very long period of time. And yes, he did his line in our third interview for this book that

I'm like his psychiatrist. He treats everyone as psychiatrist. So, I don't think this is specific to me or special to me and I think it was meant to


But I think that he is so craving attention, and so desiring of media coverage in holding the media's gaze that he does not experience coverage

that other politicians would consider negative or unflattering. It just doesn't always affect him the way it would somebody else. So, he keeps

coming back to people. And part of his fascination, really -- I mean, with me, in part, most of it is about "The New York Times". He is really

obsessed with the paper and has been for many decades. I'm just the reporter that covers him most often.

ISAACSON: You had three interviews, you just said. You went down to Mar-a- Lago, Bedminster. What's it like when you go into his presence and have to interview him?

HABERMAN: The first time that I saw him was in March of 2021. And he was in sales mode. He was charming. He was engaging. Now, remember, Walter,

this was, you know, just over two months after the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. And he was trying to almost undo that stain on his legacy and

on the underpinnings of democracy in this country. When I saw him again a few weeks later, he was not in a good mood. I think for a variety of

reasons that had nothing to do with our interview but it came out in the interview.


He was cranky. He was complaining again about 2020 in a way he really hadn't been in the previous interview. And he was clearly going backwards

in his fixation. By the third time I saw him, he seemed happy to be engaging with a journalist for any length of time. I felt like it could've

been anybody. And he was just happy to be talking.

ISAACSON: You asked him almost out of the blue, did you take documents? This was before the big revelations that he had documents stashed in Mar-a-

Lago. What was he thinking then?

HABERMAN: It was an interesting moment. I asked him on a lark whether he had taken documents because he was so obsessed with things like those

letters from Kim Jong-un and other world leaders, depending on who they were.

His first answer to my question which was, did you take a memento documents? I used the word, memento. And he said, nothing of great urgency,

no. Which we now know was not true. But then he seemed to want to brag. And he, sort of, leaned in and said, you know, we had the letters, the KJU

letters. And I said, oh, you got to take those with you? And he kept talking. And I said, ha or wow or something like that. And he clearly

registered my surprise. And then he said, no, no. Those are in the archives. But we have great things.

So, he went from quick denial, immediately, to seeming to want to brag. And then when he saw my reaction, pulling back.

ISAACSON: You know, one of the rules from biographers of -- especially, of strong men is that it's all about dad. To what extent is that true of

Donald Trump?

HABERMAN: Donald Trump is no exception to that biography rule. So much of his problems and his particular set of issues begin and end with his

father, with Fred Trump, whom he admired, and resented, and feared, and appreciated. All of those emotions. But Fred Trump was known as a

particularly aggressive, undermining father.

Ivana Trump once described him is brutal in her biography. And that she had, sort of, take a stand against that father in that marriage and that

family. And I think that how undermining of his own children, Fred Trump was how tough he was on him. In part has driven this lifelong need of

Donald Trump to have a protector. He is singularly focused on people protecting him and fighting for him. Roy Cohn was that. And then he spent

the entire presidency looking for another Roy Cohn.

ISAACSON: You talk about the funeral in the book. The funeral of Fred Trump. And it's so odd because Trump can't help talking about himself. And

relating in terms of -- even Giuliani sitting there is saying how weird this is. Tell me about that.

HABERMAN: There is in Donald Trump lore for people around him over a long period of time, people who had attended that funeral or people who heard

about it later, the funeral was a seminal moment because Donald Trump got up at this funeral and talked about himself.

He talked about, you know, how things have been going so well for him. And he has just been reading a story in the newspaper about how well he was

doing or something positive about himself when he learned that his father had passed and how tough this was on him. It was just -- not just that he

was in competition with his father. But that his father's passing was only through the lens of himself. And it was so distortive that people in the

church were stunned. And Giuliani, in particular, could be heard uttering in expletive in shock by people in nearby pews.

ISAACSON: Tell me about a Ivanka and Jared. First of all, what was Trump's opinion of them when they're in the White House? There was something I read

in your book about him wanting to get rid of them, his own daughter, from the White House.

HABERMAN: So, part of the concern that Trump had about them being around was in 2017 when the Mueller investigation, special counsel investigation

and tip (ph) possible conspiracy between Russians and the Trump campaign in 2016 was really heating up. Jared Kushner was getting a lot of unfavorable

attention. Donald Trump never likes when anybody gets negative headlines in his proximity.

And there were discussions about having Jared leave. There was no chance that Jared was going to leave and Ivanka Trump's was going to stay. So,

this became a discussion about how they would go. And Trump would complain to other people privately that she had taken on a lot of negative attention

for it. He, eventually, came to see John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, and Don McGahn (ph), House counsel, as vehicles to do what he did

not want to do, which was to get rid of them.

And at one point there was a twit drafted and John Kelly stopped it. Essentially saying, you can't do this to your -- you can't do this this

way. You have got to talk to them. And that conversation does not appear to have ever happened, the tweet was never sent.


ISAACSON: One of the stories about Ivanka Trump in the book is her, a good-looking bible. I mean, Trump didn't seem to have his own bible. And

even when he walks across the square to St. John's Church during that period, when he's holding up the bible, he can't even side it correctly.

Tell me about that incident both, you know, Ivanka and for that matter, General Milley and others in that incident.

HABERMAN: That incident, which was June 1, 2020, became a seminal moment in the Trump presidency in that final year. It really helped define much of

what happened after in terms of Trump's relationship to the military. The relationship to the military leaders. And the way that he was perceived by

the electorate in his relationship to force.

So, that was the day that there were protests that had become very aggressive, around the country but particularly in Washington. A barrier

had been pierced near the Treasury Department, the Friday night before that. And this was all in response to the police murder of an unarmed black

man named George Floyd in Minnesota.

There was a decision made, it was a suggestion by Ivanka that Trump should walk across Lafayette Square, to St. John's Church where the basement had

been set on fire the night before. Now, it's not clear what he was supposed to do once he got there but she felt that it would be a good visual.

Someone then suggested that he should take a bible and he could read from some scripture. So, a hunt was put on for a bible. Someone suggested it

should be a pretty bible, that's what was chosen. The way that its aesthetic was seen as very important. And Trump corralled his cabinet

officials and the chairman of the joint chief of staff to walk with him. Many of them did not realize what was happening or what they were doing

until it was too later, particularly Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs and Mark Esper, the defense secretary.

And Milley, realizing that this was going south as they're walking, utters a curse word to an aide and departs. But everybody else was caught up in

this swarm and Trump has them all posed for a photo-op. but when he takes out that bible, does not read the printed scripture sections that have been

given to him. And instead holds it up as if it's a trophy. And I think upside down.

And in order for that photo-op to take place, and you know, officials have insisted there was no causation to this. But prior to Trump walking across

the park, protesters were pushed back very aggressively. And the images on TV were very distressing.

ISAACSON: You spoke with more than 250 aides and advisors of Trump. What portrait do they paint of him? I think your report that some of them called

him a sophisticated parrot. His chief of staff, Kelly, called him -- I think it was, as a fascist, right? Tell me about the portrait that they


HABERMAN: One of the things that is really difficult about capturing Donald Trump is how he compartmentalizes various relationships and acts

differently with different people. Now, the public persona is pretty visible is people want to see it. But there are aides who are either,

because they are sycophants or because they feel very invested in him, they choose only to see the positive.

The sophisticated parrot line was something that people used to say about him in the 2016 campaign because he would just take something he heard, and

he would add a little gloss to it or a little something else and he would re-package it as if it was his own but without checking. Without doing any

sort of stress testing a bit.

In terms of Kelly, Kelly told people that he believed that Trump was having a staffing issue. I mean, Kelly also told people that in the spring of 2017

that Trump would call him all the time and ask his opinion on issues that Kelly knew nothing about. But I think Kelly believed, and Kelly deeply

cares about public service. Believed that this was going to be a manageable situation with the right people. And he clearly came to see by the end of

2018 that such a thing did not exist.

ISAACSON: You've covered Trump for a long time. What surprised you most that's in this book that comes out this week?

HABERMAN: I still come back to, Walter, the fact that -- you know, when I turned my attention to the book in a real way after his second impeachment

trial which ended in early 2021, I think it was February. I -- and then I learned that he had been telling people he wasn't going to leave several --

ISAACSON: He wasn't going to leave the White House --

HABERMAN: Not going to leave the White House.

ISAACSON: -- even on inauguration day.

HABERMAN: And I often wonder, had the riot at the Capitol not happened, what the following two weeks would have looked like.


It just remains to me that the peace that I -- I can't quite believe because it was clear that he was thinking in a very, very, dangerous way.

And as happened so often with his aides, a bunch of them tried to ignore his comments hoping that he would drop it. Hoping he wouldn't pull them in

further. But it was pretty clear early on that this was going to spiral to a bad place fast, and it did.

ISAACSON: One of the questions about a book such as yours, and it goes way back to when Woodward and Bernstein were doing books like this, is why do

you hold things for the book when there are time you should have printed in "The New York Times"?

HABERMAN: Books take time. I wanted this to be a complete picture. A more complicated picture, a more complex and fuller look. And that requires

revisiting events that happened. That requires talking to sources again. There are also people who will say different things in the context of

talking for a book that they will for a daily news story.

I remember specifically asking a while ago before my own book, asking an official who I knew had spoken for a bunch of books, why do people do this?

What is the -- you know, you wouldn't tell me this. Why are you -- why will you say it for a book but not for a news story? Then the person said,

because there's no immediacy to it. It's coming out in the distance. I don't have to think about it.

And I found that to be very illustrative of how a lot of people view this. If I have information that is confirmed and reportable, my goal is to get

into print as quick as possible. But books take time.

ISAACSON: Mitch McConnell is somebody in the news right now because Trump, just this very weak, has done a scathing attack on Mitch McConnell. Put

that in the context of the Mitch McConnell relationship you have in the book and what's going on this week?

HABERMAN: A relationship that had just, you know, been a marriage of convenience for a very long time that ended when Donald Trump, you know,

refused to take responsibility for January 6th and McConnell delivered a speech after the second impeachment ended, which McConnell did not vote in

support of convicting him but did excoriate him for helping to create the events that happened at the Capital, which resulted in deaths. That -- the

relationship has been over since then.

McConnell is a useful foil for Trump. He thinks it excites his base. He knows it will get attention, Walter. If he writes racist menacing things on

his social media websites, and it has. And he just doesn't experience these things in a way other people do. So, he has no problem saying something

like this because he doesn't really care about the condemnation. He just cares about getting in the headlines.

ISAACSON: Well, let me read what Trump put on social media -- his own social media site this week about Mitch McConnell. Because if you unpack

it, which I'm sure you're better able to do than anybody, it is so revealing of Donald Trump what he says. About how it's all about him. He

said, is McConnell approving of all of those trillions of dollars worth of democrat sponsored bills without even the slightest bit of negotiation

because McConnell hates Donald J. Trump? That's Trump referring to himself in the third person and saying it's all about him.

HABERMAN: Yes, and in his mind, it is all about him. And in his mind, everything is up or down referring to himself. It matters only in terms of

how it relates to him. I'll tell you, Walter, I don't talk about this in the book. But one of my memories of covering him that it was so vivid, and

this relates to Kushner as well, and Chris Christie, is I was interviewing Trump in the Oval office with colleagues in 2019. And Chris Christie had

just published a book that was very critical of Jared Kushner.

And I asked Trump about it, you know, your son-in-law got really attacked in this book. And he essentially said, well Christie said nice things about

me. And I said, but he didn't do about your family. And he said, yes, but did you see what he said about me? And that's ultimately all it comes back


ISAACSON: Wow. I know it is hard to tell but go through Trump's mind on whether he might run again.

HABERMAN: I think he has backed himself into a corner where he has to run again. I think that given all the investigations he's facing, given the

fact that he loses the ability to fund-raise, to instantly be in the news the way he is now and lose attention, I think he has to run. I just don't

think his heart is in it. And maybe that'll change. But right now, he does not seem as entranced by electoral politics as he once did.

ISAACSON: Maggie Haberman, thank you so much for joining us.

HABERMAN: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And we'll see what the future brings there.

And finally tonight, tune in tomorrow to watch my interview with the one and only Stanley Tucci about the actors ongoing search for Italy in the

second season of his award-winning CNN series.


He tells me what you can and can't find and where.


STANLEY TUCCI, HOST, "SEARCHING FOR ITALY": There are certain things that won't be in Lombardy. You won't see a tomato. Everyone will think --

AMANPOUR: I can't believe that.

TUCCI: -- oh, I'll just have tomato sauce. And they're like, no. We don't have tomato sauce.

AMANPOUR: I can't believe that.

TUCCI: Yes, it's weird -- like, it's so weird. But it makes sense because of the geography.


AMANPOUR: That's it for now. Thank you so much for watching and goodbye from London.