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Interview With International Memorial Chairman Of The Board And Head Of Russian Human Rights Organization Memorial Jan Raczynski; Interview With Defending Democracy Together Co-Founder And The Bulwark Publisher Sarah Longwell; Interview With "Infinite Folds" Artist And "I Always Knew: A Memoir" Author Barbara Chase-Riboud. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 14, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. And welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.
A rebuke to Putin's war, the head of the Russians human rights organization, Memorial, co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, joins me on
resistance and accountability. Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIORGI, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT (through translator): How can I take part and the war without the wish to win this war?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The voices of Russians dodging Putin's draft. A report from Kazakhstan, where hundreds of thousands have fled. Then, a clear and
present danger. The verdict on Donald Trump from the House Committee investigation investigating the January 6th insurrection. Just weeks before
the midterms, how does this resonate with voters? Republican political strategist, Sarah Longwell, breaks it all down with Hari Sreenivasan. Also,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA CHASE-RIBOUD, AUTHOR, "I ALWAYS KNEW: A MEMOIR" AND ARTIST, "INFINITE FOLDS": I was just following my star.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The monumental life and work of Barbara Chase-Riboud, the American artist, author, and poet, spurred on by the likes of Toni
Morrison, James Baldwin, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Vladimir Putin up the ante again in his war this week with deadly missile attacks on civilian targets and energy infrastructure across Ukraine.
German chancellor, Olaf Scholz likened it to a crusade. It's also a dangerous time for Russians to speak out against their own president.
Though many are bravely doing so. Which the Nobel Committee recognized in awarding this year's peace prize. It was jointly given to the Russian human
rights group, Memorial, Ukraine Center for Civil Liberties, and an imprisoned Belarusian human rights advocate.
In granting this award, the committee said, "They have for many years promoted the right to criticize power." Memorial has been working since the
1980s to expose abuses by the Russian state. It was shut down last year as Putin crackdown on dissent. I spoke to its head, Jan Raczynski, about this
honor, and his fight against repression. He joined me from Moscow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Jan Raczynski, welcome to the program. And how do you feel about being a Nobel Peace Prize winner?
JAN RACZYNSKI, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, INTERNATIONAL MEMORIAL: Of course, it's a great honor. Although, the events that led the Nobel Committee to
make this decision do not really bring joy to anyone. It's an honor to be among my countrymen who receive the Nobel prize in the past. And it's a
pleasure to be among those with whom I shared the prize today.
AMANPOUR: When you say, it's sad and not joyful, I assume you mean because of the war, but also because of the pressure on Memorial. It's already been
banned by President Putin. And I understand that when the prize was announced, you were in court trying to save what you could of your
archives. Tell me about that.
RACZYNSKI (through translator): I learned that I had been awarded the prize just on my way to the court. I did not believe it right away, because
I've never heard of the journalist who called me with the news. It was not the first year that Memorial was nominated for the prize.
In court, we defended the honor of our activities. The liquidated International Memorial transferred its buildings in the center, to ensure
that collections are stored safely, and to facilitate further research. However, the prosecutor generals' office, on a false pretext, demanded to
make this transfer void, and eventually, will demand the seizure of the property and to transferred it into state ownership.
In my opinion, this not only demonstrates they do not like the fact that Memorial criticizes the current regime, but also that Memorial criticizes
the previous regime, Stalins and post-Stalin communist regime spanning over 70 years. As of now, the government is not ready to recognize that regime
AMANPOUR: So, tell me about your mission at Memorial. It was about accountability for Stalin. Talk to me about why that's important in Russia.
RACZYNSKI (through translator): We're talking here not only about Stalin's crimes, but crimes such as mass execution of people, seizing of property,
seizing of bread from starving villagers. All of this began back in Lenin's rule, and those crimes continued after Stalin. Although, not necessarily on
the same scale.
It is important because it allows us to bring back values and put them in their right place. Human life is the core value in the entire world.
Unfortunately, the core value in Russia now is the state. The state is sacred. Whereas people are just a building material for the great state. As
a result, human life is worthless, and it becomes nearly impossible to confront the state.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Raczynski, what would happen if Memorial was able to operate right now? What would you be doing in the face of this war, which in your
country, you can't even label a war.
RACZYNSKI (through translator): It is not exactly that we cannot do anything at all. We can call this an aggression, as per all united nations
definitions, this is undeniably in aggression. This is undeniably an invasion. We can speak for ourselves. And yest, it poses risks. Yet, quite
a number of people in our country called this war a war.
The problem is that mass media allow no opportunity to express this opinion. Our authorities are afraid. They are afraid of one person protest
and they are afraid of freedom of speech. They are afraid of any open debates. In general, this gradually becomes more obvious. I believe now
that the consequences of this war are becoming more tangible for everyone. Including those who believe what they have been shown on TV.
AMANPOUR: So, some very brave Russians have stood up and declared themselves against this war, and against the violation of human rights. You
have praised the journalists from state television, Marina Ovsyannikova, who famously protested the state television and went with a placard calling
state TV lies at the beginning of the war. She then talked to us when I interviewed her, this is what she said.
MARINA OVSYANNIKOVA, RUSSIAN JOURNALIST WHO HELD ANTI-WAR POSTER ON LIVE TV (through translator): I wanted to show to the world that Russians are
against the war. The majority of Russians are against the war. And even if they are support the Kremlin policy, they are pacifists. They hate war
inside themselves. Everybody in Russia as scared by what's going on. Everybody is confused.
AMANPOUR: So now, she has fled. And she has been, you know, accused by the Russian government of -- or charged even with spreading false information.
But do you believe that she was right? That most people in Russia, you know, are against the war, especially what you're seeing in terms of the
mobilization and young people fleeing?
RACZYNSKI (through translator): I'm not sure that most of the populations attitude is against the war. Unfortunately, most people believe what's
shown on TV. However, once they began talking about people's direct mobilization at this bloody affair, many realize they didn't like it. And
so, many chose to leave the country, rather than become killers. I believe this is a really critical indicator of the change of attitude in the
AMANPOUR: A certain rewriting of history is going on right now. How do you feel when Putin says that Ukraine was never a country. And that he is
annexing parts of Ukraine, you know, and saying that they belong to mother Russia. This is, obviously, under international law, illegal, but how do
you feel about him totally rewriting the history of Ukraine right now to justify the war?
RACZYNSKI (through translator): I'd say this is an attempt to rewrite history as a whole, unfortunately. The same way when back in soviet times
there was a brief history of the party, the only textbook available to study the national history, which in no way reflected the truth. Again,
they are now trying to introduce one history book for all.
As far as Putin's history studies are concerned, we know from history that when an attempt is made to declare that a nation doesn't exist, it is
called Nazism. Thus, when Putin and some of his supporters say that the Ukrainian nation does not exist, and they are just some cohorts of the lost
Russian nation, this is just a mere repetition of the well-known concepts judged at the Nuremberg trials. I am afraid they have forgotten these
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you what you think about being awarded. So, Memorial was awarded at the same time as a Belarusian human rights activist, and the
Ukrainian organization which is called Ukraine Center for Civil Liberties. How do you feel about being in that company? And have you heard some of the
criticism from Ukraine of the Nobel Committee for making it, you know, all of you.
RACZYNSKI (through translator): I did hear and see some critical remarks. I am delighted and I consider it an honor that we have been awarded this
prize together with other colleagues whom we worked with a lot. As far as the criticism coming from different people, including Ukrainians, I see it
as a repetition of Putin's position. Somehow, they perceive people as representatives of the state. Whereas I see people as people.
The Union a Civil Society is a great asset. And we highly value our cooperation that has lasted for at least a decade. I believe it was
important to acknowledge achievement. The. Nobel Committee made the correct decision because it is the civil societies that will have to find a way out
of this bloody, brutal history. It is very unlikely that any sound solution can be found with the help of the present heads of Russia and Belarus.
AMANPOUR: So, if few years ago I was in the organization, the human rights organization in Moscow. And I walked past all these pictures of dead
journalists. And, you know, there were some 200 or more and, you know, almost none of them murders had been investigated. Are you worried about
your own safety?
RACZYNSKI (through translator): I'd rather think about the safety of our organization, my colleagues. One cannot value fear more than the truth and
the need to defend certain ideals. We are certainly aware of the risks. But we have some basic commitments and obligations to people. Therefore, of
course there are some risks, but in the end, it is quite evident that the truth is on our side. And surely, we are not the first to take these risks.
And often, others face far greater risks.
AMANPOUR: Jan Raczynski, thank you so much, indeed. CEO of Memorial, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize along with Ukrainian and Belarusian
colleagues. Thank you very much.
RACHINSKY: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE).
AMANPOUR: An important organization sharing Russia's true history.
Now, hundreds of thousands of young Russians are refusing Putin's draft order with many escaping to neighboring Kazakhstan. Correspondent, Ivan
Watson, met with those who just don't want to fight Putin's war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Russians abandoning their homeland. Russian President Vladimir Putin's order to
conscript men to fight in his war in Ukraine has created an exodus of Russian draft dodgers. They line up daily here in neighboring Kazakhstan to
register with the local authorities. The Kazakh government says more than 200,000 Russians fled to this country and less than two weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we run away from Russia.
WATSON (voiceover): Vadim (ph) and Alexie (ph) fled Moscow last week to escape the draft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want this war. And we not recognized our --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mission of our government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- position of our government.
WATSON (voiceover): Many of Russia's land borders choke for weeks with long lines. As citizens run for the exits. Draft dodgers traveling by land
wait days in line or paid big money for scarce plane tickets to escape. And that's just the first step.
WATSON (on camera): Everyday, more Russians arrive at this train station in Almaty with their backpacks. And they all tell you the same thing. They
were afraid they could be sent to fight in Ukraine and they abandoned their country on very short notice.
WATSON (voiceover): This married couple left together.
WATSON (on camera): Did you come because of the mobilization for the war in Ukraine?
SERGEI, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT: It was a final kick to start our journey, I guess.
WATSON (on camera): Yes.
WATSON (on camera): Were you afraid that you would have to go fight in the war?
SERGEI: Yes, it's not something I want to participate in.
WATSON (voiceover): The flood of new arrivals surprising local business owners like the operator of a co-working spaces in the center of Almaty.
WATSON (on camera): This gentleman who just walked in, is this unusual to see --
MADINA ABILPANOVA, MANAGING PARTNER, DM ASSOCIATES: Very usual. Everyday it's like this. They come in with huge suitcases because they couldn't find
a place for living. And they come in here for working, and sitting, and you know, looking for some, you know, accommodation.
WATSON (on camera): These are fresh arrivals from Russia --
ABILPANOVA: Yes, yes, yes.
WATSON (on camera): -- arriving with a backpack --
ABILPANOVA: It's a still --
WATSON (on camera): -- on their back.
WATSON (voiceover): in this city, hundreds of miles from the Russian border, I spoke with dozens of newly arrived Russians, ranging from
ANASTESIA ARSENEVA, RUSSIAN DOCTOR WHO FLED DRAFT: If we refuse to go to this war, we should go to the jail.
WATSON (voiceover): To engineers, IT specialist, and university students.
WATSON (on camera): You ran away from Russia?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, from mobilization, from --
WATSON (on camera): From Military service?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
WATSON (voiceover): Most don't want to be identified to protect loved ones still in Russia.
GIORGI, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT (through translator): How can I take part in the war without the wish to win this war?
WATSON (voiceover): This man says Putin's draft led him no other choice but to flee the country, leaving his wife and child behind.
GIORGI (through translator): We do not trust our own government. We do not believe in what they say.
WATSON (voiceover): He says a Russian government crackdown on dissent has made protesting futile. Leaving hundreds of thousands of men now suddenly
adrift. Trying to find work and accommodation in foreign countries.
GIORGI (through translator): I am the citizen of the country that started that -- it did not support this war. Never did. But, somehow, I am still
connected with the state because of my passport. And I am at the same time a refugee and the aggressor.
WATSON (voiceover): Russians on the run, sharing a collective sense of hopelessness and guilt over the destruction caused by their government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Ivan Watson reporting there.
And next, Donald Trump is a danger to democracy. That is the view in America of the House Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the
U.S. Capitol. In its 10th public hearing this week, it hammered home that message as a closing argument ahead of the midterm elections.
And since the last hearing in July, they've interviewed more former members of Trump's cabinet, and they've received more than a million communications
from the secret service about the lead up to the insurrection. Sara Murray brings us up to date.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ CHENEY, VICE CHAIR, JANUARY 6TH SELECT COMMITTEE: The central cause of January 6th was one man, Donald Trump.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The January 6th Select Committee focusing squarely on former President Donald Trump in its
last hearing before the midterm election and closing with an extraordinary move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those in favor will say, aye.
MURRAY (voiceover): Unanimously voting to subpoena Trump for testimony in their ongoing probe.
CHENEY: We are obligated to seek answers directly from the man who set this all in motion.
MURRAY (voiceover): After members revealed new evidence showing Trump planned months before the 2020 election to try to stay in office, no matter
CHENEY: President Trump had a premeditated plan to declare that the election was fraudulent and stolen before election day. Before he knew the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The key thing to do is to claim victory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's get right to the violence.
STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: If Biden's winning, Trump is going to do some crazy --
MURRAY (voiceover): In the days after the election, leading up to January 6th, Trump's own officials repeatedly tried to dispel the false claims of
election fraud Trump continued to repeat.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The suitcases of ballots out from under a table, you all saw it on television. Totally fraudulent.
RICHARD DONOGHUE, FORMER ACTING DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: There is no suitcase. The president kept fixating on this suitcase that supposedly had
fraudulent ballots and that the suitcase was rolled out from under the table. And I said, no, sir, there is no suitcase.
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I told him that it was crazy stuff. And that they were wasting their time on that. And it was doing
grave, grave disservice to the country.
MURRAY (voiceover): Using witness testimony to show Trump had privately admitted he lost the election.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was looking at the TV and he said, can you believe I lost to this -- guy?
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: He had said something to the effect of, I don't want people to know we lost, Mark. This is
embarrassing. Figure it out.
MURRAY (voiceover): The Committee also disclosed new documents received from the secret service, detailing how officials knew about violent
rhetoric days before January 6th. In a December 26th e-mail, a secret service field office relayed a tip from the FBI that the Proud Boys planned
to march into Washington. Saying they --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They think that they will have a large enough group to march into D.C., armed, and will outnumber the police so they can't be
stopped. Their plan is to literally kill people. Please, please take this tip seriously and investigate further.
MURRAY (voiceover): The Committee unveiled never before seen footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rushing to safety as protesters breached the
NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We have got to get -- finish the proceedings or else they will have a complete
MURRAY (voiceover): Anger and disbelief in the hours that followed as Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scramble to get help to the
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) AND U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I'm going to call up the -- secretary of DOD.
PELOSI: Oh, my gosh. They're just breaking the windows. They're doing all kinds -- it's really -- somebody -- they said somebody was shot. It's just
horrendous. And all at the instigation of the president of the United States.
SCHUMER: Yes, why don't you get the president to tell them to leave the Capitol, Mr. Attorney General In your law enforcement responsibility. A
public statement they should all leave.
MURRAY (voiceover): Showing witnesses testify that at the same time, Trump was in one place.
MOLLY MICHAEL, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: It's my understanding he was watching television.
MURRAY (voiceover): One question the panel left answered, whether recommendations for criminal referrals will be sent to the Department of
CHENEY: Our committee may ultimately decide to make a series of criminal referral to the Department of Justice. But we recognize that our role is
not to make decisions regarding prosecution. A key element of this Committee's responsibility as to propose reforms to prevent January 6th
from ever happening again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Sara Murray reporting there. And while these hearings have dropped several bombshells, are they actually changing the minds of those
who voted for Trump? Don't forget, according to "The Washington Post", the majority of GOP nominees running in a few weeks are election deniers.
The Republican strategist, Sarah Longwell, conducts focus groups to understand how these developments are resonating with voters. And she joins
Hari Sreenivasan to dissect the hearings and her findings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks so much. And Sarah Longwell, thank you for joining us.
Sarah, the January 6th Committee just held its 10th and what maybe its last hearing. What were your biggest takeaways aside from the fact that at the
end, the committee did vote to subpoena former President Donald Trump.
SARAH LONGWELL, CO-FOUNDER, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY TOGETHER: Well, there really were a lot. I mean, one of the things that January 6th Committee has
always done is make sure to give us a lot to chew on after every single one of these hearings. But I think today was really about showing how
premeditated these attacks were.
Both from the side of the people who attacked that day, the secret service text that we were privy to show that they knew that they were planning
these attacks. People like, you know, from the Oath Keepers and whatnot, but also how premeditated it was on Donald Trump's end. On how some of his
closest advisers like Steve Bannon, like Roger Stone, you know, these people were saying before the election that if Donald Trump didn't win, he
was going to declare victory anyway. That he was even thinking about, you know, the idea of him demonizing the mail-in ballots was all about
creating, sort of, that confusion so that if he was ahead on election night, he could simply declare victory, you know, knowing that the mail-in
ballots would be counted overtime and that his lead might erode.
And so, the fact that all of that was really thought about beforehand just goes to show how much thinking there was put into trying to keep this sort
of free and fair election from being treated that way.
SREENIVASAN: We did see some footage for the first time of what the members of Congress were doing and how they were reaching out, literally,
for help. Like, calling local governors asking for the national guard. And there's even a small snippet that we saw -- and maybe there's going to be
more videos released of members from both parties, kind of, huddling together around the phone and having conversations.
It was, oddly enough, a moment of bipartisanship, unity, when all these people were scared for their lives. And you saw that reflected in the
comments, including from Senator McConnell and Member McCarthy when they got back to the House that day at the end of January 6th. That just
LONGWELL: Yes, I mean, that was some of the most stunning footage. I guess I don't know what we all thought they were doing during these moments, but
watching Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, and Chuck Schumer, and then the Republican members, you know, on the phone with the governors of the
surrounding states, in Maryland, Virginia, talking about bringing in the national guard.
I will say, I thought, I will give Nancy Pelosi some real credit for what self-restraint it must've taken to not, in some of those moments, want to
have a word with her Republican colleagues for the fact that many of them thought it was fine to humor Donald Trump in his lies. That many of them
were, you know, just letting him have this temper tantrum. There is a, you know, people who were quoted anonymously saying, what's the harm in
And so, I think that it showed great leadership on their part to be working with their colleagues. And it was interesting, they had one thing on their
mind and one thing only, which was how do we get back into the chamber and take that vote? You know, they were obviously -- and they were concerned
about Mike Pence's personal safety. I mean, that was some remarkable conversations between them.
And so, I thought that was a good moment for the United States, seeing that when everything -- when they were under attack, when they were in the
bunker together, they were all trying to problem solve.
And that's because it was them in the bunker who are all being attacked together. And it was Donald Trump was doing it. And so, the betrayal that
they must have felt after that, when Kevin McCarthy went down to Mar-a- Lago, and when Mitch McConnell said that if Donald Trump was the nominee again in 2024, of course, he'd endorsed them. I can't imagine what it's
like to see that and what kind of betrayal that is. Although, I can imagine it a little bit because just as an American, I feel that betrayal.
SREENIVASAN: Do you think that this committee has now made that case? That Donald Trump knew what was going to happen. And then even while it was
happening, knew what was happening, and continued to do what he did anyway?
LONGWELL: It's hard not to look at the way that they went about establishing the timelines, and not see that they were really just laying
out the case for how premeditated it was. I mean, that really was the first half of this hearing was showing that between the conversations that Donald
Trump was having with his close advisors, and also the moves that he was making publicly.
I mean one of the things that they were doing was kind of a side by side. Oftentimes where they would have one of his advisers talking about what
they had said to him, and then him going out publicly and saying the exact opposite. And so, it was both the action of premeditation, and then also
the action of him knowing that what he was saying was false. That he had been told by everyone around him that it was false. And then him still
going out in public and giving the lie.
And so, you know, how that would hold up in court, I don't know. But I do know just as an ethical matter, as a moral matter, when you watch that,
this is not a person who cares about the United States. This is not a person who cares about the rule of law, or our system of government.
You know, some of the things that were really striking were the people who testified to the president saying things like, well, I don't want anybody
to know that I've lost. You know, I don't want to let anybody think that I've lost.
And even as he was telling people in private, that he understood that he lost, he still didn't want it shared publicly, which is just him putting
his ego in front of a peaceful transfer of power. And that's something -- you know, Steve Bannon has this line that he would use about. How Trump
strategy was to flood the zone with crap, although they would often use a different word.
And what the January 6th Committee often does, as it's able to weave through that crap. And put timelines in place, you know, construct the
narrative, share the telling's from all of Trump's closest advisers, and put together what is, I think, is an ironclad, irrefutable case that Donald
Trump wasn't planning on conceding this election. That he knew that he had lost and that he sent people to the Capitol to attack it and try to
overturn the election anyway.
You know, that's what they hit again this time. And then they closed it all off by, as you noted, they closed it off by Liz Cheney after putting her
entire career on the line to do this, putting forward a motion to subpoena Donald Trump, to make him come testify in front of this Committee, and
that's a really important moment. Because the big criticism of this committee is like, well, Donald Trump doesn't get to tell his side of the
We'll here it as. He has been offered the opportunity by the Committee to come and formally testify and tell his side of the story. And if he chooses
not to, which I believe he won't, I think we all know why.
SREENIVASAN: Every week since January 6th, you have been running the focus groups with people you call the flippers. Basically, people who voted for
Trump, and then voted for Biden. What kind of trendlines are you seeing and the discussions that are happening? What's the impact of these hearings?
LONGWELL: Yes, one of the most interesting things that I have found, especially during the summer when the Committee was in full swing, and it
was just holding hearings all the time. You know, prior to that, anytime we would ask Trump supporters if they wanted to see Donald Trump run again in
2024, we'd usually get about half the group saying, yes, definitely. At least half the group. Like just -- sometimes it was far more than that, but
at least half the group would want to see him run again in 2024.
When the hearing started though, all the sudden, we were having multiple groups in a row, in which zero people wanted to see him run again, or even
-- or just by fewer people. And the things that they were saying were, you know, I just think he has too much baggage, or you know, I really think
maybe someone like Ron DeSantis, or Christy -- you know, they were sort of putting forward alternatives.
Now, I don't think what was happening here is that they're watching the hearings and being persuaded. Boy, Trump's a really terrible guy, I can't
support him anymore. They mostly don't trust the hearings. They think that they're, you know, dog and pony show, that people are to get Trump, but it
was changing how they thought about Trump's viability, his electability. And that's really with Trump supporters. But for swing voters, you know,
they really are just disgusted with Trump.
And whenever the January 6th hearings happen, when it raises the saliency of January 6th, because it's easy, it's this thing that fades into
background, otherwise. People aren't thinking about it. They're thinking about inflation, they're thinking about just other issues that impact their
lives, the economy, things that matter to them closer to home. You know, they don't think about democracy that often.
But when you do raise the salient, when it's in the news, when everybody is talking about it, when the January 6th Committee, you know, Hearings are on
TV and it's reminding them of what happened, those are the times when they just are remembering how disgusted they were with Trump and why, often as
Republicans, they were willing to vote for Joe Biden in 2020 because they just wanted this kind of stuff to end. And when you remind them of that, it
brings them back to that place.
SREENIVASAN: Regardless of whether or not the former president becomes the candidate of his party again, you know, you mentioned with my colleague,
Walter Isaacson, earlier in the that summer that Trump had unleashed something. What is that something now in hindsight?
LONGWELL: You know, there is a Russian expression, the appetite increases while you're eating. And I think that what he's unleashed in people is a
couple of things. One is a sense that they really have now crave this combative style of politics, right, which wasn't the case before. This idea
that now, everyone wants a fighter. There's a reason why Ron DeSantis tends to be the first name that people bring up and it's because people view him
as kind of Trump without the baggage, is what they often say. But he has that same combative style, which is now they like.
But a lot of it too is just desensitization toward really bad behavior. You know, if you look at a lot of the candidates here in 2022, take Herschel
Walker, you know, has many secret children that have come to light during the campaign, allegedly paid for an abortion despite being a vocal prolife,
you know, activist. These things didn't used to fly. The Republican Party - - I'm thinking about Todd Akin and his comments around legitimate rape, you know, Mitt Romney who was the nominee at the time condemned him. The GOP --
the apparatus who tried to get him to step down and resign, nobody's doing that with Herschel Walker anymore.
You know, we now live in a world where if you have scandals, tremendous moral failings, if you deny the results of the election, which, by the way,
isn't even viewed as a bad thing. In fact, it's viewed by Trump and by many Republicans as a prerequisite to winning a Republican primary. Like those
are the forces that Donald Trump has unleased and it has changed and very substantive and meaningful ways how the Republican Party is constituted.
I mean, it holds almost no resemblance to the party that I joined that was really oriented around things like, you know, limited government, personal
responsibility, free markets, American leadership in the world, character accounts. Like in the '90s and early 2000s, that is what you heard from
Republicans, and it's just not how Republicans talk anymore. You know, now, power and holding power is the rationalization for everything.
And they also -- they want, you know, this kind -- like people like Donald Trump, who they see as fighters, and they have no interest or care about
sort of the moral qualities of these people.
SREENIVASAN: What does that do to people like yourself who joined a very different party than where it is today?
LONGWELL: Well, look, I mean, there's really not a place for people like me in the Republican Party, just like there's no longer a place Liz Cheney
of for Adam Kinzinger. You know, in fact, you know, both Adam and Liz are doing the same thing that I am right now, which is, you know, we've all
endorsed pro-democracy Republicans where we can. But for the most part, we've had to endorse Democrats against very dangerous anti democracy
Republicans, especially at the governor and secretary of state level where you had these election denier candidates who are going to be in a position
to certify the 2024 election.
There are only two political parties. And when one of them has decided that they are no longer committed to democracy, which is something that we see
from Donald Trump in these January 6th hearings and then, something we see from all of these candidates in -- you know, that are running in the 2022
election, you know, there's just -- there's nothing to do but to support Democrats in hoped that they can beat these dangerous Republicans.
And only through sustained elect moral (ph) defeat can you hope that the Republican Party will reach for different quality of candidates, a
different future. But that's the only way. It is only by defeating them that you can get that to change.
SREENIVASAN: There's a lot of concern right now that if the Republicans take back control of the house, certainly the sort of -- the January 6th
Committee, as we know, it loses its commission at the end of this Congress, and the next Congress can choose to sustain this subpoena and continue to
ask the president if he wants to testify or it could just divert its resources somewhere completely different.
And there are a lot of concerns that there are going to be people in power who will, you know, make this set of hearings or the Benghazi hearings look
like a cocktail party comparatively speaking and where kind of the public time and resources will be spent.
LONGWELL: Yes. Well, we don't have to speculate about this too much because if Republicans take the house. Republicans have been telling us
what they're going to try to do. You know, Kevin McCarthy is going to have his handful with a bunch of members like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Lauren
Boebert who are saying, oh, well, we are immediately going to launch impeachment hearings against Joe Biden. We are going to launch
investigations into Hunter Biden.
Maybe they will even seek retribution against members of this community in terms of trying to investigate the investigators. I mean, this is the kind
of thing they've been talking about. This is not me speculating, these are things that we heard from Republican members of Congress. I think that if
the majorities are narrow though, if Republicans just hold a narrow majority as opposed to a large majority, then it's going to be harder for
them to sort of all coalesce around something like that. And so, you, know that is the biggest hope.
But if they win, you know, if this is like, you know, 2010 or a year where you just get big majorities of Republicans get swept in, then I would be
preparing for a lot of sort of time wasting political optic hearings.
SREENIVASAN: You know, I wonder what you think Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney's legacy will be. They're not going to be members of Congress, at
least not this time around, but being the only two Republicans on these 10 January 6th Committee hearings, what do they leave behind?
LONGWELL: So, let me say just how deep my admiration is for Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney. They have both been remarkable. They have given up their
current careers in order to stand up for the constitution in this moment, to do what they believe is right. And now in some of the ways that other
Republicans have where they just kind of put their heads down.
You know, I was always been a big Ben Sasse fan. Bug Ben Sasse, you know, he's going to take his ball and go home. He's going to leave the Senate.
He's going to go run a university. And -- OK. But Liz Cheney stood up in front of everybody and said, I'm not going to let this happen. Like, we --
this is unacceptable. We cannot wave this away. She has been magnificent. I think both of them have bright careers in front of them. I would not count
either them out. They're both young, especially by the standards of today's politicians.
And so, my hope -- you never know what seeds your planting with your leadership. But my hope is that what they have done will set them up for a
future where they are the next generation of leadership, because goodness knows, they would be a dramatic improvement.
SREENIVASAN: Sarah Longwell from the Republican Accountability Project and The Bulwark.com, thanks so much for joining us.
LONGWELL: Thanks for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And finally, tonight an American abroad. A monumental moment with the award-winning artist, Barbara Chase-Riboud. A master of her craft
since the 1950s, she is also a walking history lesson about the literary and cultural giants of her times.
Her staggering sculptures, like the Malcolm X Series, have made her superstar. But she's also best-selling author and poet. We met at the
Serpentine Gallery here in London where she is showcasing her new exhibit called Infinite Folds. She showing seven decades worth of her work,
including several that have never been seen before, like the brand-new piece inspired by Josephine Baker. And as I found at 83 years old, Chase-
Riboud shows no sign of slowing down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Barbara Chase-Riboud, welcome to our program.
BARBARA CHASE-RIBOUD, ARTIST, "INFINITE FOLDS" AND AUTHOR, "I ALWAYS KNEW: A MEMOIR": I am so happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me.
AMANPOUR: This is an incredible exhibition. I mean, it's monumental and that's not a play on words because you --
CHASE-RIBOUD: There is a play on words.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Why do you call it Infinite Folds?
CHASE-RIBOUD: Infinite Folds because it means that I can manipulate wax sheets seats into infinite shapes, infinite creases, plaques, all --
anything you want to do. And this is very important because it's a technique that can only be used once. And if you lose your wax, you've lost
CHASE-RIBOUD: So, there's always this aunguas (ph) of, you know, is this the last sculpture or is this the first sculpture?
AMANPOUR: So, aunguas (ph) is obviously French for anxiety.
CHASE-RIBOUD: So, aunguas (ph) is always there, but aunguas (ph) is always there with power. And, you know, if you have this kind of power to
manipulate the forms, then it's very tranquil, you know.
AMANPOUR: And tranquil means calm.
CHASE-RIBOUD: You calm down. You calm down. And you keep going. And since I work directly in the foundry, I have all this noise around me and all
this activity and all of this Italian language. But I am so focused on what I am doing until I could be -- you know, I could be in a sound box. I don't
AMANPOUR: A lot of these have never been seen publicly. Many are in private collections as well. I just want to ask, you mentioned seven
decades of work. You're in your early 80s now. Are you still manipulating wax and bronze?
CHASE-RIBOUD: You know, people say, are you still -- first of all, are you still alive?
CHASE-RIBOUD: And second of, are you still working?
AMANPOUR: Not working. Working in this intricate and difficult and noisy and just tactile way?
CHASE-RIBOUD: Well, I didn't know how long, you know, I'm going to be able to go on. But as long as I can stand, as long as the series keeps coming
and the new series, the love musicas (ph), you know, Josephine was a big surprise to me.
AMANPOUR: So, let's talk about Josephine, because one of the key sculpture is in this exhibition is Josephine, Josephine Baker, who you obviously
respected and admired as a kid, and then you met. Tell me what Josephine Baker means to you?
CHASE-RIBOUD: Josephine Baker is, you know, an icon like -- exactly like Malcolm X. She is someone who came from nothing, who came from zero, and
who made herself into a world figure, into a world leader. She is, you know, the epitome of invention. She's also the epitome of rhythm and of
movement. Suddenly, I had this idea of doing movement, which is futurist. It is. It is the sort of memorial to a hero.
AMANPOUR: And in this exhibition, there is plenty of African influence, Asian influence, particularly Chinese. I mean, like the color behind me.
CHASE-RIBOUD: Well, yes. Well, you know, it is -- you know, it is the world. And when I made my first big trip, which was to Egypt in 1958, I
realize that, you know, the western world was not the center of the universe. That there was all kinds of civilizations, peoples and there was
all kinds of sculpture and there was all kinds of architecture.
And so, for the first time, I was -- you know, I was amazed at what I found and I just wanted to gather everything together.
AMANPOUR: You left your own country, you left the United States, I guess, to see other centers of civilization. But why did you move to Europe in the
CHASE-RIBOUD: I was just following my star. I had -- it was not political. It was not necessary. It was simply one step, one step further.
AMANPOUR: It's really interesting that you say it wasn't political and it wasn't necessary. Because Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, a lot of African
American artist did have to leave, or felt they had to leave in order to be appreciated.
CHASE-RIBOUD: Well, they found what they didn't have in the States, which was freedom.
AMANPOUR: Did you find that?
CHASE-RIBOUD: Which was freedom, which was movement. And Josephine came and sort of conquered France. She showed France, they adored her in France.
They -- she showed France what movement really was, which is what I wanted to do with Josephine. I simply wanted, you know, everybody to know who she
was, what she came from. This little ragamuffin from St. Louis who didn't - - who was an orphan, who was dancing in the street for pennies at eight years old.
AMANPOUR: You met -- well, Josephine, we've just talked about her.
CHASE-RIBOUD: I met her.
AMANPOUR: And what was it like meeting her?
CHASE-RIBOUD: It was astounding because it was her last performance in Paris at the Bobino. Four days later, she had died.
CHASE-RIBOUD: And I had been backstage with friends of mine who were the opening act of her return to -- her last return because she made many
returns to the theater. And, you know, I saw this little lady. You know, short, fat. And I said -- you know, I said to my friends, this is Josephine
Baker? And she looked at me and she said, wait. And as soon as the curtains opens, I saw this transformation, which was that sculpture. And she just --
she grew a few feet. She expanded with her headdress. And there was this goddess, you know, who just -- you know, the curtains open and the French
just went wild, they just went crazy.
AMANPOUR: And you have a sculpture in another room that looks very much like Giacometti like.
AMANPOUR: Very thing and emaciated. It's the Eden, right? Adam and Eve and the canopy.
CHASE-RIBOUD: Well, that was my first with France, with Paris and with surrealism. It was Giacometti. It was Giacometti. And then, I met him
through (INAUDIBLE) one day.
AMANPOUR: The great photographer.
CHASE-RIBOUD: And so, it was like -- well, it was like meeting with Josephine Baker. Giacometti had been, you know, a mentor and a kind of hero
to me since school. And so, I went to his atelier, that was the poorest imitation (ph) I have ever seen. It was a shack. It was beyond poverty.
And we walked in and I saw this Egyptian mummy coming towards me, covered in plaster from head to foot with his curly -- white curly hair with the
sort of cigarette smoke coming out of this tumble (ph) and, you know, I was -- that was it.
AMANPOUR: Albert Giacometti, one of the great sculptures of the 20th century.
CHASE-RIBOUD: One of the greatest cultures in the world.
AMANPOUR: And what did you make of James Baldwin? You met him too.
CHASE-RIBOUD: James is a good friend of mine. Longtime friend of mine. The sweetest man I think on earth. And I met him the first time in full mentor
at the Literary Prize that I had -- that we had to cover for "Life Magazine."
And so, that was the first time I met him. And it was -- you know, it was magical. I met -- also, there was Miller, there was Henry Miller. And I
couldn't believe, you know, that I was in -- you know, I was in the presence of the whole literary, European literary scene.
AMANPOUR: Well, which is a beautiful turn into what maybe not many people know that you are polymath, you're not just a drawer and a sculptor, but
you're a poet, and you are writer. And you've had best-selling novels. Tell me how you got to write the story of Sally Hemings, who everybody knows was
the enslaved -- not wife even, partner Thomas Jefferson.
CHASE-RIBOUD: That's an accidental history. I found the story of Sally Hemins and I was convinced that it was true. And my idea was to write a
long epic poem about an enslaved girl in Paris at the beginning of the revolution. That was -- you know. And my editor, who was Toni Morrison.
AMANPOUR: Toni Morrison was your editor?
CHASE-RIBOUD: Yes. Because she edited the first poetry book. And so, she said, you know, Random House wants a big historical novel. They do not want
a poetry collection. So, you've got to do it.
AMANPOUR: Was Jacqueline Onassis a tall instrumental? She was at Random House and I think she was a friend or yours and she pushed you to do it or
CHASE-RIBOUD: She -- the whole story of Jacqueline and me goes back to -- it goes back to '74. And the weekend that I spent with Jacqueline on
Scorpios (ph) with -- looking at the Christina (ph) and sitting on the beach.
AMANPOUR: But it became a best-seller and it was really important part of that historical puzzle.
CHASE-RIBOUD: Well, because I said on that beach and I thought, this is the only woman in the world who would know what it is about pillow talk and
the power and the presidency of the United States, she lived it.
AMANPOUR: This is Jacqui Onassis?
CHASE-RIBOUD: Yes. This was Jacqui Onassis. And so, I told her the story and I told her, you know, I don't think I can do this, you know, without
help. And said -- and she turned to me and she said, Barbara, you, in her little whispery voice, Barbara, you've got to write this book. And by the
time I had written maybe 100 or 200 pages, Onassis had died and she had taken on a job at Viking as acquiring manager.
And so, she kept calling my agent saying, has Barbara finished this book yet? Has Barbara finished this book yet? And then, one day, you know, I
laid it on my agent's desk and she sent it to Jacqueline and she bought it.
AMANPOUR: And the rest is history?
CHASE-RIBOUD: Which save the book, because nobody knew what was in the book. It was just Jacqueline's little project. You know, it was supposed to
be a coffee table book. And, of course, the surprise came when it became the center of a huge controversy which lasted 38 years.
AMANPOUR: The fact that Thomas Jefferson was kind of outed --
AMANPOUR: -- as having had an enslaved --
AMANPOUR: -- mistress who was the mother of six of his children.
AMANPOUR: And you were the one who put that --
CHASE-RIBOUD: Yes. That's --
AMANPOUR: -- into the history, on the table.
CHASE-RIBOUD: I put it on the page. I put it on the page.
AMANPOUR: Well --
CHASE-RIBOUD: And got hell for it. But in the end, in 1997, the DNA arrives, innocently also, and it was true. And so, everybody had to take a
step backwards, get rid of me because I was -- you know, I was the voice of doom. And so, that's how I made history.
AMANPOUR: It's remarkable.
CHASE-RIBOUD: You know, it's --
AMANPOUR: It's remarkable.
CHASE-RIBOUD: And history is history.
AMANPOUR: It is. So, now, you're writing -- is it your first memoir, "I Always Knew"? It's published.
CHASE-RIBOUD: That too is an accidental -- it's an accident. I found at the death of my mother that she had saved every single letter I wrote from
Europe to her in Philadelphia. And, of course, I didn't realize that she had been doing this, this was to me a surprise. And I thought -- you know,
I thought this is the secret, I think this moment that I adore and I finally -- you know, I finally read them and I realized that they were love
letters. They were love letters from me to her and she had kept every single one of them.
AMANPOUR: Barbara Chase-Riboud, thank you very much for being with us.
CHASE-RIBOUD: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Still creating after all these decades. Really outstanding.
And that is it for now. Remember, you can always catch us online, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on our podcast. Thank you for watching. Goodbye