Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda; Interview With U.S. Independent Senate Candidate And Former U.S. Independent Presidential Candidate Evan McMullin; Interview Reuters Investigative Journalist Linda So; Interview With "All These Is" Host Anderson Cooper. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 31, 2022 - 14:00:00   ET




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


LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF BRAZIL (through translator): They tried to bury me alive. And I am here.


AMANPOUR: A stunning political resurrection in Brazil, as Lula, the working-class hero, returns to the presidency. When will Bolsonaro concede?

We go inside this divisive election with the former Mexican Foreign Minister, Jorge Castaneda. Then.



political violence over the last several years. And it is time for our leaders to model another way forward.


AMANPOUR: Could this independent candidate model a way forward out of political violence? We'll hear from Utah's Evan McMullin, after Nancy

Pelosi's second in line to the presidency was the target of a would-be killer, who attacked her husband, home alone, instead. Also --


LINDA SO, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, REUTERS: When we spoke to election officials in these battleground states, some of them were really receiving

horrific threats.


AMANPOUR: The threat to poll workers across America. Hari Sreenivasan speaks to investigative reporter Linda So. And finally.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ALL THERE IS": We all lose people we love. And yet, when it happens to us and we are grieving, it feels like we are all



AMANPOUR: In his new podcast, "All There Is", Anderson Cooper offers remarkable insight into a universal experience, loss and grief.

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

And today, we look at the struggle to protect democracy around the world. In a moment, the truly terrifying political violence boiling over in the

United States as midterm elections approach. But the first, to the world's fourth largest democracy, Brazil. And a stunning comeback for the man who

goes simply by his nom de gare, Lula. From Vladimir Putin to Joe Biden, world leaders have been sending him their congratulations.

Now, in his first two terms, Lula da Silva lifted more than 20 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty. In 2019, out of office, he was

imprisoned for corruption. Now, with his convictions annulled by Brazil's Supreme Court, Lula is president-elect. It was a tight one. Lula won a 50.9

percent of the vote, his opponent, Jair Bolsonaro, 49.1 percent.

And now, Brazil transitions from Bolsonaro's far-right authoritarianism back to Lula's work-up party socialism. But Bolsonaro has yet to concede

defeat. So, what does all this mean for the Americas and for the world? Jorge Castaneda was Mexico's foreign minister, and he now teaches Latin

American studies at NYU. And he's joining me from there, from New York City.

Welcome back to our program, Mr. Castaneda.

JORGE CASTANEDA, FORMER MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Hi, Christian. It's great to be back with you.

AMANPOUR: Well, listen, I want to ask you, first and foremost because this is a struggle of our time. What this mean for democracy? I'm going to put

up a tweet that Lula himself put out last night. It's a -- it's the flag of Brazil, it says democracy over it. And it has his hands on it. We know it's

his hand, because he is minus a finger, and we know that he lost that finger when he was a lave (ph) worker in his youth, before politics.

So, it's a pretty dramatic image. What does this all mean for Brazil right now, that he's comeback.

CASTANEDA: Well, I think the main thing it means, Christiane, is that this was not really an election between left and right, although Bolsonaro is an

extreme rightist and although Lula is a man of the left. But it was really more a contest, a competition between forces in Brazil from the center-

right to the extreme left, who, one way or another, want to defend Brazil's democracy. And the forces on the right and the extreme right who wanted to

continue with Bolsonaro's authoritarian, misogynists, homophobic, anti- environmental government.

So, I think, this is more a victory for democracy in Brazil and beyond in Latin America, than a victory of the left. Although certainly, many people

in Latin America will see it as a victory of the left and it can claim that victory for itself. But more than anything else, this was a struggle

between democracy and autocracy and democracy won barely, by the way.


AMANPOUR: Barely, as you say, you use by a whisker. But, look, I am really interest in, yes, there is a so-called pink wave across Latin America. I

recently spoke to the new president of Chile, and et cetera, as you just mentioned. But I am fascinated by the way to delineate the competition in

Brazil, because you're absolutely right. Lula did reach out to a cross section of political parties, including former opponents of his on the

right of the political spectrum. So, you've made that clear. Why do you think, then, it was so close?

CASTANEDA: Well, unfortunately, Christiane, because a lot of people in Brazil support Bolsonaro's extremist, strident policies and attitudes. And

a lot of people were also fearful of Lula. Lula was, I think, a very good president his first term, he was OK his second term. But his successor,

Dilma Rousseff, was pretty terrible. And what with all of that, plus the corruption scandals, you know, a lot of people, practically half of all of

Brazil, were very scared of Lula and who supported Bolsonaro.

And it was a very tight race till the very, very end for part of the evening last night, at least until around 60 percent of the votes having

been counted, Bolsonaro was leading by a whisker, as you say, but leading nonetheless. This is one of the main challenges that Lula will face. He has

a strong Bolsonaroist (ph) opposition in the Congress, at the voting booths, and probably in the streets in one way or another.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And many of the governors of the very important provinces also went to Bolsonaro's party and Bolsonaro, you know, candidates. So,

that's one thing. The other thing is, you know, talking about Bolsonaro for the moment, you know, people have been afraid. They've called him the Trump

of tropics. They think or they thought that he might try to challenge any election if he lost. I mean, you know, he said some pretty scary things to

that effect before the election. What do you think? I mean, he hasn't said anything yet as we are talking right now.

CASTANEDA: Well, he hasn't said anything, which means he hasn't conceded but he hasn't disputed the results yet. He is said to be meeting in his

office at the presidency with advisers, perhaps with his sons, to see what kind of a speech he makes tonight.

Right now, it seems that he hasn't made his mind up yet. I doubt he will concede. I doubt he will agree that he lost, but he may not dispute the

results himself. The problem is that he's been saying this for so many months, this way. And even last night, one of his allies in the United

States, former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, was insisting that the election was rigged. That Lula did not win. That Bolsonaro won and should not accept


So, there is a lot of pressure on him, probably from his advisers and from some of his supporters to dispute the elections. The key question here is

whether the military will go along, and everything seems to suggest, Christiane, that it will not.

AMANPOUR: It will not. OK. Nonetheless, as you've laid out, a very divisive politics, still. So, what can Brazil expect from Lula? We said

that his signature achievement was to have raised so many millions out of extreme poverty. Also, he really was, you know, front and center in the

battle to save the environment and the Amazon, and that was a hallmark of Bolsonaro. He allowed logging and agribusiness, and basically seemed to,

sort of, pooh-pooh the whole idea of the importance of the lungs of the planet, as the Amazon's called. What can Brazil expect from Lula this time?

CASTANEDA: Well, on the environment and on the Amazon, I think that he -- that Lula will be very forthcoming, perhaps even more so than during his

first two terms because the situation has deteriorated very seriously. And because there's a much greater awareness in Brazil and all over the world

about the importance of stopping deforestation through grazing and logging in the Amazon.

On economic policy, he is going to be restrained or constricted by unfavorable international economic environment unlike the one he faced back

at the beginning of the century when he was riding on the commodities boom throughout the first decade of the 21st century. He is not going to have

that much leeway. He has said he wants to set up some kind of tax reform to be able to get more money, to be able to, again, bring people out of

poverty, generate jobs throughout the country.


But his margin of maneuver is much less for this time around than it was last time. I think that if he is able to undo the damage Bolsonaro did,

that would be a huge success. I'm not sure, given the circumstances, internal and abroad, that he will be able to do much more than that. But

that would be a great deal, by the way.

AMANPOUR: Yes, and in his own words, certainly, about the environment. He said, Brazil is ready to resume its leading role in the fight against the

climate crisis. Adding that he plans to aim for zero-deforestation. So, that is a big deal, especially since agribusiness accounts for nearly 30

percent of Brazil's GDP.

Can I ask you, on the world stage a little bit? And, of course, we all are confronting Putin's war in Ukraine, none more so than Ukrainians

themselves. But are you satisfied with Lula's -- the -- pretty much the only public, sort of, position he's taken? If you look at "Time Magazine"

you know, in May of this, he was on the cover. And he said -- he did an interview, he said, this guy -- he meant Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is as

responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there's not just one person guilty. Saddam Hussein was as guilty as Bush for the outbreak of the

2003 Iraq war.

He basically says Zelenskyy should not have asked for NATO E.U. membership, and the west should have made it clear from the start, and that would have

saved all of this. What do you make of that? And can Ukraine count on support from a Democratic Brazil?

CASTANEDA: I don't think that Lula's policies on Ukraine will be that different from Bolsonaro's. Actually, Christiane, Brazil is this year and

next year a non-permanent member of the security council in the last vote on the annexation of the Ukraine territories by Russia. Brazil abstained.

And I think that Lula would probably abstain, also.

I think that he has a soft spot for Russia, for China, for Cuba, for Venezuela. I don't think that he will be willing to openly and clearly

condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine without any whataboutism (ph), so to speak. I think that he will maintain this policy of a certain

neutrality. Nonintervention, which the Brazilians love a great deal.

But -- which at this stage in world history, perhaps it seems a bit anachronistic. Unfortunate, Lula is a man of his time. He is 77 years old.

He did come of age in the 1960s when the Non-Aligned Movement was very powerful, was very strong in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia. And I think

that he -- he's -- in general, his foreign policy will be of that nature. It's a pity because he should have learned a great deal during his crossing

of the desert these now more than 12 years. But I'm not sure that he will change a great deal in his views of the world.

AMANPOUR: That is really fascinating. Of course, as you say, so-call soft spot, he does belong to the BRICS, which is also Russia and China, among

others. Jorge Castaneda, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

Now, in the United States, the shock is palpable after a brutal attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband at their home in San Francisco. The

attacker seemed clearly intent on killing the second in line to the presidency, shouting, where is Nancy? He was wielding a hammer and struck

Paul Pelosi in the head. He also carried a bag of zip ties, an echo of the violent political attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

After surgery, the hospital says that Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery, but just over a week before the midterm elections, in Americas

toxic political climate, threats to lawmakers, election officials, and even voters are on the rise.

My next guest, Evan McMillan -- McMullin, a former Republican is standing up against extremism by running for Senate as an independent against Utah's

ultra conservative Senator Mike Lee. And McMullin has criticize Lee for working to reverse Donald Trump's 2020 presidential defeat. And even in

deep red Utah, polls show that he could pull off an upset.

Evan McMullin, welcome to our program. Can I --


AMANPOUR: Thank you. Can I first ask you, what is your reaction to this horrendous and heinous attack on Paul Pelosi? What do you think that was?


MCMULLIN: Well, it was an attempted -- assassination attempt against the speaker of the House, and that is something that we should all condemn as

Americans. It's a threat to the stability of our democracy and our country, more broadly. And, you know, I certainly wish Paul Pelosi a speedy

recovery. I'm encouraged to hear that doctors believe that he will make a full recovery.

But the reality is now that political violence in our country is increasing, certainly people have died already, in political attacks

whether they're shopping at schools or worshiping in their religious institutions. But now, we have elected leaders increasingly at risk. And

that's something that you experience even as a candidate now. It's something we've experienced on the campaign trail. And I -- I'm fearful

that if it doesn't stop, if we don't have leaders who take us in another direction in this country, that we are going to see some elected leader

killed in this violence.

AMANPOUR: I mean, it is truly hair raising to hear you actually say that. I just wonder, you are fighting a pretty tight and divisive election. We'll

get to -- well, I mean, you are a Republican who's running as an independent against your Republican -- or the Republican incumbent in your

state, Mike Lee. That in itself, is a statement about your party, surely -- your former party.

MCMULLIN: Well, I've been a -- I've been in -- well I've been an independent for really my whole adult life. But I did align more with the

Republican Party. And I, at one time, served as the chief policy director for the House Republicans. That's all true. But when Trump came along, I

knew that I could not go along with the direction of the party under his leadership.

So, I'm running as an independent here in Utah because Senator Lee has gone so far to the right in trying to overturn our last election in his divisive

politics, in general, that most Utahns want to replace him. But the challenge is that that majority is divided between Democrats, Republicans,

and independents.

And so, I'm running as an independent in this election to build a cross partisan coalition. To reject the politics of division and extremism and

bring people together for this electoral purpose to defeat Mike Lee. But also, to reject the politics of division and extremism at large in our

country. And we've got to have leaders who take this new approach. Too often are leaders now are embodying the politics of division and extremism

and it puts our nation at risk.

It's clearly putting our democracy at risk. We're failing to overcome major challenges in the country, whether it's inflation or the high cost of

health care or environmental issues. We need leaders who are going to bring people together, find common ground, and solve problems.

And that's what we're committed to doing here with this campaign and that's why our coalition is growing. And why here in Utah, we have the first

competitive Senate race in about 50 years. It's because we're rejecting those broken politics of division, and instead offering a healthier way

forward for the country and our state.

AMANPOUR: Well, a healthier and a safer way forward. I just want to stick with this for a moment. Because, yes, that was, as you call it, an

attempted assassination on the second in line to the presidency of the United States. But of course, we know that in 2017, there was attack on the

house minority Whip, who was a Republican. We know that earlier this year, a man was charged with attempting to murder the Supreme Court Justice,

Brett Kavanaugh, who's a conservative. The FBI warning that there is potential for political violence around the midterms.

So, what I'm saying, setting that all up, because I wonder, it's not just crazies who are -- it's not just fringe who are in possession of these

crazy thoughts that lead them to take a hammer to the head of Paul Pelosi. It is also the mainstream Republicans who are election deniers. It's also

those who, you know, who fuel these conspiracy theories. You know, the majority of Republicans running right now in the midterms, happened to

question the legitimacy of the 2020 election. So, that's a big, big, big, big issue for somebody like you to try to navigate a way out of. How does

one do that?

MCMULLIN: Well, I think leadership and rhetoric really matter. And we've seen examples around the world for this that, you know, political violence

often begins with the dehumanization of the other side. And we've had that in American politics, certainly for the past several years. Where we call

the other side the enemy. We believe that they are not loyal Americans. We believe they're not, you know, on our side. We have nothing on common with



And it gets to the point where we start to think of them as something other than human beings. And that's where our political rhetoric has gotten in

America. And we do have many of our leaders to think, so to speak, for it. I've been shocked by some of the responses that I've seen from the far-

right people in response to Paul Pelosi's -- the attack on Paul Pelosi. I mean, it's just been incredible.

But it has been this dehumanization of the other side. And we're a nation of 330 million people. So, there are going to be someone who hear that and

then decide to act on it. And it only takes a few for tragedy to strike.

AMANPOUR: So, you say you've been shocked and many have by the terrible response from the far-right group. But also, by -- look, I mean, is this

acceptable? The Republican governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin said, there's no room for violence anywhere. But he added, about the Pelosi's,

we're going to send her back to be with them in California. And, you know, Trump is blaming, you know, crime in Democrat-led cities. I mean, is that

good enough? That kind of, have your cake and eat it too?

MCMULLIN: I don't think so. I think this is a time for all of us to come together as Americans. We need to get back to basics. To the ideals that

our -- in our Declaration of Independence that we're created free and equal. And therefore, we have a system of self-government in which we all

have a vote. And in which our votes are counted and the results of those elections are respected and there are peaceful transfers of power. And we

don't turn to violence or lies to reverse them.

But we're headed toward a crisis in our country if we continue on this path where we do use violence, and lies, and disinformation, conspiracism in

order to overturn the will of the people. And that's where we're headed right now. That's why I'm running against Senator Lee.

He's someone who knew what the results of the election were. He still cast doubts on the legitimacy of the 2020 election. He believes the other side

is the enemy. He has one of the most divisive members in the Senate. And as a result, gets nothing done other than further dividing the country.

But, again, it's all part of this broken rhetoric and broken politics in our country that is dehumanizing the other side. And yes, there's been

violence on both sides, it's true. You reminded us of the attack a few years ago on a Republican congressional baseball practice and where the

Whip was killed and almost -- almost killed during that attack, badly, badly wounded. And others were as well.

And that's, you know, that's where we're headed. I only see it getting worse. But we need leaders who will model another way forward. Who will

start talking about the other side in different terms. Who will bring us together. But it starts, I think, with the re-commitment to our core ideals

in our system of self-government in which we all have a voice, and we need to respect that of everyone else in the system.

AMANPOUR: So, it really does seem that this group finds its rallying point in former President Trump. Even Lee has said he will support Trump if he's

the 2024 GOP nominee. You ran, correctly you've, you know, as an independent, you were telling me, for president in 2016 to basically, you

know, stop Trump. Your current, as I say, Lee voted for you against him. But this is how he's now trying to have his cake and eat it again. This is

what he told Fox News about that.


SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): I was wrong. I was really wrong. I didn't believe that president Trump would do the things he promised to do. And I was still

sore over the way some of my colleagues had been treated during the 2016 election cycle. But that vote I cast in 2016 was a huge mistake. Just as it

would be a huge mistake for my fellow Utahns to vote for Evan McMullin today. Evan McMullin supports Joe Biden and his policies. He would be a

reliable Democratic vote.


AMANPOUR: So, we know that your state, Utah, is very, very red. And that you have been supported by the Utah Democratic Party. So, what is your

pitch then to those who you would obviously try to encourage to cross lines from the Republican Party and put you over the top?

MCMULLIN: Well, first of all I would say that Senator Lee only knows how to run against Democrats. And so, what he wants to do is cast me as a

Democrat though I've never been a Democrat. I'm a registered independent, a conservative. I've only been affiliated with the Republican Party, when I

was affiliated with the party. But I've been an independent and a conservative independent for my entire adult life. And he doesn't know how

to handle that. But he knows that if he can convince people that I'm a Democrat, then that offers him a better chance of winning.


What he's most threatened by, however, is the fact that we are building a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Almost 40 percent of

Republicans in Utah voted against Lee in the Republican primary this year. So, there is a broad desire, perhaps not a majority within the Republican

Party, but a great number of Republicans here in Utah realize that Mike Lee has been bought off by special interest groups. He caters to the extremes

and the party bosses. And it's why he's got nothing done from our state.

It also happens to be the case that leaders who are divisive tend to get nothing done in Washington. And in 12 years, Senator Lee has only passed 10

bills. And a good number of them named federal buildings. He's just unable to get anything done in the Senate. And he's threatened by the fact that

we're rejecting his broken politics. And bringing Republicans, Democrats, and independents together to replace him. And so, that's why you see him

doubling down on the politics of division in order to overcome the threat that our coalition poses.

AMANPOUR: Coalitions, it does sound really important. Evan McMullin, thank you so much indeed for joining us tonight.

Now, as we mentioned politicians aren't the only ones under threat. Already in early voting, people are being intimidated in crucial swing states and

the Justice Department warning of heightened threats against election workers too. Award-winning investigative journalist Linda So talks to Hari

Sreenivasan about this deep danger to American democracy.


HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Linda So, thanks so much for joining us. For more than a year now, working

at Reuters you have been chronicling the types of threats and harassment that election workers have been going through. Just give our audience an

idea of what are the things that people that are working in election offices around the United States are experiencing.

LINDA SO, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, REUTERS: Sure, it became clear soon after the 2020 that Trump's baseless and persistent voter flood -- fraud

claims were having a real-life consequence on America's political system. Particularly, the election workers who were facing an unprecedented wave of

threats and harassment. They and their families were receiving threat so severe that in some cases people had to leave their homes and go into


We talked to election administrators across the country in more than a dozen battleground states. And collected many of the threats and harassing

messages that they received. And have since compiled close to 1,000 intimidating messages, more than a hundred that could warrant prosecution.

SREENIVASAN: One of the stories that grabbed headlines was of two election workers, a mother and daughter, tell us about that?

SO: My colleague and I will never forget interviewing a mother and daughter in Georgia, both election workers. Their names are Ruby Freeman

and Shaye Moss. They recently testified at the congressional committee investigating the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. And these

women's lives were literally upended because they were singled out by Trump and his campaign and demonized.

Basically, they were accused of counting fraudulent ballots, pulling them from suitcases, and counting fake ballots to tip the election for Biden in

Georgia. And as a result, they began receiving hundreds of death threats, racist taunts, threats of lynching. Shaye Moss, the daughter, she is a

single mother. And she was earning just $36,000 a job, doing the work of elections. And she became a target of these threats.

I remember her telling us that she loved her job. She looked forward to going in to work every day. Answering the phone call from people who might

have questions about the process. She said how she would tuck her business card into each envelope of voter applications that she would send out. And

she would write handwritten messages on this -- on her business card, encouraging voters to call her if they had any questions.

You know, as a black woman growing up in the south, it really meant something to her to help these people exercise their right to vote. But

when these threats began, all that changed. She said she started having panic attacks whenever her phone would ring. She wouldn't want to leave her

cubicle at work.

Her -- strangers actually got a hold of her teenage cellphone's -- her teenage son's cellphone and began calling him and threatening him. And she

remembers one message he got that basically said, be glad it's 2020 and 1920 because you would be hanging along with your mother.

She suffered a mental breakdown and was terrified to leave her home. Her mother, Ruby Freeman, who also volunteered to count ballots in Georgia on

election day, during the 2020 election, she too started getting hundreds of death threats. Some called for her execution.


There was one message that said that she should be suicided with two bullets to the back of her head. Strangers showed up at our house and began

harassing her, ultimately forcing her to leave her home and go into hiding for nearly two months.

SREENIVASAN: You're talking about people, it seems, that are committed to this job. They're not doing it for the money.

SO: They certainly aren't doing it for the money. These people, when we talked to them, a common theme that comes out is they say they do this work

because they love it. They find it -- it's their civic duty. And oftentimes when they're running these elections, particularly as you get closer to an

election, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

Sometimes they're clocking 70, 80 hours. Working through weekends. Unable to go home and see their family. And they're really sacrificing a lot of

time and energy. And again, they aren't getting paid a lot of money. But these people say that they do it because they love the work.

SREENIVASAN: You know, one of the facts that came off from your reporting, I just want to point out, is that, Reuters identified 44 counties in 15

states where local officials have faced efforts to change rules on voting since the 2020 election. 10 of Nevada's 17 counties have seen their top

election officials resign.

And you also go in your reporting other states, in Pennsylvania, more than 50 county election directors or assistant directors have left since the

2020 vote. And, you know, you go across the country really, in South Carolina and so many other places. I wonder, you know, a lot of these

threats, the FBI said that several of these -- a large percent, or 60 percent or plus have been targeted around what we would consider

battleground states. Is that what you found in your reporting?

SO: We did. When we first sought out to investigate these threats against election workers, we really focused on the battleground states. Because lot

of times this -- we found that election officials there were being targeted and accused of committing voter fraud simply because people didn't like the

outcome of the 2020 election.

So, when we spoke to election officials in these battleground states, some of them were really receiving horrific threats. I recall speaking to the

wife of Georgia's Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, months after the election. She, as the wife, even though she wasn't the elected official.

She, as the wife, was receiving harrowing threats. You know, people would text her and tell her that they were praying that she and her family would

die. Just horrific threats.

And I remember her getting particularly emotional when she recounted an incident that involved her widowed daughter-in-law. After the election,

after the 2020 election, someone had broken into her widowed daughter-in- law's home and turned on all the lights, moved items around the home, opened all the doors, and they didn't take anything. And the family,

considered it an act of intimidation.

So, after that happened, that same day, there were some Oath Keepers who were spotted outside the Raffensperger's home. It forced the family

ultimately to go into hiding.

SREENIVASAN: So, this is not just targeting people who might be of the opposite party. I mean, first of all, election workers are often not

partisan and neither are the volunteers. But you're talking about Brad Raffensperger who is a Republican, and he's proud of it. So, the targets

are just people who are in the positions of power, not necessarily if they, you know, voted for Joe Biden or not?

SO: Right. What we're also seeing is that when some people believe that there was fraud and they don't like the outcome of the election, then they

will start accusing these officials no matter what their party affiliation, if they're Republican or Democrat. If they simply were unhappy with the

outcome of the election in that particular state, we have seen that they have been targets of threats.

SREENIVASAN: In the past week, we've also seen headlines come out of Arizona of poll watchers taking pictures of people casting their votes at

drop boxes. We've also seen a video of men with long guns standing very close by. Tell me a little bit about what's happening in Arizona?

SO: Right. Some of the clerks that we talked to, not only in Arizona, but other states where this happened during the primary. There main concern is

that these voters will be intimidated. You know, we tracked and we learned of election denying groups that have been training an army of election

observers who would go out during the midterms and the primaries that happened earlier this year to do various things that some voters and clerks

consider intimidating.


For instance, in Colorado, we spoke with an election clerk there who said that during a recount of votes, there was an aggressive group of protesters

who actually turned out to the election building, and outside they were holding protests, chanting things like, stop the steal. And the voting

machines are corrupt. Inside the building, as these election workers were recounting the votes, an aggressive group was pounding on the windows, they

were recording the workers with their cellphone, and shouting angrily at them.

And there was actually a group in the hallway that could be heard praying for evil to descend on the election team. Extra security was on hand to

escort election workers who were fearing for their safety out to their cars. You know, the chief election clerk there told us he has been doing

this work for a very long time but he has never seen anything like this before.

SREENIVASAN: In your reporting, a lot of these threats are made anonymously. And you took that additional step of trying to go through and

unmask some of these folks. When you finally reached some of the people that were making these threats and doing sort of harassment, what did they

have to say?

SO: Most of these people consider themselves patriots. And they felt like they were fighting a righteous fight to uphold elections in America because

they felt that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Many of them were heavy consumers of misinformation. And some of them told us that they were

actually preparing for civil war. They didn't like the direction that this country was taken -- taking -- is taking. And they feel that if something

isn't done now, that future elections will continue to be stolen.

We spoke with one individual from Vermont who consumed a lot of misinformation. And he was so thoroughly convinced that 2020 was stolen. He

felt it was his duty to call up the Vermont secretary of state's office and leave a serious of threatening voicemails. Ultimately when we reached out

to him and uncovered his identity, he began threatening us.

SREENIVASAN: And I wonder, since you began your reporting and publishing your work. I know that the Justice Department had set up an elections

threat task force. What has come of it? And especially in the instances where you have documented the specific harassment that is prosecutable.

Have those people been brought to justice?

SO: Our reporting did lead to the arrest of one man. And we do know that the Justice Department says that it takes all threats of violence

seriously. So far, since the creation of that task force last summer, investigating threats against election workers, at least seven individuals

have been charged.

You know, when we speak with election officials across the country, they tell us they're frustrated that more hasn't been done. The Justice

Department says that they are investigating. But oftentimes, these threats, these messages, don't cross the line into criminality. They're protected by

free speech. So, in some cases, these threats can't be prosecuted. The Justice Department also tells us that it takes time to build these cases.

SREENIVASAN: What are states or localities doing to try and combat this? I know I've heard of, like, a -- you know, a text line or a call line from

different states if people see a harassment or intimidation. But is there any kind of concerted effort?

SO: Yes, many election officials say the number one thing they stress is transparency. And so, they really try to open up the process to the public.

They'll hold public meetings where they invite the public to come in to watch as they demonstrate how these voting machines work. You know, they'll

also visit town halls. If they're invited, they will go and speak to these groups and inform them on the voting process.

There is one election director in Georgia that I spoke with, who actually said he doesn't mind handing out his cellphone number for anyone who might

have a question. He says that he answers their calls, speaks to them, really tries to talk them through the process. And in some cases, it helps.

In other cases, he's mentioned, you know, some people just call and they already have their mind made up. So, there's really not much you can do.

SREENIVASAN: When you look back at your reporting, you see the number of people that you have spoken to who have left their jobs, probably earlier

than they wanted to. What is at stake here? What are we losing when it comes to an election worker that might have been doing this for 15, 20


SO: The concern is that there is a real loss of institutional knowledge.


Decades of institutional knowledge that's being lost when these veteran election officials leave their post. You know, running elections is a

complicated task. And to do it efficiently and smoothly, you need experience and expertise.

A lot of these election workers, as you said, have been doing it for a very long time. They learned the ins and outs of running an election. And with

them leaving, there is a real concern that it's leaving a void. And there's only so much that you can do to train somebody in an hour-long session or a

weekly session to really bring them up to speed on running this election smoothly.

SREENIVASAN: Are they being replaced? And is it part of, kind of, a national or a precinct strategy to, as you said, to replace some of these

individuals, who people who still feel that Donald Trump was robbed of the results?

SO: There is a concern of that happening. And in fact, we see in several key battleground states, candidates who believe that the 2020 election was

stolen are running for secretary of state. And again, these positions, you know, they are the top election in that state and they oversee how

elections are run, how votes are cast and counted and certified.

Some of these candidates had said that if they are elected, they'll change the way their state votes. They will get rid of electronic voting machines

because they feel that they're corrupt, or they'll strictly go to hand counting of ballots.

So, again, there is that concern. And there's also a concern that they can have significant power to decide whether to certify election results that

are valid. And in fact, we saw that happen on a smaller scale in a rural county in Nevada. This is a pro-Trump county where the local commission,

the local leaders, they refused to certify the June primary results over unfounded fears of voter fraud. And so, the secretary of state had to step

in, and asked the state Supreme Court to have that county certify the votes, which they eventually did.

SREENIVASAN: But there are kind of strange bed fellows here in who is doing the harassing and the intimidation. I mean, we've certainly heard

about people who are supporters of the former president doing this. Is there any kind of a far-left delegate, or are there Democrats involved in

any of this intimidation?

SO: When we compiled these threats in more than a dozen battleground states, what we found was mostly all of them were coming from people who

believed that the 2020 election was stolen. And again, they were consuming heavy amounts of misinformation.

And so, when we would talk to these people on the phone, oftentimes, they were very passionate about their views. And when we would try to explain to

them, give them the facts of what happened, many of them just refused to hear it. Again, because of the amounts of misinformation that they were


And this is a challenge for election officials as well. They feel like they are combatting something that is so pervasive and prevalent among people

who believe that the 2020 election was stolen. It's really hard for them to fight against this.

SREENIVASAN: Linda So of Reuters, thanks so much for your time.

SO: Thanks for having me.


AMANPOUR: So, defending democracy is a really tough job, including in the United States.

And finally tonight, grief is universal. And yet it is so rarely discussed, at least not openly. Which is probably why CNN's Anderson Cooper has shot

to the top of the podcast list with his new series, "All There Is". Conversations exploring grief and loss starting with his own. The show

revolves around his experience packing up his late mother's apartment, the iconic fashion designer, Gloria Vanderbilt.

Losing his mother, at the grand old age of 95, came after the death of his father when he was just a kid and the suicide of his older brother when he

was barely out of adolescents. Anderson is joining me now from New York.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ALL THERE IS": It's good to be here.

AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program. I'm getting emotional even reading that, because, you know, we're friends, we're colleagues. And this has been a

remarkable experience for everybody who's listened to your series, and including myself. So, I guess the first question is, after being so

reticent yourself to speak about any of this publicly and holding it within you for pretty much half a century, 50 years. What made you want to come

out in this way on this topic now?

COOPER: Yes, I don't think I didn't -- I felt like I didn't have a choice. I think that's part of the problem holding it in for -- I'm 55. My dad died

when I was 10.


And I don't think I spoke about him very much, much of my life because it was so painful. And the death of my brother, the death of my nanny from

Alzheimer's who was a mother figure to me. So, those were things I kept -- they changed the course of my life. They changed the person that I started

out being.

And yet, like so many people, I found it hard to talk about without. It just seems so overwhelming that to even broach it would be cataclysmic. And

I started -- as I started going through my mom's things after she died three years ago, as you said in the grand old age of 95, I felt very alone

in that process. And I realized -- and I started recording it, making recording to my phone just to talk my -- something I do, I just narrate it

like a correspondent does. It helps me through things.

It's something I read Viktor Frankl in his book, "Man's Search for Meaning". He talks about doing that in concentration camps. Some sort of

narrating himself through experiences to kind of have a distant from it and be able to, kind of, understand it.

And I started doing that and I didn't think to make it a podcast. It was just something for me. But then I realize this is this universal thing that

everybody will go through things of their parents or their loved ones who have died. And I didn't really see anything out there about it. No one

really talks about it. And I just decided to, kind of, put it out there. And I've been really just stunned by the response.

AMANPOUR: I'm going to get into that in a moment, but you just raised the concept of a correspondent. Recording experiences and trying to deal like

that. And I also was, you know, quite moved to find that in -- you know, when you were much younger, you actually went to the war zones. And I -- we

met in many of them, Somalia, Bosnia, wherever. But that was almost as a weapon to try to protect yourself against or to run away from, I guess, --


AMANPOUR: -- these feelings.

COOPER: I think it was actually to run toward. I couldn't talk about these things but I wanted surround myself. I wanted to be places where the pain I

was feeling inside was matched -- sorry, this is emotional to talk about. The pain I was feeling inside was matched by the pain outside. And I felt,

I understood some of these places.

I mean, not to compare my little emotions with what was happening in Sarajevo or, you know, Somalia, or Rwanda, or anywhere. But I understood I

wanted to be around places -- I wanted to be in places where the language of loss was spoken. And I wanted to learn from others how they survived

because I wanted to know how I would survive.

AMANPOUR: And -- it is really -- I mean it's really profound. And what I want to do, actually, before asking you another question is play a

soundbite of your mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, who had lost her husband, who had lost her son to suicide, who is actually there when your brother

actually took his own life and we can talk about it afterwards. But she told Larry King in 1996 about the process, about the -- you know, the

process when a grieving caller phoned in.


GLORIA VANDERBILT, ANDERSON COOPER'S MOTHER: I think if you can just go over it again, and again, and again. And this is the image that I used at

breaking through the glass bubble because I used to be, really, a very reserved person that didn't show my feelings. And when Carter Cooper died,

it was like breaking through this thing and communicating with everybody in the world because we are all connected.


AMANPOUR: That's amazing. Did she talk to you about all of that at that time?

COOPER: Absolutely. My mom was -- my mom had experienced great losses throughout her life. And that really shaped the course of her life in the

time she was a little child. She was removed from the custody of her mother and her beloved nanny by the courts in New York in a famous custody battle

at the height of the depression.

And so, she spent her life replaying and rethinking and coming to try to understand the losses she had experienced. And so, she was able to talk

about it with me. I just wasn't really -- and I would be able to listen. But I -- you know, she would try to keep my father's name alive in our

house. She would tell stories about him.

For me, it was so painful. It was like the third rail. It was something I couldn't touch. So, I listen, but I couldn't really break out of myself to,

you know -- toward the end of her life, she and I had very deep conversations. And I was able -- we connected and we had nothing left

unsaid between us by the time. But when I was young, it was particularly hard for me.

AMANPOUR: And it is unbelievable, really. It is hard to imagine what you felt. Your father died of a heart disease when you were 10. But you say in

the podcast that you weren't even allowed really to visit him in the hospital, children weren't allowed in the ICU.


And then your brother when you were 21, he was 23, leapt from the 14th floor apartment of the building, and your mother was there when it



AMANPOUR: Did your now processing --

COOPER: Tried to stop him, yes.

AMANPOUR: Yes, and tried to stop him. Was she able to process it herself?

COOPER: You know, that -- I -- that word, process, I don't -- you know, it's a very -- it's a word we hear a lot I'm not exactly sure what it

means. I mean, she relived it constantly. She replayed it in her head every single day of her life, for the rest of her life. And she never -- I mean,

it is -- it's one of the terrible things about suicide for anybody out there who had experienced it, the death of love one through suicide. There

is the questions of, why did somebody do this and did they even know why they were doing it.

And feelings of, you know, did I -- one of the things about suicide is your left -- it's difficult to remember the way somebody lived their life.

You're left with remembering very much and stuck in your mind how they ended their life. And there -- I have this conversation in the podcast with

a guy named BJ Miller, who also lost his sister to suicide.


COOPER: I -- you end up kind of -- at least in my case, wondering, did I even really know my brother because I didn't know that he was going to do

this. And if I didn't know that how did I even know really who he was. But my mom, you know, until the day she died, she would, out of the blue, say

to me, you know maybe if I had -- you know, grabbed an iron from the fireplace and hit, you know, Carter, it would've knocked him out and maybe

that would've stopped him -- you know, I could've stopped him and -- from going to the balcony.

And so, she -- you know, she could never get to a place where she could accept the death. But she got to a place where she could continue to live.

And, you know, and -- you know, you and I have spent our lives going to places and asking questions and trying to understand why things happened.


COOPER: And for me, part of that has been to come to a place and -- you know, you were famously, you know, your coverage in Bosnia. You can ask

somebody why -- the whys of things until you're blue in the face. and some things no answer they give is going to make sense of why somebody is

committing genocide, or why somebody is committing great brutality or another. And sometimes you have to live -- get to a place where you can

live without a why. And that's the way it is. I think for me at least, in the wake of my brother's suicide. Getting to a place where I can live in a

world where sometimes there isn't a lot.

AMANPOUR: Wow, that it is really an important thing you just said, really, because everybody wants answers to their questions. But sometimes there

just aren't.


AMANPOUR: You have also experienced an amount -- I mean, I laughed and cried throughout this, so did you. I mean, there were interviews that you

did with some of your guests on this podcast that also had, you know, the right side, the human, sometimes humorous side. And particular with Stephen

Colbert, who experienced an unspeakable tragedy when he was little. He lost his father had two brothers in a plane crash. You talk to them, but you

also love this quote by J.R. Tolkien, that he brought up to you. And it was also very profound. Do you know which one I mean?

COOPER: Yes, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Yes.

AMANPOUR: Yes, yes, yes. You tell me.

COOPER: Absolutely. Tolkien wrote in a letter, and Stephen Colbert told me about this three years ago when I first talked to him right after my mom

died, and Tolkien wrote to somebody saying, what of Gods punishments are not yet -- what punishment of God is not a gift?

And when I read that. I was stunned by it. I read that Stephen had said that. And I -- and I'm still stunned by it. This idea that you can become

grateful for the thing you most wish had never happened. And how can you get to that place? And can you really get to that place? And what does that

even mean to be grateful for the worst thing that has ever happened to you?

And what Stephen will say, and does say, and I've come closer to that since then, is you -- the -- it's not that you wanted this thing to happen or do

you ever wish it happen, but it has made you the person you are. And if you want to be the most human being you can be, you have to experience loss.

You have to be grateful for everything. You can't just pick and choose what you're grateful for if you want to be a human. And this is something we all

humans, we all go through this.

And it makes you -- and your great -- what your grateful for, not of the death of your loved one, but for what it -- it is the opportunity that it

gives you to breakthrough, what my mom called that, sort of, that feeling or that bubble, or to be connected to everyone around you. And to

understand that vulnerability and connect with people at the most basic, deepest level.


And that is what grief has done for me. That is what the deaths of my father, and brother, and mother, and nanny have done for me. They have

allowed me, though it's difficult for me still, but they have allowed me to connect with people in the darkest of moments in their lives.

AMANPOUR: It really is remarkable. It's great to talk to you. The series is incredible. And really, it's just amazing that you did it. Thank you,


COOPER: Thank you, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: And if you have anyone who has any thoughts, or issues, or people who they may know, you know where to go to the help lines to help

them. At least guide them through some help. That's it for now. Thank you for watching. And goodbye from London.