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Interview with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield; Interview with Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers; Interview with The New York Contributing Writer and Columnist Robin Wright. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired November 08, 2022 - 13:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. And welcome to "Amanpour" live from the Ukrainian capital. Here is what's

coming up.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Our support is unwavering. And we will continue to be unified until Ukraine wins this war.


AMANPOUR: My conversation in Kyiv with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Reassuring Ukraine as Americans go to the polls.

And in this nail-biting midterm election top of mind on the home front, it's the economy. The facts with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry

Summers. Also, ahead.


ROBIN WRIGHT, CONTRIBUTING WRITER AND COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORKER: The United States coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and its failures there,

does not want to -- another Middle East war.


AMANPOUR: On the world stage, the peaks and pitfalls of President Biden's first two years. Walter Isaacson talks to American foreign affairs analyst

Robin Wright.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in Kyiv, which is plunged in another night of rolling blackouts. Could support for Ukraine's

battle for freedom be shaped by elections that are taking place thousands of miles away in the United States? A series of high-profile American

officials have visited Kyiv these past few days. Among them a bipartisan group of senators, the national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and just

today, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

When we spoke during her visit to a grain milling plant here in the capital, about ongoing American support for the war effort. I started by

asking about the future of the Black Sea grain deal, which allows Ukraine to export things like wheat to nations that are desperately need it.


AMANPOUR: Ambassador, welcome to the program.

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Thank you. I am delighted to be here.

AMANPOUR: So, we are here in the heart of the matter. This is a grain milling processor here. It's a vital part of this country's export. Vital

for peoples' food supply around the world. Do you believe that it will be - - the deal will be renewed mid-November? And what do you make of Putin that he came back into the deal after threatening to exit it?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, I'm hoping that the deal will be extended. I know that extraordinary efforts are being made by the secretary general and

others to negotiate an extension of this deal. The fact that Putin pulled out of the deal temporarily shows that he has no concern about the impact

that this is having around the world. He sent shocks around the world when he did this. He got tremendous pressure from everyone and he came back and

to -- he had no choice but to come back into the deal. But again, I think it shows that he has -- he really does not care about the people his

unprovoked war is impacting.

AMANPOUR: And yet, just on that, this is one of the rare areas of cooperation in this vicious war. And also, prisoner exchanges a rare area

of cooperation. People maybe don't focus on that so much perhaps. Does that give you any hope or grounds for an ability to discuss with them when you

are in the security council on the bigger issue?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I think what we've seen in the security council by the Russians is a total lack of sensitivity. A total lack of cooperation. They

have used the security council to push forward their negative and their narrative. There misinformation. Their attacks on the people of Ukraine.

We have used the council to isolate them, to condemn them, and taken it as well to the general assembly where they have been roundly condemned. So, I

don't see the Russians, at this point, looking to use the security council as a form where they will cooperate with the rest of the world.

AMANPOUR: Does it bother you that not just the U.N., but national governments, yours and others, have put a huge number of sanctions on

Russia for all that it's doing here?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: You mean, does it bother me --


THOMAS-GREENFIELD: -- that we've put sanctions?

AMANPOUR: No, the fact that Russia is still doing well -- thank you very much. Does that bother you?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I don't think that --

AMANPOUR: That it's changed its market. That it's actually selling energy. That its narrative in the developing --


AMANPOUR: -- it seems to be winning. It says that you're to blame.


THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I don't think they are doing well. I think the sanctions are having an impact on them. I see a sense of desperation on

their part. The fact that they have to have this disinformation campaign around the world shows that they're desperate. It shows that this is having

an impact on them. And I think that the rest of the world has seen through their false narrative.

AMANPOUR: You are also visiting a forensic laboratory, a forensic location today regarding war crimes and accountability. I want to know what you

think and where you think that is. Plus, I spoke to two senior senators who are on a CoDel visit just last week who actually said that they wanted to

take to the ICC, which is the U.N. mandated war crimes tribunal, the idea of a separate special tribunal for Ukraine. Is that something that the U.S.

supports? That the U.N. supports?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, right now, I'm here to see the efforts to document evidence of war crimes. And there are a number of entities, the

ICC, the ICJ, other entities and investigations taking place within the U.N., including the Justice Department here. The prosecutors' office here,

who are all investigating war crimes and gathering the data.

So, we're looking at ensuring that we support their efforts to gather the data, so that when it goes before whatever investigation or tribunal, they

actually have the evidence in hand to prosecute.

AMANPOUR: You know, I was around for the Bosnia war and the special tribunal for Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda. Do you think a special tribunal is

needed, or as the ICC says, we have what it takes, we have the prosecutor, we have the people, we have the resources.

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: At this moment, I do think that the resources are there. But as we get into more of the documentation, those determinations

can be made later. But right now, there are organizations and institutions. The ICC can do. The ICJ can do it. The prosecutors' office of Ukraine,

they're all available to do the investigations that are necessary. I heard today that there are more than 60,000 cases that have been put forward.

There may be many, many more. We don't know what this is going to lead to.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador, we're sitting here right on the day of the midterms in your country. And I don't ask you to weigh in politically, but as you

know, there's been some suggestion that there might be Ukraine fatigue given the energy cost, given the pain of every country's, you know, citizen

-- citizenry, et cetera. Europe is having a really very hard time.

Do you believe that this could chip away at the united front for continued sanctions against Russia? Could chip away at the support for Ukraine around

the world?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Christiane, we have been unified from day one and we have not seen any cracks in that unity. Europe is unified. NATO is unified.

We've had bipartisan support in the United States for support for Ukraine. Our support is unwavering and we will continue to be unified until Ukraine

wins this war and Russia takes their troops out of Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: So, we are in a grain processing silo. So, why don't we just have the atmospherics for a few seconds?


AMANPOUR: It's OK. All right.

On that level, we understand that national security adviser Jake Sullivan was in town a few days ago. And we understand that the United States is

trying to persuade the president, who you're going to visit, President Zelenskyy, to least sound willing for some kind of negotiation with Russia.

Do you believe, right now, that the United States should be pushing negotiations? I know the U.S. says, Ukraine -- with Ukraine, and not

without Ukraine. But do you believe that that moment has come to try to get all parties around a negotiating table?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Look, the International Community wants justice for the people of Ukraine. And any negotiations that take place have to take place

with Ukraine in the driver seat. They have to determine that when they are ready for those negotiations with the backing and support of the

International Community following the charter that Russia has violated. So, that's where we are on these negotiations. Ukraine is fighting for its

life. And our support for them will continue to be strong and continue to be unwavering.


AMANPOUR: So, the U.S. and permanent five who actually support you are not pushing them to the negotiating table?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We have been clear, no negotiations in which Ukraine is not in the driver seat. No negotiations about Ukraine without Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: Iran. The idea of the Shahed kamikaze drones, the other Iranian supplied drones, potentially ballistic missiles, potentially Iran asking

Russia for help with its nuclear program. Iran has also been sanctioned to within an inch of its life. How do you bring Iran into some kind of

compliance or not?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Look, Iran providing drones to Russia break security council violations. Russia receiving those drones have broken a security

council resolution. So, we are looking at bringing this before the council to discuss in the council, and we've asked the secretary general under

Resolution 2231 to investigate what Iran is currently doing with Russia. They are providing drones that are attacking civilian infrastructure in

Ukraine and it's unacceptable.

AMANPOUR: Do you buy their version of it? The foreign minister saying, we gave -- we sold as part of a defense deal before the war?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We have seen evidence of those drones being provided since the war started. They know that, the Russians know it, and we do.

AMANPOUR: And on the women's movement there, Europe is looking to sanction all of those parliamentarians who have suggested harsh prosecution for

women protesters. What will the security council do, if anything?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, you may know that last week with the Albanian's, we hosted what was called an Arria formula discussion about Iran. And we

brought the security council and a number of member states into the room to really discuss the -- what is happening there. To show our support for the

Iranian women, to show our condemnation of Iran.

And I think the Iranians heard that loudly and clearly, because we started hearing from our colleagues that they were reaching out to them, discourage

them from participating in this meeting. And we will continue to raise this in New York in the council and elsewhere in the human rights council until

Iran stops their brutal attack on -- attacks on women in Iran.

AMANPOUR: With pretty much puts a nuclear deal, kind of, off the table for the moment?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We're right now, focused on what they are doing in terms of attacking women and what they are doing in terms of providing

wherewithal for Russia to attack civilian infrastructure here in Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador, thank you very much indeed.



AMANPOUR: The ambassador also visited the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who, himself, has told the COP27 summit, the climate summit in

Egypt, that the world needs peace in order to tackle the climate crisis. The war has hampered green efforts in the short term as nations boost

fossil fuels to plug energy shortages. But correspondent Clare Sebastian reports that in the long term the impact could actually accelerate the

transition to sustainable energy. Here is her report.


DANIELLE LANE, VATTENFALL UK COUNTRY MANAGER: You don't want them so high that they become dominating on the landscape.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): At 82 meters high, these are considered baby turbines in the wind industry. And yet these babies

pack a punch. 11 of them spiking out of active farmland in central England, generate enough electricity per year to power 16,500 homes. Locally grown

power now, a vital source of energy security, in a world where fossil fuels have become a weapon of war.

LANE: We really see a really big increase and entrust from governments in renewables. And it really puts a lot of pressure on companies, like

ourselves, to deliver. So, we are trying to accelerate projects that we've got and we're trying to build things safely but more quickly.

SEBASTIAN (on camera): This wind farm has been here for 10 years, but the plan now is to expand it into solar. They already have permission to build

a solar farm on the same site. That, they say, is because the future of renewables is putting multiple different types in the same location to make

the most of the available land and produce electricity whatever the weather.

SEBASTIAN (voiceover): Russia's war in Ukraine cut off major gas supply routes and sent global energy prices soaring. Some countries like Germany

increased their use of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel of all, and ramped up spending on infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas.


SIMONE TAGLIAPIETRA, BRUEGEL: In the short term, governments that need to secure their energy systems are using all the possible option. I think that

in 10, 20 years time, looking back at this moment, we will realize that this ultimately was a great accelerator. Everybody in Europe appreciates

and understands that renewables also have geopolitical benefits.

SEBASTIAN (voiceover): It's not just energy security driving the change, it's economics. Solar Energy UK says more solar panels were installed on

British homes in the first half of this year than the whole of last year as people rush to avoid surging fuel bills. Good Energy UK, a 100 percent

renewable electricity provider says this trend extends to businesses.

NIGEL POCKLINGTON, GOOD ENERGY: We just worked with a business park in Gloucestershire who have completely covered their rooftops with solar

panels, and they're selling about a third of it back to the grid. Solar installations can be relatively cheap. The payback on that is now getting

down below five years. And gives households and business a real degree of energy independence.

LANE: So, the swept area of the blade is what counts --

SEBASTIAN (voiceover): The week we visited this farm, UK winds generation hit a new record, providing 54 percent of the country's electricity in a

single day. Fueling hopes of a turning point.


AMANPOUR: Clare Sebastian reporting.

And the war's current impact on energy, as well as on food prices is sending costs soaring and swaying voters as they go to the polls in the

United States. But the American economy is a tough one to decipher because it grew by 2.6 percent in its third quarter, the dollar is remarkably

strong, and 10 million jobs have been added since President Biden came into office.

However, inflation remains high and the Fed has raised interest rates six times in a row, boosting the cost of borrowing which Republicans blame on

Democrats. So, what's actually going on? Joining me now to decipher is Larry Summers. He served as the U.S. treasury secretary under President

Clinton and he's been a senior economic adviser to Presidents Obama and, indeed, President Biden.

Welcome back to our program, Larry Summers.

LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Very good to be with you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Listen, we are having a hard time trying to figure this out because from where I sit over here in Europe, the economy is much, much

worse. Just want to read you a little bit of a headline from Reuters. Basically, their top paragraph recently, household cash in the United

States is near record levels. Consumers are using it to pack restaurants, to pack airplanes, and to buy new cars. Jobs, as we said, are there for the

taking, and net worth is 30 percent higher than before the pandemic, more so for those on the bottom half. So, why are voters souring according to

the polls on the administration?

SUMMERS: Look, I think the first thing to say is that for all our issues in the United States, I'd rather have America's problems than have the

problems of the rest of the world. And indeed, an important challenge for the United States is going to be to mount a forward defense of our

interests by making sure that the world economy keeps moving together. That goes to climate change. It goes to many other things.

Look, I think the challenge we have, Christiane, is that we have massively stimulated demand. That's putting money in people's pockets, that's what

leads to those crowded restaurants and those elevated net worth's. But it also means upwards pressure on prices. And when people see inflation, they

have a sense that things aren't completely under control. They have a sense that the prosperity is uneasy, and that inflation has been demoralizing to

many, many Americans even as the fundamentals are, in many ways, quite strong and have been importantly strengthened by steps the administration

has taken like investment in infrastructure. Like protecting our semiconductor strength. Like working towards transition to electric cars in

a greener economy.

AMANPOUR: Larry Summers, obviously the Republicans have taken this and run with it throughout the campaign up to the midterms. And, of course, they

say things like it is Biden's inflation. You know, its Biden's price hikes, et cetera, et cetera. First of all, is that true? And secondly, what do you

anticipate even if the Republicans won back control of Congress?


What do you anticipate they could do to alleviate, let's just say, the inflation which you single out?

SUMMERS: Look, Christiane, I've been critical about some steps the administration took, particularly at the very beginning. So, I think the

major investments they've made are very worthwhile. But I don't usually talk partisan. But I have to say that what I've heard from a number of

Republicans, including Republican House Leader McCarthy about threatening to not pass the debt limit and send the country into default, is chilling.

And to do that with the objective of cutting social security benefits compounds the pain. That is irresponsible and unpatriotic policy that

threatens both American strength and threatens the people, none of whom are getting more than $40,000 from social security, who depend on it for a

lifeline. So, I've not heard a -- I have to say, a constructive word from those attacking the president about what we can do to contain inflation.

There are a set of things we need to do. We need to do more to support the independents of the Federal Reserve. Overtime, we're going to need to bring

down budget deficits. We need to increase the flexibility of the economy. Particularly, we need more permitting for energy and energy transmission.

We need to reduce tariffs of a kind that actually hurt our competitiveness, because a tariff good like steel is an input to other American producers.

And we need, as the president has started to do, to use the government's purchasing power to make things cheaper, as we're doing, for example, with

pharmaceuticals. But I don't think any kind of tear the whole place down is appropriate. I think in many ways, President Trump set the stage for the

inflation we're discovering, and going back to those policies that talk populist while practicing the art of the deal for what America has that are

close to oligarchs. Those are -- those would be steps very, very much in the wrong direction.

AMANPOUR: So, you mentioned the Fed. And, of course, interest rates are going up. People have started to talk about, you know, the '70s and '80s

when then Fed chief, Paul Volcker, tamed inflation, but it was a high cost to workers. I think unemployment hit 10.8 percent back then. The country

sank into a recession. And now, the current Fed chief, Jerome Powell, is saying the following about this. Let's just listen to him.


JEROME POWELL, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: I don't have any sense that we've overtightened or moved too fast. I think it's been good and a

successful program, we -- that we've gotten this far this fast. Remember though that we still think there's a need for ongoing rate increases, and

we have some ground left to cover here, and cover it we will.


AMANPOUR: So, as you know, better than I do, the Biden administration added more than, you know, 260,000 jobs in October. So, what do you think

inflation versus jobs? I mean, are these interest rates going to hurt people as much?

SUMMERS: I think ultimately, containing inflation is the best way to maximize jobs over the long run. If somebody in 1975 or 1977 had taken

strong steps to contain inflation, they're never would have been a need for that Volcker recession that sent unemployment to 10.8 percent. So, when I

and others speak about the need to contain inflation, it's not because we think inflation is more important than jobs. We think jobs is actually the

central way in which you measure what happens to an economy, jobs and middle-class income.

But it's because we think about what will, overtime, make the best picture for jobs in middle-class incomes. And if we miss the chance to contain

inflation, it will be like missing the chance to contain a cancer when it's at an early stage. A very, very costly mistake that will result in much

more suffering later.


There's no reason why unemployment needs to go through anything like what it went through in the Volcker recession. But if we are not vigilant, if we

do not contain inflation, if we don't respond to the warning signs that we've had, then we could, down the road, have the kind of problem with the

which chairman Volcker had to deal.

AMANPOUR: Can I just pull back out a little bit and just talk about the bigger picture? Because again, you know, obviously this administration had

a lot of legislative successes that many of them put money into people's pockets, put money into building infrastructure, and the like. And yet,

many Democrats and analysts are basically saying that, actually perhaps since the summer, when the Democrats seemed to be riding high on these

legislative successes, the messaging has been just wrong. And this is what Van Jones told CNN last night about this.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there was this kind of fool's gold, this idea that -- you know, the threat to democracy is so

severe in the wake of this insurrection, in the wake these election deniers possibly grabbing control of the government that that was something that

you had to talk about. But you also have to talk about the economy that -- I think the tragedy here is that the Democrats have something to say on the

economy in terms of what Biden has done when it comes to 10 million jobs. What Biden has done when it comes to prescription drug prices. Standing up

to China on the CHIPS Act. And also, the fear of what Republicans will do.


AMANPOUR: So, Larry Summers, do you think it is a question of messaging gone wrong and not focusing that very, very, very famous Democratic slogan,

is the economy stupid?

SUMMERS: Look, I think that there should have been much more emphasis on delivering for middle-class families, for the infrastructure investments

that are going to mean that everybody is going to get a chance to participate in the modern economy with broadband. For the competitiveness

investments, that mean we're going to be dependent for our semiconductors, which in many ways, push the economy forward on a small island 100 miles

from China.

For the investments and electrifying our economy, that really are going to create all kinds of opportunity. We should have been talking about more

about that and very directly. I don't -- I'm not the kind of Democrat who thinks that sending checks willy-nilly to people is an especially good

effective strategy. There are some in our party that favor that kind of thing.

I'm the kind of Democrat who believes in an investment economics, but not an investment economics that is trickle down through companies. But an

investment economics that's from the bottom up through building the infrastructure. Building the innovation. Building above all the human

capital. The investments in our people that give everybody a chance to succeed.

And of course, questioning what are always going to be changes at transitions in a dynamic economy. That's the way the country succeeds best.

And it sure doesn't succeed with what is being proposed by others who are talking about a kind of terrorism, of threatening to cut off our payments

of debt if they don't get our -- if they don't get their way. And getting their way is cutting off the American population in its most vulnerable

parts by slashing social security benefits.

AMANPOUR: You used the word terrorism, so I want to pick that up and refer to some of the political violence that we've seen front and center in the

attack on the speaker of the house husband. And, of course, this is what President Biden was trying to say. We've got to protect democracy. We've

got to protect truth. We've got to protect against disinformation. And those conspiracy theories that went around that lead this deranged person

who clearly was going to harm the speaker to her house in San Francisco.

Can I just play what Nancy Pelosi exclusively told Anderson Cooper and we'll talk about, you know, the issue on the other side. Just listen to



NANCY PELOSI, U.S HOUSE SPEAKER: For me, this is really the hard part because Paul was not the target, and he's the one who's paying the price. I

mean, we all are, but he's the one who's really paying the price. But it really -- it's really sad because it is a flame that was fueled by

misinformation and all the rest of that, which is most unfortunate. It shouldn't -- it has no place in our democracy.


AMANPOUR: So, the economy yes, but our democracy as well, as she says. What do you think about that? The big picture that the Democrats tried to

hammer home during these midterms?


SUMMERS: Look, I think we need to separate two sets of issues. Nobody can accept what happened with Paul Pelosi. Nobody moral should be able to

accept what happened in January 6th. The whole idea of our country depends upon the votes being counted, and then people moving on. And election

denial has something sick about it.

But I think Democrats need to be very careful to confine their completely absolute rhetoric to issues like that, issues like January 6th, and not use

absolute rhetoric on issues where we feel strongly, like what the right tax policy should be or how exactly the voting registration rules should be

cast. And so, I think there are two separate levels. One is a level where every decent person has their view, the other is where we've got very

strong feelings, but there are going to be people on the other side who can compromise on policy, you can't compromise encore morality.

AMANPOUR: Compromises has become a word even on policy that doesn't seem to exist at the moment. Thank you so much for your incredibly valuable

perspective, Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

Now, as Americans head to the ballot box, many are being closely observed by so-called poll watchers. Some accused them of being intimidators while

others believe they are doing their civic duty. Elle Reeve went to Pennsylvania where some of the most closely watched races are taking place.

And she reports on why some ordinary Americans have decided to patrol their ballot boxes.


ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): So, what are they training you to do then when you're watching --


REEVE (on camera): Well, what are you looking for exactly?

CHILD: Observing. We're looking for oddball stuff, I guess.

REEVE (voiceover): John P. Child is training to be a poll watcher, part of a wave of organizing among people who believe the 2020 election was stolen.

CLETA MITCHELL, TRAINS TRUMP SUPPORTERS AS POLL WATCHERS: All over the country, we're deploying people to be poll watchers, to watch everything

that's happening.

REEVE (voiceover): Generally, it's a good thing when more people get engaged in their local government, but some of this engagement is motivated

by lies.

CHILD: Especially the mail-in ballots, that's where the big issue was in 2020 because in Pennsylvania, there were 1.8 million mail-in ballots that

went out, 2 1/2 million come back. There's a -- hello, a question, maybe?

REEVE (on camera): Are you sure about that?

CHILD: Yes. Look it up. Sure.

REEVE: Can we Google it?

CHILD: Google -- I wouldn't -- yes, you --

REEVE: You --

CHILD: It's everywhere.

REEVE: OK. So, the first result is from the A.P.

CHILD: There you go.

REEVE: A.P.'s assessment, false. In the weeks before the November 2020 election, more than 3 million Pennsylvania voters requested vote by mail.

REEVE (voiceover): We met John at a poll watcher training put on by Delaware Country conservatives. The organizer wouldn't let us in but John

agreed to an interview, and he brought the training materials.

CHILD: My head was spinning at the end of it. I -- it's a rabbit hole.

REEVE (on camera): Well, so tell me about --

CHILD: I liked it better when I didn't know any of this, honestly.

REEVE: Tell me about what was so mind-blowing in this?

CHILD: Well, the whole chain of custody thing of V Drives, that was astounding.

REEVE (voiceover): The documents go through many technical and procedural details of how votes are counted after polls close, and question whether

each is an avenue for cheating. It casts an enormous cloud of suspicion over the vote without any proof.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: And we're going to prove it to you on --

REEVE (voiceover): It's part of a real nationwide movement led by MAGA influencers who circulate false information of election fraud in podcasts

and in tours across the country.

DAVID CLEMENTS, FORMER PROFESSOR: And notice how mail-in votes will occasionally switch with in-person votes.

REEVE (voiceover): They've inspired citizens to get involved at the local level to hunt for proof of fraud and to prevent it from happening on

Election Day. They have not found proof of fraudsters.

What election officials are worried about is that these efforts could intimidate voters.

CLEMENTS: You have to get into the ring. You cannot fight this on social media.

REEVE (on camera): I have watched, like, many of these different presentations, Steve Bannon, like this guy who calls himself the professor

presenting this evidence. But none of that stuff adds up to the millions of votes between Trump and Biden.

CHILD: So, you're not convinced and we're a bunch of

REEVE: I'm not convinced.

CHILD: -- crazy people then?

REEVE: I didn't say you were crazy.

CHILD: Well, sure you are. It's --

REEVE: I didn't say you were crazy.

CHILD: No. We're deluded. We're misled.

REEVE: Maybe misled.

CHILD: I don't see it that way, but --

REEVE: I know you don't see that. I know you don't see --

CHILD: But that's OK.

REEVE: -- it that way. But I guess one of the reasons why it's important to talk to people like you is to see if there's a place where there could

be reconciliation.

CHILD: Yes. Go back to same-day voting and paper ballots.

CHRISTINE REUTHER, COUNTY COUNCILWOMAN, DELAWARE COUNTY, PA: We get these comments. People come to us at county council meetings and say, we need to

use paper ballots. I'm like, we do use paper ballots. Do you understand? We use paper ballots.


REEVE (voiceover): Dealing with election misinformation has become a big part of the county council's job.

REUTHER: So, the votes are cast on a paper ballot and then, they are scanned, and the results of that vote are tabulated on the scanner. But

you're not really voting on the scanner, you're voting on the paper ballot. And that paper ballot is maintained as a record of the voter's vote.

REEVE (voiceover): Delaware County, in Pennsylvania, has fought 15 election lawsuits against 2020 election deniers and won all of them, but it

cost more than $250,000. And officials are worried about how much more time and money this movement will drain with the midterms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mail-in ballots are susceptible to fraud and --

REEVE (voiceover): At the biweekly county council meeting, most of the public comments falsely suggested that something sketchy is going on with


REUTHER: Somebody can stand up at one of our meetings and they get three minutes to say whatever they want and spout off lies about the election.

There's not much I can do about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're talking about electronic digital devices. Every one of those is providing a gateway for outside intervention or in-house

intervention as it may be.

REUTHER: I guess I would just say to them, do you really think all of us want to go to jail? Do you really think everybody in government and

everybody who works in our election department wants to go to jail? Because we'd be doing something really illegal. And I'll tell you something. If I

thought somebody was doing that, they should go to jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has to be some degree of trust in those who serve the public that they are doing something for the public good -- and that,

we have lost. I don't know our way out but this is the world we live in right now.

REUTHER: There's some kind of cognitive dissidence out there where people are saying well, we've got to save democracy by overturning an election.

That's more of a dictatorship than it is democracy.

CHILD: I'm open to putting my eyes on things.

REEVE (on camera): Will you accept the results of these midterm elections even if it's not the results you want?

CHILD: Accept it?


CHILD: Well, what, am I going to start a revolt? No. Accept it?


CHILD: I have to accept it. But what else are you going to do?


AMANPOUR: Elle Reeve reporting. In this election, President Biden's record in the last two years is being examined under the microscope, his foreign

policy record that is. Our next guest, award-winning journalist Robin Wright looks closely at the wins and losses of that policy. And she's

joining Walter Isaacson to discuss how the midterm election results could affect America's interest abroad.


WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And, Robin Wright, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: Biden declared, right, when he became president, that America is back. Are we back? And what grant vision is he articulating to put America

back in the center of foreign policy?

WRIGHT: I think there was widespread belief when Biden was elected, particularly among our allies. There was a sense that we were going back to

traditional diplomacy, not the kind of moody, temperamental outbursts, and threats from his predecessor.

Biden has re-engaged with the European Union and with NATO, walked back into the Climate Accord, wants to be part of the International Community.

The question is, because America has flip flopped so much, from Bush, to Obama, to Trump, to Biden, and now, who knows what's next if Trump the sort

of -- you know, Trump should run again, whether the United States is our ally -- is still the reliable stalwart, centerpiece of the western

alliance. I think that is going to be one of the big questions going forward in this election, and as well as particularly 2024.

ISAACSON: In a week, he's going to Bali. It's going to be a pretty uncomfortable meeting. He's going to meet President Putin. He's going to

meet President Xi of China. Let's start with Putin. What could he say to Putin that might get us to a cease-fire in Ukraine or that possible?

WRIGHT: I'm not sure there's anything Biden can say to Putin that would entice Putin to sit down at the table short of, oh, yes, we will walk away

from Ukraine. We won't harm it anymore. He can -- I think the interesting thing is what can Biden and others at the G20, the major powers, the world

economic powers, do together to make it clear to Putin that the economic squeeze will only tighten, that his country and countrymen will feel more

and more difficulties, existential challenges in day-to-day life, that more Russians will die. I mean, that's -- Biden can't do much alone.


So, I'm not optimistic that much will happen. I don't think that, for Putin, the war has gotten to the point that he has to do something. He

staked his career. He thinks he's Peter the Great and he's going to, you know, reestablish what was the Soviet Empire or the earlier Russian empire.

And I'm -- there's no sense that he's willing to give up yet.

ISAACSON: At the G20 meeting this coming Tuesday, do you think Xi and Putin are going to meet and perhaps even strengthen their alliance when it

comes to Ukraine and other issues?

WRIGHT: This is a really interesting question because remember, just on the eve of the Russian invasion, on the eve of the Olympics in Beijing,

Putin and Xi met and signed this document, 5,300 words, the longest moderate agreement between Russia and China, in which they supported each

other's foreign policies. China's claims on Taiwan, Putin's position on NATO is destructive and provocative and dangerous.

And so, there were a lot of questions in Washington about what exactly Xi might do once Russia invaded Ukraine. And the reality is that China has not

done very much. It has not provided the kind of arms that Putin needs. So, Putin is going to North Korea and Iran. Xi has not given him the kind of

verbal trust or support that might -- make Putin seem as if he's not doing this alone, or at least rhetorically.

So, I think they will meet, whether they'll come up with any deep agreement, who knows? Let's hope not, because those are the two biggest

threats to the United States, the two biggest challenges, one immediate, one is long-term.

ISAACSON: Why is China such a challenge? What is our problem with China? Couldn't we have better relations with China if we wanted?

WRIGHT: Well, I think the United States would like better relations with China, but I think Xi Jinping also sees the United States as the main

reason that he can't absorb Taiwan. Xi Jinping, a little bit like Vladimir Putin, has broader territorial ambitions. He wants to be the power in Asia

and Indo-Pacific. And one of Biden's aims is, of course, to get the United States back from the Indo-Pacific.

The last -- four of the last five presidents have said the United States was going to pivot to Asia and then, got distracted over and over again by

crisis in the Middle East or other problems, and hasn't been able to do that. Now, it wants to, and has taken a lot of, you know, tangible steps

building, you know, a relationship and a new grouping with Australia and India and Japan. That -- so, China sees the United States as kind of trying

to contain it. And so, I think tensions are only likely to escalate.

ISAACSON: Jake Sullivan has been talking to his Russian counterpart. Is there some way that Russia and the United States could come to any

resolution, maybe just a cease fire in place, indefinitely, that would stop what is happening in Ukraine?

WRIGHT: Well, this, again, is not up to just the United States and Russia. The United States is technically not a party to this war. This is a

negotiation that will have to play out between Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

ISAACSON: Oh, wait, wait. Let me push back on that. I mean, if we decide we need to have a cease-fire, we certainly have influence with the

Zelenskyy government.

WRIGHT: Yes, and I think the United States has made clear that Zelenskyy should keep that door open, encourage negotiations and talk about it. The

problem is, what -- you know, what would negotiations involve and what territory might Zelenskyy have to give up? Is it the Crimea that go back to

kind -- and, you know, some of the eastern areas in the Donetsk?

I think, you know, after all the fighting that the Ukrainians have done that it's -- I think, it's a tough negotiation. How do you convince the

Ukrainians that they are back to square one after losing thousands of lives and infrastructure? And the reality that Vladimir Putin has consistently

shown, since 2008, that he's going to move against neighbors. Against Georgia in 2008. Crimea and Ukraine in 2014. And this year, now, against

the heart of Ukraine.


This -- you know, he -- Vladimir Putin is not going to give up war. He may engage in a cease-fire now, but I think the Ukrainians are going to say,

he'll just come back. And I think one of the Eastern European members of NATO feel -- would feel the same way.

ISAACSON: You are my go-to expert on Iran. Tell me why Iran is supporting Russia in this.

WRIGHT: It's an interesting question. I think in part because the enemy of the enemy is my friend. And both of them face sanctions by the United

States. This is a way for Iran to gain some clout or some, you know, deepen a relationship at a time that it's feeling unprecedented pressure because

of the United States sanctions, because of its own recent problems with the pandemic. And now, because of protests, deepest protests across Iran in

over a decade.

ISAACSON: President Biden said that Iran would overthrow its clerical leadership. What can President Biden, and what is President Biden, either

publicly or secretly, doing to encourage this counter-revolution?

WRIGHT: Well, we don't know what he's doing secretly, but I think that they are working with the Europeans to try and provide some kind of access

through the internet so that the young can communicate with each other, and also communicate with the outside world. So, we know how bad it is, what

tactics the regime is using.

The challenge for U.S. foreign policy, as you know better than anybody, Walter, there's -- you know, there are two sets of tools. One is sanctions

and the other is war. And the United States coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and its failures there, does not want to -- another Middle Eastern

war. And, again, it wants to go back and -- to the -- you know, focus on Indo-Pacific. And sanctions on the government like Iran are difficult

because there are not a lot of people in the Morality Police or at Evin Prison or in the supreme leader's office who have portfolios on Wall


So, sanctions are often a symbolic action that take decades to have impact when you look at sanctions on North Korea and Venezuela and Cuba and

elsewhere. They don't -- they're not a miracle cure, it's -- and they don't -- you know, they're not -- they don't enable a light switch to go from off

to on. So, that's, I think, the problem for Biden

Also, remember, the United States is kind of loathed in Iran because of its 1953 involvement in a coup that ousted a democratically elected government

and put the monarch back in -- on the peacock throne. So, there are a lot of suspicions about what the United States intends and what -- why might it

do something. So, I think this is one where they are not a lot of great or tangible options for United States.

ISAACSON: Iran is only maybe a few weeks or months away from really being able to make a nuclear weapon. And the nuclear deal we've had with Iran

that Trump pulled out of, that is dead as a doornail. That seems to be going nowhere. So, what happens when Iran gets the bomb? Do we go after

them militarily?

WRIGHT: OK. Well, one thing to understand is that its most advanced element is enriching uranium. And that is the fuel for a bomb. And Iran is

estimated to be anywhere from eight days to a few weeks away from having enough to fuel one bomb. But that doesn't mean it has a bomb. It also has

to marry a bomb, may has to make a warhead. It has to then marry the warhead to a missile. And that's --

ISAACSON: But wait, if we're going to do something about it, we have to do it before all of those things happen right?

WRIGHT: Not necessarily. And remember, the United States and Israel have been quite effective in using cyber and disrupting Iran's programs. So, I

think there are a number of options. It will be very interesting if Benjamin Netanyahu does form a government in Israel, what he intends to do,

because he has been the loudest voice in saying, we must stop Iran and we must do it militarily.

ISAACSON: Well, another big mess we are facing is North Korea. Is there -- what could Biden do after these midterms to say, all right, I've got to at

least diffuse, no pun intended, this one?

WRIGHT: Yes. I've actually been to North Korea and it's a very strange place. This is a difficult challenge for President Biden because President

Trump had such a buddy-buddy romance with Kim Jong-un. And they had this rather vacuous agreement, a couple of pages, that they would denuclearize,

and Kim has not delivered on anything.


And the United States and North Korea never got to the point to even define what denuclearization means. Does that mean he has to destroy all of his

weaponry? Dismantle all of his equipment? Give up his ballistic missiles? These are -- there are huge questions, because the reality is North Korea

is nothing, literally nothing. It's a poor third world country without its weaponry. Who --

ISAACSON: Do you think that Trump could've actually gotten something done had he stayed in power?

WRIGHT: No. No, there's no way. Again, Kim is very -- wants to be more like his grandfather than his father. And again, he -- the Intelligence

Community suspects that any day he is going to unleash a nuclear test. It would be the first one in five years. It would be the seventh. I mean, he

could well do it during the G20 meeting to say, look, I'm here. You've got to deal with me. He wants something in return, and I think he now wants to

be recognized as a nuclear power officially. And that is something that, you know -- what do we do about that?

ISAACSON: The world that President Biden now faces is one in which the great divide, it seems to me, is between democracies, western style

democracies, and these new populist authoritarian nationalist regimes, whether it be in Russia or in Hungary or many other places around the

world. And that seems the struggle of the 21st century right now. 60 years or so ago, 80 years ago, we were engaged in another great struggle like

that, which was against communism. And we built all sorts of institutions, whether it was NATO and the Marshall Plan and the World Bank and the IMF,

in order to contain the spread of communism.

Is there something Biden can do that would be bigger and grander as a theory of the case, which is to say, we are now going to rally to protect

democracy, that's going to be the goal of our foreign policy?

WRIGHT: I couldn't agree more, that this is the moment in the early 21st century we're coming out of a series of crises, we really need the kind of

leadership that we will look at, how do you reform the United Nations? How do you make sure that, you know, the European Union, which we've created

after World War II, helped create, both economically through Marshall Plan, but also, politically and diplomatically with our engaging and trying to

get them to engage so there was not another war in Europe, that we are not seeing the ideas or leadership emerge from any corner? And this, I think,

in an era of globalization is where you need, you know, not just one leader or one country, but you need many of them getting together.

And there is not the sense of community or urgency in addressing some of these problems. And that is what worries me, that the frame of democracy,

the growing appeal of strong men who solve local problems, you know, build railways and, you know, get things going, even if they are deeply corrupt,

that we are headed for a period of more fraying.

Joe Biden, at this point, you know, he may run again, but, you know, American leadership, by and large, is pretty old. Really, many of them

witnessed, you know, World War II or grew up in the immediate aftermath of World War II. And so, the -- I think one of the big questions is, how do we

deal with globalization, which emerged in the 20th century, but there were no rules? And we began to see, with supply chain issues and our reliance on

microchips, that we weren't very thoughtful about how we did it and we became reliant on countries that either didn't want to engage or would

blackmail us effectively in one way or another, because they were making our goods.

And I think that is what gave birth to the America first movement. And has led to a lot of questions about, you know, globalization at all. We need to

figure out what globalization is because, Walter, as you know, that is the issue of the 21st century. And how we do it, and I think nobody has figured

that out yet.

W ISAACSON: Robin Wright, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

WRIGHT: Thank you, Walter.


AMANPOUR: And finally, as you heard there, Iran's protests are continuing. Now, the country's beach soccer team has returned home to chanting crowds.

These were the scenes at Bushehr International Airport where some players landed after winning the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup in

Dubai on Sunday.


They not only took the title, but they also appeared to show solidarity with protesters back home, calling for greater freedoms for women. The

winning goal scorer, Saeed Piramoun, imitated cutting his hair, something that has become a global symbol of the protests.

The country's soccer federation has said though that players who protested will "be dealt with."

That's it for now. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.