Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With European Commissioner For Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic; Interview With Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. Air Force Retired General, And Middle East Institute Distinguished Chair Philip Breedlove; Interview With Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary For Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia And The McCain Institute Executive Director Evelyn Farkas; Interview With "Warrior: My Path To Being Brave" Author And "Inside Edition" Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired February 06, 2023 - 13:00:00   ET




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

A desperate search for survivors after a massive earthquake strike in Syria and Turkey. We have the latest. Then, Ukraine braces for major a Russian

offensive as the first anniversary of the war nears. I'm joined by General Philip Breedlove who commanded the U.S. and NATO troops in Europe. And

former Pentagon official, Evelyn Farkas. Also, ahead.



write memoirs and they say, look at my fabulous life. I have no regrets. I'm not that person.


AMANPOUR: Journalist Lisa Guerrero talks to Michel Martin about her extraordinary new memoir. Where she pulls back the glamour of her careers

in acting and sportscasting to reveal the misery she often felt beneath.

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

More than 2,500 people have been killed in Turkey and Syria after the region was hit by one of its largest earthquakes in a century. More than

12,000 are injured, and the death toll, the injury toll is still climbing. The initial quake hit a mammoth 7.8 magnitude and powerful aftershocks have

been felt across the region since then.

You can see on this map, where the earthquake hit in Southeastern Turkey, and just how close it is to the Syrian border. Turkey's disaster agency has

been appealing for international assistance as it scrambles to pull survivors from the rubble. Correspondent Jomana Karadsheh has this latest



JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): A young man trapped, desperation in his eyes. Then in the predawn darkness, a moment of

joy. Rescuers haul him from the wreckage of a building in Southern Turkey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in a foreign language).

CROWD: (Speaking in a foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in a foreign language).

KARADSHEH (voiceover): As the morning sun rises, all many others can do is pray.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We'll see what happened to those living on the ground floors. May God give us a speedy recovery.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): This was a residential building full of families, asleep in their homes when the massive earthquake struck just before


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was sleeping when my wife suddenly woke me up. The quake was very severe. Very scary. It took almost

two minutes until the shaking stopped.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): We can't yet know how many people could be trapped in a building like this in wrecked homes like this across Turkey. And into

neighboring Syria, more buildings brought down a toddler found.

The White Helmets have done this before. Heroes of the Syrian civil war now pulling people out from under a very different disaster. So, many in rebel-

held (ph) Northern Syria and very little yesterday. People will be left with nothing today.

In Turkey, too, foreign help will be needed. The Government in Ankara has asked its neighbors to come to its aid. The search and rescue will stretch

on for days. Help will remain for as long as possible.


AMANPOUR: Jomana Karadsheh there. Rescue teams from across Europe are also heading to Turkey to help with the crisis. Joining me now on this effort is

Janez Lenarcic, he's the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, and he's working to coordinate the deployment of those teams.

Welcome to the program, Commissioner Lenarcic. First and foremost, have you been able to coordinate, do you have a plan to send European and other

teams to the site?

JANEZ LENARCIC, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT: We do. Actually, the European Union has responded immediately to the request from

Turkish authorities for assistance. We received this request very early this morning and we have immediately activated our civil protection

mechanism. This is the emergency coordination mechanism that we have in place in the European Union.

And by now, 17 European countries have already offered assistance. Primarily search and rescue teams and also emergency medical teams. These

are the categories of the assistance that Turkish authorities requested. And they're already on their way. Some are already deploying now.


And we are working very closely with the Turkish emergency authorities so that the coordination is there. This is very important aspect because the

assistance is flowing into the country from all parts of the world and that's why everybody has to work to coordinate first with the Turkish

authorities. And within the E.U., we have our own coordination mechanism that works closely in sync with the Turkish authority.

AMANPOUR: Commissioner, this is the worst experience in that region since 1999 where, I think in the end, the Turkish death toll was 17,000. But what

I want to ask you is that even, you know, even with all the will in the world, it's too late for some people.

Let me just give our viewers a new -- an idea of the desperation. So, one woman, who our team has been talking to, her family was trapped under the

rubble. And she tells us that they have now died. This is what she tells us. We lost our family members, there's no rescue team. People are trying

to dig out people trapped under rubble. It is raining, it is cold, no electricity, and no one to help. I want to tell this story but I'm too


Do you understand that emotion from actual families on the ground? And is there anything you can say to them?

LENARCIC: We absolutely understand these emotions. We feel their pain. We offer our sincere condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones.

At the same time, we are doing everything and the Turkish authorities are doing everything to act quickly. Speed is of essence because so many people

are undoubtedly still trapped under the rubble and the rescue teams will continue to work as long as necessary to save as many people as necessary.

They will all do their best.

AMANPOUR: Do you believe, as we stated, because quoting others that these numbers that we're saying now will inevitably rise?

LENARCIC: Yes, I'm afraid so. That is the usual experience in earthquakes of such dimensions as this one. This was really a very strong, devastating

catastrophic earthquake. So, we are afraid that the figures of casualties will continue to grow for the next couple of days.

AMANPOUR: Can we just, sort of, pull back a little bit and just remind everybody how vulnerable this region is. Turkey, as well as its own

population, has taken in millions and millions of refugees particularly from the Syrian war. And as we know, this is struck in the Northern Syrian

area as well, more than 3 million Syrian refugees have come to Turkey.

Can you describe the density of population, the kind of buildings in that region that, you know, that are at stake right now?

LENARCIC: Yes, this is particularly dramatic aspect of this terrible tragedy that it has hit the areas where there are large numbers of Syrian

refugees on the Turkish side hosted by the Turkish communities, as well as the internally displaced person on the Syrian side. Only in the Idlib

region, northwest of Syria, there are about 3 million people who have already been internally displaced. And they already have lived in very

precarious conditions. This earthquake will only make matters worse.

That's why we are very closely cooperating with our humanitarian partners that have been on the ground in northern Syria for years already. We have

been working with them, funding their activities, and we are encouraging them to activate emergency envelope of our funding in order to address

immediate needs that arise now and after this earthquake.

AMANPOUR: So, let me just play you then a little bit of a desperation, a desperate plea from the White Helmets. You know who they are, the very

famous group of rescuers, really, who pulled civilians from the rubble of Russian and Syrian airstrikes during the war. And they are trying to help

here, as you say, you're trying to use all your partners in the Syrian area. But this is what one of the White Helmets aid workers said this



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very difficult task for us. We need help. We need the International Community to do something. To help us, to support us.

Northwest Syria now it's disaster area. We need help from everyone to save our people.


AMANPOUR: And you can obviously see and hear the emotion in his voice. And we know that during the war, Russian and Syrian planes actually bombed

hospitals and other vital health care infrastructure. Do you know what is available for victims of this earthquake in that part of Syria. Where will

they be taken if they're even reached for help?


LENARCIC: First of all, we hear the calls for health, we do. And we are working with our humanitarian partners on the ground. They have been on the

ground for many years in Northern Syria and have been working to alleviate the suffering. They will intensify their work, we -- we'll provide funding,

we will be there to help.

AMANPOUR: Do you now -- I mean, I just want to know whether you know, and it might be impossible to tell me but what is the state of infrastructure

in the Syrian side?

LENARCIC: We are still in the stage of conducting the assessments through our humanitarian partners. We're collecting information. It is a bit more

challenging than on the Turkish side where we have very good cooperation, very close cooperation with the Turkish authorities. But we are also trying

our best to assess the situation with the help of its humanitarian partners on the ground. And we are preparing to provide additional assistance as


AMANPOUR: We noticed, and because of the -- I don't know what the right word, the tension between the two NATO allies, Greece and Turkey, that

whatever happens between them is often new. So, the Greek prime minister tweeted that he has called the Turkish president and offered all the

condolences and help that Greece can.

So, just to put into context, how so many countries even those with tensions between them are trying to come to the rescue. How -- you -- I

mean, you've had to deal with this before. Generally, how long does it take for all that you need to get to where it's needed and how long do you think

rescue will be the word of the day rather than recovery?

LENARCIC: Well, first of all, whenever we face disaster like this one, with devastating consequences, there is a spirit of solidarity that comes

to the fork. And you mentioned Greece, I can tell you Greece is one of those 17 European countries that has offered help and that help is already

underway. These days, these hours, our focus, together with the focus of the Turkish authorities, is on rescue. Search and rescue.


LENARCIC: In parallel, we have also provided emergency medical teams. So, they will work hand in hand with the Turkish authorities. So, we -- these

days, it's about rescuing, search and rescue.


LENARCIC: It's about emergency medical care. But yes, very soon, there will be damaged assessment and the need for reconstruction. But at the

moment, these days, we are focusing on search and rescue and emergency medical assistance.

AMANPOUR: And just to go back, that region is vulnerable to these kinds of quakes. We've seen them before. And after the major win in 1999, Turkey

undertook a program of trying to put in different and stricter building codes. As far as you know, do you know whether that happened? How difficult

it is to retrofit? What kind of a challenge that part of it actually poses?

LENARCIC: Well, this particular aspect will be the focus of activities later --


LENARCIC: -- after the current search and rescue and emergency medical assistance. This will come later. Of course, we are confident that the

Turkish authorities will also look into the respect for the building codes and so on. And most importantly, the critical guidance for the

reconstruction should be to build back better, in a more resilient way. In a way that would increase the resilience of construction in that earthquake

prone area to such disasters.

AMANPOUR: I wanted to ask you about that. You've laid out what needs to happen in rebuilding. But what about the -- who will help with the rebuild?

Is that a Turkish government or the Syrian government on their side? Does the International Community help with the funds because that's going to be

really tough as well.

LENARCIC: The International Community will be there, I'm confident, but this will come later. These days, we are focusing on emergency assistance,

on saving lives, those that can still be saved. This is our immediate, immediate priority.

AMANPOUR: And just one last question about the conditions there right now. It's -- we can see, you know, the skies are pretty dark. It's obviously

nighttime now and it's cold and it's rainy and it's freezing and it just couldn't be worse for everybody. How do you think that's going to affect

the rescue?




LENARCIC: The weather is very bad.


LENARCIC: It will affect -- it is affecting the rescue effort because the roads are not easily passable. The rescue teams have greater challenge to

get to the places where they are needed. But they will do everything they can. They always do. And I really need to pay tribute to Turkeys as well as

international rescue efforts. Rescuers who are really braving these difficult conditions.

AMANPOUR: It's such a sad situation.

LENARCIC: They deserve our praise.

AMANPOUR: Yes, it's a such a sad situation. Commissioner Janez Lenarcic, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.

And next, we move to Ukraine where everyone from the president to the defense minister are warning of a major new Russian offensive to mark the

first anniversary of the war later this month. But has that offensive actually already begun? The Ukrainians report very difficult times in the

east, especially around the fiercely contested town of Bakhmut. What does Bakhmut mean for both sides? And will all the advanced new equipment

pledged by NATO allies get to Ukrainian defenders in time? Cia Director Bill Burns believes the next six months will be decisive in this war.

I'm joined now by the Retired General Philip Breedlove, NATO's former military commander. And also, by Evelyn Farkas who served as deputy

assistant secretary of defense for Russia under President Barack Obama.

Welcome, both of you to the program. Can I start by asking you, General Breedlove, the battle picture? We've been talking about, you know, warnings

of a new offensive. Has it begun, as far as you know?


hard to tell. And Christiane, thanks for having me on and great to be on with a friend of mine for many years, Evelyn.

So, what we are seeing is exactly what you talked about. President Zelenskyy saying. There is intense pressure around Bakhmut. And we know

that they're bringing the, sort of, human waves against the Ukrainians positions. And that, in order, to facilitate then follow up with their more

skillful troops. So, I'm not sure that it's the offense yet, but clearly Russia intends to put more pressure on and they are.

AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you, Evelyn, I guess a little bit of what you notice, if anything, politically. Do you see anything -- I mean, nobody

sees any signs of Putin wanting to end this or sit around at negotiating table. Rather, he continues to mass, and as the general said and as we

know, they have something like four times the population of Ukraine. They have the upper hand when it comes to mass mobilization.


Right, Christiane -- I mean, so, first of all, thank you also and thanks for having me on with the good general. He and I, of course, were in the

early phase working together to help Ukraine in 2014, 2015.

The reality is that President Putin is definitely not ready to stand down. You know, his belief is that if he keeps trying this on, eventually the

west and the Ukrainians will give up. That we will come to the negotiating table.

And so, even though he's losing -- you know, you can argue he's losing strategically because even if he wins Ukraine, what does he have? He has a

country that's in ruins, that hates him. And the International Community, of course, is ready to prosecute him and all of his colleagues. But he is

determined to try to win on the battlefield. And that's why it's so important for us in the west to get equipment to the Ukrainians as fast as

possible because it is possible that they have started what they call a new offensive.

AMANPOUR: So, Evelyn, just to keep with the political side of it because I think that's what it takes to get the weapons there. Are you -- how do you

assess the -- we know that a lot as gone to Ukraine. But there are some who say, you know, it's a little drip, drip, frankly, you know, this asked for

a long, long time by the Ukrainians. There's no, no, no. And then yes, yes, yes from NATO, whether it was heavy artillery, long-range artillery, tanks,

and now, of course, the question of aircraft which I'll get to. You know this situation politically, Evelyn.


AMANPOUR: Has there been too much foot-dragging? I mean, it's hard to say but has there?

FARKAS: So, I would call it too much overthinking, Christiane. I mean, basically, Christiane, the reality is that the allies, of course, have not

always had the same idea about what equipment to provide and when. Most notably, it's been a fear of providing, kind of, a new level of equipment

to the Ukrainians that provides them with more lethality and more reach and doing it alone.

So, a lot of our NATO allies, I think, are still very burned by the Trump administration.


And by President Trump in particular by his threats to leave NATO and somehow not abide by Article 5 which means that we come to the defense of

our allies. And so, they are checking every time the allies want to give or are ready to give the Ukrainians something new, whether it's a tank or

hopefully fighter aircraft. But in the past, of course, the polls wanted to provide mixed. And they look around because they want the United States to

be with them providing the same equipment.


FARKAS: So, that when the Russians retaliate, if they retaliate, we take the blow together.

AMANPOUR: OK. I understand that.

FARKAS: So, that's --

AMANPOUR: But on the battlefield, that's apparently shaping up to be a bit of a problem. So, as a general, as a -- you know, force commander General

Breedlove, are you concerned that all of this, you know, very, very advanced equipment that's being promised may not get there for months? I

mean, months, well after they expect a renewed offensive.

BREEDLOVE: Very concerned. And may I just add one remark to the previous question. Mr. Putin's military has suffered strategic defeat twice in the

north, and now, as close to operational defeat in the south. But his war of words, his intimidation is working. As Evelyn said, we are -- we -- we are

very much pensive, deterred, and we don't step forward sometimes at the speed and the type of aid that we should give them.

And that is reflected now in the question you just asked me. We have offered yet again a few new capabilities after months and months and months

of saying no. We're now upping our game a little bit. But the timelines for delivery will absolutely miss this offensive if it materializes.

AMANPOUR: OK. Well, that is very dire. The CIA chief has said the next six months are critical. And this is an important moment that everybody has

known is coming. And you say that Putin has suffered, not just operationally, but in other words. However, as I said, it appears to be

that while his first wave of attack and strategy was long-range artillery and pounding the hell out of the Ukrainians and the villages.

Now, it's about people and they are willing to push hundreds of thousands of people into a space where the Ukrainians don't have the wherewithal in

terms of the people and as you were saying, the equipment yet. What happens if that happens, General Breedlove? And how important is Bakhmut which is

where they're focusing right now?

BREEDLOVE: So, let me answer the last first. Bakhmut and some of the other cities in the vicinity control a lot of the ability of Russia to move what

they need to the front. There's a lot of, what we call, LOCs there where they are moving equipment back and forth to troops.

And so, that area is very important. Very little left there. Clearly, there's a salt mine there that someone wants so they can make money off of

it. But the fact of the matter is, it's still an issue that needs to be thought.

But to your first question, in the recent past, Ukraine has handled this. Russia, they have no maneuver. They can't do combined arms or warfare. So,

their attack is artillery, level the city, sort out what's lifting -- living when it's left over. Now, they add to that. These human waves of

relatively unskilled soldiers but they still have to be dealt with and where they see advantage developing, then they put their skilled soldiers

in behind. This will be a problem for Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: Evelyn, you just mentioned aircraft. And that is the next big thing that, I think, the world or the NATO allies are going to have to talk

about. But back in the beginning of April, I spoke to Ukraine's chief of military intelligence, General Budanov. And this is what he said to me

about what they needed then.


KYRYLO BUDANOV, CHIEF OF THE DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE OF UKRAINE (through translator): Second priority is heavy artillery and missile systems. Half

of priorities include anti-air defenses and then heavy armament as well. Air defense systems and aviation system.

AMANPOUR: What is an aviation system?

BUDANOV: Combat planes.

AMANPOUR: So, you need planes?

BUDANOV: We need combat planes.

AMANPOUR: Against their troops or against their planes?

BUDANOV (through translator): Against ground forces.



AMANPOUR: And he made sure to say that an English to me, those, you know, the combat planes. So, here we are. He's got all the other stuff he listed

has finally got to them. And now, here's another window of opportunity as all you military, you know, describe it. Evelyn, should they, will they get

the combat aircraft?

FARKAS: Well, first, Christiane, I should say they still want longer range artillery that we're not providing them --

AMANPOUR: Yes, they do.

FARKAS: And so -- but will they get the fighter aircraft? I believe that they will. They've been asking for this. And, frankly, the allies have been

asking to provide them with aircraft going back, I think, to that interview that you had with the intelligence chief. And the polls were ready to

provide MiG aircraft and the deal fell apart, again, because we weren't willing to provide fighter aircraft and the polls wanted that political


So, I think if we go to the blueprint that we seem to be using now which is that the United States provides it, the other allies can also provide it,

even if it's not as capable as an F-16. We can get some fighter aircraft pretty quickly to the Ukrainians. And this is fighter aircraft that they

already know how to fly in their inventory right now.

Whether we get them F-16s, while the war still ongoing, is an open question because of course there's more training involved for the Ukrainians. And I

don't know exactly where we're going to get it from our inventory. But it is important that we provide them with more capability because they need to

take the offensive. Ultimately, the only way we're going to get out of this quagmire is if one side takes the offensive then pushes the other side

away. And what we would like, of course, for the Ukrainians to put -- push the Russians off of their territory and back into Russia. That's the best

outcome for the world, frankly.

AMANPOUR: So, General Breedlove, General Budanov told me -- you know, as well as other reasons for wanting combat aircraft. It's also to strike

positions, strike troop concentrations that they need to. And we know that the U.S. had said no so far. The U.K. is also refusing.

Now, one of your, you know, predecessors, James Stavridis has said, while the addition of tanks is crucial, combat air power may ultimately be

decisive. Having spent years as supreme allied commander of NATO, studying European war plans and the history of tank warfare on the continent, I

cannot imagine operating that armored force without sufficient air cover. So, what do you -- where do you come down on that, General?

BREEDLOVE: Jim is right. Long-range capability outside of artillery is also necessary. And I've stopped prescribing the F-16 because our country

is doing what it has done on almost every step so far, is say no. And so, what I say is we need to get Ukraine fourth generation multi-roll

capability so that they can do air defense when it's needed. But like the general said, once they've established a sufficient amount of air

superiority over their battlefield, then they need to take it to the enemy. We need to strike the enemy at every length and depth of Ukrainian land,

and that includes all of Crimea.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's interesting because we've heard -- or at least we're reading the tea leaves through reports that are leaked, that the U.S.

and maybe others seem to be moving towards the idea that Ukraine should try to, you know, try to recoup Crimea or at least show Russia that it's at

risk. Evelyn, how -- what do you make of that? Is that possible?

FARKAS: I think it's the right approach. It's the right kind of thinking, Christiane, because if there is an opportunity to take Crimea, which of

course isn't easy. Crimea is, you know, very reinforce. There are all kinds of weapons systems in there. Having said that, it's also a logistic space

for the Russians that allows them to make the progress that they have made such as it is in the south.

And so, if you can knock Crimea off the map, if you can get the Russian military out of Crimea, the Ukrainians will win, no doubt. It is, however,

hard and without that longer-range artillery that we talked about, or that I mentioned earlier, it's going to be hard for the Russians -- for the

Ukrainians, rather, to take the Russians out. So, they need to be able to have full range from a safe distance into Crimea.

AMANPOUR: And lastly, I'll ask you, General Breedlove, because obviously, I guess, most wars end around a negotiating table. But, you know, once

enough pain has been caused to get one of the other or both to get around that table. I spoke with the former E.U. high representative for foreign

policy, Kathy Ashton who dealt, you know, with Putin and others during the first evasion of 2014. I asked her about, you know, does she think he would

get around a table and is he a negotiator in good faith. This is what she said.




verify everything that he says or does.


ASHTON: And you have to start from the principle that he's not telling you the truth. He's telling you either what he thinks you want to hear or

simply what suits him to say. The evidence has to be what's going on on the ground.


AMANPOUR: General Breedlove -- I mean, I saw you, sort of, nodding. Where do you think this is -- this could lead if it ever gets around the table?

BREEDLOVE: Well, I agree with you and the high representative. The way I see it now is President Zelenskyy's population, his electorate, is very

pro-moving all of Russia out of all Ukraine. And that number only grows day by day. So, he has a pretty tough mandate.

And then Mr. Putin, while it is not existential to Russia, it may be existential to him. And so, if he comes home with less than what he started

this war, that could be a very big problem for him. So, something is going to have to change. And I agree with Evelyn and others that say that some

play -- something is empowering Ukraine to take back its country.

Here's what we know. Ukraine's military is operationally and tactically superior to the Russians, if, if they are given the kit they need to fight.


BREEDLOVE: They have proven it time and time again on the battlefield. It is time that we give Ukraine what it deserves the most, which is a policy

decision and a stated policy that we are going to see through giving Ukraine what it needs to retake all of Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: And very lastly -- honestly, we got 30 seconds, Evelyn, but as a former Pentagon official, shooting down the China balloon, once it got

across U.S. airspace, where do you think that could lead? You've studied all that stuff when you are in government.

FARKAS: Yes, Christiane, when I worked on -- in the Senate, I worked on Asia Pacific. I don't think that this is going to be in the grand scheme of

things, as big deal a deal as it seems to us today.


FARKAS: The bigger issue, really, is how we manage the relationship with China. I think most of us should be afraid of miscalculation. This balloon

wasn't going to lead to the miscalculation, but certainly anything in the South China sea or closer to Taiwan could. So, hopefully diplomacy will

resume and cooler heads will prevail.

AMANPOUR: Evelyn Farkas, General Philip Breedlove, thank you both so much for being with us.

More now on those growing tensions after Beijing admits a giant balloon spotted over Latin America now is there's too. It comes after up to the

U.S. military, as we said, shutdown that other one over the weekend. The suspected Chinese spy balloon has drifted across the U.S. for days. China

says, the U.S. overreacted to a civilian balloon that accidentally drifted off course.

So, you've heard the discussion. Will this be a game-changer? Correspondent Carlos Suarez reports on the political fallout in the U.S.


CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Navy crews working into the night off the coast of North Myrtle Beach.


SUAREZ (voiceover): Including divers searching for debris from the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon shot down off the coast of South


PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: There is some reporting now that the debris field that was created by this balloon when it was shot down is

about seven miles long.

SUAREZ (voiceover): One onlooker provided this video to CNN, showing what looks like a piece of possible debris from the balloon on the back of a

boat. This as we're hearing the audio communications between the first fighter wing pilot and air traffic control that depict the moment the

balloon was hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The balloon is completely destroyed.

SUAREZ (voiceover): The balloon was first spotted on January 28 when it entered Alaskan airspace. By Tuesday, it had entered the continental U.S.

and was spotted over Idaho and Montana.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told them to shoot it down.


BIDEN: On Wednesday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the recommendation from --

BIDEN: They said to me, let's wait till the safest place to do it.

SUAREZ (voiceover): The military advised President Biden that the debris from shooting down the balloon could pose a risk to civilians and

infrastructure on the ground. The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon continued to make its way across the U.S., moving all the way to the East

Coast. Once it was over the Atlantic, it was shot down.

REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH), CHAIR, U.S. HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The key is, is the payload attached to it, which you've reported is, you know, the

size of three buses. And that's obviously huge. And it was being commanded and controlled by Mainland China and delivering embedded (ph) data

information back to mainland China.

Again, if you look at the path and you put X's where all of our sensitive missile defense and nuclear facilities are, I believe that they were trying

to gain information on how to defeat the command and control of our nuclear weapons systems and our missile defense systems.


SUAREZ (voiceover): The Pentagon says at least four other Chinese surveillance balloons have been spotted in recent years. They also said

they had briefed Congress on previous balloons that flew near Texas and Florida. Officials say, this balloon was unique from the others in the path

it took and the length of time it spent loitering over sensitive missile sites in Montana.

LEON PANETTA, FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DEFENSE SECRETARY: If we were aware of the balloon, I think we should have taken steps to prevent it from

entering our airspace. And I'm not sure that we should have allowed it to simply cross over the country, cross over what were obviously sensitive

military sites. I don't see the logic of that.


AMANPOUR: Former U.S. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta speaking there. Carlos Suarez reporting.

Turning to the truth behind the glamour of a once prominent sports broadcaster. Lisa Guerrero hosted a sports show for several years before

becoming an NFL sideline reporter in the early 2000s. She was fired after one season. She is now an award-winning journalist and chief investigative

correspondent for the news magazine, "Inside Edition". Her new memoir details the sexism, misogyny, harassment, and suicidal thoughts that she

experienced throughout her career as a sports broadcaster. Here's her conversation with Michel Martin.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Lisa Guerrero, thanks so much for talking with us.


Michel. I'm really excited to have this discussion.

MARTIN: Likewise. You know, you've had this incredible career. And it's interesting because I'm guessing that a lot of people who know you from one

of your lives doesn't necessarily know you from your other lives.

I mean, you've been a professional football cheerleader, you've been an actress on a popular drama, you've been a sportscaster on what has been the

highest profile, you know, sports show, especially in football. You're a long time award-winning investigative reporter, and now, you're writing a

memoir. Why now? What made this time?

GUERRERO: That's -- first and foremost, that is such an important question and the answer is because this is a message, I think, people need to hear

today. I talk about my many career transitions in the book. But I also talk really honestly about the challenges I faced and a lot of the criticism I

endured as a woman in sports, specifically. And how I, kind of, rebuilt my career after a disastrous season with "Monday Night Football" into what

people see now as this brave, investigative correspondent who chases bad guys on "Inside Edition".

But what I want people to know is that the brave person they see on camera wasn't born that way. My pain, the trauma endured, a lot of the challenges

and obstacles I faced are what made me the brave person I am today.

MARTIN: Uh-huh.

GUERRERO: And I believe that bravery is like a muscle, it's something you can practice and get better at with time. And I really wanted people to

learn how to take their pain and turn it into power.

MARTIN: Was there a, kind of, eureka moment for you that said to you, this is the time to tell this story. Was there something in particular or

something that someone said or someone who reached out to you that made you feel that you needed to share this story? Which is extremely, I have to

say, very personal. At times -- I mean, you talked about a lot of mistakes that you made. And -- do you know what I mean? What was it exactly?

GUERRERO: So, because "Inside Edition" is popular with young people because of YouTube, a lot of kids watched my investigations. They binged

them on their devices. I started to read the comments below my stories written by a teenager is and kids in high school and junior high school,

and they would say, wow, she looks like Wonder Woman. She's out there, you know, chasing these bad people and demanding justice. She's brave. I want

to be brave like her but I'm being bullied in school. I want to be able to stand up to my mom who is being abused by my dad.

And I started reading these comments from young people and I just wept. I thought they look at me as being brave. But when I was their age, I was

shy, I was awkward, I had lost my mother at eight years old. I was glasses and braces and, you know, an introvert. I was far from brave.

But they see me as being brave. So, I wanted to write something that would be both a love letter and a, you know, guide to how to navigate through

obstacles from the time you're a kid, from the time you're 58, like I am.


I wanted people to know that you can always reach down into the inner warrior that I believe we all have. The reason I called the book "Warrior"

is my last name Guerrero or guerrero means warrior in Spanish.

And when I was little, I was eight years old when my mom was diagnosed with lymphoma. She died at 29. But before she passed away, she pulled me aside

and said, Lisita (ph), never forget that your last name is Guerrero, and Guerrero means warrior. You were born to fight. So, that's the legacy I

wanted to leave in this book. I wanted everybody to know that we all have an inner warrior, we need to unleash it.

MARTIN: I have to say just losing your mom at eight and hearing you talk about what it was like to grow up without a mom, even though you obviously

had, you know, a wonderful dad. And you have a beautiful dedication to him at the beginning of your book, which is lovely. But just losing your mom at

eight, I mean, that's just a very tough thing for any kid. How do you think that kind of shaped you as you were growing up?

GUERRERO: Well, I absolutely didn't have a female identity to bond with. I did not have anybody to show me how to wear makeup or how to shave my legs

or what to do when you get your period. In fact, when I got my period, I didn't know what was going on. I was screaming to my dad that I was in

pain. He took me to the emergency room and they said sir, your daughter is fine. She's just having her first period.


GUERRERO: So, I had nobody to teach me these things. So, that was the biggest difficulty for me, was that I didn't have female role models around

me or anybody to help me through that which is why I've developed such a sisterhood now as an adult. Female relationships are incredibly important

to me now. I don't have children. I don't have a mom, so I don't have a daughter. So, to me my female friends are everything to me.

MARTIN: You know, I found -- like, honestly, the book -- it's just -- there's just, like -- you're too -- dropping knowledge throughout. That

duality of the things that people want women to do versus the way they even punish them for doing it seems to be a theme throughout the book. Do you

want to talk a little bit more about that and throughout your career?

GUERRERO: So, I was an actress, I was a reporter, a sportscaster, and then, you know, investigative reporter. So, when you're on TV, there is

this, you know, there is this pressure to look your best. This is a visual medium. And for me, growing up in Southern California, being on television

in Los Angeles. there was an expectation that you should look great while you're covering sports. But if you look too great, they're going to think

you are a bimbo.

So, there was, you know, I believe there was a lot of this slut shaming involved in sportscasting in the '90s before they had that term for it. But

when I started interviewing these hard-to-get players, I would get Shaq and Kobe, Aaron, Barry Bonds. These massive sit-down interviews. The first

question people would ask was, well, how did you get that interview, honey?

You know, there was this almost insinuation that I was, you know, dating people or sleeping with people to get to where I got. from local to

regional to national prominence as a sportscaster. So, what you look like is important on television. But in my case, especially going back to the

'90s, I think it hurts me as well.

MARTIN: You talked about that it was just, you know, contradiction after contradiction. Because on the one hand, people would say, oh, no, no. You

should cut your hair you. You should wear blazers. And then on the other hand, and people wanted you to wear leotard's and do all this other -- in

these tight and revealing clothes and to put highlights in your hair. What do you think that's about?


MARTIN: And do you think that's changed?

GUERRERO: No, I don't think it's changed, sadly. I think we still see it. What I -- one of the reasons I wrote "Warrior" is that I wanted people to

see that struggle that I had. And I know a lot of people write memoirs and they say, look at my fabulous life. I have no regrets.

I'm not that person. I have a lot of regrets. And one of my regrets, Michel, is exactly what you were talking about right now. Is that allowed

myself early in my career to negotiate how I was going to look. What my image was. How I would be -- even -- how I would be presented on a set.

At one point during one of the shows I was on, "The Best DanceSport" period, on FOX Sports Net, I was the sportscaster, the update anchor. They

put me in the center of a panel of men, but they realized after the first week that this coffee table was blocking my legs. So, they put me over to

camera far right so people could see my legs. And then they asked me to wear short skirts.

So, It was one constant compromise after the other in order to keep my job --


-- and to have this opportunity to have the platform of being a woman in sports that knew sports that could argue with athletes on the set but I had

to look this way. So, you know, one of the things I want to tell young women in my book is to not negotiate. Start at the very beginning when

somebody says smile more, argue less, show more legs. Then that's your time to walk.

MARTIN: So, you got these jobs because of your sports knowledge but the way you kept your job was because if you're looks. And I just -- do you

blame yourself for that?

GUERRERO: I struggle with that, Michel, because I grieve for the young woman that I was.

MARTIN: Uh-huh.

GUERRERO: And that I wasn't able to see that there -- you know, through these compromises, this is going to hurt how people view you. I want to

reach out to that young girl and say, you are a part of this culture that, you know, was in place before you got here.

You're just doing your best every day, you get up every day, you try to avoid the executives in the hallway that are hitting on you. You try to

avoid the rest of the media in the locker rooms that are trying to grab your butt. You're trying to avoid that, you know, misogynistic player that

wants to demean you in front of others. And then you want to file your report at the end of the night and put a smile on your face and report on


And I really struggled a lot to maintain my sense of place and to know that I had every right to be there as a woman in sports. And I didn't need to

put up with a lot of that. And some of it I did, I negotiated with myself. I put up with it instead of going to H.R., instead of screaming out, don't

touch me.

MARTIN: Uh-huh.

GUERRERO: I grieved for that young woman. And I don't want another young woman to go through what I went through, which is why wrote the book.

MARTIN: Lisa, one of the tough parts of the book is that you talk about the abuse that you say you experienced by your former boss at ABC when you

were at "Monday Night Football", Fred Gaudelli. I think people who watched you during that period may be shocked to know of what a terrible experience

it was from your perspective.

I mean, for a lot of people, that is the pinnacle, like, that is the height. If you're interested in sports, if you're interested in football,

being a sideline reporter for "Monday Night Football", for just being any part of that broadcast. You say that your former boss was so abusive to

you, verbally abusive to you, and emotionally abusive. I would have to say that you actually considered harming yourself.

GUERRERO: So, my depression, my anxiety that year was a culmination of a lot of things. Not just, you know, a horrible boss, but it was also, you

know, the criticism I was hearing about in the media. That I was just a pretty face. That I was a cheerleader. You know, kind of, people ignoring

the dozen years that I spent as a reporter and as a sportscaster before I got "Monday Night Football". They reduced me to a model, you know, a

cheerleader, a bimbo, an actress.

And so, before I even had my first game, I was already enduring a lot of criticism in the media. I had the audacity to misspeak at the end of my

first regular season game. I was interviewing somebody, I misspoke, I immediately corrected it. But the damage was done because my critics said,

see, she's just a bimbo. She doesn't know what she's talking about. She doesn't know sports. And that started this downward spiral along with a

boss that yelled at me, that screamed at me in my IFB, while I'm reporting live to 40 million people. I could hear him demeaning me.

And I think the light went out. The spark, the energy, the person that I was before that job was completely gone. She disappeared. I was afraid of

him, I was afraid of the criticism, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I was throwing up before and after every game or every interaction with this


And finally, towards the end of the season, I discovered I was pregnant, I had just gotten engaged. And in one of the later games, I started to feel a

cramp in the first quarter, by the second quarter, I felt a lot of pain and dizziness and nausea. And sure enough at halftime, I went into the

officials' locker room in the bathroom and I discovered I had had started a miscarriage.

And instead of calling 9-1-1 or telling my producer I need to get the hospital right now. I didn't. I covered it up. I shoved a bunch of paper

towels in my pants. I buttoned up my long jacket so they couldn't see the blood. And I went out there in the second half, slapped a smile on my face,

and continue to do these live reports.


And I look back up at myself then and I can't believe I did that. It was so dangerous. I was so sick emotionally and physically, but I was scared to

lose my job. And I was scared that if I left, that people would say, there, see. She's a failure.

MARTIN: Can I just -- just in the spirit of fairness, we need to share with the person you wrote about says about his perception of events. Some

of the excerpts from the book have previously been made public in advance of its publication. And this terrible episode where you, you know, had a

miscarriage in the middle of a broadcast, is something that had been previously made public.

And the producer in question, he -- you know, you talk about verbal abuse, you talk about emotional abuse, you talk about undermining you, not

allowing you to kind of do the job in a way that would allow you to actually do it to your best effort. And he vehemently denies all of this.

And I just want to read a statement that he or his representatives gave to "The New York Post". He says the following -- he says, I always tried to be

Lisa's biggest advocate, starting for the moment that I hired her. Her memory of that season and mine are quite different. He says, this is the

first time I'm learning of her pregnancy, and I'm sorry that she struggled through that difficult time without the full support of the team

surrounding her. And he says, I unequivocal disagree with Lisa's account of the nature of my interactions with her. That's not how I recall our time

together during her tenure at MNF, "Monday Night Football", and it makes me very sad.

Do you want to respond to that?

GUERRERO: Yes, in my book I also -- we also shared his perspective as well because, you know, he had told me that I misremembered it. That he doesn't

remember doing that. And that in fact, you know, he never yelled at me. So, we do put that in the book as well because, like you, I wanted to give both

sides, you know, I wanted to give him an opportunity to share his perspective of it.

I know what I endured and other people saw it and heard it. And the point of the book isn't to, you know, say, this one person did this one thing to

me. It was a culture going back to FOX Sports Net that treats women a certain way when they cover sports or on camera at all.

And the other thing I wanted to talk about, which I did really, you know, in great detail was the miscarriage. One in every four pregnancies ends in

miscarriage. So, millions of women endure this, and many of them endure it at work.

So, I wanted to be open about this and I wanted to start a discussion that you don't need to be ashamed of this. This is a very common situation. And

let's talk about it openly and honestly. You don't have to be ashamed or embarrassed of something like that. But at the time, I was. Now I'm not.

MARTIN: Well, Lisa, you've had just such a remarkable career. Lots of ups and lots of downs. Lots of downs that then become ups. Where are you now?

Like now that you've told it, now that you've lived it, you know, how do you feel about all that? Do you think it was worth it?

GUERRERO: It was worth it. Every second, every tear, every challenge, all of this was worth it. To tell these stories, to let people know that you

can come back after these horrible traumatic challenges, and still be successful and still have your voice and find your voice. That you can be

brave. You need to practice bravery every day and you can become more courageous.

So, it was worth that. It was worth it to tell these stories as painful as they are. And writing it is painful. And now talking about the book, is

also brings back this trauma. But at the end of the day, I know my mother who died when I was eight, and she was 29, Lucy Guerrero. I know she sees

it. I know she senses it. I know that I'm honoring her and my legacy through telling these stories. And the bottom line is, I feel like I've

grown into the warrior that she always wanted me to be.

MARTIN: Lisa Guerrero, thank you so much for talking with us today.

GUERRERO: Thank you, Michel.


AMANPOUR: A warrior indeed.

And if you or anyone you know is in need of help in the United States, you can call or text 9-8-8 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. It

provides confidential support. And for anyone outside the United States, a worldwide directory of resources and international hotlines is provided by

the International Association for Suicide Prevention. You can also turn to the global organization, Befrienders, and to your friends and your family

wherever they might be.

And finally, tonight, seeing the light in a world of so much darkness. Celebrations of the Chinese New Year have reached their climax with the

annual lantern festival. Revelers across the country took in the sites, all of them honoring traditional Chinese culture with lanterns of different

shapes and colors brightening the sky.


Something is also glowing in the state of Denmark, it's the Light Festival in Copenhagen. More than 35 installations and dazzling the Danish capital

during one of the darkest months of the year. So, let there be light.

That is it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast, and across social media. Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.