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Interview With James Wright Foley's Mother And James W. Foley Legacy Foundation President And Founder Diane Foley; Interview With "Summer, 1976" Actress Laure Linney; Interview With "Summer, 1976" Actress Jessica Hecht; Interview With Senator Angus King (I-ME). Aired 1-2p ET

Aired May 04, 2023 - 13:00:00   ET




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



They are foundational.


AMANPOUR: Diane Foley survived the worst tragedy any parent could face. Her son, James, assassinated by ISIS. We talked about how she turned her

grief into grace.

And --


LAURE LINNEY, ACTRESS, "SUMMER, 1976": I think that's what comedy is based on actually, that when you touch the truth in a way. It -- like a bell, it

will just cut through.


AMANPOUR: An inside look at a new Broadway hit about women's friendship and liberation set in the summer of '76. I speak with the award-winning

actresses Laura Linney and Jessica Hecht.

Then, holding the high court to account. Maine Senator, Angus King, talk Supreme Court ethics with Walter Isaacson.

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

It's been hostage week in Washington, D.C. with activities to call attention to Americans wrongfully detained in foreign prisons. Family

members and supporters are holding a rally and a vigil, bringing attention to the detainee's plight.

More than 50 Americans are trapped in countries ranging from Iran, Venezuela, to Russia. And the nature of the threat is changing and growing.

The primary captors are now state actors, deliberately targeting journalists, aid workers and others, using them as pawns to advance

whatever claims they have against the United States.

A driving force behind that week's event is the James W. Foley Foundation, which fights to free the wrongfully detained and protect journalists around

the world. The foundation was launched by Diane Foley, mother of James Foley, who was publicly and horrifically executed by ISIS almost 10 years

ago. I spoke with Diane Foley about channeling her grief into action.


AMANPOUR: Diane Foley, welcome back to the program.


AMANPOUR: A lot of attention this week in Washington on, basically, hostages, those wrongfully detained prisoners and, of course, including

journalists. It's been nine years, nearly 10 years, since your son James was brutally murdered by ISIS in the Syrian Desert. Talk to us about --

clearly, the grief never goes away -- how have you dealt with it? What have you done over the last 10 years?

FOLEY: Well, Christiane, what's helped the most is just trying to continue the work that Jim would have been doing. Had he been able to get home, he

would've been fighting every day that our government and other allied countries, like the United Kingdom, would recognize the threat of

international hostage taking and would prioritize the return of our citizens.

AMANPOUR: That's what you are working very hard for, under the auspices of the foundation that you set up in your son's name. And I see you are

wearing a pin there. What are you trying to get the government to codify on this level? Because already they have a thing called wrongfully detained,

which allegedly pushes these cases to the top of their priority.

AMANPOUR: Absolutely. That was a big win thanks to the wonderful family of Robert Levinson. The Robert Levinson Hostage Taking and Accountability Act.

However, we are working very hard to make sure that that act is funded for victims, particularly those who have been wrongfully detained by other

state actors in the world.

And we are trying to have codified a flag that -- similar to the prisoners of war flag that can be hung at various times in the year for all Americans

and the world to know that this very day, while we are free, there are innocent Americans and British citizens, other people who are wrongfully

arrested or held hostage throughout the world by --

AMANPOUR: I want to --

FOLEY: -- criminals and by governments.


AMANPOUR: Well, that's the thing, your foundation has actually come up with some pretty, pretty, amazing statistics. An uptick in the number of

Americans held abroad by a massive 175 percent. Interestingly, Americans are now being taken hostage more often by foreign governments than the kind

of terrorist militants who took your son, and killed your son.

This is incredible. Only four countries held Americans wrongfully between 2001 and 2005. 19 countries currently do. What, in your opinion, is the

reason for this?

FOLEY: I feel a lot of countries are using this as a tactic of war, in many cases. They're realizing that it's a way that they can hold our

government hostage, if you will. Try to interfere with the foreign policy, economy and the travel of our citizens worldwide.

So, I think I know that our government has to take this increasingly seriously and have a more strategic plan for the return of these innocent

citizens, but also, for a strong deterrence for the horror of international hostage taking.

AMANPOUR: You say the horror. And again, your son exemplifies that horror, what was done to him is -- I mean, to this day, it remains really, really,

terrible. You know, some people say that journalists, well, they make a choice. They go out there. They do this work. And, you know, let the chips

fall where they may. But you do not agree with that, right? I mean, you don't think that it's just an individual selfish or professional choice?

FOLEY: Well, not at all. Not anymore than policemen or firemen or rescue workers or humanitarian folks. Journalists are essential for our

democracies. They are foundational. The free press and the fact this inform citizens are essential for our government. So, they are performing an

essential public service and I feel like our governments must have their backs the best of their ability.

AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you, if you don't mind, you talk about it in your upcoming book. But you took the extraordinary step, I guess after the trial

of the so-called Beatles. The ISIS crew that -- who took you son. And you sat down with one of them. Can you just walk us through why and what you

did? Did you shake hands? Did you sit across the table? Your discussions?

FOLEY: Well, part of it was thanks to Alexander Kotey, that was part of his plea deal. He negotiated an opportunity to do that.

AMANPOUR: He was one of the killers, Diane, right?

FOLEY: Yes, yes. He was one of the jihadists who kidnapped, tortured and was responsible for Jim's murder, as well as for other Americans and three

British citizens. So -- but Alexander offered the opportunity, whereas El Shafee Elsheikh did not.

So, I met with him three different times with other people present. We were not alone. But Jim would've wanted me to do that. Jim would not have wanted

me to be afraid of him. And I think it was good for us both. I think it was good for Alexander to hear about Jim and for me to hear about some of the

reasons Alexander was brought to this point in his life.

AMANPOUR: You are a woman of great faith. Do you feel -- and they acted, they say, according to their faith, but most -- the majority of Muslims say

that that is not what Islam is about. Did he apologize to you? Did he even tell you where they have buried or disposed of your son?

FOLEY: No. He did not really give us any information, in spite of a lot of hours of talking to people, he was very invasive about that. But he

definitely expressed remorse. He will never see his family again. And will spend the rest of his life in prison.

So, it's really a loss for everyone, truly for everyone. But he definitely expressed remorse.

AMANPOUR: So, let us -- as we know, one of the prominent journalists today, or has become prominent because being taken by Russia, this is now

the government of Russia, Evan Gershkovich, he has been the top of mind, you know, for the president and certainly many in the journalist community,


This is what secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told Fox News this week about what it would take and what they were doing to get Evan released.

Just take a listen.



BENJAMIN HALL, CORRESPONDENT, FOX NEWS: I know there are sanctions in place because of it. But I -- there isn't any message going to the Russians

that if they take Americans, there will be severe consequences. What would you say to that? How can we do more to stop Russians taking Americans?

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: You know, we've taken a number of measures, including sanctions across the years and across cases. But I

think what you are seeing, again, is maybe the biggest sanction of all, is to further Russia's isolation. An isolation that began when they invaded


HALL: But that doesn't stop -- but that hasn't stopped them from taking Americans.

BLINKEN: At some point, along with the isolation, along with measures that we can take, that others can take, and by the way, we are working with

other countries to build an even stronger coalition, to make sure that there are strong consequences for any country that engages in these



AMANPOUR: Diane, what do you make of that? There was -- I mean, it was just sort of, yes, we'll isolate Russia. Did you -- is that satisfying to

you and the other families?

FOLEY: No. However, I believe our government is finally recognizing the problem and struggling with it, just like we all are. How do we make this

hurt? How do we really strategically deter the use of innocent people as political pawns and tactics of war? It is a very complicated issue. But

Foley Foundation is continually pushing our government to prioritize this and get a stronger approach, while at the same time prioritizing the return

of U.S. citizens. So, this is a very complex. There is nothing -- it really requires the best of all of our countries, the International Community to

address this issue. It really does.

So, we have been pushing for a reevaluation of our current hostage enterprise to deal with the fact that now, 90 percent of U.S. nationals

are, in fact, taken by state governments, which is totally different, as you said, Christian, than just 10 years ago when it was terrorist,

criminals, pirates. So, this is becoming a huge issue that requires the best we can do to deal with.

AMANPOUR: And let's not forget, I think you discussed this with me before in a previous interview, when Jim, you know, was taken and you were trying

to find out where he was and -- you didn't -- I believe you did not think that his disappearance, his kidnapping was a top priority for the U.S.

government. And I believe you ended up -- they urge families not to talk about their loved ones who had been taken and definitely not to negotiate

under pain of potential, you know, arrest or prosecution yourselves. Is that -- just confirm that. I'm remembering right, yes?

FOLEY: Oh, yes. Absolutely. We were really pretty much on our own. I did not realize it at the time. I don't think our government knew what to do

with me. I was an annoyance. There was no structure to deal with us.

So, we are light years ahead in the sense that we now have a hostage enterprise with a very talented special envoy for hostage affairs, fusion

cell and very engaged national security council who deals with our national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and the president.

The problem is these issues are complicated and increasingly difficult now that a majority of captors are, in fact, state governments.


FOLEY: Because they are very shrewd about how to interfere with our policy. And so, it is -- there's nothing simple about it, Christiane. What

I am heartened is the fact that at least now we recognize that and our the taking of Evan Gershkovich as a talented journalist who has been working in

Russia in such a blatant disregard for his immunity as a journalist is in affront to our country and to our relations, for sure.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you focus another issue. Yes, it's complicated. For instance, the fact that the Iranian government is also holding several

Americans who have been there for -- at least Siamak Namazi, whose name I know you know, for seven and a half years now.



AMANPOUR: But there is another issue around the hostages. The fact that many of them in the past have actually secured their families, their

American families, meetings with the president, whether it was, you know, Biden as vice president, Obama, Trump, whoever, they did often meet with

the families of the hostages, because that's what you can call them, right? They're not really prisoners, they're hostages by these state governments

who, you know, use their American passport, you know, as a pawn.

The Namazi family, the Tahbaz family, the Emad Shargi family have all been on my program begging to have at least a meeting with the president, for

the families to feel that it's a top priority and to be able to tell the president about their pain. And he hasn't done.

FOLEY: I know. And I truly don't understand it. Everyone else has talked to them. and I cannot answer for our president. I do know it is a priority

for him. He -- his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, came and spoke in front of a group of families, hostage families. The Shargis they were

there and Tara Tahbaz also and others in this situation. So, the administration is very aware. And those brave family members will continue

to demand a meeting, and I pray that our president will at some point do that.

However, the fact that he has not met does not mean that he is not looking at the issue. I just think Iran is a particularly difficult captor to deal

with. They consistently want to interfere with anything we are doing. And so, again, it is a very poignant issue. So, we will keep up the fight,

Christiane, no matter what.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's great to hear from somebody with such tragic experiences. You have dedicated your life to this cause. Diane Foley, thank

you very much, indeed, for keeping his hostages in the limelight.

FOLEY: Thank you for your work. So appreciate your support.


AMANPOUR: And now, we look at two more formidable women, this time on Broadway. Laura Linney and Jessica Hecht earned recognition and respect for

their work in movies and on TV. But for each, the theater is their happy place. They're now appearing together for the first time in the Manhattan

Theater Club's new play called, "Summer, 1976."

It's the story of two women who become fast friends during America's bicentennial summer. An intimate, insightful account, deeply resonant,

especially for school mom friends. This week, Hecht received a Tony Award nomination for her performance. We spoke about their relatable relationship

and about the pressure placed on even the most successful female actors.


AMANPOUR: Laura Linney, Jessica Hecht, welcome to the program.


JESSICA HECHT, ACTRESS, "SUMMER, 1976": Thank you so much. ' AMANPOUR: So, your two-woman play on Broadway is amazing. It's got great reviews. And it's about a specific friendship in a specific year in 1976,

the bicentennial here of this republic. And yet, the women seem so different. What is it about the characters that you liked? What attracted

you first?

LINNEY: Well, I think Jessica has a wonderful line the play where she says, no one is one thing. And it's also something that I've personally

have believed and witnessed for a long time. So, I love how the characters present as one way, their persona is a little different than how they

present. And then, their inner core is even different from that.

So, you see, hopefully, in a very short period of time, the totality of someone's sort of psychology.


LINNEY: And it's -- and how they then fit or disconnect from each other as well.

AMANPOUR: You make friendships around your kids.


AMANPOUR: So, it's the school mom, so to speak. You never see the kids, but they are really, you know, fully described by the parents.

HECHT: I find -- the idea -- when you have small kids, you also have that experience where you think, I would never be friends with that woman. But

for the sake of my child, I will engage. And then, there is something, a little door opens, like, that person is incredible, and you look at how

much you want to grow at that time in life. And I think that's the portal that you enter the play from.



AMANPOUR: OK. So, is that what this is about? About how the two of you grow for that period of time? Because in the end, you hear -- you realize

that this very full story actually is only taking place over a few months.


LINNEY: Yes, it's unusual that way.


LINNEY: But it's very -- it strikes like lightning, it's very intense. And then, it disconnects as almost violently as it connected, you know, in an

unexpected way. They come together in an unexpected way. The friendship sort of had ran its course.

AMANPOUR: But also, you two are very different characters. You come across as a rather starchy kind of control freak.

LINNEY: Arrogant.

AMANPOUR: Arrogant.

LINNEY: Pretentious.


LINNEY: All of that.

AMANPOUR: All of that.

LINNEY: Yes. For --

AMANPOUR: And yet, you're not even what you say you are.

LINNEY: Correct.

AMANPOUR: You pretend to be a teacher --

LINNEY: Correct. That's right.

AMANPOUR: -- a professor that your --

LINNEY: And I find that interesting, how people project themselves, their self-aware persona. What they want their persona to be, and then the

reality of who they are underneath that.

HECHT: I love listening to you, because it is actually so much of what happens when I'm acting with you and I'm that close that you may think --

and this is very true of acting, you think that you are projecting something and in reality, somebody who is quite close to you is seeing so

many different things vibrate that they've gone beyond what you think you are projecting to the audience and they're just relating

So, for instance, this character that Laura plays, to me always seems quite lonely.


HECHT: And you think that you're projecting this kind of self-possession that's, you know, unflappable and I'm only seeing somebody who seems so

lonely, and that's the -- what the characters both do for each other.


AMANPOUR: And yet, your character, you come across as a very free spirit, you smoke pot --


AMANPOUR: -- you do all of that kind of stuff. And yet, your character ends up being quite shocked and left alone.

HECHT: Yes, yes.

AMANPOUR: I want to play a clip so that our audience can see. So, this one is -- it's a summer day. You brought your young daughters to town, into the

swimming pool there. Alice (INAUDIBLE) market paperback. And Diana is not impressed. This is the clip.

HECHT: You're a snob, Diana.

LINNEY: I am not.

HECHT: No, I don't mind it. You can't help it anyway. But if I want to read crap during the summer time, I am going to do it. All that stuff I

know you think I should be reading, the stuff I see on your bookshelves, Henry James and Virginia Woolf and Thomas Hardy and Middlemarch, I've read

them too. You know, I read all that crap in college and grad school.

I am aware that "Middlemarch" is better than "Coma." You don't have to educate me on that score. It's a controversial stance you're taking, but

yes, when it comes to narrative fiction, George Eliot does have a slight edge over Robin Cook.

AMANPOUR: Break this down for us.

LINNEY: I think it's a preconceived notions about someone, the superficial that you see at first. Just because someone likes to read pop culture

books, you know, "Coma," "Shogun," any of that, that -- you know, "The Thorn Birds," I would throw in there, all that stuff, it doesn't mean they

are not deep thinkers, and they are just entertained by that.

And no one -- like we say, no one is one thing. And for some reason, I think culture now wants to label quickly, fast, get it, know who you're

dealing with and move on as opposed to thinking like, what are the complexities that make this person this person? What are the things that

actually I can learn from this person who I feel like I can learn nothing from? There's a lot I can learn from them.

You know, and I think it forces people to slow down a little bit or, hopefully, encourages people to slow down when you meet people who are a

little -- who are different than you are and see what's really going on there.

AMANPOUR: And in one of the reviews, I read that it's a feminist play. Do you think that?

HECHT: Oh, I think it is a play about evolution, human evolution, and how difficult it is to actually relate to what society is telling us to do any

given moment. It's all about actually the human experience of another person, like holding a mirror up to what we could be as opposed to society.

I mean, it works on a lot of levels, but I was thinking of it in relationship to even what people of this age. Because we play characters

that are in their late 20s, the bulk of the play, and then we jump into the present day.

LINNEY: The chemistry of two people --


LINNEY: -- you know, colliding will make you evolve, will make you grow.

HECHT: Absolutely.

LINNEY: Someone will say something.


LINNEY: Someone will do something.


LINNEY: Someone will give you advice, and your brain will open. And maybe a little bit of courage jumps out or maybe --


LINNEY: -- a sense of perspective is -- you know, sinks into place and you have grown because of the gift of intersection.

AMANPOUR: So, I'm not one of these people who think only women should write about women, and oof course, the playwright is a man.


AMANPOUR: Was there any time -- I mean, did he ask for your advice or your input?


AMANPOUR: Were you stunned by how he got the fact of women?


LINNEY: Yes. I mean, we are sort of stunned by it. I mean, he's a wonderful playwright.

HECHT: Yes. Genuinely -- yes.

LINNEY: Amazing playwright, but he is a white straight man --


LINNEY: -- writing about the intimacies and the dynamics of female friendship at that age, which is very intense, as all of us women know. You

meet your person, your -- and it is very, very intense. And how he has been able to challenge -- to channel -- excuse me, channel all of this is

something we sort of shake our heads about on a daily basis.

HECHT: Totally. And we our director, our director that we clearly bow to his feet, Dan Sullivan, he is an exquisite thinker. You know, and I feel

like the combination of the two of them looking at women's relationships has been a revelation.

LINNEY: But I do have to say I think that we brought a lot to it as well.


LINNEY: I think that there are -- you know, that -- the unspoken stuff, I think, adds a lot. I mean, the words are spectacular, it's great, fun to



LINNEY: But I like to think, I hope, that our, you know --

HECHT: Our insistence --

AMANPOUR: The looks and the -- you mean, the looks and interaction on stage or what you do in the notes off stage?

LINNEY: No. I mean, in the playing of it.


HECHT: In the playing.


HECHT: The rhythm of the way we --

AMANPOUR: Yes, definitely.


HECHT: -- take that --


HECHT: -- you know, that play and --

LINNEY: The thought behind the line, which is always where the magic is, I find, for me, it's always, and how do you find the thought behind the line.

What is it within the structure of that sentence is going to lead me to something that is psychologically interesting, that helps the plot, that

helps the narrative, but also, as act-able and will expose something to an audience that brings them in?

AMANPOUR: And then, I guess, we should have been expecting, but we weren't really expecting the romantic twist and the disaster that enters Alice's

life. So, I'm not going to do a spoiler alert, but it twists pretty dramatically. And suddenly, this perfect wife, thinking she has a perfect

marriage, she's had a confrontation with her husband. Goes to her friend, Diana, and you try to comfort her and her daughter. And this is the clip

that we are going to play for that.

HECHT: Diana found some old jars and cut holes in the tin tops, and the girls ran for catching fireflies in the backyard and they asked when they

had to go to bed.

LINNEY: No bedtime. You're on your own recognizance.

HECHT: They asked what that meant.

LINNEY: It is liberty hall, girls. You can stay up all night if you want to. Run riot. Cry a havoc. Let slip the dogs of war rage against the dying

of the light and let the wild rumpus start. You can even use my art supplies.

HECHT: They looked a little worried, and they retreated into the backyard with their jars.

AMANPOUR: So, this moment becomes a turning point in the relationship. Is this where the disconnect begins and why there?

LINNEY: I think so.


LINNEY: And I've been in those situations. I think all of us have, at one point, where a really good friend will say the exact opposite of what you

want to hear.

HECHT: Yes, yes.

LINNEY: And you are so stunned, and it does usually push you away. You know, it's the right thing to do, and they usually figure it out later.


LINNEY: I certainly figured it out later. But it is a tricky -- it's a test in a friendship.

AMANPOUR: Because then, you do come to today.


AMANPOUR: And you have a chance meeting, essentially.


AMANPOUR: And there are a lot of little twists and turns that surprise me.


AMANPOUR: But nonetheless, you just -- I mean, it's clear that you have nothing really left in common.

LINNEY: We drift apart.


LINNEY: Yes. And some of that is circumstance and some of that is a choice, I believe.

HECHT: Yes. And we have a tremendous amount of instant nostalgia, at least I do, that is as anybody experiencing that kind of instantaneous nostalgia,

it's gutting because it's a moment when you thought everything was going to be OK.


HECHT: You reflect back, and everything is not OK anymore.

LINNEY: They are also the friends who are a witness to significant times of your life.


LINNEY: Whether it's knowing someone who has passed away, a parent or a friend or someone who has lived through a trauma with you, someone who has

lived through a great celebration with you, they are witnesses to that. And in some ways, and they are the only connection back to it in a visceral



LINNEY: So, people do carry that within them, you know.

AMANPOUR: What do you feel from the audience? Because obviously, there's a lot of laughter, there's a lot of involvement.

LINNEY: We were very surprised with the laughter. We were not expecting it to be as enjoyable and as raucous as the audience has been, which is


AMANPOUR: So, do we get it or we missed the plot here.


LINNEY: No, I think it's an honest reaction. I think it's -- I think there is something about the truth that tickles.

HECHT: Yes. Oh, that's a lovely thing so say.

LINNEY: I think, you know, when -- I think there is. I think that's what comedy is based on, actually, that when you touch the truth in a way, it's

like a bell, it will just cut through, and I think that is what people respond to.

HECHT: And the tears at the end for no -- people don't know why they are crying. You've said that a couple times, people come back and they're

crying, and they don't know why they are crying, and they want to help them figure it out.

AMANPOUR: You are crying, I noticed. There were tears.

HECHT: Yes. That's what our director had wanted quite a bit, for us to both --

AMANPOUR: But even as you're taking your (INAUDIBLE)?

HECHT: I think the release

AMANPOUR: It's residual.

HECHT: It's the residual of the emotion that you built up during the show.

LINNEY: We can't believe we get through it every night.

HECHT: We're so grateful.

LINNEY: We're so grateful that we've made it through.

AMANPOUR: You know, it's hard, isn't it?

LINNEY: It is hard.

AMANPOUR: I mean, 90 minutes, no break. Just the two of you.

LINNEY: And this one is particularly tricky to execute.

AMANPOUR: Because?

LINNEY: It's -- well, the language is difficult, it requires a certain pace. It requires set up. It requires an emotional connection that you

cannot just skate through or over. It does require that you -- it's demanding, in the best way.

HECHT: In the moment, in the moment.

LINNEY: I mean --


AMANPOUR: Did you know each other before? What is your friendship?


HECHT: Like just admiration, previously. And now, great, great emotional - - deep emotional.

LINNEY: But here's an example, like Jessica and I have known each other and of each other for years. The only time we really spent together was

when we want to go visit a mutual friend who was dying.

HECHT: Yes, yes.

LINNEY: And she drove me to the hospital. And where was the hospital? It was --

HECHT: In in the Bronx. Montefiore.

LINNEY: In the Bronx.


LINNEY: We went to say goodbye to this mutual friend of ours. So --

HECHT: Who Laura had helped her enormously before I met her, and somebody who worked at our theater. Yes.

LINNEY: So, we have her. You know, she --

AMANPOUR: Well, that's a serious bond.

LINNEY: No, but she lives within the two of us. And even though -- even if we had not done this play together and we only knew each other from that,

Naba (ph) would have connected us.

AMANPOUR: But I do want to ask you then, just to go back a little bit in the formative years. Clearly, this is a very big moment for female

empowerment. But in your business, women have not had that platform and that authority for a long, long time. And I guess it's just now come out

because this new documentary about Brooke Shields, "Pretty Baby," you knew her when you are kids, and she tells the most appalling stories about the

basic exploitation.

What more can you add about that? How did that make you feel as you were growing up? Did you ever feel that as you were coming up through the ranks

as well?

LINNEY: Well, I think it was, you know, in a very insidious way, neutralized and accepted as, you know, the behavior that one should fall

into. But it was always uncomfortable. And particularly when you're a child, your antenna is sort of -- is at a cross current, wanting to please

the adults around you versus what you know is something is not right here. And you are sort of painted into a corner as a child.

So, you know, how Brooke has been able to have the wonderful life that she has now is really miraculous and a testament to just something within her.

Some survival instinct, some incredibly unshakable decency within her that has -- that was galvanized by all that challenge. And I think, you know, it

was a very difficult time.

And I think each era has its own difficult time. I mean, I'm sure in 30 years they will look back to today and point out something that we just

assume that we take for granted and say, look how terrible that was, and we'll look back and go, oh, my god, that was. That was really terrible in

all of the stuff that we participated in.

AMANPOUR: Did you experience that as you were coming up and what do you think about now? Do you think it will evolve even more for the better?

HECHT: I think that women's bodies, which is a huge part of it, I pray for my own daughter who's 23, and I look at the way she relates to her own body

and other women's and has such appreciation for living in whatever body you have, which is really the first part of what we grapple with as women.

So, I think that part, this body positive concept is a huge step. But it still doesn't mean that your own shame and your own issues are appeased by

that. I mean, it -- but I think it is a step forward. And that -- and I -- that's the way that the Brooke Shields documentary ends, right, where she

says -- Barbara Walter said, what are your measurements? And I think that was so painful. And Barbara Walters being a journalistic icon, you know, I

don't mean to in any way impugn --

AMANPOUR: No, it's painful for me because she was an icon to me.

HECHT: Yes. Yes. Well, of course.

AMANPOUR: But I deplore --

HECHT: That she says that.

AMANPOUR: -- deplore that kind of --

HECHT: I spoke to -- yes. I think this documentary is really --



HECHT: -- quite -- it's truly marvelous. And I think what Laura said in the documentary and just now has echoed. And my daughter watched it, many

young women are watching it and feeling like, wow, at least we got one little thing going. Yes.

AMANPOUR: Good. That's a good message. What is next for Jessica Hecht on a stage, on film?

HECHT: Oh, I don't know. I have something wonderful. I'll just say that I'm actually developing a play myself, helping to write one that is based

on a Brecht -- quite a lesser-known Brecht play called "The Mother." About a woman who becomes radicalized for the sake of her son. So, it's my first

venture into creating something for myself. So, that's all I'll say.


LINNEY: And that is the biggest change, I think, in the generations, this self-generated work.


LINNEY: We were -- when I was growing up and came out of Juilliard, it was never a concept that we could do that for ourselves. It just didn't -- it

just wasn't even an idea that we -- that you could even birth. It just wasn't -- it did not exist.

And now, there is a self-empowerment now about creating your own work. And I see like the younger students, you know, and even us older people doing,

getting on the bandwagon and feeling like, yes, what am I waiting for? This is -- I have something to offer.

AMANPOUR: Laura Linney, Jessica Hecht, thank you so much indeed.

HECHT: Thank you.

LINNEY: Our pleasure. Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And next to the U.S. Supreme Court which is facing an ethical dilemma. Lawyers and lawmakers are calling for the high court to adopt an

ethics code of conduct after Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch were accused of violations.

Chief Justice John Roberts declines to discuss the matter with Congress. But now, the independent senator, Angus King, has introducing new

bipartisan legislation, the Supreme Court Code of Conduct Act. If it's passed, it would require the high court to establish its own ethics code in

line with other federal judges. And to discuss this new bill and the senator's attempt to restore trust in the institution, he's talking to

Walter Isaacson.


WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And Senator Angus King, welcome back to the show.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): Great to be with you, Walter. Look forward to talking about some pretty serious issues this week.

ISAACSON: Including the Supreme Court, because you've always been at the forefront of trying to restore trust in institutions. And we've hit -- been

hit with some stories recently about the Supreme Court. There -- you know, there was the case of Justice Clarence Thomas accepting luxury vacations

from the billionaire Harlan Crow, who bought the justice's mother's house and renovated it while she was still there. Likewise, we've had a story

from -- about Neil Gorsuch who didn't reveal the name of the person who bought a $1.8 million piece of property was somebody who is a head of a

firm with cases in front of the court. Why do these types of stories matter?

KING: Well, they matter, Walter, because the Supreme Court doesn't have a police force or an army. The whole structure of the Supreme Court depends

on public trust. It depends on its moral authority, if you will. And stories like what we've seen in the last couple of weeks undermine that

public trust.

And in fact, recent polls indicate that the confidence in the Supreme Court is at the lowest level, I think, in history, certainly in recent history.

And so, what Lisa Murkowski and I are trying to do, and we will talk about our bill, is it is a pro Supreme Court bill. We're basically saying, adopt

a code of ethics because that's what's needed to reassure the public after these recent revelations.

I mean, one of the bad things about these revelations were that they weren't even reported. The Supreme Court justices do have financial

reporting requirements and didn't report these, you know, luxury vacations and who bought the house and those kinds of things. So, it is all about

public confidence. And it's a wider problem, as you know, and our government generally, democracy rests on trust, and this is one effort to

shore up the trust in one of our most important institutions.

ISAACSON: Well, you say that you and Senator Murkowski, a Republican senator, are working on a code of ethics, a code of conduct bill that would

ask the Supreme Court to do these things. What exactly is in that bill?

KING: Well, the bill is really simple. It's a three-page bill, and we don't write the code of conduct. We don't think that's appropriate for the

Congress. Basically, well, all our bill says is, take the next year, write your own code of conduct, make it public and then, establish some of it in

the court system whose job it is to oversee the implementation of that code by.


By the way, Walter, every judge in America is subject to a judicial code of conduct except the nine justices of the Supreme Court. What we're talking

about here isn't very radical. And as I say, we're not -- this isn't Congress saying what your rules should be, we're saying, you make your own

rules and then be public about it, be transparent about it. And then -- and it's not even a big drafting problem. We -- in our bill, we say a year, it

could be done in a weekend because there's already a judicial code of conduct that governs every federal judge in the country.

So, all they've got to do is add and the U.S. Supreme Court, it's sort of ridiculous. I don't know how many judges we have in the country, 10,000,

15,000, all but nine are subject to a judicial code of conduct. And those nine have lifetime jobs and some of the most important decisions, in terms

of power, over American lives, it just seems to me common sense.

ISAACSON: Well, even if it is common sense, and it does seem to make sense, what right do you have to tell them to do it? You're a separate

branch of government. We really keep these separations of powers important. Why should the Congress have the right to tell the Supreme Court what to


KING: Well, I think that's a good constitutional question and I agree, for example, that Justice Roberts declined to appear before the Judiciary

Committee. I understand that. I think there are separation of power issues here.

I believe that under the constitution, it's a little vague in Article 3 Clause 1, but a Supreme Court is established, and I think that Congress

does have the power, not to necessarily say what the standards should be, but simply say to the court, you should do this.

Now, they ought to do it themselves. They ought to take the hint. There's no question that they have the power to do it themselves, they shouldn't

need an act of Congress to require them to do it. But so far, they haven't taken that step and they have resisted it. Justice Roberts sent a long

letter to Dick Durbin and the Judiciary Committee and has said, we consult with people and we'll follow the substance of rules. That's not good


And again, what we're -- we're trying to help them to help themselves. This is all about preserving the authority and the credibility of the Supreme

Court. So, I believe that Congress does have that power. But beyond that, I would -- I wish in the next two weeks, Justice Roberts would say, you don't

-- you can put your legislation away. We're going to adopt a code of conduct. That's what it ought to work.

ISAACSON: In the letter to Senator Dick Durbin who tried to get him to testify in front of the Senate committee, Chief Justice Roberts said, we

already have, I think it's called a -- what is it, a statement on ethics and principles and practices. And he -- it was a couple of pages, I read

it. Why isn't that enough?

KING: It's pretty mushy. And it doesn't really give -- it doesn't really set forth any standards. And to me, the key sentence in that letter was, we

will follow the substance of these standards, which they don't define. And that's not good enough, following the substance. How about following the

rules? And what we're really talking about is, tell us what the rules are. It's hard to tell whether conduct is appropriate if you don't have any

standard for defining what's appropriate.

Justice Thomas, for example, justified his failure to report a $500,000 vacation by saying, well, I consulted people and they said it was OK. And

it's OK to take hospitality. And it just isn't clear. For example, in the main judicial code of conduct there is an exception for hospitality. But

you know it says? Ordinary hospitality. That is a dinner every now and then or maybe a round of golf. It's not a private jet and a yacht in the

Philippines. Nobody would define that as ordinary hospitality. So, that's what I mean. Let's have a code of judicial conduct.

And frankly, you know, I have been surprised for many years that this didn't exist. And I keep going back to this point. The whole project that

Lisa Murkowski and I are engaged in is to -- is on behalf of the Supreme Court. We are merely saying, here is something you really should do in

order to reestablish your credibility.

I can't believe that John Roberts wants his legacy on the Supreme Court to be a catastrophic decline in public confidence in his very important


ISAACSON: Say your bill passes and say the Supreme Court says, you don't have the right to tell us what to do, what happens then?


KING: Well, then there would be a case and the Supreme Court would decide it. And, you know, they are the Supreme Court. They interpret the law and

interpret the constitution. And I suppose they could have that result. It would be kind of an interesting result where they ruled themselves exempt.

But it would be -- if they did that, it would be one more blow.

This is Shakespeare, methinks he doth protests too much. If there are no problems, if you have consultation and are following some kind of vague

standards that are undefined, then why are you resisting so stoutly, doing something that, again, applies to every other judge in America, including

every federal judge in America? It just -- it doesn't make sense to me that they are resisting so strongly something that I think ordinary citizens

would say, huh, why aren't they doing this?

ISAACSON: Let me ask you about another story involving a Supreme Court, and that's Justice Alito saying to the "Wall Street Journal" that he thinks

he knows who the leaker is of the Dobbs case, the abortion case that caused such controversy. Tell me what you feel about that and how that plays into

the credibility of the court or undermining the credibility of the court?

KING: Well, I was a little surprised if he knows that person. The court did an investigation, and I believe the announcement was, we couldn't find

the leaker, we couldn't get to the bottom of it. If he knows something, then he should share that with the chief, I would think.

But, you know, there are other issues that haven't gotten the level of publicity that we've had recently about people who are contributors to the

-- I think it's called the Supreme Court Historical Association, and they have special access to the judges' dinners, dinners at people's homes. This

is -- you know, I've always thought of --

ISAACSON: Well, wait. Doesn't the Senate do that as well?

KING: Yes. But number one, we don't have lifetime appointments. We have to answer to the voters every two years in the house, every six years in the

Senate. Clearly, and I'm not saying judges can't have a social life, but I am saying that the whole -- the heart of the judicial canon of ethics --

and I remember learning this in law school, is that judges must avoid impropriety and should avoid the appearance of impropriety. Avoid the

appearance of impropriety, why? Because the -- again, to go back, the court's authority rests upon public trust.

If people think the courts are rigged, they are not fair or are a subject to influenced by special interests, then they're going to say, why do we

have to listen to these people? Why do we have to abide by their rulings?

You know, President Jackson famously said, if the Supreme Court wants to enforce this order, it can have its own army, or something along those

lines. You're a historian, you know better than me, the quote. But the point is, it's the moral authority of the court that is so important and we

live in an age of declining confidence in public institutions. And here I am, a member of Congress, which, you know, has a pretty low approval rating

itself, but at least we are answerable to the people. And that, to me, makes this what we are talking about here even more important.

You've got nine people who have enormous power over Americans' lives, lifetime appointments. And now, I go back to Madison, or even go back

further, go back to the Romans. You know the quote, quis custodes ipsos custodiet, who will guard the guardians? Madison put it another way and he

used the term men, but we now know it would have been men and women.

But he said, if men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to staff the government over man, no checks and balances would

be necessary. However, in a government of men over men, there must be a way. First, we have to empower the government to control the governed and

then oblige the government to control itself. And that's really what we're talking about here. Who will guard the guardians? And all we're talking

about is just tell us what your rules are and be transparent about it, to restore confidence in this critically important institution.

ISAACSON: You're independent, but your caucus has a Democrat. The co- sponsor of our bill is Lisa Murkowski, who is a Republican. It sort of gives a veneer, at least, of bipartisanship. But it seems that even your

proposals have run into very partisan opposition. Almost all of the Republicans, other than Senator Murkowski and a handful, have slammed it.

Is there any way to get true bipartisanship on this issue?


KING: I don't think so. I mean, it would be -- well, I haven't given up. I mean, we -- Lisa and I haven't done our missionary work yet. But as you

say, the -- Mitch McConnell went to the floor, I think the morning of our bill, and he wasn't talking about our bill. He was basically saying, we're

not going to do anything with Supreme Court ethics. That's an attack on the court.

And this week was the hearing the Judiciary Committee on this issue and the Republicans basically took the position, anything you talk about the

Supreme Court is an attack on the court, an attack on Justice Thomas. That's not true. I mean, our bill is wholly forward-looking. It's not

retroactive, it doesn't impose any penalties. It basically just says, a year from now, Supreme Court, tell us what your rules are going to be. Tell

us the rules that you're going to follow, make them public and then, let's -- we'll move on as cases arise. But you're right, the Republicans have

decided that, you know, this is just unacceptable.

Interestingly, Dick Durbin, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to the chief justice on this issue in something like February of

2012 when Barack Obama was president. So, it's not as if this issue has just arisen because of the ideological nature of the court, it's arisen, I

think we have to be honest with one another, because of these, I believe, outrageous revelations that have come out over the last couple of weeks,

that's what sort of highlighted the issue.

But this is an issue that's been around for a long time. And again, this whole thing would go away if the Supreme Court did it for itself what we

are proposing. Our proposal is -- couldn't be more moderate, if you will, and that we are not saying what the rules should be, just tell us. You make

your own rules, and tell us what they are.

ISAACSON: I really don't get this. Why couldn't you enlist a broad spectrum ideological in favor of something like this?

KING: Well, as I say, I haven't given up. But the Republican caucus apparently has decided this is going to be a Rubicon, you know, a stand-

your-ground issue. Lisa Murkowski is a person of enormous integrity and common sense. And, you know, she said, yes, this makes sense. Let's do it.

And I plan to talk to some of my colleagues. But, you know, sometimes, you are talking, you know, peer pressure. And as I say, the morning -- I can't

remember the morning, I think it was last Wednesday, Mitch McConnell went to the floor and said, we're not going to do this. And so, it became a

caucus issue.

But I think you're right, I think it ought to be a bipartisan issue. It ought to be, you know, a 99 to 1 issue. It's so straightforward. And

consistent, again, with the rules that apply to every other judge in the country, state and federal.

ISAACSON: Tell me, why are we having such problems these days creating bipartisan consensus in the Senate and other places?

KING: I'm going to surprise you. I'm going to disagree a little bit. There's is a lot more bipartisanship around here than people think. Number

one, we don't hate each other. If you are having trouble sleeping, go to C- SPAN and watch a vote on C-SPAN 2 in the Senate And what you will see is, I tell people in Maine, it looks like the dump on Saturday morning. You'll

see people milling around and chatting, almost always in a bipartisan way.

You know, you will see John Cornyn it talking to Tim Kaine or Gary Peters over talking to Ron Johnson about homeland security. You see these little

groups moving around. So, the idea that it's -- you hear the word toxic that we don't like each other, that just isn't true. That's number one.

Number two, in the past two years, we've passed, I think, seven or eight major bills, five of which were entirely bipartisan. The Infrastructure

Bill, the Veterans' PACT Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, the budget in December. The media only likes to report the conflict. It's sort of like,

you know, you never read a headline that says 5,000 planes landed safely yesterday. The story is about the plane that didn't land safely.

So, I don't want to overstate it, it's not like we're all linking arms around here, but it is -- it's better than people think. And I hope that

that can provide a basis for bipartisan work in the kinds of areas we are talking about, and that is the way it ought to work.

ISAACSON: Senator Angus King, thank you so much for joining us.

KING: Thank you, Walter. Great to be with you.


AMANPOUR: And make sure to join us tomorrow night when we talk to Cindy McCain about her newest role leading the World Food Programme.

That's it for now. And if you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. Remember, you can always

catch us online, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.