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Interview With Microsoft Vice Chair And President, Brad Smith; Interview With Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili; Interview With Musician Graham Nash. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 28, 2023 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
Putin dusts off his image as commander-in-chief and the Ukrainian people pay the highest price.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congress cannot be half behaved like ostriches in the sand when it comes to A.I.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- as governments struggle to rein in A.I., Microsoft president, Brad Smith, joins me to weigh the risks and the rewards.
Also, ahead, how an aggressive Putin looks from Georgia. Another country living under his constant threat. We hear from the Georgian president,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM NASH, MUSICIAN: Let's make it a better life, and leave it for the kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- rock legend Graham Nash talks love, music, and making a better life with Walter Isaacson.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
As the Kremlin struggles to contain the fallout from Saturday's aborted uprising, Russia continues its brutal aerial assault on Ukrainian
civilians. Russian missile struck a pizza restaurant in the heart of Kramatorsk in the east, killing at least 11 people, including these 14-
year-old twin sisters celebrating the end of the school year at war.
And while the U.S. government is keeping its distance from the thwarted rebellion in Russia, President Joe Biden says Putin has absolutely been
Correspondent Ben Wedeman is on the ground there, in Eastern Ukraine. And he's joining me now.
Ben, the scenes that we saw, and from your reporting, are just horrible and brings it right back home. What is happening there, you know, now? I know
you've just left the actual scene. What is going on there?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are still, Christiane, trying to find survivors or likely mostly bodies under the
rubble. Keep in mind, it's a massive concrete slab sort of fell on where the strike took place. So, it's a lot of work. They brought in heavy
equipment. But while we were there, we did see rescue workers bringing out a black body bag, loading it into a van. And right there were friends and
families sobbing watching this happen. And there are more people simply waiting to find out news of relatives they haven't heard from.
We spoke to people who had worked in the restaurant, and they said that there are still people that are unaccounted for. By the looks of it, it
looks like the missile actually hit the kitchen, and that's why so many of the restaurant workers were either wounded, killed, or are still missing at
the moment. So, it's a huge amount of work. They're doing what they can.
But also, the problem is that every once in a while, their work is interrupted by air raid sirens. Last night, when we were on this site,
everybody was suddenly rushed away from the scene of this strike because the fear was that there was going to be a so-called double tap, where the
Russians will strike a location, and then we wait until first responders come, residents come to look and then strike again. So, it is a very
difficult task for this city, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Do you know the place? I mean, what can you tell us about it?
WEDEMAN: Well, it's a very -- it's a restaurant called the Ria. Some people describe it as a pizzeria, but it actually serves a lot of other things --
or it served, I should say. We were there the day before yesterday, the day before the strike.
What we saw it very busy, it was full of soldiers, full of civilians. There were children, there are people who even brought their dogs there in the
outside terrace. It was a very busy place, very popular. And we understand that -- you know, I was here in Kramatorsk last -- in April of last year,
in the early weeks of the war. The city was pretty much a ghost town, you could barely find anything open. But as the situation has stabilized,
people have returned. And of course, this is a city that is an important military hub. The frontlines are just a half hour drive away from here.
So, there are lots of soldiers. There's a lot of military sorts of locations and activities in and around the city. But that area itself is
really the heart of Kramatorsk. In addition to the restaurant, there's a jewelry store next door. There's a hotel next to that. There's a post
office nearby. So, it's a residential. It's -- I mean, it's a civilian area. There is no military bases in -- or anything military in that part of
town except the soldiers having lunch, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: And finally, do you know what hit it at first? You know, there were -- you know, obviously, the Russians had said, we just hit a military
target, but that's what they say about everything, including, you know, that original target in Kramatorsk, which was the train station when you
are there, you know, earlier in the war. But do we know what hit it, and why it caused so much destruction?
WEDEMAN: Well, let me tell you, when we arrived, we saw from the level of damage that it was clearly something very big. Now, in the evening,
President Zelenskyy in his nightly address said it wasn't S-300. That is a surface to air missile that is not very precise and it doesn't carry a huge
So, I -- when I saw that, I didn't -- I wasn't convinced. And in fact, it turns out it's Iskander missile. That is a hypersonic ballistic missile
that -- because it is hypersonic, it's very hard for radar to pick up, it's very hard for air defenses to take down and it has a much bigger payload
and it is much more precise, which one has to wonder, was this location specifically targeted?
Now, Ukrainian intelligence has arrested a man they say was casing out the restaurant, had taken video and sent it to GRU, Russian intelligence. We
don't know what more information they've received from him or gotten out of them. But, yes, this does look like it is perhaps a deliberate choice of
AMANPOUR: Ben, thank you very much, indeed. Now, of course, Putin and the Russian military lashing out after that thwarted rebellion over the
It is not just governments that are backing Ukraine though, major corporations like Microsoft are also pitching in. The company reports its
threat intelligence team are working to support Ukraine's defense. Artificial intelligence may open new fronts in cyber warfare, but it could
also bring critical social benefits, and like other information companies, Microsoft stands to reap major profits from the fast-growing technology.
That's why the company's president and vice chair says, corporations need to come together with the governments to regulate A.I.
And her, Brad Smith, is here and joins me now. Welcome to the program.
BRAD SMITH, VICE CHAIR AND PRESIDENT, MICROSOFT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: You know, we've just had this horrendous report from Ukraine, this horrible attack against a civilian infrastructure. And I just
wondered, how you're helping them? How the technology helps, in what areas? Is it in defense, intelligence? Is it in other areas?
SMITH: It's really an all those things, and it has been an extraordinary effort by, I'd say, the entire tech sector since the war began last
February. It's involved, in part, in effect evacuating data, so that when cruise missiles literally destroyed Ukrainian government data centers, they
could sustain their operations by relying on our data centers in other countries.
But even more than, it is a daily exercise, often times, of detecting new cyberattacks, and then, in effect, disrupting them, interfering,
intercepting them so that they cannot damage military or civilian targets.
AMANPOUR: I mean, have you ever done that before? I mean, that's helping a military effort.
SMITH: Not like this. I mean, for so long, people have worried quite rightly, we've been focused on cybersecurity but it's fundamentally been in
times of peace. Since this war began, Microsoft has provided more than $500 million of technology and financial assistance to Ukraine. I would not have
imagined that we would be put in that position.
I think it's the right thing to do. And what it shows is that in the world today, companies and governments really need to come together to defend
AMANPOUR: So, Prigozhin, the protagonist in the uprising that didn't go anywhere over the weekend, he was kind of first known as the original, you
know, troll farmer, the original hacker, the original, you know, troublemaker in the cyberspace. How much damage has Russia done in the --
how much cyberwarfare has it been able to wage against Ukraine and whoever might be supporting it?
SMITH: I really look at things in two ways. First, if you look at malicious attacks, trying to destroy infrastructure, delete data on computers,
actually, despite formidable efforts by the Russian military the impact has been relatively minimal. And that's really because defensive technology has
been stronger than offensive technology.
I think we have to remember through that the Russians also engage in very sophisticated cyber influence operations, putting out disinformation.
They're among the most capable governments, unfortunately, in the world in doing that. And that is not confined to Ukraine. They focus it on their own
people, they focus it on Germany and Western Europe, they focus on the U.S. and other countries.
AMANPOUR: How bad is A.I. for all of this?
SMITH: The interesting thing is that A.I. will be used in effect both offensively and defensively. Offensively, countries like Russia, the
government will use A.I. to generate more content. It will probably reduce the cost of creating content. They may use it to sort of target who they're
aiming or directing it at.
But we will use A.I. on the defensive side as well. And I think in some ways, A.I. will favor defense over offense because when you think about it,
our great strength is data. We see all of this data coming into data centers. The challenge is to find the patterns in the data that show us
where a new attack is taking place. A.I. can do that faster than humans can.
So, at least right now, I'm optimistic that A.I. will favor defense over offense when it comes to cybersecurity, and that is good for everyone.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, that's good news. But you obviously are aware that there's a huge amount of Sturm und Drang, you know, around -- about what
A.I. could do to us all and to the human race. I mean, you know, the fears are huge, to the extent that the president is talking to the big bosses,
you're all going to testify.
AMANPOUR: And you are here and you are going to Europe, right? I think it's probably --
SMITH: Yes, that's right. Exactly.
AMANPOUR: -- about the regulation piece. So, first, what are you doing here? What do you expect to achieve here in the U.K.?
SMITH: Well, here in the U.K., and I was in Norway on Monday, the Netherlands on Tuesday, the U.K. on Wednesday, there really is a
conversation taking place around the world about what to do about A.I. How do we maximize the benefits that will, I think, help us diagnose and cure
cancers? But then, how do we regulate it so it's used safely?
And I think that really does require that we in the tech sector step up, that we put in place safety protocols, and safeguards, guardrails if you
will, and it will require, I think, a new era of law and regulation. And that's the conversation that somebody like me is having around the world.
AMANPOUR: And now, you're continuing that to the E.U.?
AMANPOUR: Is that because they are coming up with the A.I. act or the A.I. --
AMANPOUR: -- protocols or something? What will -- I mean, how much hope do you have for that and what will it do?
SMITH: I am optimistic that we'll strike a sensible balance. I mean, in the first instance, I think it's worth remembering that we benefit and really
take for granted everyday technologies that could have a dangerous impact. Electricity turns on the lights, but it can electrocute you. So, we have a
And so, in the same way, we need to build safety protocols, safety breaks, if you will, especially if A.I. is going to be used to control critical
infrastructure, the water supply, the electrical grid. And so, what we're focused on, inside a company like Microsoft, is how we put in A.I. safety
guardrails, the conversation with governments is, in effect, should you, as a company, need to get a license if A.I. is going to be used in a certain
And this is not, at this point at least, a polarized or partisan debate, everybody is sort of rolling up their sleeves and learning about A.I., and
figuring out how to manage it.
AMANPOUR: So, why do you -- what you account -- how do you account for that, that actually it appears that all different parts of the equation are
thinking along the same lines? Why? I mean, social media came and, you know, we all thought it was going to be great, you know, the Arab Spring
Revolution, Twitter democracies, et cetera, and instead, it has exponentially worsened a considerable part of our public space.
SMITH: I think maybe there is a lesson in what you just said, because I actually have that same conversation. In some ways, we look back a decade
ago and we were all, in hindsight, too euphoric. We thought social media would be the savior of democracy.
And so, you fast forward, now it's 2023, and we all say, let's approach this new technology with our eyes wide open. It will do amazing things. It
will improve productivity. It will advance economic growth. It will be a tool for teachers and students. But it has risks. Let's not put the risks
aside. Let's not just says, let companies do whatever they want. Let's have law. Let's have regulation. I think that is the right kind of wiser
approach to take.
AMANPOUR: Let me, again, be the devil's advocate. Sam Altman, who I know you're in business with, you have a shared enterprise, OpenAI, et cetera.
He basically said -- and he has been front and center in Congress, and he comes across like, you know, the knight in shining armor, but he says
about, you know, the regulation and stuff, he says to the U.S. Senate, I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong, we want to be
vocal about that. We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening.
But then he says that it could cease, his company could cease operating in the E.U. if it can't comply with legislation. Is he speaking out of 10
different sides of his mouth, trying to have his cake and eat it too?
SMITH: No, I don't think so. I mean, OpenAI., the company that Sam has, and Microsoft work very closely together.
SMITH: We've been partners. And --
AMANPOUR: But you want a little bit of regulation, but not too much.
SMITH: Well, I think, you know, it's sort of a good thing to think about. We don't want to stifle innovation. I think that would ultimately prevent
society from reaping the benefits that this has to offer. So, it's about getting the balance right. And it's a time when the technology is advancing
quickly, it's a time when people are sitting down together, and not surprisingly, some days it is easier to sort out an answer than others.
What do you do see, whether you are talking about, you know, Sam Altman or Microsoft is ultimately, some convergence, you know, around a set of
practical standards, and I think in some ways, benefiting from, not just a year, but a centuries' worth of experience? We all fly on airplanes.
SMITH: We don't want them to crash, but we want to go farther than we otherwise could. We have global as well as national safety standard, safety
features, testing before a plane is certified to fly, constant monitoring of aircraft after they ventured service. I think that points to the right
direction. We always want better planes. We always want them to be safe. We should want the same thing from A.I.
AMANPOUR: No, no, we should. But, you know, as the user and as the potential, you know, victim, we want to make sure that you're all serious
about it and governments are serious about it.
SMITH: I agree.
AMANPOUR: So, let me play for you and just walk you through what the president of the U.S. is doing. As you know, last week he went over there,
to the West Coast, to talk to all of you, I guess. I'm not sure what he said to you, but at the same, I was speaking to the former president,
Barack Obama, in Greece. And he was speaking about this, because he, you know, works on democracy, and that means equality and, you know, helping
all of those jobs and trying to figure out how not to have their jobs taken away. This is what he said about this, I'd love you to respond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This is a powerful technology and it's coming fast. And if it kind of goes into the wild, the way social media
did, without us thinking through the consequences, we could have bigger problems with A.I. We will have bigger problems with A.I. National security
problems, job displacement problems, misinformation problems that undermine our democracy. And so, yes, we're going to have to regulate it in an
If harnessed correctly, you can have A.I. teachers that much more cheaply are delivering a very good education to people in remote areas. That's a
powerful thing. And by the way, if you have villages where girls have trouble getting to school, but you can get them a device and they can learn
on their own, that can break down barriers as well. So, that's the upside.
The danger is that if it is weaponized, it can be a very powerful tool for mischief. But potential for people who are in jobs that can be done
remotely to be replaced entirely by machines, I think that is something that's going to happen fairly quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, as usual, he is very considered about this. So, let's just talk about jobs. Can it put legions of people out of work?
SMITH: I don't know that I would say legions, but there are some jobs that will likely be automated. A few years ago, we wrote a book about this and
when asked to predict what job would be impacted first, we said, taking orders at a fast-food restaurant, because all you fundamentally do is you
listen to someone speak and you enter in a keypad what they're asking for, and with A.I., a computer can do that well.
But there's new jobs that are being created already, and there's always that balance whenever there is a major new era of technology. There are
jobs in 2023 that literally did not exist a year ago. They are called prompt engineers. They're basically people who learn how to use A.I.
systems and, in effect, how to program them but with far less intensive requirements than it takes, say, to write computer code.
So, in some ways some jobs will go away, new jobs will be created. What we really need to do is give people the skills so they can take advantage of
this, and then, frankly, for all of us. I mean, you, me, everyone, our jobs will change. We will be using A.I., just like 30 years ago, we first
started to use PCs in more offices, and what it meant is you learn new skills so that you could benefit from the technology, that's the best way
to avoid being replaced by it.
AMANPOUR: Well, before I ask you -- I will ask you, how do you use A.I. in your daily life?
SMITH: I use it for research. You know, there's the Microsoft search service, Bing, it relies on GPT-4 from OpenAI. I'm able to ask it
questions, it gives me answers, it has footnotes to sources. What I fundamentally find, and I think you'll appreciate this is a journalist,
when you can get an answer to the first question more quickly, you ask the next question. And so much of life actually turns out, I think, on being
able to ask more questions. That's what I use it for.
AMANPOUR: What if you don't know who you're talking to or who's talking to you? We've heard so much about, you know, fakes, I mean, we're in deep
fakes and now, we're in a whole another realm of fakes where my voice can be imitated, my face can be imitated, I have no rights against this unless
you can tell me how we have these rights. But your daughter, my son calls and says, mom, I need some money, how? How do we figure this out?
SMITH: I think that's an excellent example of the kind of problem we need to solve and where we need protection against the abuse or misuse of this
technology. I think we will see, even just in the coming weeks and months, new approaches, agreements with governments and tech companies where, for
example, they will say, if you are using A.I. to synthesize, say, someone's voice or a visual image, that what you need to do is watermark it and you
need to make it clear that this is produced by A.I., you need to tell somebody if they are answering the phone, and there's a computer on the
other end that they are identifying themselves as a computer, rather than a human being.
And I think you will see laws evolve, so that if people then violate that norm, they can be held accountable. We'll still have criminals. I mean,
people do bad things. But between technology controls, responsible action, new laws and efforts by governments, that's our best bet, I think, to
AMANPOUR: You're talking about governments who believe in the international system and the rule of law and who sign up for various, you know, rules of
the road. But there are others that we're dealing with right now, Russia and many, many, many others who don't and who have already assaulted our
democratic systems and everything else using this in a very wily way, and the precursors as well.
So, let's say half the world is going to behave and the other half isn't, what are the consequences?
SMITH: I think you always start by building an alliance of like-minded allies. And the best way to get important things done is to bring people
together who want to get them done. And that's what we've done. For example, in the tragedy, the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand where it
was literally a mass shooting live streamed on the internet, Jacinda Ardern and the prime minister of New Zealand brought together tech companies. We
were definitely one of the first -- we were the first and said, let's put in place new rules so that cannot happen again.
In the same way, when you look at these threats of, you know, influence operations being waged by a country and a government like Russia, let's
bring companies, civil society, NGOs, governments together and let's put in place the rules and the technology measures that will be needed to protect
AMANPOUR: Why do you think there are certain, you know, really important tech, you know, innovators? Geoffrey Hinton who's called the godfather a
lot of this. He resigned in order to be able to speak more freely. Ian Hogarth, who I don't whether you -- yes, you know -- a well-known A.I.
entrepreneur on strategy now, he is working on.
You know, Hogarth says, god-like A.I. could be a force beyond our control or understanding and one that could usher in the obsolescence or
destruction of the human race.
SMITH: I think the world is full of thoughtful people with a wide range of views. I don't think it's a bad thing to imagine what is the worst thing
that could go wrong. That's the best way to prevent it from happening.
But look, 150 years ago, it would look like an act of God to harness the power of electricity. You would say, my goodness, people can be
electrocuted. And when electricity was first installed in our cities, you had to ensure that it was under human control. This technology is
different, it feels like a different era, it's a new century, but fundamentally, we've done this as a species many times before.
We took to the air. We harnessed the power of electricity. You have to look at the problem in the eye and figure out how you keep it under control.
AMANPOUR: So, you're being very frank, and President Obama listed quite a lot of important things. He also said in the medicine field, it could do
amazing things. But I guess the last question is, will it be under human control? Is it guaranteed to be under human control? We were told these
huge massive computers can just do what they do automatically.
SMITH: I believe we have the capability to ensure that it stays under human control. And this is incumbent upon the companies that are creating these
more powerful models, but frankly, it is also is incumbent upon the companies like Microsoft, that's operating at multiple levels, to build the
data centers where these A.I. systems will run.
We should have multiple controls, multiple safety breaks, and frankly, strong regulations and rules to ensure that this technology always remains
under human control.
AMANPOUR: And just finally, do you feel that you are so committed to this and so aware of this, because of what went wrong with social media, because
of all the good intentions that just went off the rails?
SMITH: I'd like to say that we would be thoughtful enough to identify this, even if there had not been these issues, say, a decade ago, but we're all
older and wiser. That's a good thing. Let's learn from all of our experiences, and let's heed the concerns, let's reap the benefits. That's
the balance we should strive for.
AMANPOUR: All right. Brad Smith, thank you very much. CEO of Microsoft. Thanks for coming in.
SMITH: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now, for the people of Georgia, Russia's war in Ukraine looks all too familiar. In August 2008, Russia invaded Georgia, seized control of two
provinces there and then, illegally recognized their independents. It was Europe's first 21st century war. Critics say a muted reaction by western
powers may have egged on Putin's aggressive expansionism, including of course now in Ukraine.
Now, Georgia, much like Ukraine, or even Moldova, must navigate very rocky shorelines, seeking entry to western institutions like the E.U. or NATO
while also trying not to provoke the Russian bear on their doorstep.
Georgian president, Salome Zourabichvili, joins me now from the capital, Tbilisi. Welcome, Madam President, to the program.
Can I first start by asking you, just to give us your analysis of what you must have been watching very closely on your border what happened in Russia
over the weekend? How much of a surprise was it to you, and how much of a threat do you think it really was to Putin?
SALOME ZOURABICHVILI, GEORGIAN PRESIDENT: I think it was, for me, as with for most of the world, a total surprise. A total surprise to see that form
of rebellion against Putin's regime, which certainly has been weakened by this war, but not to that point. A total surprise to see how easily one can
cross the border and get into (INAUDIBLE) and then into cities close to Moscow.
Surprised to see that this rebellion ends as it has -- as soon as it has started, as it quickly as it has started without a direct repression, which
is totally unordinary for the Russian tradition. It's very bizarre. Even that Prigozhin can trust Putin when he ensures him that he will have
security guarantees, that has never existed in Russian history, when you are either a rebel or even a war prisoner it's never given. So, what is
happening? It's really happening in Russia today.
And then, how can you trust Lukashenko to ensure the security guarantees when Lukashenko has a very hard time to protect its own very relative, its
own independents towards the Russian requests that are more and more coming to him, including this latest with the nuclear warheads that are on his
So, all of that does not look at all like traditional Russia. And I think that we are in this new phase of what has happened since the beginning of
the war that Russia has waged against Ukraine where Russia really has seen all its gameplans defeated one after the other. That is not yet the final
military defeat, but everything that Putin has tried to do has not worked or has provoked a totally unexpected reaction.
ZOURABICHVILI: United Europe, united NATO, stronger NATO. E.U., that is again talking about enlargement that looked like a subject that nobody
wanted to come back to. So, all the -- for Putin -- negative results from this different -- no success in mobilization.
Russian army and, of course, the Wagner Prigozhin last act of the year is adding to it.
ZOURABICHVILI: Russian army that is completely humiliated. The generals, I can imagine, this Russian traditional army that, since the Second World
War, was considered as one of the major armies in the world and in Europe, certainly, now have to count in the Donetsk -- on Prigozhin.
AMANPOUR: OK. Madam President, let me just interrupt you there, because that is a really interesting and valuable analysis. So, if all of this is
the case, do you, in Georgia, feel less threatened or more threatened? As we know, and we've been watching, so many, like tens if not hundreds of
thousands of antiwar Russians have been fleeing to Georgia and through Georgia. But you had your own invasion in 2008, and you still, I think, are
concerned about Putin's intentions. How do you feel today about that?
ZOURABICHVILI: Of course, I mean, one cannot not to be concerned, especially when regime is entering an end period, and clearly, Putin is not
mastering everything today. And certainly, not mastering the war in Ukraine. You can always be concerned about what can be the erratic
decisions that can be taken.
In our case, at this stage, I do not think that there is military stress. First of all, because we have a military occupation that is ongoing since
2008, and earlier under a different form since 1991. So, two regions are occupied with military bases of Russia. So, to say that we are fearing with
a military occupation would be much.
But I think that what is happening, and what could happen even more, is that Russia is testing today the resolve and testing what I call a second
in front of soft power, which is propaganda, which is through these Russians that have come to Georgia, that I will repeat, need to be
controlled. We cannot just let what -- or amount of Russians come to the territory of Georgia without knowing who they are.
Vast majority, as you mentioned, are people that are fleeing today's Russia. So, not really pro Putin population. But when -- at the same time,
we know the threats that are used by Russia saying that Russian-speaking people, if they are not protected correctly, that can be a subject and a
reason for support and intervention by Russia.
So, all of that is this very gray zone that can be used by the Russia.
ZOURABICHVILI: Which, again, I don't think -- the resources or the wish test another front to get towards the west in Georgia.
ZOURABICHVILI: But it can be testing a soft power policy propaganda, which after all is the usual instrument of Russia for so many years.
AMANPOUR: Madam President, part of this started for your country when, just like Ukraine, President Bush agreed to invite them to start the NATO
process. What do you think is the realistic future for your country to keep yourself secure and independent? Do you think you have any chance of
getting into NATO or the E.U., as we speak right now?
ZOURABICHVILI: I think that we have great chances to get into the E.U. And we know that the roads to the E.U. and NATO are very parallel, and Georgia
has been very active in its relations with NATO, was part of NATO missions very actively in Iraq and Afghanistan. Has had NATO exercises all over
these years, despite the fact that we had occupied territories. So, our connection to NATO is very close.
But today, probably, the E.U. pass seems closer because Ukraine has, in fact, accelerated for the sweet trio associates and for others, probably,
the Balkans, has accelerated the task towards European integration.
In terms of NATO, it's probably more the center will be -- especially at the next summit, it will be Ukraine, we all know that, and it will be
security guarantees for Ukraine. Of what type, I don't know. And that's normal. That is what the Ukraine deserves today. So, there is no -- there -
- any form of competition in any way. Any advancement of Ukraine will in the end benefits Georgia.
But E.U. is a very -- at a turning point. Georgia needs to get candidate status at the end of the year. We have been given the perspective which,
for Georgia, was very important because that meant that geography is no longer an argument to be opposed to Georgia, which it was for many years.
The next stage is to get the candidate status. And in this soft war that we have with Russia, of soft policies, soft power, I think the E.U. cannot
afford any strategic decision to lose Georgia, to have the Georgian population disappointed again and to give, in that sense, an easy place to
play to -- for Russia. So, it is a strategic decision that has, of course, to take into account the democratic reforms and process which maybe, in the
latest stage, are not as satisfactory as they should be.
AMANPOUR: All right.
ZOURABICHVILI: But those conditions can remain, can be added. There are a lot of possibilities with which the E.U. can find the right wording and
format. But still --
ZOURABICHVILI: -- with the right strategic decision.
AMANPOUR: All right, Madam President, thank you very much for that. Really interesting. President Zourabichvili from Tbilisi, Georgia. Thank you so
Now, we turn to some music history, legendary singer Graham Nash has return to the studio. Once part of the Woodstock era supergroup, Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young, he helped define a generation with hits like "Our House."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our house is a very, very, very fine house. With two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard. Now everything is easy because
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, is his first album in seven years. And Walter Isaacson reflects on an outstanding career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Graham Nash, welcome to the show.
GRAHAM NASH, MUSICIAN: You are very welcome. How are you doing today?
ISAACSON: Fine, thanks. I was listening to your new album, "Now," last night, and you said it is your most personal album. Why is it so personal?
NASH: I'm wearing my heart on both sleeves. I started the album with the sentence that, I used to think that I would never love again. And when I
really realize that I was coming to the end of my life, and that indeed, I might not ever love again, and then I met Amy Grantham.
Amy Grantham is a wonderful woman. We have been together for nine years. We've been married for four years, and I love her dearly. And I wish I
would have met her many years ago.
ISAACSON: Well, you've done a lot of love songs in your career. It's great to have this one be a love song. It's also political though, because you've
done politics throughout your career. There's a real political edge to this album. Describe why you did that.
NASH: When I see something that I have to speak about, I have to intensify my research and make sure that every single word that I say is what I mean.
There are two very political songs on this record. One of them is "Golden Idols," which is a song I wrote when I saw an Instagram image of Donald
Trump in solid gold.
NASH: And I realized that there are many golden idols in this country. Now, speaker of the house, the new speaker, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell,
people like Ted Cruz, there are many golden idols in this country that need to be addressed.
ISAACSON: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, more than 50 years ago, it became the soundtrack of politics in the United States, of the protest movement in
the United States.
ISAACSON: Tell me how things have changed in those 50 years in the politics and protests.
NASH: We thought that Richard Nixon was crazy, but Donald Trump is way crazier than Richard Nixon would ever be. I have seen the rise of the
right-wing in this country and the extremists. I have seen the rise of autocrats throughout the world, which is very disturbing. In a way, when I
study history and I realize that empires are created and empires fall, and maybe, just maybe the American empire is spiraling downwards and it's very
ISAACSON: Your relationship with Joni Mitchell was tumultuous, it was pretty epic, it was the stuff of song, in fact, "Our House," as the song, I
think, you wrote about it. I was just watching her, just recently, and a few days ago at the Gorge in this comeback concert. Tell me about your
relationship with her and did you watch that concert and what are you thinking?
NASH: I did watch the concert. I am very pleased that Joni is still alive. I have been her friend since we parted as a couple. For all these years, I
have sent flowers on her birthday every single year since we parted.
I saw the show, we nearly lost her. I mean, she was in a coma for three days on her kitchen floor before anybody found her. I am glad that she's
alive, and I am so glad that she is now making music. The last time I saw Joan, which was at the Gershwin Prize that she received recently in
Washington D.C., and I asked her. I said, Joan, anything coming? Any ideas for new songs? Any ideas for a new painting? And she looked at me and she
said, no, not yet. And I loved not yet, because I know that she has been thinking about what happened to her, she has been thinking about her music,
and I think that at the end of the Gershwin Prize Award show, I think that Joni really realized how much she was loved worldwide.
For many years, I -- Joan did not think that she was appreciated enough. She didn't think that a lot of people understood what she was doing. But at
the end of that concert, I think she really understood how much she is loved.
ISAACSON: Do you think you might ever play with her again?
NASH: I'll never say no.
ISAACSON: Yes. You wrote in your autobiography that she was the whole package. She had an elusive quality that seemed to lit from within. Tell me
how that relationship started. It was like more than 50 years ago, right?
NASH: Yes. 1967, actually. The Hollies were playing a show in Ottawa, in Canada. And after the show, there was a small party thrown by the promoter.
So, we're all standing there with a plastic glass of cheap waiting for the promoter to come, you know, after the show.
And our manager, Robin Britten, kept talking in my ear and I said, Robin, please stop talking to me. I'm looking at this beautiful woman across the
hall. He said, well, if you'd only listen, that's Joni Mitchell, and she wants to meet you. And she said, her friend, David Crosby, said that if I
ever was around the same time, that we should talk.
And so, I went over to Joni. She had on a pale blue silk dress and she had what I thought was a bible in her lap, but it was actually a music box. And
it had one note that was not right. It had gone wrong in the 50 or 60 years that it existed. And so, we were laughing about it. And we became good
friends. And she invited me to a hotel room. We were staying in the same hotel, in the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, and she played me probably 18 of
the most beautiful songs I had ever heard in my life. And I knew that she was the full package.
Not only was she a great songwriter, not only was she an interesting musician, and not only was she an interesting painter, but she was the most
beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life at that time. And I've always been friends with Joni and I will until the day I die.
ISAACSON: You mentioned David Crosby, of course, your former bandmate. Your relationship with him has been -- had been rather tumultuous. He died, you
know, within the past year. Tell me about your relationship with him and did you ever reconcile and what thoughts do you have on him?
NASH: Crosby was my best friend for over 50 years. We had a certain relationship that was very much like, you know, Laurel and Hardy in a way.
We liked each other. We loved each other's music. We could harmonize together. I met David through Cass Elliot, who was the singer from The
Mamas and the Papas. She introduced me to Crosby and he introduced me to Stephen.
And when David and Stephen and I first sang together in Joni's living room, she was the only witness to the birth of the vocal sound of Crosby, Stills
and Nash. That sound that we created was born in 45 seconds. We did not have to rehearse for months. I was visiting Joan. I had come from England.
When I got to the driveway of Joan's house, there were other people there and that kind of upset me. I just wanted to spend time with Joni. But it
was David and Stephen, and they were having dinner with Joan.
So, I went in. And at the end of dinner, Crosby said to Stephen, hey, play, "Willie" that song that we were just singing. So, obviously, David had been
thrown out of The Birds. Obviously, the Buffalos Winfield (ph) had broken up and David and Stephen wanting to get together and create kind of a
Everly Brothers duo kind of thing. And they had this song that they worked out called, "You Don't Have to Cry," which is the song of the first Crosby,
Stills and Nash record.
They sang it, they got to the end, I said, Stephen, that's an unbelievably beautiful song. Do me a favor, sing it again. They looked at each other,
they shrugged, they sang it again. When they got to the end of it, I said, all right, I'm a harmony singer and I'm pretty good at what I do. I had
learned the words, I had watched the body language of David, I was watching how Stephen started a phrase and how he finished a phrase, and I said,
look, do me a favor, sing it for the third time.
I added my harmony, and in 45 seconds, we had to stop and laugh because even though The Birds and the Springfield, and the Hollies were very decent
harmony bands, we had never heard anything like this. When David and Stephen and I sang around one microphone, it was a sound that change our
I realized I would have to go back to England, I would have to leave the Hollies and leave all of my equipment, and just come to America and follow
that sound. I'm a musician and I am not crazy. When I heard that sound that we created, I knew that my life had changed.
ISAACSON: That song, that song you sang together, the three of you in front of the microphone, can you sing a few bars? Can you remind us of that song?
NASH: Sure. In the morning, when you rise, do you think of me and how you left me crying? And that's the first verse.
ISAACSON: What memories of David Crosby, you say we were really close to him for 50 years, you have your falling out. Did you reconcile? Are there
any memories that you shared near the end?
NASH: Yes. About eight days before David passed away, he sent me an e-mail and he said, I want to talk to you. I know that I haven't not spoken to you
in two years, but we need to talk. I need to apologize. And so, I set up a time to use Facetime, where we could see each other, and I set it up for
2:00 my time in New York, which would've been 11:00 a.m. in California. And I waited, and I waited for the call, and the call never came.
But we were talking towards the end there. And I realized that he had to apologize for shooting his mouth off, particularly about Neil and his wife,
Daryl Hannah, and me, and I'm incredibly grateful that he wanted to straighten things out between us, because we had been friends for so long
and we had been through many, many things together.
But David Crosby was an incredible musician. He tuned his guitar in many, many different ways. He was jazz influenced. He was Everly Brothers
influenced. David Crosby was a great musician. And I will miss him, and I will think about him every day for the rest of my life.
ISAACSON: What's your favorite song from all your years?
NASH: That's an interesting question. Probably "Teach Your Children" or "Our House." I think that they will last longer than -- and certainly than
I will. I mean, at 81, I realized I'm coming to the end of my life, but I will be kicking and screaming as they put me in my coffin. I want to be
making music every single day for the rest of my life.
ISAACSON: "Teach Your Children," I mean, an awesome song.
ISAACSON: It's both personal and it is political. And you've had some rocky relationship with your children too, I think. How was that informed and how
does that resonate with a song like "Teach Your Children"? And I think you have one similar, if I'm right, called, "A Better Life" that's on the new
NASH: We have to make this world a better place than we left it. I love Willie Nelson's quote, when he says, if you want to change the world, sort
out your immediate surroundings. Pick up a piece of litter, pat a child on the head, encourage him to learn. We can leave this place a better place
for our children. And in "Teach Your Children," we have a lot to learn from our kids and they have a lot to learn from us.
And "Better Life" is, in a way, an extension of that thought process. I wrote "Better Life" with my friend, George Merrill, wrote the number one
hits for Whitney Houston, and we made a really fine record of our song.
ISAACSON: Can you leave us with just a few -- singing a few bars of "A Better Life"?
NASH: Sure. Let's make it a better life, and leave it for the kids. It's a lovely place. A welcome home to the human race. Let's make it a better
life, one we can be proud of, so at the end of the day, I hope we hear them say that we left them a better life.
ISAACSON: Graham Nash, thank you so much for joining us.
NASH: You're very, very welcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And on that musical end -- on that musical note, we end our program.
Remember, if you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. And you can always catch us online,
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.