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Interview With Professor of Russian History Robert Service; Interview With Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad; Interview With Blowback Author Miles Taylor; Former Homeland Chief Of Staff Miles Taylor Says About Trump Wanting To Use The Nation's Counterterrorism Apparatus Against Unarmed Innocent Migrants; Viewing Figures For The World Cup On Women's Is Sky High And More Teams Than Ever Are Competing. 1-2p ET
Aired July 26, 2023 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN NEWSROOM: Hello, everyone, and welcome to Amanpour. Here's what's coming up.
The not so hidden threat of Russia's mercenary army, even Vladimir Putin couldn't see the danger. I'm joined by Oxford and Stanford Historian Robert
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADIA MURAD, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE: I'm still processing. And it's not something that can just go away when the war is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- why rape is still used as a weapon of war and how it can be stopped, my conversation with Nadia Murad, a survivor of the ISIS genocide
against the Yazidi people, now a Nobel Prize-winning campaigner against sexual violence.
Also ahead --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILES TAYLOR, AUTHOR, BLOWBACK: The general response from ex-Trump officials was a second term will not be as bad as you think. It will be so
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- former top Homeland Security staffer Miles Taylor warns Michel Martin about the potential dangers of a second Trump term.
And, finally, huge attendance and ever more teams to cheer for, but challenges still face the Women's World Cup. We discuss with former players
Brandi Chastain and Lianne Sanderson.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London, where the British government is facing major criticism for overlooking the threat
of Wagner, the Russian mercenary network. A parliamentary committee says the U.K.'s, quote, dismal lack of understanding about the group's work in
Africa allowed it to flourish. But according to The Washington Post, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin himself, was so stunned by Wagner's march
on Moscow last month that he froze with indecision for almost a day. The Kremlin spokesman strongly denies that.
But it's a revelation that draws a sharp contrast with the image of strong macho leadership that Putin has always projected to the world. The war he
launched on Ukraine has dented that image somewhat, and the Ukrainian counteroffensive is now making small but significant gains on the
My first guest tonight believes that Putin has brought all this damage upon himself. Robert Service is a historian and fellow at the Hoover Institution
at Stanford. His latest book on Russia, Blood on the Snow, will be published in the fall and he's joining me now from California. Welcome to
the program, Professor Service.
So, as we keep the microscope on the fallout from this failed coup, do you think that Putin is strengthened or weakened? Because on the surface of it,
Prigozhin is exiled to Belarus, Wagner has been moved or integrated into the military, Prigozhin's enemies in the military are still running the
show and Putin is still firmly installed in the Kremlin.
ROBERT SERVICE, PROFESSOR OF RUSSIAN HISTORY: You I think he is successful at the moment in restoring the group around him and subordinate to him, but
I think that those team members have been really, really shaken in their confidence that the man who seemed like their dictator behaved so
incompetently over the Prigozhin affair.
AMANPOUR: When you say incompetently, so do you believe then what Ukrainian and American intelligence are saying that actually Putin was so stunned,
that he basically went silent for a long time, some 36 hours, didn't give any orders? Kremlin strongly denies it. But you must have been doing some
looking into that yourself. What do you think happened in those hours?
SERVICE: I think that Prigozhin, who was really Putin's puppet, he was Putin's creation, his creature, Putin was taken aback, was astonished that
the puppet could turn out to be the puppeteer.
And we have to remember that Prigozhin didn't just revolt, he actually said that things were wrong in the governance of Russia. So, he broke the code
of the Putin team. He said to the world and to Russia, in particular, things are really going badly wrong in the Kremlin. He didn't mention Putin
by name, but he did lead an armed unit, from Rostov in the south of Russia, up towards Moscow before he decided to surrender.
So, this was a really big -- this was like one of the 18th century peasant revolts, except that the peasants who revolted always said that they were
against the current leader. Prigozhin took a step back from that. And he must have had an inkling that there were elements in the Russian military
who were on his side. He wouldn't have done this without that.
AMANPOUR: And, actually, some of those people, like General Surovikin, et cetera, they have not been seen since and there are others also who've sort
of been disappeared, if you like.
But, again, the elite that are around Putin, who depend on Putin in the structure that he's created for their survival and for the survival of
Russia, I suppose, or their view of Russia, do they feel more confident because Putin stared down Prigozhin, or less confident?
SERVICE: Well, the problem is that Pragojin fulfilled a very useful function. He had an armed unit that could be deniable by Putin as belonging
to the Russian state so that Prigozhin could do things around the world as if he was a private mercenary army. But he wasn't. He was being supplied
with equipment and finance by the Kremlin itself. So, it's going to be difficult for Putin to unscramble all of this.
And the fact that he took so long hours to make any kind of reaction to the Prigozhin event indicates what a tangle Putin's got himself into.
AMANPOUR: Can I just go to the Ukraine conflict at the moment, the war that Putin started, obviously thinking that he was going to have a slam dunk in
a very short period of time, and that hasn't turned out to be the case, and that's had repercussions all over the place, not least in Russia.
But Prigozhin has challenged Putin's rationale, has used the word war instead of whatever the Kremlin says. And not only that, he actually
reminded publicly that President Zelenskyy was elected not to challenge Putin, but to actually try to bring the war to an end, try to make better
relations between Ukraine and Russia.
What is that -- those reminders? What are they going to say to the Russian people or the Russian elite?
SERVICE: They have a problem. Their only strategy can be to sort of last out hope for the arrival in power of an American president who is less
hostile to Russian pretensions, and, obviously, they have Donald Trump in mind. They haven't lost all of their resources. They have a huge
population. They have an economy that's creaking but is surviving the war and they have a population that is largely, if not on Putin's side, at
least not against him. So, there are a lot of pluses that the Russians still have. There are a lot of reasons why Putin can hang out there.
And you're right, that Zelenskyy originally was elected on a ballot paper that said, I will try to deal with the Russians and find a peaceful
solution. What Putin did, though, last year was unite the Ukrainian nation behind him where it hadn't been completely united before and turn Zelenskyy
firmly against him.
AMANPOUR: And, again, you have written certainly in your latest big article in the Financial Times that part of all of this, well, your thesis is that
Putin has brought all this on his own head.
How does the relationship with China strengthen or weaken him and Russia in the end? Because at the moment, it looks like it it's a good deal for him,
he has a major superpower on his side and that he can circumvent a lot of the pain that's coming from NATO and the west.
SERVICE: I think this really -- that's a really important question you asked there. This really goes to the heart of the matter.
Years ago, Putin decided that his best geopolitical bet would be to snub the USA and cozy up to China and that way to do down the USA, instead of
which he could have easily played off China and the USA against each other and sought favors from them because they wanted his favor.
China has shown no serious interest in helping Russia in the way that Russia needs at the moment. I mean, just look at that Silk Road that is
being built all across old Soviet Central Asia. The Chinese are moving into what Russia thinks of as its own sphere of influence in a big way and
there's nothing that Russia can do about it. It's getting cheaper oil and gas from Russia than at the world market price. Russia is paying a huge
financial and geopolitical price for this Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
AMANPOUR: It's so interesting you say that because Putin has always said that it's NATO that's encroaching on what it believes to be its sphere of
influence, but you're laying out why it's not and, in fact, it's China.
To that point, I want to ask you also something that you brought up, which you remember and everybody does, that in 2005, when he came into power
shortly after, he famously said, above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the
century. And, of course, in his telling it was Gorbachev and the reform --
SERVICE: This is visceral feeling that he always had.
AMANPOUR: Yes, but I just want to ask you --
SERVICE: Even as a young man in Leningrad in the early 1990s, he's on the record as having said it's a disgrace, it's a scandal, it's intolerable
that Russian speakers in the countries, the new independent countries of the ex-USSR, are not being treated fairly enough.
So, he's always had this imperialist itch and it's not something that has come up as a result of NATO's actions. It was there back in 1990, 1991,
1992. This is something really basic to him. And he reads history books without any kind of attempt to avoid bias, so that although he's trying to
be a learned student of the Russian past, he's really a gamma minus, not an alpha plus.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you this then, because in his telling, in his history, Gorbachev was solely to blame. So, he basically says the reform,
the desire to go towards more liberalization is the result that he hated. But you write, in fact, that the coup attempt by the military and the KGB
against Gorbachev at the time, that was the key factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union. So, Putin has read it wrong.
SERVICE: This Gorbachev liberalized, democratized, but he didn't really have a plan for the economy. So, he became hugely unpopular and he brought
upon himself a coup that didn't succeed, which would have restored the old agencies of Soviet statehood and kept the whole country together.
The coup that we've just seen in the last few weeks by Prigozhin is nothing like that. It's more a revolt by a single commander who had a number of
grievances against the Russian army itself.
So, it's a quite different mood and atmosphere and a quite different set of purposes. And if it had succeeded, it would have brought to power a group
who wanted to do even more dreadful things in the way of raising the bar of oppression and persecution in Russia.
AMANPOUR: Professor Service, thank you so much. Thank you so much, indeed, for your valuable perspective there. Thank you.
And my next guest says that though warfare today looks completely different from what it was 50 to 100 years ago, one thing that remains the same is
the use of sexual violence in conflict, including, of course, by Russian forces in Ukraine.
Yazidi activist Nadia Murad won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for her work as a witness to the horrors of sexual violence as a weapon of war. A
survivor of the ISIS genocide against the Yazidi people in Syria and Iraq nine years ago, Murad is now an advocate for refugees and victims of sexual
violence in conflict around the world, something that's rising as war breaks out in ever more places.
We discuss this ongoing gender-based crisis, her meeting with the Ukrainian first lady and what can be done to hold the perpetrators accountable.
AMANPOUR: Nadia Murad, welcome to the program.
MURAD: Thank you so much for having me.
AMANPOUR: So, as we have an ongoing war, which we've just talked about, in Ukraine, one of the terrible things, as you know, and as everybody knows,
is the ongoing use of sexual violence and rape against civilians, and even the U.N. is saying that Russia is using that as part of its military
What did you discuss with First Lady Olena Zelenskyy? How can you help the Ukrainian women and girls who are so affected?
MURAD: You know, women have been victims of wars waged by men since the beginning of time. This is not new to Ukraine. If we look back at the
history, we can see in conflicts in Africa, in the Middle East and even here in Europe that women have been used as weapon of war in conflict.
I discussed what we should do right now for survivors with the first lady of Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: As I said, Zelenskyy. It's Zelenska.
MURAD: Zelenska, yes. She invited me, and it's been two months, and I'm still processing what I saw the Ukrainian people, what they have done for
their land, their country, their people, but most importantly, my conversation with survivors who have endured the worst violence in this
war. Sometimes we talk and we hear a lot about the war in Ukraine, and especially on the military level. But what I saw was different. It's women,
thousands of women have been sexually abused and they need support right now.
AMANPOUR: What do they say they need? How do they describe what they went through and what they're going through now, even though the actual abuse
has stopped? How are they processing living?
MURAD: Most of them are still not. They don't feel ready to share their stories but they are going through a lot. They're traumatized. And one of
them said she knows 50 other women who are somewhere and being sexually abused. They were worried about their friends, their relatives who have
been through that, but they don't want to share their stories because, as you know, sexual violence comes with a lot of shame and stigma and have
been there before in Iraq and what happened to thousands of women and girls there.
AMANPOUR: So, I was going to ask you because you are a survivor of that kind of brutal attack, right? I mean, you are a survivor of sexual violence
during the ISIS campaign against your Yazidi people. How did you -- I know you've written a lot about it, but in the context of this war happening
now, nine to ten years is later, did you find that they were dealing with the same things you were dealing with? How long did it take you to process
or are you still processing?
MURAD: I'm still processing. And it's not something that can just go away when the war is over because it impacts your health on physical and
And when I started with other Yazidi survivors telling our story, there was no language that I could follow about the use of sexual violence as a
weapon of war. And I knew no other survivors from other communities that have been through the same.
So, I wanted to share my story with the Ukrainian survivors to tell them that someone else had been there before them and that this is not their
fault and that they deserve justice and they deserve support for operations. So, they knew a little bit about the use of sexual violence,
but not that much.
So, I'm hoping that we can do better for them because the international community did nothing about the use of sexual violence by ISIS. It was only
seen as a side effect until survivors shared their story.
AMANPOUR: So, that's very interesting because, obviously, in the 90s the International Criminal Tribunal did make sexual violence a war crime and
they did prosecute those who were responsible for that in the illegal war in Bosnia and also the genocide of Rwanda, and yet no accountability has
come to the ISIS perpetrators, right? Is that because they can't be found? Is that because why not?
MURAD: Actually there has been three cases in Germany, only in Germany, but we have thousands of evidence, testimonies, the documentations, ISIS
themselves and the whole world watched when they publicly did everything. And today, as we speak nine years later, we still have close to 3,000 women
and children missing in captivity. Survivors are, you know, sharing their stories.
And what is missing? It's the political will. It's not about that we don't have enough evidence. It's not about that survivors don't want to share
their stories. We just need -- you know, and Germany had made it clear that it is possible.
AMANPOUR: So, as you say, that these nearly -- I think you said nearly 3,000 who are missing. You also, though, on the positive side, have been
able to save, rescue and bring home a number of these women. Tell me about that. How many, how did you manage it, where did you take them from?
MURAD: You know, this number is huge. Some of them were children when they were taken into captivity. Now, there are adults in captivity. We don't
have a lot of information about you know where they are. We know that they're in Syria, in some parts of Turkey and even in Iraq.
This needs an international, you know, support because we're -- you know, I'm one person, and now this initiative, our team on the ground is
collecting evidence working with the families but it's really difficult to do it alone when our own government has done nothing.
AMANPOUR: When you say your own government, you mean --
MURAD: Iraqi government they have done nothing to rescue a single person from, you know, captivity. And the international community, when the
coalition against ISIS was established, the rescuing of women and children was not a part of it. So, as soon as ISIS was defeated, everyone had moved
on and the people are still missing in captivity.
So, we try with the families. You know, families sometimes they have some information where they are and we try to you work with the families, with
the community and bring them back.
AMANPOUR: As this ninth year anniversary, which is not a good way to call it, but the ninth year since this genocide, you're also noticing that there
have been no graveyards, no sites, no memorials, and you're trying to adjust that, aren't you, you're trying to make up for that. What are you
trying to build and for what purpose?
MURAD: I want to build something that, you know, generations from now will remember what ISIS did to a community like mine, because that's not very
unique to the Yazidi community. Minorities have been marginalized for generations in that region.
I think my mother and my six brothers, my friends, neighbors and relatives all deserve to be remembered for what they've sacrificed. And,
unfortunately, nothing has been done for the community to come together for a date like this, to just come together and remember those we've lost.
And I hope that we can build something, we can build our community and it can be an example that we can use in Ukraine and other post-conflict zones
to make sure that we remember those who have sacrificed their lives and, you know, the region and send a clear message to ISIS and other groups that
impunity is not an option and their crimes and violence will always be there and generations of people will see it.
AMANPOUR: You've been to Germany. You say, you know, the only cases that have been prosecuted are in Germany. You know probably now in Europe a lot
of ISIS is being prosecuted are in Germany, you know, probably now in Europe. A lot of anti-immigration, right wing sentiment is just boiling
against refugees, even though there's not a massive refugee crisis in our countries. What do you make of that? How do you interpret or understand
what's happening in Europe when it comes to trying to protect these people who are under such threat?
MURAD: We know that now the number of refugees of this placed people have surpassed 100 million people --
AMANPOUR: Around the world.
MURAD: Around the world.
AMANPOUR: Yes, it's the worst crisis in one crisis in human history.
MURAD: And the number is growing. And we can just look at what some countries, their policies, there are walls being built, their governments
are just against. And we know that the future of refugees, these 100 million people, is not brought, and so many people are against refugees
But at the same time, we can't keep people in this place comes forever. We have to work together to make sure that we help the most vulnerable ones.
And we also work together to rebuild post-conflict societies. So, if people cannot make it here to the U.K., we can help them to go back home.
And this is what we've been doing in Sinjar, Iraq. We know that no country is ready to bring all the Yazidis. So, since there is no war, why not
working together to make sure that people go back to their homes and rebuild their lives?
AMANPOUR: As you say, this is something that's happened in Europe. It's happening now in Europe. It happened in the Middle East, in your region.
It's happened in Africa and many, many other parts of the world. So, Sudan right now is in the midst of a terrible crisis. I'm going to read some of
the statistics because they really are quite shocking.
In Sudan, officials are warning about a spike in this kind of violence against women and girls. Apparently, before the latest round of civil war
broke out in April, more than 3 million Sudanese women and girls were at risk of violence against them. This now has climbed to 4.2. In other words,
another million more are at risk, according to the U.N.
And this is what Martin Griffiths, who's the leader of the Emergency Relief Coordination, he says, it's unconscionable that Sudan's women and children
whose lives have been upended by this senseless conflict are being further traumatized in this way. What we are witnessing in Sudan is not just a
humanitarian crisis, it's a crisis of humanity.
Can you explain for people who might not understand why it is war that really makes this such a worse problem for women? What is it about war and
the actions that happen in war that increase this violence against women?
MURAD: I just want to say that those numbers represent real people like me. They're not just numbers. There are real people behind these numbers. And I
think it's because of how we treat women before war. I mean, I can talk about Iraq. There are no laws. There were no laws to protect women or
women's rights. And the way we treat women in times of peace gives us a very clear answer on how women will be treated during the time of war.
And we need to combat the gender bias and stereotypes in our families, societies and school, and it always goes down to education and equality.
AMANPOUR: Well, you are really waving that flag for equality and awareness. So, Nadia Murad, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
MURAD: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Now, our next guest once blew the whistle anonymously on former President Donald Trump conduct in office. Now, Miles Taylor, former head of
Homeland Security, is publicly warning about what he sees as even greater dangers if there was a second Trump term.
His new book, Blowback, is the product of almost 100 conversations with former Trump staffers, and he also reflects now with Michel Martin on his
own time in that administration.
MICHEL MARTIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Christiane. Miles Taylor, thank you so much for joining us.
TAYLOR: Thanks for having me, Michel.
MARTIN: I think people who kind of follow politics, even a little, know that there are a lot of Trump retrospectives out there. There are a lot of
books by former Trump officials or people who are kind of Trump adjacent, kind of giving their take on the administration. This book is different.
TAYLOR: Well, I kind of got sick of reading all of those retrospectives, as I'm sure others did. There's been a lot of self-congratulatory memoirs of
the Trump years about how brave and bold people think they were during that time period.
But what they were not giving us was a lucid projection of what could happen if we made this mistake. Again, if we put Donald Trump or another
hyper populist in the White House, and to me, that's the utility of history.
The utility of history is to tell us about what could happen next and to teach us lessons. And those Trump memoirs really didn't give us that. So my
goal was to try to paint a picture of Trump 2.0 and a second term and not just in my voice, but to go talk to dozens and dozens of cabinet
secretaries and senior officials all the way down to the staff assistants that sat outside the Oval Office during the Trump administration to ask
them one simple question, what would happen in a second go-around? And to convey that message to the American people?
MICHEL MARTIN, JOURNALIST: How did they respond to that query? I'm just wondering what it was like when you first approached people to ask them
TAYLOR: Yes. If I could boil it down into a sentence, I would say that the general response from ex-Trump officials was a second term will not be as
bad as you think. It will be so much worse.
And that ended up being the prompt that led to a lot of really shocking conversations to me. I'll confess, Michel, to sort of arrogantly thinking I
knew how bad another term could be, because I had witnessed the policies that were thwarted in the first term. Some of the really ugly things,
illegal things that the president wanted to do that were thought.
And so based on that, I thought I knew, you know, pretty clearly what they would want to do in a second term. But after probably close to 100
conversations with ex-Trump officials, it was a much more grim portrait than I had expected.
Because quite frankly, I didn't realize in how many other departments and agencies, there had been this corpus of very ugly rejected policies that we
would expect to make a return if Trump himself does return.
MARTIN: Let's go through a couple of those departments. And let's start with the place that you -- where you served, which is the Department of
Homeland Security. Give us a sense of what you and your reporting -- frankly, your reporting with other officials described what might be the
TAYLOR: Well, first, I want to start on immigration. You know, I've never been an immigration policy expert. And most of my time in the
administration was working on counterterrorism and intelligence. But I, of course, was exposed to Trump's immigration fixation, because it's all he
ever wanted to talk to the department about.
And there were a lot of descriptions about Trump wanting to use the nation's counterterrorism apparatus against unarmed innocent migrants. And
that's really concerning to me. But Trump had learned in the first term that post-911, we got really, really good at counterterrorism.
What do I mean by that? Watch listing bad guys, going after them with lethal force and tracking them. And he wanted to use those tools against
migrants. And so I had, you know, people telling me about how in a second term, Trump would designate migrant groups as foreign terrorist
organizations. He would deploy the military and give them authorization to use lethal force, really shocking things that again, I have to be clear,
are not legal for a president of the United States to do.
But even beyond the border, a number of officials who were there till the end of the administration, long after I had left, said that Trump had an
interest in deploying DHS counterterrorism forces into U.S. cities, especially democratic cities to exert control. We saw a sample of that in
Portland, during the riots in Portland.
But I had one official tell me in a second term, Donald Trump would deploy DHS forces to the polls during the election to try to intimidate voters. In
other words, to scare Democratic voters away from the polls. And we've seen a sample of that with so-called poll watchers in places like Arizona
showing up with weapons.
MARTIN: You describe in the book meetings, where he expressed admiration, you know, for dictators. You described meetings, where he described tactics
that he wishes he could employ like creating a demilitarized zone such as exists between North Korea and South Korea, where he describes people
literally shooting people coming across or trying to cross the demilitarized zone.
Are you, Mr. Taylor, you have confidence that the people sitting in these meetings actually heard him say that?
TAYLOR: Well, I actually heard him say that. I mean, I -- you know, I took notes and documented Trump actually saying to us, he wanted the border to
be just like the DMZ in Korea. In fact, I think his exact quote to us was Kim Jong Un does it so much better. Why don't we do it like him? And his
reference was to tanks and barbed wire and landmines. And that's what he wanted the United States border to look like.
Now, make no mistake, the situation at the border is a mess, but it's not just a mess because it's unsecure. It's also a mess for the people who are
trying to seek a better life in the United States, because we have such a broken system, that even if they have a lawful right to be here, they don't
get an answer from America's courts until five, seven, or even 10 years later.
In the meantime, they have to live in limbo. That's just wrong. And Donald Trump wanted to make sure they lived in limbo forever, or worse, that
they'd be targeted.
But I also want to, you know, mention, Michel, what you said about dictators. This came up a lot during the administration when I was there,
and in my interviews after, which is we have these weekly national security phone calls. So think the national security adviser of the White House and
the top cabinet secretaries at the national security departments and agencies frequently on those phone calls.
We would be confounded by the president's public comments, praising America's adversaries, XI Jinping and China, Kim Jong Un and North Korea,
Vladimir Putin and Russia. His own people were sort of shocked that he had this deep, deep and abiding affinity for dictators, and quite frankly, an
aversion for our allies.
Anytime he went abroad to a NATO meeting, he was frustrated that he even had to go. He did not like meeting with America's Democratic allies. And
the reason was, because he didn't think they would do him favors.
MARTIN: Wow. All right. So I'm going to go right to the Department of Education. And the reason I'm going there is, is that -- is that I don't
think people really necessarily think about the ways that the education department could be weaponized, as you put it in the book. So would you
talk a little bit about that?
TAYLOR: I'll give you two anecdotes that really shocked me and one was on immigration is I was told by Trump's own Chief of Staff at the Department
of Education, Josh Venable, that there was a policy that they tried to implement -- that the White House tried to implement to force migrant
children out of public schools.
In other words, if their parents are here in the United States, and they were undocumented, to punish those families by kicking their kids out of
public school. Well, how could that possibly happen? You ask?
Well, Venable explained to me that all the Department of Education would do was say to public schools that they would no longer receive funding from
the Department of Education, if they were teaching undocumented immigrants.
And a lot of public schools don't have the ability to go without the federal funding that they need. So this would be a way to coerce them to
kick these innocent children out of school.
In fact, Venable said, the White House was so serious about this, he called it quote, the cockroach that wouldn't die. And that they resisted the
policy. But in his view and a second term, they would implement that policy.
And another one was on LGBTQ issues. You know, we've seen in Florida how Ron DeSantis and his administration implemented what's the -- what's been
referred to as the don't say gay law, forbidding teachers from talking about same sex couples, even if a student's parents are saying sex couple.
Department of Education officials explained to me that that policy would be federalized on a nationwide scale using the same tool, is that school
districts would be threatened that they won't get federal funds if they don't implement don't say gay policies.
That's something that a second Trump administration could do without consulting Congress at all. And it's a really chilling implementation of
the culture wars, in my view.
MARTIN: Let's go back to your kind of first life in the -- in the Trump administration. I mean, people who have followed you, you know, even a
little bit may remember that you kind of outed yourself, as anonymous, you wrote a piece for The New York Times where you talked about the fact that
there were other civil servants who were trying to keep the president in their view, sort of from acting on his worst impulses, and in many ways,
sort of -- sort of violating the law.
Why wasn't that enough? Because it clearly wasn't.
TAYLOR: It wasn't enough. And this will sound ironic coming from me, Michel, but I learned through long, hard experience that anonymity, not
only was unhelpful, but in a sense, is a danger to democracy.
Let me explain what I mean by that. At first, it seemed to work, putting the message out anonymously, blowing the whistle anonymously drew attention
to the message instead of the messenger. And that was my big frustration with Trump is anytime someone leveled an allegation, he made it personal
and he found a way to distract attention.
And so by anonymously blowing the whistle, I wanted to deprive him of that opportunity. But even that ended up being something that Donald Trump
weaponized to say, see, I told you so. There's a deep state inside the government, and they're trying to launch a coup when in reality, all any of
us were trying to do was keep the president from doing things that were illegal and unconstitutional. But because that's fed his narrative, I felt
like it was important to come out in my own name, so I could detail in very specific fashion what my allegations were.
My big regret though, Michel, is that I didn't do it sooner because to my surprise, and to my delight, in fact, when I did come forward, a lot of my
peers came forward too. And I realized belatedly that what many of them needed was someone to step out there first.
And I wish I had given them air cover sooner. And I'd had more time to recruit more people to turn against Donald Trump, because Joe Biden just
barely beat Donald Trump and the ex-president has a very viable path back to the White House, if that's not done again.
MARTIN: And I do want to mention that you paid a heavy personal price for that. And I do recognize, as you say, in the book that you want your focus
to be on the policies and the future, and not you personally and the past. But even having said that, you paid a heavy price for that. And I -- do you
mind saying about what that was?
TAYLOR: What I wanted to show, folks is how bad the environments gotten. And as a consequence of speaking out against the former president, I did
lose my home and I was forced to flee my home, I did lose my job in the private sector. I did lose a very serious relationship that I was in at the
time. I had to spend my life savings on lawyers and protection costs.
And I ended up on election night 2020 in a safe house under armed guard with a pistol under my pillow. And grappling quite frankly, Michel, with
addiction issues. The pressure was so intense from the threats across the political spectrum, frankly, that I ended up doing something I never
thought I'd do is I took to coping by drinking and in excess to the point that it almost cost me my life.
And in a sense, I think that is a little bit of a warning. And a cautionary tale for our democracy is just like me ignoring my personal guardrails. As
the pressure got worse. If we ignore our democratic guardrails, we risk self-destruction.
But I also wanted to tell those personal stories because even if I was prepared for the vitriol, the public officials across this country who
stand up for the right thing, local poll workers, local leaders, election officials that stood up against efforts to overturn the election, many of
them and their families were not prepared, and it's something we need to be very aware of is political intimidation and violence right now in this
country are soaring.
MARTIN: There have been people who identify as progressive or has liberals -- or as liberals who have engaged in terrible conduct. But the reality of
it is, is that this kind of behavior is very much, much more on the right. And I just have to ask you, why do you think that is?
TAYLOR: The Republican Party that I joined, and I'm a lifelong conservative, was not like Donald Trump. It just wasn't. It was a very,
very different party. And as he took it over, the mistake many of us made was thinking that he was an aberration, and that his character defects, his
proclivity towards violent rhetoric, his misogynistic, and bigoted views would not imprint themselves on the movement.
But we were wrong about that. And you don't have to take my word for it. If you go look at the data and the cross tabs in the data, GOP voters changed
dramatically during the Trump years, and they became much more amenable to Donald Trump's worldview. And that includes violence as a legitimate tool
MARTIN: And now you also say, and we're actually -- we don't need you to rely on you for this reporting. We've already heard the former president
say, I am your retribution, in campaign speeches. We've already heard him say that he would use a second term to seek retribution.
And he's also telling his supporter base that I'm getting indicted, you know, for you. What -- would you just say more about that? Like, what does
that mean? And what does that foretell?
TAYLOR: Well, you know, while I was writing Blowback, some of the time, I was worried that readers would think it was hyperbolic, because what ex-
officials projected for the future was so grim, and so focused on the weaponization of the government.
I was concerned folks might not believe it. And then, of course, once the - - this book was finished and turned in and being published through to form Donald Trump's at the quiet part out loud, and he came out, and he's made
clear the theme of his campaign has been that a second term will be focused solely on revenge.
What this book does is provide a roadmap of that retribution. It goes below that tip of the iceberg, below the waterline to spell out exactly how in a
second Trump administration or the MAGA White House have a copycat, how they would go about that.
And I think people need to take that very, very seriously. So when he says to his supporters, I am your retribution. We actually need to hear that
Donald Trump wants them to give him a chance to exact revenge for his own partisan purposes. And that's not how taxpayers, regardless of their
political affiliation want their government to be run, as a revenge machine for one man.
MARTIN: And you offer some specific thoughts about how that is overcome. Give us some of your thoughts.
TAYLOR: Well, in the short term, I wish we had seen Congress pass more legislation to safeguard our institutions after Joe Biden became president.
Now because of polarization in Washington, some of those really good bills that were introduced had no chance of success, things that would fortify
inspector generals, things that would make it more difficult to install political henchmen into really important nonpartisan jobs in government.
So I'm afraid that window has passed. But what we still have the ability to do in the political draft that is arrest Donald Trump's rise in the
primaries. I don't literally mean arrest him. That is maybe something the Justice Department will end up doing, yet again, with another indictment,
but separately, to stop his rise in the primaries.
And I am encouraged to see some Republicans starting to speak up very vocally, Chris Christie, Will Hurd, Asa Hutchinson. It remains to be seen
whether their efforts to expose who Donald Trump really is will impact Republican voters.
But in the long run, I think all of this rests on everyday Americans. Because I say in the book, what we've figured out is that the price of
dissent in the United States has become very high. And surveys show that your average Americans, the moderate majority of Americans are self-
censoring their political views.
In other words, they're not speaking out against the MAGA movement or Trump because they're scared of being attacked in their communities by more
extreme people with more extreme political views. We've got to make it easier to dissent, easier for us to share our opinions and our concern.
And the only way to do that, the only way to lower the price of dissent is to increase the supply. We need more people coming forward, and we've all
experienced it. You don't want to upset the MAGA guy at the picnic. But if you engage in that conversation, you actually might change someone's mind.
And I think democracy depends on it.
MARTIN: Miles Taylor, thank you so much for talking with us.
TAYLOR: Thanks, Michelle.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And just a quick correction. I earlier said that Miles Taylor was actually the head of the Department of
Homeland Security. Of course he was its chief of staff.
Finally tonight, the Women's World Cup is heating up as the top teams battled their way through the group stages. Viewing figures for the
tournament so far is sky high and more teams than ever are competing.
So let's get the latest with the players who have been on the pitch for two of this year's favorite teams. The legendary American footballer and World
Cup winner, Brandi Chastain, joins me from San Jose, California. And with me here in our London studio for England is the former lioness, Lianne
Sanderson. Welcome both of you to the program.
You're here with me. Lianne, you also told me that you've played for American teams as well. I want to ask you both. Do you feel that the
Women's World Cup is getting, you know, all the exposure, all the glory that it deserves given the sky high, you know, viewing figures and the
tickets sold, Lianne?
LIANNE SANDERSON, FORMER WOMEN'S ENGLISH FOOTBALL PLAYER: I would say yes or no. I mean, I've lived in America for 12 years. And Brandi is obviously
iconic. They celebrate and she was from his national team, and those types of things.
But I think in America, when I first moved there, the players are embraced. They're like rock stars, you know, Alex Morgan's big thing is bigger than
the Statue of Liberty in New York. And that's exactly what we need, the exposure.
So I think in England, it can still continue to grow. And we can learn a lot from the way the Americans expose the players and the marketability.
And I think it's definitely getting better.
AMANPOUR: And, Brandi, you know, I think as Lianne has referred to, nobody's going to forget your, you know, last-minute penalty, winning shot
at the -- at the 1999 World Cup final and your celebration afterwards. I mean, you really stamped your personality and women's soccer on the world's
conscience, I think, consciousness.
Are you satisfied with the way this Women's World Cup is going so far? Do you think it's getting enough exposure?
BRANDI CHASTAIN, FORMER U.S. WOMEN'S FOOTBALL PLAYER: Well, I would say any competitor is never satisfied, Christiane, that's the nature of what we do.
We always are striving for better.
And I think women's football is at an all-time high, globally. The fact that we have 32 teams. I'll take the U.S. Women's National Team, for
example, we have 14 players that have never played in a World Cup before. To me that speaks volumes about growth.
But what we do know, and Lianne is experienced in our domestic league, the NWSL you know, we will be expanding to 14 teams. My team in the bay that
I'm wearing here will be joining in 2024. So we have growth happening.
We are not satisfied with the fact that the purse for the Women's World Cup is grossly under what the men's is. And what -- so we have a lot of ways to
But I believe since 1999, we have certainly made some inroads. What I do believe, however, is that women's football and the women who are in it is
the deepest riches well of talent that has been untapped, and now sponsors television rights.
You know, things of this nature are coming are seeing the light. And so I'm very thrilled that this is the best time to, in any time, to be a part of
AMANPOUR: Just briefly while I still have you. The last World Cup Women's World Cup, your -- the U.S. team was embroiled in an equal pay dispute. And
now you have secured equal pay Megan Rapinoe, and so many of your colleagues have fought the good fight. Is that done and dusted now?
CHASTAIN: Well, that was not just one team's battle, that was a four-decade endeavor and that national team were the ones to put it over the line,
And yes, with U.S. soccer, we do have a wonderful CBA that has been signed. Our president, Cindy Parlow Cone, who was a teammate of mine on the women's
national team, is leading the charge as well.
And I think U.S. Soccer has always been on the women's level, a global example of what could happen. And so I think this is a big step for us. But
it's a minor step in the bigger picture of things that we have to achieve.
AMANPOUR: So let me turn to you then, Lianne. Are other things that you have to achieve, whether it's on the football pitch, or around concerning,
you know, private lives of people? You're the first openly gay female to play for Britain and to declare herself as such.
Has that issue -- is it resolved? Do you -- are there still issues that, you know, some of the female players find or that we hear about, you know,
quite a few abuse accusations and challenges that many of the players still have to face?
SANDERSON: Yes, they do. And I think thankfully, you know, Brandi touched upon it there, it's taken decades for the CBA to be agree with U.S. or
international team. England, the Lionesses are still going through that right now, trying to get equal pay. And these things can take time.
I think speaking from my own experience, I want to see, you know, as the first and I think being the first sometimes does come with, its
restrictions as well, because then that just becomes my definition. You know, I'm just the footballer that happens to be gay. I'm not Lianne
Sanderson, the gay footballer.
And every team I signed for, that was the thing they wanted to talk about. And I'm not actually I've won the (inaudible), we've won the Champions
League. I played in two World Cups. Let's talk about my, you know, goal scoring and all the things I've done.
So I'm grateful I was the first. And, you know, I haven't been the last we've seen other people, you know, follow through and in the men's game as
well, Josh Cavallo and Jake Daniels, and we'll see other players. It's all about being able to be comfortable with who you are.
But I think with my Lionesses team, I'm happy now that they've stuck together. Because I think when I played there, I spoke out and it was
almost seen as taboo or you're like a troublemaker for speaking out. But I just wanted it for the greater good. And I've said that many times before.
And I think living in America, I finally got to a place where I felt like I was enabled, embraced to be myself, and the individuality and that's why
they win all the time.
Not during this World Cup, Brandi, but that's why they win, because they win everything, the Olympics, they're always the top of the, you know, gold
medalists. They are and it's not a coincidence.
AMANPOUR: Yes. So listen, you know, furthering that theme, women certainly in the United States, women's soccer has historically been so much more
popular and more successful than men's soccer, football.
Now you have the global male champion, you know, Lionel Messi, who signed up with -- into Miami. And I'm just going to read you the most crazy
statistic ever. Apparently, their social media has gone up from 1 million to 12 million since Messi joined.
And, of course, the owners are predicting massive revenues to double to over 100 million. My question to you both is, here we go again, you know,
could American soccer, women's soccer, suddenly so fall backwards under the shadow of men's soccer powered by Messi?
SANDERSON: I personally don't think so. I think the U.S. Women's National Team, the NWSL is one of the best leagues in the world. I think these
players are like rock stars, although I'm English, I love the U.S. women's National Team.
A lot of my teammates, former teammates still play there. I think it's brilliant that Messi is going over. Although I love Cristiano Ronaldo, I
still respect Lionel Messi, you know, scored at his first game. And what David Beckham is doing as well. Again, the same as what he did with the
Galaxy is tremendous.
So I don't think it's going to take anything away. If anything, is going to make it even better. I'm going to be in Miami a lot. So I'm going to make
my way to the games.
AMANPOUR: And you, Brandi, do you feel the same? Are they allies in this, you know, in the fight here?
CHASTAIN: Well, I'd have to say that for a long time, women's soccer was leading the charge. And, you know, there was always the question, why isn't
the men's national team as good as the Women's National Team?
And, you know, telling the history of football here in America is that, you know, we had the luxury here to have a law enacted in 1972 called Title
Nine that supported education bills, that -- and sport happened to fall underneath it. And so women really benefited from that.
And, you know, though everybody wasn't in compliance initially, now, we had a chance then to come together as a national team. And so whereas our men
were kind of behind the eight ball because of all the historically American type sports.
Soccer now, together, collectively, has a chance. And the fact that a player like Lionel Messi, who I believe will, you know, I thought 12
million was a low number, will enhance the amount of eyes that will be on soccer in America.
AMANPOUR: On that note --
CHASTAIN: -- and I think it's good for both of us.
AMANPOUR: Thank you so much, Brandi Chastain, Lianne Sanderson, thank you very much. I didn't get predictions out of you, but next time.
And that's it for now. Goodbye from London.