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Interview with Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan; Interview with "A Muslim & a Jew Go There" Podcast Co-Host and Former British Conservative Party Chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi; Interview with "A Muslim & a Jew Go There" Podcast Co-Host and "Jews Don't Count" Author David Baddiel; Interview with Brown University Information Futures Lab Co- Director Claire Wardle; Interview with WITNESS Executive Director Sam Gregory. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired March 14, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



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


JOHN SULLIVAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: He seeks legitimacy from the Russian people. That's what he really prays.


AMANPOUR: The backing Putin wants for his crackdowns at home and his wars abroad. Former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, gives us his read

on what next after the Russian leader's guaranteed election victory.

"Then a Muslim and a Jew Go There." Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and comedian David Baddiel join me on their new podcast about identity, prejudice, and

bridging the cultural divide.

Plus --


CLAIRE WARDLE, CO-DIRECTOR, INFORMATION FUTURES LAB, BROWN UNIVERSITY: It's much easier than ever to create this kind of content and much, much

easier to spread it.


AMANPOUR: Misinformation experts Claire Wardle and Sam Gregory talk to Hari Srinivasan about how to spot a fake.

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

Polls are about to open in Russia for this weekend's presidential election. But the outcome isn't in doubt. Vladimir Putin will win a fifth term in

power, having cracked down on dissent and without any serious opposition, all have been barred from running. This latest election will see Putin in

power until 2030, when, of course, he could run again.

His biggest rival, Alexei Navalny, died nearly a month ago in a remote penal colony. And this week, his widow wrote in "The Washington Post" to

urge the International Community to refuse to recognize the election results.

Putin has put his war in Ukraine at the center, with early voting already taking place in Russian occupied areas of Ukraine. There are reports of

people there being visited by armed men who are telling them to cast their ballots. But Vladimir Putin is facing some resistance from his own people.

Anti-Kremlin Russians based in Ukraine claim that they've crossed into Russia and captured two villages. Matthew Chance reports from Moscow.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call themselves the Siberian Battalion. one of several Ukraine-based

Russian paramilitaries now striking across the Russian border.

We can't verify their video, but the group says it shows their latest assault on Russian soil ahead of a presidential vote that Vladimir Putin is

certain to win.

Never mind voting at the ballot box, says this fighter, taking cover. Join us and vote with the gun, he says.

More dramatic video from another group. The Freedom of Russia Legion say they assaulted Russia's Belgorod and Kursk regions. Two Russian villages,

they say, were captured.

Russian officials say all the attacks were pushed back with dozens of invaders killed, as well as several tanks destroyed.

It is Ukrainian election interference, according to the Russian president, who said, regardless, to secure a fifth term in the Kremlin.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The main goal, I have no doubt about it, is to, if not disrupt the presidential elections in

Russia, then at least somehow interfere with the normal processes of expressing the will of citizens.

CHANCE (voice-over): The human rights groups say that normal process has already been distorted in a Kremlin crackdown on dissent. Including

hundreds of detentions at memorials for opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died suddenly last month in an arctic penal colony.

Just this week, his former chief of staff in exile, Leonid Volkov, said he was brutally attacked by a man with a hammer outside his home in

neighboring Lithuania, left with painful wounds and a broken arm.


Meanwhile, the Kremlin's strongman is already looking beyond the Russian election to the U.S. presidential race, insisting he will work with

whoever, in his words, is trusted by the American people. But he warned U.S. forces to stay out of the war in Ukraine.


PUTIN (through translator): The U.S. has said it's not sending troops to Ukraine. But we know what American troops would be on Russian territory,

interventionists. This is how we would treat them. Even if they appear on the territory of Ukraine, they understand this.

CHANCE (voice-over): But for now, it is Ukraine doing the fighting, unleashing a barrage of drone attacks across Russia, like this one in

Belgorod. These images show a drone flying near a Russian oil facility in the City of Ryazan. Russian authorities say at least 25 Ukrainian drone

attacks have been thwarted. But as Russia's presidential election nears, the impact of its war next door is being increasingly felt.


AMANPOUR: Matthew Chance reporting there. John Sullivan was U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Trump and then under President Biden.

He was in Moscow when Russia launched its full-scale invasion two years ago. And he joined me from Washington to discuss Putin's rule and the

extreme danger of waning U.S. support for Ukraine.


AMANPOUR: Ambassador John Sullivan, welcome back to our program.

JOHN SULLIVAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Thank you, Christiane. Good to be with you today.

AMANPOUR: So, it's great to talk to you as we have this shifting dynamic on the Ukrainian battlefield and as Putin has his elections this weekend. I

want to start by asking you about something he told Russian television this week, and I'm going to read it to you. Our triad, the nuclear triad, is

more modern than any other triad, and it's only us and the Americans who have such triads. In general, if we talk about the carriers and the number

of warheads, we're more or less equal. But ours are more modern. Everyone knows that, all specialists know that.

So, Ambassador, how concerned are you that Putin keeps talking about having the upper hand in the nuclear domain, and even though he's not threatening

to use them he kind of still dangles that threat?

SULLIVAN: Yes, Christiane, he's been doing this for years. If you'll recall back, when he was running for re-election the last time in 2018, he

spoke in front of a video, a cartoon, that showed a Russian missile striking South Florida where then President Trump, of course, had his Mar-

a-Lago club.

He has been rattling the nuclear saber for years. It's been part of his way of dealing with the United States. He's invested a lot of money in his

nuclear weapons and particularly in new delivery systems. He has been basically using nuclear blackmail over Ukraine since the start of the so-

called military -- special military operation. So, this is just of a piece with what he's been doing for years. It's how he operates. And in my

opinion, it's crazy.

You don't hear any other -- you don't hear the president of the United States or any other leaders that have nuclear weapons talking the way he

does. And it's crazy tactic that he and his predecessors have used for a long time.

AMANPOUR: So, then, Ambassador, you say it's crazy. So, do you think then that the Biden administration should -- because we understand they're very

worried and we've heard Biden say, I'm not going to go to World War three with Putin over Ukraine. Are they taking it at face value or what do you

think? How is it affecting the U.S. support for Ukraine?

SULLIVAN: Well, it has affected the US support for Ukraine and it is only sane, given what we're talking about, nuclear Armageddon, to take every one

of these statements seriously.

The problem though, Christiane, and why it's really crazy is the more that Putin says it, the more that he says, I'm really going to do it, the less

potent the threat of nuclear war becomes. And in fact, it's -- it may be a sign of weakness and maybe make nuclear war even more likely because the

threat is diminished because people don't believe him when he says, keep saying we might do it, we've got the potential to do it.

But the administration -- the Biden administration has been very concerned about this from the start. They've been worried about Putin using a nuclear

weapon, a tactical nuke in Ukraine if his troops were being routed on the battlefield as they were in late 2022. And as I say, Putin has been

rattling the strategic nuclear saber since the very first days of the war as a threat to the United States to back off.

AMANPOUR: You were ambassador to -- you know, to Moscow under President Trump and for a while under President Biden. And we talked back then. But I

want to know what you think will happen to Ukraine and to Russia if President Trump gets back in.


And specifically, President Trump hosted the Hungarian illiberal Democrat, as he's called, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, just recently. And Orban came

out and said that Trump told me that if he wins, he won't give a penny to this war. He won't give a penny to Ukraine. And furthermore, he has a very

detailed plan to end the war.

From what you know, does such a thing exist, a very detailed Trump plan? And what happens if not one more penny gets to Ukraine?

SULLIVAN: Well, I'm skeptical that Former President Trump has a detailed plan to end the war in Ukraine. I mean, he's been -- the former president

has been suggesting that the U.S., more than suggesting, you know, expressing extreme skepticism about United States' support for Ukraine,

which, in my opinion, is vital, A, for Ukraine's continuing survival, but more importantly, for the strategic interests, foreign policy, and national

security interests of the United States.

Now, what will President Trump do if he's re-elected in November? Honestly, I can't tell you. Why? Because what I learned -- I served for three years

as deputy secretary of state before I was appointed ambassador by President Trump in December 2019. President Trump is unpredictable. I never got the

sense that he himself had any well-formed foreign policy or longstanding views on foreign policy. He's flip-flopped on issues like whether the

United States should have invaded Iraq or not in 2003.

My concern is that he's unpredictable. And it's often the case that the last leader who speaks to him, who flatters him may get the final say and

influence him the most. So, I wouldn't say it's locked in stone that he would cut off aid to Ukraine when he becomes president, if he would become

president, but it's certainly a significant risk and would have an incredibly negative effect, virtually determinative on the war without the

support of the United States in rallying European and other western countries to support Ukraine. It would be very difficult for the Ukrainians

to resist the Russian military machine.

AMANPOUR: So then, because we're talking as this election is underway in Russia, is this an election that anybody should be concerned about? I mean,

we know he's running Putin unopposed. I mean, the nominal, you know, opposition are just nominal, just to be playing in that game. But what do

you think a convincing claim of a win will mean for him in the situation he finds himself in right now?

SULLIVAN: Yes, there's -- Christiane, you're absolutely right. There's no doubt that Putin is going to win re-election. You know, the voting day, in-

person voting is on Sunday, this coming Sunday, March 17. But there were two days of electronic voting before then. There's no doubt that he's going

to win. As you say, he's running effectively unopposed.

But this election is extremely important for him, for Putin, for Russia, and I would say for the world, for the following reason. He's been working

on this project, getting himself re-elected, despite the Russian constitution's term limits, which were in effect until he had the

constitution revised in 2020, he's been working on this for years.

Winning re-election this coming weekend, we'll give him six more years in office. But here's the key factor from his perspective, it's turnout. He

wants to be able to tell the world, show the world, that the Russian people support him. They turned out in large numbers, 75, 80 percent, and voted

for him.

What the opposition is trying to do is to use that turnout issue against him. And there's been -- you may have seen an organized effort to try to

convince those who were opposed to Putin to vote at a particular time on Sunday, noon on Sunday, going to the polls, showing long lines of people at

that precise time, as opposed to Putin.

So, the election comes down to turnout. Putin wants a large turnout to validate, to claim legitimacy for his rule, because otherwise, he doesn't

have legitimacy. He doesn't have, for example, the communist ideology that the Soviet leaders had. He doesn't have the divine right of rule the way

the Tsars have. He seeks legitimacy from the Russian people. That's what he really craves.


Otherwise, he would just declare himself president. Why bother having an election? He wouldn't -- didn't have -- doesn't have to have an election to

stay in office, but he wants an election to validate and legitimate his rule.

AMANPOUR: And it's so interesting because he seeks approval of a people who he's now jailing and punishing for expressing anything about the war

that's not the party line. His spokesman has told people that Russia's democracy is perfect, but, of course, there are no opposition. And we've

spoken about Alexei Navalny was found dead. His family accused the authorities of having a hand in that. And this is what his wife, Yulia,

said the day his death was announced. Just take a listen.


YULIA NAVALNAYA, ALEXEI NAVALNY'S WIFE (through translator): I would like Putin and all his staff, everybody around him, his government, his friends,

I want them to know that they will be punished for what they have done with our country, with my family, and with my husband. That they will be brought

to justice, and this day will come soon.


AMANPOUR: You heard Yulia Navalny. Is it fantasy to think that there will ever be a reckoning anytime soon from within? And is there any likelihood

in your long experience, and you've been in the room with Putin on several occasions, that there could be an opposition to him that makes a


SULLIVAN: Well, short-term, clearly not, as our prior discussion about the election makes clear. There is no organized opposition to replace him. In a

longer-term horizon, sure, there's always hope. If I were a betting person, I wouldn't be putting a lot of money on that proposition prevailing in the

next few years. But it's always possible. Unlikely, but possible.

AMANPOUR: And finally, you're a Republican, and you see what Donald Trump, Republicans are doing in Congress about aid to Ukraine. And appearing to

actually be throwing their lot in, you know, with Putin rather than the democratic, sovereign, independent Ukraine that the rest of the western

world is supporting. This is what Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said recently.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): We are now about two years into this bloodbath. And now, we're in a bloody stalemate. And the reality, I think, a lot of my

colleagues who are supporting this aid package are ignoring is that Vladimir Putin will not lose this war.


AMANPOUR: Does that worry you? And what will happen if America doesn't step up and if Putin doesn't lose this war?

SULLIVAN: Well, Christiane, this, in my opinion, is not -- should not be a partisan issue. The national security of the United States, our foreign

policy interests are at stake in Ukraine, and we can't talk away the risk, we can't wish away the risk, we can't stick our heads in the sand. We tried

that twice in the 20th century when there was a war in Europe, before the Great War and before the Second World War and we failed.

This type of conflict in the European continent affects the United States directly particularly when that war has been launched by an autocrat who's

launched an aggressive war, virtually identical to the war that Hitler started on September 1, 2939 against Poland. The same rationales were used.

Hitler used the same language that Putin used. He started a war, Hitler, on September 1, 1939, because he claimed that Pols were abusing, were barbaric

towards Germans in Poland. That was his rationale. And he claimed that Poland was going to attack Germany. We've heard Putin say this.

It -- they -- Hitler stood the truth on its head. Putin's done the same thing. He launched a war because he said that the Ukrainians were a bunch

of crazed Nazis who were engaged in a genocide against Russians in Ukraine, and that's fantasy.

The U.N. General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, countries that have no association with NATO or the E.U. voted overwhelmingly against

Putin's rationales for this war. So, he's launched an aggressive war on the continent of Europe that affects U.S. allies and the United States

directly. This, it seems to me, should not be a difficult foreign policy and national security issue and it's not an issue that we should be -- it

makes no sense to me to say, well, we can't help Ukraine because we need to be spending money to secure our southern border or to do something else. Of

course, we can do both. This is the United States.


We've been able to contain the Soviet Union, prevail in the Cold War. I mean, what type of backbone do our leaders have now? We're going to allow

Putin, the president of Russia, to start a massive war on the continent of Europe, and we don't have the wherewithal or the courage to stand up to


I think for Republicans and Democrats, they need to -- think about this, what would Harry Truman or Dwight Eisenhower say? What would Jack Kennedy

or Ronald Reagan say? What would they be saying to those senators and members who today are saying we shouldn't support Ukraine? What they'd be

saying is, we should support Ukraine along with our allies and contain and defeat this Russian aggression, period.

AMANPOUR: On that note, Ambassador John Sullivan, thank you so much for joining us.

SULLIVAN: Thanks, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: A conversation earlier this week. Another vicious war, the one between Israel and Hamas, is the background for a new definition of

extremism unveiled here in the U.K. today. Community Secretary Michael Gove says Britain's inclusivity and tolerance are being challenged by extremism.

But critics wonder if the change could also infringe on free speech.

In this era of deep polarization, a new podcast hopes to bridge the divide. It's called "A Muslim and a Jew Go There." And it's hosted by two well-

known British figures, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim cabinet minister and author of "The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain," and

David Baddiel, a familiar face on British TV, as a long-time comedian and presenter, and more recently, the author of the best-selling book "Jews

Don't Count." Both are here with me now on set. And welcome to you both.



AMANPOUR: So, it's three weeks since the podcast. Today, the third one dropped, and it's very, very popular. Are you surprised, Baroness Warsi,

that this conversation that you're having about one of the most explosive topics anywhere right now is resonating so much?

WARSI: I'm not surprised because for a while now I've been saying that the space in which we need to have these difficult conversations simply doesn't

exist. So, for me in politics it's either in Parliament and often if you watch the Commons it's the yaboo on political point-scoring that you see in

politics. And even in the House of Lords, where there is much more space for a measured debate, the time simply is not there to directly engage with

another person of a different faith. And -- or alternatively you're on the broadcast media doing a 30-second sound clip.

So, to have the ability to have a long-form conversation over 45 minutes on some very difficult issues where you can build and make your argument, you

can have your argument challenged and then go back and have that discussion in an environment which is friendly and compassionate and open, simply

didn't exist.

So, for me, I think this is a really important place for us to push back those boundaries and say to people who are often saying, we can't talk

about these things, they're too sensitive, don't go there. What we're saying is, well, we're going to go there. We're going to have this


AMANPOUR: And you do. David Baddiel, are you surprised by the way it's taken off? But more to the point, what is the mission statement?

BADDIEL: I am quite surprised because it feels quite niche at some level. We are, after all, minority communities. But I think the thing is, the

reason why it might have taken off, is that there are a lot of people who want to be able to talk about this, but they feel unable to, because they

feel like, I might say the wrong thing, I might cross the wrong line, what if I offend them?

And so, we're saying, right, we are going to say what we want to say. And there will be moments when probably we offend each other, but in the safe

space, for whatever better word, of the podcast, that's just going to happen. And in that, you will find communion. You will also find

disagreement. And people, I think, are curious and intrigued by a conversation they're not hearing being heard, I think.

AMANPOUR: And I was kind of really interested by the fact that you both say that it's about finding diversity within each of your communities.

Because as you say, you know, certainly social media and the whole council culture and the extreme emotion around what's going on sort of makes people

stay within their tribe, their sect, whatever it is.

So, is there diversity? Is there a plurality of views, for instance, in the Jewish community about what's happening right now, let's say, in Gaza?

BADDIEL: Well, there certainly is. But I think one of the things about being minorities as well is that you get pictured, as we've said often, you

get talked about by the majority. And so, the majority assumes that Muslims are A and Jews are B, especially about Israel and Gaza. Now, that isn't

true. And we saw that with Jonathan Glazer, who said something, you know, very out there and lots of Jews won't agree, but some Jews will agree with

what Jonathan Glazer was saying. And the point about that is whether you agree or not, it's a diverse range of opinion.

AMANPOUR: Let's just say he said at the Oscar, you know, ceremony where he won for his unbelievable film, "Zone of Interest," that he -- I'm going to

paraphrase, rejected the notion that his religion and the Holocaust were being put hijacked --


AMANPOUR: -- for all sorts of reasons.


AMANPOUR: So, it was very, very out there but he is --


BADDIEL: But whether you believe that or not, the point is, as you say, that there are some Jews who really won't agree with that and some who

might lead towards it. And the point is to think these are human beings who have a range of opinions.

AMANPOUR: I want to ask you as a Muslim what you thought when that Jewish director said that about his own Community.

WARSI: I -- and we talk about this on the podcast. So, we had very, I think, different reactions to it. My instinct was I am so pleased that you

have used a huge platform to talk about such an important issue in such an incredibly brave and human way, and I needed to hear that. And part of this

podcast is about us hearing the other view. Because often when we are in our own tribes, when we are in our own echo chambers, we -- even when there

are a diversity of views, we're probably not hearing them.

So, I think part of this podcast is for us, of course, to bring our own opinions to the table, but also to reflect the diversity of opinion from

the communities from which we come.

AMANPOUR: I started -- I introduced you by the news today, which is this new anti-extremism bill, I mean, it's not law and nobody's going to be

fined or jailed. But it means that people who violate it will not get government support.

What do you make of it? Do you agree? And of course, it's about the Islamophobia and the antisemitism that have exploded recently.

BADDIEL: Well, I mean, Sayeeda is more directly involved in that because she is, of course, a member of the Tory Party pushing back on that bill. I

want to see more -- the detail of what this is about. Because, you know, it's a bill that says, I'm going to -- we're going to try and stop

extremism both coming from Islamist quarters and indeed from the far-right. And as a Jew, what's interesting about that is we get targeted by both

those camps.

And so, therefore, I'm interested, obviously, in any attempt to stop the targeting of Jews or what I'm not interested in is a very wide definition

of extremism that does really help Jews but it's just designed to stigmatize certain groups, which obviously it might be. And I think the

truth is in the detail, and I haven't really seen that detail.

AMANPOUR: And you're -- you -- I mean, you're criticizing. Have you seen the detail?

WARSI: I have seen the detail.


WARSI: And it is what I saw over 15 years ago. This is Michael's little kite that he has been flying for a very long time. And this is not

legislative. It's not legally binding. It has no basis in law. It doesn't have any statutory basis. So, this is Michael literally flying his own

little kite saying, there are certain people who I don't like, whose views I don't like. And therefore, I'm going to create a little grouping in my

department who will make judgments, judge, jury, and executioner on individual groups and organizations.

BADDIEL: We are probably going to be talking about though next week.

AMANPOUR: Yes. Michael, you're talking about Michael Gove, community secretary, also Mr. Brexit along with Boris Johnson. But just a quick -- is

there any way it could it could soften the public debate, it could protect people, or do you think no?

WARSI: Well, one of the interesting things we were looking at actually just before we came in was a clip from a member of parliament who asked him

-- who asked Michael Gove at the dispatch box a very specific question about a very specific extremist moment, a tweet that was liked by somebody

who had given money to him, Michael Gove, a secretary of state and was a conservative donor. And he didn't deal with the issue of extremism.

One of the things that we talk about in the current podcast is the concept of the rule of law in the United Kingdom is about having the same laws for

every community without fear or favor. We apply them consistently. But unfortunately, I think what Michael is trying to do, and I know from having

sat around the table, he has tried to do for many, many years, is to have specific legislation to target specific communities, and that's a very

dangerous path to go down.

AMANPOUR: And as we've seen, what he's talking about is also very rampant in the United States, you know, speech, hate speech, any kind of speech on

campuses and the rest has been very heavily condemned on all sides and a lot of cancel culture going on.

So, you talked about the other, recognizing and empathizing and listening to the other. I spoke to an American rabbi at the height -- I mean, it's

still the height of this war, but, you know, early on, a few couple of months ago. She's Sharon Brous from Los Angeles. And this is what she told

me on this particular topic.


SHARON BROUS, SENIOR AND FOUNDING RABBI, IKAR: We have ancient mechanisms for teaching us how to lean into the discomfort of conversations that don't

feel natural to us, where we feel like we might even be losing something of our own victimhood if we hear someone else's pain. But in fact, it's only

when we hear one another's pain and when we lift up and affirm each other's humanity that we can collectively walk toward a shared liberation with one



BADDIEL: You know, that's -- sorry, that's brilliant. I mean, I find myself being quite moved listening to that.


BADDIEL: A rabbi saying that, because actually, my experience during the podcast is sometimes I'm listening to Sayeeda and I have to contain my own

instincts, which are primitive sometimes, where you're like, no, I disagree with that. And I know -- don't, and then I think, no, just listen for a

bit. Just listen and let her have the space.


And so, it does -- doesn't mean I do always agree, but I think that's -- the rabbi is right. To be able to do that you sometimes feel you're losing

something, but you're probably gaining something as well.

AMANPOUR: And just understanding the other, and you do a lot of reaching out to David asking how he's feeling and you do have techniques that I find

actually interesting to try to get to each other's story.

WARSI: We do. And I think there was one moment when we first started recording the podcast, it was an incredibly difficult one when we were in

the early stages of this. And at the end of it, I felt the need to come over and just give you a really big hug and I just said, are you all right?

And in fact, I joked about it because where we were recording, there's a great bagel shop. So, we ordered a bagel and I said to David, look, we've

had a bagel and this feels like a really good therapy session. So, whatever comes of the podcast, hopefully, we will feel better for it.

BADDIEL: Well, say it is in fact they invite because it's Ramadan now. She has invited me up to our house, which is quite a long way away from London

in Wakefield for Iftar?

WARSI: Iftar.

BADDIEL: And the trouble that is I will have to fast all day, which is not natural for Jews except on Yom Kippur.

AMANPOUR: And do you fast even on Yom Kippur?

BADDIEL: Well, actually one of the -- so, we're very individual --

AMANPOUR: Because you're not very religious.

BADDIEL: I'm an atheist.


BADDIEL: I'm an atheist, which confuses people a lot, but I am Indian atheist. I don't believe in God. I believe in Larry David. It's a very

different type of Judaism, which is not just -- I'm just a Jew, but I don't believe in God. But however, I will fast because it's good for my health

and I want to have that moment with Sayeeda.

AMANPOUR: And I don't know whether you realize that it means no water either.


AMANPOUR: I mean, there's no water. No drink either from sunrise to sundown.

WARSI: I'm going to make him fast on Yom Kippur.


WARSI: And I am going to do that with you, right? And I'm going to do that with you.

BADDIEL: There's --


WARSI: I will make sure that at the end of this podcast, he'll be a very good Jewish man.

AMANPOUR: Slightly more somberly, Ramadan falls this year when all the world's Muslims and many others are concerned, very worried, very upset

about what's happening Muslims, Gazan people, Palestinians. How has Ramadan affected you and your family this year? Or how has that affected your


WARSI: So, yesterday evening we had an Iftar at Parliament, we have it every year, it's called the Big Iftar, and it's always a really vibrant,

loud event and there's a lot of laughter. And yesterday, it was incredibly subdued. And I addressed that in my speech last night and I said, you know,

I understand the collective trauma that British Muslims are feeling when they look across at what's happening in Gaza and you can see a population

under siege, on the brink of famine, having to deal with contaminated water, little babies dying. We talk about this on the podcast.

Because, you know, at Suhur in the morning, as you're having your meal, you're thinking about Gaza, when you have your Iftar, you're thinking about

Gaza. And I said I -- you know, I -- it was important for me to express that. It's one of the things we talk about on the podcast to say, this is

how our Ramadan feels this year. It feels very different. It feels subdued. It feels that any sense of celebration is inappropriate, but the positive

that has come out of it is that the British Muslim community, as Muslim communities across the world use the month of Ramadan to give generously to

charity on average, the -- a community of 4 million in the United Kingdom raised over 150 million pounds just in the month of Ramadan.

And I'm absolutely convinced that this will be a huge year despite all the issues around the cost-of-living crisis and what individual families are

feeling because the level of generosity and giving this year specifically for Gaza have been, you know, amazing and inspiring to see.

AMANPOUR: And, David, I spoke to the great writer and thinker Yuval Noah Harari. Basically, I think it was like five days after the slaughter of

October 7th. And he had started to write and I had asked him because of the inability to speak and have any kind of -- not nuance, but context in

public without getting sort of canceled, whether one could hold two thoughts in your head at the same time, that this is horrendous and that is

horrendous, not but.


AMANPOUR: And this is what he told me. I'd like your reaction.


YUVAL NOAH HARARI, ISRAELI AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN: It should be possible to understand that you can be victim and perpetrator at the same time, that

this is what happens to most people in history, most nations in history, they are sometimes victims, they are sometimes perpetrators, they are

sometimes both at the same time. But this is a kind of complexity, but especially in -- and when you stand thousands of kilometers from the

conflict, you can see it.


BADDIEL: Yes. Well, what Harari is saying there is something I've always believed, which is the truth is always complex. And unfortunately, we live

in a time, particularly with social media, and social media has a very sort of simplistic idea of identity and of tribalism, where the complexity of

truth is continued being denied.

And one of the ways in which that was denied, for example, is by people who were pro-Palestinian refusing to accept the terrible things happened on

October the 7th. And obviously, you can accept that. It obviously did happen, whilst in no way moving away from your support of the Palestinians

or your sympathy for the plight of the Gazans at the moment.


And I think some Jews are able to accept that too, but sometimes it can feel that Jews become too embattled and protected and defensive around the

Israeli cause that they can't do it. And I think at these times you see a narrowing of truth. So, he's right. And we're trying, I guess, to keep the

complex door open.

AMANPOUR: And I guess, finally, you know, there's going to be an election in this country this year. I don't know when you think it might be. But how

is this all going to play in and how do you hope your discussion plays into the broader political and social culture here?

WARSI: I think in light of what I'm seeing at the moment, I would like there to be a quick, short, sharp election. I would like the prime minister

to call it as quickly as possible, and we need to get it over with quickly as possible, and we to have a clear sense of where the country is heading,

and that person in charge has now got a political mandate.

My worry is that the longer we leave it, it will be quite a long and toxic and culture war-inspired election where there will be a lot of not very

nice things said by politicians, and I think that will then have a real- life impact on the ground.

So, I hope one of the things that we do through this podcast is take some of that politicking but then translate it into real-life conversations and

hope that we can provide some level of sanity and logic to what may be coming out of politics.

AMANPOUR: Well, it's a really interesting conversation that you're having in public on a very, very difficult subject. "A Muslin & a Jew."

WARSI: "Go There."

AMANPOUR: Sayeeda Warsi and David Baddiel going there.

BADDIEL: Thank you very much.

WARSI: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And now, we've already seen digitally manipulated video and audio files or deep fakes infiltrating the 2024 election cycle. But just

how will it impact voters?

Sam Gregory, executive director of WITNESS and Claire Wardle, who's co- director of the Information Futures Lab at Brown University, are disinformation experts. And they're joining Hari Sreenivasan now to discuss

what's at stake politically and technologically.


HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Sam Gregory, Claire Wardle, thank you both for joining us.

You are both experts in studying misinformation and disinformation, and we want to help our audience unpack not just some examples, but maybe what

they can learn from how to process information so that they don't get taken for a ride, especially during this election year.

Claire, I want start with you. I guess in the longer arc of misinformation, where is it when it comes to disinformation or misinformation online?

Because around election years, you know, lies are pretty common, and making the other team out to be horrible is just par for the course. But how is

this changing in this digital landscape?

CLAIRE WARDLE, CO-DIRECTOR, INFORMATION FUTURES LAB, BROWN UNIVERSITY: So, the world that we live in now means that it's more -- it's much easier than

ever to create this kind of content and much, much easy to spread it. But you're right, lies, as humans, that's something that we're used to. But

what we are not used to is the amount of content and how fast it can spread.

SREENIVASAN: Sam, I want to tell our audience a little bit about your work at WITNESS. I mean, it's a human rights organization that tries to use

video to defend people's human right. But you're also trying to use technology to make sure that videos are undermining those basic rights as

well. And you've got yourself a deepfake rapid response force, for example.

How do you -- what are the tools that are available to you to try to vet these videos that can be generated so quickly as Claire said?

SAM GREGORY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WITNESS: So, we're in a really complicated arms race, because as Claire says, it's super easy to create

certain forms of photorealistic and audio-realistic media like audio, like the Biden robocall, but it is not super-easy to technically detect them

yet, and that capacity isn't with most ordinary people and many journalists.

And so, what we work on is really how do we bridge the gap that's existing now in terms of the technologies and tools that are available to, you know,

our frontline of defense against mis and disinformation because the technologies aren't there yet.

And I would echo what Claire says. I think we want to -- when we start to think about how we detect A.I., we need to start with recognizing that this

builds on previous problems and we also need build on previous solutions as well.

SREENIVASAN: I want to share a couple of examples of images that were created using A.I. tools. This was generated by third-parties, not

associated with the Trump campaign at all, but just in the past couple of weeks, there were these photos here of Former President Trump who is --

looks like a Christmas party with a bunch of African-American voters. They -- you know, look like they're having a good time. And, you know, if you

weren't careful enough to look at the hat and see the misspellings or something and try to look for something, you would have thought, wow, so

he's at a Christmas party with a bunch of African-Americans. And then there was another photo of him with a group of young men.

Now, again, you know, I want to say a caveat to our audience that, you know, we're trying to be careful, will definitely be framing these online

and on air with very visual, easy to spot captions, don't want to amplify disinformation.


And Claire, I want ask, look, what is the harm in these? On the one hand, we know that these were not real human beings. On the other hand, look,

President Trump does have support from real-life African-Americans, right? So, where's the danger here?

WARDLE: Well, the first thing I'll say is that this was generated by A.I., but the same kind of content could have been created with the more basic

editing. So, we just first of all say that.

But the second thing is, if we as a society just go, well, it doesn't really matter does it, like he does have some friends, this could have been

the case, then we kind of lose the foundation upon which we're all making decisions and understanding the world around us.

So, even, I think, in these kind examples, well, what's the harm? There is harm in the idea that we don't know what to trust. If people just go, well,

it does matter. So, I think that's -- we have to label, we to make it clear when this is A.I. generated or if it has been photoshopped. It's important

that we know and have an accurate historical record of what did actually happen or not. And that's what we have to keep reminding each other.

Many disinformation actors don't have a very big audience. They might be on a kind of a niche online site and they might have couple of people who

follow them. What they're desperate for is the megaphone that the media brings. So, so much of the tactics and techniques that that we see shared,

it's not a particularly clever use of technology. The vulnerability is how can I get the media to cover it, how can get I the outrage, how I can

people to hate, like it on Twitter? And that's what we have to be careful about, which is eventually -- ultimately having our brains hijacked. The

attention economy is all about that. And unfortunately, that is a bigger problem, I think, than the technology itself.

SREENIVASAN: Claire, I want to ask a little bit about the Biden robocall that became quite famous before the New Hampshire primaries. And that's a

long ways away from the general election. And I think it was the first time a lot of people understood how good the technology was. And I want to roll

in a clip of this audio here. And this is really not Joe Biden's voice. Again, for our audience, this a piece of A.I.-generated audio, it is not

the president.


AI RENDERING OF JOE BIDEN'S VOICE: What bunch of malarkey. You know the value of voting Democratic and our votes count. It's important that you

save your vote for the November election.

We'll need your help in electing Democrats up and down the ticket. Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald

Trump again.


SREENIVASAN: Now, that is allegedly the voice, which is not the voice of Joe Biden, asking people not to go out and vote. I mean, that's a pretty

powerful tool when it comes to a close election, whether it's in New Hampshire or the general election.

So, Claire, I wonder, what are you studying when it comes to how audio is being used to manipulate people? Because honestly, for most people, if it

wasn't the content that was a little suspicious, I would have thought that Joe Biden's voice.

WARDLE: Yes. And as Sam has said, unfortunately, we see audio -- generative audio messages used quite frequently because our ears -- or

actually, our eyes aren't very good but our ear is at worse. We don't have good checks in terms of saying is that real or not.

And I think when it comes to scams, and we're already seeing this in other countries, you get a call and it sounds like your sister or your mom and

says they're in trouble. So, we have to worry about well-known voices. But the other concern here is by the family and friends, or I would argue in an

election context, the worry is the use of local trusted messengers, maybe a local faith leader whose voice gets used to say, I wouldn't bother voting

or I'm worried if you vote, it might be dangerous.

So, that does mean in this election cycle, we all have to be aware of how our communities might potentially at risk through some of these

technologies, not making people overly concerned, but to saying, that is a potential threat, let's be away if hear something, double check it before

you just trust it implicitly.

SREENIVASAN: Sam, what's your tip to people, especially when it comes to audio? That it -- why is it so hard for us to discern those facts from


GREGORY: The first thing we say, and I think, unfortunately, often the guidance we give people places all the blame or pressure on them to sort of

detect the little glitch in the audio or spot something in one of those images we just saw, and that's not the right strategy in long run. These

keep getting better.

There are glitches. If we listen closely, there are things we might hear as an expert. So, first of all, we've got to take the pressure of people to

say, look out for the glitch. That makes it hard, though, because that means that, like, the sort of our first strategy when we listen to

something, which is just to listen closer. It doesn't necessarily work well.

It's particularly hard then to do the next stage with audio, which, for example, to see if this comes from a manipulated original or is something

else, right? With, for example, the Donald Trump A.I. images before, you could do a reverse image search, you could try and see, if there's another

source, you can't do that with the audio. We don't have a way to sort of search for other audio sources.

SREENIVASAN: Sam, you've also been looking into what you call resurrection deepfakes. First, our audience might be surprised even what that idea is.

But we saw this really being played out in the Indonesian elections. Explain what this A.I. trend is.


GREGORY: So, this is a trend that's been gaining speed over the last two or three years, which is when you recreate someone who has passed and use

them typically for political purposes. So, we've seen resurrected journalists calling out state violence in Mexico, deceased people from the

Parkland shootings talking from beyond the grave. And most recently in the Indonesia election, one of the parties brought back the former Indonesian

dictator, Suharto, to ask people to support the party.

And it's very complicated because it's all about taking someone's previous presence and making them say things they never said in real-life. And so,

it goes back to a lot of the issues that really we need to grapple with when we look at A.I. in the public domain about consent, like who consents

to the use of these images and turns them into this audio, this video and disclosure.

SREENIVASAN: There was recently a deepfake that went around, and I want to play a clip of it. This is from Paul Harvey, who was a respected

broadcaster who worked in the United States for decades. He had a really signature sound. And he made a speech once which was completely manipulated

for political gain here. Let's roll this.


AI RENDERING OF PAUL HARVEY'S VOICE: And on June 14, 1946, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, I need a caretaker. So, God gave us

Trump. God said, I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, fix this country, work all day, fight the Marxist, eat supper, then go to the Oval

Office and stay past midnight at a meeting of the heads of state. So, God made Trump.


SREENIVASAN: Claire, originally Paul Harvey had made that speech and it was God made farmers, right? And it was a completely different speech that

has been altered. Paul Harvey died in 2009. This was not done with his consent. And I wonder how much of this notion of nostalgia and emotion

factors into whether a piece of misinformation or disinformation seems more believable.

WARDLE: We know this from psychological studies in that the way our brains work is that we rely very much on heuristics, particularly at a time when

we're overwhelmed. So, when we have heard a voice before, or it reminds us of something, even in misinformation, the more you see something, even if

it's fact-checked, there's something to that.

So, this kind of playback, this nostalgia, this like, oh, I've heard that voice before and I trusted it before, all of that is exceptionally

powerful. So, we're seeing a pattern here of relying on another time and the ways that people have feelings around earlier political moments that

were less charged or using figures that people had relationships with. So, that's what's happening here. And I would argue it's exceptionally


SREENIVASAN: Yes. Sam, we're also starting to see politicians use technology as sort of an excuse to cover up things that actually might have

happened. There was a Lincoln Project video and it showed -- well, let me just roll that clip here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Donald, we noticed something. More and more people are saying it, you're weak. You seem unsteady. You need help getting

around. And wow.



SREENIVASAN: Sam, what's interesting is, is right after that compilation of videos that the Lincoln Project team had assembled of President Trump

looking these ways and taking these excerpts, he went on to his own social media platform and said, look, this is -- you know, "these are losers."

They're using A.I., that this is all fake TV commercials.

And I wonder whether or not this kind of plausible deniability changes our understanding and expectation of what is real and what is not. How do we

maintain some integrity that there is a real fact versus what's manipulated? It seems that if you see 20 of these examples, after a while,

you're just going to assume it's all bad.

GREGORY: This is a phenomenon we're seeing globally of this plausible deniability. And it really relies on the fact that people are often

confused about what A.I. can do and they're confused about their ability to detect or discern it.

So, it's incredibly easy for people in power when there's something compromising to say, hey, A.I. could have made it. Hey, A.I. is capable of

this. And to some extent, that's not true. Some of the examples we see are people exploiting our fears of A.I., right? And I think a lot of the

exploitation is actually around people's fears of A.I. versus the reality.

But it also ties into people's very deep sense that maybe they were fooled by the pope in the puffer jacket last year, this sense that maybe we can't

discern. And I think this is a really challenging phenomenon also because it's very easy to say you can't believe this image, this audio, or you

can't believe any image or audio. But it's increasingly hard to conclusively prove that something was made with A.I.


So, one of the experiences we've had in our deepfakes rapid response forces, you know, we'll get cases where someone has been caught on a

compromising tape and they say something and then they instantly come out and say, this was made in A.I. when it becomes public. And then it may take

several days for experts to verify that, in fact, it is 90 percent likely to be A.I. made or 90 percent likely to be authentic. And in the gap, the

public hears, well, A.I. can be used to fake almost anything. And it does, I think start to undermine our trust.

SREENIVASAN: Sam, what's your tip? Whether as a seasoned journalist or it's one of Claire's students, what do you say to somebody who's trying to

verify a fact? Are there -- you know, what are the most simple tools that you suggest that they use and what's the mindset that they should approach

it with?

GREGORY: So, I always described that we need to go back to thinking about how A.I. adds on to our media literacy and our verification skills already,

you know, how it complicates that, right? So, I use the acronym, which is SIFT, which is, first stop. Don't let your emotions carry you away when you

see something that seems too good to be true or too convincing to be true.

Then I investigate the source, try to find out where this comes from, then see if anyone else is covering it, F, find alternative coverage and then

trace the original, see if there's an original.

And the reason I'm sharing those is, I think, for many of the examples we're looking at, for example, if we traced back those deepfakes, we'd see

they came from a satirical site. If we looked at the Trump images on reverse image search, we'd find that they had news coverage around them,

right? So, by doing those steps first, so we don't have to all do the same work of trying to be forensic analysts, I think it's absolutely critical

and is learning from our existing skills.

Then for journalists, there is a gap, and it's one of the things we've been calling out is that there's a gap in access to the more technical tools for

a broad range of journalists to do the analysis and then know how to explain it to the public. And that's something we've got to address as A.I.

tools get better. And that also requires really putting the onus on platforms and other people who are creating the A.I. tools to make it as

easy as possible, both to detect the presence of A.I., to be able to label it, and also to be able to authenticate the real, right?

Again, I said I don't want us to place pressure on the individual to be a forensic analyst, but we shouldn't place all the pressure on news

organizations to do this all themselves. We need to find much better ways to make A.I. detectable, make it easy to label it when we see it in our

timelines or when we encounter it in the wild. And also make it easier to authenticate the real, to be able to show when something was made in a

particular time and place. And if we do those together, we'll be in a much more resilient place.

SREENIVASAN: Claire, where are we in that conversation with the technology platforms and the big technology companies that are creating these tools in

the first place, whether they are able to add appropriate watermarks that, you know, are easy to trace or find, or whether, you know, can you -- if

you're Google, can you update the Chrome browser to automatically flag that this is a synthetic piece of media?

WARDLE: So, about two weeks ago, OpenAI launched a new tool, Sora, which allows you to essentially write a sentence and you get a 60-second video.

And so, the first five minutes, I saw, like, many people were scrolling in awe of what had been created.

And then, the second 10 minutes, I was like, how is this allowed? It's like putting a really, really fast car that can drive twice as fast on the

interstate, but they don't have to wear a seatbelt and, you know, there's no rules of the road.

I mean, I find it astonishing that this can just be rolled out without any of those kinds of safeguards. And we knew this was coming. And so, we can't

just, you know, put a watermark on that can be photoshopped out. We need really significant and sophisticated technology that would embed those

kinds of markings.

But the idea that this -- they can launch these new products without that is astonishing. And we don't have a regulatory framework right now. I mean,

imagine a new food or a new car, or I mean, we'd have to have that. These guys are, you know, creating all sorts of things.

So, I am concerned that in this very short time period before the election, these new tools are being rolled out at a pace that's much faster than the

speed at which we as consumers can catch up and adapt.

GREGORY: I'm nervous. I'm worried that we're panicking and our panicking is driving hasty actions and a real degradation of trust. And in some ways,

I'm also excited. I think -- you know, I come from a context of really also thinking about the creativity of video and of images. And so, there's

potential there. But overall, I'm nervous and I want us to prepare much more actively, as Claire said, but not to panic because that plays into the

hands of people who want to use these tools maliciously.

SREENIVASAN: Claire Wardle, the co-director of the Information Futures Lab at Brown University and Sam Gregory, the executive director of WITNESS.

Thank you both for joining me.

WARDLE: Thank you very much.

GREGORY: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And indeed, forewarned is forearmed against this kind of disinformation.

And finally, reproductive rights and safe sex took center stage at pop star Olivia Rodrigo's World Tour concert. She made free condoms, morning after

pills and flyers with information on resources available to her fans on stands around the concert hall.


The singer announced some of the profits from her St. Louis performance will go to organizations that help people with access to reproductive care.

Now, in Missouri, abortion is banned with no exceptions, even for rape or incest. Rodrigo has long expressed her support for women's rights and she

used her 2022 Glastonbury debut to protest against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.


OLIVIA RODRIGO, SINGER: I'm terrified, and so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this.


AMANPOUR: As a related note, the U.K. gears up for this year's Glastonbury and it's the first time ever that two out of the three headline performers

will be women, Dua Lipa and SZA.

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

catch us online, on our website, all-across social media.

Thanks for watching, and goodbye from London.