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Interview with Council of Foreign Relations President and Former U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman; Interview with Former Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan; Interview with "The Age of Grievance" Author and The New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired May 15, 2024 - 13:00   ET



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

The children of war, Jomana Karadsheh joins me on meeting the youngest Gazans whose lives are changed forever.

And as Russia moves on Kharkiv, Vladimir Putin heads to China. I speak to Mike Froman, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, about American

leverage in Ukraine, China, and beyond.

Then --


GEOFF DUNCAN, FORMER GEORGIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: We've been jamming this square peg to a round hole long enough, and it's time to turn the page.

It's time to move on.


AMANPOUR: -- Republicans voting for Biden. Georgia's former Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan tells me why he went public with his plan to cross

the aisle.

Plus --


FRANK BRUNI, AUTHOR "THE AGE OF GRIEVANCE" AND COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: We are asked to be angry. We are asked to consider how wronged we



AMANPOUR: -- "The Age of Grievance." Frank Bruni talks to Michel Martin about the new trend in politics, complaining.

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

Palestinians have been marking the 76th anniversary of the Nakba, which means catastrophe, when more than 700,000 were expelled or fled during

Israel's war of independence in 1948. This year's observations come amid acute pain for both, since the October 7th massacres in Israel and the mass

death and destruction in Gaza. Children have borne the brunt of this war. So many thousands have been killed that even the U.N. has called this a war

against children.

Now, this video that we want to show you next is difficult, but it tells a story. It shows a girl called Tolene (ph) wounded in a recent strike on

Northern Gaza and calling out for her mother as she's being rescued.


TOLENE (PH): Mama.



AMANPOUR: Tolene (ph) survived, but her mother, we learned, did not. Jomana Karadsheh joins me now to talk about this, and her visit with

injured children in Doha, Qatar. So, welcome to the program.

You know, this is what we get sent and what we see and what, you know, we try to search to tell the actual story. The fact is, we journalists,

international journalists, are prevented from going into Gaza. So, in terms of transparency, tell our viewers how we fact-checked that piece of video.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On a daily basis, we get video like this out of Gaza and we always have a procedure in place to check, to

geolocate videos, to see where this has happened.

In this case, our producers were on the phone to sources in Gaza speaking to multiple people to get information on Tolene (ph) and what happened to

Tolene (ph), because this video only surfaced a couple of days ago.

AMANPOUR: But it happened a couple of weeks ago.

KARADSHEH: We understand it happened on the 1st of May in Northern Gaza, in Beit Lahia. And what we understand happened in this instance, for

example, is Tolene (ph) was sheltering in this -- in her home with her mother and her sister when this airstrike happened and they were both


But what you see in this video, Christiane, is throughout this clip is these first responders, rescuers, talking to Tolene (ph), trying to keep

her conscious, trying to keep her engaged, trying to calm her down while they're trying to get bandages and tourniquets to deal with her injuries,

and she's constantly asking for her mother, saying, I'm afraid, I'm scared, where's my mom? And they tell her, your mom is OK, she's waiting for you.


And we've seen this so many times over the past more than seven months, where they can't tell children, in this situation, that their parents are

no longer there. This has become a phenomenon, as you know, well in Gaza, wounded child, no surviving family. We're talking about an estimate of

about 20,000 children who've lost their parents in this war. And you see these scenes, children pulled from under the rubble on their own, children

in emergency rooms, wounded, with no parents there by their side.

AMANPOUR: We regularly check in with the IDF when we have these things. I don't know whether we did on this case. But in general, they tell us they

do their best to avoid civilian casualties. Obviously, there have been a huge number of civilian casualties.

You know, it's very hard because we international journalists are prevented from going in. What do Gazans who you talk to think about that? There are

hundreds of Gazan journalists who've been doing a heroic job. Many have paid with their lives. What do they say to you when you reach them on the

phone and they ask you, well, why aren't you coming?

KARADSHEH: Well, this is something, Christiane, that really surprised me when we were in Doha recently and we met evacuees, people who just gotten

to Doha for medical treatment and their family members, people don't know why we're not there. They think we're not there because it's too dangerous,

because we don't want to be there. They don't realize that we are being prevented, that we are not given free access to go in and cover the war.

And so many like yourself have been pushing the Israeli government to give us that free access to be able to go in and report. As you mentioned

Palestinian journalists in Gaza who have risked their lives, who've risked everything, who've lost their lives covering this war, who have been our

eyes and ears on the ground, and we are -- we cannot tell these stories without them, but we also want to be there on the ground as well to bear

witness and to tell these stories.

And this is why we went to Doha, we went to Qatar, because we can't reach Gaza, and this was the closest we could get to speaking to survivors of

this war, to hearing firsthand from people what they have gone through and what they are continuing to go through.

AMANPOUR: And we're going to see your report.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): Far from a place of death and destruction, Gaza's children try to be children again. But everywhere you look here, you see

the real cost of a war Israel says is against Hamas, what the U.N. has called a war on children. So many injured little ones, so many who've lost


Mahmoud (ph) can no longer ride a bike. The nine-year-old lost both his arms in an Israeli strike. He's one of hundreds of children evacuated by

Qatar for medical treatment.

Mahmoud (ph) is finding ways of living a childhood shattered. He shows off how he's learned to use his feet to play video games.

I want to fulfill my dreams. I want to be a journalist and a pilot, he says.

The once independent child now needs his mother to feed him, dress him, and take him to the toilet.

I ask what makes him so resilient. Because I'm from Gaza, because I'm Palestinian, he says, nothing can stop me. Those children here, like

Mahmoud (ph), don't want to talk about their injuries. They found sanctuary in this unlikely place. A compound Qatar built for World Cup fans now

turned into housing for nearly 2,000 Gaza evacuees, most of them women and children.

It's a safe space to deal with the trauma of war and offers us a firsthand glimpse into the suffering which Israel has forced us to cover from afar by

preventing international journalists from freely accessing the enclave.

In this room, women gather for a session of Palestinian embroidery. It's therapy, a distraction, but how could anyone forget what they've been

through and all they've lost?

Alma (ph) quietly sits watching her grandmother embroidering. Her wounded mother is in the hospital, her injured father still in Gaza.

MONA AL-ROUBI, GRANDCHILDREN KILLED IN GAZA (through translator): I didn't expect Alma (ph) to survive. She had a fractured skull, an amputated leg,

shrapnel in her back, and a broken arm.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Like many children, Alma (ph) has lost more than her leg. The blast that maimed her took her eight-month-old sister, Sham

(ph), who died in her arms, and her six-year-old brother, Ahmed (ph).

I am sad about my brother and sister. Alma, choking back tears, can't say any more.

Everyone in this room is missing loved ones, those gone and those they've had to leave behind. Weighed down by grief and guilt, they tell us they

deprive themselves of food and sleep.


SOHEIR ISSA, SONS KILLED IN GAZA (through translator): I've been sleeping on a couch. How can I sleep on a bed when my sons are sleeping in a tent

and on sand? How can I eat when my children are hungry?

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Soheir's three children and husband are in Rafah. Like others, she desperately wants to get them out. She shows us pictures

of what used to be home, where she was injured, where she lost her mother, six-year-old niece, and two of her sons, all killed in a strike, she says,

while they were sleeping.

She gleams with pride talking about her boys. 16-year-old Sharif (ph) was top of his class. Mahmoud (ph) had just gotten a scholarship to study

medicine abroad.

ISSA (through translator): Israel left no dreams. I now find myself thinking I wish I had let my sons take up arms instead of dying like this.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Soheir says she raised her boys to never carry weapons, to serve their people through their education.

ISSA (through translator): I want to tell them you destroyed the people, the mothers, you created more hatred. I used to feel for them, with the

hostages. As a mother who's lost her children, if I could avenge my son's death, I would do it myself.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Memories and photos, all she has left of them.

ISSA (through translator): When I go to sleep at night, I put my arms like this. I imagine I'm hugging Mahmoud (ph) and Sharif (ph). Hugging my


KARADSHEH (voice-over): Pain in this place is palpable. Those who've made it out may have escaped the war, but there's no escaping the everlasting

scars it leaves behind.


AMANPOUR: So much pain, Jomana. That mother's last comment is exactly what everybody fears, that this will create backlash for generations. I wonder

what anybody said to you about Hamas and do they blame Hamas as well.

KARADSHEH (on camera): Look, we are hearing more and more people now speaking out against Hamas, people of Gaza who not only -- who are also

blaming Hamas for what is happening as well as Israel, of course, but they just want this to end. They just want this to be over. They don't even know

how they're going to be able to rebuild their lives. But right now, everyone we spoke to in this report had families still inside Gaza.

Families are separated.

AMANPOUR: And I have to say, I was really touched by this woman in so much pain, who even empathized with the plight of the hostages who are still

being held in the -- I mean, probably terrible conditions underground. Maybe more than a hundred Israel still needs to get home. And there's just

so much pain on all sides. It almost -- you found people here, even in their pain, talking about the others.

KARADSHEH: They were. And this one woman, Soheir, was talking about how she believed in peace. She believed that they could live alongside

Israelis. That she was teaching her children, you know, to focus on their education and to contribute to their people into their country that way.

But she now says, as you heard there, that she regrets that and she talks about that hate. And she says, when the hostages were first taken, she was

feeling really worried about them, saying, I hope they treat them well. But now, you can hear the anger in her voice and so many --

AMANPOUR: Yes. It's really, really worrying. It really, really is. And it's interesting though to hear the reports of more and more Gazans

actually daring to say that, you know, Hamas has also sold us down the river. Jomana, thank you very much indeed.

The war in Gaza, the war in Ukraine, the West's strained relationship with Russia and China, the world is more unstable than ever. Today, there was an

assassination attempt against Slovakia's populist pro-Russia prime minister, Robert Fico, who was shot multiple times. Slovakia's president

said she was shocked.


ZUZANA CAPUTOVA, SLOVAK PRESIDENT (through translator): I am shocked. Everybody is shocked by what's happened. The assassination attempt on

Slovakia's prime minister. And we'll have to show our strength and unity.

First of all, it was not an attempt on a head of government, it was an attempt on a human being. The rhetoric of hate which was accompanying this

event, I'll ask you to stay calm. And if it's possible, please filter the information and please only confirm facts. This is the most important




AMANPOUR: And this week, Vladimir Putin is expected in Beijing, the latest sign of their growing alignment and a clear message to America. Mike Froman

is the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also served in President Obama's cabinet as U.S. trade representative. And now, well, with

this year's presidential election just six months away, he's joining me now on set.

Mike Froman, welcome.


AMANPOUR: I just want you to react, you know, to all of this that's going on right now and what it means for America. The fact that, you know, Israel

and Gaza are still in this terrible situation that even the United States can't seem to end, that Russia and China are overtly challenging the United

States and working to undermine credibility of the United States. Just give me an overview of what you think.

FROMAN: Well, I think you're right that there's a concerted effort by Russia, China, Iran, throw in North Korea to work together to challenge the

rules based international order, whether that's Russia's invasion of Ukraine supported by Iran, North Korea, and very importantly, China helping

to militarize Russia's economy or what's going on in the Indo-Pacific region with China exerting itself, vis-a-vis its neighbors.

And so, these are all interconnected in some respects and that they all are directed towards either undermining not just the United States and its

leadership, but really the rules-based system itself.

AMANPOUR: Most people, many people are beginning to admit that actually Russia and China and this additional, if you want, axis against America,

the anti-America axis that is developing, is successful and it's working. It has basically affected Africa, great, great parts of the world believe

that narrative.

FROMAN: I think it is quite disruptive in terms of trying to undermine what's been going on. I don't think they proposed a substitute world order

or set of rules for international engagement.

AMANPOUR: But do they have to?

FROMAN: Well, perhaps not. But I think what's, in fact, happened is it's strengthened, in many respects, alliances around the world. So, there's

been an action and a reaction. NATO is stronger now than it has been for decades. Two new countries, more countries spending 2 percent of GDP or

more on the defense, a lot of cohesion between -- across the Atlantic, between the United States and Europe.

In the Asia-Pacific or the Indo-Pacific region, you've got AUKUS, you have the Quad with India involved, you have trilateral cooperation with Korea,

Japan, and the United States, U.S., Japan, Philippines working together as well.

And so, in many respects you have to look at the -- while there's been an effort to disrupt, it's also led to a lot of very positive development in

terms of alliances and partners -- or partnerships coming together.

AMANPOUR: So, where would you put the balance sheet? Who's winning right now? America and its world-based order, Europe and the rest, the democratic

world, or them? I mean, just look at Russia making advances into Ukraine that were unthinkable seven months ago.

FROMAN: Well, perhaps we have to think of -- we look at the situation in Ukraine. This is a Russian defeat. They expected to go in and take over

Kyiv in a very short period of time.

AMANPOUR: But isn't that the narrative of two years ago? Today, they are seeing that the West is tired, is incapable of producing the equipment and

ammunition, that the politics have slowed down the delivery of vital American aid. And Putin is looking at trying to redo what he tried to do a

year -- two years ago.

FROMAN: Well, the U.S. Congress was way too slow in approving this package, but the package has now been approved, and there's a race between

getting the material to the Ukrainians so that they can defend themselves, push back the Russian forces and make it -- and change the calculation that

Putin faces in terms of how long he wants to be in this conflict with Ukraine, a race of that against Putin trying to take additional villages

particularly in the northeast of Ukraine.

So, yes, it's a very sensitive moment. But thankfully, the Congress finally did act. Europeans have acted as well. And Ukrainians should have the

material that they need in order to, one, very importantly defend and prevent further Russian advances. And two, hopefully push the Russians back

and change that calculation.

AMANPOUR: Do you, in your heart, think that that's going to happen, and those seven months of delay? Plus, the Europeans inability to send the,

let's say, a million shells, they were going to sell. They can't. But North Korea did to Russia in a month. In a year, E.U. couldn't send them to


FROMAN: Well, let's not forget how many people, men and soldiers that Russia lost, how much material they lost in this war. China, Iran, North

Korea, all working to help Russia rearm itself and to militarize its economy.

But yes, I do think that with the support of the West, Ukraine can defend itself, make gains. And hopefully, whenever it is an appropriate time to

come to negotiations, come to the table from a position of strength.

AMANPOUR: What do you think? How do you read as an American, as a former ambassador working for the world order that your country created? What do

you read into this second meeting this year between Xi -- President Xi Jinping and President Putin?


FROMAN: You know, I think when they first met at the eve of the invasion of Ukraine, people thought this was a relationship of convenience and

perhaps it wouldn't go anywhere. I think what President Xi has come to the conclusion of, and of course, it's hard to know from the outside, is that

they have a common interest in undermining U.S. leadership and undermining the U.S.-led order, as you said, or the Western-led order. So, they're

working very closely together. And I think that changes a lot of dynamics.

Right now, China is posing a security threat to Europe. In that it's supporting Russian aggression in Ukraine and helping to militarize the

Russian economy. The U.S. and Europe weren't always on the same pages with regard to China. There still are some important differences. But I think

Europeans increasingly see that it's not just Russia they're dealing with, it's also an aggressive China.

AMANPOUR: How are we meant to understand and pass all the different analysts take on what's happening between the U.S. and China? And over

trade, over Taiwan, over that kind of stuff? You know, there are certain quarters who believe that a war is inevitable, that Xi is going to take

back Taiwan by force inevitably, and that the U.S. will be caught up in the middle of it. There are others that say -- who say, don't get hysterical.

It's not a cold war. It might be a cold piece. You've seen the latest by Michael Hirsch in your own newspaper or magazine.

Where -- what should the world think and know about what's actually happening between China and the U.S.?

FROMAN: Well, I think one should look at what the facts are and what the actual actions are. China is building out its military and it's building

out its nuclear force. It is -- President Xi has said they want to be -- they've asked the military to be ready to take Taiwan, if necessary, by

force by 2027. But that doesn't mean that a decision has been made or that a deadline has been set in order to take Taiwan.

And I think the West, including the U.S., Japan, Australia, others in the region, can do a lot between now and then to enhance the deterrence and

make sure that we're introducing enough uncertainty into the equation, that President Xi will take a pause before taking any kinetic action against


AMANPOUR: And it's been said, and correct us if we're wrong, that in terms of trade, President Biden is not so different with China than Former

President Trump was. Others say, no, he's had more targeted tariffs and et cetera. Because some people say, well, look, Trump's view of China, Trump's

dealing with Xi was much more effective than any previous presidents.

FROMAN: Well, I think there's a bipartisan consensus right now on the importance of being firm with China on trade. There are differences between

the Biden administration's approach and what Former President Trump has said he would do if he were re-elected, he would impose a 60 percent tariff

on all Chinese import -- exports to the United States and a 10 percent tariff on imports from the rest of the world.

I think what you saw, including in the announcements this week, was a targeted approach by the Biden administration to focus particularly on

those sectors where we've identified the need to engage in industrial policy and to build a U.S. capacity to manufacture, whether it's electric

vehicles, batteries, other clean energy products as well.

If you're going to invest public dollars in trying to build the industry, the logic is that you want to prevent China from flooding the market,

dumping subsidized products in at the same time. I think Europe is going to have to deal with many of the same questions. France, Germany, the U.K. all

have robust auto industries. And they -- if the U.S. closes its market, which I expect it will to electric vehicles from China, those vehicles have

got to go somewhere.

There's a lot of excess capacity. There isn't a lot of infrastructure around the rest of the world, and I think they'll be targeting the European


AMANPOUR: And just again, as a sort of a last question, again, you know, you were in the Obama administration. The idea of globalization was still

the holy grail. Everybody thought that was a great way to -- you know, to integrate the world, to hopefully decrease tensions rather than increase

them. You know, with China and Russia now so prevalent in Africa, for instance, and all over.

Do you still believe globalization was the right way to go or was it just a big fat mistake?

FROMAN: No, I think globalization had tremendous benefits for the global economy as a whole. It lifted hundreds of millions, if not a billion plus

people out of poverty. It improved human development indicators of all sorts. It brought nations closer together.

It did also have its costs. And I just will speak from the United States. We never really dealt effectively with the domestic cost of adjustment,

whether those adjustments came from technology and the innovation or whether they came from trade. And that's a failure on our part from a

domestic policy point of view to address those issues.

AMANPOUR: And are those being addressed?


FROMAN: Not sufficiently, but I think what the Biden administration has taken the tact of, well, let's focus on -- having seen that the weaknesses

of the global system in terms of being able to discipline an economy like China, which follows a different set of rules, on subsidies, on state owned

enterprises and the like, let's, in some ways, follow China's example in terms of investing in key industries, in closing our market in particular

ways, in restricting investment so that we can ensure that we have a robust manufacturing sector in the United States.

AMANPOUR: What gives you the most hope as we get into an American election?

FROMAN: Well, look, I think --

AMANPOUR: Or nightmares.

FROMAN: I think when you look at the polls, if you take issues like international trade, actually the vast majority of the American public

supports international trade. They see that it's good, not just as consumers --

AMANPOUR: But they think Trump is better on the economy?

FROMAN: But they -- right now, they think that Trump is better on the economy. So, I think -- you know, I think there's hope that as the American

public understands what the tradeoffs, you know, we don't like being dependent on China for imports. We also don't like inflation and the high

cost of living. And actions taken to address our dependence on China will likely raise the costs. We need to have those conversations and I have

faith in the American people.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Froman, thank you very much.

FROMAN: Thanks for having me

AMANPOUR: Now, with this year's presidential election only six months away, divisions over these key foreign policy and other issues will play a

pivotal role and will likely be thrashed out in a televised debate on CNN next month, that's the first between President Joe Biden and Former

President Donald Trump.

Right now, the former president is in and out of court where he faces criminal charges in a hush money case. But this trial hasn't dented his

popularity among many prominent Republicans, who turned up at the courthouse yesterday to defend him.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: The system is using all the tools at its disposal right now to punish one president and provide cover

for another.

VIVEK RAMASWAMY, FORMER U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a sham. This is not the United States of America. This is some third-rate

banana republic.

GOV. DOUG BURGUM (R-ND): The only conclusion, of course, is it is election interference and it's tying up the president from being out on the campaign


REP. CORY MILLS (R-FL): This is a sham, and that is the only thing this is. Michael Cohen has no credibility, no integrity, and this is

weaponization against our president.

REP. BYRON DONALDS (R-FL): This is a joke, it is a farce, it is a travesty. We are better than this.


AMANPOUR: Well, my next guest is a Republican, but he's endorsing Joe Biden for a second term. He says Donald Trump "has disqualified himself

through his conduct and his character, and that he doesn't represent our Republican brand." Geoff Duncan is the former lieutenant governor of

Georgia, and he joins the show from Atlanta. Welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Why? Tell us why you've come to that conclusion and why you, as a Republican, have decided to go public now on this issue?

DUNCAN: We've played this game long enough trying to think Donald Trump is actually a Republican and he's the best voice and spokesman and

representative for our brand, but he isn't. We've tried to jam this square peg to a round hole for now going on what feels eight years.

Donald Trump is not an authentic leader. And if we hired a room full of really bright consultants and said, what's the best way to turn away from

Donald Trump, they would tell us to beat him, beat him as quickly and effectively as you can. And then take the next four years to heal and

rebuild your party. Find leaders that are genuine, authentic leaders that understand the importance of actually telling the truth to the American


And as a Republican, not showing up to work every day as a fake Republican. Donald Trump showed up to work for four years just so he could stay in

power and acted like a Republican. He certainly wasn't rooted in those conservative values.

And so, look, this is a bold step for somebody who's been a lifelong Republican and continues to plan on being a Republican. But I think this is

the most important election of our country's future because, I think, it's an important opportunity for us to get rid of Donald Trump and do the right

thing as Republicans. And, you know, create a firewall of protection in Congress with a Republican majority and most likely the Senate, and be able

to move on for four years and have a better party for it.

AMANPOUR: Let me just read a little bit from your essay where you made this announcement. You wrote, "Unlike Trump, I belong to the GOP my entire

life. This November, I'm voting for a decent person I disagree with on policy over a criminal defendant without a moral compass."

So, what do you make then of all these Republicans who we just, you know, laid out for everybody to see, trooping down to the court of a, you know,

criminal defendant and trashing the democratic system, the judicial system and supporting him?

When you say heal and have, you know, four years to figure it out for the Republican Party, who? I mean, have they not all, you know, gone -- you

know, gone over the -- if you like, gone over to MAGA?


DUNCAN: The clip that you played coming into this looked like an episode from "Bachelorette" here in America of them trying to vie -- you know, one

up each other to try to be his date in the election. I mean, that's really what it's played out, even down to the point where they dress the same,

white shirts, red ties, and dark jackets.

But look, I truly see this playing out as it's politically expedient to be alongside Donald Trump. Privately, I have a number of individuals that even

publicly say that they support Donald Trump, that privately come to me and say, look, you know, the time -- time is going to be favorable to you.

History is going to be favorable to this opinion of getting rid of this guy as quickly as we can. And as soon as we do then we'll be able to move on.

My job, and I think job -- the job of others that are really of this mindset is to provide the air cover for those that maybe aren't willing to

step out right out of the gates and say, Donald Trump is wrong for not only this party, but for this country. And that's what I'm here to do. I'm here

to provide as much air cover as I can, take the heat, and continue to do the right thing.

Because at the end of the day, Donald Trump is absolutely wrong for this country. And it just continues to play out. Even as you watch these trials

play out, I don't know what the legal outcomes of them are going to be, but the salacious details, the peek into his soul shows you what a corrupt

thinker, what a corrupt operator, what a broken man this person is, and I can only imagine the difficult decisions that rest in his lap as president

going forward. The difficult foreign policy decisions, economic decisions, border issues, if they're all self-centered answers that come out of his

mouth just for his sole purpose of survival, we're going to have a rough four years.

AMANPOUR: I want to get to backlash, but I want to ask you then, given the fact that you have just said that, why is it, do you think, that certainly

the latest polls show that he is ahead in certain or actually quite a few swing states? And especially amongst young people and in diverse states who

say they want change and that they believe Trump is the change agent?

Now, they won't answer what kind of change, but it's definitely, they're fed up with politics, they're fed up, many of them, with their own lives

and their own, you know, cost of living, et cetera, but they think that he can bring the change. Why do you think that they still believe that after

the four years that he was in power?

DUNCAN: I certainly think this is going to be a neck and neck race all the way through the finish line. I'm not certain I actually put a lot of weight

in the polling and not just in this race. I think we've seen this play out all across the country the last few years. We're having a difficult time

really, truly, genuinely getting a snapshot of where the electorate is.

But you know, look, there's a lot of people out there that are disgruntled. That don't like the position that they're in, either economically or

socially. And so, there's this loud, angry voice in their head, and Donald Trump seems to be the mouthpiece that represents that.

But at the end of the day, that's just making a point, it's not actually making a difference. If I'm sitting in a rural part of this country, and

I'm champing and banging on Donald Trump's drum, if I -- if I'm genuinely looking at it, he's done the least for that community than any other

president probably in modern history, he just hasn't helped them, other than just being a vocal -- a proponent of some of their agitation.

At the end of the day, we just cannot get in the business in America of electing dishonest human beings to represent us. We've seen that not play

out well in Congress. We've seen that not play out well through governorships. And certainly, we've had the experience of watching it play

out in the Oval Office.

The world's watching us. I'm hoping we get this right. I'm hoping we take on this big decision in November and pick somebody that is honest, that I

can disagree with on policy, I can hopefully work with and try to get them to navigate back towards more of a moderate platform and away from the far

deep left. That's something I can work with.

I can't work with a liar. I can't work with somebody who's willing to sabotage everything just for self-preservation.

AMANPOUR: So, when you say that and you write this and you come out publicly, what kind of backlash have you received?

DUNCAN: Yes, it's probably surprising. I mean, it's a hundred to one. I live in a very deeply red community, 80 plus percent in my hometown are

Republicans. Certainly, I run around in Republican circles. I've been an elected Republican official for a long time. It's a hundred to one. A

hundred people saying, hey, way to speak the truth.

Even if they're planning on still voting for Donald Trump, they get it They understand it. A lot of the feedback I get is, hey, I might get there too

myself. This thing continues to erode so quickly. It's hard to think about putting my stamp of approval or my brand on somebody who's willing to lie,

cheat, and steal just to be the president of the United States, to quite honestly, I think to stay out of jail. Some might think to just have power,

but all of us probably agree not to actually do the right thing and to make a difference.

AMANPOUR: And very, very quickly, briefly, it's just been announced that the two candidates, the president and the former president, will debate on

CNN June 27th. How do you expect that to go? I mean, you know, you talk about lies and the rest of it. I mean, he's a master message manipulator.

How do you expect it to go?


DUNCAN: Yes, the last two debates during the previous election cycle, Donald Trump did not do well. They were huge pivot points, I think, in a

negative direction for his campaign. He's -- he sets the bar so low for Joe Biden, and Joe shows up and does the things that he needs to do. I don't

necessarily agree with his answers. But his tone, his temperament, is much more conducive to being a civilized American instead of a loudmouth pop off

artist that just tries to voice hate and, you know, visceral opinion.

AMANPOUR: And, again, do you think more Republicans will come out? Because we talked to Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly Trump's communications

director. He told us that there will be a lot of former Trump officials who will come out closer to the election to say the same kind of thing that

you're saying.

DUNCAN: I do. I think it's going to continue to grow the list of folks willing to stick their neck out there and say Donald Trump -- just say the

truth, Donald Trump is not fit to be the leader of the free world. And I truly believe that's going to continue to build.

And, you know, this creates a math problem for Donald Trump. Whoever wins the presidency has to win the suburbs. And nobody in the suburbs is paying

attention to these trials and these salacious details coming out, changing their mind as to what kind of character or person Donald Trump is. And so,

I think he's got to continue to have a serious math problem.

AMANPOUR: Lieutenant Governor, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Now, today is a day off from the courtroom and onto the campaign trail for Trump, where no doubt he'll be airing his grievances about his criminal

trial as usual. No one likes to amplify complaints quite like him. And my next guest says that we are actually living in the age of grievance.

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni joins Michel Martin to discuss his latest piece which explores how grievances have come to define American

politics on both the left and the right now.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks Christiane. Frank Bruni, thank you so much for talking with us.


MARTIN: Your new book is called "The Age of Grievance," which is, you know, immediately brings a lot of things to mind. Give us one thing that

kind of sparked your thinking in this area.

BRUNI: At a certain point, it seemed to me that so much of what I was hearing people say when they entered the political arena, so much of what I

was hearing political candidates say boiled down to these overwrought and sometimes illegitimate complaints that mingled with the really important

stuff in the urgent causes and kind of turned the soundtrack of our public life into this din of complaint, complaint, complaint.

And it seemed to me we were living in a kind of grievance culture, an age of grievance, and I really wanted to understand how we got there. I wanted

to look at what it was costing us, and I wanted to, you know, contemplate how we might visit to a better place.

MARTIN: You open with, this won't shock too many people, a number of anecdotes from Fox News where the opinion hosts in particular seem to

really rely on this as kind of a business model. And you describe a particular circumstance that seemed to really set off a number of their

hosts. Just tell that story if you would, and what it is about it you found so troubling.

BRUNI: Yes. So, I mean, about two years ago, we had a real baby formula shortage. There's a lot about it in the news. But what happened on Fox News

on "Sean Hannity Show" and then kind of became an obsession of Fox News personalities and of the kind of Twitter right, was he showed this picture

that he said was baby formula being kind of held back from the public and stockpiled and being given to people who had immigrated illegally, to

migrants on this side of the border, and they were getting baby formula and you Americans, you were not getting baby formula.

But if you zoomed in on the picture he was showing, it wasn't baby formula, it was powdered milk for older children, which was not in short supply. But

this minting of an us versus them scenario, this attempt to whip people into a state of fury about they were -- about the way they were being

wronged was not just kind of part and parcel of Fox's business model or really the essence of it, but it was emblematic of a kind of thing that

happens in politics increasingly and all the time.

We are asked to be angry. We are asked to consider how wronged we are. This happens across the ideological spectrum. It's non-partisan. And so, I began

there because I thought it was such an emblematic episode.

MARTIN: Well, you said that this is across the political spectrum, but just for the sake of fairness, an example of where you think this has kind

of manifested on what I think we would sort of broadly defined call the political left, what's an example of that?

BRUNI: I'll give you an example. When Brittney Griner was horrifically and unjustly imprisoned in Russia I saw on the left -- when I went to Twitter

and I looked at some accounts on the left, when I was just reading commentary and publications that had a leftward lean, I saw the complaint

that she was not getting much attention, that the Biden administration and Americans didn't care enough because she was black, because she was a

woman, and because she was a lesbian.


Now, racism in this country is very real. Homophobia is real. Sexism is very real. Brittney Griner was getting more discussion and more exposure

than any political prisoner I can remember in the last decade. In fact, a lot of us only learned about Paul Whelan, who's still being held by the

Russians because of the Brittney Griner story.

And what concerns me about that, and where that is a part of grievance culture that is so disturbing and destructive is when you claim racism,

sexism, homophobia in situations where that doesn't fit, you give your opponents a way to dismiss you when you're making those claims in the most

urgent and necessary way. But that's an example of grievance run amok on the left.

MARTIN: You describe this as a kind of not just a sort of a political problem, but a cultural problem, something you feel like has it kind of

infused the kind of broader American experience of public life, which you say in the book is, you know, where there was trouble, where there was

disappointment, when dreams were unrealized, when goals were unmet, and sometimes even when things were going perfectly well but not exactly

perfectly, they look for insult and invariably found it, even if they had to invent it.

So, where do you think this started?

BRUNI: Why have we gotten here? I think there's so many different streams, you know, that feed this confluence. Income inequality, the decline of

social mobility in America, this legitimate sense among many Americans that opportunity isn't equally distributed and that our growth and our future,

our bright future are not to be taken for granted.

Social media is an enormous aggravate (ph) and accelerant of this because, well, it prompt -- while the internet was this great promise of

connectedness, it turns out to be this great curse of disconnectedness that allows us to sort ourselves ever more efficiently and ruthlessly.

And I think one more big component of this is a whole new American pessimism that represents a real alteration, even rupture in the American

psyche. When you look at survey data, it used to be the case that when you said to a random sampling of Americans, do you think your children will

have a better, brighter future than you did, or will have a better life than you have right now?

A dependable majority of Americans would say, yes, that's no longer the case. And that's a real profound change in this country and its psychology,

and it affects the way we relate to one another.

MARTIN: Yes, but some of those things -- this is the thing we wanted to talk about here, Frank, is that, you know, some of those grievances are

real. There is vast income inequality in this country. And even for some groups, especially less educated Americans, their life expectancy is

actually going down. So, the substance of some people's grievances is correct, right?

BRUNI: The foundation and the cornerstone of some of these grievances, not all of them, is correct. The problem becomes where you travel with them,

where you take them. So, you mentioned life expectancy declining among some Americans, and that's particularly true, as you said, among less educated

Americans. And a lot has been said and written about people in the "heartland" in areas that have been decimated by factory closings and by

drugs. And a lot of that diminished life expectancy has to do with opioid overdoses and drug deaths, right?

So, talking about that, for the people who are affected by that, whose loved ones have been affected by that, to talk about that and to ask the

question, is the government paying me and the people I live among enough attention? Is it coming up with the right solutions? That's a good

grievance, right? But what you see is that carried to places that are absolutely loopy and really destructive.

J. D. Vance, who is currently seemingly on Donald Trump's short list for vice presidential running mate consideration, actually went on a talk show,

I quoted in the book, and said that he believed Biden and the Biden administration wanted a porous border, because making sure a certain amount

of fentanyl got across the border would up the deaths that we're talking about and would eliminate Trump voters.

Now, that is grievance run amok. That's a particularly cartoonish example, but that habit of going from something legitimate into the realms of the

absurd, that happens in other instances as well.

MARTIN: One of the other things you say in the book is that the American soundtrack has become a cacophony of competing complaints. Some are

righteous and others specious. Some are urgent and others frivolous. Those distinctions are too often lost on the complainers.

So, this is a question of where, you know, you have to ask, how do you decide what's frivolous and what's serious? You know, who -- and who is to

decide that?


BRUNI: Well, obviously, I mean, in some sense, voters get to decide that by whom they reward by putting in office. It is a subjective judgment. But

I think, for me, what I would say, and I think this is probably not a controversial thing to say, it's frivolous if it's fictive. It's frivolous

if it's J. D. Vance saying the Biden administration wants drugs coming across the border to kill Trump voters. It's frivolous if Sean Hannity is

calling powdered milk infant formula.

Like when you actually invent facts and when you become so overwrought that all you're trying to do is construct a nonexistent us versus them

narrative, when all you're trying to do is whip people into fury, whether it's to raise political -- whether it's to raise donations in a political

campaign, a la Marjorie Taylor Greene, you know, or whether it's simply to kind of get elected and to ride the currents of anger into office in an

indiscriminate and self-serving way, all of that, to me, would belong in the category of the frivolous.

MARTIN: You make clear in the book that this kind of grievance culture that you speak about didn't begin with Former President Trump, but he

certainly is emblematic of it. He's currently on trial -- as we are speaking now, he's currently on trial in New York where he's made very

clear that his, you know, grievances about a lot of things.

But could you just be more specific in how you think that he stoked this kind of culture of grievance and what role you think he specifically has

played in it?

BRUNI: Well, he stoked it in so many ways, but one right out of the gate, and that has continued to this moment in time, is he basically said to his

supporters, all of the cultural elites that you believe look down on you and that you dislike or maybe even despise, they're against me too. They

look down on me too. So. vote for me as a measure of revenge against them, right? That was the negative part. And it was a big part of this political

message. I would argue it's the cornerstone of his political career.

He was saying, you are rightly angry that all those people in the society who you think have had an easier time than you, who've been on a glide

path, you are correct that they are bad people who look down at the rest of us.

Now, the crazy political sorcery here is Trump is elite himself, but he somehow made himself an ambassador of a whole different group of Americans.

And he said, you know, I -- like, if you want to torment them, the greatest way to torment them is by embracing me.

That was a message of his across the years, and he distilled it and, you know, for lack of a better verb, perfected it just about a year ago when he

launched his current campaign to go back to the White House, and he used four words that I think will long be remembered and that I think are just

the perfect distillation of his political identity. He told the people whom he wanted to vote for him again, I am your retribution. That is grievance

on steroids.

MARTIN: You know, so let's -- I'm also intrigued by your notion of like, how do we decide what's serious and how do we decide what's frivolous if

it's a matter of who the public elevates, you know, by that standard, the J. D. Vances, the Donald Trumps, all those who are emblematic of that sort

of the language of grievance, they are setting the priorities, right?

So, if people have chosen these people with that message of grievance, does not that say something about the priority that the public at large, whoever

voted for them, wasn't everybody, gives to whatever they're saying?

BRUNI: It does, but it doesn't mean that priority is wholly warranted and is justly and accurately given. But what I would say, because I really want

us to try to understand one another better rather than to -- in the case of like, say, the MAGA movement and Trump supporters, rather than to just

reflexively look down and say, they're all crazy or whatever.

I think in that situation, as in many others, what's constructive and productive is to ask, OK, Donald Trump is grievance run amok. Donald Trump

weaponizes grievance in a way that travels so far from the truth, and we should never stop calling that out. Why does that message resonate? What

are the real frustrations that if we looked at harder and attended to and talked about in a more mature way, could we come up with more collaboration

as a society and could we make the crazy part of it recede a little bit?

I mean, those are the questions I want to ask, those are the discussions I want to have, because I think we're in a really not just divisive, but

dysfunctional place.


MARTIN: One idea -- one sort of solution that you offer I found really fascinating that the governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, issued an

executive order opening up a large number of state jobs to people who don't have a four-year degree. The argument being that a lot of these jobs didn't

need one, didn't really require one. And why do you think that that's so important? And what do you think that has to do with the sort of the call

for collegiality, comedy, and civility that you've been calling for? Why would that help? Why do you think that something like that helps?

BRUNI: I think that helps enormously on both the symbolic and substantive level. And interestingly, that has become something of trend debt among

governors. It's happened in Utah. It's happened in a bunch of other states. He was one of the early ones to do it. And by doing it via executive order

on his first day in office, he was attaching great symbolic and messaging weight to it.

He was recognizing that a lot of the people who don't support him as a Democrat, who don't support the Democratic Party, rightly or wrongly, see

the Democratic Party as a party of educated elites who look down on people who don't have as much education, who aren't as intellectually refined or


And he was saying, I want to do something that shows that that's not the case. I want to do something that is going to help as many people who did

not vote for me as it will people who did vote for me. I'm not just parceling out rewards to the faithful, I'm showing voters that I am the

governor of everyone, I care about everyone, and I want to extend opportunities in ways that you may not associate normally with me or my


That is such a conciliatory act. That is such a deft expression of empathy. And I think it changes the tone somewhat. Josh Shapiro is the governor of a

very purple state. I believe opinion -- I believe the most recent polls show that it looks like Pennsylvania, if the election were today, would go

to Trump. And yet, Josh Shapiro has a robust approval rating and just because he's doing those sorts of things and there's an enormous -- there's

a great lesson and a model in that for other politicians and for the rest of us.

MARTIN: And -- OK. So, what about the rest of us? What are some things that I don't know, like that Frank Bruni could do?

BRUNI: Well, I teach at Duke University. I'm a full professor at Duke. And in my classes, I am very clear with students that I want discussions that

are ideologically diverse. I want them to work really hard to have respect for and listen to people who disagree with them.

Now, that's just one small environment. That's a tiny seed. But if more of us within those domains where we have influence would prioritize engagement

across ideological lines, respect with people -- respect for people with whom we disagree, if enough of us did that in enough environments, it might

move the needle in a really meaningful way.

MARTIN: But still, having said all that, this leaves a wound that then becomes hard to heal. And it also creates an environment where people feel

justified in staying in their enclave, as it were, because it feels better.

BRUNI: You know -- and that's what concerns me. And the portion of the book that I think is most important to me is where I discuss along those

lines what this is costing us, and it's costing us the ability to have any kind of conversation across differences. And it's creating this sort of tit

for tat, constantly ratcheted up dynamic that you describe.

For some reason, people think, I need to be more provocative than the other side because that's how I win the day. I need to shout louder. I need to

use more hyperbolic vocabulary. They're confusing confrontation with conviction. And they're confusing provocation with passion. And it just

becomes this deafening noise that sends everybody even deeper into their corners that has them manning their battlements in an ever more aggressive


We need to pause and stop and say, where does that get us? Where is it leading us? Nowhere productive and constructive. And are we really prepared

to be trapped in this cycle for years and years and decades? Because at the far end of that, we're going to have a country even more dysfunctional than

the one we have now. And I don't know if we go too far down that road that there's any turning back.

I think we can turn back now, but we need to take a really good, long, hard look at the way we talk to one another, the way we behave, and we need to

ask ourselves if it's who we really mean to be.

MARTIN: Frank Bruni, thank you so much for speaking with us.

BRUNI: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: A long, hard look indeed. And finally, tonight, it's lights, camera action in Cannes, as movie stars gather for the 77th edition of the

film festival on the French Riviera.

Jane Fonda, Lily Gladstone, Greta Gerwig all walk the red carpet, but it was Messi, the dog from the Oscar winning film "Anatomy of a Fall" that

stole the show.


This year's festival has been marked by both humor and politics. The latest work of the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof is set to

premiere despite his absence. Fleeing his home country following a prison sentence and forced into hiding after making the film in secret.

On the brighter side though, Meryl Streep received the prestigious Honorary Palme d'Or award, injecting light mockery into her thank you speech.


MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: I'm so grateful to receive this honor from this great artist and from you all because can, can, can, OK, Americans, we say

can. We think it's fancy to say can, but it's wrong.


AMANPOUR: From the master of the accents. That is it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our

podcast. Remember, you can always catch us online, on our website, and all- over social media.

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.