Exclusive - Christiane Amanpour Extended Interview

July 20, 2016 - Christiane Amanpour 07/20/2016 Views: 35,161

From the RNC in Cleveland, CNN's Christiane Amanpour compares the presidential election to a warzone and discusses the conspiracy theories surrounding a Turkish military coup. (8:20)

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Please welcomeChristiane Amanpour.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

-Thank you.-So good to have you.

-Hi, Trevor.-How are you?

Ooh, good.It's pleasant.

-Welcome to the show.-Thank you.

-I'm so excited to have youhere. -It's nice to be here.

I'll-I'll tell you a littlestory. A lot of people don't

know this, but, uh, there isthe CNN that America watches.

-Mm-hmm.-And then there is the CNN

that the world watches.And in the CNN

-that America watches...-It's a parallel universe.

Yeah, it is a parallel universe.And on one,

they justbring on people to talk

but not know anything...

and in the other,you are one of the anchors.

I am such a huge fanof what you do. Welcome...

-welcome to The Daily Show. -Thank you, it's great

to be here, and greatto be in Cleveland.

-Is it great to be in Cleveland?-(cheering, applause) -Yes, yes!

-Yes.-Is it great?

It is. It is, because,

honestly, people are so nice.

-They... Can I...Yeah, and that's true. -So nice.

(cheering, applause)

Some of the nicest peopleI have ever come across, yes.

I am literally walking downthe street with my colleagues

and a guyin a pickup truck stops

and offers us a ride

and gives us a cardwith his name on it.

It's fantastic.

-Doesn't happenin many other places. -I wonder

if this is like a scam, 'causethat happened to me as well.

-No, I was...-Hang on.

-I was at the corner, I was...-What was his name?

No, no, no, it was a woman,actually. Someone, uh, I was

at the corner and I was standingat a... And then someone came,

she was like, "Do you guys wanta ride? Do you need to go..."

-I was like, "This is..."-It's genuine friendliness.

-It really is. -And the thing isyou're sort of skeptical,

because you don't get thatin most places you visit.

Yes, that's true,and, uh, also, because, uh,

the Republican NationalConvention is here, so...

-Yeah. -You-You've beenon the ground, though.

You're doing your show fromhere, you've been on the ground.

What have you seen?What are the craziest things

or what are some of the scariestor saddest things

you've come across?

Well, it's a whole differentkind of war zone.

You know,I do most of my work in Iraq

-and places like that,Afghanistan. -Yes.

Um, it's-it's a war zone becausethere is so much division.

I mean, you know,you go to these things

and you watch and you listento the speeches,

and I'm thinking, "How is onegoing to unite after this?"

And I really do believethat, uh,

you can'tjust sort of criminalize

political differences.

You know,like Chr-Chris Christie

and his "I don't knowwhat guilty or innocent"

-or "lock her up" or whatever,-Yes. Yeah, yeah.

and I'm thinking,"How do you actually govern?

"How do you bring a partytogether? How do you bring

a country together? How doyou bring a world together?"

Well, you haveto find some common ground,

and, um, I think that'sin short supply right now,

not just herebut around the world as well.

And so I'm just hopingthat at some point

we can all just get along,as Rodney King once said.

(cheering and applause)

Rodney King

and, uh, surprisingly,the Joker.

Yes, the Joker, who is a moremeasured man in this climate.

-Mm-hmm. -Why can'twe all just get along?

If, um... if you're lookingat this election--

you're someone who is...

traveling the world,you have an illustrious career

as a news anchor who has seenelections everywhere,

you've seen everything fromcoups to peaceful protests--

do you seewhat is happening in America

happening anywhere elsein the world?

-Can you draw parallels?-Look, I think

all of a suddenthe West is in a...

in a truly historic momentright now.

I think that what's happeningin the United States

is reflected, to an extent,in Europe.

You saw what happenedin-in Great Britain recently,

-with Brexit.Nobody actually thought -Yes.

that this very sensible"keep calm and carry on" country

would actually, you know,fling itself off a cliff,

as some people think.

You know, there are many peoplewho believe in Brexit,

so, you know,we have to report the facts.

-But...-If-if I may interject there,

that-that's interesting, becauseyou wrote about something

that-that really connectedwith me,

and that was in and aroundthe conversation

-of neutrality as a journalist.-Mm-hmm.

And you came out, and you werespeaking to the idea

-that journalistsshouldn't be neutral... -Mm-hmm.

...which was an interesting takeI'd never heard before.

Well, I-I've come up with a...

with a sort ofa slogan right now,

because I'm about frustratedat all of this.

So I now say,"Truthful, not neutral."

-There's a difference.-Yes.

Truthful is bringing the truth.

Neutral can be creatinga false equivalence

between this faction...

(applause and cheering)

I'm really glad you agree,

because it's to youwho I'm reporting the news,

and I really want you to know

that I go out of my wayto bring you the truth.

And the truth is actually there.

You can find the truth.

And there are facts,and there are figures.

And then there are other things.

-And you can't conflate the two.-Yes.

Or equiv... or createan equivalence there.

I learned thatin Bosnia, Trevor.

I covered the Bosnia war,

-and there was one side that wasmassacring another side. -Yeah.

And we were expected to somehowcreate a moral equivalence,

and there wasn't any.

And so, in order to be truthful,I had to tell the truth,

which was that one side wasbeing massacred by another side.

And that's how you getto an end, to a resolution,

when you actuallyhave the truth.

Now, um, you've also spent

extensive periodsin the Middle East.

You've covered everythingin the Middle East,

-and even, I guess, in partsof North Africa, as well. -Yup.

-Looking at what happenedin Turkey... -Mm.

...you are going, "What ishappening in this place?"

Everyone was watching, saying,

-"Is it a coup?Is it not a coup?" -Yeah.

The president came out and said,it's not a coup

because the generalsare not involved in this,

but there are military personnel

who are tryingto take over the country.

The coup dies down,and now, all of a sudden,

it seems, from some sides,

maybe the presidentstaged the coup?

And there's WikiLeaks and...

-You're an expert.-Yeah.

I don't get to talk to expertson this often.

What is happeningin that world?

I think that little bit could bea bit of a conspiracy theory.

But I do think that, look,all of a sudden,

everything seems to becoming to a head.

You had that horribleISIS attack in Nice.

And barely 24 hours later,

you had this attempted coupin Turkey.

What I think is what happenedis that there were

a good number of peoplewithin the military

who decided that they didn'tlike President Erdogan anymore,

for whatever reason:A, is he becoming too much

of an Islamist president?

The military isfiercely secular.

-Uh, is he becomingtoo autocratic? -Yeah.

From their perspective--the president's perspective--

this was a plot, uh, you know,sort of... sort of inspired

by a guy who's sitting herein Pennsylvania.

But what's happening now is thatA, the people came out,

and they refused to allowthe coup to take place.

That, I think,is a triumph for democracy.

-Because the people stopped it,yes. -The people stopped it.

They really did.He called the people out,

and they came out,the president did.

But, you know,there's a massive crackdown now.

You know, 50,000 peopleare being either detained,

uh, suspended from their jobs,or under investigation,

including members of the press.

So I think we wait to seehow this plays out.

When you see somethingplay out like that,

a president like Erdogan, whomany have said is autocratic,

many have said, you know,denounces free speech,

and, I mean, he's lockedpeople up, he's arrested them

for making jokes about himand so on,

and then you see someonelike Donald Trump,

who has said he wantsto get rid of the libel laws,

he wants to go outand go after journalists

or satiristswho say things about him,

and the people supportboth of these people.

Do you see a pathwhereby Donald Trump

could get to that same place?

'Cause Americans always go:It can't happen here,

-Yeah.-let me tell you something,

-Mm-hmm.-it won't happen here, okay?

We're different, okay?

Yeah, I think that that's true.That is true.

This is a democracywith a First Amendment

and a very, very, you know,

closely guardedfreedom of expression

and freedom of the press.

But it is guardedbecause it is fragile,

and we have to make surethat nothing and no one

can assault this basic rightthat makes America strong,

this First Amendment

and all its amazingconstitutional protection.


I could sitand talk to you for hours,

but, uh... I will haveto watch you on television.

-And I'll watch you. -Thank youso much for being here.

-Thank you. Thank you.-I really appreciate it.

Amanpour airs weeknightson CNN and CNN International.

Check your local listings.Christiane Amanpour, everybody.

We'll be right back.

-♪ -(applause, cheering)