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Historic Republican Primary on Verge of First Result; Wearing the White Helmet; Negotiating Peace While Dropping Bombs; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired February 5, 2016 - 14:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: in the U.S. presidential race, all eyes are now on next week's New Hampshire primary.

What now for Trump after being thumped in Iowa?


STUART STEVENS, ROMNEY 2012 CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: I think Donald Trump is a dangerous, unstable person who should not be anywhere near nuclear weapons

or in a commander in chief role.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Also ahead, as Syrian peace talks fail, a special report on the mounting casualties and the volunteers racing to rescue them.

And Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage," and now that includes the jungle cam in Calais as "Hamlet" is performed for refugees.


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the special weekend edition of our program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Now in the race for the White House, the next battleground is New Hampshire on Tuesday.

But first, they say, a week is a long time in politics -- and isn't that true? Donald Trump met his first test and came in second in the Iowa



DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We finished second. And I want to tell you something, I'm just honored. I'm really honored.


AMANPOUR: But it didn't take long for him to then accuse the winner, Texan Senator Ted Cruz, of fraud, demanding a rematch.

The big story, though, was the third man, Marco Rubio, the freshman senator from Florida and son of Cuban immigrants, who did 8 percentage points

better than predicted in Iowa.

Going into next week's New Hampshire primary, the Republican establishment is holding its breath and hoping.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They told me that we have no chance because my hair wasn't gray enough and my boots were too




RUBIO: They told me I needed to wait my turn.


AMANPOUR: And what will happen for the Democrats?

Because, in Iowa, the race was a squeaker, Hillary Clinton narrowly winning there. But polls suggest that New Hampshire won't be as nail-biting, with

Bernie Sanders riding high in the state, which is actually next door to his own, Vermont.

Now before the actual voting started in Iowa, Donald Trump had grabbed the Republican race the most attention. His supporters and the media just

loved his outlandish rhetoric.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In school, we learn about how America was great, you know, back in -- back a while ago, whenever. And I kind of want to live

through that as an 18-year old.

MATT FREI, JOURNALIST: What is the most popular thing in your mind that he's said so far?

Is it his comments on immigration, on Muslims coming in?


FREI: The Muslim thing, all right. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they're coming to kill us.


FREI: They're coming to kill you?


FREI: Not all are coming to kill you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you never know which ones (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't say he was going to kick them all out. He wanted going to kick them out until they got things straightened out to

figure out what was happening.

FREI: And every time he says something kind of quite abrasive and defensive, that some people find offensive --


FREI: You love it?


FREI: What about what everyone else thinks?


FREI: You all love it?



AMANPOUR: The journalist there was Matt Frei of Britain's Channel 4 news. And just before that love was put to the test in the Iowa caucus, he joined

me --


AMANPOUR: -- along with Stuart Stevens, who was the chief strategist for the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, during the 2012 race.

Now Stevens, an establishment Republican, who fervently hopes Trump will not be the party's nominee this time around.


AMANPOUR: Matt Frei, here in the studio, welcome.

And Stuart Stevens, welcome to you all the way across the Atlantic.

OK. Well, let me turn to you, Matt. I mean, look, you went all the way out there to do a documentary on Donald Trump. You called it "The Mad

World of Donald Trump."

What is it about him that has caused so many people around the world to pay such close attention and, frankly, worry?

FREI: Well, the first time I met him was actually two years ago. We did a long interview in Trump Towers on 5th Avenue. And we spoke for over an

hour. We talked about just about everything, including whether he was ever going to run for the White House.

And, in that stage, he was still thinking about it but he hadn't committed yet.

And there were a couple of really strange things that struck me then. One was that he has a germ allergy, which he talks about quite openly. So we

did this thing where I said, well, if you've got a germ allergy, it's not a great idea to run for the presidency because you might have to shake a few


And I kind of put my hand out and said, "Let's practice now."

And he actually shook my hand like -- a little bit like it's a rotten fish for about a split second.

But I thought, "This is a really interesting person."

And then we went into policy. We talked about China. We talked about the Arab world.

And the one thing that really struck me is that Donald Trump finds it very difficult to finish a thought or a sentence. He's a sort of -- his stump

speech is like that, too, there is sort of standup comedy routine, sometimes very funny, often not. But literally meandering from one point

to another.

However -- and here's the point -- he has managed to plug into something that we in Europe or, indeed, the rest of the world, totally underestimate

about America and that is that level of visceral anger, of distrust of politics and that overwhelming yearning for authenticity, which he seems to


AMANPOUR: Obviously the establishment in the GOP is, for want of a better word, panicking and freaking out.

What is it about America that allows Donald Trump to get away with saying, "If I stood in the middle of 5th Avenue and shot somebody, I wouldn't lose

any votes," that allows him to say, "I will make America great again."

I mean, isn't, after all, America the greatest country in the world today?

STEVENS: I don't think he ultimately will be able to get away with it.

You know, I think of the Donald Trump candidacy as someone walking around with a paper bag full of water. It's probably not going to leak but once

it goes, it's going to go quickly.

That may be wishful thinking. But the thing to understand, I really think, is that there is tremendous economic pain still in America, even after the

Great Recession. Only 23 percent of Americans think that the country is going in the right direction.

And we have these splits, as you see in many countries, but it's worse in America, of those that have been wealthy seven years ago are a lot more

wealthy now. But the middle class has gotten smaller. For the first time, the middle class is now not the largest class in America.

And I think that there is an interesting connection between the Bernie Sanders phenomenon and the Donald Trump phenomenon. And it all goes to the

economic unrest and sense of uncertainty in America.

AMANPOUR: For the Republicans, is a Ted Cruz a better choice or is it Donald Trump?

STEVENS: Well, I hope neither one of them ends up with the nomination because I think they'll both lose.

Cruz would be better than Donald Trump. I think Donald Trump is a dangerous, unstable person who should not be anywhere near nuclear weapons

or in a commander in chief role.

Ted Cruz, I don't agree with a lot on a lot of issues. But he's a very smart, sane person.

But both, if you look at polls, lose overwhelmingly to even Bernie Sanders. So you know, I hope that one of the others who are more electable will win.

AMANPOUR: You know, to what Stuart Stevens has just said, he's a dangerous man, you went up to Scotland and there's a whole hullabaloo in Scotland

about his investments and this and that.

But you met some people there who were very upset with their first-hand interaction with Donald Trump over their houses being on the land that he

was trying develop.

I want to play it and then we'll talk about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had power supplies cut. We've had the water supply cut. Some things are accidental here, admittedly. And we've had

phone lines cut on numerous occasions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's behaved appallingly. Essentially, if you look up the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder on the Web, you get a

description of Mr. Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tell you what, I've got a couple of tickets booked for Antarctica because the last place that radioactivity reaches is



AMANPOUR: Well, there you have Alex Salmond, the former leader of the SNP, summing up the real fear that, if there's a nuclear war, he's going to go

very far away.

But what do you --


AMANPOUR: -- find up there in Scotland that people just didn't really like his business dealings?

FREI: Some people really liked him at first, including Alex Salmond, because Donald Trump was going to be the kind of knight in shining armor

that was going to ride in with his investment into golf courses and leisure complexes and transform the Scottish economy, which famously relies on oil.

And oil, as we know, is very volatile.

But then he didn't quite live up to, one, his promises in terms of the amount of money he was going to invest but also he was trying to strong-arm

certain individuals, like the farmer that we just saw there, into basically giving up their land so that he could expand his golf course. Or he didn't

like the fact that their houses blocked the view from the 14th tee.

So it was Donald Trump behaving like a bully. And of course, this is what we see on the campaign trail as well. We -- you know, we interviewed a

Muslim American, a convert, you know, who stood up in one of the rallies and --

AMANPOUR: What did he say?

FREI: Well, the point is that he -- I mean, he was a very nice guy, very low-level, very low-key. And he stood up at Trump rallies and basically

almost in a whisper, said, "Close Guantanamo Bay. Not all Muslims are bad."

I mean, this is hardly a heckler.

But the minute he stood up and said that, he was pounced on by security and by the crowd. You can see it there.

AMANPOUR: We're going to see it right there behind us.

Let's put the sound up, actually, and let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or even the stuff about Muslims, it was when Jibril (ph) a Muslims demonstrator that we spoke to earlier in the day, was kicked

out by the Secret Service.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Isn't a Trump rally more fun than all these others today?


AMANPOUR: Mr. Stevens, this is very troubling.

How can the Republican Party put up with that without condemning it publicly?

And secondly, after the debacle of 2012 and beyond, the Republican Party said we need to woo all sorts of, you know, the immigrants, the women, the

Muslims, pretty much be more inclusive. And he's doing the exact opposite.

STEVENS: I agree, he is. I think that we have to wait until voters weigh in here. If we all agree that it really means something that Donald Trump

wins, I think we have to be willing to agree that it means something if he doesn't win.

And I hope that he doesn't win. I don't believe that he will.

He appeals to the dark side of people. There's that sense of resentment within probably all of us about something. And Donald Trump has an ability

to reach in and manipulate that and bring out, I think, oftentimes the worst in people.

He's the exact opposite of, say, Ronald Reagan or John Kennedy, who appealed to America's better angels and made Americans feel better about

themselves for being Americans.

AMANPOUR: Stuart Stevens, former chief strategist for Mitt Romney in the last election, and Matt Frei, presenter at Channel 4 and filmmaker, thank

you very much indeed for joining us.

FREI: Thank you.

Thank you, gentlemen.

STEVENS: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: So, one down and many more to go.

Will all the water leak out of the Trump paper bag, as Stevens said?

After a break, whoever is the next president will have to face the terrible and mounting death toll in Syria. Volunteering to dig people out of the

rubble there, the White Helmets. Their bravery and their story, next.





AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. Syria peace talks have been suspended until the end of this month, after barely even getting underway

in Geneva; while on the battlefield, Russian airstrikes are giving President Assad the edge.

And this week, a former Russian MP told me, the regime is winning and the opposition will be forced to negotiate. That alarming insight into

Moscow's strategy in a moment.

But first, the compelling story of the self-styled civil defense force that calls itself the White Helmets. Often they are the first and the only ones

to rush to the rescue and pull survivors and the bodies from the rubble of the regime's airstrikes.

CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir has this insight into their dangerous work.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A young survivor of Syria's civil war, trapped in the rubble of his home, destroyed by an airstrike.

His rescuers tell CNN they worked for an hour to release him and he and his father survived.

But this boy's mother, brother and sister are now dead.

When Russian and Syrian airstrikes hit rebel-held areas in Syria, the White Helmets begin their race to find survivors. Today, they say their task is

tougher than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Every day that passes since the Russian intervention in Syria, the situation gets worse. Every day, it

cannot be imagined that a small village for example, like Damah (ph), can be exposed to 80 to 90 rockets during just three hours.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): This footage was all shot in the past three weeks, the White Helmets say, some of it on body-mounted cameras. It gives you an

eye view of their work.

Syrian activist groups tell CNN more than 600 civilians have been killed by these strikes since the year began, many of the victims children. But

there is no way to independently confirm the death toll.

There used to be a kindergarten in this Aleppo neighborhood, the White Helmets say. They report three children killed in this strike.

Their work is getting more dangerous. They say, since September, 11 of their ambulances have been destroyed in bombings. A common bombing tactic,

they say, is the double tap: striking, waiting for rescue workers to arrive and then striking again.

Here they anxiously scan the skies, hoping there won't be a second hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Honestly, it is the biggest threat for us and the biggest reason we are killed doing our work. The number of

lives lost from the Syria civil defense has now reached 100.

Why do they target us?

Because they don't just target us to target us directly. They target us as a policy of collective punishment in Syria for foreign nations who support

the regime so our societies cannot build an alternative civil society and so the regime can continue to say they are the only institution in Syria.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Russia strongly denies these claims, saying it's not targeting civilians during its military operations inside Syria.

No matter how bad it gets, the White Helmets' work will continue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have a slogan that we've used from the start. It says that "Whoever saves one life, it is like saving

all of humanity."


AMANPOUR: So, as I said, according to latest reports, the Russian airstrikes are helping the Assad forces gain more territory around Aleppo

and there are dueling comments about these airstrikes by the U.S. and Russian foreign ministers.

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday, quote, "My hope is that Russia will immediately start to implement a genuine cease-fire. A cease-

fire should be doable, folks. The Russians can control the Russian planes."

To which Foreign Minister Lavrov responded today, "Russian airstrikes will not cease until we truly win over terrorist groups. I see no reason to

stop these airstrikes."


AMANPOUR: So joining me now from Moscow to discuss this is Sergei Markov. He's a former MP in President Putin's United Russia Party and he is an

adviser to the Kremlin on an unofficial basis.

Sergei Markov, welcome back to --


AMANPOUR: -- the program. Let me first ask you about these airstrikes.

Why does Russia continue with these airstrikes at the same time as trying to be present, backing the peace talks?

MARKOV: I think Russia continue airstrikes to support to destroy Islamic State. Everybody know when United States attacked -- makes these

airstrikes, Islamic State have been increasing.

And when Russians started their airstrikes, now we see defeating of Islamic State. And we will continue our -- to help to the Syrian army and Syrian

opposition to fight against Islamic State.

My prediction is that Islamic State as a real military threat will be almost disappear to the middle of this year, some think about summer. But

for the political solution, we need political negotiation. We need some political preparation for such negotiation.

Now we have period talk such kind of preparation. As you may know, a position coalition based by -- supplemented by Areat (ph), now not so much

ready to the real negotiation. I think few months as Saudi needs to see the Syrian army taking to more and more territory and their allies in Syria

will have to sit down on the table with some Assad envoys.

AMANPOUR: Is your backing for the talks, then, a smokescreen?

Do you genuinely believe that these talks, which, anyway, have come unstuck tonight, have any chance?

Or are you waiting simply to see Assad, backed by Russian airstrikes, taking more territory?

MARKOV: I think it should be time needed for Ankara and Areat (ph) to understand that they will have to go to foreign negotiation. Anyway Bashar

al-Assad will take control of the all territory of Islamic State because, in fact, only Syrian army really fighting against the Islamic State and

Jabhat al-Nusra, which is Al Qaeda.

AMANPOUR: Did Russia, did President Putin try to get President Assad to step down?

Can you confirm to me reports in the "Financial Times," from a couple of weeks ago, that Col. General Igor Sergun (ph), directing Russia's GRU

military intelligence, was sent to Damascus on this delicate mission to ask Assad to step down?

MARKOV: I think no sense now to talk about Bashar al-Assad step down because Bashar al-Assad, not only the president of the Syria but just of

all he's chief commander. And now the main goal for Syrian army to go forward and to destroy Al Qaeda and Islamic State.

And without chief commander, soldiers doesn't fight really. That's why before victory over the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, even no reason to

discuss any possibility for Bashar al-Assad to step down.

That's why we suggested to the Washington, London, Riyadh, Ankara just to stop talking even about this and go to the negotiation.

But after the victory over the terrorist groups, which is Al Qaeda and Islamic State, for Russia, then negotiations would happen and we don't know

if --


MARKOV: -- probably Bashar al-Assad would like to go away to allow political process to go forward.

Maybe he's going to stay because he will be mostly victorious. And I would say more Areat (ph) and kara (ph) and Washington is waiting having no real

negotiation. More Bashar al-Assad will be champion from this war.

AMANPOUR: All right. Mr. Markov, thank you for so transparently laying out the Kremlin's policy currently. Thank you very much indeed for joining

us from Moscow.


AMANPOUR: The Syrian civil war makes up the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Many end up in the ominously dubbed Calais Jungle as they

try to reach the U.K. Now Britain's most famous playwright has reached them. Shakespeare in the jungle, that's next.





AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players."

That is what Shakespeare said. And on this 450th anniversary of his birth, Shakespeare's Globe Theater is taking that stage to the four corners of the


Imagine taking one of the world's political hot spots by storm. That's what the actors did this week, as the players strutted their stuff in The

Jungle, otherwise known as the Calais refugee camp in France.

We're sure the desperate refugees must have drawn some deeper meaning and comfort from seeing "Hamlet."

And in case they didn't understand the Shakespearean English, summaries of the show, written in Farsi and Arabic, were handed out amongst the

refugees, along with popcorn, just before the show began.

So far, The Globe has performed "Hamlet" in more than 150 countries across the world, to more than 100,000 people, everywhere from Kazakhstan to


Good Chance, which is their production partner in France, said that it's only fitting that, after a world tour, the Globe came to Calais, quote,

"where the fault lines of over 20 different nations meet."

And that's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can now also listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and

Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.