Return to Transcripts main page

CNN'S AMANPOUR

Priest Killed by Two ISIS "Soldiers" In Northern France; French President Speaks About Terror Attack on Church; Fractured Democratic Party Trying to Unite; Remembered Across Religions. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired July 26, 2016 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:00:20] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight another day of terror and tragedy after a priest is slaughtered inside his church in a tiny

village in Normandy. The name of ISIS is invoked.

Now we go straight to the French president, Francois Hollande, who is once again addressing his grieving shocked nation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): I pay my tributes to the police, this despicable act is once again a new hardship

for the nation, where we carry again the mourning of the 84 victims who were killed in Nice and now this priest who has been savagely killed.

Catholics of France and the world are wounded, and all French people whatever their convictions and their confession will feel harmed, hurt

within themselves about attacking a church, going inside and killing a priest is to profane the Republic which protects freedom of conscience, of

faith, because what terrorists want is to divide us, to separate us, to oppose us, to destroy us and face with this threat which has never been so

great in France as in Europe.

The government shows determination, absolute determination in the fight against terrorism, immobilizes all human and material means with a presence

at the level that's never been the case in the Fifth Republic of police (INAUDIBLE) and soldiers throughout our territory.

The government is applying and will apply with the most extreme firmness the laws that we have passed for the prefects' forces of law and order and

intelligence services, the capacity to act, to empathize by extending and reinforcing the state of emergency.

But I say clearly limiting our freedoms, disturbing our constitutional laws would not be part of the efficiency in the fight against terrorism and

would weaken cohesion, which is so precious of our nation.

Our country must avoid out taking each other with controversies, with making suspicious and confusing things. Our country is carrying out war.

War on the outside. That is the meaning of decisions that I've made in Syria and Iraq. A war inside and fighting against radicalization and

Jihadist individuals by eradicating criminal networks and we will continue. It is in this perseverance that we will win.

I also owe this truth, this war will be long. I owe you the truth. It is our democracy. It is a target. It will be our shield. It is our unity

which makes our strength to French women and men. Let us block this to fight against hatred and fanaticism because I assure you this war is one

that we will win. Long live Republic. Long live France.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So a defiant President Francois Hollande there at the end of that short address to the nation. How many he has done now. This must be

now his fourth that he's had to address: Charlie Hebdo, Paris in November, Nice just earlier this month and now here in Saint-_tienne, in Normandy.

He has said that he owes the French people the truth, that this will be a long war, but in the name of our democracy, he said we have to fight it and

we will win it, he insisted.

Earlier, as he started, he said that he acknowledged that this is the greatest threat that France has faced in terms of terrorism threat. Also

Europe, he said. This is the greatest accumulation of attacks that his country and the rest of Europe as we've seen faced in recent memory and

therefore he has to allow and empower police, intelligence and other law enforcement to do their job.

But he said if you think the answer to this hatred and to this war is to deny our democracy and to cramp down on our constitution and our civil

liberties, well, that is not the way to go.

So now we're going to talk to Francois Heisbourg. He is from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and he is well, well-versed

in all of this that's happening.

[14:05:05] Welcome from Paris, Francois.

First of all, your reaction to the president's speech. Did he say what had to be done to now a shocked and angry nation?

FRAN_OIS HEISBOURG, INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES: Yes, I think his speech was an important one in the sense that national unity was

framed badly after the attack in Nice. The politicians have been squabbling with each other.

The attack against the priest because of its symbolic nature has stunned the country in a way which even the death of 84 people last week in Nice

did not manage to do.

And I suspect that there actually will be a real period of mourning and possible political calm at least over the next few days even though of

course we cannot expect democratic life to stop obviously, and discussions and debates will pick up again after that period of mourning.

AMANPOUR: Francois, you know, this is now as I said the fourth major attack in France and there have been many, many in between the big ones

that I just outlined.

You know, people want to know what is going on, and why even under a state of emergency, even we're told one of these attackers had been identified

was radicalized, was a Jihadi, did try to go to Syria and was turned back by the Turks, was even in prison and released by the French authorities.

How does this keep happening and what's the -- how does one counter it?

HEISBOURG: Well, one clearly doesn't counter it simply by enacting extremely harsh legislation like the emergency law. And, indeed, a

parliamentary investigation just came out with a report saying that the emergency law was not yielding the dividends, which could be expected. But

a lot more seriousness is going to have to occur at all levels of society and in particular within government.

For example, people are only now realizing that if a perpetrator comes under the legal system as was the case of one of the two terrorists who

killed the priest this morning, well then that person went on parole as was the case, does not come under the surveillance of security agencies because

he's supposed to belong to the Ministry of Justice, which has no intelligence capability to speak of, and certainly not outside of prison.

So the notion that you would have this extremely dangerous terrorist affiliated person known to be such essentially left at large without any

form of surveillance and killing the priest during his four hours of furlough is something which translates the lack of seriousness which has

prevailed all too often in various parts of society.

AMANPOUR: It's really a damning indictment, Francois, that even after this massive year of attacks in France, you are explaining how one hand doesn't

know what the other hand is doing with a known Jihadi who is in prison.

So let me ask you this. Do you draw any massive significance from the fact that it was a Catholic priest? In other words, is this a radical new step

in this war?

HEISBOURG: I'm afraid I've lost you.

AMANPOUR: Can you hear me, Francois?

HEISBOURG: I can hear you now. I can hear you now.

Was it a major step for them to kill a priest?

AMANPOUR: That's right.

HEISBOURG: The answer -- the answer is no and yes. No, because for Islamic State, there's only one category of unbelievers, that is all of

those who are not Jihadist. So anybody is fair game and this is what all of the massacres of the last few months tend to demonstrate.

But, yes, in the sense that this is a strategic step by Islamic State, the two terrorists were probably operating under direct discipline of the

organization. That's certainly what the communiqu, from Islamic State tends to indicate.

And they really do want to pit Christians against Muslims. They are hoping that this attack against the man of the cloth at his alter is going to whip

up a furry amongst the Christians against the Muslim minority in France.

[14:10:00] The Catholic Church is not going to fall into that trap, but there may be other people, hot heads on the extreme right who are maybe

delighted to jump into that trap.

AMANPOUR: Well, we know that the extreme right all across Europe is making political hay out of this genuine fear and out of these attacks. You know,

before today happened, there were many other attacks, let's say in Germany and elsewhere, some of which were ISIS-claimed and opportunistic, others

were psychotics and people with mental diseases and all sorts of mental issues, you know, jumping on this bandwagon.

How much does that complicate the real war against ISIS?

HEISBOURG: Yes, it is complicating factor because you do have the psychos and you do have those who are inspired by ISIS, but do not come under its

direct discipline. And we may, unfortunately, well have the extreme right terrorists.

The security service in France, the head of the security service indicated a few weeks ago in testimony to parliament that he was extremely worried

about the possibility of a so-called identity terrorism developing in France. A bit like Anders Breivik in Norway in 2011, who killed 77 people

single-handedly in Oslo. So that may be another major complicating factor.

AMANPOUR: And, of course, you mentioned him, that is the inspiration, we understand, from the evidence collected from the apartment of the Munich

killer.

Francois Heisbourg, thank you so much for joining us on this really terrible and sad night. Thank you.

HEISBOURG: Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

So the summer of attacks is creating a climate of fear as we've heard just now that resonates from Europe to the United States.

When we come back, that is next up. The Democratic National Convention, which is taking place in Philadelphia. Amid calls for unity and a

barnstorming speech by the First Lady Michelle Obama.

There were, of course, some lighter moments. The Baltimore mayor and the Democratic National Committee Secretary Stephanie Rawlings-Blake forgot to

bring down the gavel and open the convention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR: STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, SECRETARY, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I hereby call the 47th Quadrennial Democratic National Convention to order.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Well, better late than never. We'll find out how it went from there after a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

It is a historic day in Philadelphia for Americans in a city famous for the nation's founding fathers. Today, Hillary Clinton officially becomes the

first American woman nominated by a major party for president.

Clinton must now pull together all the Democrat including die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters whose boos and jeers threatened to disrupt opening night

at the convention.

But First Lady Michelle Obama silenced the hall and stole the show with her powerful endorsement of Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[14:15:14] MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.

(APPLAUSE)

And I watch my daughters, two beautiful intelligent black young women, playing with their dog on the White House lawn.

(APPLAUSE)

And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United

States.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Well, it's going to be a hard act to follow, but whoever it will be, Bill Clinton is sure to be able to do that. He is expected to speak

tonight. And also this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

He is a well-know progressive, who is now urging Sanders' supporters to get behind Hillary is going to want to win in November.

He joined me earlier from the convention center.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Mayor De Blasio, welcome to our program.

BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR, NEW YORK: Thank you, very much.

AMANPOUR: As you can imagine, the whole world is watching this U.S. election. We've been through the Republican convention and everybody

expected the Democratic one to go off more smoothly, more unified and yet we've got the, you know, email hack. And do we have unified Democratic

Party.

Yesterday, there were still some shouts for Bernie and some boos for Hillary on the convention floor.

DE BLASIO: Look, I think that was a fair reaction to some very troubling revelations that came out in the leaks. And it was crucial for the party

to take decisive action. It was very important for Debbie Wasserman- Schultz to step down immediately. It was very important for that formal apology to be issued.

What happened, what you saw on those emails did not represent the values of the Democratic Party. So I think once people have a chance to focus their

energies on the election ahead, you're going to see plenty of unity.

In the end, Bernie Sanders, I thought, made the case very powerful last night. In the end, any reasonable person understands the difference

between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

AMANPOUR: Let me just throw you a quick sound bite of Sarah Silverman, the comedian and Bernie Sanders at the arena yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary!

SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN: Unity! Unity! Unity!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary! Hillary!

SILVERMAN: To Bernie, can I just say to the 'Bernie or Bust' people, you're being ridiculous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So when Sarah Silverman says "Bernie or Bush people are being ridiculous," I mean, what's the best way to try to attract the Bernie

supporters at a time when Trump is also trying to attract them.

DE BLASIO: I think it's not even close here on this, Christiane. There's no question that Bernie Sanders' supporters are not going to support Donald

Trump.

There may be a small few, but basically, it's quite clear, the vast majority of Bernie Sanders supporters are looking for progressive change

particularly in terms of addressing income and equality.

And, look, some may stay home, some may vote for a third party candidate, but I'm convinced that a very strong majority will be with Hillary Clinton.

Again, I think what you saw last night was a small number of Sanders' delegates who are very emotional over what they saw in those emails. And I

don't blame them. And I think it was important for them to express it.

But, look, I've talked to a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters. I'm quite close to a lot of them. They know that we have to elect Hillary Clinton.

They know a Donald Trump candidacy would only deepen income and equality in this country and it would never allow us to get to the underlying problems

that we're going.

For example, if we're going to repeal Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision and get money out of our political system and end the dominance of

the one percent in our political system, we need a different Supreme Court. We can only achieve that with a Democratic president.

So then what is Hillary's task at this convention and beyond, because, you know, she is under also to criticism for not being attractive enough in

terms of emotional laugh and tapping into what people see as their issues.

What does she have to do to tap in to get all of that emotion and obviously votes for herself, if she's going to win in November?

DE BLASIO: Look, in the end, I think it's quite clear in the political process. People vote for change. They vote for what's going to affect

their lives. And Hillary Clinton has vote for an extraordinary platform, the most progressive platform in decades. There's no question about that.

But she also has a history of taking on the powerful to make change.

Obvious example, when she took on the health insurance companies as first lady of the United States, fought for years for fundamental health care

reform, millions and millions of dollars in advertising spent against her. She didn't flinch for a moment.

[14:20:05] I think what Democrats are going to feel including Bernie Sanders' supporters, no one doubts her tenacity and her toughness. The

platforms are right platform. We actually have to get these things done to help working people, to help middle-class Americans. I think that's an

unbeatable equation so long as we do the hard work of turning out the vote particularly in the swing states.

I think the problem for Donald Trump in light of Hillary's strength is he has nothing to counter with in terms of any experience in making change for

the American people or doing anything that help working people. In fact, quite the opposite in his own business career.

AMANPOUR: Let me just play what Elizabeth Warren said on the stage last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Trump thinks he can win votes by fanning the flames of fear and hatred. By turning neighbor against

neighbor. By persuading you that the real problem in America is your fellow Americans - people who don't look like you, or don't talk like you, or

don't worship like you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, Mr. Mayor. You tweeted a few months' ago, "I didn't realize this was in question: behaves like a racist, speaks like a

racist. Of course, a real Donald Trump is a racist."

You've said that now is the time to stand up against Donald Trump and he doesn't represent Democracy is American.

Why do you feel his supporters are not listening to that and his base remain solid?

DE BLASIO: Look, I think, the vast majority of his supporters are the same folks who are going to vote for a Republican candidate regardless of who

that candidate is. Let's be very clear, because his numbers have always been around the same level. They don't represent a majority of Americans.

It really is that hard-core Republican base.

And it's a lot of people who had been fed of very negative message by the Republican Party for decades. I think Elizabeth Warren was exactly right.

The fact is that Donald Trump is taking people's attention away who really cause these problems. Let's face it. It was the billionaire class that

Bernie Sanders talks about. It was the rigged system where our laws continually help concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the very few.

That's what's really ailing America. And that's what's causing the economic frustration that so many people are expressing. But then Donald

Trump very cynically tries to turn that into a racial appeal and anti- immigrant appeal. Our job is to not let that happen.

In the end the American people fully get the message. That we have to go right at the heart of the problem. It is an economic problem. It

certainly has a background structural racism as well, but it is about a small group of powerful people who have simply deepened their power in this

country.

When we make that abundantly clear, you're going to see a lot of Americans abandon Donald Trump and come over to Hillary Clinton, because in the end,

look, this election has been about income and equality from day one. It's been about whether we're going to have economic fairness in this country or

not.

Donald Trump has no possible legitimacy on this issue. Again, he's a bit of businessman, who ship jobs overseas, undercut his own workers. He's not

going to be able to believably say to American working people that he can better their lives.

AMANPOUR: It's a fascinating election. And Mayor De Blasio of New York, thank you for joining me.

DE BLASIO: You're very welcome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: So you see the mayor of New York, the first lady of the United States, the former President Bill Clinton, basically all the Democratic

grandees are coming to the convention in sharp contrast with what happen in Ohio at the Republican convention when many, many of the important members

of the Republican Party simply refuse to come.

When we come back, we go back to France. We imagine a world of mourning for a priest who lost his life while saving souls. We give Father Jacques

Hamel the last world. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:26:08] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, we imagine the life of 86-year- old Father Jacques Hamel. And it was a life lived spiritually and lived well until he was callously killed today in Normandy.

The Catholic priest had been ordained in 1958. He did retire a decade ago, but he asked to stay on as an auxiliary priest for his church Saint-

Etienne-du-Rouvray.

He was loved by all who knew him. And, today, he was mourned across the world. The Holy Sea released a statement saying that, "Pope Francis was

horrified and condemned every form of hatred."

Here in Britain, the (INAUDIBLE) Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tweeted, "Evil attacks the weakest, denies truth and love, is defeated

through Jesus Christ. Pray for France, for victims, for their communities."

And Muslim leaders across the UK and Europe joined Christians in prayer for France's slain priest. But, today, it's perhaps most fitting to give

Father Jacques Hamel himself the final say. Last month he wrote that it is, quote, "A time to be considerate of others whoever they are. May we

hear God's invitation to take care of this world, to make it where we live: warmer, more human, more fraternal."

And they are important words now from the grave for today's deeply troubled and troubling times.

That's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast. You can see us online at Amanpour.com. And you can follow me on

Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for watching and good bye from London.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END