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U.S. Civil Rights Leader "Dismayed" By Trump; Civil Rights Leader Pens "Comic Book" Memoir; U.S. Accepts its 10,000th Syrian Refugee; Photography World Mourns Loss of French Master
Aired September 1, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:40] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, fierce fallout reverberating from Donald Trump's visit to Mexico and his harsh call to
deport 2 million immigrants within hours of taking office. Not if the legendary Congressman John Lewis can help it, one of the last surviving
civil rights leaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: We should embrace the people that are here and set them on a path to citizenship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: My interview ahead.
Plus, panda friendship as the U.S. announces that it's taken in its 10,000th Syrian refugee in the past year. But is it enough to meet the
scale of this crisis? U.S. deputy national security advisor Avril Haines joins me from Washington.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
For a moment Donald Trump's surprise trip to Mexico produced the serious image he was apparently seeking. But that lasted about the time it took to
fly back across the border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay for the wall. They're great people and great
leaders, but they're going to pay for the wall. 2 million people, criminal aliens, we will begin moving them out, day one, as soon as I take office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: At a highly touted tough on immigration speech in Arizona, he was, as you can all see, back on form.
And Mexican President Enrique Pea Nieto, mocked at home for his invitation to Trump, was then forced to deny Trump's claim that the two hadn't
discussed payment for a proposed border wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I can say with all clarity and in public, and the candidate Trump knows that I was
emphatic to affirm that Mexico wouldn't pay by any means for the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Trump's proposals have put America's fast-growing Latino community front and center in the 2016 election. At the forefront of the
fight for minority rights for five decades has been Congressman John Lewis. The civil rights leader who spoke alongside Dr. Martin Luther King at the
march on Washington in 1963 has now written his story in the form of a graphic memoir.
He and his co-author tell me they hope to inspire the next generation of activists.
AMANPOUR: Congressman John Lewis, welcome to the program.
LEWIS: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: And let me welcome Andrew Aydin as well, your collaborator on this book.
ANDREW AYDIN, COLLABORATOR: Thank you so much for having us.
AMANPOUR: Congressman, I'm sure you've been paying close attention to the trip Donald Trump took to Mexico, to what he said about immigrants and then
his very harsh comments at his immigration speech in Arizona, where he was talking about deporting people, again about building a wall.
Tell me from your perspective on immigration, on civil rights, on freedom, what do you make of those comments?
LEWIS: Well, I'm dismayed and shock. I cannot believe that we have a major political figure, someone running for president of the United States
to be saying something like this.
When the pope came and spoke to a joint session of the Congress a few months ago, he said we all are immigrants; we all come from some other
place. It doesn't make sense for someone to be talking about building a wall. We should be building bridges.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said many years ago, "We should learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we will perish as fools."
We have more than 11 million people here. There are people living in fear. Little children are afraid to go to school. They think something is going
to happen to them or to their parents. We should embrace the people that are here and set them on a path to citizenship.
[14:05:05] Congressman, you know, little children afraid, 11 million people living in fear not knowing what's going to happen to them.
Do those words resonate to the great civil rights struggle that you helped lead?
LEWIS: I can identify, and I think the great majority of us who came through the civil rights movement and people are color in this country
understand what this is all about.
It's fear. It's fear of the unknown. We should embrace the future and not be afraid. And I said to my colleagues in the Congress and others, when
you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to speak up, to speak out and do something about it.
AMANPOUR: Sir, with respect, your colleagues in Congress don't seem to be listening. It is a bastion of paralysis. The whole world looks at the
U.S. Congress today, particularly the House of Representatives where you sit, and they think oh, my goodness, and this is the world's greatest
democracy. And it's just a lot of, often, mean-spirited behavior in there.
Am I right or am I wrong?
LEWIS: I think you are right because there is some meanness. I think we have people in different places in America that go to bed mean, they dream
mean and they get up mean.
You know, I got arrested a great deal, 40 times during the '60s, standing up for civil rights. And my last arrest, and this since I've been in the
Congress about two years ago was around immigration reform, trying to get the speaker of the House of Representatives to bring a bill to the floor to
deal with comprehensive immigration.
AMANPOUR: You do bring me now to a perfect moment to bring up this amazing trilogy, your memoir of your civil rights and of that particular march from
Selma where you were on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Why did you decide, congressman, to go for a comic book to tell your story?
LEWIS: Well, Andrew on my staff, my digital director and advisor, came to me and said, congressman, you should write a comic book. He had heard me
telling the stories of the civil rights movement. And I finally said, yes, I would do it if you do it with me.
And it reminded me that many years go, when I was about 17-1/2, almost 18, I read a comic book called Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery story.
And that book inspired me. It became my road map. It became my blueprint. And I read about Rosa Parks. I read about Dr. King. And I got involved in
AMANPOUR: Andrew, it must have taken some guts to take, you know, the last of the six great civil rights leaders and say come on, tell this important
story as a graphic novel.
AYDIN: Well, I asked him when I was 24 years old so I was probably young enough not to know any better. We spent eight years working on it now.
And I think the most intimidating part of it is that when you touch this story, when you touch the legacy of these people, particularly the young
people who gave so much for the rights that many people take for granted today, you have a sacred responsibility to tell the whole story, to make it
real, as the congressman says, to make it plain.
Because in America, we have something called the nine word problem. Young people graduate from high school knowing only nine words about the civil
rights movement: Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and "I Have a Dream."
And then we ask ourselves why are the politics the way they are. And it's because we haven't shown people what happened during the movement. And if
you don't understand that, you can't understand the politics of today.
AMANPOUR: Congressman, I want to go back a little bit to where this book begins. And it starts at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the march that you were
What did you think would be the biggest danger on that march?
LEWIS: On the march, I thought we would be arrested and jailed. It was 600 of us walking in an orderly, peaceful, non-violent fashion. I didn't
have any idea that we would be beaten, trampled by horses, tear-gassed and I was the first one to become a victim of the violence. I was hit in the
head by a state trooper with a nightstick. And I thought I was going to die. I thought I saw death.
AMANPOUR: I want to, congressman, at this point play a part of the speech that you made at the march on Washington. You were one of the featured
speakers there. And we'll just talk about it, because it has that flashback with such resonance for today as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEWIS: We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again, and then
you holler be patient. How long can we be patient? We want our freedom and we want it now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:10:03] AMANPOUR: Congressman, it is extraordinary to listen to that, to watch you deliver that speech all those years again. And then to see
what's happening in the streets of major American cities today.
Is the "Black Lives Matters" movement a legitimate descendant of your civil rights movement?
LEWIS: It is my hope and my prayers that the "Black Lives Matter" movement will understand what we were all about. To learn from us, to learn from
march, study the lesson and never become bitter or hostile.
Never engage in separation or division, but follow the way of Ghandi, the way of Martin Luther King Jr. The young people of the movement of the 60s.
It bring us all together. In the final analysis, we are one people, we are one family.
AMANPOUR: And, Andrew, you sort of -- you speak to the younger generation. How do you see this book helping today's youngsters understand that?
AYDIN: I think march is playing a key role in inspiring students to become activists. You know, one of the things I like to ask students when we go
speak with them is, what would Dr. King have tweeted? What would Ghandi post?
We have this unbelievable technology now, and the capability to organize on a scale around the world that has never been seen before.
John Lewis' generation organized with a mimeograph machine and liberated pieces of paper. If this generation can understand the fundamentals of
non-violence, understand the necessity of creativity and surprise and so many of the important lessons and the mistakes as well that they made
during the movement, then perhaps they'll be able to go beyond being arm chair activists who can post and say things online and use the tools to
show up and to put pressure on elected officials and get the legislation and the policies and the change that we so desperately need.
AMANPOUR: Point well taken.
Congressman, this book is also full of humor, and particularly one of the stories that you tell as a young kid when your job was to feed the chickens
in your family farm and you sort of used the chickens to practice being a preacher on. Tell me about that.
LEWIS: Well, as a little boy, it was my responsibility to care for the chickens, and I fell in love with raising chickens. And I would start
speaking and preaching. And when I look back on it, some days chicken would bow their heads, some days chicken would shake their heads.
They never quite said amen, but they tended to listen to me much better than some of my colleagues listen to me today in the Congress. Some of
those chickens were just a little more productive. At least they produced eggs.
AMANPOUR: I can see that.
LEWIS: But the chickens taught me patience, they taught me hard work, they taught me to never give up.
AMANPOUR: You've also talked about how your parents told you in the early days, you know, this is the way it is, segregation, et cetera. Don't cause
trouble. And you have said that there is such a thing as causing good trouble.
LEWIS: Yes. My mother, my father, my grandparents, my great grandparents always said to me, when I asked them questions about the signs that said,
white waiting, colored waiting, white men, colored men, white women, colored women.
They said don't get in trouble. Don't get in the way.
But I was inspired to get in the way. I was inspired to get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble.
And I think young people and people not so young have a moral obligation and a mission and a mandate to get in good trouble.
AMANPOUR: You saw your boss, Congressman John Lewis, sit in Congress and do this lengthy, lengthy, you know, anti-gun protest.
Describe that moment and what it meant to you.
AYDIN: It was profound to me because it was showing in a dramatized way that non-violence can still work. That it can bring attention to an issue.
In my own life, my father was a Muslim immigrant. And as I listen to some of the things that were being said about Muslim immigrants, in particular
their children, going back to December of last year, it had -- it really upset me because, you know, when I was a kid, my mother said don't grow a
beard, you don't want to look more Muslim. You don't want to make it harder for yourself.
And so after those things were said in a non-violent fashion, I decided to grow out my beard so that I could sensitize my colleagues on Capitol Hill
to what it is to be the child of a Muslim immigrant.
AMANPOUR: It's an amazing story. And to that point, I want to end with you, congressman, because you also tweeted, and I assume it's about
immigration and the kinds of things that Andrew has just said, you tweeted to Donald Trump, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
LEWIS: I really meant that. Somehow I would like to believe that within each and every one of us, there is a sense of decency. This is a sense of
being a little more human.
[14:15:10] Can we feel the pain, the hurt and suffering of others? Come and walk in others' shoes.
AMANPOUR: Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, thank you both very much for joining us tonight.
AMANPOUR: Such a strong perspective.
And next, what is Syria's tourism board thinking? It's released this promo video. It looks beautiful and about as surreal as a Monty Python sketch.
Are they walking in John Cleese's shoes?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't mention the wall. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it, all right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Ah, yes, don't mention the wall. That was John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, of course.
Next in Syria, tourism for some, terror for most, as that war rages. We speak to U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back.
We were quite stunned to see this latest campaign by the Syrian government.
What country is that? Syria?
The tourism board inviting who to enjoy this slice of their Mediterranean coastland? From here, you'd never even know there's a war raging. But of
course they do in Aleppo and in Homs and Dirah and all the other towns you could name. Now jet skis for these boys. They're swimming in a bomb
crater filled with rainwater.
Hundreds of thousands of people dead, millions made into refugees, diplomacy deadlocked, the same Syrian story only always getting worse for
more than five years now.
But a little bit of good news for the relatively few Syrians who have managed to find refuge in the United States.
Avril Haines, deputy national security adviser, joined me earlier from the White House.
AMANPOUR: Avril Haines, welcome. Thanks for joining us from the White House.
AVRIL HAINES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Thanks so much for having me, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: You've made a big announcement of a milestone that the United States has now achieved its target of 10,000 refugees.
Does that make you very happy, or do you think that that's really a drop in the ocean given that there are 5 million refugees?
HAINES: So it does make me happy, to be honest. It's one piece of a puzzle. But you're absolutely right to indicate that it's a very small
portion, obviously, of the just tremendous need that we see coming from Syria. And it's even smaller when you think about the migrant crisis that
we're facing more generally on a global basis.
In essence, the president's view on this has been to really try to meet the challenge in a multi-lateral way because I think no country is capable of
taking this on by themselves.
But part of it is our contribution from the U.S. refugee program. And less than a year ago in relation to the Syrian crisis, he said to his team
essentially I want to see at least 10,000 Syrians and that's what we brought in. And we'll be seeing a few more, but we have work to do.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, let me ask you this. Obviously, you can't take in all of them and obviously it has to be multi-lateral, but many if not all
of your allies around the world have taken in factors that would dwarf these 10,000 that the United States has taken in.
[14:20:06] The head of the International Rescue Committee has said 10,000 to the United States should be a floor, not a ceiling and is urging 140,000
to be taken in at the very least in 2017.
I mean let's face it, the U.S. can afford it. The U.S. has the space for it. What is stopping the U.S. from being more generous in this regard?
HAINES: It's an interesting question. So, you know, as usual, being on the policy wonk side of things, you can see this from a variety of
One is that we have the largest refugee program in the world, the United States does. And that doesn't mean that we're taking in the most number of
Syrians or even the most number of people that are displaced because a lot of countries take them in as asylum cases, folks that just come across
their border and they end up having to deal with it in that context.
That said, we've expanded our refugee program generally. We expect to take in 85,000 people overall this year. And I think to the question of why
aren't we taking more Syrians, I think we will take more Syrians. There's an enormous infrastructure that is built around taking people in through
the refugee program.
AMANPOUR: What I'm wondering about whether it is the political -- you know, the political climate and the pushback against immigrants or refugees
of any kind, and the kind of things that Donald Trump says over and over again about refugees, including what he said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have no idea who these people are, where they come from. I always say Trojan horse, watch what's going to happen, folks. It's not
going to be pretty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Is this fear rhetoric or is there a problem? I've been told that it takes at least two years just about to get a Syrian refugee through
a multi-pronged security clearance to the United States?
HAINES: It's an extraordinary process. Look, I think -- I don't want to dismiss people's concerns and fears. I recognize that folks are concerned
about terrorism around the world, and who it is that we take into our country, and how we deal with this.
But I would say that to those folks, you should look at our track record, which is that it is truly a tiny fraction of a percent of the approximately
850,000 people that I mentioned that have come through the refugee program that have been arrested or removed on anything related to terrorism.
In fact we do know who these people are. We send teams out to interview them, you know, wherever they are. We go through a process in which we run
their information against every database, you know, whether it's DHS or the National Counterterrorism Center, or the state department, or the FBI.
We go through a vetting process that's extraordinarily extensive. It takes far more than a year, sometimes up to two years, as you say. It is
extremely difficult to get through this process and it's one of the reasons why we have this track record and we can speak to it on that basis.
Sorry, Christiane, go ahead.
AMANPOUR: There's been a huge war of words this week between the United States and Russia over who actually killed the ISIS spokesman and some call
Who was it, the U.S. or Russia?
HAINES: First of all, I'd say that it's a victory for those of us that want to counter ISIL if Adnani is in fact has been killed. He was a major
architect in relation to external ops and that's something that obviously we have grave concerns over.
I think we have no information that suggests that the Russians killed him. What we do know is that the U.S. military took a strike near Al-Bab in
Syria and targeting Adnani and others. And so that is something that we're still waiting to see from the Department of Defense as they analyze whether
or not they do believe that he was killed in that strike. But we'll comment on that once we know more.
AMANPOUR: All right. Avril Haines, deputy national security advisor, thanks for joining me tonight.
HAINES: Thank you so much, Christiane. Really appreciate it.
AMANPOUR: One year ago today, Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach and became a disturbing symbol of the refugee crisis. The photograph of the
lifeless child resonated around the world and forced many to question the world's failing response to this catastrophic human disaster.
Marc Riboud, also recognized the power and significance of photography, the French master passed away this week after making a timeless contribution to
his field. We'll imagine a world from Marc Riboud's point of view.
[19:26:35] AMANPOUR: Finally tonight, imagine a world where life is savored at 125th of a second. That is how the legendary French
photographer Marc Riboud described his profession.
He died in Paris this week, age 93. The city where as a young man he captured one of his most famous works, the Eiffel Tower's painter. Up
above the city skyline, a man paints the iconic landmark with the pose of a dancer and it shows Riboud's defining feature, unassuming citizens caught
living their lives, doing their thing.
As a child, Riboud was given a modest vest pocket Kodak by his father and he never looked back. He traveled the world from snapping anti-colonial
movements in Algeria and West Africa to the return of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran.
Yet to most, his synonymous with flower power. Many will be familiar with his defining picture of the American protests against the Vietnam War.
Outside the Pentagon, this young woman armed only with a flower powerfully juxtaposed against the bayonet-wielding National Guard.
His mentor Henri Cartier-Bresson stressed the importance of good geometry. Riboud listened and contributed to what many in the field call the golden
age of photojournalism.
And that is it for our program tonight.
Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Tomorrow, watch my interview with the legendary Sir David Attenborough, the man known all over the globe for bringing the world's wildlife into our
Amazing lives with David Attenborough, Friday at 7:00 p.m. London time. Make sure to watch.
And thanks for watching tonight. Good-bye from London.