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Trump White House Begins to Take Shape; Political Divisions in America; China's Xi Jinping, Trump Speak After Election Win; What Trump Victory Means for U.S.-China Relations; Israel's Missing Yemenite Children. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired November 14, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:11] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, China's President Xi Jinping and Donald Trump speak on the phone with fears that a Trump
presidency could spark a trade war. China's Ambassador to Washington tells me Beijing won't start one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUI TIANKAI, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: We never want to have any war, trade war or other wars with other countries. And besides,
both China and United States are members of the WTO. So we should all play by the WTO rules.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Also, ahead the U.S. president-elect says he is the champion of America's forgotten man and woman. Who are they and what are they hoping
Prominent lawyer and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson joins the program.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The Trump White House is taking shape and it is off to a divided start quite literally. As chief-of-staff, the most powerful White House job,
Trump picks the establishment candidate Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, but he's appointed a far right media boss as
Steve Bannon, who also helped run Trump's campaign has build a career of spreading the views and conspiracies shunned by mainstream society. A
member of the so-called Alt Right, head of "Breitbart News."
The question is how will the two come together to keep the main promise that Trump has made, especially then in his victory speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So who are they, the forgotten men and women? According to the demographics and the exit polls, 58 percent of white Americans voted for
Donald Trump. Among non-whites, 74 percent voted for Hillary Clinton. She also won among the poorest Americans.
The truth is that the pendulum of the forgotten has swung between white and black communities, although throughout American history, African-Americans
of course have been the most oppressed.
Over the weekend, one of the most important chronicles of black American culture, the comedian Dave Chappelle issued this challenge to the new
administration as he described a White House party for the African-American community that he recently attended.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: I saw how happy everybody was. These people who have been historically disenfranchised and it made me feel hopeful and it
made me feel proud to be an American, and it made me very happy about the prospects of our country.
So in that spirit, I'm wishing Donald Trump luck, and I'm going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised demand that he give us
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So throwing down the gauntlet there, joining me now from Montgomery, Alabama, is the renown U.S. civil rights lawyer, Bryan
AMANPOUR: Bryan, welcome back to this program at this incredible time.
BRYAN STEVENSON, U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER: Yes, thank you. It's good to be with you.
AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you, do you accept the challenge and the opportunity that Dave Chappelle just put out there?
STEVENSON: Well, I don't think there is any way that you can lead this country without being mindful that this is a very diverse society. You
can't be the president for some subculture, for some cohort, for some group.
President Obama struggled really hard to make it clear to people that he wasn't just an African-American president. Many criticized him for trying
too hard to elevate and make the interest of other communities a priority.
I think this president, President Trump, can't lead effectively if he pretends the country doesn't have a vibrant, strong, diverse and dynamic
community. And I think what the comedian is saying is that if you continue to talk in the somewhat bigoted, xenophobic way, if you talk as if
minorities, people of color, disenfranchised communities don't matter, then the problems of this nation that we've seen are just going to get worst.
And I think we all want to see something better than what we saw during the campaign.
STEVENSON: The opportunity now is really in front of President Trump.
AMANPOUR: With that in mind, I would like to play for you a sound bite, a bit of an interview that Donald Trump gave to "60 Minutes" last night, when
he was asked about this sort of spike in hate crimes that's going on since the election. Muslim women being attacked; their veils being ripped off.
Hispanic children at school being taunted with "Build the Wall," "Build the Wall." Let me just play this and get your reaction afterwards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:05:15] TRUMP: I would say don't do it. That's terrible. Because I'm going to bring this country together.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're harassing Latinos, Muslims.
TRUMP: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say stop it. If it helps, I will say this. And I'll say it right to the cameras. Stop it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: What do you make of that, Bryan?
STEVENSON: Well, I think it's encouraging that Mr. Trump recognizes that this kind of hatred, this kind of animosity will destroy this country, but
it's regrettable that people are responding in this way based on what he has said over the last year.
You can't mock people of color. You can't characterize Mexicans as rapists. You can't talk about banning Muslims and demonizing whole
communities and religious groups for a year and not expect that people aren't going to react to that when they feel empowered.
So he's going to have to do more than say stop it. He's going to actually have to articulate a vision that gets to the heart of this problem.
AMANPOUR: It brings out the elephant in the room and that is the hiring of Steve Bannon, which has caused real shockwaves certainly around America and
here in Europe. A very far right media boss, who has entertained all sorts of conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism on his Web site.
Evan McMullen says saying stop to racist means little, when you name white supremacist darling Steve Bannon chief strategist in the very same day.
I mean there is a conundrum, right? I mean, this has to be addressed?
STEVENSON: I don't think there is any question. I mean, I really think the moral integrity of this nation is now at risk. We have great wealth in
America. We have great power. And I really do believe in that biblical injunction that says, "To whom much is given, much is required."
And for us to be a leader, we've had to use our status responsibly, thoughtfully, carefully; otherwise, we become abusive, we become
destructive. And I think the appointment of someone who gives voice to so much hate, who has championed the politics of fear and anger has got to be
seen as a real threat to global security, to the kind of moral influence that this nation claims to want to have, and a world that's increasingly
violent and at risk. And so we've got to do better than to be silent about these kinds of appointments.
And I do think it's a very serious moment. Not just in American history, but in world history. If we're going to give space to the politics of fear
and anger, to the voices of hate, and distrust, we are all going to be at risk.
AMANPOUR: In America, the forgotten have gone from white working-class under FDR who tried to address them with the new deal, and then all the way
to Lyndon Johnson, who realized the black community was being left out and tried to address some fairness for them. And then it sort of swung back
Is that what is happening in the United States?
STEVENSON: Yes, I don't think there is -- that's a credible analysis. I mean, the truth is that the electorate in this nation has always been
dominated by a white majority, and no politician could get power at the presidential level without trying to respond to the anxieties, the
challenges, the perspectives of the white middle class.
I think, you know, the war on poverty had the optics of dealing with world poverty in the black belt and in poor black communities, but they have
always been more white people on welfare in this nation than black people. It was design to help all Americans living in that space.
Forgotten in this context, it's not economic in my view. It is not even political. It's social, because we've had to talk about the challenges of
undocumented people and immigrants.
We've had to talk about the continuing narrative of racial difference that puts people of color at risk, and talking about this has become more of a
priority. People have reacted against that. And that's about a narrative. It's not actually about politics or economics or status. It's about who we
are trying to address in the challenges that we face. And so I don't actually accept this idea that the people who empowered Donald Trump are
What I think Mr. Trump did was revive the politics of fear and anger. And whether you're in the United States or whether you're in Britain, wherever
you are in the world, if you allow yourself to be motivated, shaped, governed by fear and anger, you will tolerate abuse. You will tolerate
inequality. You will tolerate injustice. And the disfavored will always be at greater risk.
AMANPOUR: Given the fact that the current vote count has Hillary Clinton more than 600,000 votes ahead and it's not over yet. What is the way
[14:10:08] STEVENSON: Well, I do think that people who have a different vision are going to have to become more politically engaged, more
We've had this bad habit in America where people like to protest, they like to make a lot of noise and then they'd like to go home and wait for someone
else to do something. I think we didn't do a very good job of engaging communities that were going to be at risk, who had been targeted. And I
think they've got to get politically active in a democracy.
If you protest and then don't work at trying to change things in your local community, at your state community, at the national community, you do not
With protests, there has to come activism. And I don't think we've been as active. I don't think we've been as committed. You know, many people have
grown up with an African-American in the White House. They've made assumptions about the character of this nation. And I think those
assumptions have been proved false. We've got a lot of work to do in American, become the kind of society that we claim to be.
We have historic poverty, historic disenfranchisement. That tension between communities of color and the majority, I think worse than they've
been in a long time.
We've got this mass incarceration problem. One in three black male babies is expected to go to jail or prison. These kinds of conditions mean that
we've all got to be more active, more tactical, more strategic and more vocal about uplifting the issues that are priorities.
AMANPOUR: Bryan Stevenson, thank you very much for joining us today.
STEVENSON: Happy to be with you.
AMANPOUR: Thanks, Bryan. We'll keep checking in with you.
AMANPOUR: And this ugly election cycle has left many American distressed. Donald Trump has pledge to unify the country. But his own hometown New
York City, which voted overwhelmingly against him, one subway station there is now serving as a therapy outlet.
Straphangers are expressing themselves with post-it notes, leaving colorful messages of kindness and strength.
Coming up, a new world order. Trump has promised aggressive action against China. My exclusive interview with a worried Chinese ambassador to the
United States. That is next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States. That is what China's President Xi Jinping told Donald Trump in their first
phone call this Sunday. Mindful of his campaign threats to raise trade barriers and slap 45 percent tariffs on Chinese goods. Mindful also that
Trump has called climate change, a made in China hoax.
Beijing has again pledge to stick with the Paris Climate Accord saying at this weekend, climate change talks in Morocco, that quote, "Any movement by
the new U.S. government would not affect Beijing stand."
I asked China's ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai about all of this as those talks were just getting underway.
AMANPOUR: Ambassador, welcome to the program.
TIANKAI: Well, it's so nice to talk to you again.
AMANPOUR: Well, we're talking in the aftermath of presidential election in the United States. Did China expect this to be the result? And what is
your official reaction? I know your president has already spoken to Mr. Trump.
[14:15:00] TIANKAI: Yes, right. Well, you see, this election is an American election, and decision was made by the American people.
What we want to see in China is a smooth transition and a continued growth of our bilateral relations, so that we can bring even greater benefits to
our two peoples.
AMANPOUR: Well, I understand what you're saying. What do you expect, then, to be a continuation of the relationship? Because if anything,
Donald Trump as a campaigner really singled out China as almost a country that he was going to have a trade war with. Because his electorate decided
that they were being put out of work by cheap Chinese imports.
So you know what he said about 45 percent tariffs, about trade barriers. Do you expect that to materialize?
TIANKAI: I think our bilateral relations are based on and defined by our growing common interests and mutual needs. Our two countries are
cooperating with each other in so many areas, including economic cooperation and in trade relations, mutual investment, energy,
counterterrorism, and so many international regional issues.
So this growing common interest, I think it would determine the future direction of this relationship. And as far as the economic relations are
concerned, I think it's a mutually beneficial one.
AMANPOUR: And what about your reaction then to what candidate Trump said that, you know, China is raping the United States. And again, saying that
he would impose a tariff on Chinese imports? We cannot continue to allow China to rape our country. You know, labeling your country a currency
These are all areas that you've considered red lines in the past. How will you -- how will you change that view, if you can?
TIANKAI: Well, as I said earlier, this relationship between our two countries is a mutually beneficial one. Actually in the last few decades,
both countries have benefited great deal from this growing relationship and increasing cooperation. I'm quite confident this will continue.
AMANPOUR: But there are some in china who suggest that tariffs could be imposed on some or all of imports from the United States, even from the
services sector. Is China prepared to get engaged in a war of that kind with the United States?
TIANKAI: We never want to have any war, trade war or other wars with other countries. And besides, both China and United States are members of the
WTO. So we should all play by the WTO rules.
AMANPOUR: Let me move on to climate change. In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order
to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. What do you make of that? And what would your preference be in terms of keeping the climate accord that
was signed in Paris last year?
TIANKAI: Well, both China and United States took a leap in reaching this agreement in Paris on climate change. I think climate change is a global
challenge and all countries have to work together to respond to it. And whatever other countries might do or might not do, China will continue to
make genuine efforts to respond to climate change and try to make a green and sustainable development for ourselves.
AMANPOUR: And what do you make of Trump's tweet that it is a hoax, global warming, created by you in China to make U.S. manufacturing non-
TIANKAI: I think there are people elsewhere in the world who believe that this issue was created by the United States to contain China's economic
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about the Obama administration's pivot to Asia. You didn't like that. China did not like it. Thought it was threatening.
Thought it was operating in its sphere. Do you believe that a President Trump is going to be just as interventionist and committed to that pivot,
or do you believe that he might be more isolationists?
TIANKAI: Well, you see, Asia Pacific has maintained general stability in the last few decades and is now the most economically dynamic region in the
world. I think it will serve everybody's interest if we could continue, go forward on this track. And China is ready and willing with all other
partners for the continued stability and prosperity in the region. And we certainly see the United States as one of the major partners in this
AMANPOUR: But did you expect this outcome? Did China expect it?
[14:20:00] TIANKAI: Well, this is an American election. We watched very closely, but we make no comments. We take no side. We just look forward
to continue the cooperation with the American government. And, of course, continue friendship with the American people.
AMANPOUR: All right, Ambassador Cui Tiankai, thank you so much for joining us.
TIANKAI: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: When we come back, we stay in Israel for the incredible story of hundreds of children separated from their parents and given new identities
without their knowledge. We'll explain, after a break.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine being told by your government that your child has died, only to find out decades later that child is alive,
with a new identity, unaware of who you are.
This was the fate of hundreds of Yemenite Jews, who airlifted from Yemen to the new state of Israel in 1949. The Israeli government says this practice
was not official policy, but the work of some, quote, "rogue officials."
Understandably, hundreds of families want to get to the truth. And this weekend a third government inquiry was open, making available thousands of
secret documents that might hold the answers.
From Jerusalem, our Oren Liebermann reports on this incredible story.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lifetime of pictures for Jacqueline Fedida, her children, 16 grand children, 22 great
grandchildren. One face is missing, has always been missing from the photos, but not from her memory. Her son, born on June 3, 1954, while she
Fedida came to Israel from Morocco in 1948 amid a wave of mass immigration. The news states population doubled in three years.
For decades, hundreds of these new immigrants mostly Jews from Yemen and other Arab countries known as Mizrahi (ph) claimed their children were
kidnapped. Some say sold to Eastern European Jews called Ashkenazi or holocaust survivors, who couldn't have children of their own. It's known
as the Yemenite Children Affair.
Years later, Fedida received her son's burial certificate. It says he died the 10th of June 1954, a week after he was born, not during birth. To her,
it was proof of what she already felt.
Three different committees have investigated the affair and found no wrongdoing, but the last of this sealed the documents until 2071.
Yehuda Cantor has come to MyHeritage, a genealogy company, in search of those answers through DNA testing. He was 23 years old when he learned he
Cantor shows me what he has pieced together of his early life.
YEHUDA CANTOR, YEMENITE SON: This is my adoption documents.
LIEBERMANN: He never found his birth certificate, but he learned his mother was a 20-year-old Yemenite Jew who came to Israel in 1950.
CANTOR: I found one document without any signature, without any fingerprint, and it seems that this woman gave up her child and that's all.
LIEBERMANN: The children and grandchildren of the immigrants are urging the government to open the documents.
SHLOMI HATUKA, FOUNDER, AMRAM: We want a recommendation.
LIEBERMANN: Shlomi Hatuka founded Amram, an organization dedicated to the affair.
HATUKA: These thousands of Israelis and the community has got more than 1,000 complaints and still these complaints.
OK, so here we have got the (INAUDIBLE) report.
LIEBERMANN: Professor Doug Levin Pans started researching this affair in the 1970s.
DOV LEVITAN, PROFESSOR, BARITAN UNIVERSITY: It started as a rumor. Later on, it became a myth. For many years, it has become a part of the
narrative of the Yemenite Jew here in Israel.
LIEBERMANN: Most of the missing children, he says, died because of high infant mortality rates among immigrants. Other children were lost and sent
to the wrong families in crowded immigration center, or claimed by the wrong parents.
Levitan says there is no smoking gun in the Yemenite Children Affair.
LEVITAN: No one can give witness testimony saying I know I have seen that this child or another child has been taken away, has been kidnapped, has
been illegally taken away from the families, because you know, you get --
LIEBERMANN: One man who did find what he was looking for in Gil Grinbaum.
GIL GRINBAUM, ADOPTED SON: These are my adopted -- adoption, these are my parents actually, OK.
LIEBERMANN: He learned he was adopted only much later in life. He never told his adoptive parents he knew. They were holocaust survivors and they
had no other children.
[14:25:00] GRINBAUM: The son knows. His wife, too.
LIEBERMANN: After years of research, he found his biological mother, who was told he says that he had died during birth.
GRINBAUM: She had the baby and she left without it and she was -- she cried and she was 100 percent sure that the baby is dead.
LIEBERMANN: Perhaps the sealed documents from the last inquiry have the answers to the Yemenite Children Affair, or perhaps people already have in
their heart the only answers they'll accept.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Tel Aviv.
AMANPOUR: What an incredible investigation.
And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online any time at Amanpour.com and follow me on
Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.