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Obama's Goodbye Speech; Trump Team Grilling; Confirmation Hearing for Trump's Cabinet Underway; U.S.-Russia Relations after the Hacking Scandal; Obama Gives Farewell Speech at Dark Time for Chicago; Soul of the Revolution, Modern-Day Reformer. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired January 10, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:05] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: You have been watching congressional confirmation hearings there on Capitol Hill. First up was

Donald Trump's controversial pick for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions.

And tonight from New York, U.S. President Barack Obama prepares for his farewell speech while Donald Trump's cabinet picks get a grilling. With

Russian ties and hacking in the mainframe, ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov joins the program live.

And President Obama delivers a farewell address in his hometown of Chicago tonight. We talked to the white pastor ministering to African-American

victims of soaring gun violence there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I ask a sixth grade girl, what do you want to be when you grow up, and her answer is "alive," we have a serious problem



AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.

It is an exceptionally busy week in U.S. politics as President Obama prepares to deliver his farewell speech from his hometown, Chicago. And

Congress holds confirmation hearings in Washington for Donald Trump's top picks, like his choice for attorney general, the Alabama senator, Jeff


He piled pressure on his boss by stating flatly that he accepted the intelligence report blaming Russia for interfering in the presidential



AMY KLOBUCHAR, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: Do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of the conclusion reached by our 17 intelligence agencies that, in

fact, Russia used cyber attacks to attempt to influence this last election? I'm not asking if you believe that influenced it, just if you believe the

report of our intelligence agencies.

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I have no reason to doubt that, and have no evidence that would indicate otherwise.


AMANPOUR: But with ten days to go before his inauguration, Trump himself still has not fully embraced the report about Russian hacking. This as

U.S. troops and tanks start rolling into Germany and Poland as part of NATO's efforts to deter Russian aggression in Europe.

While in the Kremlin, President Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that he regretted the unprecedented deterioration of U.S./Russia

ties under President Obama and said that he's hoping for yet another reset with yet another new U.S. administration.

Joining me now from Brussels to discuss all of this is the Russian ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: We have an exceptionally long delay. Let me just ask you a couple of questions. It is now piling pressure upon pressure. We've heard

from Jeff Sessions there agreeing and not doubting the intelligence report on Russian hacking. We have just heard in the last few minutes that the

FBI director has said that, yes, there was Russian hacking, and that all the intelligence chiefs say, they have never seen this level of Russian

interference into U.S. politics ever.

And that even, according to the FBI director, U.S. voter registration data and bases were hacked into. Isn't it time, Ambassador Chizhov, that Russia

fesses up and says, "yes, we did this?"

CHIZHOV: Why should Russia do that? From what I've seen and, of course, I haven't seen any confidential material that was presented by the

intelligence community and the United States, I have seen not a single piece of evidence that would suggest that these allegations might be true.

So I -- I am not taking these words for granted. And I am perfectly convinced that this whole story about Russian hacking has more to do with

American domestic politics than it does with my country.

AMANPOUR: Kind of one would expect you to say that as an ambassador for your country, but the evidence is mounting up fast and furious in the

intelligence agencies, and Donald Trump himself is facing mounting pressure from his own Republicans, including some of his incoming administration,

his chief-of-staff, indeed as we just saw Senator Sessions and others.

Do you think, even if you don't admit the hacking, that Russia in some way may be overplaying its hand by its constant praise of Donald Trump and its

constant disparagement of the Obama administration, because there might be a backlash against Trump for this new sort of warmth from Russia that both

sides are showing?

[14:05:20] CHIZHOV: You know, when I hear expressions like the existing -- the existence of mounting evidence, I immediately remember the figure of

Colin Powell with that small vial of white powder at the U.N. Security Council.

What about pressure on Donald Trump? Well, I'm sure that a seasoned politician and businessman like him, he can withstand pressure of that


AMANPOUR: You do, obviously, point out what many people are saying. The intelligence had it wrong about WMD, so why should one trust them now. But

as you may know, through a lot of reading that you are probably doing, the CIA and others have instituted very, very tough new bars in terms of levels

of confidence of their intelligence.

But I just want to move on. The EU is also saying that it is noticing a spike in hacking, they believe from Russia, in their institutions and their

official databases.

Have they said anything to you about it? Have they demarche? Have they asked you what's going on?

CHIZHOV: Certainly, they have not. Actually, no EU official has said or even hinted, either publicly or to me, that they had any reason to believe

that any hacking was coming from the Russian side.

I wouldn't exclude that some, you know, trigger-happy hackers from all over the world might be willing to engage into hacking of EU or electronic

systems. But my country has nothing to do with that.

AMANPOUR: The EU now is showing signs of, you know, some kind of efforts of deterrence against Russia, not just about the hacking, but about, you

know, sort of potential aggressive moves like we saw in Ukraine and Crimea. You know that thousands of U.S. troops are moving into Poland and

Germany, as part of a planned NATO deployment as they say to, quote, "deter Russian aggression in Europe."

What is your reaction to that?

CHIZHOV: well, let's take EU and NATO separately. The EU has a lot of problems to face, and a lot of problems to deal with, which have nothing to

do with my country. I'll just name Brexit, the migration crisis and so on. As far as NATO forward deployment in Poland and the Baltics, I believe it's

a wrong move because it's unprovoked from the Russian side and it can only deal to increase pressure across the European continent, which is something

that my country has always wanted to avoid by putting forward proposals over the years, which were unfortunately either neglected or rejected by

the United States and their NATO allies.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador, let me just follow up, because you know, you say unprovoked, but I did mention Crimea, Ukraine and all sorts of other

aggressive moves that the Baltics are complaining about. But I want to ask you this in response to the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who basically

said today that we can only express our deepest regret that the second term of Mr. Obama's presidency unfortunately saw a period of a rather

unprecedented and prolonged deterioration in our bilateral relations and he called for hopefully a new, another reset in relations.

But, you know, every administration coming in in the last two or so have tried to reset relations and it just hasn't worked with Mr. Putin.

What do you think Vladimir Putin wants as he sees a new Trump administration being sworn in? What are the key policy objectives that he

is looking for?

CHIZHOV: Well, you said "reset." You may remember the famous red button, which was misnamed. Instead of "reload," "overload."

[14:10:05] Well, I think the second term of Mr. Obama's administration was a period of overload of negative overload in Russian-U.S. relations.

What Russia wants with -- in its relations with both the United States and the European Union, for that matter, is to have a positive development of

relations, based on understanding of each other's strategic interests. And actually, joining forces in combating the common threats and challenges to

our security and global security, like international terrorism and others.

AMANPOUR: Just very briefly, quickly, but presumably, President Putin hopes that President Trump will kind of try to remove sanctions off Russia,


CHIZHOV: Well, I think as far as both the U.S. and the EU are concerned, there will come a moment when they will garner the necessary political will

to get themselves out of the sink bath with the so-called sanctions that they managed to get themselves into. And when they do, they will know

where to find us.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Chizhov, thank you for joining us from Brussels tonight.

Now as all signs point to a deepening freeze between Russia and the U.S., in fact the whole west, in a strange twist of fate, today marks the death

of a ground-breaking reporter, Clare Hollingworth. She died at the age of 105. And she will forever be known as the journalist who broke the news of

World War II.

When just three days into her job at Britain's "Daily Telegraph" newspaper, she spotted 1,000 German tanks massing on the Polish border. And before

that, Hollingworth had helped rescued thousands from Hitler's death camps by arranging exit visas for them.

When we come back, the white preacher fighting the gun violence which is decimating Chicago. That's next.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

President Obama arrives in Chicago to give his farewell address at a dark time for the city. The murder rate there is soaring, even as it plummets

in most major American cities and it's led many former supporters to become disappointed with Obama in his final days. As one of them told our Rosa



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's neglected to talk about the star of our communities. He's neglected to talk about the violence. I guess he's

coming back to say thank you for us helping put him in. We're not going to be saying thank you for the eight years of work that he didn't do in the

black communities.


AMANPOUR: One of the most important figures in Chicago's perennial fight against gun violence is, in fact, a white Catholic priest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you make someone a target is not to shoot them. What makes someone a target is the community that surrenders to fear!


AMANPOUR: That was Spike Lee's "Chi-raq" and the character based on the real-life father, Michael Pfleger, who has known President Obama for more

than three decades.


[14:15:10] MICHAEL PFLEGER, PRIEST: For many years, nobody even cared about Chicago, because the violence is primarily black and brown.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Father Mike, first of all, for those of you who don't know him, has been working since I -- since

before I have move to Chicago. And I was 23-year-old when I first met him. And somehow I aged and he didn't.



AMANPOUR: Now, as America embarks on a radical political change, Father Pfleger tells me, the solutions to end violence are there, but the

political will is not.


AMANPOUR: Father Pfleger, welcome to the program.

PFLEGER: Thank you, Christiane, nice to be on.

AMANPOUR: I need to ask you, first, because you are somebody who likes to change things up. You have a shirt now saying, "Let's change the world."

PFLEGER: Well, I always teach my congregation that our concern should not be just our house, our block, our home, our neighborhood, but we have to be

globally minded because we are affected, globally, and we ought to be affecting globally. So we should always think in terms of the world. The

world's concerns should be our concerns.

AMANPOUR: And what about President Obama, who is in Chicago today, to give his farewell address? What would you say he's achieved or not in the areas

that you are most closely associated with ministry?

PFLEGER: I think he did great with looking at the criminal justice system and how we need to reform it. He did great with having our attorney

generals. We had Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch looking at police departments in Chicago and around this country that need help. But,

obviously, his home city, Chicago, has a very serious crime problem and we're out of control. And I wish more federal resources and perhaps some

federal direction needed to be taken there.

AMANPOUR: Well, to that point, you know, you speak right into what Donald Trump has been saying. As we know, the statistics, often, and I'll read

them to you, particularly in a Trump tweet, "Chicago murder rate is record- setting. 4,331 shooting victims, 762 murders in 2016. And if the mayor can't do it, he must ask for federal help," which is kind of what you have

just said.

What has gone wrong in Chicago, and there are, you know, gun control laws.

PFLEGER: Well, let me say two things. First of all, it worries me when Donald Trump speaks like that, because all he spoke during the campaign was

"Stop and Frisk" and "Law and Order."

We do not need stop and frisk. We don't need federal troops or National Guard. What we need is good schools, deal with unemployment, deal with

businesses and make communities that look like third world countries into an equal playing field.

I think what has gone wrong -- we talk about the strong gun laws in Chicago or even some good ones in Illinois. Right next door to Illinois, where

many of our illegal guns come from is Indiana. Indiana has some of the loosest gun laws in the country, and that's where the now vice president

was, in fact, a governor of, which worries me tremendously moving into his role as vice president and, of course, President-elect Trump, who was

supported by the NRA.

So my fear is that gun laws in these neighboring states that are so loose will not only continue, but perhaps expand. But I think we lack the

federal resources we need.

When there is a hurricane, a tornado, a fire in this country, we call for federal state of emergency. And resources come in to help that community

build. Well, we've got to come into our communities where crime and violence are the most growing in the 15 neighborhoods in Chicago and bring

in jobs.

We say 4.6 unemployment in America. Well, it's 25 to 32 percent where I live.

AMANPOUR: Well, to that end, then, can I play yet another sound bite from Donald Trump?


TRUMP: There is no education, there are no jobs, and there is no safety. Nearly 3,500 people have been shot in the City of Chicago since the

beginning of the year. Can you believe that? So to the African-American community, and to the Hispanic community and voters, I say, what do you

have to lose? Vote for Donald Trump. I will fix it. I will fix it.


AMANPOUR: What do you make of that exhortation and that pledge by Donald Trump? Will he be the one to be able to fix the kinds of things that you

have identified as problems?

PFLEGER: Well, to listen to the rest of his speeches, I do not think so. When has he been at the south side or the west side of Chicago to talk to

anybody or listen to anybody?

So I have a problem when somebody says I'm going to fix it, but you've never asked what is the problem, never sat down and talked with people and

never invited people into your company to discuss it.

You know, him saying that from the sometimes very patronizing and very arrogant mentality is that I've got it, I think that's one of the problems

we have right now. People feel like they've got this. No, you don't have it. Sit down and listen and talk. We can tell you in the ground level

what we need and then see what you can do.

[14:20:15] AMANPOUR: The mother of one of the young boys who was killed over the summer had a very sort of heart-rendering plea to the public.

Basically, you know, her child was about two days from his 17th birthday. He was shot Monday night, standing just on a street corner. And he was

taken to a hospital and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. This is what she said.


SHARITA GALLOWAY, MOTHER OF CHICAGO SHOOTING VICTIM: So please, if you have seen something, please say something. Nobody has to even know that

you told. It's confidential. But please, I don't want anyone else to get hurt. No mother should ever feel the way that I feel. If you want to help

me, say something. I want them to go to jail. And I want them to think about it every day what they did to my son.


AMANPOUR: I mean, it's so tragic, pastor. You see her there, surrounded by Jesse Jackson and other politicians and activists. But what will people

do for that community? I mean, right now, we -- we read incredulously about safe zones and safe passages for people to try to walk their kids to

school. I mean, really, we don't think that we're talking about an American City. It sounds like something in the worst, worst part of the


PFLEGER: Well, I think -- first of all, that mother, I've heard and listened to mothers and fathers like that far too often. It's a reality,

that we don't live in Chicago in a post traumatic stress. We live in a present traumatic stress.

When I asked a sixth grade girl what do you want to be when you grow up and her answer is "alive," we have a serious problem here. And I think that we

have the answers, but I don't think we have the will, and we're not willing to commit the resources and have the courage to admit that there is many

American problems we've got to deal with, and we really want to stop this violence.

AMANPOUR: You are white, as I said. I've left this question to the last, because it begs the question. You talk about a very divided country. And

we have seen it in this election. How did you manage to become the lead pastor of the blackest of blackest neighborhoods? 98 percent African-

American is the neighborhood that you minister to.

PFLEGER: Well, I think a couple of things, Christiane. I think number one is that people always say, what's it like being white in a black community,

when the reality is, the real question is, what's it like being black in a white community.

Black community has always had white firemen, white policemen, white store owners. I think what people want is a commitment of being genuine and

authentic, roll up your sleeves and did this and walk this with us.

I've lived on that corner in 78th place in the (INAUDIBLE) community for 41 years. And people want to know, are you here to help us and walk with us?

That march that you saw was organized by myself in St. Sabina Church. And we put out the call on News Year's Eve in a very cold day and people came

from all over, not only to carry the 800 crosses, but another thousand or more people just to walk with us to say, this has got to stop. We need


So I think deciding you're here, you're going to be alive, you're going to fight, you're going to scream, you're going to yell, but the church has to

once again be the voice for the community, and not something isolated or an oasis from the community.

AMANPOUR: On that very important note of reflection, Father Michael Pfleger, thank you very much for joining us from Chicago.

PFLEGER: Thank you. Appreciate it.


AMANPOUR: An important advocate for change there. Now coming up after a break, with the Iran nuclear deal in Donald Trump's crosshairs, we imagine

the impact of the late President Rafsanjani from soul of the Islamic revolution to pragmatic reformer, on this the day of his funeral in Tehran.

That's next.


[14:26:10] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, we imagine Iran paying tribute to one of the founders of the Islamic revolution as they gather to bury


Hundreds of thousands poured out for the funeral of President Rafsanjani, who died of a heart attack on Sunday age 82. Having become an important

reformer and pragmatist, he backed President Khatami in 1997 and tried to run for a third term himself in 2005, by which time he was urging detente

with the Great Satan, as they called the United States, making big news in this exclusive interview in Tehran.


AMANPOUR: The election is on Friday. If you become the winner -- this is our last question. What is the first thing that you will do?

AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): When I become the president, the first thing that I will do

is to form the cabinet and in Iran, I can work with the conservatives and also reformers, because both groups are the supporters for my candidacy.

And with respect to the outside world, as I demonstrated in my previous tenure as a president, I have -- I am going for a policy of relaxation of

tension and detente. And this is a policy that I will apply toward the United States, as well.

And if Americans are sincere in the cooperation and working with Iran, I think the time is right to open new chapter in our relations with the

United States.


AMANPOUR: It turns out, he was a prophet a decade ahead of his time, because Rafsanjani lost to Ahmadinejad ushering eight years of dangerous

antagonism with the West until Rafsanjani backed the election of the moderate Hassan Rouhani and helped marshal support for the Iran-U.S.

nuclear deal.

Rouhani is up for re-election this spring and the moderates have lost an important voice with the death of Rafsanjani.

That's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.