Return to Transcripts main page

CNN'S AMANPOUR

Trump Prepares for Inauguration; New Gambian President Takes Oath in Senegal; 60 Years Since Conductor' Carnegie Hall Debut

Aired January 19, 2017 - 14:00   ET

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


[14:00:08] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Confirmation hearings continue on Capitol Hill for Donald Trump's main appointees. They are

Steve Mnuchin, his nomination for Treasury secretary.

Tonight, a tale of two very different inaugurations. In Washington, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take his oath of office.

Former presidential speechwriter David Frum and the former CIA director James Woolsey joins us.

And in Africa, the new Gambian president has just been sworn in, but in neighboring Senegal, his rival refuses to accept defeat.

And later in the program --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: 60 years after his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York, the conductor Daniel Barenboim on the healing power of music.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Mr. Trump goes to Washington. This time, tomorrow, he will be president of the United States of America. He will take the oath of office

in front of Congress after this chilling ritual, national security officials briefing him on protocols for the nuclear codes, from Beijing to

Tehran, London to Liberia, the world watches and waits for a most unusual, indeed unprecedented American presidency.

What will it hold for them? For starters, there are deep bipartisan concerns right now in Washington because the president-elect's national

security team hasn't yet been confirmed, second tier appointments haven't been named, memos have gone unread and contact between the incoming and

outgoing administrations has been scarce.

I don't think they are ready for primetime, a long time Obama administration official tells CNN. They are not ready said a Republican

close to Trump's transition team.

There may well be some high level confirmations tomorrow. But a couple of Trump's more colorful picks face some tough questions today. The

former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin for Treasury and the former Texas Governor Rick Perry for the Energy Department, including an issue the

Pentagon says is one of the fastest growing national security risks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL FRANKEN, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: How much climate change the science shows is due to human activity?

RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: Senator, far from me to be sitting before you today and claiming to be a climate scientist, I will not do

that.

FRANKEN: I don't think you are ever going to be a climate scientist, but you're going to be the head of the Department of Energy.

PERRY: That's correct. We got to hire a really good scientist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So on this issue and so many others, what does all of this bode for the world?

Joining me is David Frum, who served as speechwriter for President George W. Bush and the former CIA Director James Woolsey, who has just

acted as an adviser to the president-elect and he's also just led moments ago a discussion on the president elect's national security team.

Welcome to you both. Thanks for joining us. It really is a momentous time, because the whole world is watching your, your whole country is

watching, too.

May I first ask you, Director Woolsey, what was the conversation you've been having with the national security team and what troubles you if

anything about all this I just laid out that many believe that in terms of national security, they are not quite ready to roll?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, discussions on a subject to a moving train, the reference, I think was to a fine speech given by K.T.

McFarland at a luncheon within the last hour or so with a number of ambassadors there that set out a lot of the criteria for dealing with the

outside world as well as domestic economics.

One was to move toward a definite build-up in our military capabilities, which I think is terribly important and the other is to

follow sound enough economic policies that we regain our economic strength which is still a bit shaky.

And I think that we have an opportunity here to see a new Trump administration, both on the foreign and domestic side of things take charge

and do a good job. We all hope so, even political opponents should hope that we get off to a very good start with this administration.

[14:05:00] AMANPOUR: We'll dig deeper in some of the big world events that are obviously going to take up a lot of this administration's oxygen

with both of you.

But, first, I want to ask you about the domestic reality right now, David Frum, because dozens of Democratic Congress people have decided to

boycott the inauguration. And, you know, it is a divided nation.

What do you hope and expect the inaugural speech to actually say to the world and to the country at this time.

DAVID FRUM, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, what I would hope and what I would expect would be two very different things.

The reason the country feels so divided right now is Donald Trump came into office with a historically weak mandate, losing the popular vote and really

getting into office on a lucky bounce.

Since that election, he has not conducted himself the way minority past presidents have done in the past -- from George W. Bush for whom I

work came into office in 2000 and 2001. He made a sustained effort to be gracious to Democrats, to reach out, to broaden his cabinet, to show by

word and deed that he was going to be the broad inclusive president that he intended to be.

Donald Trump through his Twitter feed and other antics has made clear his disdain and contempt for anyone who criticizes him. He is so

preoccupied with his own feelings and it's very hard for him to reach out and be gracious.

Will he do that in his inaugural address? He may try, but at this point, it's also a little late. I mean, speeches are in many ways the

least important part of presidential communication.

Well, on that level of communications, Director Woolsey, let me ask you because, you know, you have operated for many administrations, and the

idea of today's Twitter storm communications is very different.

How do you from all that you know in all your experience expect administration's foreign partners to react in the Trump communications era.

As David Frum was just saying, you know, there's a lot of thin skin, there's a lot of sort of trigger happy Twitter rhetoric from the president-

elect.

What do you think -- what effect will have that on major issues abroad?

WOOLSEY: I like Twitter happy rhetoric.

Christiane, I think it's a problem because President-elect Trump was told by virtually everyone in -- it could be in media, in politics, that

sticking with Twitter and stating all of these things on Twitter was crazy, it was terrible idea, it was awful, it was going to lose everything. And

he turned out to be right and they turned out to be wrong.

I think it depends a lot now on whether he can say Twitter worked for me along with some other very creative proposals and in the round of the

campaign, but governing is different than campaigning. One needs a certain sense of stability and balance and being willing to discuss with your

advisers, even if initially you think you're right, sometimes you better take a second look, because they may be right if they are standing up to

you.

That whole cast of mind is really vital. And a lot of us are hoping that we will see a President Trump that takes on a bit more time and

balance in his discussions than candidate Trump did, even though candidate Trump was successfully elected.

AMANPOUR: I see David shaking his head. Obviously, he was successful. It worked for the American voter, but not for the --

(CROSSTALK)

FRUM: No, it worked for the Electoral College. You know, there are some things that are just so obvious that you have to repeat. He lost 3

million votes. And California and other Trump people say it's not really part of America, it's really part of America.

Twitter does not work for Donald Trump, you know. President Harry Truman used to write angry letters. Leave them on the top of the piano, on

the counter and then tear them up in the morning. And the result was that the world did -- there were many things that were wrong with the inner life

of Harry Truman. The world didn't see it until many years after his presidency.

It is not possible to unknow what we have learned about the character of the president-elect as revealed in Twitter. The pettiness, the

vindictiveness, the neediness.

America's foreign adversaries have taken the deep measure of this unworthy man and some of them are manipulating him. Some of them are

looking for vulnerabilities. He has given every hostile, foreign intelligence agency the exact information it most would want to have.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you then, because this goes directly, Director Woolsey, to your former agency and all of the other sister

intelligence agencies.

What price, what cost to your intelligence gathering and the security of the United States when the incoming president seems to side more readily

with the Russian president than with the CIA?

[14:10:00] WOOLSEY: Well, he's not even sworn in yet, and I think we ought to give the man a chance.

I think that this is a -- look, we have now beginning in the spring of 1789 when Washington was sworn in had about 40 inaugurations and we have

maintained for that 230 or so years, a democracy, operating under the rule of law with a fine constitution, our French friends during the same period

of time have had five republics, two dictatorships, two monarchies and a reign of terror.

A lot of countries don't do anywhere nearly as well as we have including when there were major turnovers such as the Jackson Democrats

coming in and scrapping an awful lot of what went before. So there are -- I think a lot of circumstances in which we have to take a look and give the

president-elect some time, back him, support him and help him. Then if things start coming apart, we'll have to look at the situation then.

(CROSSTALK)

FRUM: The Serene American confidence that everything will be fine is itself the greatest danger to everything being fine. The only way that

things will turn out to be fine is if we take the measure of the danger the country faces.

It's not a matter of giving the president-elect a chance. He has already said that he will -- he may or may not honor the Article 5

commitment to defend Estonia.

Meanwhile, there's an American armored brigade moving into Poland and their British and French troops taking positions in Estonia. So at the end

of a long supply line across the Atlantic, there are American and allied troops whom President Trump says may or may not be activated in the cause

of an attack on a NATO partner.

And that knowledge that he said that, that can't be forgotten or unknown. That is actual information that even if American media say in the

spirit of our good will, we're going to pretend we don't remember it, the Russians remember it. Of course, they do.

AMANPOUR: And one more, the last question for you --

(CROSSTALK)

WOOLSEY: You can't forget.

AMANPOUR: Yes, just to you Director Woolsey, do you think he will turn around and actually be committed to NATO and all that it involves?

And I just have to tag on a question, what happens if there's an immediate crisis with North Korea? Some are predicting right this minute.

WOOLSEY: Well, North Korea has been on the verge of creating an immediate crisis now for years. I think that we shouldn't forget what

President-elect Trump has said but we ought to step back a little bit, give him an opportunity, help him where we can and see if we can pull -- help

pull the country together.

I don't think you want to give up on that because of some things he said during the campaign. Things he said during the campaign paid off for

him. A lot of them and a lot of American diplomats, government people, business people all said this wouldn't work, it's crazy, don't do it but he

won the presidency with it. And we need to help him succeed in the presidency. It's in our interest as well as his.

AMANPOUR: Well, we will have you both back, I hope, in the early days of the new presidency.

WOOLSEY: OK.

AMANPOUR: Jim Woolsey and David Frum, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us from Washington.

FRUM: Thank you.

WOOLSEY: Sure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Well, as the peaceful transition of power is prepared in the United States, in Africa, not so much. Why it actually matters that

Gambia's first democratic transfer of power has hit a brick wall. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:15:15] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

It is still unclear how Donald Trump might approach policy towards many areas including Africa, whether he'll cut America's longstanding

foreign aid to that continent in favor of boosting opportunities for American businesses.

As Trump prepares to take his oath of office tomorrow, all the way in West Africa, another inauguration is off to a very rocky start with

Gambia's newly elected President Adama Barrow having just been inaugurated next door in Senegal. Why? Because the incumbent refuses to step down

even though the U.N. Security Council has just approved a resolution calling on Yahya Jammeh to hand over power now.

Meantime, soldiers are on stand by in Senegal to escort the new leader back home.

And Gambia's first ever attempt to democracy through the ballot could be decided with bullets.

At this time of high tension, I reached Mr. Barrow's spokesman Halifa Sallah in Gambia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Mr. Sallah, welcome to the program from Banjul.

HALIFA SALLAH, PRES. ADAMA BARROW'S SPOKESMAN: Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: Now we have an extraordinary situation where you the presidential spokesman are there in Gambia and the elected and now

inaugurated new resident is not.

How do you foresee the immediate next few hours and days playing out?

SALLAH: Well, it is very clear that we do not have a very conventional situation. The situation we're in is what you call a

situation of contested legitimacy.

So what is happening now is a contest of will. Once you assert that you are the legitimate government of the Gambia, something must back you to

establish that legitimacy.

And it was -- the international community is actually backing President-elect Barrow.

AMANPOUR: Well, Mr. Sallah, are you implying that ECOWAS, the forces of ECOWAS should go in and, you know, be able to install the new president?

SALLAH: I'm simply stating the fact of the matter. The fact of the matter is that ECOWAS agreed to travel with President-elect Barrow and to

give support to the Democratic process in the Gambia so at this very moment, they have consider themselves to be the force that will give

President-elect Barrow the support that is necessary to ensure that the Democratic transition in the country is complete.

Most Gambians are actually talking about dialogue that will lead to a situation where peaceful transfer of power will be effective.

AMANPOUR: Ivory Coast and others had a very violent day. Do you think that it's going to be violent? Are troops going to have to -- or are

they planning to come across the border to enforce the will of the Gambian people.

SALLAH: What is happening in the Gambia is unique. If you come to the Gambia this day, streets are empty. Shops are closed. Markets are

empty. The shutdown of the country, the police have gone and essentially there is the closure of the economy of the whole country.

Ambassadors have deserted, ministers have deserted and essentially the military after the inauguration of President-elect Barrow will have to

decide which side they are on.

The home army and security forces want peace for their country. They were not should be on people. We believe that any person under those

conditions is not strong in any way to assist anybody. So we believe that it would be very easy for -- to convince that person that the end game has

come. It is better to actually proceed in a peaceful way so that the country that has always known peace will not have leaders getting to the

statehouse by walking on dead bodies.

AMANPOUR: What do you hope from the U.N. resolution?

SALLAH: We expect that the will of the Gambian people will be defended. They will ensure that the Gambian people deciding that through

elections, they will select their leaders.

When they select that leader then everybody should accept that decision. And we believe that as we move, that's why I'm saying this. Few

hours will be very decisive. It is either we are heading towards a peaceful transfer of power or towards war. We are saying the footing of

peace is there and the footing of war is there.

AMANPOUR: It turns terribly dramatic, Mr. Sallah, and everybody is watching your country. And I specifically want to ask because Gambia also

plays a big role in the migrant crisis. It is apparently the fourth largest source of migrants heading to Italy.

There's a lot of poverty, a lot of issues that the new president has to deal with. How important is it, do you think for the stability of your

own country and for the migrant crisis for this presidential contest to be decided?

SALLAH: Yes, that Gambia has never changed to the ballot box. That is one of the historical factors. That this is first time the position

have to form an alliance -- elect an independent candidate so that the Gambia will have a new start.

Many Gambians that you have mentioned are both -- some have the means to be able to come to invest in the Gambia, so the potential of the country

would have increased.

Gambia has minerals which are not exploited yet. With more investments, all those possibilities could be enjoyed, because it's a

country of less than 2 million people.

So the opportunities are so great, but impossible to exploit without peace and tranquillity.

AMANPOUR: We wish you well. We hope for peace and prosperity and for this contest to be decided in a democratic manner.

Halifa Sallah, thank you so much. Spokesman for the new president.

SALLAH: Thank you. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: High tension there.

And when we come back, a little night music to see us off.

Imagine a world lifted by the sumptuous sounds echoing from Carnegie Hall. My interview with the man thought to be one of the world's best

conductors, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: And finally tonight in a world of chaos and confusion, it can be hard to hear the beat and appreciate the value of culture. But in

New York, the revered conductor Daniel Barenboim continues combined centuries worth of art in his pieces to reveal the meaning and the work

locked within the music.

I spoke to him as he celebrates 60 years since his debut at the vaulted Carnegie Hall. I started by asking him what it was like to be

back.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: It is extraordinary, you are celebrating 60 years since you debut at Carnegie Hall. What does that mean to you?

DANIEL BARENBOIM, CONDUCTOR: It's a very moving experience for me. You know, Carnegie Hall, is one of those halls that have a very special

aura about them, like Las Calas has for singers.

I remember conducting my first stroke of symphony in Carnegie Hall in 1970 and it was treated as a rarity. And it's not just a good or wonderful

concert hall, but it is something that -- where you feel the wars tell the story with all the people that went through it.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BARENBOIM: People have to have the careers to see the real value of music. What music can give the human being? It is of course an uphill

battle because there's no music education in these schools.

Music gives us so much that we cannot get without music. If you are able to hook onto the first sound of a piece you're listening to and remain

with it, in it and on it until the very end, you'll experience the equivalent of a lifetime. You'll experience even the death.

There is a very -- I find a very lovely story about the great violinist Mischa Elman, who played his first violin recital when he was 5.

So when he became 75, he had his seventh year anniversary on the stage and journalist of "The New York Times" ask him what was the difference between

70 years ago and next Wednesday when you play at Carnegie Hall? And he said absolutely none. Then and now people say I play very well for my age.

(LAUGHTER)

I hope -- I hope I'm not on that -- that category yet.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Some music to lift us as we embark on what might be a whole new world order and Barenboim's performances of the Austrian composer Anton

Bruckner cycle start at Carnegie Hall today.

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

Twitter. Thank you for watching and good-bye from London.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END