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Orphaned by Parent's Drug Abuse; Trump's First 100 Days; The First Whisperer

Aired April 28, 2017 - 17:00:00   ET


[17:02:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, President Trump's first 100 days in office. How is his report card looking? Analysis from CNN

political commentator Van Jones.

Plus, we drill down on the emerging Trump policy with news makers from the last 100 days. And we highlight a U.S. story that's often hidden from

view. How an opioid and heroin epidemic is creating a generation of orphans.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to this special 100 days edition of our program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Now he's called it a ridiculous standard. But President Trump has spent the past week rolling out big initiatives ahead of Saturday's 100 days in

office marker. Trump came to office pledging to put America first, pledging to work for the forgotten. This week came the long touted tax

reform wish list, that's after Trump's American Health Care Act to replace Obamacare never made it to House floor.

And the so-called travel ban executive order is on hold in the courts. So how is the report card looking? In a moment, analysis from CNN political

commentator Van Jones.

We're going to focus on a specific epidemic that Trump himself promised to cure, speaking to victims on the campaign trail and at the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't know anything about heroin. I was never warned, not that it's anybody else's fault. I take full responsibility.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So this all began very innocently with an injury.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, yes -- with a prescription of pain killers.

TRUMP: And what was it? What was the drug they gave?


TRUMP: I see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then from Percocet, it went to oxy. And then from oxy, it went to heroin, because it is definitely, like you said, more

accessible and so much cheaper. Very quickly, I lost everything.


AMANPOUR: The opioid addiction follows a trail through many of the hardest hit parts of the country. And we have a special report on how it's

creating a generation of orphans as children are being abandoned by their addicted parents. And a staggering 2.7 million grandparents are believed

now to be raising their grandchildren as our Deborah Feyerick found out in Kentucky.




UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Good night, nanny.


S. FLYNN: It's impossible to be quiet in the zoo.

FEYERICK: Meet the Flynn Family. Grandma Sandra is 64 years old.

M. FLYNN: Give me a big hug.

FEYERICK: Her husband, Michael, who everybody calls Poppy is 73.

FEYERICK (on-camera): You are now raising 5-year-old twins?

M. FLYNN: Yes, ma'am. And the other three.

FEYERICK (voice-over): They are raising five grandkids in a cramped, colorful Kentucky home that's equal parts chaos and love. Willa now 16 is

the oldest.

FEYERICK (on-camera): When was the last time you saw your mom, Willa?

WILLA: Five years ago when I was 10.

S. FLYNN: She kind of disappeared. No one knew where she was.

[17:05:00] FEYERICK: The she Sandy is referring to is her own daughter whose youngest children were all born addicted to drugs.

S. FLYNN: The state came in and said she could not care for them anymore. And they called and asked us if we would take all five and said of course.

FEYERICK: An estimated three million kids in America are being raised by someone other than their mom and dad. The opioid and heroin epidemic has

hit Kentucky especially hard. More than 68,000 children there are now being taken care of by grand parents, relatives or foster patients.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They've been abandoned. They've been forgotten in a lot of ways in preference for the drugs.

FEYERICK (on-camera): When you look at the generation of kids that's being raised, how do you think it's going to turn out?

S. FLYNN: It has impact them. There is always going to be a want, a need that something they didn't get from mom.

FEYERICK: Do you feel on some level that you've been abandoned in some way by your mom.

WILLA: I know she cared about me. She used to be a really sweet person. But now I don't know. I learned to accept it where I am right now.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Not far away in another part of Lexington, Kentucky, grandmother Kathy Allen drops by the high school to pick up

grandkids Kayla and Madison.

KATHY ALLEN, RAISING HER GRANDCHILDREN: Did you have a nice day at school?

FEYERICK: Now 14 and 16, the sisters were small when they were initially placed in foster care.

(on-camera): How does your childhood compare? How do you describe it?


FEYERICK: It was terrible.

KAYLA ALLEN: Yes. When you think about childhood, you think about happy like things. But -- there wasn't really any.

FEYERICK: According to Generations United, nearly 40 percent grandparents caring for grandchildren are over age 60. One in five lives below the

poverty line.

K. ALLEN: Foster parents can earn as much as $600 to $1200 per month per child, whereas grandparents aren't even receiving the first food stamp.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Kayla and Madison are in touch with their father who is currently in prison. They say they have little to no contact with

their mom. Her choice, not theirs, they say.

MADISON ALLEN, RAISED BY GRANDMOTHER: I forgive my mom so many times. But, like, like she just keeps going back. And it's hard to forgive every

single time.

FEYERICK: A generation of children who feel abandoned by parents who they believe chose drugs over them.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Lexington, Kentucky.


AMANPOUR: Joining me now is CNN political commentator Van Jones who has been traveling the country talking to Trump voters and holding town hall

meetings on key issues.


AMANPOUR: Van Jones, welcome to the program.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm glad to be here. I wish it was a better subject, but I'm glad to be here.

AMANPOUR: Well, you know, it's a very devastating report from Kentucky. But I think you probably seen a lot of it, because I know you've been

traveling around the country. How widespread is it? Put it into context for those of us overseas.

JONES: It's impossible to describe the devastation where this is happening. We have more people dying of accidental opioid deaths in the

United States than died at the height of the AIDS crisis of HIV.

We have more people dying in the United States than died of accidental car crashes. And so you have more people, more funerals in the United States

based on accidental opioid deaths than stuff that you have heard about for years and yet there's been so little action.

AMANPOUR: What could be done? Now the president, Donald Trump, made a big deal about this on the campaign trail. Let me just play you a little bit

of what he said on the trail about it.


TRUMP: We will build -- that's right -- a great, great border wall. And we will stop the drugs that are pouring into our country and poisoning our

youth and plenty of others. Let's stop the drugs.


JONES: It's just ridiculous. Because what nobody wants to deal with is the fact that the vast majority of these people who are getting addicted

are getting addicted to drugs that their doctor gave them.

Is the wall going to go down the middle of every waiting room of every hospital and doctor's office in the United States? No, it's not. This is

a crisis that very few people understand.

People are -- were over prescribed opiods because there was a big push on the part of big pharma to convince doctors that they were under prescribing

for pain and that we should take pain a lot more seriously. And it probably was the case that people were not getting the help they needed on

pain. But then this big overcorrection.

They started handing out the super addictive pills by the jar for any ache or pain. And suddenly who were not recreational drug users, who were just

doing what the doctor told them find themselves addicted.

Trump is talking a good game. But his actual health care plan was going to let insurance companies off the hook from doing anything at all. His

Department of Justice head Jeff Sessions wants to prosecute more people and doesn't believe in recovery in the first place. We have a disaster that

is getting worse despite the president making speech after speech.

AMANPOUR: And let me just make it clear because I've read about this as well and it's just shocking that in the absence of the kind of health and

policy you're talking about, first responders, whether they're police or firemen or whatever, firewoman, are walking around with a special antidote

drug that they jam into an -- somebody with an overdose to revive them. That's their first response.

JONES: The famous Narcan shot. The two things you need to have are a major, major push to decriminalize and to get programs up and then,

unfortunately, this is an ironic thing, it's going take a certain kind of drugs to get people off of these drugs.

You got to move them through as particular pathway. And that is so taboo for some people that they would literally have people die than to say there

are some addiction that's just your will power and your prayer, and I believe in prayer, but there are some addiction that's just your will power

and your prayer can't beat and the opioid addiction is one of them.

AMANPOUR: Now you are friends with Prince who died a year ago of an overdose. Apparently, accidental overdose.


AMANPOUR: Here he is, pinnacle of his career. Everybody knows about him in the world. And even he is not immune to this result of pain medication.

I guess that kind of sums it up, right?

JONES: Yes. I mean, I'm wearing my purple tie today. I try to wear my purple tie as often as I can just in remembrance of my friend.

You're talking about somebody who lived a clean life. He was not -- I mean, if you want to eat a hamburger, you know, you better eat it before

you see him. He's a vegetarian. He's a clean liver. But guess what? He had a problem. And it was a pain problem with his hip. Goes to the

doctor. The doctor hands him a jar of pills. And he was never able to get off those pills and ultimately he wound up dying because he was so ashamed

of his addiction he began to hide it. And then that puts you down this whole other rabbit hole. And that is what is happening across the country.

It's not just the poor folks who are in West Virginia who I've seen, just the heartbreak in the eyes of parents, in Indiana and Ohio. All the way to

the top of our society and down. And also not just, you know, white- working class people, they've been the face of this, but all across the country this is happening.

And America has got to come to terms with the fact that the pure way that we deal with people who are addicted that you punish them and shame them,

they will somehow do better, is a recipe and a prescription for more funerals and fewer solutions. And Donald Trump who made his case that he

was going to do something about this is actually got the car going in reverse instead of going forward. And it's an outrage in this country.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you in the context of the first 100 days. Where do you place a lot of the promises that were made to the forgotten

right from the podium and the inauguration and everywhere else? Whether it's jobs, whether it's to bring back coal, whether it's to try to reform

and re-bring in a different kind of health care? I mean, where are we?

JONES: Well, I think that if you are a Trump supporter, if you're looking at the actual facts so far, you would have to have a hard time being


Trump's budget was an attack on his own base. Cutting back on programs like meals on wheels. Just a shockingly draconian budget. Very little

populism there. And then his health care plan taking away help for people who are addicted to opiods and then even the coal miners. A few executive

orders that will help the coal companies. But you have the coal miners right now, their health benefits, 20,000 coal miners health benefits are

going to run out this week. And there has not been a peep from the White House that there is a bill called the miner's prosecution act that the coal

miners had been begging Congress to pass and Trump to sign.

He hasn't even mentioned the fact that these coal miners are about to be thrown off health care. Many of them have black lung disease. Many of

them have other ailments. There is very little help on the way despite all those promises. And the opioid betrayal is the worst.

Now the one ray of hope is that Chris Christie, who is as capable a guy as we have in the United States when it comes to making programs work of this

kind has taken up the job for the administration to lead the effort on this. We will see if Chris Christie can deliver. He actually has done a

good job in New Jersey on some of these issues. But right now you have to look at the scoreboard. You would have to say that Donald Trump has come

up zero, zero, zero on some of these core promises to the white-working class.

AMANPOUR: Van Jones, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

JONES: Well, thank you for having me.

AMANPOUR: And when we come back, we've interviewed some top news makers on the show in the last 100 days from former NSA Director Michael Hayden to

the Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci.

Is there a Trump foreign policy doctrine? We'll get their analysis just ahead.


[17:15:00] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. We dive into the Trump administration's first 100 days of foreign policy now. As one observer

said, it's caused a severe case of global whiplash from what he said at his inauguration.


TRUMP: From this day forward, it's going to be only America first. America first.


AMANPOUR: To now performing a series of U-turns such as getting involved in Syria.

Earlier this month when Trump did enforce a red line over Assad's continued use of chemical weapons sending in dozens of cruise missiles, allies

strongly supported the move.

And his advisors spoke of a tough president now determined to uphold international law and human rights.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: I actually think you can look at this through the prism of the American First doctrine, which is basically at the tip of the

sphere you have to make sure that there is some kind of peaceful process in the world or some kind of civility.

He is letting world leaders know, particularly the dictator in North Korea that we will use if necessary and judiciously our military force for good

around the world.


AMANPOUR: But at the same time, with a nuclear North Korea emerging as the toughest challenge out there, the report card is mixed.

After the entire U.S. Senate was bussed to the White House this week for a special briefing on the threat from Pyongyang, senators from both parties

emerged from the meeting saying that they hadn't really learned anything new.

And with the debacle over the direction of the carrier USS Carl Vinson, how did the White House get it so wrong? And what does the incident say about

President Trump's North Korea policy?

I spoke with the former NSA and former CIA director General Michael Hayden.


GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER NSA AND CIA DIRECTOR: With regard to this very specific thing about the Vincent battle group being held up by the

president himself is a sign of his toughness and then the battle group going in a completely different direction, that's a symptom of something

broader, I think, Christiane. And that's a symptom of the people tightening around the president. I call family and friends who are really

into the decision making process being disconnected from the broader government which exists only to serve them.


AMANPOUR: And before the Carl Vinson incident, former U.S. Defense secretary William Perry who's negotiated the last deal with North Korea in

1994 told me that he's worried.


WILLIAM PERRY, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: I don't think they have a clear policy on North Korea yet. I think one will be coming up soon. In

the meantime, we seem to be heading for train wreck with or without a policy.

I want to be very clear, Christiane. I do not believe that North Korea leadership has any plan or any intention of making a surprise attack with a

nuclear weapons on Japan or South Korea or the United States. They are not crazy. They know that that would be the end of their regime, the end of

their country.


AMANPOUR: After the serious strike, though, Perry said he hoped the U.S. would now seize this opportunity with China to conduct some coercive



PERRY: We do not want to blunder into a war. So we ought to pose our diplomacy around trying to reduce the real dangers is not the imagined

dangers and the real danger is we're going to blunder into a war with North Korea. A war that neither one of us would want and a war which would be

catastrophic, especially for South Korea and Japan.


[17:20:00] AMANPOUR: As worrying as that is, Russia continues to be Trump's best man with multiple investigations on the case.

This week we learned that President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn may have lied on his disclosure forms about Russian


And he was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 against accepting foreign payments as he entered retirement. So how does that

complicate President Trump's goal of warmer relations with Russia?

I spoke to former CIA director Leon Panetta when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson finally went to Moscow and sat down with President Putin this

month. That was shortly after the strikes on Syria.


LEON PANETTA, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I do think that the United States has some leverage here in this relationship. We've shown that we're willing to

use military action if necessary. We have the high moral ground with regards to what happened in Syria. We have evidence to establish what the

Syrian government did.

And, frankly, the responsibility here, in large measure still rest with the Russians. They were responsible for putting that chemical agreement

together and obviously they failed to enforce it.


AMANPOUR: And, indeed, the missile strike does appear to be a one off. And multiple Syrian factions are joined on the ground now by Russian,

Iranian, Turkish and American troops.

Before the U.S. strike, I spoke with Senator John McCain about President Trump's pledge to ratchet up the battle against ISIS.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: There is now been announced increases in U.S. troops on the ground both in Iraq and Syria. And a step up basically

of U.S. involvement and more latitude for the military commanders. But let me hasten to add, I still don't see a strategy post Raqqa, post Mosul and

you know as well as I do that if we're going to succeed there at great cost in blood and treasure, we better be prepared for the long haul afterwards

and that is maintaining the peace.


AMANPOUR: So when it comes to a strategy, allies and adversaries alike are trying to figure out whether or not a Trump doctrine is merging. Here

again, former CIA Director General Michael Hayden.


HAYDEN: H.R. McMaster has hired a very bright woman to write the U.S. national security strategy. It's a tough job. I did it twice for George

H.W. Bush, but I was building on precedent and historic consensus. It's really going to be interesting to see what an America first national

security strategy looks like when you got to write it down.


AMANPOUR: And it seems a long time ago, but Trump's earliest executive order gave America a serious black eye around the world. That Muslim ban

remains blocked by the courts.

Here is former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright a month after President Trump's inauguration.


AMANPOUR: You yourself have been a refugee. You tweeted not long ago when this ban was first imposed. "I was raised Catholic, became Episcopalian

and found out later my family was Jewish. I stand ready to register as Muslim in solidarity."

Should there, though, be more vetting?

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: First of all the vetting, frankly, is very deep at this point where the number of different

steps length is more than 20 steps.

I do think that it is the responsibility of any leader to make sure that his or her country is secure, but that is one thing and another is to

decide that there's a group of people without ever having shown that they had any bad ideas about the United States or were terrorists to all of a

sudden decide that they couldn't come in because they were a particular religion. That is totally un-American.

So, yes, vetting. It is the appropriate thing, but it has to be done in a fair way. It can't be discriminatory and it can't be really in a way that

undermines the diversity of America.


AMANPOUR: President Trump makes his first foreign trip next month to Brussels for the NATO summit and to Sicily for the G-7.

When we come back, we imagine the first daughter as the warm up act in Germany. Ivanka Trump receiving a somewhat chilly reception from the

audience. That's next.


[17:27:15] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, in his first 100 days, President Barack Obama visited nine countries. President George W. Bush visited two.

President Donald Trump has visited none.

Well, imagine a world where America's first daughter paves the way.

Ivanka Trump flew to Berlin this week taking part in a G20 Women's Summit and trying to promote her father's rather unconventional presidency. She

was invited by Europe's first lady, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and she joined the IMF chief Christine Lagarde and the Canadian Foreign

Minister Chrystia Freeland on stage to speak about empowering women as a way to grow the global economy.

But when Ivanka Trump insisted that her father has always supported women and families, the audience couldn't take it anymore.


IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: He's been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling (INAUDIBLE)



AMANPOUR: So while she blames the press, not the president, there were hisses of disapproval at his very public attacks and unseemly leering of

women throughout the campaign, shocking of course around the world.

But imagine a world, behind the booing, where Ivanka is actually cultivated as the Trump whisperer, as one German paper dubbed her, praising Chancellor

Merkel for inviting her to the summit and possibly opening a smooth line of communications to the U.S. president.

Leaders keen to protect global interests like the Paris Climate Accords could have found a powerful and like-minded ally.

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 London.