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Honoring the former President George H.W. Bush; Developments in the Mueller Investigation. Aired 1:20-2:20p ET
Aired December 5, 2018 - 13:20 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:20:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: And that brings us to the end of the state funeral for the 41st president of the United States, George H. W.
Bush, a grand ceremony at Washington's National Cathedral.
A phalanx of military pallbearers placed him in the hearse, whereupon he will be driven to embark on his final flight, to this resting place in
Texas, where he will lie forever alongside his wife, Barbara, and their daughter, Robin, who we heard died at the age of 3, of leukemia.
Five of the living presidents were there at this funeral, including, of course, his own, W. Bush, the 43rd president, who delivered an emotional
tribute to his father. In a moment, we dive deeper into the legacy of George Bush, who was known from Moscow to Berlin, from Riyadh to Jerusalem,
as he presided over some of the most (inaudible) changes at the end of the 20th century.
That's in a moment, as "Amanpour" is next.
Hello everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here is what's coming up. A national day of mourning, President George Bush the first (ph) is laid to
rest, and reexamine his sometimes complicated legacy. And we compare and contrast with today's Republican leadership with "New Yorker" editor David
And President Trump's former national security advisor has given quite a substantial hell to the Special Counsel Robert Mueller. What will that
mean for the president and his family? Also, "The Plot to Destroy Democracy," New York Times best selling author and counterterrorism expert,
Malcolm Nance examines just how Russia attacked the 2016 election.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. President George Herbert Walker Bush, at his final resting place, will lay
beside his wife, Barbara, and his daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia at 3-years-old. The president who aspired to a kinder, gentler America will
be buried on the grounds of his presidential library and museum in College Station, Texas.
The funeral services brought Washington to a standstill, as friends and colleagues and American and foreign dignitaries came to pay their respects,
including Chancellor Angela Merkel, who praised Bush for his role in unifying the two Germanys.
All five current and former presidents attended, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama and Donald Trump, together with America's 43rd
president and President Bush's son, George W. Bush.
Here's how the younger Bush remember his father.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary, that one can serve with integrity
and hold true to the important values like faith and family.
He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one loved. He recognized that serving others enriched
the giver's soul. To us, his was the brightest of 1,000 points of light.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: With six decades in public service, George Bush leaves a complicated legacy, making history as the president at the helm through the
fall of the Soviet Union, in office during the Tiananmen Square massacre in China, and amassing the grandest coalition ever seen to push Saddam Hussein
out of Kuwait.
While at home, an inability to muster the empathy for economic troubles on Main Street, or during the worst of the AIDS crisis. One of the ugliest
episodes will remain the notorious divisive and racist Willie Horton president campaign ad.
"New Yorker" editor David Remnick worked as a Russian correspondent for the "The Washington Post," during the Bush presidency. And he joins me for a
look at George Bush's life and at the many contrasts with the current president, Donald Trump. David Remnick, welcome to the program.
DAVID REMNICK, EDITOR, THE NEW YORKER: Great to be here.
AMANPOUR: So David, you know, you must have seen at lot of these. But Washington does love a good state funeral, and today's was a good state
funeral with all the pomp and the pageantry, and all the living presidents, all the amazing heads of states and people who dealt with George H. W.
What do you think this moment means, reflected a little bit on H. W.'s legacy?
[13:25:00] REMNICK: Well, I think there's a text and I think there's a subtext, in many ways, depending on who's looking at it. The text, the
obvious thing is that a president has died, a major figure in recent American history has died.
And the first wave of obituaries were, in my view, hagiographic. They were talked about, and very legitimately, in many cases, about a sense of
decency, a certain kind of character, a way of dealing with people, foreign policy successes. But the first wave really overlooked what, in even the
best political life, is a mixed record, a mixed record.
And we can get into the specifics of that in a second. So that's the text. The - and the pomp and circumstance that goes with it. The second thing is
there's a subtext. The subtext begins with a capital T, Trump.
That's what this is about in many ways, that a lot of descriptions of George H. W. Bush and maybe some of hagiographic aspects of those
descriptions are all too simple and one sided is without a doubt, in my mind, directed at our present politics, the lying, the indecency, the lack
of character, all the things - and the moment of investigations, the dishonesty in business and in politics, all of it, the description of
George H. W. Bush.
However - however, you know, somewhat over-glorified, in many ways, is in stark contrast, stark contrast to Donald Trump. And that's - that's a big
part of what we're experiencing.
AMANPOUR: OK, so we're going to drill down on that in a little bit. But let us talk about some of the major foreign policy achievements of George
Bush 41. Let's talk first about how there he was as the Berlin Wall came down, communism collapsed, and then there was the Soviet Union which
collapsed. I mean it just wasn't there anymore. Suddenly, the Cold War is gone.
And you are watching this from an amazingly privileged vantage point, in terms of journalistically, in Moscow. How much credit does 41 deserve for
the orderly management of Soviet-U.S. relations and the change in - in that situation?
REMNICK: Well, let's be clear in the beginning, that the - if you're going to look at in terms of individuals, rather than in social forces and
political and the long history of the Cold War and Soviet history and American history and all the rest, if you're looking in - through the lens
of individuals in the late '80s and early '90s, if there's a singular character, it's not America, it's Mikhail Gorbachev.
Mikhail Gorbachev is the one that made the extraordinary break with Soviet politics and Russian and Soviet history to begin reforming this country to
reach out to the Reagan administration and to begin to end this - this multigenerational confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United
Mikhail Gorbachev is the singular figure there. Ronald Regan, I'm no Regan fan in many ways, but Ronald Reagan, in some ways surprising to me, even
now, but in really courageous ways, and in ways that broke with traditional conservatism in the Republican Party and with many Democrats as well,
reached out to Mikhail Gorbachev.
That's - that's where the initial break takes place, 1987, 1988, '89. So along comes George Bush. What George Bush's great achievement was from an
American point of view was the management of collapse so that things did not go haywire in so many ways that they could have, whether predictable or
His management, his lack of triumphalism, at a moment when triumphalism was everywhere in the West, was quite remarkable. And I think that history
will treat him very kindly as the American manager of those years when he was in the office in the collapse of Soviet communism and the freeing of
Eastern and Central Europe.
AMANPOUR: And I think that paid off, of course, during the first Gulf War when Mikhail Gorbachev did not oppose the United States massing that huge
military coalition in, you know, to throw back Saddam Hussein. But can I just go back a little bit to Germany --
REMNICK: Well, yes and no Christiane. It's where -- it is worth remembering that the Soviet Union was in no way in favor --
AMANPOUR: No, they weren't in favor.
REMNICK: -- of American letter. And, in fact, they sent emissaries to negotiate with unsuccessfully -- you remember Yevgeny Primakov trying very
hard, who was the most Arabist of the Soviet officials, to try to push back against this but unsuccessfully. They didn't have the strength.
REMNICK: They didn't have the will to do so. They were really otherwise occupied.
AMANPOUR: And I do remember a very, very starkly James Baker, the constant negotiations he was having with the Russians. But it is remarkable that
they didn't actively try to stop it. And you're right, they didn't have the strength or the wherewithal at that time.
But let's just go back to Germany because Angela Merkel, the chancellor, is at the funeral, has been at the funeral and she praised George Bush for his
also management and belief in the reunification of Germany when neither France nor Great Britain wanted that to happen but George Bush did. And
this is what she said about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: I was with Chancellor Kohl in the White House visiting George Bush and he's the father of -- one of the fathers of
the Germany unification and we will never forget that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It is extraordinary. She even managed to speak in English about this which she very rarely does. And it did create, as George Bush himself
said, a new world order. Put that in perspective in terms of what we're living through now as well.
REMNICK: Well, it's interesting isn't it that we now live a generation later, we go to Germany and West Berlin and East Berlin, see Momus
indistinct when two generations ago, this was the front line of the confrontation in many ways. And France and Britain were anxious about a
reunified Germany for good reason.
Remember, geography is everything. The legacy of the world wars of the 20th Century still lingered very hard. There was a great deal of lingering
anxiety about German political and military ambition in the history of the 20th Century. George Bush got the reassurances that he needed from our own
intelligence agencies and from Germany itself, from Helmut Kohl and other officials, and allowed this to happen. And it would not have happened, it
would not have happened without American leadership.
But again, he -- now, this was something that caused enormous anxiety in Moscow too. And to this day, it's seen as a betrayal. This is a very
controversial piece of business in Russian politics right now. Did America promise -- make promises having to do with NATO enlargement that they would
prevent it? Where Germany reunification was something that Mikhail Gorbachev was extremely nervous about? And Bush gave sufficient
reassurances? Is it Helmut Kohl? And that issue began to reseed.
But to this day, I should say that one of the things that Vladimir Putin resents most is he feels betrayed by the West. That the West was allowed
to become much too powerful that NATO expanded under the West's watch in subsequent administrations. So there is resentment about that but Bush's
management of Gorbachev and the Soviet leader -- the leadership of that time, which itself was crumbling, was really rather remarkable.
And when you have -- there's another amazing episode that we should recall, that people inside Moscow in the spring coming into the summer of 1991 were
starting to tell the Bush administration that there was going to be an attempt to overthrow Gorbachev. Gorbachev discounted these rumors directly
to Bush. But as we now know, in August of 1991, that coup happened and that could have said things ablaze as well. Bush was much more comfortable
with Gorbachev than he would -- then he was with Boris Yeltsin, formed the relationship with Boris Yeltsin that was stabilizing. It was never
perfect. None of these figures are perfect.
But again, Bush's sense of calm, sense of propriety, his sense of reasonableness, and lack of triumphalism, a triumphalism that you saw
constantly at Republican National [13:35:00] Conventions, Bush stood outside of that and that was important. And I think it will be a point in
his favor -- it is a favor in terms of the history of geopolitics at this extremely volatile time.
AMANPOUR: So let's talk then a little bit about his relatively thin ear when it came to domestic U.S. politics. I mean his career is littered with
kind of the wrong direction, whether it was I'm not fighting for civil rights in the '60s, whether it was ignoring the AIDS crisis because of how
it just proportionally or entirely affected gay people.
AMANPOUR: You know, and also, you know, did he -- was he a bastion of moderate Republicanism or was he also sort of overseeing the gradual right
would turn to the more extreme wing of the Republican party as we see today?
REMNICK: Your question is right on the money. And I remember very, very well doing a long profile of a guy named Lee Atwater who older people will
remember and the rest will not. Lee Atwater was the main political operative or one of them behind George Bush. And Lee Atwater was schooled
in race-baiting. He was schooled in how to screw the other guy. He was, you know, a killer. He was a kind of killer that we've become all too used
to in American politics and his instrument more often than not was a race.
And he used the Willie Horton ad if anybody remembers that. Willie Horton was somebody who was in jail. He was let out of jail and committed another
violent crime. And George H.W. Bush at Lee Atwater's urging pinned this on his opponent in the presidential race, the now somewhat forgotten Michael
And it was incredibly unfair. It was not racially charged. It was racist. And George Bush quite frankly didn't seem to feel any compunction about it.
He wanted to win an election. And in some of the obituaries that we've seen in the last few days, this is kind of glided by but it's part of the
record too you know. It's one thing to go to a relative's funeral and speak beautifully and only beautifully of the dead.
But when we're talking about a historical figure, we should speak in, you know, in rounded ways, in realistic ways about what this legacy is because
it means something to the present and how we move on. And a use of race- baiting is part of the record I'm afraid, and so was a refusal to look the AIDS crisis square in the face, and many other things.
This was a complicated political legacy that is now being in some ways -- I don't want to be unfair to him because God knows he was a lot better than
some other things like the present tense but whitewashing a reputation doesn't do anybody any good.
AMANPOUR: And every historian and journalist would agree with you or should agree with you because our job is to be truthful, and to be
objective, and find the strength in that rather than as you say a hyetography or a whitewash. But having said that --
REMNICK: But I do want to say in terms of the people who are going in the other direction. I read a piece in "The Guardian" the other day by Ariel
Dorfman that was extremely strong and negative at least in the first part of the piece. Character do also matters and there were things about George
Bush's character and his treatment of other human beings and his rhetoric that matter. They actually matter.
And when people discount character is immaterial to a president, I have to point to the present office holder and the way the present president talks
about people, friends, and enemies, allies abroad. The way he talks about international institutions is, has an enormous effect. That kind of
roughhewn, cynical, undermining, self-interested, egotistical rhetoric has implications on the world stage, in the domestic stage that matter. George
Bush was something else.
AMANPOUR: I think --
REMNICK: Well, that counts in his favor.
AMANPOUR: You're absolutely right. And, of course, as people have pointed out, he was the last of the sort of "soldier-statesman". He was the last
to have seen active service in the war, of course, in World War II. Let me just move on to President Trump because as you say a lot of this is in the
context of the present day. But I want to --
REMNICK: I think so.
AMANPOUR: -- specifically ask you about the ongoing Khashoggi affair because obviously, Saudi Arabia has been a strong ally. It was George Bush
who defended and saved the Saudis bacon in the threat of Saddam Hussein in 1990. Fast forward to the new crown prince and the allegations and the
strong belief by the U.S. intelligence committee that he did order the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi.
[13:40:00] And it looks like President Trump is kind of losing some support on this, particularly from some of his cheerleaders like Lindsey Graham.
Look at what look what he just said about the Khashoggi murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: There's not a smoking gun. There's a smoking saw. You have to be willfully blind not to come to the
conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people in -- under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of
Mr. Khashoggi. Open source reports show that he had been focusing on Mr. Khashoggi for a very long time. It is zero chance, zero, that this
happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And Senator Bob Corker said the same, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
REMNICK: I have to agree with Senator Graham there and I don't often agree with Senator Graham. Look, let's not be naive. There is -- there are a
few nations under the sun including our own, United States, that are free from a record of all kinds of abuses, all kinds of abuses that, you know,
do not read down well to the United States for those countries in the historical record, violent episodes, episodes of abuse, whatever it may be.
But the idea that the president of the United States would either explicitly or implicitly countenance the execution of an American-based
journalist in a place like the Turkish Consulate is appalling, appalling. Now, the United States has always had a relationship with the Saudis that
is worth criticizing during the Gulf War, both Gulf Wars as well. But this is, I think for a lot of people, a bridge too far. And I think it's going
to have -- it's already having an effect. I think there's no one more delighted by this than Iran.
You know, Iran is certainly not a regime that is littered with innocence but this is a disaster. And it's a moral disaster, right. The United
States was never by any means perfect in its moral behavior or moral judgment. This is the thing about Trump. He is just completely immune to
any moral argument it would seem. It's beyond belief that he would just look past the intelligence reports of even his own CIA to say nothing of
the intelligence reports of the Turks and all the others who have given enormous amounts of evidence that have convinced not just Lindsey Graham
but many other senators who went to that briefing yesterday as well.
AMANPOUR: David Remnick and, of course, you mentioned this, as we remember that George Bush was once director of the CIA and had great respect for his
intelligence community, thank you so much for joining us.
REMNICK: Always a pleasure.
AMANPOUR: So reports that Robert Muller's investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election may be coming to an end seem to be
exaggerated. In yesterday's sentencing memo for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Mueller praises Flynn for his substantial
assistance. And Mueller watchers say the heavy redactions in the document indicate a lot more investigative activity that the special prosecutor
hasn't yet disclosed.
Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Josh Campbell worked with Robert Mueller and, of course, with James Comey in his time at the bureau and he's
joining us now. Josh Campbell, welcome to the program.
JOSH CAMPBELL, FORMER FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: Thanks, Christiane. Great to be with you.
AMANPOUR: Well, listen, let us try to sort of sit back and figure out what's going on. First and foremost, reports of Robert Muller's conclusion
are vastly exaggerated. Do you agree with that?
CAMPBELL: So I think what we saw here is this word substantial which is doing a lot of work in this document. And what that tells us when it comes
to Michael Flynn is that he has been cooperating with investigators, not only, you know, to get him to save himself but to the extent that they are
actually satisfied with not recommending that he actually go to jail. And that's something that was actually outlined in this document.
You have Mueller's team tongued the court, this person who's helping us, we're not recommending that he serve time which is a very big deal.
Because if you look at the charges that Michael Flynn faces, he lied to the FBI. He sat in front of FBI agents and told them a material lie about a
counterintelligence investigation. And this was the person who was the president's national security adviser, very serious crimes.
And I think one important aspect that we have to look at is, you know, you showed earlier the documents with all of these redactions, there is still a
lot of work to be done here. People who are hoping that this thing will be wrapped up soon I think are going to have to wait a little bit longer.
Because if you look at what is actually detailed there and what's not laid out, it [13:45:00] shows that there are still things to be done. There are
still pieces that haven't been put together and dots that haven't been, you know, we don't see these lines being drawn yet. A lot of work to be done
AMANPOUR: So, you know, it's apparently being counted 22 lines of redactions right after that assertion of substantial help and cooperation
with the investigation. And kind of implying, as you point out, that there may be multiple investigations that we don't even know about. Not just
the, you know, the obvious one that's sort of the tip of the iceberg.
What -- you were there. I mean you worked for Mueller. You worked for Comey. Give us a sense of, I guess, how extraordinary it is that he's
recommended no jail time and that potentially Flynn sort of was the biggest cooperator corralling maybe all the other cooperators.
CAMPBELL: Exactly. And that was the key point as I read through the document. Again, there's a lot that we don't know. We're trying to read
the tea leaves and parse the un-redacted version. But one thing that Mueller clearly laid out was that Flynn's utility largely stemmed from his
role in Trump orbit, he was a high-level person during the transition team. And it's not only that that's important but it's important that he was one
of the few people, in fact, I think the only person of high stature in that orbit that is now cooperating with investigators.
Mueller actually says that in his report. And what that signal is that if you're inside the White House right now, if you're in President Trump's
orbit, if you're in this family, you should be worried because any investigator, I know this as being a former FBI agent, you look at people
that are involved in a case and constantly run the calculus. Is this person a witness? Is this person a subject? Is this person going to help
me? Is this someone who I'm going to have to send to jail?
And the fact that they listed Michael Flynn as the only one in that circle, in that world that is cooperating tells us that potentially they're looking
at others, not as witnesses, but people that were possibly complicit in whatever it is that Mueller is actually investigating here. So I think it
was a very bad day for the president of the United States yesterday. And again, the longer we see these redactions, I'm sure the anxiety level there
is off the charts right now.
AMANPOUR: And let's not forget. I mean you're talking an FBI investigation. Michael Flynn has spent much of his career in military
intelligence. And he knows intelligence very, very well. And actually, Robert Mueller kind of notes and pays tribute to his military career and
his discipline as a uniformed officer and his experience. What do you think that's all about? Why is he putting that out as well?
CAMPBELL: Yes. It was so fascinating because, you know, that's long been a defense that Trump allies and allies of Michael Flynn have been saying.
Well, look, this is someone who had a very distinguished career. He served the United States in uniform in a number of different positions. You know,
he's being targeted by a process crime as they call it.
But what Bob Mueller actually does -- and you have to remember, Bob Mueller also served in uniform. Bob Mueller also bled for this country in the
United States military. What he points out in this document, first he praises Flynn's service and says, "This is someone who is the most
distinguished witness that we have talked to in our investigation. Above all the witnesses, this person has served his country well." But then he
notes, "And that means he should have known better."
Someone who was in that high profile position, someone who served and led others in the United States military, someone who swore an oath to protect
this nation, defended against all enemies foreign and domestic and uphold the Constitution should have known that lying is wrong. It's something
that he know -- who no doubt commanded of his people that were under him, his troops, and now he sat before FBI agents and lied to them.
And it's not just that. It's not a one-time slip-up. And I know being in the FBI, whenever all this was all going down, there was larger this
question of, OK, so we've seen the reports said Flynn was talking with the Russian ambassador. And in the United States, there's this very obscure
law. It's called the Logan Act.
And it says that if you're a private citizen, you can't be conducting a foreign policy that's counter to the U.S. with a foreign government. It's
against the law. But it's very obscure and it's only been prosecuted twice in the history of the country. And the last instance was in 1852. So no
one thought that Michael Flynn was going to be prosecuted under this obscure law.
But the question was, why did he sit in front of FBI agents and lie about talking with the Russian ambassador? And why did he do so knowing that
they would have had intercept calls between anyone who was in contact with the Russian ambassador? This was a former chief of the Defense
Intelligence Agency, Michael Flynn. He would have known the capability of the United States government. That's a long windy way of saying there is a
reason why he sat there and lied to the FBI and that is what Bob Mueller is trying to get to.
AMANPOUR: Do you --
CAMPBELL: There's this issue of collusion. There's this issue of coordination. Why would you lie about something that you thought you were
AMANPOUR: Can you hazard a guess?
CAMPBELL: So I would suggest based on what we've seen now -- and again, you know, there have been these suspicious ties between Flynn and, you
know, going to Russia or going to this RT meeting, you know, being close to the Kremlin even beforehand. But also [13:50:00] the Trump campaign, the
ties to Moscow through these Russian dealings that we've seen now with court filings pertaining to the president's lawyer. I mean all roads seem
to be leading in that direction that there was some kind of contact, some kind of coordination between the Trump family, between the Trump campaign
and the government of Russia.
Now, the problem is that we don't know if that was illegal in and of itself. But we see the pattern of lies because as Mueller continues to do
his work, whether it's George Papadopoulos, the young campaign aide who was caught up blind to the FBI about ties, communications involving the
Russians. Now, you have Michael Flynn and, you know, obviously Cohen is now talking about these Trump Tower dealings. There's something sinister
going on here with Russia.
And again, if you're an investigator, if you're a journalist, if you're a private citizen wondering there, it doesn't take, you know, a rocket
scientist to see that there is a reason people are not being truthful with us. And I think that's what we're trying to get to, what was actually
there. One final thing I'll say on that note is -- on that topic is that you know, there's long been this question and we've seen this surface
lately in some of our reporting that perhaps the president didn't think that he was actually going to win.
I mean it was a long shot candidacy when he was running for the presidency. So was President Trump running for office in order to bolster the Trump
brand, in order to help get these business dealings and ties, you know, around the world? He said himself on the lawn of the White House that,
"Look, I wasn't going to give up all these business dealings just because I was running for office." We heard that from his mouth. So I think a lot
of people thought that here he was trying to use this platform in order to, you know, enrich himself potentially around the world.
And then when he won, people were looking back thinking actually that was wrong. It may not have been illegal but that is unethical for someone who
is sitting here talking about foreign policy and dealing with foreign governments and all the things you're going to do. At the same time,
you're trying to enrich yourself and set the stage for business dealings.
So I think that's what it gets to and I think that's what Mueller is looking to. I don't know if we're going to see collusion in the sense that
Trump was talking to Putin and saying, "Well, I'm going to help your campaign. Here's what we're going to do." I don't think it's going to be
any of that. I think it's going to come down to the business ties. It's going to come down to those business dealings.
But again, when you're the president of the United States, the highest law office in the land, you are held to a higher standard. And if you're using
your office for private gain and if you were seeking that office thinking you're going to enrich yourself, at some point you're going to run afoul of
the law. And that's what we're seeing play out.
AMANPOUR: Well, interestingly, in Robert Mueller's 13-page advice to the sentencing group also did say that public officials and senior public
servants needed to be held accountable. So that I wonder whether that sends some shivers down Trump and his family. But what are we going to see
do you think from the next Mueller advice that's going to be made public? And that is regarding Manafort's sentencing and Michael Cohen's sentencing
that's due this week at the end of this week.
CAMPBELL: It is. And if you think about all of these people that are involved in this case, I mean there has been a pattern of lies. And it
gets to what you just mentioned there in the document where actually Mueller lays out that people in high office are held to a higher standard.
And the reason why I want to foot stamp that is because having worked for Bob Mueller, I could tell you that, you know, we've long heard of him
described as this public servant, this patriot, this person who served in the military and he's all those things.
But I think one thing that we leave out is there's one quality about Bob Mueller that perhaps people don't know, I think they're starting to
understand through his court filings, he hates lying. He hates liars. People who think that they're going to, you know, enrich themselves or help
themselves at the expense of someone else. And as a career prosecutor, someone who sent -- you know, spent a career sending people to jail who
thought that they could game the system and game prosecutors, it is to his core. He hates liars.
And now he sees this cacophony of deception, you know, people trying to deceive the United States government, that's got it great on him. and to
your point, that brings us down to Friday. So this is going to be an important day where we're going to see additional documents for Robert
Mueller that are laid out. There are going to be a sentencing memo for Paul Manafort. This was the former Trump campaign manager who was
prosecuted in the United States on allegations of corruption. He's now a convicted felon.
He actually, again to continue this pattern of deception, he signed up to cooperate after his conviction with Robert Mueller. But you'll recall, he
actually was double-dealing and lying to Mueller and so Mueller ended the plea agreement and said, "OK, I'm washing my hands of this guy. He's a
liar. We no longer have a use for him." On Friday, we're going to actually get a sense of what those lies entailed, what Paul Manafort was
trying to do to deceive the United States government, to deceive the prosecution.
And then the last one which is going to be the bomb barnburner is going to be the president's former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. We're
going to see a sentencing memo on him as well. You know this is someone who has actually, you know, inflamed the president to a great deal. You
see him on Twitter. We've seen him blasting out. Someone who was in the Trump orbit and was very close, an insider who is now as the president says
flipping and actually going to cooperate with the government.
And we've already heard some very troubling aspects of what he is possibly telling the prosecutors about Trump's business ties. You'll recall this
paymen to a porn star that may have run afoul of campaign finance violations. So on Friday, we're going to get another filing on Michael
Flynn. We'll get some additional details.
But one thing -- the one, you know, million-dollar question that we all have, will these documents include the substantial redactions that we saw
in the Flynn case or is Mueller just going to lay it out. And the reason that's important is because that will be a signal to all of us watching
whether Mueller's actually close to wrapping up, whether there's a lot more work to do.
AMANPOUR: Very interesting. Well, to the point about Michael Cohen being so close to President Trump, President Trump has been, as you say, saying a
lot of things about Cohen's motives now cooperating with Mueller. Here's the latest what he said about him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's got himself a big prison sentence, and he's trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by
making up a story. Now here is the thing, even if he was right, it doesn't matter because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign.
I was running my business, a lot of different things during the campaign. So very simply, Michael Cohen is lying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So there's a little bit of a tautological problem there if I've got the terminology right. Even if he's right and then Michael Cohen is
lying. I must say, my ears pricked up when I heard the president of the United States suggest even if he is right. What did you think when you
heard the president even raise that possibility about Michael Cohen?
CAMPBELL: So the president of the United States is very good at flooding the zone and just throwing things out there and hoping something will stick
to the wall. You know, it's like a verbal suppression fire sometimes when he has these questions coming at him. As we saw right there, as you
mentioned as we unpack it, what he's saying is that my former attorney, someone I hired, who is very close to me and my business, he's a liar, he's
a scum bag. But even if he is and even if he's lying, what he's lying about isn't actually illegal.
And so again, that's a fact pattern that really gets you twisted up and I think that's the purpose, just to flood the zone. And again, at the end of
the day, what he's trying to say, the president, is that this person is not credible and he's actually lying --
CAMPBELL: -- the president. And this is the major issue. He's actually been taking it, he's done this since day one, a step further than just
attacking witnesses. He's attacking the government. He's attacking the institutions of justice that are charged with upholding the rule of law in
the United States.
Whenever we hear this term witch hunt, what he's doing is going at the fabric of the United States government. And not to get too photophysical
but these institutions exist in order to ensure that we have a system of rule of law in this country. What the president has done is made
calculation that he, in my judgment, is afraid of where Mueller is headed. He's afraid of what he's going to uncover.
And so what he's determined is that if I attack them now and try and discredit them and undermine them and at least in some small segment on my
base get them to believe that I am the victim of an out of control rogue, you know, deep state government, then somehow that will discredit whatever
Mueller comes up with at the end of the day. And that's a political campaign. That's not how Mueller plays. Mueller is actually letting his
work speak for itself in its court filings.
But again, the question is, is this corrosive narrative that the president is actually trying to set forward, is that taking hold? I think it is in
some segments of society which makes it so troubling. But the thing we'll have to watch is, you know, the evidence that Robert Mueller actually puts
forward. Is it so overwhelming? Is it so convincing that it's going to be able to counter this pattern, this campaign of undermining the institution
of justice for pure partisan gain?
AMANPOUR: And, of course, everybody is wondering whether Paul Manafort sort of turning a million which ways in this process and now being dumped
by the special counsel, whether he thinks and he's banking on getting a pardon from President Trump. But that, we'll wait to see all of that.
But let me just finish by asking, you know, you worked for Mueller. You worked for Comey. Why did you resign in the end? What was the issue that
tipped you over the edge?
CAMPBELL: So it has a large degree to what I was just talking about just now, the attack on our institutions of justice. So when I was in the FBI,
I spent over 12 years as an FBI agent. I did a lot of work overseas working with our foreign partners in many parts of the world. It's a job
that I loved.
But at the time, this is late 2017 when President Trump was really in this all-out campaign to undermine the FBI. People on the inside were very
angry and they're wondering, OK, who is going to speak up, who is going to speak out, and, you know, not just defend us without any type of criticism
but at least to say, look, these attacks on our institutions will have damage. And I just made that realization myself.
Look, I didn't want to look back 15 years from now upon retirement and say, well, I just kept my head down. All is well. What I saw going on right
now, what I continued to see is this pattern that is going to have serious consequences on public safety if people like President Trump are successful
in convincing the American people and, indeed, the world that the FBI or institutions of justice are corrupt. So I made that jump from law
enforcement over to journalism. And, again, there are a lot of similarities, right?
[14:00:00] We're all investigators here, we're trying to get to the bottom of what happened to hold powerful people to account. And the last thing
I'll say is I think it's important to realize this wasn't a partisan judgment on my part. It's not a -- it's nothing to do with your political
party but has to do with politics in the sense that politics is colliding with our institutions of justice in a very violent way in the United States
of a President where you have a President who is now leading the charge attacking his own institutions because he feels threatened. That is
something I don't think people can sit by and just wait without speaking out and so I'm attempting to do this.
AMANPOUR: Josh Campbell, formerly of the FBI, thank you so much in deed.
One of Robert Mueller's main areas of his investigation is 2016 Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Malcolm Nance is a respected
counter-terrorism analyst and he's an author who is that forefront of reporting the DNC cyber-attacks. His latest book "The Plot to Destroy
Democracy" examines how he believes President Putin is actively undermining American politics, and he is joined by our Alicia Menendez in New York to
talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALICIA MENENDEZ, PBS CORRESPONDENT, AMANPOUR & COMPANY: Malcolm, thank you so much for joining us.
MALCOLM NANCE, COUNTER-TERRORISM ANALYST AND AUTHOR OF "THE PLOT TO DESTROY AMERICA": My pleasure to be here.
MENENDEZ: Here's my first question and it's an important one. How does one become a spy?
NANCE: Well, first off, I'm not a spy. And --
MENENDEZ: According to whom?
NANCE: According to the definition of what a spy really is and that's terrible because I am on the board of the International Spy Museum in
Washington but there are two types of actors in the intelligence community. We who are actually running intelligence operations, collecting
intelligence, we tend refer to ourselves as intelligence collectors. The actual people like at the CIA who do it are CIA officers. Not agents. But
the people that we get to betray their nation, let's say in a human intelligence operation or to bring in a wiretap, a bug or something like
that and plant it for you, they're the spies.
MENENDEZ: What drew you to this work?
NANCE: Well, I grew in Philadelphia coming from a military family, a very old military family. There's been a Nance father, son and my niece in the
navy was in combat in Yemen last year. We have been in the armed forces since the civil war in every war.
NANCE: And, you know, my father was a master chief petty officer. I'm one of five sons who were in the Navy. And I -- you know, I grew up in
Philadelphia. And I had a pretty good catholic upbringing. But while I was there, I think I was influenced subliminally. There's a statue down in
Washington square which is the first actual tomb of the unknown soldier and above the inscription of a statue of George Washington is the saying that
freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness. And now that I'm grown up and I see that statue and quote that, when I talk about
intelligence activity, I think I was just subliminally influenced to go into that darkness and to see, you know, be the person to get information
that really meant something. And you know, it is not like the movies at all. This is not a Jason Bourne world.
MENENDEZ: What is it instead?
NANCE: It is dedicated people that really don't ask for any thanks, who come in and go to work day in and day out and do the hard work of
collecting information, that's secret, we generally -- stolen because we take it from other countries without their knowing it. And processing that
information and getting it to consumers like the President or the national security council staff or battle force commanders in a timely manner so
Americans and American interests are not hurt. I've been in situations where I've had to make the recommendation that people, that facilities and
structures to be destroyed right away or Americans would be killed or injured.
MENENDEZ: Draw a line for me from the skill set you possess to the analysis that you do in this new book.
NANCE: I started out in the cryptologic world that's a small fraction of the U.S. intelligence community but in fact because of the nature of the
way we collect the sensitivity of the material we collect, it's sort of a best analogy to give you that without saying anything that's classified is
the way we broke the enigma codes in world war ii and one thing that a lot of people don't understand because I'm a cryptologic linguist, I'm an
Arabic interpreter, when information is broken or decrypted or it's collected in whatever capacity that it comes in, you know, when I started
out in Philadelphia as a young catholic school kid I grew up in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood and the first foreign language I learned was Yiddish
and I would find scraps of Yiddish newspapers on the ground and one day I was curious.
[14:05:00] About 10 years old and I said I want a dictionary, I want an alphabet book to break out the letters. I learned a valuable lesson. All
come out in a foreign language. So from there you have to have people like I said with the enigma codes of world war ii, everybody that worked on the
mission was a German linguist because it's in German and then translate it, take that information, analyze it, determine where its best viability is
and then send it out to a reporter or work within the unit you're in in order to use that information to the best effect and many times that effect
was the destruction of enemy forces. So, how does that level of analysis which is really street level field analysis translate up into the
geopolitical world? Because we collect from the rawest source and the rawest source is the mouth of your enemy. You're not going to get anything
better than that, especially when they don't know you're the third party on their phone call or they're the third party in their communication.
MENENDEZ: How much of what we're reading in the book is based on that type of sousing?
NANCE: Right. None of it. I'm not a journalist. Journalists have a very different way of looking at information and they have to have their sources
and they go out and they validate them.
MENENDEZ: What is your way?
NANCE: As an intelligence collector, I have to look at it from the depth of all of my experience on the basis of military intelligence operations
and see whether I can see patterns of foreign intelligence activities that would affect, you know, the -- that would affect essentially the results
that I'm seeing a play on television and in the electorate and that's exactly what I saw. I saw a foreign intelligence operation that was very
familiar to me. I grew up in the cold war. Even though I was a Middle East specialist. The KGB was everywhere. Especially in my world. We were
hunted by the KGB and their goal was to find you, make contact and flip you, turn you into an asset and then have you become a spy, to betray your
country. So, you were always wary of that. And so, when I saw the hacking of the DNC, well, that was an affect. Carried out an operation. Someone
stole that information. That information had to come and surface in the media for a reason. And that reason could only be Watergate. Right? The
exact same activity that was carried out in 1973, only there were no burglars and you actually could just walk in electronically, steal the
information and then release it to the public and it could only have one affect and that was to damage and split the Democratic party into two.
MENENDEZ: You were at the forefront of ringing the alarm on this. Why were we hearing about this from you and not from the intelligence community
NANCE: Well, I was in media at that time and in fact I think I was the first person in U.S. media to -- I went on air at MSNBC and pretty much
surprised everybody on the production line where I said, you know, the first day of the Democratic National Committee and all this information was
released through WikiLeaks and it literally created a split, a rift between the Bernie side and the mainstream side of the Democratic party and I went
on air and I said the United States is attacked in a wide ranging cyber warfare operation to split the Democratic party in half and elect Donald
Trump as President.
MENENDEZ: Did anyone say that's dangerous and conjecture?
NANCE: No. Coming from my world, what we didn't know at the time was that those same dates, John Brennan, the Director of the CIA and Jim Clapper,
Director Of National Intelligence, were in a furious hunt to find American citizens who were known directing continuous contact with Russian
intelligence and find the sources of the leaks that were coming from WikiLeaks, that were coming through WikiLeaks and, in fact, within a week
John Brennan would be tasked by the President to call the director of Russian intelligence and tell him we know this is an intelligence
MENENDEZ: In this book, you know, so often talking about Russia, especially in the U.S. media, we focus on the United States for obvious
reasons but Putin's making a global play here.
[14:10:00] NANCE: Yes. Yes. What we see here, we are -- I think the fault in the -- a lot of the news media analysis and why people tend to pay
more attention to intelligence, you know, intelligence officers, intelligence collectors, because we see this from a much broader
geopolitical perspective. When I see that effect of the stolen e-mails, split the Democratic party in half, you know, I work this backwards. And I
go, OK, that information came from here. We see this from a much broader geopolitical perspective. When I see that effect of the stolen e-mails,
split the Democratic party in half, you know, I work this backwards. And I go, OK, that information came from here. Went through this conduit. That
conduit from Russian military intelligence. Russian military intelligence stole that information and in their service for a year. That had to be
ordered from the kremlin, an operational what we call an information warfare management cell and a term I made up which later we would find is
the internet research agency. To steal that information, watch U.S. news media disseminate that information and reach a strategic goal for the
President of Russia. That had to happen. It had to exist. And while U.S. intelligence was doing that job of finding that information, for me it was
just easier to come in to media and sound the alarm bell and say, hey, you're getting played on a very broad geopolitical scale but larger than
breaking the Democratic party. If you're going to put Donald Trump in as President of the United States, that means you have massaged him in some
way. To know that you would have to know the President of Russia was a former KGB officer and his job was human intelligence. Which is to make
people betray their own nation by thinking it is for their own good, to their own benefit and without thinking that they're actually betraying
their own country. And John Brennan actually said that in testimony before the senate intelligence committee. He said in his long experience people
who were betraying the country had no clue that they were actually being traitors. Not that we're using the technical term treason here but as
someone that's handled as we say and to be worked by a foreign power, to do their bidding, then there has to be a broader play for that nation.
MENENDEZ: So, what is Putin's vision?
NANCE: Putin's vision is very simple. He is making Russia great again. Russia's essentially a trailer park with atomic bombs. It is a poor
nation. The people there are poor.
MENENDEZ: So, wealth is the goal?
NANCE: Wealth is not the goal for the average person in Russia. It's about bringing Russia back on to the stage as a global player, the way that
Putin, former communist, right? Former Soviet Union acolyte of the world remembers Russia as an equal partner to the United States but doing it in
such a way they don't have to sell themselves the way China has and making themselves equal partners with the United States and to do that they have
to bring the United States down and they have done a very good job of that.
MENENDEZ: Reading your book the question I came back to over and over again is, can the damage that's been done be undone?
NANCE: Yes. Absolutely. I mean, when we talk about damage here, let's be honest, we are talking about did damage that the current administration and
President Donald Trump have impacted. The United States with. And to be quite honest I make it very clear in the book, he was co-opted early by the
Russians. I don't mean it in the sense he was, you know, offered money and become an agent. There's steps to where you work yourself into a position
where you don't know that you are being handled or maybe you do. I mean, you know, Donald Trump very early on, as early as the 1980s was trying to
get a Trump tower in Moscow. Four times he went to Russia to try to get a multi-billion-dollar real estate deal done there to the point where I think
that he's willing to do anything to get that.
MENENDEZ: The President and his supporters would maintain he's done nothing wrong.
NANCE: They would because they're invested in the narrative now but let me give you a description from an intelligence community perspective. Anyone
who's in a position of trust within the United States government, whenever we are suspected or even in the remotest suspicion that there may be
something wrong with someone who holds a top-secret clearance in the U.S. government the first thing the counter intelligence people is tear our
financial lives apart. They want to see if there's ill-gotten money, unexplained affluence. To see whether you've been influenced or impacted
by a foreign intelligence agency. Now, I want you to take that thought that I have just given to you and put that at the top of the political
spectrum of the presidency of the United States.
[14:15:00] Where the accusation on the table is that the President of the United States may be a witting or unwitting asset to a foreign power that
is led by a former Russian intelligence officer who may have given this foreign power consideration in the U.S. election, in terms of changing a
platform, or may actually be impacting U.S. foreign policy right now.
MENENDEZ: So, I come back to my question, how's this undone?
NANCE: How do you undo it? Democracy is its only defense but it's also the biggest vulnerability. The guardrails that were put in place by the
founders of American democracy, our constitutional Republicanism, what we see people really wanting in this level of where they -- where money
supersedes is autocracy and why you have leaders like Vladimir Putin pushing Donald Trump, pushing ultra-nationalism in Germany. Pushing in
Egypt. Erdogan in Turkey. And now you could argue that we have the first autocrat President. The first -- you know, the tyrant that John Adams
warned would eventually come as President of the United States. That Alexander Hamilton said would charm the masses and use demagoguery to reach
the highest platform. What we never thought is to have a congress that would surrender itself. The guardrails of democracy are the other branches
of government and the voice of the people.
MENENDEZ: You say that as a lifelong Republican?
NANCE: I was a Republican until -- you know? In the military, I was a national security Republican and socially liberal. Now because of the
current Republican party, I'm far to the left. I mean, national security, you know, Republicans are no longer even considered part of the Republican
party. We hate the Soviet Union. We hate communist and we know a KGB officer when we see one. I've been in dangerous places, around suicide
bombings and shot at. My wife and kids have been threatened. This last year. You know? Due to my differing political opinion. But if you really
are a patriot and you love America, the fight to maintain the norms that we have had up to this point are worth any sacrifice. I'd do it again.
MENENDEZ: Thank you so much.
NANCE: It's my pleasure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Very powerful testimony and before we leave tonight, we just want to offer one more memory of what made George H.W. Bush so beloved by
his family. Imagine an 85-year-old skydiving over his home in Kennebunkport, Maine. That is what he did to celebrate that birthday and
perhaps it is that memory, that part of being a parent, that made his sons so emotional. President George W. Bush when he bade his final good-bye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: So, through our tears let us know the blessings of loving and knowing you. A great and noble man.
The best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief let us smile knowing that dad is hugging Robin and holding mom's hand again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And through those tears remember the Bushes were only the second family in American history to have a father/son President. That's it for
our program tonight. You can listen to the podcast any time and see us online at Amanpour.com.
And you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.