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Trump Has No Conspiracy with Russia in the 2016 Election; Mueller Report Released; Walter E. Dellinger, Former U.S. Solicitor General, and Jeffrey Toobin, Former U.S. Federal Prosecutor, are Interviewed About Mueller's Investigation. Women Left Out in History Books; Abigail Disney, Director, "Women, War &Peace," and Eimhear O'Neill, Director, "Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs," are Interviewed About Women Untold in History. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 25, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
No conspiring with Russia, no more indictments but no exoneration, Mueller report. Former Solicitor General, Walter Dellinger and Legal Eagle Jeffrey
Toobin joins us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNADETTE DEVLIN, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: The story of the Women's Coalition is largely not visible, not because women get written of history, they
never get written in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: "Women, War and Peace," the documentary highlighting the invisible women who gave peace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALYSSA MASTROMONACO, AUTHOR, "SO HERE'S THE THING...": I stole a copy of the Tatler from Buckingham Palace. So, I'm sitting there on Marine One,
and he and the first lady just looked at me and they're like, "Stop."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Anecdotes from a life on the road with President Obama's deputy chief of staff.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
There was no Trump conspiracy with Russia to affect the 2016 election, that is the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into
the Trump campaign 674 days and 34.00 indictments later. In his own assessment of the report, the U.S. Attorney General William Barr's verdict
is that there's also no evidence to charge the president with obstructing justice.
President Trump's allies and others are calling this the best day of his presidency. Unsurprisingly, the president though has gone the extra
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: It was announced, there was no collusion with Russia. The most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. There was no
collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction and none whatsoever. And it was a complete and total exoneration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: But on that point, the special counsel's report says, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does
not exonerate him.
So, where do the country and the president stand? Former Solicitor General, Walter Dellinger, joins me from Duke University in North Carolina
and Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, comes to us from New York.
Gentlemen, welcome to the program.
Are you completely clear -- first, you, Walter Dellinger, as somebody who's defended the government in court in the past, are you completely clear
about what's happened and where President Trump stands today?
WALTER E. DELLINGER, FORMER U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL: Well, I think we won't have any clarity until we see the underlying and said to be a comprehensive
actual report by the Special Counsel Mueller.
I think what is most clear, Christiane, that has not been discussed in the last two days is extraordinary fact that the attorney general is confirming
something we knew in bits and pieces, and that is that there was a Russian military interference in American elections and the president has had
nothing to say about this. He's done nothing and he's said nothing.
So, what is really in a sense the most shocking except that we already knew from the indictments of Russian military officers a lot of the facts. We
will now have when we see the Mueller narrative.
A more extensive discussion of the really striking fact that Russian military officials broke into sensitive computer systems in order to
influence an American election and undertook the quote, so discord, says the Trump's attorney general in order to disrupt the election.
And yesterday and today, the president has still neither said nothing or nor done nothing about this fact and said he is branded about the fact that
there is not any sufficient evidence that Trump campaign officials were actively aiding and conspiring with the Russian. But --
AMANPOUR: Right. But it isn't at the point, Walter Dellinger?
DELLINGER: -- we shouldn't let (INAUDIBLE) pass.
AMANPOUR: Isn't that the point though? We sort of know that the Russians did interfere, and as you correctly point out, there are plenty of
indictments and all sorts of evidence to that point. But that this two- year investigation found no evidence of any knowing, unknowing, willing or unwilling collaboration between the president and the Russians or the
president's men or the president's son, no conspiracy, no collusion to commit a crime in that regard? They're two different things.
DELLINGER: Well, I think yes, that's correct. And the point of -- the first one is the president's done nothing in reaction to it the way he
should and indeed appears to welcome that. The point of the second one, I think, is slightly overstated. What the attorney general found is that
there was not sufficient evidence of an active involvement and agreement, either express or tacit agreement, between Trump campaign officials and the
Russians, that does not excuse the information we have about the fact that they welcomed the Russian interference in our elections.
And indeed, I deeply fear have set us up for 2020 of the next presidential election to give a green light for foreign powers to interfere in our
AMANPOUR: And that is clearly something incredibly worrisome and many people are worried, as you say, about the 2020 election given the precedent
from Russia's perspective and Russia having done what it did.
Jeffrey Toobin, do you have a view on, you know, the president calling it a victory, his people calling it a victory, that, you know, the most
intensive investigation in recent memory that lasted more than two years with all the days and indictments I just read by somebody as gold standard
as Robert Mueller is a political and legal victory for the president?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, FORMER U.S. FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, CNN ANALYST: Absolutely. You know, this country and our news media has been fixated on the Mueller
investigation, and I very much include myself and CNN. And the fact that Robert Mueller did not conclude that the president was actively involved in
a conspiracy with the Russians is an enormous victory for the president. And I don't think there's any other way to view that.
Now, it is also true that he has not done enough about Russian interference, in our election, but, you know, this was a criminal
investigation and it was concluded and it was concluded with, you know, an extremely ethical and admired leader Robert Mueller who said that as far as
dealings with the Russians were concerned, there was no crime committed, either by the president or anyone around him.
Now, the issue of obstruction of justice is considerably more complicated and unresolved. But to portray this as anything other than a victory for
the president I think is not accurate.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you both. First you, Jeffrey, since I have you there. I want to read the key line from the attorney general's letter on
the report, which, of course, we have not seen the full Robert Mueller report, presumably that is something Congress is going to ask for, the
press will lobby for and that the American people and everybody else has the right to see the full report.
The key line though on obstruction is that the special counsel states that while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime,
it also does not exonerate him. So -- OK. So, that's on the exoneration which we said. But in terms of the obstruction of justice, we're hearing
from a source that, in fact, Robert Mueller's team or he himself told the attorney general as many as three weeks ago that he would not and could not
come to a determination on obstruction of justice. How does that strike you, Jeffrey?
TOOBIN: Frankly, it's bizarre. I mean, this -- it was his job or it was Robert Mueller's job to reach a conclusion on that issue and all issues
regarding criminal culpability. To sort of throw up his hands and dump it all in the attorney general's lap is that's how it's this is being
portrayed is very strange and cries out for explanation.
It is not, as Mueller said, an exoneration but it is not incrimination either. And the circumstances of how and why Mueller reached this peculiar
conclusion, neither one way or the other, is something that really does cry out for congressional hearings and Mueller's own testimony.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you, Walter Dellinger, you've been there, you've been in the room, why do you believe the special counsel did not
adjudicate, one way or the other, on the obstruction of justice? Now, some have suggested that because he is not been able to come up with any crime,
then there would not be an obstruction of justice. What is your view do legally on this?
DELLINGER: Well, first of all, I certainly agree with Jeff that the determination that -- on the conspiracy on the Trump campaign side is
clearly a political victory and there's no doubt about that.
On this question obstruction, it is odd that they state that one of the factors was that not finding an underlying crime influence how the attorney
general, at least, and perhaps the special counsel as well, view the question obstructing justice.
But I represented a client, Martha Stewart who went to prison for an alleged misstatement about matters that turned out not to be criminal at
all, they were wrong, the government was wrong, in fact, it was criminal. So, I have actually seen it done in a far less weighty matter.
I think on obstruction, Jeff, my guess is that Robert Mueller, you know, was a decorated Marine, an FBI director, he's very much used to working at
a chain of command, he knew that the new attorney general had a view of presidential power expressed in a memorandum that Barr said before he was
named to be attorney general pressed (INAUDIBLE) he was going to be attorney general, that sort of when the president does it and it's an
exercise of one of his powers that it is difficult to say that ever is an obstruction.
And it's possible that legal view, which he may have had confirmed by the Office of Legal Counsel in justice sort of influenced Mueller to say, "I'm
not sure I can say even if I find that there is evidence that he is interfering with the election that it meets the criminal standard of all of
the elements," which I think, Jeff, goes to the fact that, I think, all of us have focused too narrowly on both of these questions on the criminal
aspect of it.
The fact that the special counsel did not exonerate the president personally for the actions he took and that the attorney general said that
he would not believe that to be prosecutable as criminal matters sort of obscures the fact of what an extraordinary breached of the longstanding
bipartisan norms that criminal investigation should be independent of influence from the president and the White House. That has been the case
with both political parties.
And here we had extraordinary interference by the president in public fora and we know through asking the director of Central Intelligence and the
National Intelligence director to intervene with the FBI director to try to stop this investigation, even if that was not criminal, it really was
extraordinarily inappropriate conduct, and we shouldn't let the technical criminal determinations obscure that.
AMANPOUR: Except this was a criminal investigation and the -- that's what I find very interesting about this, that on the one hand, everybody has
been clamoring for this report and it comes out after, you know, rigorous investigation that certainly the Democrats and others were very pleased to
have Robert Mueller putting his stamp of approval on all of this. And here comes the answer and clearly, for one side, it's quite hard to stomach.
Let me let put what the White House communications spokeswoman says, Sarah Sanders. Let's just hear her take for moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Don't let this investigation confuse you. This was not about looking at whether or not Russia
interfered. The purpose of this was to determine whether or not Russia interfered and the Trump campaign had something to do with it, they didn't.
We said that from day one, yet Democrats and the media perpetuated that lie day in and day out and breathlessly covered every single second of negative
attention that they thought would be the one moment that would bring this president down.
They were wrong in 2016 when he beat them and they've been wrong every day since of about this president, which is why he continues to do so well.
The American people are smarter than that and they're not buying it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: OK. So, on two issues, Jeffrey Toobin, she talks about the press and the Democrats. What do you make of the accusations still that
this was a witch hunt and that the press was hysterical about this? In other words, do you think that it was or was not appropriate for whether
it's the Democrats or the press or whoever to really demand or encourage a rigorous investigative procedure on this issue?
TOOBIN: It was, of course, appropriate for the deputy attorney general to begin this investigation in a point, Robert Mueller. And let's remember,
Robert Mueller had a very successful investigation. There were many guilty pleas secured by Robert Mueller. There was a very successful trial of Paul
Manafort who was the campaign chairman for President Trump. So, the idea that this was a worthless investigation is completely wrong.
As for the press, yes, it's true. This investigation was very assiduously covered. Am I here to defend every press outlet and every news
organization in the United States, of course not. I don't know what everyone said. I was part of the CNN coverage. I'm very proud of the CNN
coverage. I thought we did a very good job.
So, I -- you know, I think when the president of the United States is under investigation, that's a big story and we covered it and I think, at least,
we, CNN, covered it very well.
So, that -- you know, I think Sarah Sanders' comment reflects, you know, an understandable satisfaction with the result but some inappropriateness
about Mueller and the news media.
AMANPOUR: So, to that end -- and let me ask you --
DELLINGER: But, Jeff --
DELLINGER: Let me just -- go ahead.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me just ask you because --
DELLINGER: I just want to interject that Sarah Sanders -- OK.
AMANPOUR: We've got a delay. But I just want to ask you this. You know, you mentioned the -- that study for indictments. I mean, as far as I know,
the indictments are not from people who admitted any conclusion on criminal activity with Russia, they were about, you know, lying to Federal
investigators and doing all sorts of other nefarious activities, but it wasn't directly criminal conspiratorial with the Russians.
So, where do you both think the next round of investigations or fallout, legal fallout, let's say, with regard to the district in New York is going
to land? Is the president still potentially vulnerable? Walter?
DELLINGER: Yes, I think on multiple fronts. And let me interject, that Sarah Sanders begins with a misstatement when she says that Mueller was not
charged with investigating, you know, whether the Russians interfered in our election but only whether there was a U.S. complicit (ph), that is just
absolutely -- that is just wrong. His first charge was to find out exactly what happened with Russian interference, and that would be a major part of
his report when it is released.
Yes, the -- in terms of the criminal inquiry, the charge was relatively narrow and it does not include. -- Mueller's office did not undertake to
investigate whether the president was involved in campaign finance, violate criminal violations involving the payment of hush money to persons he was
alleged to have had sexual relations with and his financial relationships with the Russians or themselves not part of this investigation.
So, I think there is -- there are significant issues yet to be resolved.
Jeff, what's your thought on that?
AMANPOUR: Just before you go to that thought, I want to ask you about what you think is going to happen with the full report and then you can expand,
Jeff. But Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, Chuck Schumer, leader of the minority in the Senate, said, "Attorney General Barr's letter raises as
many questions as it answers. The fact that the special counsel, Mueller's report, does not exonerate the president on the charge as serious as
obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation may be made public without any further delay."
So, Jeffrey, given that you know so much about the workings on Congress, do you believe that they'll have a successful attempt to get this report
TOOBIN: I do. Mostly because Attorney General Barr has said that he wants to see the report released. Now, the question is how many redactions, how
many parts of the report will be censored? Certainly, classified information has to be restricted, and after that things get a little
murkier about grand jury investigating -- a grand jury material, information related to continue investigations.
But I don't think there's any doubt that some of the -- a good part of the report will be released and then we'll see whether the whole thing can be
As for the future, you know, I'm going to give you a ringing I don't know. I mean I -- you know, I think one way area where the news media has gotten
into trouble here is predicting what the outcome of these investigations is. We do know that the Southern District, the New York City Federal
prosecutors are investigating, we know that Congress is also going to continue its investigations. But where it leads, if anywhere, is kind of a
AMANPOUR: So, now, I want to ask you both because everyone around the world wants to know whether America can now get back to a, let's say,
normal presidency, in other words this idea of this particular case is gone. Let us not forget that according to the polls, the most important
issues for the Americans, let's say, at the midterms were the economy, health care, corruption, gun policy, immigration, President Trump, trade
policy, taxes and all the way at the end, the Russia investigation.
Can this country, the most powerful country in the world, get back to addressing the massive issues that face our world, whether it's the
environment, whether it's war and peace around the world, whether it's immigration in the United States, the economy, all those things? Do you
think that there's going to be a post Mueller presidency? Walter first.
DELLINGER: You know, I think there obviously will be to some degree because as a practical matter these conclusions may have taken impeachment
off the table. If that turns out to be the case, yesterday may be may be seen in retrospect as the day that Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential
election. That is by removing the moral imperative for the Democrats to proceed with impeachment and let them turn to the economic issues that, as
you noted, voters are caring about, may be politically beneficial to the Democrats and harmful to the president.
That's not to say that there are not really appropriate grounds for a congressional investigation, the fact that they're not crimes doesn't tell
you that they're not matters to be investigated. The involvement of the president in these criminal investigations, if not criminal, is clearly
inappropriate and to be reviewed by Congress.
And think about this, it's not a crime, anywhere in the Federal statutes, for a presidential candidate to have secret financial ties with a hostile
foreign power and to lie about those secret financial relationships. Now, what is that we (ph) thought to make that a crime but it is deeply wrongful
behavior that needs to be explored and examined.
So, there will, appropriate, be further hearing.
DELLINGER: I think the country will, to a greater extent, turn to those issues you were discussing.
AMANPOUR: And you, Jeffrey, who covered the sort of, you know, the daily political news to a great extent, do you think that there can be a post
Mueller-Trump presidency and that we would all get back to covering the big issues?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, the Democrats who -- you know, who -- the Democrats won the election in the midterms by talking about those issues,
like health care, like the environment, like guns. And so, it's not like they have stopped talking about those issues.
You know, we in the news media talked about Mueller a great deal, but, you know, it is also true that there -- the rest of the government has been
operating. So, I think it's a bit of a false choice. Yes, the government will continue to deal with those issues but there will also be these
investigations. And, you know, Congress is a big place and they're capable of doing both things.
AMANPOUR: On that note Jeffrey Toobin, Walter Dellinger, thank you so much indeed for joining us on this monumental day. Thank you.
Now, from law and order to war and peace, it's been proven that the durability and quantity of peace increases when women are included in the
peace negotiations. But too often, the women who do make it to the table are left out of the history books.
Well, my next guests are trying to correct that with their new PBS documentary series, "Women, War and Peace." Shining a light on stories
from Haiti to Egypt.
In its first episode, it follows an all-female political party in Northern Ireland. It fought to be included in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement
between the British and the Irish government. Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just said to people, "It's not rocket science. Politicians would like you to think it is rocket science, it is not."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think many women didn't really want to put themselves forward. It took a lot of courage, a lot of determination and a
lot of having to expose your own identity in a society where identity was so closely linked with trouble, with violence, with danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Today, because of Brexit, some fear that danger. The work like the Good Friday Agreement could be undone if a hard boarder returns.
So, joining me now from Santa Barbara, California is the series executive producer, Abigail Disney, and from Belfast, the Northern Irish episode
director, Eimhear O'Neill.
Welcome both of you to the program.
It's a really provocative look at something that we -- you know, as you rightly spotlight, we don't often remember in the history books. So,
Abigail, since you're the overall executive producer of this series, what was it specifically that made you focus on this issue?
ABIGAIL DISNEY, DIRECTOR, "WOMEN, WAR &PEACE": Well, many years back I found myself in Liberia and discovered a story about what the women did to
end the war there. And, you know, I came home kind of angry from Liberia because I pay attention to the news and something really important had
happened there and no one had bothered to report it.
So, I started that film called "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," and as I started making it, people kept coming forward to me with, "Well, that
happened to Liberia but let me tell you about Nepal and let me tell you about Argentina."
So, what I quickly discovered was that there were stories like this around the world. And we don't just persistently but systematically forget them.
AMANPOUR: So, the hero, the real-world hero of "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" is the Liberian woman, Leymah Gbowee, who used every possible way to
get, you know, the warlords to the peace table and she won a Nobel Peace Prize.
So, let me ask you Eimhear, what led you to Northern Ireland and to want to be part of this series? What was it for you, because you are Irish
EIMHEAR O'NEILL, DIRECTOR, "WAVE GOODBYE TO DINOSAURS": Yes, that's right. Was (INAUDIBLE) when talking about our peace agreement, the Good Friday
Agreement, is that woman actively participated in its creation.
So, as a director, "Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs," in many ways an untold story and it's a very rich story. And it's a story about a group the women
from a cross community backgrounds who came together and endured a lot to have their voice help shape peace.
AMANPOUR: And Eimhear, why the title, "Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs"?
O'NEILL: The title, it comes actually from the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition. It was a stroke of genius in many ways. They came up with this
title because the dinosaurs were reflecting the misogyny and the male dominated traditional politics that existed here, and the woman felt that
this was a good opportunity to rare attention. After all, they only had six weeks to get to the peace table, at which they did get elected, and
they used every method possible in order to gain attention and to get their voice and policies around human rights, equality and inclusion in order to
have the people of Northern Ireland, in many ways, the woman of Northern Ireland to vote for them.
AMANPOUR: And it was extraordinary. We played a small clip of Bernadette Devlin who was a very, very famous human rights, civil rights activist in
Northern Ireland. She became the youngest MP to be elected and she was a major, major force in the 70s and the 80s. And she interviewed by you for
And she said, "The problem is, it's not that, you know, we don't get written -- " something like that, "We never get written about. It's not
that we don't get written out, we never get written about."
And I wonder, Abigail, if you go back and remember that even in the 70s there were these two phenomenal Irish women, Northern Irish women, who came
together and they were the first women who anybody heard of. Let me just read the names for posterity, Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams, also
Nobel Peace Prize winners.
What do you think, Abigail, gale when you look at this history? I mean, they were there in the trenches for so long and never really got traction
in the peace process.
DISNEY: Right, right. Well, you know, just since the beginning of time -- I mean, if Mairead and Betty had been in Troy and done the same thing,
Homer wouldn't have written about them either. There is something kind of eternal about the idea that women have nothing to do with it.
And so, when the people come through who have the power and the people who are writing stories, they look at the women and they -- no matter what the
women are doing, they just don't see authority, they don't recognize what the women are doing as mattering, partly because it's collective, partly
because they're not in positions of power, generally speaking, partly because they're coming from the grassroots.
But for whatever reason, the political class and the journalist class have a very similar idea of what constitutes authority, and gender is one of the
key components of that.
AMANPOUR: So, I want to play a clip from the film actually because Bernadette Devlin, as I said, you do interview. And she speaks about the
issue of -- you know, of women being at the table not just as tokens but because they really work were the trenches.
As one of your women, a member of the coalition said, you know, "We were the conflict resolvers, not because of any biological reason but because
that was our role in society, at home or wherever it was." This is what Bernadette Devlin, the political activist, said to you in the film.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNADETTE DEVLIN, IRISH CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER AND FORMER POLITICIAN: They brought to your table their previous individual experience. It's a
traditional woman's role. Keeping the peace and encouraging people to go the extra mile because women are better conflict resolvers.
Not biologically but because that's where have traditionally been located in society. We sort out the problems between siblings. We sort of the
women across the street. And so the women's coalition were the most experienced peace negotiators in the room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I really found that incredible. She really made it accessible without standing on a soap box. She just said yes, this is our role. This
is our role in society. And yet, to both of you, Abby and Emihear, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, women basically on average
comprise only 8 percent of negotiators, 5 percent of signatures (ph) and 2 percent of mediators in peace talks.
That still -- so I wonder, you know, whether they'll -- you know they'll be a huge change in all of this. Just -- Emihear let me ask you, how did the
women get welcomed or otherwise by the dinosaurs, by the men? I mean they were the majority of the -- of the political parties to the Good Friday
O'NEILL: Yes, Monica McWilliams and Pearl Sagar were the only two women to sit at the top of the piece negotiating table.
The rest were indeed men. But when the women arrived at the peace talks, their -- their reception was hostile. They endured a lot of verbal abuse.
You know they were told to sit down and stop talking. They were told to go back into the kitchen.
But what Bernadette Devlin said in that clip in many ways is the story of the women's coalition. They women's coalition did fall out of the clouds
in 1996. They had been around in community politics and grass root politics for decades.
They were campaigning on domestic violence legislation on reproductive rights on women's aide centers. Those women were at the front line in
community politics as it were. This was an opportunity to get to an elector of the politics.
And because they are skillful women, they were able to go into those talks, yes endure abuse, but they were able to overcome that. And by the end of
the talks many of those dinosaurs, as it were, were their allies and friends, which helped again, get their voices and their policies around
human rights equality inclusion into that peace agreement, which still stands today.
AMANPOUR: Abby, I -- I'm really struck by the four stories you essentially choose. There's the Northern Island women for peace. There's Gaza Women
for Peace. There's the all women's peacekeeping unit in Haiti. And then there's the women of Egypt during the Tahrir Square uprising.
I just want to play a little piece from the Palestinian part of your series. It's called "Naila and the Uprising." It follows a non violent
women's movement which was formed in Gaza in 1980.
And I spoke not so long ago to the director, Julia Bacha. She reflected on the women's role in this conflict. This is what she told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIA BACHA, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: We wanted to tell the story of what happened during the first (inaudible) in the late 80s to the story of the
people who have been written out of that history.
And so often, unfortunately, it happens in protest movements where women played leading roles in organizing at a grassroots level be it the civil
rights movement here in the United States or other places historically.
And then when you tell the story of those movements, you actually celebrate the man. And you don't give the credit to the women who actually often
paid the highest prices in those movements.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Abby, I really think it's incredible because it's the Northern Irish women who say, you know, the women are written out. It's -- it's she
who says -- and don't forget in -- in -- in the Middle East, it's Israeli women and Palestinian women who were the initiators of any kind of dialogue
and their voices just aren't counted anymore or -- or today.
But also I was struck, Abby, by how much all of these groups talk about the American civil rights movement and the women who played such a major role
in the American civil rights movement.
ABIGAIL DISNEY, DIRECTOR, "WOMEN, WAR, & PEACE": And -- and those women have also tended to fall out of the main discourse too. I mean Rosa Parks
is thought of as this nice old lady who sat down on a bus but we know her to have been a highly trained, highly skilled, highly educated activist.
So the -- one of the real payoffs of making a series like this and the whole reason to do it is to take the Palestinian story and the Irish story
and put them all together because as different as all those places are and as different as all those conflicts are, what you see coming up for the
women again and again and again are the same issues sometimes in the same language, and that's what's so important about this because when you look
at more up close, of course what you see is the equipment and the terrain and the politics and the particular personalities, but when you look at it
from 30,000 feet it, first of all, doesn't look very attractive, and second of all you see what women see which is fire and murder and terror and
starvation. That's what women deal with. And so, around the world we're tasked with the job of keeping people educated and clothed and fed and well
in the rest of it. What we do is peace and what we navigate in our lives personally is that in a violent confrontation one-on-one, generally we lose
from the minute we're little children.
So from the beginning of our lives, we negotiate conflict nonviolently of necessity. So we bring all of that stuff with us. Monica McWilliams says
this really important thing in the Irish film. Paisley and Jerry Adams are refusing to sit together, the talks are breaking down, and you can see the
moral force in what she's saying. She says, "why is it that the victims can show up time and time again when they're the one's who've been hurt,
when they are the people who have reason not to show up. If the victims can show up, then Paisley and Adams can show up." And that's what happens
when the women come in with the full force of their moral dimension and unfiltered by other people who are representing them, and that's when they
become really powerful because this is so difficult to oppose that kind of compelling sensibility.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's a really powerful series and very happy that we got a chance to talk to you both. Eimhear O'Neill with the Northern Irish part
of this series and Abigail Disney, the series producer, executive producer, thank you so much indeed for joining us. And a note that the final two
films in the series Women, War & Peace will air tomorrow on PBS and will also be available online.
Now to women earning seats at the top table in U.S. politics. Alyssa Mastromonaco was the youngest women to serve as White House Deputy Chief of
Staff. She spent nearly a decade on Barack Obama's team working with him as he rose from freshman senator to president. Now she's out with here
second book "So here's the Thing: Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older, and Trusting Your Gut". She talks about all of this to our Michel Martin and
about finding her feet in the White House as well as the dynamic new class of women making waves in Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MICHEL MARTIN, AMANPOUR HOST: Alyssa Mastomonaco, thank you so much for joining us.
ALYSSA MASTROMONACO, AUTHOR, "SO HERE'S THE THING...": Thanks for having me.
MARTIN: Your second book "So Here's the Thing".
MASTROMONACO: "So here's the Thing".
MARTIN: "Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older, and Trusting Your Gut", this is actually your second book.
MARTIN: First one was a best seller, so how does former presidential scheduler, director, international traveler gal decide to write a book
about basically how to do your life?
MASTROMONACO: So after the first book, the response was a little bit different than I thought. I thought it would be mostly like, oh, we miss
and love Barack Obama, which of course part of it was, but a lot of it was response to some of the stories that I was telling, some of the more
vulnerable, TMI stories. And so, as the sort of year or two went on after the first book, I kept a list of all the things that young women wrote to
me that they wanted to hear more about, sort of like underserved topics. And so, low and behold they wanted to hear more, and I went even more TMI
on this one. And it seems to have worked out. People seem to be enjoying it.
MARTIN: You really put it out there in a way that I think people do know you then obviously they're not surprised, but -
MASTROMONACO: Yes. They're like, "there she goes again."
MARTIN: - for people who think about women in politics as having to be very buttoned up, very controlled, kind of keep everything to yourself, in
some cases not really acknowledge that they're women. And I wondered in a way were you like pushing against that?
MASTROMONACO: I was. I was because I always felt that I didn't see myself. You know, in any sort of walk of life, people are drawn to
professions or things where they see themselves reflected, like where they see a possibility of belonging. And so, I didn't really see that for
myself, so I stuffed myself into Spanx, I wore pencil skirts, I wore button-down shirts even though I had like a terrible sweating problem and
always felt like you can see me sweat. And so, I decided, you know, the more comfortable I got the most I pushed the boundaries within the White
House and the more President Obama had no problems with it. First lady had no problems with it, so I dressed a little bit more like myself and I found
that I was more comfortable. And the more comfortable I was, the more comfortable people were coming to ask me questions. And so, I really sort
of like, you know, after the first two or three years started finding my groove. If you look at the time lapse of photos, I definitely started
looking a little more like you see me now towards the end.
MARTIN: I don't remember seeing the poncho and the denim shirt and the quads, but --
MASTROMONACO: There was no poncho, there was no denim shirt, there were a lot of pantyhose. There was actually a website or blog back then dedicated
to how, when Nancy-Ann DeParle, who was the deputy chief of staff for policy, who was the architect of the Affordable Care Act, when she and I
were both elevated to deputy chief there was a blog dedicated to the shoes and clothes that we wore and it was not positive. It was like, these
disrespectful women, they should have high heels on, they should have pantyhose on. And at first we were really nervous because we didn't want
to reflect poorly on the president.
And so I mentioned it to him once and he was like, what do I care. And I was like, OK, great, thanks. Because you know, you don't want to reflect
poorly on your boss, especially he's like the first African-American president, you don't want people thinking he has these like children
working in the West Wing.
MARTIN: If you could just pick one story from, say your international travels, that -- what you really learned, something important.
MASTROMONACO: Oh my goodness. An international travel story.
MARTIN: I just can't even pick out --
MASTROMONACO: Well that was --
MARTIN: -- you were being spied on or where you realized that there were cameras in the shower or --
MASTROMONACO: Well that was --
MARTIN: -- or jewelry's on the desk, that you were like, what?
MASTROMONACO: Well everything really was -- I think in terms of, like, a preparedness -- because foreign travel in so many ways is about
preparedness. Like even on my book tour last week I did five cities in a carry-on bag. Because you know what do you not want? You don't want your
luggage to get lost, you don't want to have to go scramble. And so at the White House that was for the most part how we traveled. But once the
president wanted to do me a real solid and knew that I would die to see the inside of Buckingham Palace. But we were not intend to go to Buckingham.
Most of us were going straight to the airport because we were leaving.
And so Reggie Love, then his personal aide comes to the door and he says, boss, boss wants you in the car over to Buckingham, take the helicopter
Marine One over to the airport. And I started negotiating with Reggie. I was like, but I'm in jeans and a blazer. And he's like, that's a personal
problem, what do you want me to do about it. And so I asked the valets who were members of the military -- I'm like, let me carry some of the stuff so
that I can hide what I'm wearing. And they're like, get away from us. And so we end up in Buckingham Palace --
MARTIN: You'd think (ph) they'd have the nuclear codes --
MASTROMONACO: They had everything. They're like stop, and --
MARTIN: -- so maybe --
MASTROMONACO: They're like, you're not touching any of this. And so we get to the drawing room -- we're at Buckingham Palace, we're in the drawing
room, I'm so nervous, I'm standing behind a couch so you can only see -- actually, it may have been this exact shit because I've had it for 100
years -- and my blazer and not see that I have jeans on. We walk out the back of Buckingham, all the house staff is there, they're waving goodbye to
us, we get on Marine One, the president is like very proud he's done something so nice for me and he turns around and he's like, jeans, Alyssa?
And I said, I know, I know, I'm sorry, I didn't think we were going to be going. And then he just looked back and he goes what's in your hand? And
in a effort to not look like I was totally fidgeting, I stole a copy of The Tatler from Buckingham Palace. So I'm sitting there on Marine One and he
and the first lady just looked at me and they were like stop it. So the point was, though, never did I ever wear jeans ever again unless we were on
MARTIN: I was going to say, so is the moral of the story don't wear jeans ever? Ever?
MASTROMONACO: Don't wear jeans -- if you're working in the White House, just save the jeans to for when you know you're already going where you got
to be. Like don't -- don't -- don't do the transit jeans or casual clothes because you never know when the -- you're going to be in the presence of
MARTIN: Obviously Barack Obama's the first African-American president of the United States. Was that like a part of your consciousness --
MARTIN: -- always when you were there?
MASTROMONACO: Every day.
MARTIN: In what way?
MASTROMONACO: I think there were a couple things. One, you didn't want to be -- you knew the scrutiny was going to be different. You know, I think
that -- or even if it wasn't, you thought it might be. And so you wanted to be at 150 percent every day, because you never wanted the real dark side
of the right to say, see, this is what happens when you give people who look different than past presidents a chance.
MARTIN: Was that ever communicated to you or --
MARTIN: -- was that just something in the air?
MASTROMONACO: Just something that I felt personally that I wanted to make sure that I did my best every day. You know, and there is a generation of
kids who will never know a time when there wasn't an African-American president and like, how important is that? Like, imagine when, you know,
we have our first female president and there will be kids who are like what do you mean? Of course there's a woman president, of course it's no big
deal, like it's fine. And so I think that we all wanted to make sure that we got to that point.
MARTIN: You know, you have a chapter in the book -- oh, here it is. How do I get to be you by the time I'm 35. And one of the points you make is
don't ask that question.
MARTIN: You just (ph) -- it doesn't really work that way.
MARTIN: But one of the other points that you make is that you can't plan and micromanage every single step of the way.
MASTROMONACO: Yes. I think that one of the interesting things for me was that I, you know, was born in the '70s, it was -- when I went through
middle school, high school, college, it was still much more like choose your own adventure in a way that was fine. I feel like things have gotten
so competitive and people getting into schools, it just didn't that way when I was growing up and as long as I was not in trouble, my parents were
more than happy to sort of let me find may way.
And being in the Senate, being in the White House, I encountered so many kids that were so programmed, that were so -- you know, they'd get the
chance to talk to someone like me and they didn't ask about the experiences or the trips or what's the most interesting thing or the saddest thing,
they were like how do I get to be you. And I thought that was such a sad use of their time that I would stop them dead in their tracks and I'd say,
if you wanted to be me, you -- I could never have asked that question of anyone because I wouldn't have ended up here.
Because if I had asked that question years ago, would I have picked Barak Obama --
MARTIN: Barack Hussein Obama.
MASTROMONACO: -- Hussein Obama, junior senator from Illinois or Hillary Clinton? Like who would have been more -- I go, but the truth is I was
with the man I believed in, who before he even decided to run for president looked at the 6 of us or 8 of us around the table and said, here's the
deal, I'm running as me, I'm going to win as me or I'm going to lose as me because I would rather lose as myself than win trying to be someone else.
And we were like, great. And that sort of instilled in us this, you know, if we were on the high wire every day taking risks and if we messed up, he
wasn't mad as long as we were still out there taking risks and -- and doing what we though was interesting and new.
And so for the young people now, I'm like, if I had used your mentality, where would I have ended up? And they're like but you got to be deputy
chief of staff, I'm like, because I was with him from the beginning, he trusted me when I didn't even think I was ready to be deputy chief of staff
for operations. He was like, well you're the only one who doesn't think that, so stop.
MARTIN: It's kind of the anti-lean in. You can't sort of plot, you know, A to B to C. There is no way anybody would have --
MARTIN: -- plotted my trajectory. Is that mainly for women? Is it just different for women?
MASTROMONACO: I think it's different for women but I also think that if men sort of listen to some of the stories that they might lighten up a
little bit and that it won't just be so, I'm a man, here's what I've been taught, here's what I'm supposed to do. If we can all just sort of, like,
loosen up a little bit and not thing about everything that's happened before us and think about how we want to live our lives going forward, I
think that's good for everyone.
MARTIN: So how are you dealing with the present moment when the current occupants of the White House are very different people? How are you
dealing with that?
MASTROMONACO: So, you know, the one thing about working in the White House that not all Democrats like me (ph) to say or like to hear from me is that,
you know, the Bush administration could not have been more generous or kind to us, they could not have helped ease the transition more than they did.
They were extraordinary. And you know, after we had been there for a year, we would always talk about that you really don't understand until you've
walked in the shoes. You know? Like yes, they've made a lot of mistakes but -- but now we understand a bit more how those mistakes could have
And so I try to be -- after the election in 2016 and Barack Obama came on television, you know, the day after and he said we support the new
president-elect, you know -- and I was like if he can do it, I can do it. And because I know how important the institution is. It's not politics at
that point, it's governing. And you're not president of the group that elected you, you're the president of all the people. So I had hope. I was
like, Donald Trump is going to ascend, he is going to blow our expectations, he's going to understand the weight of the job.
MARTIN: And you still think that?
MASTROMONACO: No. No, no, not -- not shortly after. You know, I tried to stay upbeat and positive but for me, the thing that upsets me -- you know,
the tweeting and all that garbage, that's one thing. To me the thing that (inaudible) I know things that the Clinton administration, that the Bush
administration, that we did, ways that opened up the government and the White House to all the people in the country, that made it feel accessible,
that -- that really understood the importance of the ceremonial parts of the job. And so the thing that makes me the saddest are all of those kids
and all of those Americans who like aren't going, who aren't seeing the respect.
You know, when you walked into the Obama White House, when we walked into the Bush White House, I mean, it was -- it was so serious and so
aspirational at the same time. And I think that when you have people who so openly attack public servants, who have given their lives to their
country, to me that's something that I hope we can bounce back from.
MARTIN: You have a chapter in the book about Monica Lewinsky --
MARTIN: And you say that, you know, she hasn't -- how can we say? She hasn't gotten her due, that she has not really been given the respect that
she deserves. Do you want to talk a little bit more about that?
MASTROMONACO: Well I think it's happening. Part of what I wanted to talk about was that even though she and I were the same age, roughly, when she
went through what she went through, becoming a public - like one of the most recognized people in the world at the age of 24 that there are
interesting things that we need to take from that which are back when I was sitting on my living room floor with my roommates walking the impeachment
trial on a black and white television, we got our news from Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings, right? It never occurred to me that
the story being told by four white men would be different if there was a women telling the story when we sat down every night at 6 o'clock to watch
the news. So on the one hand we were getting sort of straight facts, right? And I think now we wish we could get more of a coalition around
what straight facts are. But what's important is the point of view, and the point of view that was missing back then was Monica's point of view.
And if you asked people to think back on, you know, 1998, 2000 and you ask them who the victim was if you were a democrat, they'd say Bill Clinton.
Wow. Like the thought that people didn't see her as a victim of power, of a man in power, of the media. And so, for me when I became friends with
Monica and part of why I wanted to write this essay is because we all have to think about things from the other person's point of view, and I wish
that I had been more aware and more curious back then and thought more about what she might have been going through. And so, now I think that I
try to do that in as much as I can with other people.
MARTIN: And yet, it just seems as though the way our kind of fresh look occurs is still within the context of a polarized experience. I mean, I'm
thinking about -
MARTIN: - Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings and that Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford had information that she wanted to have considered -
MARTIN: - and yet it still seems as though the information can't be considered on it's own merits.
MARTIN: It still has to be filtered through the prism of a polarized political perspective.
MASTROMONACO: Right, and the thing that I felt at least this time around is that Dr. Blasey-Ford knew she wasn't alone. If it taught us nothing
it's that we couldn't be silent, that people did take to the streets. I can't tell you how many like rallies I spoke at just so that we could say
we see you and we hear you and you're not alone. And so, that's definitely not the third way, but I do think that there's a, you know, #neverforget
for the things that have happened before where we look back on the impeachment hearings, we look back on Anita Hill, we look back on Anita
Hill standing in front of a - sitting in front of dayas (ph) of white men and trying to impugn her character. And so, change is not happening as
fast as it should, but there is - it is heartening, I guess, to see that at least we have found a way to pull together and tell these women when they
come out that they're not alone.
MARTIN: There is unprecedented number of women running -
MARTIN: - for president. There's -
MASTROMONACO: Six now, right?
MARTIN: Six now, right. And there's also a record number of women in Congress and I just wonder if you think that's going to change things?
MASTROMONACO: I do think that's going to change things. Now, how long have we been hearing when - this is such a tongue twister - when women run,
women win, and I think that we've all been like, OK, sure because OK. But now they actually all did run and so many of them did win. And so, I do
think that it's going to change governing going forward if only because now the more that women run I think the more - I mean, who ever thought that
Joe Crowley would lose a primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Like - so I think that, one, people are going to take their positions in power more
seriously, and when you think about how dismissive some people are when they have a primary opponent who could potentially 28 and a woman, you
know, they're going to take it more seriously now, and there's nothing but good that comes from that.
MARTIN: So it's interesting that of the class of new -
MASTROMONACO: Members, yes.
MARTIN: - newly elected members, the people who have become lighting rods are all women and I wonder why you think that is?
MASTROMONACO: Of course. Well, I think that they're the ones really putting themselves out there. Like I think that in a lot of ways
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez only wants to be in Congress if she's going to do and fight for exactly what she believes in. If that means she's a lighting
rod, so be it. And also there's strength in the women that came in together. And so, you're not going to push that hard and then get into
Congress and sit there with your legs crossed and your hands on your lap and just do what people tell you.
MARTIN: Well there it is.
MASTROMONACO: There it is in a nutshell.
MARTIN: In a nutshell. Alyssa Mastromonaco, thanks so much for talking to us.
MASTROMONACO: Thank you for having me. This is a real honor.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: So no more ladies staying in their lanes then. Now it is times to get things done. And that is it for now. Remember you can always
listen to our podcast, see us online at amanpour.com, and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.