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Trump Subject for Impeachment; White House Releases Memorandum of Record; Elie Honig, CNN Legal Analyst and Former Federal and State Prosecutor, and Former Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), are Interviewed About Trump-Ukraine Scandal; Uber CEO Smoothing Company's Route Ahead; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, is Interviewed About Uber; "Evelyn". Aired 1-2p ET
Aired September 25, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A moment of truth for the Democrats. Will it be a moment of reckoning for the president? We discuss the push towards impeachment amid
the Ukraine scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It sounds a little like a mea culpa. It sounds a little like a --
DARA KHOSROWSHAHI, CEO, UBER: I think it should sound a lot like mea culpa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: In an exclusive interview, I speak to Uber's embattled CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, as he insists the model still works after the company blows
through billions in just three months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I found making this film probably the hardest thing about the (INAUDIBLE) in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The director of the Oscar-winning documentary "White Helmets" tells us about his most challenging project yet, confronting his own
brother's suicide on camera.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
Today, a pivotal moment in U.S. history, for only the fourth time in 151 years, an American president is the subject of impeachment proceedings.
The White House has released the memorandum of record, as it's known, for the now infamous phone call between Donald Trump and the president of
Ukraine. It confirms that the president urged Ukraine to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden who is Trump's top rival for the
presidency in 2020.
After wrestling with the impeachment question for nearly a year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced yesterday that Democrats will begin a formal
impeachment inquiry on this Ukraine scandal. At stake? Unclear right now but it does come in the midst of a presidential elections campaign in an
already bitterly divided and polarized nation. Here is President Trump in his own defense this morning.
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DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Just so you understand, it's the single greatest witch hunt in American history, probably in history, but in
American history. It's a disgraceful thing. The letter was a great letter. Meaning the letter revealing the call. That was done at the
insistence of myself and other people that read it. It was a friendly letter. There was no pressure. The way you had that built up, that call,
it was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, he is basking in an unwelcomed limelight because of this scandal and he has also weighed
in about that call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Nobody can put pressure on me because I'm the president of an independent Ukraine.
There's only one person who can pressure me and it's my 6-year-old son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Joining me now from Los Angeles to discuss all the latest developments is the former California Senator, Barbara Boxer, and here with
me in the studio is the former federal and state prosecutor, Elie Honig.
Welcome both of you to the program.
Let me just first turn to you for the legal facts, Elie, and then we're going to get some of the politics from Senator Boxer. What do you make of
the transcript that has come on, actually, a memorandum of record of this call?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST AND FORMER FEDERAL AND STATE PROSECUTOR: Right.
AMANPOUR: Do you see the sort of smoking gun that Democrats feel is there?
HONIG: It's pretty darn close to a smoking gun, Christiane. So, a couple of things. The big picture that jumps out about this memorandum is you can
see clearly that President Trump has one purpose in this phone call. He's not calling on a variety of matters. It's not a diplomatic call. It's not
an international relations call. He wants help from the Ukrainian president in digging up political dirt on two of his political rivals, Joe
Biden and Hillary Clinton.
And when you get down into sort of the nuances, I do see potential federal crimes here. I see potential bribery, potential extortion and potential
receipt of foreign election aid, all of which are federal crimes. But keep in mind, you do not need a crime in order to impeach. Impeachment can and
historically has been based on abuse of power.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let's take it slowly with the paragraphs from this transcript. First of all, in the relevant area. President Zelensky says,
"I would like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps, specifically, we
are almost ready to buy more javelins from the United States for defense purposes."
Now, Trump responds immediately, I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about
it. And then the U.S., as we know, froze. The Trump administration froze over the summer. Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of aid -- of
military aid. So, just from those two graphs, what do you make of it?
HONIG: That is as close to a quid pro quo as you will get in real life. I've charged and tried bribery cases on less clear conversations than this.
They're both laying [13:05:00] the stakes out on the table. The president of Ukraine says, your aid, foreign aid is invaluable to us. We need it for
our defense and we're getting ready to buy more equipment from the United States. And then Donald Trump's response, this is the most important line
in the whole thing, right after that, Donald Trump says, I would like you to do us a favor though. So, I'm laying it on the line. And what is that
favor? There is no mincing words, I want you to look into Hillary Clinton. I want you to look into the Bidens.
AMANPOUR: OK. We're going to get to the Biden graph in a moment.
AMANPOUR: But first, I want to go to Senator Boxer, who is a long-time former senator now. A long-time senator. A close colleague of Nancy
Pelosi. And you're very, obviously, well aware of the politics that is going on.
Let me play for you -- well, let me ask you whether you are surprised that having sat on, I guess, the fence, maybe not the right word, but Nancy
Pelosi is famous for not wanting to go the impeachment route.
FMR. SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): Right.
AMANPOUR: She was sort of holding off the most virulent pro impeachment members of her caucus. And yesterday, she basically said, now, we've got
to start this inquiry. What do you make of her position? Is she being pushed into it or do you believe this is the right thing at the right time?
BOXER: I know Nancy for so many years, since the 1980s, and I can tell you, she doesn't get pushed into anything. This is so serious. And I am
so pleased that your guest looked at this and saw it, frankly, the way I see it, as a nonlawyer. And that is, when you say these words, and I wrote
them down, I would like you to do us a favor though, right after there's talk about the military aid. It's pretty, obvious, to me, a quid pro quo.
But, you know, frankly, just the relationships between the two parties here, the powerful one with all the money, you know, Trump and the
supplicant who needs this funding in order to defend against, guest who, Vladimir Putin and Russia. This is very clearly, on its face, you know, if
it wasn't so explicit, it still would be implicit.
So, this is a moment in time. It's very serious. I sat through an impeachment about a president lying about having sex. This is a betrayal
of our national security because I was in the Senate and strongly supported giving aid to the Ukraine against Russia. And Congress had voted for this,
all sides, Republicans and Democrats, and he was holding up the aid. Trump was holding up the aid.
Last point I would make at this moment, is that when Trump says it's a witch hunt. Yes. And the witch hunt is what he's doing to Joe Biden and
his son and everybody who has looked at this has said that Biden and Obama and all the rest drove out the corrupt prosecutor. So, this is on its head
upside down and I just hope justice will be done.
AMANPOUR: I want to quote another part of this letter and this is where President Trump specifically raises the issue of Joe Biden. So, I'm going
ask you, Elie, to weigh in on this. He says in this call on July 25th, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution
and a lot of people want to find out about that. So, whatever you can do with the attorney general, attorney general of the United States, would be
great. Biden was around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. So, if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me.
So, Senator Boxer has just explained what the Obama, Biden aim was, and that was to get rid of corrupt prosecutors and to have reform in the
judicial process of Ukraine. And America was helping in giving money just as the E.U. was. What do you make of this, the hard turn toward Biden?
And I counted four times that President Trump, in this call, mentioned both Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. attorney general, Barr, as wanting -- as he
wanting them to get involved with President Zelensky on this.
HONIG: That was one of the surprises from this call, that the attorney general of the United States is involved in this or the president expects
him to be involved. What on earth -- what possible legitimate role could the chief prosecutor of the United States have in trying to dig up
political dirt, political dirt on the president's allies? And also, Rudy Giuliani is on sort of the extreme. He is a private citizen. He's a
civilian. He has no role in our federal government. He's not a part of the Department of State or Justice. So, why is he involved?
AMANPOUR: Because he's the president's personal lawyer.
HONIG: Exactly. And to me, it supports the inference that the whole idea here is to benefit the president personally and politically.
AMANPOUR: Can I just, at this point, say what do we know about the accusations against Biden and his son? Apparently, it's so far. I mean,
there's nothing. There's no there there.
HONIG: Yes. There seems to be nothing to it. It seems that based on all the reliable reporting that's out there, the goal here was what Donald
Trump has claimed his goal was but it's not supported by this call. But the [13:10:00] goal that Biden had was to clean up a corrupt prosecutor and
to clean up corruption within the Ukraine.
Now, Donald Trump tried to say yesterday in the course of his evolving defenses, one of the things I was trying to do was clean up corruption, but
that is nowhere to be found in the transcript.
AMANPOUR: And interestingly, Senator Boxer, I assume you've read this memorandum, this transcript. But the president and this new Ukrainian
president essentially trashed the American ambassador at the time, and the president says, you know, things are going to happen around her. And they
also talk about crowd strike, which appears to be some kind of conspiracy that somehow the Ukrainians are in possession of that famous Hillary
Clinton e-mail server. I mean, he's bringing that up on this call, as well. Something that is a conspiracy theory.
BOXER: Well, Donald Trump cannot quit Hillary Clinton. Let's be clear. It -- you know, he can't get over the fact that she got so many more votes
than he got even though he's sitting in the oval office because of the electoral college. We all understand that. But the bottom line is, if you
really look at this transcript, if you look at this, and, you know, frankly, I was -- now, I'm amazed that they actually let it go. And I'm
sure there's more that's even worse. You see kind of a mob boss here. That's the way he runs it.
He's got -- he wants his Roy Cohns and he has Giuliani who is, to me, the most corrupt person. He lies, and when realizes, oops, maybe someone
caught that, he backtracks. And he tries to get ahead of all these stories and then he's trying to get the attorney general to be his second Roy Cohn.
And this is so dangerous.
So, frankly, as you look at what our founders wanted to protect us from, you've got it in the person of Donald Trump.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, we --
BOXER: Abusing power every day, using the office to benefit himself, using every tool at his disposal that he has, whether it's legal or not, to
absolutely slime his opponents. And of course, Joe Biden has been the one he's most afraid of.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, it is said by CNN and other sources that the president was very surprised having immediately rushed under pressure to release this
transcript, which is not a transcript, necessarily, of an actual call but the best recollection memorandum of report on this and was surprised after
a phone call with Nancy Pelosi that she then went ahead and made that call yesterday for the impeachment proceedings.
We know what the Democrats think. I want to play you a little bit about what Mitt Romney, Republican, now senator, former presidential candidate,
said about this today in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): There's just the question of -- and I had said this in my first reaction, which is, if the president of the United States
asks or presses the leader of a foreign country to carry out an investigation of a political nature, that's troubling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, quickly before I get to you, Senator Boxer, I want to ask you, the more information is going to come out, if and when, when we hear
what the so-called whistle-blower who started all of this has to say. What are you waiting to hear from him or her?
HONIG: Yes. So, there's -- right. We don't know yet. There are a lot of details around this. Let's remember, this phone call, that we have this
recording or transcript of it is only part of the picture. I want to know what led up to this. Were there prior communications? What was Rudy
Giuliani doing out there? And he's talked about it a bit publicly. What was the fallout from this?
And I think the senator made a good point, when she said this is sort of how mob bosses talk. One of the things I did as a prosecutor, I know mob
bosses. I prosecuted mob bosses. The only difference to me is mob bosses tends to be a bit more subtle when they make a demand. This is just right
out in the open.
AMANPOUR: And, Senator Boxer, finally, we really only have a few seconds, what do you make --
AMANPOUR: -- of a top Republican saying what he did. You heard what Mitt Romney said. Everybody has been saying that, you know, an impeachment is
just another poisonous partisan, divisive procedure in this wounded country. And that, you know, unless all sides, like they did around Nixon,
get together, this is just going to go down the typical political divide. What do you think republicans might do?
BOXER: Well, if you love this country, and I would assume they do, you love the constitution. And if you love the constitution, you understand
that we have to protect ourselves against tyrant, the kings, someone who abuses power every day.
I just want to give a shout out to that inspector general. A Trump appointee who put his career on the line, his reputation and everything
else and stood up for the truth. And I am so grateful to the whistle- blower and the IG.
AMANPOUR: It's really interesting. And of course, this is just the beginning. We're going to be reporting this for a long time to come.
Senator Boxer, Elie Honig, thank you very much indeed [13:15:00] for joining me.
AMANPOUR: So, if you think that the president is embattled, spare a thought for the CEO of one of the world's most revolutionary and also
embattled companies. Uber has radically changed the way we travel, the way we socialize, the way we eat and the way we work.
But given the challenges facing the company, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has certainly set himself a tough task to smooth the company's route ahead
since he took over two years ago. Uber has lost more than $5 billion in just three months this year and has seen its stock tumble since going
public in May.
Now, I sat down with Khosrowshahi for a frank and exclusive interview about the ubiquity of Uber and the future of its business model.
Dara Khosrowshahi, thank you very much for being with us.
DARA KHOSROWSHAHI, CEO, UBER: Happy to be here. Thanks.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, this could be an exercise beating up on you. Uber is the company people love to hate. Let me just read a little bit from
Farhad Manjoo in the "New York Times," "Should Uber be kneecapped for its long history of flouting the law or can it possibly be reformed or am a
credulous dolt for even suggesting redemption for one the sorriest companies ever to emerge from Silicon Valley's tortured hothouse?"
KHOSROWSHAHI: So, that's one person's opinion.
AMANPOUR: Well, you know.
KHOSROWSHAHI: But I'll tell you that we have come from a phase in our development where it was about growth at all costs. And Uber did challenge
the authorities because it strongly felt at the time that the authorities were wrong. They were trying to keep the systems as they were and not
allow innovation to prosper, not allow truly new ideas to grow. That started, I think, from a good place. But I think it went too far.
And the kind of challenger became powerful and with power came, you know, the belief that you're always right, with power maybe came too much
proudness. And we went from, I think, a constructive challenger to a disruptive challenger at times and that required a change, you know, a
lesson, a painful lesson. There's a change of leadership, a change of leadership of the board. I came on the board and I'm still in the process
of earning that trust back.
AMANPOUR: Sounds a little like a mea culpa. It sounds a little like a --
KHOSROWSHAHI: I think it should sound a lot like a mea culpa. Listen, I don't want to beat around the bush. We went too far. And we grew in a way
that where as originally idealistically it was in concert with where society needed to go. The growth changed and it became about grabbing
power. It came about the leverage that we were able to create in negotiations, let's say, with regulators.
And the fact is that our business is dependent on the streets in which we drive and the cities in which we operate. And we do have to follow the law
and we do have to work constructively with the mayors of the cities in which we operate. We may disagree on many, maybe points, but, ultimately,
we are a citizen of the cities in which we operate and we do have to respect that.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, you talk about having gone too far against some describe at this article and others. It was like a deliberate insurgent
campaign to flout the law and regulations and sort of a, you know, this is before your time. And now, as you know, a new book is out, "Super Pumped,"
by Mike Isaac and it paints a pretty ugly picture of the unfettered corporate braiding culture, so to speak.
So, there are new suggestions and laws that have been put in, for instance, in California. Let's take the whole gig economy which Uber personifies
saying that your drivers, your employees, need to be treated like human beings, need to be treated like employees with all the attendant rights and
regulations. I don't think you -- I think you oppose that, right?
KHOSROWSHAHI: We oppose the law. We don't oppose the idea. Let me be specific here. The traditional view of work, which is you have a full-time
job and you only work for one company in your life, that idea is outdated, right. I think now work used to be about the company. You work at IBM,
that's your career, et cetera.
We think would be should be about work. About what you want to do when you want to do it. And that's the new way of work, which is independent work
or so-called gig work. And we do think that just the society's expectations have changed, we should change the nature of independent work.
So, it should come with protections, it should come with health services, it should come with representation on your having a right to voice, et
But shouldn't that idea of being independent, having the power to say, I don't want to work today, I don't want to work the next day, I want to work
tonight, during the day I want to go on a picnic, that should not be destroyed. And I think that the law, which we [13:20:00] don't think
applies to us, this latest law, should --
AMANPOUR: You don't think it applies to you?
KHOSROWSHAHI: Well, we think that we will pass under the test of the law, right. So, the law, of course, applies but we don't think that the law, as
it relates to us, would classify our drivers as full-time workers. But at the same time, we do think that the nature of independent work should
AMANPOUR: Because, you know, to follow up, California State senator, she said, let's be clear, there's nothing innovative about underpaying someone
for their labor. I mean, you indicate that you agree with that but you want to -- you don't think the law applies to Uber in all its --
KHOSROWSHAHI: We don't think -- we think that 85, our workers are independent workers. OK. And --
AMANPOUR: But they have their own cars, they have to buy their own cars.
KHOSROWSHAHI: Of course, they do.
AMANPOUR: -- they don't get vacations. They don't get health. They don't get --
KHOSROWSHAHI: Listen, they get vacations because they can do whatever they want, right. So, they don't -- the traditional kind of, yes, I've got to
get a vacation. I've got to ask the manager --
AMANPOUR: The health care and all the rest of it, insurance.
KHOSROWSHAHI: Well, that's -- exactly. So, we have offered all that up. We do believe that they should get health care. We do believe that they
should have minimum earnings. And we want to have -- we want them to have a voice. And we have come to the table with an offer to exactly reference
the issues. Minimum pay, health care, the right to have a voice, and, by the way, they can take vacation whenever they want. So, we think this is
the best of both worlds and we think that trying to fit our model into the old construct of work, which is one job only, one company only is actually
not the right soul for society.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's not necessarily one job only, one company only, it's treating workers as workers and human beings rather than, you know,
what is happening with the gig economy. And some people say, I mean, this is kind of what you're saying, it's possible that if that happens with the
drivers, I mean, you know, Uber might collapse.
KHOSROWSHAHI: Yes, but I object to that. I think that we're treating our workers as human beings. Right. I think that the number one reason why
our drivers like Uber is because that they have complete control and autonomy to do what they want when they want.
So, I think these characterizations are characterizations with a political agenda. I don't agree with them. When I go out and meet with our workers,
they are entrepreneurs. They know exactly what they're doing. They know exactly what they're earning. And I think this idea that they as
individuals aren't kind of -- are below because they don't have full-time jobs is just false.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you something? You know, I'm not a business person or entrepreneur. I'm not even a business reporter. But I do understand the
bottom line and how you have to have a profit. It looks like you have to subsidize a lot of Uber activities in order to let it happen. You're not
turning a profit and your recent IPO, which started very high, somewhere around 120 went down to half that value. How sustainable is the model?
KHOSROWSHAHI: We think that the model is absolutely sustainable. Now, we're in the early stages of building this model. The business, for
example, is still growing 30 plus percent on a global basis. And any time you have a business that has the kind of market size of trillions of
dollars in terms of transportation and food and local commerce, it makes sense for a company to invest.
The goal for us to go public was to raise significant capital. And now, we have all the capital we need to go from a period of investment to a period
of profitability. But that's absolutely going to take time.
AMANPOUR: Why do you think -- I mean, Uber and the City of London was a big issue over the last several years, whether it was licensing, et cetera.
And now, they've given you, I think, a two-month extension they have ruled rather than the year or so they gave you the last time this was under
debate. It doesn't sound like a massive vote of confidence, two months instead of a year. What -- how do you read that?
KHOSROWSHAHI: I think I read it that we're still on the trust building phase as it relates to London, as it relates to society. I first heard
about London not finding us fit and proper a few weeks into my job, right, and I flew out there and I met with TFL and I met with authorities, and
there had been a profound loss of trust there.
And there's a saying which as trust is lost by the bucketful, you earn it back by the drip. We're earning back our trust. And I'm confident that
with work we will earn our trust back with TFL. In many ways, our goal in London is to be the model citizens out there. We actually have now target
by 2025 to move all of our fleets to be fully electric. We're charging a surcharge in London for every single trip that will go and fund -- a fund
that will allow our drivers to change their cars from [13:25:00] kind of traditional gas-burning cars to electric cars.
So, we think that London, with time, will be the model market that will appreciate Uber but we've got to earn that appreciation and I think we're
AMANPOUR: So, you raised the idea of electric. Obviously, climate, the environment is huge. Where do you stand on, you know, the environment and
actually having to really step up now, not just a little bit here and there but really step up? I mean, you know, transport is one of the major
polluters, as we know.
KHOSROWSHAHI: Yes. I think we have to be a part of the solution and we have to be a lead in the solution. And for us, the electrification of the
fleet is one part of the solution. A significant number of our driver partner use hybrid cars, it makes sense. So, on average, our fleet is more
efficient, I think, than the world fleet. And we're investing very aggressively in technologies like UberPool that get more than one person in
There's no reason if you're going from one place to another not to have another passenger. So, we're investing in pool, as well. In a new area
where we're putting hundreds of millions of dollars in is actually individual electric vehicles. These are e-bikes, scooters, et cetera. We
have e-bikes in London now. And it's a great way of getting around and it's a great way for individuals to get around.
AMANPOUR: Look, you are fairly new to this job. You did come after a highly contentious chairmanship by Travis Kalanick. You've seen the new
book that's come out. I mean, just a very ugly predatory corporate culture. I know that some of your mentors, people like Barry Diller and
others basically thought you were crazy, completely nuts to take on this job.
Larry Ellison, the head of Oracle, has said, Uber raises capital to gain market share. The business they secure is not sticky. He noted Uber
doesn't own its cars, doesn't control the drivers. They have an app my cat could have written. The --
KHOSROWSHAHI: Apparently, Mr. Ellison has a very talented cat. You know, maybe we should hire him or something like that.
AMANPOUR: What is the soft way? It's drivers and cars. What is the secret source?
KHOSROWSHAHI: The secret sauce is the network. OK. It costs enormous amounts of capital feet on the street in order to go out and bring on these
thousands of independent drivers to log on to the network on a regular basis and then riders who -- for whom we've become an everyday use case,
wake up and take an Uber to work or take an Uber to your dinner and the dynamic matching of that supply and demand and that coming up with a right
So, for example, in London, soon in New York, we will be able to match you not only with the car but with a pool, with a bike, with a transit system,
as well. For example, London Transit, the underground, buses all of those are offered in a real time basis, priced on a real time basis. And all of
it, eventually, will be able to be bookable in an absolutely delightfully smooth way. So, it will take quite a few cats to put that together.
AMANPOUR: Cats with apps. You have sort of said that you want to be the Amazon of whatever, Uber -- whatever Uber delivers, right. You want to not
just be a book seller or a car ride seller but want to have huge amount of platforms and diversity. Is that right?
KHOSROWSHAHI: I think the way we look at it is we want to be your operating system for everyday city life, any way, when you wake up in the
morning and you want to go to work, we want to be there. If you a sandwich for lunch, we want to bring it to you. In the evening, if you want to go
out, we want to be there. We want to provide you for a bike ride, et cetera.
So, we're going much broader than the core ride share business that we started with. And what I talk to the team about is a ride share to us is
what books were to Amazon. No one thinks about Amazon as a book seller. And I think, hopefully, no one will think about Uber as just a ride share
company going forward.
KHOSROWSHAHI: So, back to that are you crazy why you're taking this job on. What did you think? I mean, did you take it with gusto? Were you
slightly concerned about coming into this snake pit?
KHOSROWSHAHI: Listen, I was more than slightly concerned. But the advice that I give to young people is -- I'm no longer a part of that group,
unfortunately, is look to go to a place where you can make a difference but look specially to go to a place that is making a difference in the world.
And once in a while --
AMANPOUR: So, how do you think you've made a difference, for instance, in the safety realm in, you know, in the areas that, you know, had a lot of
negative publicity that you got there?
KHOSROWSHAHI: Well, Uber now -- what is different about Uber as a digital company is that we are, to some extent, digitizing the physical world. And
the physical world comes with all kinds of complications, including every day, 17 million times a day, two people get in the car and go someplace.
And the one in a million chance for us happened 17 times every single day.
So we do take safety, for example, making sure that those two interactions are delightful interactions, friendly interactions. Sometimes, quiet
interactions. But most importantly, safe interactions.
It's something we take incredibly seriously. And it's something, actually, that technology can help in. So, for example, we have made safety a top
priority for the company for the past two years.
We've introduced features like 911 integration right into your app. It's available here. It's available in London. You can push a button, the
information about your car, your location, which we have automatically goes into 911 so the response time can be incredibly quickly.
We have Telematics now, check your ride where if we sense something wrong with a ride, is there a sudden stop, is there a pause, we know where you're
supposed to go to. We know how long it's going to take. If it's taking 20 minutes longer than it should, we actually contact you. Christiane, are
you OK? Is there anything going on? Just to make sure that you are safe.
And by the way, the same thing occurs for our drivers, too. Make sure the driver is safe. Both the driver and the rider are contacted.
We have a feature now, I use it with my daughter who is in college right now, which is share your ride where you can share your ride with someone
else so that your loved one knows that you're safe, knows where you are, and knows that you've arrived, as well.
These are all a part of set of features that we're continuing to iterate on on the safety front. And ultimately my goal is simple. I want to be the
safest transportation platform on earth. I think we're getting there but we have more work to do.
AMANPOUR: You just talked earlier about workers' rights and how you treat yours like human beings. What about just phasing out drivers? I mean, I
know you have a massive driverless car program. You're doing many, many tests, test runs.
AMANPOUR: No more drivers?
KHOSROWSHAHI: No, we're going to have drivers for a long time. I think we're going to have drivers for a long time.
The drama that the press loves to talk about is machines replacing humans. OK. The reality is, the better thing that humans alone and machines alone
are machines and humans working together.
So I believe that the driverless effect on society, on driving in general, is going to be that driverless will very slowly replace the very simple
routes, the easiest routes, no left turn, the repetitive routes, the predictable routes.
Humans shouldn't be doing repetitive, predictable, simple tasks. We should leave that to the machines.
So our approach to driverless is going to be we know what are the routes that are challenging, difficult, that humans should continue to drive. And
there will be a subset of routes that machines can complete, as well, so ultimately machines and humans are going to work together to create an Uber
service that is better than Uber that you have today.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you a little bit about your personal background. Like me, you are Iranian.
AMANPOUR: How --
KHOSROWSHAHI: We're still calling ourselves Iranian. We are American citizens. Or, I don't know, you're British --
AMANPOUR: Well, I'm Iranian-British. You're Iranian-American.
AMANPOUR: OK. So you're Iranian-American. How much did that shape your drive? How much did it shape how you've performed here in your adopted
KHOSROWSHAHI: Well, we -- when we left Iran as a family, we lost everything. I mean it was all gone.
AMANPOUR: After the revolution?
KHOSROWSHAHI: After the revolution, we had to escape here. We always had family. And, for me, that ever present, always having family to be there
for you has been a huge part of my persona.
Uber gets put aside here when I get together with my family and it's all about my mom's cooking, right?
AMANPOUR: Yes. I know that.
KHOSROWSHAHI: That's the most important thing. But I do think that in losing everything, there was absolutely a desire, myself, my brothers, my
extended family to rebuild.
And we were lucky enough to come to a country, we were lucky enough to come to a time when immigrants were welcome and we were determined to rebuild.
It wasn't a top-down thing. We just knew it.
And if you look at my brothers, my cousins, the extended family, we've really worked hard. All of us are very accomplished. And that intense
kind of determination to rebuild in this incredible country has been something that's driven me. It's driven the rest of my family and, you
know, we came here at the right time. We've been very lucky.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's interesting you say that. Several times you've talked about the time in which you came here and how lucky you were.
Obviously, it's not like that right now.
Particularly Iranians and other people from Muslim countries are under a lot of scrutiny, a lot of bans, a lot of legislation or just executive
action from the president. How do you feel about that now?
Because Iran, even when you came over, it was the hostage crisis. Iran has always been looked at as very suspect, if not the enemy. What do you-- how
do you live this moment right now with specific targeting?
KHOSROWSHAHI: Yes, I think for me, I do my best to speak the immigrant creed that we are all a nation of immigrants here and represented. I think
it also relates to my work.
A significant number of Uber drivers are immigrants. So this is something that actually the immigrant voice of is a voice that I can speak to
individually but it's also a voice for the company.
So for me, the personal and the company and the interest of our drivers coming together is something that is terrific. And, ultimately, you know,
this is -- immigration in this country has been incredibly positive force.
The many, many immigrants are running very important or sons or daughters are running very, very important companies here. And I think that as long
as we do the right thing, then the reality that, hey, you know what, these are people just like anyone else and they're constructive and they're
adding to society, that voice will get louder than any one individual voice demonizing immigrants.
AMANPOUR: Dara Khosrowshahi, thank you very much, indeed, for joining me.
KHOSROWSHAHI: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: So a candid conversation with the head of Uber pledging to reform a company that is actually revolutionized part of the American and
the global economy.
Our next guest made his career confronting dangerous situations. British Director Orlando von Einsiedel is best known for "White Helmet", his Oscar-
winning documentary about the rescue workers who put their lives on the line to save civilians amid the war in Syria.
But in his latest Netflix film, he turns the camera on himself. "Evelyn" is named after his brother who took his own life 14 years ago. It's a
moving portrait that looks at a family dealing with loss and grief. Here is a clip from the trailer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was saying that I'm going to kill myself, like all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the legacy of what happened and how all of our relationships have been fractured.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to open up completely how you're going to feel later on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So suicide and mental health are real issues for our time. And Orlando told our Hari Sreenivasan why despite the perilous locations of his
previous films, this was his most challenging yet.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CONTRIBUTOR: Orlando, you faced armed militias in the Congo, you've run into the rebels with the white helmets in Syria and then
your producing partner says how about a film about your family? What is the story that hadn't been discussed?
ORLANDO VON EINSIEDEL, DIRECTOR: So when Joana Natasegara, my producing partner, she said that, it was like a punch to my stomach. We've known
each other for seven odd years.
And in that entire time, I had never a conversation with her about what happened to my brother. And she knew that something bad happened. She
probably knew he took his own life but we just never spoke about it.
So for her to suggest one day would I consider making a film about Evelyn and the family, I was almost furious. Because to me, it had come out of
From her perspective, in making all of these really difficult films, she picked up on something that a lot of the crew would go away and cry at the
end of the day after witnessing something really traumatic. And she just never seen me really get upset in that way and she's very perceptive.
I guess there's some block in me that, you know, and it's probably to do with my brother. And so after initially getting really upset with her, I
started to interpret how could I be angry if she's just asked the question, that really is something that maybe I should look at.
And the other weird thing is, Hari, the day she said this to me was the anniversary of my brother's death. And there's just no way she could have
known that. It was too -- it was, like, it was a sign. It was a sign that this was the right time to maybe look at this.
SREENIVASAN: You didn't even -- you say in the film you didn't say his name really for almost 10 years.
VON EINSIEDEL: Yes. It's weird. It just becomes your new normal.
The normal is to not think about it. I just thought if I ever really go there, it's so upsetting. It's so tough to do.
I don't want to --life -- you know life is going on and I'm doing other things and I'm immersing myself in other people's problems so I don't have
to really address my own.
SREENIVASAN: So compare these, like the physical threat and danger that you put yourself into in some of your projects versus really kind of an
emotional threat and danger that you're putting yourself. What is harder?
VON EINSIEDEL: Well, I mean, this is going to sound so strange. I found making this film probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.
Physical fear is, yes, it's very scary and I'm used to being scared in my life a lot but looking inwards, I don't know. I found it so much more
SREENIVASAN: For people who haven't seen the film. Tell us a little bit about your brother. What was he like?
I mean we learn a little bit from the home videos you include in the documentary. But who was he?
VON EINSIEDEL: So Evelyn, he was a gentle, a very gentle boy. We -- I shared a room with him for most of my life.
He loved the outdoors. He loved walking. He loved camping which is part of the reason we did this in the film, we went on this big walk to all of
the places where he loved to go when he was alive.
And then towards his -- just as he started university, he was studying to be a doctor and he just started to spiral downhill. His lifestyle
unraveled. He got depressed. He dropped out of college.
And eventually, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. And just one day, I mean, sadly, for all of us, it seemed like he was on a term that was going
better. And just in that moment, he decided he didn't want to live anymore.
SREENIVASAN: Your family, they all agreed to this? Oh, yes. By the way, remember our brother and let's go on walks and talk about the one thing
that we really haven't talked about.
VON EINSIEDEL: I sort of felt it would never actually really have to happen. I never really had to go through it because there's no way my
family would agree to do it.
And the strange thing was one by one after talking to them, they all said, no, we'd love to do it. It was --
SREENIVASAN: And you're stuck now.
VON EINSIEDEL: Yes. I was like what do you mean you want to do it? I think, then, this was -- they've been waiting. Especially my brother and
sister, they've been waiting for an opportunity to have this conversation. And I guess maybe they've been waiting for me to sort of catalyze it.
SREENIVASAN: Let's take a look at one of the clips with the three of you and your mom on a walk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I sometimes think of him deeply, there are six points that come into my head that I don't try to think of but they come
toward me. One is he used to whisper in your ear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other one was his giggle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other were his twinkling eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other one was he had the loudest farts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was about to say that.
VON EINSIEDEL: Mom, I can't believe that's one of your memories because that's also -- I actually don't remember the loudness but the smell. That
would (inaudible) 10 things I definitely would have listed that as one of them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: You said he had diagnosis of schizophrenia. I mean it's a disease but were you angry?
VON EINSIEDEL: After he did it, I was furious because -- you know, the sad thing is, and this is one of my regrets is I was angry a lot of the time
when he was ill. Because, of course, when anyone is ill, all family attention and resources go into that.
I felt that was -- I sometimes felt it was selfish because there was four of us as kids and suddenly almost 100 percent of my mom's time and energy
was on Evelyn and I didn't really understand that. I thought maybe he was being selfish and self-centered. And, you know, it's only, in hindsight,
that I realized that's a ridiculous view. He was ill.
SREENIVASAN: Then you realize to yourself, wow, what kind of person am I to think about this, right?
VON EINSIEDEL: I have to say, it takes a while for that to come out because when he actually took his life, actually the anger was even more.
You know, it takes -- that needs to subside and then you start to feel really sorry for him and the pain that he must have been going through and
then shame and then grief.
I don't necessarily know how exactly it is in the U.S. In the U.K., suicide is so taboo which is partly one of the reasons this was so hard to
SREENIVASAN: It's the number one killer of men under 45 in the U.K.
VON EINSIEDEL: Yes.
SREENIVASAN: That's a stunning statistic. Why do you think that is?
VON EINSIEDEL: Lots of reasons. I mean I think -- and this is something I really learned about myself.
I think I thought -- more than that, in terms of my emotions and in doing this, I realized that I associated being open and emotional with a sign of
weakness. And that -- a lot of men feel that.
And so when people are ill, they have mental health problems, they don't often go and seek help. They don't talk to people because it's
And, therefore, they suffer in silence and they don't reach out. And it's in talking to other people and seeking help that you can break that pattern
that might eventually lead to suicide.
SREENIVASAN: There are several points in the film where each kind of character, if you will, struggles. And there's a part I remember where
your sister is in a car and she's crying and she's saying, you know what, I thought these walks it would all be over. She was looking for a finality.
There isn't one.
I mean, he's gone for the rest of your lives. And you have to live with that emptiness.
VON EINSIEDEL: I think going into this I had a slightly naive Hollywood idea of how this might work. We go on this walk, we'd talk about this
thing that none of us could face, and then we would all be healed and live happily ever after.
And in reality, that's really naive. That's not how grief works. The reality, we went on this, we did talk, and we all built relationship with
Evelyn again. That's something that I've taken away. I cherished. I went from nothing.
(Inaudible) to talk openly about him and remember all the good times that we spent together. So that - but in terms of the day it finished and
feeling healed, no. It's an ongoing process.
And that scene with my sister was recognition of that. At the end of this, she was saying I'm -- this isn't all better but there is progress.
SREENIVASAN: Yes. There's a scene of some of the progress when you all are walking. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) feelings a bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: Who is Leon? What did he mean to your brother? Where is the relationship?
VON EINSIEDEL: So Leon went to school with Evelyn and they were best friends. They used to do training, you know, like athletic training
together. And that's what they bonded over.
And then since he died, I've become close to him. I mean he's one of my best friends. So he felt he obviously had to come on this walk and join
And he was so generous. I think he, you know, he found his own way to deal with Evelyn's death. I think he came on this walk to help us deal with it.
SREENIVASAN: How do we get to the point where here you are on these walks, it's an incredibly intimate kind of portrayal because the camera is right
here. It's almost like we're walking with you. And it's almost natural where people just stop and they have these moments.
VON EINSIEDEL: Walking is an extraordinary thing that for some reason allows you to have this really difficult conversations in this very amazing
way. You know, you ask me this question now, it's very intense.
I have to answer. I'm looking directly at you. When you're walking, you're not looking somebody in the eye. You're looking -- someone asks you
a question and you can answer it in bits. You can pause, you can breathe, you can look at the view. And it just creates this form for open
And so what you see in the film is there are these very open conversations and then it just gets too much. And somebody stops and they just want to
cry. They want to hug. And that's what you see in that moment.
SREENIVASAN: And Leon is also just dealing with the survivor's guilt. I mean, you see it in part of the film. If I had gotten that phone call, if
I didn't let it go to voice mail, could I have been the man that saved my friend's life?
VON EINSIEDEL: I think all of us and I think anyone that experienced suicide in their life, I think everyone wracks their brains for that
moment. Was there a moment if I had done something, you know, could I have stopped it?
I was on holiday when I got the phone call that Evelyn died. Of course, well, if I wasn't on holiday, if I had been at home, could I have --
SREENIVASAN: It's your fault.
VON EINSIEDEL: It's my fault, yes. And you live with that.
SREENIVASAN: How could you not have seen it coming? What kind of brother are you?
VON EINSIEDEL: Precisely. And everyone lives with that who has been touched by this.
SREENIVASAN: Your mother, at one point, said something about her being a single mom and raising you all and here he is her son is schizophrenic.
And she was carrying this weight while other people perceive me as the source of -- I mean it's just a huge effect. It's not just one individual.
VON EINSIEDEL: Well, I guess I'd say two things. I think the first is, on the surface, it looks like a selfish act. The person is actually doing it.
They, to them, it's a selfless act.
They have got to a point in their lives where they believe they're a burden on everybody. And the world would be better off without them.
And I cannot tell anyone who might be -- who's watching this, who might be thinking how wrong that is because in this film is testimony to what the
devastation is, that 13 years later, a family can't even talk about this person because of the grief that they are carrying.
I -- actually one of the legacies, one of the things that's touched all of us behind this film so much is all the letters that we've received from
people who said this very thing, they said I watched the film and I've struggled with suicidal thoughts for a long time and I now don't think I
could ever go through with it because I've seen the damage it will do. And that, for us, is incredible to hear.
SREENIVASAN: You know what is strange is, or maybe it shouldn't be so strange considering that the prevalence of suicide in the U.K. but you're
walking along this and you're deciding to share with people why you're walking. It's literally the ice cream man that you stop at, shares an
incredibly personal story with you and a veteran that you lead on the walk.
I mean, it goes -- we're watching the entirety of that conversation and it goes from zero to very deep in 30 seconds.
So this is something -- probably one of the things I've taken away most from this is that there is an extraordinary thing about if you're open
emotionally, honest and vulnerable, it's almost contagious. So people would see the cameras and they tell what are you doing? We would explain
that we're doing this walk in memory of our brother who took his own life.
And people would just suddenly open up completely and say well, that happened to my mom. That happened to my, you know, to my sister.
And we'd have these extraordinary conversations with complete strangers. And it was really beautiful. In some ways, the film has done that, too.
In a lot of the Q&As we do from cinemas, at the end of the film, people would just stand up, they wouldn't ask a question, they'd just share.
And it was really beautiful when people would just say this happened to me. I just wanted to share it with this room of strangers. It was, yes, it's
SREENIVASAN: Why is it so hard to talk about?
VON EINSIEDEL: Life is difficult. And we build these barriers around ourselves and, you know, it's easier to not have to go there and make
I think I definitely -- I built this big shell around myself and dealt with other things that, I guess, prevented me from ever needing to deal with my
own problems. I can't tell you how liberating it is to actually have these difficult conversations, whatever they might be.
It doesn't have to be about mental health or suicide. It might just be there's all families have issues, and I think you can find a way forward to
have these open conversations and walking is definitely a good catalyst for that. It feels incredible.
SREENIVASAN: Given that you know what the passing of an individual, the impact it has on the family, here you are a guy that has gone into pretty
sticky situations. In your next project or the project after that, does this factor into you that maybe I shouldn't put myself in riskier places
because of what will happen?
VON EINSIEDEL: I've also just had a child.
SREENIVASAN: That will change the equation.
VON EINSIEDEL: And it already has changed the equation and, I mean, even just going away from home is a much harder decision. So there's a balance.
You've also got to live your own life. You've got to be true to who you are and what makes you passionate and what contribution you feel that you
can make, small contribution you can make to the world.
So it's about weighing it up with your family and your responsibilities.
SREENIVASAN: What are you going to tell your child about their late uncle?
VON EINSIEDEL: Well, my son his middle name is Evelyn. So my brother will kind of live on in him.
SREENIVASAN: Orlando, thanks so much for joining us.
VON EINSIEDEL: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: It's really important conversation on grief. And if you or anyone you know needs help, please contact your national suicide prevention
That is it for now. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.