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Trump Ties Dayton, Ohio Killer to Democratic Presidential Candidates; Galveston, Texas Police Led Black Man by Rope; 400th Anniversary of Slavery in Ghana; Representative Karen Bass (D-CA), is Interviewed About Slavery in America; Some Protest in Dayton Against Trump's Visit; Ronald Reagan's Racist Language Against Africans; "The Family," a New Netflix Film About Religion and Politics in America; Jeff Sharlet, Author, "The Family," and Jesse Moss, Director, "The Family," are Interviewed About New Netflix Film, "The Family"; Chris Arnade, Author, "Dignity, "is Interviewed About Back Row America Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 3, 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." This week, we're dipping into the
archives and looking back at some of our favorite interviews from the year. Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community and I think the people should stand up and say they're not happy,
if they're not happy that he's coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: In the wake of the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Karen Bass, joins the program
on guns, race and President Trump.
And then, secretive Christian evangelical network wields influence at the peak of power. We tear back the veil on the family.
Also, ahead --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS ARNADE, AUTHOR, "DIGNITY": You see somebody who votes the way you don't vote, before simply saying, oh, what a jerk or what a lazy person or,
you know, they must have mental problems. (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Chris Arnade tells Michel Martin why he quit Wall Street to document the lives of back row America.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
President and Mrs. Trump have been visiting Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas today, defying a backlash many in both communities who urge them not to
come. While President Trump did come to offer sympathy and support, his anti-immigrant rhetoric spark protest.
His repeated use of words like invasion and infestation is cited as potential motivation for the El Paso killer. And while the president
claims he wants to stay out of the political fray, today, he tied the Dayton killer to Democratic presidential candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: As I was saying and it just came out, the Dayton situation, he was a fan Antifa. He was a fan of Bernie Sanders and
Elizabeth Warren, nothing to do with Trump, but nobody ever mentions that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Antifa are the antifascists protesters whom President Trump lumps together with white supremist on his roster of hate groups.
Meanwhile, a shocking image shows just how far America still has to go to expunge the original sin of slavery. In Galveston, Texas, police officials
had to apologize to their community after these images went viral. Two officers on horseback leading a handcuffed black man with what appears to
be a rope after he was arrested on Saturday. 400 years after the first African slaves arrived in Virginia, America still struggles with the stain
and the actions of racial terror.
Representative Karen Bass is just back from Ghana where she was part of a congressional delegation observing this anniversary of slavery by visiting
the door of no return, that's the place where her ancestors and millions of others were first taken from Africa. Karen bass is chair of the
Congressional Black Caucus and she's joining me from Los Angeles.
Congresswoman Bass, welcome to the program.
REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Thank you. Thanks for having me on.
AMANPOUR: You know, we've mentioned this picture, this awful image because we just simply cannot believe that this is possible. And particularly,
after you have returned from Ghana commemorating this awful anniversary. Just tell me what you made of seeing that picture.
BASS: Well, I mean, it's like being punched in your stomach, you know, it really is. But one of the problems in our country has been we have never
really come to grips with the fact that the United States was built off of 250 years of free labor, the enslavement of African-Americans. And then
for 100 years after that, we had our own version of apartheid.
And although that picture is horrible, just think about the picture of Eric Garner literally being executed, choked to death on video. And the police
officers that murdered him, you know, were not even prosecuted. As a matter of fact, they're still debating whether or not to fire them. So,
that picture was terrible but watching Eric Garner murdered was even worse.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And everybody was shocked by that when we saw that in New York in 2014. And as you mentioned, that case goes on.
I wonder, since we're talking about the events that have happened in El Paso and Dayton, whether these images, whether these actions, whether this
still obvious, not just Layton, but obvious stain that remains in America, you know, is part of what leads to these hate-filled killings.
BASS: There is no doubt in my mind, which is why I just think it is so consistent with the president's arrogance and insensitivity that he would
actually go to El Paso. And although, of course, we know that it wasn't his hand on the trigger, I absolutely [13:05:00] charge him with inciting
If you look at what that shooter, that murder wrote, it sounded like a script from a Trump rally. So, it is not just racism against African-
Americans. When Trump came into office, when he rode down that escalator, he rode that escalator attacking Latinos.
And so, for the last two-and-a-half years, African-American, Latinos and a lot of other people have suffered nothing but attack from this president.
It is actually an embarrassment to our country.
AMANPOUR: So, of course, the president denies it and his people and advisors deny it. I had a conversation with Kellyanne Conway earlier this
week in the immediate aftermath and they very, very firmly pushback and talk about what he says now, condemning racism, white supremacy, terrorism,
using all those words, you know, in one sentence for the first time. Do you believe as much as you've seen from this president that it is possible
that this could be a turning point?
BASS: Not for one minute. This president has had a lifelong history of attacking people of color. Back in the 60s with his father where he was
charged by the federal government with housing discrimination. What he said about African-Americans that worked for his companies, you know, not
wanting them on the casino floor because he thought the customers wouldn't want to see black people there. He's had a long history of racial
So, what I think happened is someone wrote a speech for him, he did a good job reading it, and I promise you, you wait for a couple of weeks to go by,
the next time he has a rally and you will hear all of his vitriol spewed out again. Even what he said about the shooter in Dayton, they don't know
what happened with that guy. They are still looking for the motive. He's already blaming it on Democrats.
One of the things we have suffered from for the last two-and-a-half years is a president who has no problem openly lying and essentially gets away
with it. So, he's on record saying one thing. If he was not appalled by what happened in Charlottesville a couple of years ago, why on earth would
I think he would be appalled by what happened in El Paso?
AMANPOUR: Well, because there are 30 more deaths that happened in Charlottesville and, you know, one would hope that that would be a
galvanizing moment. But I want to ask you because we're looking at pictures of protests in Dayton.
AMANPOUR: People were against his visit there, some. You know, he tweeted today feeling unfairly blamed by this. And he tweeted about President
Obama. He said, "Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook? President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many
people said Obama is out of control. Mass shootings were happening before the president even thought about running for president." So, it's a
retweet, I believe, of "Fox & Friends."
BASS: Well, and that is one of the problems in our country right now, is that we have a president that his own Tv network. So, the reality that he
spews out is not really challenged.
But just think about it for one minute, no one in eight years ever insinuated that President Obama incited violence. President Obama was an
incredible consoler in chief. He went to the place where the shootings took place and people welcomed him. The idea that Trump would actually go
to these two cities is just the height of his insensitivity.
But let me say, because I think it's really important to note, this is not the first time. There were four acts of domestic terrorism before the last
election. The shooting at the synagogue, the shooter said that the reason why he killed people was because he believed that the Jewish community was
funding the invasion from Latin America, from Central America, and that's why he went in and killed people. The guy that delivered the bombs had
nothing but Trump all over his van.
And so, this is not the first act of violence that he incited. My concern is, though, that in the United States we have such a short-term memory. We
need to connect all of these dots. There's actually a shooter, a gunman, that they -- is held up right now, as we speak, at USA today. Hopefully,
he hasn't killed anybody but there -- but police are going after a shooter right now. Where? It's at the media. Who does Trump attack? The media.
He attacks the media. He attacks Latinos, he attacks African-Americans. We should not be surprised, and I do not believe his behavior going to
AMANPOUR: Well, we're obviously going to look into that thing that you just mentioned, that would be troubling, indeed. But can I ask you this,
then, now, we hear politicians saying, we must mourn the victims. We must think about them. It is not time to talk [13:10:00] politics. And yet,
everybody, of course, is talking politics and the politics of gun control or how to somehow mitigate this explosion of violence that is fueled by the
availability of guns.
President Trump has called for red flag measures and others. And also, he did say this about background check today. Let's just play what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There's a great appetite and I mean, a very strong appetite for background checks and I think we can bring up background checks like we've
never had before.
We're going to be very strong on background checks. We'd be doing very strong background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health of
somebody. And we are going to do plenty of other things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: OK. So, Congresswoman, we butted two pieces together. One the president calling or suggesting background check action today. But the
other one was right after the Parkland shooting. And of course, nothing happened after the Parkland shooting in terms of background checks.
So, again, because of this terrible violence, do you believe Congress, which of you are part, will do something about background checks or other
BASS: Well, let me just say that I'm really glad that you played both of those clips because he said that and 24 hours later, he reversed his
position after the NRA called him up. So, I guarantee you tomorrow we'll hear a new position. If we don't hear a new position from him by the end
of the day. So, his words to me are meaningless.
I will tell you, though, in the House of Representatives where I sit, we did pass background legislation. I believe that it is possible that we
might go back even before recess is over and pass additional legislation. The problem is that the legislation has stalled in the Senate. The reason
it's stalled in the Senate is because the president doesn't want it to happen.
If the president sincerely wants it to happen, then he will call the majority leader, Mitch McConnel, and make it happen. He has the power to
do that. So, we will see.
The other thing, though, that I do want to point out is that every time a mass shooter is a white man, and you know, the overwhelming majority, if
not almost 100%, are white men, my Republican colleagues always want to talk about mental health. If this was a person of color, the person would
be a terrorist even before there was an investigation. It would be an automatic thing.
But let's just go with mental health for a minute. If mental health is the issue, why are the same people that call for mental health needing to be
addressed are the very same people that are trying to take away health care from the American people, period? So, the idea now that we're going to
look at white supremacy as a mental illness like President Trump's chief of staff said is just an excuse and it is a further example of why the United
States in 2019 still cannot deal with the issue of race.
AMANPOUR: Or guns. Because you have just talked about --
BASS: Or guns.
AMANPOUR: -- potentially Congress coming back, the House coming back before recess. We understand from reporting that the Senate majority
leader, who you mentioned, Mitch McConnell, has no intention of calling the Senate back. And yet, in my conversation with Kellyanne Conway earlier
this week, I was talking about new laws and she said it was Congress' responsibility. Listen to what she told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Every time you talk about passing laws, you know, full well who passes the laws in this country,
Congress. But they're on their six-week recess. Why did they leave in the first place? All this grand standing, call us back, call us back. And
they're welcome to come back if they like. But will they?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, will they? Will the House, for instance?
BASS: I think that there is a chance that some of the committees might come back. But I do have to emphasize the House has already passed
legislation. We passed legislation on backgrounds and we also passed legislation on some of the loopholes that allows people to get guns.
So, it's the Senate. The bills are sitting in the Senate. If Kellyanne Conway is -- I mean, if she's actually sincere then she will tell the
president to call the head of the Senate and to have the Senate come back. The bills are waiting for him to call a vote. And the president has the
power to tell the majority leader to do that. He listens to him, when we get a budget deal done, when we get anything done, it's because there's
agreement between the president and the Senate. The House has already acted.
AMANPOUR: So, yes, Kellyanne Conway. But -- so, let me ask you about this, I mean, it does seem extraordinary that -- well, the "New York times"
has reported that there have been thousands of uses by the campaign to re- elect the president, the re-election campaign of the word invasion in ads on Facebook, and a lot of [13:15:00] emphasis on that very recently.
But, also, reports that the White House plans to try to woo African- Americans and minorities to bring them out, obviously, for the election. Wooing them on the economic record, on, you know, low unemployment and the
like. How likely is that message to go down?
BASS: Zero, zero. You know, I think it's a cenacle effort that he wants to go after African-American men, in particular. Well, African-American,
women 88 percent voted for Clinton, 80 percent of black men did. He has zero possibility of making inroads in the African-American community.
People are not stupid. People know that he did not impact the unemployment rate of African-Americans. He inherited the economy that President Obama
If he has done anything for African-Americans, I would like to know which program he's actually put together. In the time he has been in office, he
has dismantled so much of the safety net that we have put in place, whether you are talking about civil rights departments within different agencies,
getting rid of consent decrees, not calling for officers to be prosecuted even when the Department of Justice has called for them be. So, he has
done absolutely nothing for the African-American community. He has only hurt the African-American community.
AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you something as we end this interview that is sad but happy. Sad because she passed, and that is the Great Toni
Morrison, but at some -- you know --
AMANPOUR: Even, you know, black community here in Great Britain, happy that they have been able to inhabit --
AMANPOUR: -- the same earth as somebody of such legendary power in her time on this earth. Your pastor -- you paid tribute, the Caucus paid
tribute to her yesterday. Just, in this time of deep, deep division and such blatant racism, just give us a sense of what she brought to her
community, to her country and to our world.
BASS: Well -- and I so appreciate you raising her because, you know, she was such symbol, and a symbol for all of us. I love the fact that
President Obama paid tribute to her by giving her the medal that he did. You know, she was a storyteller, a person who told the truth, the
truthteller. And it's interesting that one of her signature works, "Beloved," was about an enslaved family escaping slavery while we're in the
400th anniversary of our arrival in the United States.
And so, it's time to reflect on her message, on the beauty of her words and the fact she was a unifying voice. And at the same time, was a truthteller
but she brought us all together. And if anything, we are in a period in this country where we need healers, we need people who are able to speak
and bring us together because we most certainly do not have that at the top.
AMANPOUR: And our next story will show how much we need that, that unifying message. But for now, Congresswoman Karen Bass, thank you so much
indeed for joining me.
BASS: Thank you for having me on.
AMANPOUR: Now, on the issue of division, a new tape from the Nixon presidential archives shines harsh light on Americas history of
presidential racism. Then- California governor, Ronald Reagan, calls Richard Nixon to complain about African countries who oppose the United
States at the United Nations. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, THEN CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television.
RICHARD NIXON, THEN U.S. PRESIDENT: Yes.
REAGAN: To see those monkeys from those African countries. Damn them, they're still uncomfortable wearing shoes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Unpleasant. That was Ronald Reagan in 1971. And he was the first Republican president to ride a wave evangelical support to the White
House in 1980.
Now, a new series called "The Family" dives into the deep links between religion and politics in the United States. The series, which launches on
Netflix on August 9th, shows how Christian leaders wield their political influence largely out of the political -- sorry, out of the public view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say it's about faith but there's a shared understanding that what we're really about here is power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the family. God cares most about the elites.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God always uses imperfect vessels to do his perfect work. President Trump is an imperfect vessel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus is the answer, like Jesus in Capitol Hill don't mix.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Jesse Moss produced and directed "The Family." And Jeff Sharlet wrote the book that first exposed the group to the public. And I asked
them what motivates this deeply secretive and very influential [13:20:00] organization.
Jeff Sharlet and Jesse Moss, welcome to the program.
JESSE MOSS, DIRECTOR, "THE FAMILY": Hi. Thank you.
JEFF SHARLET, AUTHOR, "THE FAMILY": Thanks for having us.
AMANPOUR: So, Jeff, let me ask you first because, you know, this stems from your book to a large extent. Just tell us, because we saw the trailer
say, in a sense this is as much, if not more about power than just pure faith and that some of the so-called chosen leaders maybe, in the voice of
the trailer, imperfect vessels and yet, doing what the family, what the fellowship believes is the work of God. So, give us just a synopsis of
their core belief.
SHARLET: The family is the oldest, the most influential and most secretive Christian conservative organization in Washington bound by this idea that
the real message of Christ is not so much love as strength. The longtime leader, Doug Coe, would compare Christ, he'd say, not with a metaphor of
the lion or the lamb, but he'd say, "Look at the strong men of history," and I'm quoting him, "Hitler, Lennon, May," he said, "that's the kind of
strength we see in Christ."
So, when they reach out to political leaders, many of whom are not nearly as terrifying as that, what they're looking for is the strength to pursue
what they describe as a worldwide family of about 200 leaders who are bound together in, again, their words, in this invisible network under these
amorphous principles of Jesus.
AMANPOUR: For the leadership of an organization, that is a Christian organization, to point to such heinous monsters of history like Hitler and
Starlin, the like. What do they mean? How can these people be chosen as the vessels of God?
SHARLET: To emphasize this idea that it is not -- it's not for them to decide who is good, who is pious, but rather they look at power as it is in
the world. The organization began as a far-right semi-fascist organization in the 1930s. They are no longer fascist. And with this vision that the
founder had that Christianity had been getting it wrong for 2,000 years, by focusing on the poor, the suffering, the down and out.
The founder believed that God spoke to him personally and said, I want you to serve the up and out, the powerful, those whom he called keymen to bring
more power to the powerful who will, in turn, in their understanding, bring about the kingdom of God. It's not a Christianity that is recognizable to
most people of faith.
AMANPOUR: Jesse, how did you and why did you think that this was worthy of this kind of attention at this time? Obviously, it's based on the amazing
book, this inside job, if you like, by Jeff. But why, for you, as a filmmaker, this subject at this time?
MOSS: Sure. A couple of reasons. One was I wasn't familiar with the book. It had come out 10 years ago but it had escaped my attention. And
when I read it, I nearly fell off my chair. I mean, here was this very secretive and very powerful organization that I knew nothing about. And
now, 10 years later, I had a big question, which was are they still relevant? Are they still powerful?
Also, I think, like many people, I had this question about the religious rights accommodation of Donald Trump, like how could that be explained?
Then I thought in the story that Jeff laid out, if we could find a way to tell it as a documentary might be the answer to that question in the
theology of the fellowship, which I think does explain this accommodation of the powerful, the unpious, seeing them as God's instrument.
AMANPOUR: So, I wanted to just get back to you then, Jeff. How did you -- what made you infiltrate this group? And do you consider it infiltrating?
Tell us the circumstances of how you came away with so much of this evidence in this story.
SHARLET: I went in under my own name, talking about a book I was working on at the time. I write about the varieties of religious expression in the
United States. That's been my subject for decades. And at the time, I was writing about religious communities around the country and I was traveling
A friend, long-time friend, asked me to meet with her brother who had joined the fellowship and sort of dropped out of his life. I knew him --
I'd known him for years. He invited me to come see for myself. And what he described was something sort of simultaneously very ordinary, a group of
young men who want live together in fellowship and Christ. And that's a very familiar part of the Christian and evangelical world. And at the same
time described a kind of close relationship with politics.
Even, he said, we don't use the word Christian even. We don't want to emphasize that. And there was a sort of a stealthiness. You know, later I
would learn this [13:25:00] organization, one of their sort of slogans is the more invisible you can make your organization, the more influence it
will have. But I didn't know that going in. So, I went under my own name, writing a book about religion.
And I think they didn't -- they couldn't quite imagine that anyone would have serious questions about what they were doing because they felt so
firmly that they were on the side of God.
AMANPOUR: Have you faced any backlash for this book?
MOSS: Yes, yes. I ended up writing "The Family" and I followed up with a sequel on C Street called "C Street" in which I wrote about a fellowship
initiative in Uganda, something called the anti-homosexuality bill, popularly known as kill the gays bill. It was a death penalty for
homosexuality launched by the Ugandan branch. It's a very international organization. And that provoked a lot of pushback at the time.
I think I am the only person at this organization that has worked with every kind of dictator, strongman, killer around the world and has never
sat in judgment or held any of them accountable. I think I am the only person that they decided was evil. I am an evil brother of the family, as
one man put it.
AMANPOUR: Now, lest we leave our viewers with the idea that this is some kind of little Podunk organization, they are actually the purveyors of
perhaps the most significant and most powerful group breakfast on the Washington Calendar, The National Prayer Breakfast, which presidents since
Eisenhower, to today, Donald Trump, have attended as a matter of annual pilgrimage. Let us play this little clip about the prayer breakfast and
then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN THROCKMORTON: When I came to the prayer breakfast, it seems as though Congress is privileging Christianity. It certainly sends an
appearance that has to make you have some First Amendment questions about blurring the lines between church and state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a central idea going back to 1953. Their idea was, what we want is a public ritual consecrating the United States to
Jesus. Every president since has gone.
So, you think you're going to this officer event. There's an opening speaker, an opening prayer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are hundreds of the nation's most respected leaders have gathered here in the name of our lord a savior, Jesus Christ.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doug Coe does not speak. He's always there. Every now and then, someone nods to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This breakfast is the result of years of quiet diplomacy. I wouldn't say secret diplomacy. A quiet diplomacy by an
ambassador of faith, Doug Coe, and I salute him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Jesse, when you saw that and when you saw the power of the breakfast and you saw the video and you see foreign leaders, even at the
Washington breakfast, including the king and queen of Jordan and other recognizable figures, Russian officials, and then you go back through the
archives and you see the breakfasts replicated in African countries, in Russia and other places, what did you think and what were the questions it
raised for you?
MOSS: Well, it's a remarkable demonstration of political power. So, obviously, an enduring institution. We were invited to attend the prayer
breakfast without our cameras, they're not permitted, to see Donald Trump address the masses, to see around all -- around that address, days of
One of the questions, as I said, was the relevance of this organization and of this institution, the National Prayer Breakfast, is it just a simple
benediction that is offered once a year? Is there something more going on?
And while we were making the series, of course, the Russian spy, Maria Butina, was arrested for infiltrating the National Prayer Breakfast in an
attempt to influence U.S. policy toward Russia. The two organizations that she infiltrated were the National Rifle Association and the National Prayer
So, on our watch, a real demonstration of enduring influence of this event. And, of course, it occupies a huge swath of the publics' square where faith
and politics intersect.
AMANPOUR: You also basically describe those breakfasts, that one in Washington, as a giant lobbying opportunity for international actors to
come there, to see everything, to be -- you know, see everyone who is important and to, you know, have the cloak of religion and Congress around
And I want to pick up about what, Jeff, you said, and that is the really insidious part of the evangelizing around the world, and you called it the
kill the gays bill in Uganda. You've raised the question, what is "The Family" or the fellowship's foreign policy? And I just want to play this
clip and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took a long time before I realized just who the "The Family" was. And the influence they have had in the leadership of our
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a group with tentacles around the world, meeting with presidents, foreign leaders to spread their view of Jesus
throughout the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Jeff, talk to me about the power of what they were able to do in Uganda and particularly U.S. senators and congress people who were
SHARLET: Yes. In Uganda, it was a member of Ugandan parliament David Bahati who was the leader of the Uganda branch and who named men such as
Senator Mitch McConnell, former Senator John Henson as his mentors in his work.
He is a very savvy political operator. He understood the organizing hatred of LGBTQ people could be an effective political strategy, a sort of gender
nationalism. And he was able to launch that bill working with the long- time dictator of Uganda, another long-time associate of the family.
In the series, we see this work ongoing and we see Congressman Robert Aderholt preaching a similar anti-LGBTQ gospel. Not the death penalty. I
don't think the Americans support that but preaching this kind of gospel of hate.
So odds with what people know, Christiane, need to be, in Romania and Eastern Europe where smaller countries where single U.S. congressmen who
may be back interested here comes representing the singular world power and has status and weight and can convince those countries, if you want to be
on good terms with the United States, you have to do it through these principles.
MOSS: In that case, Aderholt traveled paid for by the fellowship, according to congressional travel disclosures. A very on the surface
travel schedule meeting around reconciliation and the spirit of Jesus.
But when you actually look at what he did there, speaking on Romania television, lobbying for that anti-LGBTQ referendum, I think there's clear
evidence that what we saw in Uganda is continuing.
AMANPOUR: And what happened in that referendum?
MOSS: Well, that referendum, which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman was defeated at the polls. So Aderholt's campaign was
unsuccessful in that instance.
AMANPOUR: And I have to say, it's really troubling to think that Americans and Americans who call themselves Christians and religious are perpetuating
that kind of hate and division. And you see in your film the interviews with the LGBTQ community in Romania who are just shivering in fear. They
were terrified that what might happen to them if this referendum had not been defeated.
And you hear on a daily basis the terror of gay people in Nigeria or Uganda or elsewhere who knows that with the backing of this group of Americans,
you know, their lives are being put in terrible dangers. So this is really, really significant to digest.
So let's, you know, roll all the way forward to now and President Trump's election. He was, if you like, the hands of the Christian religious right
were laid upon him, Jerry Falwell Jr. Others really campaigned for him and spoke up his candidacy.
Talk to me a little bit about that because he's not known to be a deep believer or a churchgoer. And yet he has gathered around him some of the
staunchest, some might call most fundamentalists of American Christians in political life.
SHARLET: Yes, certainly Mike Pence, a long-time associate of the fellowship worked with them in years past with the government of Sri Lanka
while he's committing war crimes against his own people and all through the Trump administration.
Trump is, as we know, a transactional figure. He believes in the art of the deal. He understood that to get the support of the Christian right, he
was going to have to give something.
He's given them more than they've ever had before. This is, I think, hands down the most fundamentalist administration in U.S. history despite the
impiety of the man at top.
And that's a deal that the fellowship knows how to make. It's a deal that they've been seeking.
The long-time leader of it sort of describes it with a parable saying that Christ came not -- in his view, Christ came not for the sheep but for the
wolves. And he says you look at leaders like Trump and you understand them as leaders of the pack.
And if you can come alongside them, then you'll have the strength of what he calls, it's sort of chilling language, what he calls the Wolf King.
Trump is in that view of the world there, Wolf King, with whom they can work.
AMANPOUR: And I wonder whether you think, Jesse or either of you, whether they would have any views as to President Trump's -- you know, he's being
accused of all sorts of racist tropes and hate speech. And in the, you know, in the aftermath of these terrible mass killings and the confession
by one of the killer, that it was that language of invasion that inspired him. Is this, do you think, what the fellowship, the family would make a
MOSS: Well, we've seen that in their history. One episode, and this comes from a quote from an interview, is around their relationship with
dictators, murderers, and thieves.
The more awful the person, the greater the work of Christ. This goes back, as Jeff explained or explored in his book, to their work to Abraham
Verrilli, the founder of the group, and his work with Nazis in the post-war -- in post-war Germany.
So they've prided themselves on their willingness and ability to work with people, the worst people around the world and here at home. So there --
and whether that is out of a political expediency, accommodation or transaction or through purely their faith and an openness to all commerce,
as Jeff points out around the National Prayer Breakfast and the Buthaina story that Russian spy, is this naivete or cynicism? And it's the
achievement of the family that it manages to be both at the same time.
AMANPOUR: Incredible story. Jesse Moss, director, Jeff Sharlet on whose book this was based, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
MOSS: Thank you so much, Christiane.
SHARLET: Thanks for having us.
AMANPOUR: Our next guest is someone whose ambition turned him away from his top job at the center of power on money. Chris Arnade worked as a
trader on Wall Street for almost 20 years.
In his free time, he explored neighborhoods like the South Bronx in New York. Armed with his camera, he met the people of those streets and used
his photos to tell their stories.
Inspired, he left Wall Street and went on the road. He spent four years crossing the country to document what he calls "back row America". His new
book "Dignity" is the culmination of that incredible journey and our Michel Martin ask Arnade about stepping out of the rat race and into the human
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Chris Arnade, thanks so much for joining us.
ARNADE: Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: Why Wall Street? What drew you there?
ARNADE: There wasn't many jobs available at the time. I had a PhD in physics. I was looking for --
MARTIN: You say that like, "Oh, yes. Like everybody is that way." Everybody has that. But I don't know. I would have though with a PhD in
physics that you could have had a lot of options.
ARNADE: At the time, there is -- it came down to two options. One of the metrology, which I did for a little bit, and the other was Wall Street.
And I was drawn by the challenge of Wall Street. I knew nothing about banking.
MARTIN: What did you do on Wall Street? What did you do there?
ARNADE: I was a trader.
MARTIN: You were a trader?
MARTIN: Presumably, you made a pretty good living?
ARNADE: I did. I did make -- made a very good living.
MARTIN: I mean, at some point, as you were counting the books, you started taking long walks, and what drew you to Hunts Point in the Bronx?
ARNADE: Part of it was I was told not to go.
MARTIN: Told by whom?
ARNADE: Other bankers. You know, when I heard about Hunts Point it was always in a negative light.
MARTIN: What did you think you were going to find there and what did you actually find there?
ARNADE: I don't want to further the stigma by saying what I think I was going to find. But I will say it was drugs and prostitution. The
negative, decay, violence, all those things, those ugly stigmas. What I found was, you know, a community that was, for lack of a better word,
beautiful and also very welcoming.
MARTIN: And when you say beautiful, tell me, what are you saying?
ARNADE: Physically -- just physically it faces south with not a lot of large buildings. So, you've got beautiful light. Additionally, though,
what I love is I love what I call almost industrial art, how people make art out of nothing. And Hunts Point has a lot of auto body shops. Has a
lot of junk yards. The way they display the junk is artistic.
And then what really drew me in were the pigeons. I see flocks of birds above and I kept looking at them and they look choreographed and the way
they were flying and they actually were choreographed. They were kept by people on roofs.
MARTIN: How did you start photographing people there? You know, how did that start?
ARNADE: People would want me to photograph them. You know, I stuck out often like a sore thumb. I was a White guy with a camera in a neighborhood
that was almost 100 percent African-American or Hispanic. And so, people would often come to me and ask me questions. And then when I --
MARTIN: Like what? Like what? What are you doing here?
ARNADE: Yeah. Simply, "Yo, what are you doing here?" You know, as blunt as that.
MARTIN: And what did you say?
ARNADE: I said, "I'm here to photograph things. I'm here to look at pigeons. I'm here just to learn."
You know, and that would begin a dialogue where they would say to me, "Hey, I want to show you something. Oh, you said pigeons, you should see -- go
over there on Lafayette, there's a guy on number 90 or 95, you'll see it, you know." And then, so, I would follow the instructions and I walk over to
where they told me. I look up.
If I see pigeons, I would just yell up to the roof, "Hey." And sometimes I would just open the door and walk up.
MARTIN: So, what was your intention? Did you really have one? I mean, it just sounds in a way like kind of you're on some sort of a vague quest that
you didn't really know what the it was that --
ARNADE: Some of it was driven by just simply the photography. But, again, it was very much what it became was that the people became the important
thing and what I was mentally going through at the time, transitioning, I can say it, you know, I can kind of look back and think about it now was,
the way I had spent my entire life learning and then making judgments based on that learning was from data. But I didn't really know the people
impacted by those decisions.
And so, I was going through a process of talking to people and then learning from them and just hearing, you know. It was a different way of
MARTIN: Tell me about maybe one or two of the people you met at Hunts Point.
ARNADE: You know, there's two people I think about. One of them is, her name is Milly (ph). She has passed away. And so, eventually, my project
in Hunts Point became spending time with the homeless and addicted. And Milly was a -- she was a sex worker and she was a lifetime heroin addict.
And I must have met her 12:30 at night. She was working the streets. And then I asked her her story and she told me her story. It was a pretty
Heroin -- introduced to drugs early 13, 14 after abuse. In and out of jail. In and out of rehab. Living on the streets for most of her 30
years. And then she told me about how she just been -- she had just relapsed again.
She had been clean for a year and a half. She had been clean for a year and a half because she had gotten pregnant and wanted -- you know, wanted
for her child to stay clean. She relapsed. Did a speed ball, a combination of heroin and crack. The baby was born early. The baby was
taken away from her. And here she was back on the streets.
Milly ended up -- whenever I saw her, she had a bandanna that was all wrapped around her arm. And the reason she had a bandanna wrapped around
her arm because she had an abscess that had taken over the length of her forearm where she would shoot heroin into and it had started -- and it went
septic eventually. And she ended up in the hospital and died from --
The rumor on the street when she disappeared was that she had been killed. I actually put the leg work in and I actually went through all the
hospitals and I found her, that she had died, unclaimed body. And if you die in New York City unclaimed you go to Hearts Island. I don't know if
MARTIN: It's where people go when they have no one to bury them.
ARNADE: And you're buried in a large trench. And I located her body there. And I went through the process of getting it exhumed so she could
have a proper burial. But during that process of actually finding out, I found her relatives, I found a lot of her story.
Everything she told me that initial night, a complete stranger at 12:30 in the morning was true. And it always struck to me as just one of those
things where, you know, beyond being an awful tragic tale it's also this person had no reason to tell me the truth, but did.
MARTIN: Eventually, this -- I don't know what you would call it, this hobby of yours, this passion of yours, really changed your life. I mean,
you quit your job and you, what, set out across the country, right, not just focusing on Hunts Point but kind of going across the country.
ARNADE: First of all, there was a selfish part, which was I personally enjoyed this job more than I did banking. I was sick of banking. I didn't
like that way of thinking.
Again, it was a very limited way of thinking, it's very quantitative, it's very cold, very solace. And this was a way of thinking and a way of
learning that wasn't.
It also became something of a political process by which I wanted other people in some senses to see what I was seeing or to know what I was
knowing because I thought that the way they were -- the way our politics was aligned was not helpful. First of all, it was creating these problems.
And second of all, it was ignoring them, and it was ignoring the depths of the problems. And when they came up with solutions, I felt the solutions
were wrong. So it became, in some senses, a political process. You know, I did have an axe to grind in that sense.
MARTIN: So where're some of the other places you went and how did you pick them?
ARNADE: I generally picked them by looking statistically at what was the worst place, the places that needed to be fixed.
MARTIN: By what standard? Like, homicides, poverty?
ARNADE: Poverty rates, homicide rates, overdoses, economic decline. You know, here was maybe four or five maps I used.
MARTIN: So you went to places like Milwaukee.
MARTIN: And --
ARNADE: And when I went to Milwaukee, I went into the African-American neighborhood. I went to Selma, Alabama.
I went to El Paso, the first ward, Lewiston, Maine.
MARTIN: Lewiston, Maine. So really all different -- lots of different -- like predominantly white, predominantly black, predominantly Latino in some
ARNADE: I tried to find towns that were uniquely diverse, partially to see how - what I was seeing played out differently amongst different racial
groups. So when I went to Lumberton - it didn't make it in the book. It's one of my favorite towns. I say, it's (ph) Lumberton, North Carolina,
which is one-third African-American, one-third Native-American and one- third white, and you know, it's also in the poorest county in North Carolina, Robeson County. But you know - and I went there for a while.
MARTIN: So you've got a chapter - it's actually chapter one -if you want to understand the country, visit McDonald's.
MARTIN: Why do you say that?
ARNADE: I think a lot of - there's this real misconception about McDonald's amongst my class, of just being this place that pays its
employees awfully and has unhealthy food, but it's the lived reality for a lot of people. McDonald's is often the only option people have. And for
the people who have the - the most marginal people, people who most marginalized, people who living on the streets or addicts, McDonald's is
It becomes a community center in many ways. It's a place they can come in, sit for three or four hours, and get away - get out of the heat or the
cold, recharge their phone, clean up in the bathroom, maybe even shoot up in the bathroom and also socialize, and rejoin society in a way that
they're just not stared at.
I always say that, you know, if these people were to go on to a college campus, the police would be called, but McDonald's welcomes them. And it's
more than just that. In some towns, like in Gary, Indiana, which I talk about in my book, it's effectively the community center. It's the one
place where people come in and play checkers. They play dominos. They play chess. They, you know, just hang out, read books.
MARTIN: Yes, you can have a dollar, you could have a meal, one of the through lines for a lot of people that you photographed and spent time
with. Is it - there was a lot of addiction. What was the chicken and what was the egg in your view?
ARNADE: I firmly believe addiction is about - is about - not about supply. It's not about what drugs are available. It's about demand, and it's about
demand for - to ease a deep pain in people. And that pain generally comes from stigmatized or rejected, and there are very classic forms of rejection
that lead to addiction. One of them is racism.
I think you can go into any traditional African-American community that's been like I went to, in Selma and North - and in Milwaukee, or Buffalo,
where people have been confined to secondary everything by the color of their skin, and that's a wholesale of rejection by society that, I think,
is very painful, very humiliating and often leads to drugs. I think one of the forms of rejection that you find now in white communities, also, is
To be uneducated these days is a stigma. We value education so much that I - actually, one of the things that I heard so many times, when I was in
crack houses or when I was in drug dens, as people said, you know, I'd say, like you know, "Where - where'd you go to college?" And I knew the answer
was I didn't go to college, but I would ask out of politeness and respect, because I would ask everybody that question.
And they would say, "Oh, well, I dropped out after 9th grade." And I'm like, "Why?" He goes, "Oh, people call me dumb," you know? And I could
tell that that hurt, you know, and I can tell you that a lot of people who told me that weren't dumb. You know, there was this one gentleman - he's
in the book - who got addicted to heroin, and a manual laborer, a white guy, in West Virginia.
I think he said, "I don't know my ABCs." And he didn't want to talk to me initially, because he was worried that he didn't know how to speak well.
He actually was one of the most eloquent people I've heard. He has - he has a real way with language, and I kept telling him that, and he didn't
believe it, because he'd, all his life, been told he was dumb, been told, you know, you can't read and write.
And I think more and more nowadays, because we sort by education, because we reward education so much, economically, I think that when who don't
necessarily do well in college, it's just not who they are.
MARTIN: And school. Or just school, period. Formalized education, right?
ARNADE: Right. They're not - that's just not their personality. That's not their skill set. That's not the way their mind is wired. They don't -
- or they don't have the family support to be that person, because they have - you know, to be an educated elite, you have to have a supported
family, often. You have to be willing to leave that family to move, and some people just don't want to do that.
MARTIN: I don't want to gloss past something that you talk about in the book, which is that after a certain point - at a certain point, you
developed an addiction yourself.
ARNADE: I ended up quitting during the process.
MARTIN: Yes, and I wanted to ask you about that. What do you think that was all about? I mean do you think --
ARNADE: Selfishness. I - you know, I can try to - I can try to dress it up in all sorts of ways, and say I was seeing pain, but I like to drink.
And I was around a lot of drugs, and I started drinking heavily, partially to - partially to deal, in some levels, with the chaos I was seeing,
partially to fit in, to be honest. And I had to stop, and so, I stopped.
MARTIN: What made you stop?
ARNADE: A recognition that I was - it just was entirely selfish and I was harming people around me.
MARTIN: Do any of your family members say, "Chris, you know what?"
ARNADE: Yes, yes. And part of the reason I don't write about it in the book, my actual - first of all, I don't really want to make the book about
me. I think it should be about the people I met.
And so, I try to put them first. But second of all, my story's been told many, many times by people. A wealthy person finds a drug addiction and
MARTIN: He just stopped. That's interesting.
ARNADE: So I don't like to say I was an addiction because I was able to stop that way, you know? I mean I was sober, completely sober, for three
years. I have (inaudible) because I can go back to doing that in my mind.
MARTIN: But I guess, is one reason you don't want to talk about that is it - because it plays into a narrative you don't like, which is that people
could fix their stuff if they wanted to. Is that part of it?
ARNADE: Wealthy people can. I mean I didn't want to go down that lane because I can - I can give you a 30-minute spiel of why I think, yes,
wealthy people can fix them, but they have a massive support network. So I had a supportive family; I had money; I had stability.
Often, when you're an addict and you're leaving on the street - when I first got to Hunts Point, I remembered I was naive enough, when someone
said that's my sister, I'm like, "Oh, what a coincidence. Your sister's here." It's not their - it's their street sister - they've been ejected by
family, often because of awful abuse. They ran away early, and they built a street family, and the street family's actually as important as a
biological family. It replaces a biological family.
That's great. It's this wonderful system. It's actually a legal system. Like if someone - when Millie (ph), her sister got her possessions, what
possessions she had. The negative of that is when you go to rehab - when I go to rehab, I can go, but I - had I gone (ph) - or a wealthy person goes
to rehab, they come back to their family. If you're living on the streets and you come back to your family, all your family's addicts.
MARTIN: Tell us about another person you met, somebody who really stuck with you.
ARNADE: A young woman, probably 19 or 20, who was in a McDonald's in East L.A. And when I would go to a town, I would spend every night in the same
McDonald's, writing my notes. And so, this younger woman was there every night with her computer, doing her homework, and her Game Boy and her
phone, all three of them changed. And eventually she asked some questions about me, because she saw me there typing.
And I said, "I'm from New York City." And she was like, "Oh, I would love to go to New York City." And I said, "Well, you know, you can. There's a
lot of great schools there." And she says, "Well, I can't," you know, "I'm going to go to the local East L.A. community college," I think it was.
And she says, "Because I'm my mother's translator."
You know, a Mexican-American; her mother, like most first-generation, didn't speak English, and so, she, as the oldest daughter, was tasked with
being the translator. And I think, you know, that's an example of a case where I think we undervalue that decision. I personally think that she
made the right decision. She should stay in East L.A., you know. And -- and -- and go to a local community college because she's -- because she
needs her mother. Her mother needs her.
I've met people who had the opposite who they needed their parents. And you know I think we -- again, that -- that pathway to success, we still
highly tell (ph) often requires people -- you know it limits who can do it and requires people to leave their family.
MARTIN: Give me your final thought. I mean where do you want to leave us.
ARNADE: End of the day the -- I think it's the old narrative, before you judge somebody walk a mile in their shoes. You know if you someone who's
homeless or you see someone who's addicted or you see somebody who votes the way you don't vote; before simply saying what a jerk or what a lazy
person or you know or they must have mental problems, spend 15 minutes talking to them.
And you'll probably find out there's a lot more context to their story than you realized and the decision might be a little bit less crazy than you
MARTIN: Chris Arnade, thank you so much for talking with us.
ARNADE: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: An important lesson there from Arnade to take a little more time to understand each other.
Join us again tomorrow for my conversation with Joseph Cedar and Tawfik Abu-Wael, the creators of HBO's "Our Boys", the drama series looks of the
devastating events that led to the outbreak of the Gaza war in the summer of 2014. Take a look at this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three innocent boys are kidnapped. There are thousands singing and praying. The whole country believes they are alive. I fear
the day after, when it turns out the prayers went unanswered.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is something wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not always strong enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A powerful series. That is it for the program tonight.
Thanks for watching this special edition. And remember, you can always listen to our podcast. See us online at amanpour.com and follow me on
Instagram and Twitter.
Goodbye from London.