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Behind The Massacre Of Khashoggi Inside Saudi Consulate; Cornwell's Latest Franchise "Quantum". Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 11, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Hello everyone and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.
One year later, what have we learned about who ordered the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN RUGMAN, AUTHOR, "THE KILLING IN THE CONSULATE": They believe with medium to high confidence that the Saudi crown prince probably ordered the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I speak with the award-winning journalist, Jonathan Rugman, about his new book. Then--
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICIA CORNWELL, NOVELIST: I said, you know, I'm not going to write any more books.
AMANPOUR: So you kind of quit?
CORNWELL: I did quit. I said, I'm not doing any more books.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Patricia Cornwell joins me, one of the world's most successful writers, jumping into the fray and outer space.
And from Syria to Benghazi to Russian election interference, former national security adviser, Susan Rice on Trump and unsolved problems left
behind by President Obama.
Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced a civil rights move this week. For the
first time, it will allow women to serve in the armed forces. It's the latest in a series of measures to empower women and reform the economy.
And it's done by crowned price, Mohammed bin Salman. But whether its women driving, new tourist visas, or IPOs, it's somewhat overshadowed by the
brutal killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a year ago.
Saudi officials deny that the crowned prince had any involvement in the murder. But a new book by the award-winning journalist Jonathan Rugman
offers the first truly comprehensive account of the methodical planning and brutal efficiency behind the massacre and the role played by MBS himself.
His book is called "The Killing in the Consulate: Investigating the Life and Death of Jamal Khashoggi."
Jonathan Rugman spoke to me about his exclusive access to those involved. How he got more of the gruesome Turkish transcript of the murder and how he
still haunted by the very last images of Khashoggi alive entering the Saudi consulate.
AMANPOUR: Jonathan Rugman, welcome to the program.
RUGMAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So it's just over a year since Jamal Khashoggi was killed so brutally. You've worked for so many months to make, you know, a new
reporting of the background to that killing of the consulate. What did you think needed, what spurred you to want to write the book?
RUGMAN: Well, what happened was, I was sent to Istanbul to cover Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. And I stayed in the hotel where many of the hit
squad from Saudi Arabia stayed because it's close to the consulate that's why they stayed there, that's why I was staying there.
And I went to bed that night and found it hard to sleep because I had all these images going through my mind of a famous shot of him walking toward
the door of the consulate at 1:14 p.m. on the 2nd of October, disappearing, never seen again, images too of the hit squad arriving at the airport and,
all that CCTV footage, which the Turkish authorities produced.
What I was trying to do is to expand on the CIA's assessment, which you and I have never seen but has been leaked to --
AMANPOUR: And that specifically is that they believe?
RUGMAN: They believe with medium to high confidence that the Saudi crowned prince probably ordered the journalist's death. Now all those caveats are
very important because intelligence is never a 100% certain. But it was enough caveated for President Trump to be able to say famously "Maybe he
did, maybe he didn't." And I think that's where President Trump wanted things to stay. He wanted that wiggle room at leeway so that he didn't
have to take this case any further with the Saudi authorities that in trinket.
And my job essentially was to look at all the evidence, to try and build the case, to try and work out what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Was it an
accident? Was the intention even fact to render him back to Saudi Arabia to put him on a private jet and take him home? Which on the surface of
things seems more likely given that we haven't seen a case like this before, when we've seen Saudis snatched, is to take them home, it's not to
murder them or was it a deliberate killing?
AMANPOUR: So we're going to ask you what your conclusion was. But, first, I want to play for you the very latest from MBS, as he's known Prince
Mohammed bin Salman who's the crowned prince of Saudi Arabia and who most believe did actually order this. Let's just play what he said to CBS News
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?
MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN, SAUDI CROWN PRINCE (through translator): Absolutely not. This was a heinous crime. But I take full responsibility as a leader
in Saudi Arabia especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that mean that you take responsibility?
SALMAN: When a crime is committed against a Saudi citizen by officials working for the Saudi government, as a leader, I must take responsibility.
This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So it's further than he's gone before in sort of an attempt to the Mea Culpa but it still, I didn't do it. Somebody else did it. Rogue
operations. A mistake. In all of your reporting, do you think it could have been a mistake?
RUGMAN: I think the problem with the mistake theory, the best explanation you can give is that there was an attempt to render him back to Saudi
Arabia that went wrong because Jamal Khashoggi struggled, overwhelming force was used on a 60-year-old man. And he died and it was an accident.
But then you have to ask yourself what was the forensic scientist by the name of Dr. al-Tubaigy doing there if his skill was autopsy dissecting
bodies? He had boasted in the past of being able to dissect a body in seven minutes. I mean he was famous for being quick at what he did. And
one other thing I discovered was a longer version of transcripts of the Turkish surveillance inside the consulate that has been published
And in those transcripts you hear the Dr. al-Tubaigy talking with the hit squad commander. And the hit squad commander says, will the body and the
hips fit in the bag this way? And the doctor says in reply, no, Jamal is a tall man. It won't fit. And they have a discussion about what they're
going to do with the body. Now that discussion takes place about 14 or 15 minutes before Jamal Khashoggi arrives. According to the Turks, if you
believe what the Turks are saying.
AMANPOUR: Do you believe it? And do you think the Turks should release the tapes? Have you heard the tapes?
RUGMAN: I haven't heard the tapes. They've made it very difficult for people to take notes of the tapes. They don't want people to write things
down. They have allowed, I think, of most 45 minutes of the material to be heard by various intelligence agencies and others when they claim they
recorded seven hours.
AMANPOUR: And why do you think that is? I mean everybody knows now, it's not because they don't want to giveaway their intelligence methods because
we all know that they had it bugged. So why will they not release them?
RUGMAN: I think it's partly a matter of taste. These are dying moments of a man who is being held against his will. I think they've been paying this
diplomatic game where they're putting pressure on the Saudis and have been to cooperate, they've been demanding justice. But they've never quite laid
it at the door of the Saudi crown prince in the way that others have.
And I think they don't want to go that far. They don't want to be accused of trying to create an eternal coup in Saudi Arabia. But I do think that
these transcripts are pretty reliable guide to what happened. I think the question is, could they have moved the time scale around? Could have the
discussion, for example, about what to do with the body have happened after the murder rather than as it's been presented before the murder?
And, yes, you're right, questions will be asked about why the Turks haven't released this stuff. And the question is, if there is ever an
international trial of those accused of this murder which seems pretty unlikely, will the Turkish intelligence authorities want those audio tapes
released in court given that it-- surveillance, probably not.
AMANPOUR: So let's actually just talk about accountability because, obviously, his fiancee, who was waiting out there for several hours while
all this was going on has said in very emotional terms that there's no accountability has been had, right? And let's just play what she told me a
few months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HATICE CENGIZ, JAMAL KHASHOGGI'S FIANCEE (through translator): I feel very much alone about this. I feel I have been deserted, a journalist has been
murdered. There hasn't been a proper investigation. Everything is in suspense starting with the United States, European country states, leaders
have not put proper pressure, and they have not taken any steps with (INAUDIBLE) getting answers, real answers to this horrendous crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So Hatice is absolutely, obviously, heart broken. She was inside while all of these was going on. I mean does she have any hope that
there will be a proper accountability ever?
RUGMAN: She does have that hope.
AMANPOUR: A realistic hope?
RUGMAN: I don't think it's a particularly realistic hope. And what you have to bear in mind that the U.N. secretary general has not got behind his
own U.N. rapporter and called for an international inquiry. What we have seen is a trial in Riyadh behind closed doors with 11 men on trial, five of
them accused of murder. None of the names released. And the diplomats who have access to the trial have been sworn to secrecy. So we don't know what
they think either.
AMANPOUR: Well, interestingly because Bruce Riedel who's, you know, a former CIA official, he's very, you know, long time experience in the
Middle East all sort of kings and president, Saudi Arabia and United States since FDR. And he is also addressed this self-defense claim of Saudi
Arabia that it was a rogue operation.
He says, let's assume it was a rogue operation. He MBS has all the rogues and they know where the body is. He MBS, lied straight faced. So that
does put pay to the idea that was rogue not mention the fact that they came on a private plane that 15 or so people had to be allowed into the
consulate, you know, just allow 15 people at their rogues do you?
RUGMAN: Well, that's right. And we've seen photographs of some of these men standing next to the crown prince in 10 Downing Street when the crown
prince was visiting the British prime minister. In Texas when he was visiting the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
So on the other bit of evidence that often gets glossed over but which is I think is really, really important just a sign of state capability is the
clean up operation. Its one thing to say this was a rogue operation and it shouldn't have happened. But then you spend two weeks forensically
cleaning the place within an inch of his life. So there is absolutely nothing left. So by the time the Turks are allowed in, which is not until
the middle of October, they can't find anything. They can't find the body.
AMANPOUR: Can we get to why you think he was killed? Some people are now saying that, you know, this western narrative that he was such an outspoken
critic of the regime is not exactly accurate. He was very close to the regime for many years. But they're saying he didn't actually criticize the
state. He criticized MBS. And when he criticizing MBS and his accumulation of power, that's when his trouble started.
RUGMAN: I think that's right. I think this was a personal dispute, a personal falling out. I spoke to David Ignatius of "The Washington Post"
he was one of Jamal's friends. And he made the point that we don't really know when the decision to kill Jamal was taken. According to the leaks of
the CIA assessment, the crown prince talked about using a, quote, bullet against Jamal Khashoggi more than a year before he was killed.
And in fact before he started writing for "The Washington Post." And I think that's a very important point to make. In other words, this is a
grievance that goes back quite a long way. It is a feeling that a former insider has turned traitor, a feeling that he had gone rogue, if you like.
That he had been ordered to keep quiet but then he refused to do that.
And, also, I think a man who had a second wound in life from the aftermath of the Arab spring, a man who felt strongly, sort of discovered almost a
feeling that he had left behind in his youth that there was a better way for the Arab world. And he couldn't stop talking about it. And that had
implications not just for Saudi Arabia but for the whole Gulf that, you know, this idea that Islamist political parties could take over and could
operate in sort of a democratic system across the Middle East.
AMANPOUR: Bruce Riedel also says that countries to sort of again, the narrative that the Saudis haven't paid the price. In fact, they are paying
the price. And he says Riedel that actually Jamal's ghost does haunt the house of Salman, haunts the royal palace.
RUGMAN: Well, I think it only goes so far that argument. I mean, after all, Saudi Arabia is due to host the G20 summit next year. So I'm not sure
they really are paying a price. And I think everything we know about the arms deals, over 40 British fighter jets that there was a memorandum of
understanding, President Trump talking about billions and billions of deals that he wants signed by the Saudi crown prince. So pragmatism has won the
day here in the death of a single journalist.
AMANPOUR: What would you say is the most significant discovery or realization that you've come to in the year of writing this book?
RUGMAN: I would like to say that the most significant thing I found is that I've got much full of urgency of the transcripts and being punished
elsewhere particularly a few days before the killing when plot is being hatched. All the officials in Istanbul took to the officials in Riyadh
working out what they were going to do.
But actually what I'm most pleased about is that I have joined that the docks that the death of one man has ricochet all the way to the killing
fields of Yemen. I think in a way which many of us don't quite understand in the sense that according to a UNDP report, $233,000 people would have
been killed by the end of this year during the conflict in Yemen, which started in 2015.
Now, it was Joseph Stalin who was supposed to have said that the death of one man is a tragedy and the death of millions is a statistic. And I think
what Jamal Khashoggi has succeeded in doing is he has turned the statistic of Yemen into a very real concern. But we saw the U.S. Congress passing
resolutions trying to get American, to end American involvement in the Yemen war, forcing President Trump to use his veto for only the second time
in his presidency.
And who would have thought a man walked into the consulate in Istanbul and disappears. He pricks the conscience of lawmakers that he makes people in
America think for the first time since September the 11th, about whether the trade-offs and the relationship with Saudi Arabia are worth it.
And that is an extraordinary thing for him to have done. If you read his journalism and I've read all his "Washington Post" pieces, they are
extraordinarily powerful. They are saying all the right things. They are not criticizing Saudi Arabia. He considered himself a very loyal citizen.
He just wanted his kingdom to reform. He wanted it to end its conflict in Yemen. And I think it came from the right place. And I think he paid for
his life with it.
AMANPOUR: Jonathan Rugman "Killing in the Consulate." Thank you very much indeed.
RUGMAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And we're going to turn next to a very timely new book, this one a novel and a sure-fire new hit by the much-loved crime writer, Patricia
Cornwell. Cornwell is best known for her hugely successful series featuring the intrepid medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta. But after writing
40 books in three decades with 29 "New York Times" best sellers, the American author was ready to walk away from that lucrative career.
Until inspiration for a whole new series sparked by the idea of female James Bond launched Cornwell out of the mortgage into outer space. After
two year of typically arduous research plumbing every corner of the highly secretive NASA facilities across the country, Cornwell is out with her
first book of the new franchise featuring aspiring astronaut and cyber investigator, Captain Calli Chase. It is called "Quantum." And when we
spoke here in London, she shared with me her joy about finding a new story to tell.
AMANPOUR: Patricia Cornwell, welcome to the program.
CORNWELL: It's my great pleasure to be here with you.
AMANPOUR: You have this whole new franchise "Quantum" is the title of your latest book. And it's about space. And it's a departure, obviously, from
the subject matter of your previous books. But the first and foremost, at this stage in your highly successful career, something like more than 100
million books sold in more than 120 countries around the world. You could be relaxing, taking in the royalties, why again now? Why are you starting
CORNWELL: Well, I mean, it takes one to know one because I think people like us everywhere we go there's a story to be told. And I think some of
us were put here to be the ones to tell the story, to put a face on something. Like you, when you go to all these far fun places that I'd be
scared to go to and you put a face on it. If I go into space or I take in the morgue or in the forensic labs, I'm putting the face on these things.
And that is what we're here to do because if we don't do this, who's going to do it? And if we don't have stories, we don't know who we were, we
don't know who we are, and we don't know how to behave.
AMANPOUR: You are known for the incredible amount of research you do. I think you said it's scary. I mean, this process was a bit scary for you.
CORNWELL: Well, its mind withering because I always tell people never forget, I'm an English major, you know, I dropped science. I couldn't -- I
can't do math. I have no sense of direction yet I'm a pilot. I'm scared of the water but a scuba driver. You do stuff because you have to learn
But it is mind withering, these people are so freaking smart that they're working these fields and they're dealing with things that are very
abstract. It's hard for us comprehend that we live in a world where almost anything can allow you to be spied on. And further more, that you can
remotely do catastrophic damage.
AMANPOUR: Talk to me about your protagonist, Calli. Tell me who she is, how you conjured her.
CORNWELL: Calli Chase or Captain Chase works at NASA Langley. She's in charge of cyber investigations for their police. But she's not a regular
cop. I mean, she's a quantum scientist, a quantum physicist, and a test pilot. She was got into the cyber world in military police. But the thing
with Calli and her twin sister is from the get go, they had been raised by this NASA parents and this guy who ends up being the commander of space
force. They've been groomed to sort of be the ultimate new kind of James Bond type of thing.
This people who go into space but it's militarized because it's going to be, we're headed that way, and you're dealing with the unseen world of
electromagnetic energy, radio waves, how satellite communications, stuff that may sound boring but you think it doesn't affect you. Try looking up
tomorrow morning with the GPS knocked out all over the world and see how things go for you.
AMANPOUR: Let me play this sound bite. It's actually you basically in the institute doing some of the research. We'll going to play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORNWELL: I'm wearing a diaper. It's not bad.
I'll make you all look good, don't you worry.
It's easy to do anyway.
I'm blown away by this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: This is a persona, right. I mean, not absurd. This is you. You have, you are this action woman.
CORNWELL: You know what I really am? Is I'm a journalist. You know, my first and best and most honest big job I ever had was when I was reporter
at the Charlotte Observer out of college. And I remember one of my early general assignments. Someone was teaching juggling in the park, big
So I went to do that. Well, I learned right off the bat my method was always to try what someone else was doing. The guy is trying to show me
how to juggle. Every --- and so it's just what I do. I try go walk a mile in the other person's moccasins. And that's how I know what it looks like,
smells like, feels like. You know from the stuff you do. You can Google the morgue. It's not the same as walking through one. Is that not right?
AMANPOUR: No. It's absolutely right. And I'm going to get to the morgue in a moment because that is also a particularly gory element of what you
did in your previous franchise. But I wanted to ask you to read a passage from the latest book. Here is Captain Calli Chase. She's entering a crime
scene that is related to a series of mysterious events that have taken place in this NASA facility at Langley, Virginia as you described.
CORNWELL: I intend to gather all the data I can before walking in. No matter how curious I might be. I am curious. Not just a little bit but
insanely, insensibly, even if I don't let on, don't give the slightest sign of the magnetic force pulling at my attention. It's hard to explain but
I'm tactile and sensuous with an exploratory drive that keeps me from taking another person's word for it from sitting still and being
complaisant. I have to see something for myself. I have to look, hear, taste, touch, and that's the compulsion I'm feeling.
AMANPOUR: So, I mean, it's really a little bit auto biographical given what we've just been talking about your research method. It's also a bit
of a testimony on our times, right? One of your characters, Richard Melville, General Richard Melville head of the U.S. base command says, our
adversaries want us blind, deaf, and dumb and guided by lies.
CORNWELL: That's right.
AMANPOUR: All these parallels today.
CORNWELL: There is nothing worse than to have a brain-damaged guidance system. I would rather have -- you want somebody to steer you into the
ditch? And we've all had GPS to take us through a part of town that is dangerous, haven't we? So use your head everybody, and start being
discerning about what you believe because it's so dangerous.
Oh, by the way, speaking of, we're talk about the general. When I first started doing this research, I was really working on quantum very hard. I
went to Colorado Springs and I met with at least half a dozen air force generals, including one who is in charge of space command now. And
basically what they all said to me is, listen, the biggest favor you can do for us is have a hero who is a cyber ninja because that's where it's all
at. That's what we're worried about is a 12-year-old that can hack into your rocket or to the Pentagon.
And so for, you know, all of this it's all related because you're manipulating things people don't know were being manipulated.
AMANPOUR: In the film promoting the new series, you have joked, I've had enough earth. I quit. Is that a joke?
CORNWELL: Not really. Not really. I mean, so much of humor is really rooted in a kind of true. You know, people don't know this but I'll tell
you, when the 24th Scarpetta book came out three years ago, and that was my 40th book. Now, not the first four didn't get published but if you did the
math from the age of 21 until the age I was three years ago, it would have been me doing a book every single year. In addition to everything else
And the publishing world has changed dramatically. And I just thought, I don't know what -- I literally said that I don't know what to do with her
anymore unless I put her on the moon, Scarpetta. And so, you know, I'm not going to write any more books.
AMANPOUR: So you kind of quit.
CORNWELL: I did quit. I said I'm not doing anymore books. And so I started doing research for film and TV and got asked the James Bond
question. And so I came up with a film proposal met with all kinds of people but they said, you know, we love this except it needs to be a book.
And I said no, rats in "Rat Fink", not again.
AMANPOUR: So did people know that you had quit? I mean was it public? Did you make an announcement that you'd quit writing?
CORNWELL: No. No. I really thought I would do this for a movie. And when I gave they, I've not told anybody else this, but when I gave the
treatment to Amazon publishing, who had done my ripper book recently, I said, listen, maybe you can turn this into a graphic novel. But I'm trying
to create a film, franchise type thing. I was thinking small, by the way.
And so they all came back we love this but, no, we want a book. I said, see, this is my punishment. I did something really wrong when I was little
AMANPOUR: Yeah, like what. No good deed goes unpunished. Take me back to your previous franchise, there's Scarpetta. I mean it's not often that you
have a female writer or character sort of reveling in this, you know, the morgues and the gore and the crime and the, and all of that. How important
was that for you?
CORNWELL: You know, when I started out, when I was a police reporter, there were no women doing anything, including many women cops. And so I'm
very -- and I had two brothers grew up in a town with all boys. So I had been immersed in a male sort of dominant world for a very long time. But
it was, you know, there's a good and bad. The good part of it is I always got under estimated. I still do.
And I kind of like that because, you know, you don't expect too much and that's probably a good thing in some cases. But I try to look at -- I
really, you know, in helicopter flying, I always say, don't land until you know what's under you. And so the more you can hover and look around and
just put a face on everything like you do with your travels, you know, the more you might see things in a more balanced way.
AMANPOUR: And here you are, hundred million books, 120 countries. The only author that comes close to you is J.K. Rowling.
CORNWELL: Oh, I think she outran me by light years, as we'd say in NASA talk.
AMANPOUR: OK. So you're pretty close.
CORNWELL: I asked her about, you know, what was it like to be under estimated, what it was like also to come up, you know, through the ranks,
so to speak. And this was a little bit of a back and forth about her name. And why she chose this particular name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And J.K. Rowling?
J.K. ROWLING, AUTHOR, HARRY POTTER SERIES: Uh-huh.
AMANPOUR: Why the initials?
ROWLING: Oh, because my publisher, my -- published harry potter. They said to me, we think this is a book that will appeal to boys and girls. I
said, great. And they said, so could we use your initials and because basically they were trying to disguise my gender.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So before we get to gender, I just would like to point out that I am really environmentally conscious. I'm wearing the same jacket that I
did to interview her. What can I tell you? No fashion for me. Did you ever have to disguise your gender or feel that there was a pressure on you
as a woman trying to get some of these, you know, I mean incredible adventure stories actually written and published.
CORNWELL: I had the same discretion with my publisher for "Postmortem" what name to put on the book. And the only reason that we didn't because
there was a discussion of doing P.D. Cornwell, there were two problems. One was P.D. James--
CORNWELL: I would have been drake to be confused with her at that time. But the bigger thing was my name was already on the Ruth Graham biography
done as Patricia D. Cornwell. And so then they said, well, can we get rid of the D so we can make the rest of your name a little -- I mean over time
they would drop letters to make names bigger, that kind of stuff.
But probably it would have been initials back then, had I not already had my name on a book. And they thought maybe, maybe somebody from the Ruth
Graham demographic would buy "Postmortem" the answer is, no, never.
AMANPOUR: So let's talk about Ruth Graham. And it is sort of exceptional and unusual to know that you are taken under her wing. Ruth Graham, the
wife of Rev. Billy Graham. And it led you along certain paths. I mean she was, obviously, and I think you became friends with then George Bush Sr.,
the president. What did she do for you? And what did that time and those politics mean to you and affect your writing or your education?
CORNWELL: Well, what she did for me gave me something that never changes even when politics in your own believes do because I certainly don't think
anything that I was taught to believe as a kid. But what I learned, what I got from Ruth is she gave me value for myself. And, you know, she made me
feel like I mattered because at the of age 19 when I dropped out of school, I had an eating disorder, and quite frankly was thinking very dark
thoughts. And I didn't believe I was ever going to amount to anything in life.
And one day the phone rang and she was inviting me to lunch. And I'm like, seriously? She was like, that was like the queen back then. And she gave
me a journal and said, I know you're talented. And I want you to write. And I thought of all the people she would pick me. And that made me think,
maybe there's something worth salvaging here.
And that is what I took away from that.
And the most important lesson, talk about putting a face on something is always pay attention to the life before you. If you touched even one life,
you've changed the world.
And we need to remember that, too. So that was the best thing I got out of Ruth.
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, it launched. It was -- it's huge. She gave you your professional --
CORNWELL: The last year of her life -- the last time I saw her in 2007, I said to her, you know, I've only done two nonfiction books. One is on you
and the other is on Jack the Reaper.
I said how did you feel about that? She said well, I think I drove you to murder anyway. But it is kind of an irony isn't it?
AMANPOUR: It is.
CORNWELL: But it's about telling the story.
AMANPOUR: Patricia Cornwell, thank you very much for joining me.
CORNWELL: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: And let's return to a veteran of U.S. foreign policy. Susan Rice is a former national security advisor and U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations. She served two Democratic presidents and helped shape American responses to some of the most challenging crises the country has
As such, she's also had to endure history's harsh gaze into U.S. decisions amidst the Rwanda genocide, the Arab Spring, and the Syrian Civil War. And
she recounts all the decisions making policy at the very highest levels and owns up to her role in the good and bad in a new memoir "Tough Love, My
Story of Things Worth Fighting For".
And she sat down with our Walter Isaacson to reflect on her years of service.
WALTER ISAACSON, CONTRIBUTOR: Ambassador Rice, thank you for being with us.
SUSAN RICE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Great to be with you, Walter.
ISAACSON: This startlingly honest block is called "Tough Love." And having read it, I didn't realize where the tough love comes from. Your
upbringing was both loving and really tough.
Let's start by asking about your father. Tell me about him.
RICE: Well, my father, Emmett Rice, was born in segregated South Carolina in 1920. And he rose, ultimately, to be a governor of the federal reserve,
appointed by President Carter.
But his childhood and his upbringing was very difficult because not only he lost his father when he was 7-years-old and that's sent their family into
economic decline. But he was really steeped in the most insidious form of southern bigotry and prejudice.
When World War II broke out, he was drafted and ended up serving at Tuskegee with the fame Tuskegee airman. That is experience of serving in a
segregated air force and fighting for freedom for everybody but his own people was a very, very searing experience for him.
And unlike many people, myself included, look at the experience of the airmen as African-Americans with pride to say, look, you know, we finally
showed the world what we can do. And we could fight and be as, you know, talented and effective as any white person.
My father's view was that was basically BS. We had nothing to prove. That his job, my job, our jobs as human beings were not to prove to white people
that we were as good as them.
ISAACSON: He gave you a bunch of lessons. You wrote them down even.
RICE: He gave us tons of lessons. One of them about race, was -- and this came later in his career, after he got his PhD. in Economics and after he
rose to some measure of professional success, he concluded that if race is going to cause a problem, it's not going to be for me. Let it be for
And his ultimate mantra was don't take crap off anybody. Meaning that you be you. You do your best, believe in yourself. And don't let anybody tell
you you can't or stand in your way. And, you know -- better from worse, I took that --
ISAACSON: That's even your book, it's like you're not taking crap from anybody.
RICE: I took that message to heart, for better or for worse.
ISAACSON: And your mother --
RICE: My mother was extraordinary, too. She came from a family that emigrated to Maine -- Portland, Maine from Jamaica in 1912. My
grandparents on my mom's side had virtually no formal education. One was a janitor. One was a maid and a seamstress.
And they came to this country just like so many other immigrants in search of economic opportunity and education for their kids. They had five kids.
My mother was the youngest. My mother was the valedictorian of her high school class in Portland, Maine.
She was student government president. She was a champion debater. She just knocked the lights out. And she got admitted to Radcliffe.
But because my grandfather, who was working as a janitor in a music store, had a catastrophic accident about 18 months before my mom was to go to
college, he broke his back, shattered his feet and spent months in the hospital so that all of their savings were drained.
And my mom applied for a scholarship from the committee of the State of Maine that is supposed to provide scholarships to kids going to Radcliffe.
And my mom was a shoo in because she had been valedictorian of Portland High School. She was denied that scholarship because the lady who ran the
committee told her that the purpose of the scholarship is after you graduate to come back to Maine and move in the proper social circles so you
can support the college and raise money for it. And because you're black, you won't be able to do that.
And so the end of the story is, her principal in high school, and her debate coach went directly to Radcliffe and asked them to give her the
money and they did. And so my mother made her life's work before she went into the private sector, expanding opportunity for low-income people in
this country to be able to attend --
ISAACSON: An that's why in some ways, she helps push the Pell Grant.
RICE: Well, when she died, you know, her obituary said Mother of the Pell Grant because she had worked for many years along with Senator Claiborne
Pell to make that grant program accessible. And Walter, I can't tell you how proud I am, 80 million Americans have been able to go to college
because of that Pell Grant program.
ISAACSON: How did you first meet President Obama?
RICE: I first met him in the summer of 2004 when he was running for Senate from Illinois. And I was working for Senator John Kerry, who was running
for president. And I was one of the senior people on John Kerry's foreign policy team during the campaign.
ISAACSON: When he runs for president, he asked you to join the team. But so does the Clinton campaign, the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Were you torn between the two? Or was it clear in your mind that Obama was something fresh for America?
RICE: I had already committed to Obama. But I realized in committing to Obama, having been -- having served for eight years in the Clinton
administration that I was probably making a choice that was in all likelihood not going to be beneficial for my career.
Because most people assume that as the betting money was on Senator Clinton to be the nominee, Barack Obama seemed to many people like a long shot.
And yet I made this choice very (INAUDIBLE) of that potential consequence.
Because to me, Obama represented something that went far beyond politics or even political affiliation. To me, most of all, I thought that his
election, if it could be accomplished, could be transformative and would speak volumes about our nation and its potential to grow and change.
ISAACSON: So when Obama gets elected, he asks you to become the ambassador to the United Nations and asks Hillary Clinton, who you didn't work on her
campaign, to be secretary of state. And yet you form a pretty good bond with Secretary Clinton at that point.
RICE: She is, as you know, a pure professional. And we were there working in service of our country and in service of the administration. And I have
to say never once did I feel that she did anything other than provide me with the support that any teammate would provide to another.
ISAACSON: That whole thing leads to the toughest time in your career which is Benghazi. And what happened, you lost a close friend in the Benghazi
RICE: Well, Ambassador Chris Steven and then three other Americans as well.
RICE: And it was not something you were particularly involved in. But then on a Sunday, they want you to do the talk shows. And they give you
the talking points about what happened in Benghazi. What is your mother saying when you tell her you are going to go on the T.V. shows?
RICE: The moral of the story, Walter, is listen to your mother. I went to check on my mom and she's like I know you had a rough week. Are you
hanging in there? What is your plan for the weekend?
And I said, well, on Sunday, I've been asked to go on all five Sunday shows to talk about what happened this week which was not only Benghazi and that
tragedy but you may remember that many of our embassies around the world had been attacked by violent protesters, not terrorists but violent
So I explained to her that I was going on the shows and she said what, why you? Why not Secretary Clinton? And I said, well, my understanding from
the White House is she was asked and she declined, I presume, because she was exhausted after a long week and emotionally drained, didn't want to do
And I didn't want to do it but I agreed to do it because they asked me to. And I understand that somebody needs to go out on these shows. And, you
know, I'll agree to do it because I'm, you know, a team player.
And my mom said I smell a rat. You should not go on the shows.
ISAACSON: Did she smell a rat meaning that Secretary Clinton was setting you up?
RICE: I think she smelled various rats. First one was the one that I put greatest stock in, in retrospect. which is that, you know, that in a
politically charged environment, this is the middle of the 2012 election campaign, and something tragic like this happens. And inevitably, the
information is going to turn out to be in some way, shape, or form imperfect.
That whoever is out there speaking first is likely to be targeted. Not just the message but the messenger.
I think she intuitively understood that. I think she suspected that somehow I was being, you know, thrust forward by Secretary Clinton and she
was receding. I don't actually believe that.
My mother and I have had this argument. Because it was -- first of all, it was the White House that asked me to do it. So White House should go and
ask principles (INAUDIBLE).
And I think Secretary Clinton may have just made a judgment in her own interest for whatever reason that she didn't want to do it. She didn't say
get Susan to do it.
At least, I have no reason to believe that. So I never felt like the version of this story, which was, you know, that some people claim that I
was set up is fair.
But what I do think is interesting and I've tried to learn is one of my lessons subsequently is that my instinct to be a team player, to put
mission first and not think about could there be some consequences for me, maybe noble but it can be self-defeating. And in this case, it proved to
ISAACSON: So they gave you talking points, the intelligence community, that says here is what happened in Benghazi. If I remember correctly the
talking points say that there were demonstrations in the Middle East and it was opportunistic that then some extremists get involved and attack.
That's what you said. You followed --
RICE: I followed them, yes.
ISAACSON: And then boom what happens?
RICE: It was some days later when information began to surface that ran counter in certain respects to the information of those points which I had
said at the time when I went on the shows, look, this is our best current information, it could change. There are going to be investigations by the
FBI and others. So I'm telling you today what we believe to be the case. But all those caveats got all in.
ISAACSON: So you put the punching bag. I mean Don McCain, Lindsey Graham, all of them threw you in a punching bag and said that you were purposely
misleading the American people that Benghazi was a terrorist attack and the Obama administration is trying to cover that up.
RICE: That was their line of attack against me.
ISAACSON: Why did that happen?
RICE: Well, I mean I think that's a question for them. I mean my assumption at the time was, which also may have turned out to be false,
that this was, you know, principally motivated by election year politics.
And here was an attack against one of our facilities that killed four Americans on our watch and they wanted to use that to attack the president.
I think because I was perceived as being close to the president, because I was speaking on behalf of the administration. And maybe for a variety of
other reasons, they thought me an attractive target.
ISAACSON: Was there something you should have done differently when you had those talking points?
RICE: No, I don't think there's anything I could have done differently. What I did do and should have done was to compare those talking points that
this is publicly provided -- publicly available information. With what I knew to be the classified information.
ISAACSON: And what's the classified information?
RICE: The classified information tracked the talking points. If they hadn't, I would have raised a red flag and said wait a minute, why is there
ISAACSON: So Lindsey Graham, in particular, becomes a point person. You become a punching bag. What is the phrase you use in the book?
RICE: Recycled boogeyman.
ISAACSON: Right. That's a pretty good phrase. But you're tough on him. I think you call him unctuous, snarky, other things. Was this personal?
RICE: I had no relationship with Lindsey Graham until he went on television and called me either incompetent or untrustworthy. And, you
know, I think America has now seen a lot more of Lindsey Graham.
ISAACSON: What do you mean by that?
RICE: I'm about to tell you. In the recent months in the Trump era, than I think they understood before, you know, I think Lindsey Graham had a
reputation for being a maverick akin to John McCain who I think generally was maverick and somebody that I respect.
I think Lindsey Graham was seen as somebody who, as he did during the 2016 campaign, told the American people how much trouble the United States would
be in if they elected Donald Trump. And now every day we see him apologizing for whitewashing, sanitizing some of Trump's most concerning
behaviors and decisions as if, you know, as if he were on Trump's paid staff rather than a senator in the United States Congress.
ISAACSON: During that period, President Obama was considering tapping you to be secretary of state. And at a certain point, you decide you just have
to withdraw from consideration. Tell me the effect that it had on your son Jake.
RICE: Jake at that point was 15. And all through the Benghazi thing, he had been quite stoical. Not reacting the way his sister was. Not
particularly emotional about it.
And I sat him down and I said Jake, I thought long and hard about this and I decided to take my name out of consideration for secretary of state. And
he shocked me by bursting into tears and saying, mom you can't quit. You can't quit. You've taught me all your life -- all my life never to be a
How can you do this? And I was -- I didn't really expect that. I didn't know how to react to that --
STEVE MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: New sanctions authorities that can be targeted at any person associated with the government of Turkey, any
portion of the government. This will be both primary sanctions and secondary sanctions that will be applicable.
The president is concerned about the ongoing military offensive and potential targeting of civilians, civilian infrastructure, ethnic or
religious minorities. And, also, the president wants to make very clear it is imperative that Turkey not allow even a single ISIS fighter to escape.
Again, I want to emphasize at this point, we are not activating the sanctions. But as the president has said, he will provide very significant
authorities based upon the continuing efforts.
So he will be signing this. They will be active. We'll be working in consultation with the Department of Defense and Department of State to
monitoring this very quickly. We're putting financial institutions on notice that they should be careful and that there could be sanctions.
Again, there are no sanctions at this time but it will be the broadest executive authorities delegated to us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he spoke with the president, was there any concern about the actions he took that led to this? and can you tell us, when
would you put sanctions? And what would it take for you to actually --
MNUCHIN: Well, no, I don't think he thinks his actions are what led to this. It is a complicated situation. It's a situation that we're all
concerned about and the humanitarian situation.
And there are very clear discussions that will be going on between the Department of Defense and the State Department. I just got off the phone
with the finance minister and we will be communicating specifics that we're not going to tell --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary, can you tell us about the (INAUDIBLE) trade negotiation --
MNUCHIN: I didn't think anybody would be asking me about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) that are going on today, is it possible that we get to the end of the day today with no new specific deals agreed
to or we definitely --
MNUCHIN: So I want to make sure everybody knew in advance I wasn't talking about China because I didn't want to think I was going to a specific China
We have had productive two days of discussions. Ambassador Lighthizer and myself with the vice premier and others.
We'll be meeting with the president shortly. We'll be updating the president on those.
He'll then be meeting with the vice premier. I wouldn't be surprised if, like usual, he decides to invite a few of you in. But I'm not going to
make any other comments in advance of those meeting with the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stock market is very optimistic about what it sees. Are they right to be optimistic?
MNUCHIN: The stock market is always right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there reason for --
MNUCHIN: Again, I'm not going to make any more comments. I've said we've productive two days of discussions. We'll be making more announcements
after we meet with the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far Turkey has not been dissuaded by anything this administration has done or the president has said. What makes you
confident that the announcement that you just made is going to change Turkey --
MNUCHIN: Well, I don't agree with your premise. I'm not going to comment on specific confidential discussions that have been going on on different
levels. So I don't think that's a good premise.
But, again, these are very powerful sanctions. We don't have to use them.
But we can shut down the Turkish economy, if we need to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does the threat of these sanctions help these U.S. allies who say they have been abandoned?
MNUCHIN: Again, it's a complicated military situation that is ongoing. There are discussions. I think the president has had very specific
As I said, the Department of Defense, we have expectations. This is a way of making sure that we protect the humanitarian issues and the other people
on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as you know, has any changed -- plans specifically changed about President Erdogan still visiting the White House
or things still --
MNUCHIN: I'm not aware of anything that's changed. But again, I'm not confirming that. I just haven't heard anything one way or another.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary, what kind of consultations are you having with lawmakers like Lindsey Graham, Senator Van Hollen, who has been really
very critical of the pull all the U.S. troops in Syria?
MNUCHIN: Secretary Pompeo has been speaking to them daily. I've been speaking to the secretary multiple times a day.
I know the message to Congress is I know that people were contemplating sanctions or on top of sanctions. The president will use them when
necessary. Thank you, everybody.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That was the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the podium at the White House press briefing
room announcing that the president is not activating sanctions on Turkey but that he is authorizing several key officials, including Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo and others to potentially use sanctions in response to Turkey's aggression entering this safe zone in Syria targeting the YPG, the
Kurds in that region, displacing tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of civilians.
I believe we have Pamela Brown who's at the north lawn of the White House right now. Pamela, isn't this really just a slap on the wrist considering
that President Trump opened up the Kurds to this attack by moving U.S. troops out of that area?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And you heard there, Secretary Mnuchin saying, no, the president does not believe his actions
have led to this. And he also didn't specify, Boris, what it would take necessarily for the sanctions to actually be put into action.
What he made clear today is that the president is following through on what he had said initially that he was considering sanctions. They said they're
getting those ready to go but they're not actually activating the use of those sanctions.
They said this is, of course, in response to the military offensive by Turkey that we have seen over the last several days where not only the
Kurds have been targeted but civilians, as well. And so Steve Mnuchin there said that this is really a humanitarian crisis that is going on
But you're right, this happened after the president had pulled out U.S. troops in that area which angered a lot of his allies including Lindsey
Graham, just to name one, that that even happened. And so now, several days after the Turkey military offensive, Steve Mnuchin announcing that the
sanctions are getting them ready to go but again not specifying exactly what it will take, what threshold would need to be crossed to actually put
those sanctions on Turkey.
He did say that if they wanted to, they could hurt Turkey's economy but he says they hope they don't have to do that.
SANCHEZ: Pamela Brown, standby. I want to turn to Arwa Damon. She's on the border of Syria and Turkey, as we speak. I hope you've been able to
hear the news coming from the White House.
The United States not activating sanctions against Turkey but authorizing key figures in the administration to enact those sanctions if -- it's
unclear at this point what the line is. The president hasn't been specific about what line Turkey would have to cross for him to get involved in this.
How is all of this, this mess essentially that the United States has created being received on the ground?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a couple of things, I think, are worth pointing out and looking back and previous
statements that had been made and what Turkey's reaction to them has been. First of all, Turkey is not backing down, no matter what it's being
Trump has already said that he would destroy Turkey economically, if Turkey crossed an undetermined red line. We don't know exactly what that is in
the offensive against the Kurds, the Kurds in Northern Syria.
And Turkey in response to criticism that it has been getting from Europe has, in turn, threatened to unleash 3.6 million Syrian refugees on to
Europe basically meaning that Turkey would once again open the gates to the refugee route to Europe from here.
We've also heard even Russia President Putin saying that he was concerned that this Turkish offensive was going to allow ISIS to, as we've been
hearing from others as well, regroup and launch a number of counter attacks and basically refers to the games that have been made.
Turkey's point in all of this has been very simple and very straightforward. From Turkey's perspective, this is how they see it and
this is what their response is.
They say we have waited. We have been patient. From our perspective, the YPG is a terrorist organization. They're one and the same as the PKK. We
no longer have patience. We are going to go at it alone. We warned you about this that we would do this before.
SANCHEZ: Arwa Damon reporting from the Turkey Syria border, stay safe out there. Thank you for that.
We're following all sorts of breaking news. We hope you stay with us. More news after the break.