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Stepping into The Shoes of Presidents and Media Moguls; Why Maya Moore took a sabbatical from the WNBA in her pursuit of justice; Trump's Syria Withdrawal a Serious Strategic Error; John Kerry Declares World War Zero; John Kerry, Former U.S. Secretary of State, is Interviewed About Syria and Climate Change; New HBO's Series, "Succession"; Brian Cox, Actor, "The Great Society," is Interviewed About his Films, "Succession" and "The Great Society." Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 25, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
The evidence is powerful, some of it more powerful already than what we saw in the impeachment of Richard Nixon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Former secretary of state, John Kerry, on impeachment, betrayal in Syria and the climate emergency.
Plus, star of stage and screen, Brian Cox, dissects his roles of the moment, President Lyndon Johnson on Broadway and the ruthless Murdochian
media mogul on the hit show "Succession."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYA MOORE, ON SABBATICAL FROM WNBA: When we take time to stand up for people and to shine a light in a dark place, not everybody is going to like
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WNBA superstar, Maya Moore, tells us why she's trading one court for another as she fights for social justice.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
This week, President Trump's transactional approach to foreign policy is taking center stage. Block buster testimony in Washington so the top U.S.
diplomat to Ukraine describing what he called a quid pro quo demand from President Trump to President Zelensky. Military aid and a White House
visit in return for dirt on his political rivals.
While across the world, Trump's Syria withdrawal is described as serious strategic error. Amid reports that now the U.S. could move tanks and
troops back again into the east of the country to protect U.S. forces near the oil fields. Whether it is Syria or pulling out of the Iran nuclear
deal or the Paris climate accord, these moves are all part and parcel of unpicking his predecessor, president Obama's legacy.
Former secretary of state, John Kerry, was front and center of that diplomacy and he joined me from Paris where he's declaring war on the
climate crisis with his new initiative World War Zero.
Secretary John Kerry, welcome back to the program.
JOHN KERRY, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Glad to be with you. Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: I want to start by asking you about the Syria debacle. Many people, as you know, even in the president's party, are calling it
precisely that. And yet, I wonder if maybe there's some lessons to be learned from the Obama administration. Because right now, we understand
that the president is considering sending in potentially more U.S. troops and potentially even armor to protect the oil fields and the like.
And you remember, of course, the Obama administration after withdrawing the troops from Iraq basically then had to send thousands back to fight ISIS.
Tell me what you make of those two events.
KERRY: Well, I think this is very different, Christiane, for the simple reason that the damage is done.
Basically, the president of the United States betrayed our allies on the ground, the Kurds, who were responsible for really being playing a central
role in defeating ISIS and in securing the border with Turkey, which Turkey had refused to do.
So now, he has just upped and allowed Turkish President Erdogan to achieve everything he wanted to do, in effect to giving him what he was setting out
to do in his military operation. And actually, aided in the removal or, in fact, approved the removal. That's just the extraordinary event, and the
damage was done by that.
The damage was done the moment that the president tweeted, I'm pulling my troops out. The moment that he had done that, he took away any of the
leverage that the United States had to try to resolve with Russia, with other parties in the region what we had set out and others set out in
Geneva, sometime ago, which is how do you resolve the issue of Syria.
There's been no real diplomatic energy behind that and this is now not just codified but put a horrendous stamp on it and the pictures tell the story.
You now see Russian flags flying over the U.S. basis. That tells you the damage that has been done. And, in fact, the Iraqi president was colluded
as saying people all through the region are now questioning the staying power of the United States of America and whether or not an alliance for
them is worth anything.
AMANPOUR: You raised a couple of very important points there. First and foremost, and I put this to Secretary Esper when I interviewed him earlier
this week in Saudi Arabia where he was demonstrating force that the United States was deploying to Saudi Arabia to face off against any Iranian
threat. And I asked him, isn't that a little bit like giving with one hand and taking with another? Given that, as you confirm, the territory in
Syria is now open to Iran, to Russia, to Assad.
What do you make of [13:05:00] trying to face off against Iran in -- on the one hand and, as I said, opening the territory to their influence and
Russian influence on the other hand in Syria?
KERRY: What I think most people take from that is an absence of a genuine strategic policy. It is shooting from the hip.
What is happening now, Christiane, I think everybody in the Pentagon understands this -- and by the way, for the soldiers on the ground who had
formed personal relationships and alliances with the Kurds who put their lives on the line in order to go after ISIS to one day be sleeping in a
tent with them and then the other have to retreat, and we saw the potatoes being thrown at our trucks and things, I mean, this is a moment of ignominy
(ph), this is a horrible moment that those soldiers will carry with them forever.
And what I believe the president and those supporting him are trying to do now, is find some kind of an off ramp make up for it, but there isn't a
make up one for it. The fact is that the Kurds were our allies in keeping ISIS locked up with, which now they're not all locked up, and in assuring
that they weren't going to rise again.
We had a buffer against what others in the region weren't frankly doing fully. I mean, it wasn't Russia defeated ISIS. It was United States and
the policy that we put together in the Obama administration that brought 68-plus nations to the table in an alliance and then steadily, beginning
with the president's decision to bomb at Mount Sinjar and save lives, to steadily take back territory that had been taken by ISIS.
And President Trump continued that. He accelerated it in certain places. But the point is, is it was the same strategy. That's now destroyed. That
is not present. The presence of America on the ground, which was not costing us a daily war, you know, everlasting war lives, it was a strategic
positioning of troops who, by their very presence, had helped to quiet things down and Russians were sort of treating their territory as their
We were taking care of a certain element of ours. The Kurds were doing what they were doing. And Assad was held at bay in that. There was some
leverage to try, at least, to get a diplomatic solution. That is not now present. You see Putin, meaning with Erdogan, and they're now sitting
there dividing up the way they're going it manage the future and the United States is not at that table.
AMANPOUR: I just want to push you a little bit because I know you said the situation is different, and it is, but I want to know whether you believe
there's a cautionary tale in the rapid removal of American troops, precisely in order to bring them home. President Obama wanted to do that
and President Trump says the same thing.
KERRY: Oh, for sure. No, no, no, no. For sure.
AMANPOUR: Because you know that when they came out of Iraq that is what allowed ISIS to rise a couple of years later. And then your
administration, as you point out, had to put thousands back and they did start this systemic defeat of ISIS.
KERRY: The answer is yes. There is a cautionary tale in that and I think we thought people had learned it. But the fact is that -- I mean, I'm
against arbitrary date setting and decisions that are not based on the situation and on a strategy, particularly with respect to terrorism.
Terrorism is a different animal and we have all learned that over the course of these last 15 to 16 years.
What we need to do is stay vigilant. I think that's one of the reasons why this sticks in the craw of all the counter-terrorism and our security
community, the military particularly. Because they have been putting their lives on the line.
American families have invested in the counter-terrorism effort for the long haul. And unfortunately, President Trump sort of mixes the counter-
terrorism important into this bag of evermore, everlasting wars. It's not. Except to the degree that we are in a long-term conflict with extremism,
which will require us to have a thoughtful, intelligent, strategic and allied presence in certain parts of the world, and that's what we were
doing in Syria.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, that brings me to the essential issue here that you brought up earlier and that is, what does America do the next time it needs
help? What do allies do the next time America comes calling? And you've probably seen the cover of "The Economist" which says, "Who can trust
Trump's America?" the consequences of betraying the Kurds.
KERRY: It's a very profound question and it's an absolutely anticipatable, foreseeable [13:10:00] question, and it was foreseen by many people. The
keywords in what you've asked me is Trump's America. I would say not Trump's America, I would say Trump's administration.
Because America, I believe, will still be committed to do the things that are vital to our national security, and we, in America, the vast majority
of Americans, deeply value our relationship with NATO, our relationship with Europe, our relationship that has been built on all of post war
efforts to win the Cold War and then try to win the peace by having a U.N., having the international institutions that most countries still respect and
wish the United States was still leading.
So, this is Trump's decision. This is President Trump. And, obviously, there are serious questions about his future as well as his capacity to
lead with any trust whatsoever, certainly, with our traditional alliances but also, I think now with our own military and in America itself.
AMANPOUR: Secretary Kerry, you bring me, obviously, to the huge gorilla in the room and that is the impeachment inquiry against the president and the
president's fight back.
So, you've just tried to make a distinction between Trump's America and America. And yet, people around the world are looking at America today and
asking whether the constitutionally guaranteed checks and balances are actually working.
You have seen the issue of Republican senators or Republicans storming committee rooms where these impeachment inquiries are being held behind
closed doors. You've seen President Trump attack his own party members in a tweet calling them human scum, those who are -- you know, disagree with
Can the center hold? Is it all going to fall apart? What do you make of the current war within?
KERRY: It is a war within, and it is disturbing. But I really have confidence about the United States and I have confidence about our
institutions. I have said many times in comments in the last months that, in my experience, America's institutions have been strongest when they are
needed the most. And I believe this is one of those moments.
I think, in fact, the institutions are working. The fact that Bill Taylor testified, the fact that Laura Cooper testified, that's individual courage
but it's also adherence to those standards. And they went because they know this is a legitimate inquiry. They know that Congress has this right
to investigate and the power of impeachment. And I think they are acting in the best interest of the country for a system that was set up precisely
by our founding fathers to deal with this kind of a moment.
And I think what is most damning about the circus act that was engaged in by certain members of the House of Representatives when they charged the
hearing room was based on a lie. It was an effort to distract from the legitimacy of the inquiry itself and from the importance of this moment and
particularly, from the importance of the testimony that Bill Taylor put forward.
I mean, Bill Taylor -- Christiane, Bill Taylor, he's 72 years old, a Vietnam veteran, a West Point graduate, 50 years of public service.
Everybody on every side of any aisle whatsoever vouches for his legitimacy as a patriot, as an American committed to the constitution and to the
highest values. He was hired originally to work for Ronald Reagan. He worked for both Bushes. And he worked for Donald Trump because Donald
Trump hired him.
And he was trying to work for Donald Trump with the interest that he found that Donald Trump wasn't working for the interests of our country. That's
why he stood up. And that is the power that has attracted hooliganism to the halls of Congress attacking a legitimacy on a lie.
And here is the lie, they claim it was a secret process. The truth is, that members of both parties are represented in the three committees that
are having these hearings. So, it's not a secret process and it will be even more public when they've done their preliminary work, which absolutely
KERRY: Bill Taylor, his testimony on Capitol Hill, seemed to be very, very pointed and very direct to the heart of the matter. He basically said in
his view there was a quid pro quo, that the military aid to Ukraine [13:15:00] was being held up pending the new president of Ukraine's
announcing an investigation that the president wanted into his political opponents.
He also said in August and September of this year, "I became increasingly concerned that our relationship with Ukraine was being fundamentally
undermined by the irregular informal channel of U.S. policy making and by the withholding of vital security assistance for political reasons."
Secretary Kerry, are you concerned that a group of, what look like to be, President Trump's friends are trying to do an end run when it comes to
foreign policy for their own benefit rather than go through, you know, civil servants and foreign service officers as it should be traditionally?
And do you think that the president should be impeached over this?
KERRY: Christiane, I think the evidence has to be examined here. I don't want to draw a conclusion about who was doing what except, obviously, there
are very legitimate service questions about the president's private attorney being engaged in the way that he was in the channels of diplomacy
and people being referred to both him and the attorney general of the United States for certain conversations.
The evidence is powerful. Some of it more powerful already than what we saw in the impeachment of Richard Nixon. And what is more, the evidence,
at this point in time, certainly merits the inquiry that is taking place.
So, the impeachment inquiry is 100 percent legitimate and called for. I support it. And let's let them do their work appropriately. It would be
far better for democracy and the whole world if the world could see a Congress in which everybody was respecting the legitimacy of this process
and let the facts tell the story.
KERRY: You're in Paris because of the climate crisis and you are trying to do something to mitigate the fact that the United States is pulling out of
the Paris Climate Accord. And we know that in the last debate, there was a lot of criticism that not a single question was asked or not even the issue
raised by any of the candidates about climate.
How bad is it this situation and what are you trying to do with your new initiative?
KERRY: The situation is really far more serious than many people know. I mean, we look at the fires burning in California now, the flooding that is
taking place around the world, all of what are called feedback loops, the events happening around the world are showing greater evidence, faster of
what is happening with respect to climate change.
And as tragic that the United States has pulled back from the position of leadership that President Obama set -- executed. And today, we're actually
heading towards about 4 to 4.5 degrees of warming on planet earth. It's absolutely catastrophic if that is allowed to happen.
So, we need to gear up. We need to behave almost as if we're at war. Summoning our public works people, our automobile manufacturers, the people
of our public utilities and we need to decide how we are going to decarbonize faster than any current plan.
Chuck Schumer has a proposal today, which is a very good proposal, with respect to what we do for transportation. But what I'm doing is working
bipartisanly and working with a broad array of people who know this is a national security concern, it's a health concern for Americans and it is a
The greatest market in the world today is the energy market of the future. I want to see, and many of us want to see America lead that market. We
want to see us do what is necessary to provide the technologies that will help us solve this challenge. I know we're up to the task, but we're not
being asked to do enough about it.
And so, this initiative, which called World War Zero, is an initiative that I will be talking about together with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christy Todd-
Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, with Ernie Moniz, the former energy secretary, and many, many, many others who are going to work to make sure
that we in America do our part and that we treat this as the serious challenge for our security that it is.
AMANPOUR: And, finally, Secretary Kerry, given the enormity of issues that you've just been talking about, are you still musing potentially a
presidential bid yourself or are you saying -- are you drawing a line under that?
KERRY: No. No, I'm not musing at all, Christiane. I'm working on this global environmental project and that's where I'm spending a large part of
my time, most of my time.
AMANPOUR: Secretary John Kerry, thanks for joining us from [13:20:00] Paris.
KERRY: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: So, there we have confirmation that nowhere is presidential power more potent than in foreign policy. A lesson we're seeing in the
White House, but also on Broadway where Lyndon Johnson's presidency is being brought to life in "The Great Society." A cautionary tale of
Veteran actor, Brian Cox, slips into the skin of LBJ as his domestic agenda becomes overshadowed by the Vietnam war. It is one of two current roles
seeing Cox grapple with the prizes and pitfalls of power as he is starring in HBO's hit series "Succession" where he plays a ruthless businessman
fending off his equally diabolical children to protect his media empire. Here is a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN COX, ACTOR, "THE GREAT SOCIETY": Now, I always wanted one of you kids to take over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People would do well to remember there's going to be a new sheriff in town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he asked me to run the company. I'm kidding. Am I?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey.
COX: Your sister is just in for the day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just to observe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Observe what?
COX: Can I suggest you look for some down time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dad, you OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you should, sir. You're old.
COX: I do what I want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Diabolical indeed. And Brian Cox joins me here in the studio. Welcome to our program.
COX: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Good to see you. Particularly since we're going to discuss, as I said, these two amazing roles.
AMANPOUR: One, presidentially and one a media magnate.
AMANPOUR: And this speaks to the heart of what we're grappling with in real life now.
AMANPOUR: Political and media power.
COX: Yes. I never thought I would be in this position. It's the weirdest thing.
AMANPOUR: Well, there you are. And I don't know when you agreed to take this. I don't know the back --
COX: It happened very quickly.
AMANPOUR: -- you know, the back time.
COX: We prepared this whole thing in three weeks.
AMANPOUR: The LBJ one?
COX: Three weeks.
AMANPOUR: From what to what? What led to it?
COX: Well, I just got the call to say, would you be interested in doing it? We're doing it as a dramatized reading, which, as I said, oh, OK,
fine. And then, Bill Rauch, the brilliant director of that show, he got in touch with me and he said, look, would you think about doing a proper
performance? I said, well, you'll kill me. I said, because I'm just finishing -- I was in Dubrovnik, you know, sailing the yacht.
And I -- we came across. I have this wonderful assistant who helps me, (INAUDIBLE). And so, he just beat the lines into me. But for the first
previews, I had to have an ear piece like this. So, I'm used to this.
COX: Yes. Because I --
AMANPOUR: And how does it work actually? Is it like a second behind? How does it work?
COX: It's not. It's almost instantaneously. And he was very skilled. He got very good. I was worried him because he had been deaf as a child,
ironically, Mickey (ph). And -- but he came and we did it. And then for the first week it was -- and suddenly, he is still with me but occasionally
goes -- if I pause and I said, no, it's OK. I know it. You don't have to tell me.
AMANPOUR: You know it now?
COX: I do know it now.
AMANPOUR: OK. Fine.
COX: Yes. No, I do know. I have known it for some weeks.
AMANPOUR: So, why did you decide to take this role? What about LBJ in this particular part, it's the latter part of his presidency, "The Great
Society"? In 30 years you haven't done this, right?
COX: No, no, no. I haven't done this on -- well, this is a kind of -- Bob Schenkkan has written this amazing play and it's like doing Lea (ph), it's
like the time I was -- when I was at the RSC and doing stuff at the national theater.
So, I had to call on my old self. And funny enough, it's a lot of muscle memory that gets into play. But the great appeal about -- the first appeal
was that LBJ looked very much like my father. It was a physical. And I was always very predisposed to him when he was vice president. And then he
became this villain and, you know, at a distance we didn't know what was really happening. And with Bob's play and also listen to the LBJ tapes, I
built up this picture of this extraordinary complicated wheeler dealer man, which is what he has in common with Logan Roy, they're both wheeler
AMANPOUR: Logan Roy in "Succession"?
COX: In "Succession." Logan Roy in "Succession." And that was what was interesting. But he was astonishing. He got 104 bills through -- in his
first term. I mean, his first proper term. I mean, he was -- he took over after Kennedy's assassination but then he became a proper president. And
he got Medicare, poverty bills, civil rights, voting rights and all the education programs.
And, I mean, it was astonishing. And he is not known for that. But what he did was he created the great society.
AMANPOUR: Until Vietnam did him in, essentially. And --
COX: Vietnam was just dreadful. And Vietnam came from this fear of communism, because we just come out of the McCarthy period. So, that was
still on the horizon and past. And, also, he inherited Kennedy's [13:25:00] administration. And there were quite a few hops in Kennedy's
administration, you know, who were, you know, this kind of communist fear was quite strong, particularly within the general population.
AMANPOUR: And your play, you know, does not sort of shy away from this. There is a ticker --
COX: Oh, yes.
AMANPOUR: -- throughout the play, I think.
COX: And the number of dead mounts --
COX: -- throughout the play.
AMANPOUR: The number of U.S. dead --
AMANPOUR: -- that mounts throughout the play.
COX: And it's a terrible tragedy. I mean, the Vietnam War is hard to talk about because for the people who -- the survivors and also, the people who
lost people in that, it's a very hard war to talk about because it seems like such a needless war, you know.
AMANPOUR: Does it strike you, I mean, everything today is political, isn't it? I mean, everything happens through the lens of what we're going
through in the world today, whether it's here in the United States, whether it's in Britain with Brexit, whether it's in Europe, wherever it might be,
it seem the political lens is shaping everything, from art and culture.
COX: There is --
AMANPOUR: To the economy. Yes.
COX: -- (INAUDIBLE) of craziness.
AMANPOUR: And one of the reviewers says of you that you demonstrate the sublime swing from bullishness and crippling guilt that captured the real
Johnson's notoriously volatile moods. Describe him as this leader who was volatile in, I suppose, context with today's leaders.
COX: Well, he came from poor stock. His father was a bit of a failure. He was a teacher on the border. So, he would have had a lot to say about
what is happening now on the border. And that was his motivating force, the fact that he was a teacher.
He was also politically very ambitious. He wanted to be president. It wasn't going to go his way initially and probably never would have apart
from the tragedy of Kennedy, which brought him into focus. And he was incredibly charming. He was a great lady -- one for the ladies. There was
a wonderful, wonderful conversation with him and Jackie Kennedy, which I -- it was the thing I picked up where he's being -- and it's only weeks after
the President John's assassination. And she's very -- she kind of melts when she talks to him. And he has this Texas charm that he uses.
And then she says it's very -- almost -- you can't hardly hear it but she says, you know, Mr. President, I've had more letters from you than I ever
had from John. And so, it's -- and that was what he did. He showed care. He showed great attention. A lot of people thought he was fake but he
wasn't. He was just that kind of man. He had that sort of, you know, charisma.
AMANPOUR: The playwright has described this sort of arc from "The Great Society," which you are in now, to the one he did before. Yours is sort of
a sequel to "All the Way."
COX: "All the Way." Yes.
AMANPOUR: And Bryan Cranston played Johnson in that and I interviewed him about it. And he essentially said the following. Let's just play what he
said about Johnson at that time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRYAN CRANSTON, ACTOR: In Johnson's day, he socialized with a lot of these people in the House of Representatives and in the Senate and he got to know
them under that basis and know their wives and some of their children.
So, that when it came time to iron out issues, they didn't want to throw each other under the bus. They didn't want to mention any vitriolic
statements against the other person because they like them and they were incentivized to find common ground. And unfortunately, it doesn't seem
like this structure of Washington is that way any longer. (END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, that --
COX: That's incredibly accurate.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And he's basically talking about how the political process has changed.
COX: That's right.
AMANPOUR: And boy do we see it right now.
COX: That's right. I mean, the polarization is ridiculous at the moment. I mean, it's -- you know, you're asking for, particularly, at this time and
there was always a moral center present in those days. Even though it was a lot of imaginations and all that things going on, I mean, Dirksen who was
the Senate majority leader -- he was the Senate minority leader, actually, rather Republican. And he and Dirksen were great friends. And there was
this great comradery between them, as Bryan rightly says.
But now, we have -- and we need that. We need moral assertion because it is -- it's the moral assertion that provides the balance that gets the yin
and the yang together. And that's why the Republicans -- I think, they need a moral center and they need someone like Romney to step up and say,
you know, I want to rediscover the Republican Party.
AMANPOUR: Well, that's all well and good. It doesn't look like he's going to do that.
COX: No, it doesn't look like he's going to do it.
AMANPOUR: But there are two who stepped up to challenge the president in the primary, which is unusual for --
AMANPOUR: -- a sitting president. But let me ask you this because, you know, there's so much sort of breast beating about what is going on and
could, if only just the two parties work across the aisle like they used to be able to things would be better.
But again, the review that I've been quoted basically says that, you know, Johnson, at this particular time, where you're playing him, is way down by
the realization that America's fractures run or ran deeper than political fragmentism. In other words, we're seeing --
AMANPOUR: -- actually real America.
COX: Yes, that's right. That's absolutely right because we have -- we seem to have cosmetically solved a lot of the problems. But it is cosmetic
because in those days, the problems -- the black and white divide was pretty horrendous.
Things that went on at Selma, Dr. King and the wonderful extraordinary work that Dr. King was doing. And even within his own, there was a lot of
fractionizing going on but it was this -- it wasn't political. It was kind of a moral struggle more than anything else.
And it became quite extraordinary what happened, you know. And it's tragic when you look. There's a moment at the end of the play, which it's my
understanding watching Bobby Kennedy on one side and Martin Luther on the other side.
And it's Martin Luther's last words, his last words before he was assassinated, and it's Bobby's last words before he was assassinated. And
you have a sense of a world that was really extraordinarily possible that time, which became interrupted.
And I think we still live in a legacy of that in a way. And we've kind of lost the way, I think.
AMANPOUR: Well, interestingly, you say we've lost the way. I mean it's such a massive role for the press that's being played right now and a role
against the press and a role within like among members of the press.
I mean Johnson famously was undone by the great Walter Cronkite --
COX: That's right.
AMANPOUR: He came back.
COX: That's right.
AMANPOUR: And he said what he said about Vietnam. And Johnson said, if I've lost Walter -- or something --
COX: Yes, once you've lost Cronkite, that's it.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And so he decided not to seek the nomination.
COX: And then Cronkite was actually rather balanced in his --
COX: He didn't actually attack Johnson. He just said we should, you know, we should just wrap up now.
AMANPOUR: And Johnson, you know, he understood and he did not decide to run for that next term. Just in the last 24 hours, President Trump, we
have heard from the, you know, White House that they have decided to cancel their subscriptions to the "New York Times" and "The Washington Post" and
also urging all the other federal agencies to cancel their subscriptions to "Washington Post" and the "New York Times."
Obviously, that leaves me to your role of succession where, I don't know, do you agree that it's a thinly disguised vision and version of the Murdoch
family? Is that --
COX: No. I mean I think --
COX: I mean there are elements. Because there are always elements of when families get that amount of power. And --
AMANPOUR: Anybody else that you're thinking about?
COX: Well, the Red Stones, I mean there's the elements of the Red Stones, there's Conrad Black, there's -- you know, there's elements of a lot of
families in there.
But, actually, it's not. It's the Roy family. It's this modern day -- the big difference is and the thing that, again, that Roy and Johnson --
AMANPOUR: Those patriots you play.
COX: Logan --
AMANPOUR: Logan Roy is the yeah (inaudible).
COX: He comes from -- he comes from nowhere. He is a mystery wrapped up or an enigma or an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. So his background is
pretty dark. You don't know. It's pretty torturous.
He's clearly abused in some way. And so we see this man who has really lost faith in humanity. And, of course, money is a substitute.
You know, his quote that he does when -- I can't swear on television.
AMANPOUR: We'll bleep it.
COX: No, always it's difficult. But, you know, he meets this brand in American family, or not an immediate family called the Prices -- the
Peterson's, sorry, the Peterson's.
And wonderfully played by Charity Jones. And she has a speech and she quotes Shakespeare. And he says my favorite Shakespeare quote is "take the
f-ing money." That's his favorite.
And, of course -- and you go how do I make that? Like what is -- and I go well, here is a man in, you know, he's a -- you know, he's fallen. He's
somewhere down -- he's in deep do da because he's lost again some kind of perspective on his life.
And therefore, went into to this thing and of course his family is all important to him.
AMANPOUR: I want to play a little clip, you know. It's from the final episode of season two.
Spoiler alert, for all of those who haven't seen it. But it has gone a bit viral. So your first-born son, Kendall in this succession --
COX: Well, my second born son.
AMANPOUR: Sorry. Your second born.
AMANPOUR: Has agreed to take the fall for you over a company scandal. But then he instead betrays you and throws you to the wolves on national
television. So we're going to take a look at this scene and your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much those of us who executed his wishes bear responsibility is for another day? But I think this is the day his reign
ends. I'll be providing the documents and answer any questions you may have in the coming days. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And that, the faintest hint of a smirk, has set the internet on fire.
COX: Yes, it did. It did.
AMANPOUR: What is all that about?
COX: Well, it's the fact that, you know, he has this speech. And his son actually kind of drags it out of them.
He says do you think I could have even run the country and the company? And he said, well, the problem is that you're not a killer. You know, and
you have to have a killer mentality.
And in a way, it's like giving the proverbial to the proverbial. So he says look -- and the son goes away with it and touch and kiss, which
everybody interprets as a Judas kiss and goes off and betrays his dad. But he kind of -- it's a kind of -- he goes, oh, the kid finally made it. The
kid finally made it.
AMANPOUR: Are you sure this isn't Murdochian?
COX: No, I don't know. I mean I think it's life. I think it's about your children. It's about what you want for your children and how you want them
And it's about the survival mechanism that comes in. And you're always -- I mean, I remember with my kids and I've got still teenage kids but I have
older kids, as well, that I really wanted them to get out of the house at the age of 16 to get on --
AMANPOUR: Did you?
COX: Yes, so they can get on with their lives.
AMANPOUR: At 16?
COX: Well, I was the same. I was out the house when I was 11 because I was -- my mother was -- my father died when I was eight. My mother was
institutionalized so I was out of the house.
So I had to learn to be a person. And without any parental help whatsoever.
And we're very lucky. I mean I envy people who have parents that's why I'm --as a parent, I -- and I play parents and I go I'm not the greatest parent
in the world.
And, of course, Logan certainly isn't the greatest parent in the world but I understand. And I just said as he just -- as he does -- he love his
children. He says he loves his children deeply.
And that's the key to him. He loves his children deeply so he wants the best for them but he also realizes he's created a world for them that is
impossible them to exist the world of entitlement. And we're seeing it all the time on the news.
AMANPOUR: OK, very quickly. We're seeing it on the news, entitlement. Some would say that you Brexiteers come from a very (inaudible) background,
public schools --
COX: Yes, well, don't get me started on that.
AMANPOUR: But you know what, I better get you started.
COX: No, no, don't get me started on.
AMANPOUR: I just wonder, you are Scottish.
AMANPOUR: You are very passionate for Scottish independence. The referendum was defeated the last time around. Do you think that it is
something that will be on the table soon?
COX: Well, I think it's going to be. And I think the United Kingdom is over. And it is no longer a United Kingdom. It hasn't been a United
Kingdom for some time.
It started with -- so I was a Labour man. I was a great socialist. I was -- I did the voice of Labour in the '97 election. I did all of that and I
was passionate about Labour.
And then when social democracy of the Iraq war, the hubris of Tony Blair, the whole thing that was happening of the party losing touch and the
biggest man -- what they could have done was incredible. And then I see what's happening quietly in Scotland, how that party has emerged.
I don't like the word nationalist. I don't like that word. But that has emerged as a party of an egalitarian, people with more egalitarian
AMANPOUR: Yes. It's all on the line right now.
COX: It is.
AMANPOUR: Brian Cox, thank you so much for joining us.
COX: Thank you, Christiane. It was lovely.
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
COX: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And while the quest for money and power may define some journeys, our next guest has chosen a different path, fighting for justice.
Maya Moore has been called the greatest winner in the history of women's basketball.
And now at the height of her career with the NBA-- WNBA, she stunned her fans and the sports world by announcing that she's taking a sabbatical.
Her destination? A maximum security penitentiary in Missouri where an inmate, Jonathan Irons is serving a 50-year sentence for burglary and
assault but Maya Moore believes he was wrongly convicted in 1998 at the age of 16. And she's hired the state's top lawyers to help him.
[13:40:00] She sat down with our Michel Martin to discuss why winning for his justice means more to her than any trophy.
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Maya Moore, thank you so much for talking with us.
MAYA MOORE: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: I obviously want to focus on one of the particular cases that's captured your attention. A young man named Jonathan Irons who you've known
for some 10 years now.
But I just -- because I think a lot of people are very interested in this. I mean you're at the peak of your game and I think a lot of people find it
just hard to imagine somebody stepping away at the peak of their game to focus on someone else.
You've been particularly focused this year on the case of Jonathan Irons. He's a young man that you've become close to. Your entire family, as I
understand it, have become close to. Tell us his story.
MOORE: Jonathan Irons was born in Metro St. Louis, and he grew up without his parents very present in his life. Was basically raised by his great
aunt whom he calls his grandmother.
And by the time he gets to middle school, early high school, you know, tired of being poor and scared, basically, gets caught up in gang life.
It's unfortunately a story that happens more than we would hope.
And so he's living on his own, living in the street. And when he's 16, he gets picked up by the police chased down, tackled, brought to two different
jails and interrogated without an adult, interrogated without being recorded or notes saved, charged for a crime, an armed burglary attempt in
No physical evidence, no DNA, no fingerprint, footprint evidence tying him to the scene and he gets convicted for 50 years. He gets convicted for 50
years and he was 16 years old.
And so I learned more and more about his case through a prison ministry connection with my extended family in Jefferson City, Missouri. And that
was 12 years ago. So I met Jonathan when I was 18.
And as every year went by, I've just learned more and more about his case, learned more and more about his life. And my eyes were opened to the
reality of the huge mass incarceration problem that we have in our country.
And more specifically, three years ago, I started to learn more about the role prosecutors play in our justice system and how they're the most
powerful actors, essentially, in our justice system. Because they basically set the rules of the game and are in charge of what charges are
brought and if minors are charged as adults and different things like that.
So I've just been on the journey of learning and having my eyes opened. But it's connected to an actual person. And so it's very real to me.
MARTIN: A lot of people are very cynical about people who are locked up. I mean, this is just a common view that people have which is sure,
everybody say they're innocent, everybody says they got framed.
MARTIN: What is it about his story that struck your family members when you first got to see him? Was it the facts seem so outrageous? Or what is
it? Is it just personality? What is it?
MOORE: I think it's a combination of just seeing the type of person Jonathan was but then my Goddad specifically went and investigated. He
looked into Jonathan's case. He's one of the key reasons we're here today, my godfather, Reggie Williams.
And he went to the police stations, looked at the file, saw things, did research. And the more and more he dug, the more and more he found that
this case was out of control. His mind was boggled of how this young man was put away with the evidence that was available that he saw in his file.
And so I think after my godfather and godmom looked into his case even more and saw how unbelievable it was, they felt compelled to stick with it and
try to help.
MARTIN: Can you just give us an example of what were some of the things that they saw in his file that has compelled you and other members of the
family to continue to fight so hard for him?
MOORE: The more and more you look into his story, you realize, first of all, he was 16. He was interrogated without an adult.
There were no records. There's no videos. There were no notes taken from those interrogations events.
There was no physical evidence. No DNA. Nothing tying him to the scene of the crime.
Alibied witnesses were never called to testify to the fact that he wasn't at the crime scene at the time. There was numerous elements of faulty
eyewitness practices. Like for example, the victim of this burglary initially said he couldn't identify who the intruder was.
And then the police told him to give his best guess. And I'm not an expert, but I think your instinct tells you when someone tells you to give
the best guess, that means you don't know who did it.
And so that's just an unreliable eyewitness practice. There was a million- dollar bond set for his initial -- when he was initially imprisoned for a 16-year-old without a driver's license.
And so just, everything was amplified. A 50-years sentence for a nonfatal burglary attempt.
MARTIN: Do you have a theory of why he got such a harsh sentence?
MOORE: Yes. Well, I think the political climate in the late '90s set him up for just a time of using him to make an example. He was absolutely
Whoever did this burglary would have been over sentenced. Because he didn't plead guilty, he has to serve 50 years of a 65-year sentence,
actually. And so that is, no question, unethical.
MARTIN: Did he have a lawyer?
MOORE: He had a public defender who actually came to his evidentiary hearing on October 9, just recently. And she talked about the things that
-- she did well and she talked about the things that she missed.
She was very honest and she was really just honest about what happened and one of the main things she was honest about was the fact that there was
fingerprint evidence that she didn't have available to her at the time that the prosecution had.
And that's called a Brady violation. And so one of the main efforts of our petition is to acknowledge there was evidence withheld at his original
trial around some really meaningful fingerprint evidence that can point to who actually did the crime.
MARTIN: I just want to clarify for people who may not be aware of this is that in a criminal matter, if the prosecution has evidence, it's supposed
to be shared with the defense so that they can evaluate it appropriately. And that's one of the things that you're sort of talking about here.
I want to point out, again, the evidentiary hearing that you just mentioned. On October 9th, this is the first time, as I understand it,
that a formal process to look at his case has taken place in some time now. Tell me what's the significance of this hearing on October 9th.
MOORE: What happened on October 9th was so significant. It's very rare for people who are imprisoned to get a chance to get as far as we have so
far, to an evidentiary hearing.
You have to go through numerous steps if you're trying to get exonerated. And Judge Daniel Green, who has the decision on this case, has moved this
case forward and respected it and taken it seriously.
And so we're so grateful to get to October 9th, a few weeks ago where Judge Green allowed Jonathan's legal team to fully disclose all of the evidence
that we've been sitting on and knowing about for over 15 years.
And we got to talk about the four Brady violations. We got to talk about the faulty eyewitness procedures that the police used during the initial
Jonathan got to finally speak and share his experience as a 16-year-old for the first time and what he went through and how he was interrogated. He
got to talk about the forgiveness that he has for the victim of this crime, even though he was manipulated in the eyewitness process and the
compassionate Jonathan still has for the victim because he needs to get justice still.
And so the hearing was seven hours long. We had a one-hour lunch break and it was something unlike I've never experienced of just sitting for hour
after hour watching the truth come out, watching the state try to fight against the facts and the evidence of the Brady violations and unreliable
MARTIN: You have drafted a letter, which I understand that you're going to send to the attorney general of Missouri. Apparently, you're very
disappointed at what you saw in the way that the state conducted itself. Tell me more about what it is that bothers you.
MOORE: I've written a letter to the Missouri Attorney General, Eric Schmidt. And I just wanted to connect with him and just share with him my
experience because I've been in the court -- I've been in different courts throughout my life but never in a court setting quite like that on October
9th, where we sat, again, for seven hours, and listened to the facts, the evidence come out.
And I know it's the job of the state to question and to try to get to the truth, but there were several points throughout the day where it was very
obvious that the state was just about maintaining the win and not actually trying to see the truth of the evidence.
And so this isn't just a process or something we come to do every day. This is someone's actual life. If we don't do the right thing, they go
back to a box.
And so I was just shocked. And I wanted to share that with Attorney General Schmidt to see if he can help be a part of changing the narrative
from injustice to justice, as so many of us in my home state of Missouri look to him for.
MARTIN: We're in a time when, as you know, that athletes getting involved in social justice issues is controversial. I mean, obviously, some people
believe very strongly that if you are a person of privilege, that you should use the privilege to help those less fortunate. But other people
are not reacting well to this.
I know that you, as a player, in response to a number of incidents of police violence, you and teammates donned t-shirts to say Black Lives
Matter and the league did not necessarily appreciate that. And I just wanted to ask what kind of reaction you're getting.
MOORE: Athletes are human beings, first and foremost. We're citizens. We're more than what we do on the screen.
I think we can appreciate the athletes better. I think we can appreciate our fans when we remember the fans are people, too. And when we take time
to stand up for people, and to shine a light in a dark place, not everybody is going to like it.
When it costs your comfort or maybe something that you just want to kind of check out and enjoy, I get that. Entertainment is a place where you just
want to relax and not have to think about the cares of the world, but we are in the world and the world is broken.
And so hats off to people that cost that sacrifice, and pay a cost of a platform, of a job, of money to stand up for something greater than
yourselves. And at the end of the day, if we remember that we're human beings first, I think it will make it a little less controversial.
MARTIN: You've mentioned your faith and the importance of it. A number of celebrities like yourself have gotten involved in criminal justice issues,
particularly advocating in behalf of particular individuals where they see the facts warrant.
I mean obviously Kim Kardashian-West comes to mind. Some of these have been successful but some of these have not. If Jonathan is not released,
if he doesn't achieve clemency or, perhaps, better than that, exoneration, will your faith be tested? I mean do you feel this will have been worth
MOORE: Absolutely. I have no regrets. You know, we ultimately don't know what's going to happen.
But one of the things that anchors our whole family in the process is knowing, you know, God is sovereign and we're anchored in faith. And so we
know that it's ultimately not in our hands, but any role that we can play in pushing toward justice, we're going to kind of put our heads down and
stay focused on that.
Just like I would in pursuing a championship, it's definitely been a wild ride but we try to focus on the best outcome right now.
MARTIN: It sounds to me, though, in a way that you also want to focus on the process as well as the individual. But your particular advocacy is
focused on Jonathan, this particular person whom you know, but you also want to point out systemic issues that lead to more Jonathans. Is that
what I have? Am I understanding you correctly?
MOORE: Absolutely. One of the things, as we've gone through this journey is realizing this is more than Jonathan. This is not an isolated case.
And about three years ago, I started a nonprofit with the help of athletes for impact called Win With Justice, which is focused on redefining what a
win is in our justice system, by focusing on ending prosecutorial misconduct.
Like I mentioned earlier, prosecutors have an enormous amount of power in our justice system and when prosecutors are focused more on just getting
convictions as opposed to actually seeing justice and restoration in their communities, people suffer. Especially people with black and brown bodies.
It's rooted in an ugly part of our past that is still taking place today and in the form of mass incarceration. And I've been able to educate
myself, especially the past three years, to learn about this greater issue. Issues like the fact that over 10,000 people a year may be wrongfully
convicted of crimes.
We have kids that are being over-sentenced, thrown away in the system before their brains are fully developed. Just learning bits and bits and
learning from Jonathan.
So I just feel compelled to help other people learn because when you educate yourself and you see your neighbor, you see the people around you,
it makes it very compelling to want to help and want to grow and do something.
So Win With Justice is a platform to talk about Jonathan's case but also to help people get educated on what is really going on and how they can help
and how they can make their community stronger.
MARTIN: So what is next for you? Do you think you'll go back to basketball or perhaps is law school now a target?
MOORE: Yes, I had a number of people kind of mention to me like you should go to law school. And I say no thank you. I will have friends that have
gone to law school in my corner but that's a very daunting task that I don't know I'm up for now.
But, yes, I'm still in my year away from the game. We'll come back to the table in the spring and determine what the next steps are for me.
But I'm literally trying to just take it one day at a time as we finish this fourth quarter of a very long battle that we're very hopeful will come
to a close soon.
MARTIN: Maya Moore, thank you so much for talking with us.
MOORE: Absolutely. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And that battle of the legal process involving Jonathan Irons is still going on.
But that is it for now. Remember, you can listen to our podcast, see us online at amanpour.com, and follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.