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Nancy Pelosi Announces to Draw Up Articles of Impeachment for Trump; Senator Kamala Harris Out of 2020 Presidential Race; Campaigning as a Black Woman; Mia Love (D-UT), Former U.S. House Representative, and Former Senator Russ Feingold (R-WI), are Interviewed About Trump and the Presidential Race; How the Upcoming General Election in U.K. will Affect Brexit; Rory Stewart, Former British Conservative MP, is Interviewed About U.K.'s General Election and Brexit. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 5, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
Barely back from the NATO summit, and Trump is hit with articles of impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: Our democracy is what is at stake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I'll speak to Republican, Mia Love, and Democrat, Russ Feingold.
And in the divisive U.K. elections --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RORY STEWART, FORMER BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: The Make Britain Great Again. This is a great country. What does this mean?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I speak to centrist and independent, Rory Stewart, about the most dramatic choice in recent British memory.
Plus, Harvard professor, Dr. George Church, digs into the ethics of genetic experimentation.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
President Trump returns to Washington from a tumultuous week at the NATO meeting here. Barely back from her own trip to the Madrid Climate summit,
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces that the House will draw up articles of impeachment against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders and a heart full of love for America, today, I am asking our
chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment. I commend our committee chairs and our members for their somber approach to actions which of which
the president had not made necessary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: As ever, the president has responded by tweet, saying, the Republicans have never been more united. We will win. And while these
developments dominate the headlines, the volatile 2020 presidential race shifts gears. The latest casualty among Democrat candidates was California
senator. Kamala Harris, who burst onto the scene as the one to watch with considerable momentum behind her. However, this week she abruptly dropped
out of the running, apologizing to her supporters in this video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As the campaign has gone on, it has become harder and harder to raise the money we need to
compete. In good faith, I cannot tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don't believe I do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, joining me to discuss this game-changing week in politics and things presidential, from Utah, is the former Republican congresswoman,
Mia Love, and from Washington, Russ Feingold, former Democratic senator from the swing state of Wisconsin.
Welcome to you both. Thanks for joining us. It's been quite a week.
I guess I'm going to ask you both to start. First Mia Love. What has surprised you most or what has been the most significant development this
week amongst, you know, that sort of group that we've laid out?
FMR. REP. MIA LOVE (R-UT): Well, one, Kamala Harris jumping out of the race, and then also the impeachment inquiry and how the speaker has
actually come out and broadened the scope, where she wanted originally to keep it as narrow and focused on Ukraine.
She has actually surprised quite a few of us by saying that all roads lead to Russia and is going to broaden that scope a little bit, which gives us
an insight as to what the articles of impeachment are going to, may or may not include.
AMANPOUR: So, that's interesting. Russ Feingold, I mean, obviously, senators are going to be the jurors, if indeed the president is impeached
by the House. Did you also notice a broadening out of a mandate from the house speaker?
FMR. SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): Well, I think the house speaker is doing exactly what she should do. She didn't want to go down this road, but she
knows she has to, and she knows that there is very likely going to be an impeachment in the House and that there will be a trial in the Senate, and
this has enormous historical significance.
So, I am very happy with the methodical and mature way that the Democrats are handling this in the House. They're not being theatrical. They are
giving it the respect that it is deserved. The question of exactly what should be included in the articles of impeachment is something they have to
But what it looks like to me, and I think to most people in the country, is that this actually is a careful and appropriate process, consistent with
the way the founders of this country would have expected the impeachment process in the House to work.
AMANPOUR: So, let me play this for both of you. It's Jonathan Turley, who is the lawyer called by the Republicans to lay out the constitutional basis
during the hearings earlier this week. And it looks like, I mean, given the speed of what's going on, you know, this may happen before Christmas.
And he, though, is calling for it to be slowed down somewhat. Just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN TURLEY, PROFESSOR, THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Why you want to set the record for the fastest impeachment?
Fast is not good for impeachment. Fast and narrow is not a good recipe for impeachment. If you rush this impeachment, you're going to leave half the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: As a Republican, Mia Love, do you feel that it's rushed?
LOVE: Well, yes and no. One is I felt like if we wanted to get as much information as possible and also, if we wanted to give the same benefits to
the current president that was given to Former President Bill Clinton, then his attorneys should have been involved and that would have lengthened out
However, on the other side of this is that there are a lot of Americans that are feeling left out of this. In other words, policy isn't going
forward. The American public is completely bogged down with impeachment proceedings and nothing's being done to help them. Immigration reform,
transportation, health care, so many things that the American public needs Washington to focus on. They're focused on the impeachment of the
And so, people are completely tired of it. They're concerned about what's going on with their families. They're concerned about what's going on with
trade. And they want to get back to doing the business of the American people.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you from your perspective as a Democrat, Senator Feingold, what Jonathan Turley said, you're going to leave half the country
behind. Surely, that must worry you, because clearly, the Democrats have hoped that the public hearings to date would have moved the dial, but it
hasn't moved the dial. People clinging to their original thoughts about this process, at least over the last couple of months. Do you think it's
going too fast?
FEINGOLD: No, I don't, and I don't look at this as a Democrat. I look at this as a situation where the Congress has no choice but to look at these
series of actions by the president and say, we can't allow the president of the United States to get away with such inappropriate, corrupt behavior
that is threatening our national security.
I think it's moving at a pretty reasonable rate. They wanted to take more time to take more testimony and have the trial later, so be it. Remember,
this is really like an indictment. When the House passes the impeachment articles, they are merely in effect indicting the president. So, when you
have a trial in the Senate, if additional evidence is wanted by either side, they can do that. They can have witnesses. They can have
And so, this doesn't -- Turley's point does not really meet that issue, which is that can be done later on. And in fact, this trial may --
unfortunately for the country, but that has to be done, it may go on for some time.
So, to me this is a red herring. And what Professor Turley really said was, these are offenses that should be considered impeachable and they
could lead to conviction. It's just a question if there's enough evidence. So, the House is on the right track. And whether that evidence is
presented in the House or whether it's presented in the Senate I don't think makes a big difference.
AMANPOUR: Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you were a senator in the Senate as a juror during the Clinton impeachment trial, correct? And I
FEINGOLD: That's right.
AMANPOUR: -- you were one of the only Democrats who voted to allow the process to go forward. You didn't vote with your party to block it or
anything like that. So, those are your credentials in this regard. And I want to -- because I want to play this rather heated exchange that Nancy
Pelosi suddenly found herself engaged with a conservative reporter. I want to play it for both of you. This issue of you're only doing it because you
hate the president. And this was her response. She said, I don't hate anybody. I'm a Roman Catholic and, you know, don't talk to me like that.
And then she continued with this. Listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: I think the president is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence. I think he is cruel when he doesn't
deal with helping our dreamers, of which we're very proud. I think he's in denial about the constitution -- about the climate crisis.
However, that's about the election. This is about the -- take it up in the election. This is about the constitution of the United States and the
facts that leads to the president's violation of his oath of office. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that
addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love and always prayed for the president, and I still pray for the
president. I pray for the president all the time. So, don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, I see you smiling, Russ Feingold. You must know her pretty well. Congressional reporters say they've never seen her so angry.
Mia Love, what do you think listening to that, that moment?
Because we know that Nancy Pelosi was not the driving force originally, in fact, quite the opposite, behind an impeachment process.
LOVE: Well, I think that there was some pressure, if we're going to be honest, there was some pressure from the far left of her party that was
pushing for this. I remember Representative Ocasio-Cortez, saying the only scandal here is the fact that we haven't gone and started impeachment
proceedings of the president. So, I felt like there may have been some pressure from her own party that really pushed her in this direction.
You know, I'm not going to say that she hates anybody. I think that she was right to be concerned about people putting words in her mouth. But the
fact is, as a person who is not an apologist for the president, a person who has been critical of the president, I have to say that this is
something that some members of her party has wanted since the day that the president was elected in office.
And so, a lot of this is politically motivated. The impeachment process is a political process. So, the speaker is doing everything she can to manage
the party, manage what's happening in the House of Representatives, and to say that this is completely constitutional is not correct. On both sides
of the aisle, this is incredibly political, and it obviously is because everybody continues to mention elections.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Elections, elections, elections. You're absolutely right. And Russ Feingold, I can see you nodding your head. Let's just -- I just
want to play in this regard, before Pelosi spoke earlier today, president Trump sent out a couple of tweets in which he said, if you are going to
impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and so that our country can get back to business.
That -- you know, I mean, I think people, we've heard it said on our program here, even Mayor Bloomberg's now campaign manager for the
presidential campaign said, we believe that right now it's looking at impeach, acquit, re-elect when it comes to the House, the Senate and the
election. Do you think that's where the country is, Russ Feingold?
FEINGOLD: Well, let me first say that the president has no business telling the House or the Senate how it should quickly get this done so we
can get back to the country's business. You know, if he'd been doing the country's business instead of his own personal political interests, we
wouldn't be in this situation. He created this situation by doing something corrupt, I think illegal and clearly impeachable with regard to
So, he's the one that created this mess. He's forcing Speaker Pelosi to do this. And the reason I was smiling is that I think Speaker Pelosi there,
even though she had strong emotions, she had it absolutely right. She distinguished between the political side and the aspect of this that has to
do with the national security of the United States and the idea that you let this guy off and not have some kind of a consequence for this
inappropriate offense against the United States, he'll do even worse things moving forward.
So, I think she's got it right. I think she doesn't particularly want to do this politically, although there maybe people, as Mia said, and I want
to say that Mia, of course, has a strong, independent record, but I don't think that the speaker is doing this for political reasons. I think she is
doing it because she feels an historical obligation to make sure that this kind of behavior is held to account.
AMANPOUR: Now, I want to ask you, because, Mia, you brought this up at the beginning, that with all of this, the business of the United States, the
business of the people seems to be getting short shrift. And interestingly, both of these two primary characters, President Trump and
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were away in Europe this week, most of this week. President Trump here in London at the NATO summit and Nancy Pelosi
leading a congressional delegation to the Climate summit in Madrid.
You know, again, you know, she made it quite clear that she was there with Congress and making sure that they understood that we, the Congress of the
United States, believe in sticking with the climate accords. But just how do you think the trip went for President Trump? I mean, was he able to
burnish his credentials and sort of come back a little stronger in terms of on the international stage?
LOVE: Well, again, when you have the United States dealing with the impeachment process, even being there, it's obviously in the back of
everyone's mind. I'm sure he probably got quite a few questions off camera about impeachment proceedings and what's going on there. It's very
difficult to deal with the process and with the work of the American people when you have this impeachment being done.
But let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.
Last year in the House of Representatives, there were about 1,400 policies that were passed through the House of Representatives. We're a little bit
over 400 in the House of Representatives right now. So, that shows you a significant slowdown in actually policy making in the House of
Representatives, and that's what I'm talking about. What the American people are actually getting is impeachment all day every day on TV, and
they're not getting the work that they really need, desperately need to have done in the House of Representatives.
AMANPOUR: And Senator Feingold, one could very well argue, as many young voters are arguing right now, that our major, major existential issue at
the ballot box and everywhere else is the climate. You are right now working for campaign for nature, which is an effort to back global
conservation efforts. You see how the House is, how mayors, how governors are on this issue, but the president is not. In fact, he's weakening a lot
How can one push this agenda without leadership from the very top in the United States, the most powerful country, biggest economy and second
FEINGOLD: Well, the United States has to promote this issue. It has to be the country that talks about this as a world leader, and that's not what's
happening. You know, first question you asked Mia was, what's the biggest thing that happened this week? Well, the most important thing that
happened was the Madrid, many of the parties' event concerning climate change. That is the biggest international issue. It's more important than
all of our problems here in the United States, and that is the key.
And you have mentioned it, that the group I'm working with also wants to highlight the fact that there's a crisis in biodiversity. Scientists
released a report in May saying that up to a million species are likely to go extinct if we don't do something about it. So, just like this climate
accord, in a year in China, there will be a conference where the countries of the world need to come together to commit to preserve 30 percent of the
land and water in the world by 2030.
So, these are the overriding issues that younger people understand. There's a group called Extinction Rebellion, as you know, in Great Britain
in particular that's focusing on this. And instead, we are in a situation where you have a president of the United States who sees the White House
and the Oval Office as his personal possession to help his business and help his political career, and he's providing no leadership. In fact,
negative leadership with regard to climate change and with regard to biodiversity, and that's a very shameful thing.
AMANPOUR: And of course, the Green New Deal has become a barometer for all of the Democratic presidential candidates, one way or another, climate is
huge. And we have seen this week Kamala Harris, senator from California, drop out.
But I want to ask you to react to this opinion piece in The New York Times, why there won't be a black woman running for president. We need to talk
also, it says, about what campaigning looks like for black women and what the challenges and hurdles the Harris campaign laid bare. There are biases
and structural disadvantages that can be found in the subtle ways the media and the public responded to her candidacy. Mia Love, what do you think
sunk her candidacy?
LOVE: Well, I can tell you, Kamala Harris -- Senator Kamala Harris is not someone that I agree with politically. However, I think that she had some
legitimate, at least, issues that are really important to her party, some legitimate positions there to really take on some of these issues. And she
was actually very good at making sure that people stood true to the party's policies, especially on climate, especially on criminal justice reform and
black Americans and the issues that were really important.
I am always a supporter of black women being involved in policies. I -- it's always been a lot more difficult for me as a Republican black woman.
You have to work harder. You have to push harder. And actually, to be honest with you, even though I don't agree with her, I'm sad to see her
leave the political stage because I think that she was very good with holding her party's feet to the fire and calling out people in her own
party and saying, look, these are the things we believe in, and you're either going to be with us or you're not going to be with us in this. I
think she had a lot to offer in making sure that people stayed true to what her party believes in.
AMANPOUR: I wish we had more time. Thank you both very much, Mia Love and Russ Feingold. Thank you for joining us.
Now, in exactly one week, voters on this side of the pond go to the polls. It is the third major vote in as many years in what is said to be one of
the most dramatic general elections in modern history. Voters have to wrestle with the hottest-button issue, which is Brexit. It has completely
polarized this country and its party leaders.
Former Conservative MP, Rory Stewart, was a breakout star of the Conservative leadership race in the summer. He was kicked out of the party
for opposing Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to exit the E.U. without a deal, and is now running as an independent candidate for London mayor. He
join me here in the studio to talk about it.
Rory Stewart, welcome back to the program.
RORY STEWART, FORMER BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, you've been on our program many times as a government minister. With all the hullabaloo over who supports a hard Brexit or not,
your party expelled you, Prime Minister Johnson expelled you. And you're not back, you're now an independent.
I mean, just comment on the polarization of politics right now. We've seen it in the United States, impeachment articles are about to be drafted.
President Trump has just been here. What do we face in this upcoming election with here?
STEWART: I think one of the key things in the British context is the whole question of what there's a centre ground of politics and the way in which
the centre ground's disappeared.
So, I and 20 other colleagues, 21 of us, decided to vote against the no- deal Brexit and to try to push back against Prime Minister Johnson's policy of going for a harder Brexit. And many people said at the time, oh, well,
this is great, this is what Republicans should have been doing against Trump. But of course, in the British context, what happened actually is
not that we drew the party back more to the center, but that we all got thrown out.
So, now, I run for leadership on a centrist ticket. Almost everybody who's supporting for leadership has now either resigned or been thrown out of the
Conservative Party. We're now into an election where we have a very polarized system. So, we have Jeremy Corbyn, who occupies the space of
sort of Bernie Sanders' position and then we have Boris Johnson going for a much more populist --
AMANPOUR: Sort of a Nigel Farage position?
STEWART: Yes. Well, it's certainly true that the voters he's trying to pick up are voters which are quite similar, in some ways, to the Trumpian
voter base. So like Trump's voter base, they tend to be people who are much more socially conservative, who have more conservative views on
immigration. He's done a lot, for example, on emphasizing being very hard on crime, increasing prison sentences.
And for me, this has all been an extraordinarily changed because only a few months ago I was the minister of State for Justice, I was pushing towards -
AMANPOUR: For prisons.
STEWART: Pushing to reduce prison sentences, pushing for more liberal prison policy. All of that's now been torn up and we're going back for
much harder, more right-wing approach.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, that's really interesting that you bring that up, because you might not have brought it up given what's just happened, a so-
called in the midst of rehabilitation early release prisoner committed murder and killed two young people on London bridge. And so, that's now
thrown into question your idea of centrism, of not being so far-right. Let's just play what Boris Johnson said --
AMANPOUR: -- about the death and about the early release.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This guy was out. He had served half of his sentence. He was out on automatic early release. And I have
long said that this system simply isn't working, it does not make sense for us as a society, in putting terrorist -- people convicted of terrorist
offenses or serious violent offenses, out on early release. And we argue that people should serve the tariff, serve the term of which they are
sentenced. That's my immediate takeaway from this. And that's why we're committed to increasing the sentences for serious and violent offenders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: In this atmosphere now, that may resonate with people. We see the Conservatives, the Tories, even despite a real tilt to the hard right,
picking up votes. They seem to be doing better.
STEWART: Absolutely. So, particularly with a shocking thing like this, it's going to be a very, very strong intuitive sense that this person
shouldn't have been released. But there is, of course, a more complicated story underneath it, which is that when somebody is sentenced, particularly
like this, he hadn't committed a life sentence, so the judge can only give him a limited sentence. He will come out of prison at some point.
And the real question is, what work do you do with him in prison to reform and turn that around, and then how do you work with him when he's back in
the community to try to keep people safe? And there's no way of getting around the fact that, in the end, of course Parliament can set some of the
legal guidance, but the judge has to make that decision. And the judge in this case decided this guy shouldn't have an indeterminant sentence and we
need a system that's able to work with that. And a lot of that's about focus and details.
So, I think the prime minister isn't saying now, is that the Conservative government has been in power for 10 years, right. He's a Conservative
prime minister after 10 years. So, these things need to be fixed, and one of the most important things is we have no proper through-follow of these
people. So, we need to connect the police to the prisons to the probation, and that individual, particularly a terrorist, you need a much more focus
on the setting of who he is, what his motivations are and have real professionals working with him.
The way to solve this isn't these big ideas that if we just locked everybody up forever, we'd solve all of these problems. That isn't not
going to happen.
Kind of unfortunately now (ph), we don't have prison places to do that. And in any case, we don't have a legal system to launch that, because the
judges are going to ultimately make the decision on what sentences to give people.
A lot of the things that are going to make the difference are going to be about how you work with someone through that system and in the community.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's so timely, because whether it's a Donald Trump, whether it's many of the right-wing governments in Europe, whether it's the
right-wing Tory Party here in power, law and order, crime, terrorism, I mean, it fits right into their bailey wig. And it's very moving that the
father of one of the murdered young people, there were two Cambridge students. The father of Jack Merritt has written in memory of his son, he,
Jack, would be seething at his death and his life being used to perpetuate an agenda of hate that he gave his everything fighting against. What jack
would want from this (INAUDIBLE) is a country where we do not slash prison budgets and where we focus on rehabilitation not revenge.
I just want to know, given the polarization of society, given this very dramatic election, which is mostly being fought on Brexit in the U.K.,
which will be held next week, are we going to see this swing even further to the right?
STEWART: I believe so. I mean, I believe that if Boris Johnson wins this, he will win it by picking up votes in in -- often in the Northeast of
England for more socially Conservative voters. And in order to govern, he's going to have to provide policies that appeals to them. So, you could
expect a government that to appeal to those voters will become tougher on immigration, tougher on crime, more conservative on social issues. It's
going to be very difficult for him to move back to the centre ground if his voter base is increasingly dependent on Trump-style voters.
AMANPOUR: Sadiq Khan, the current mayor of London who you are trying to unseat in the election this spring, this is what he told CNN while Trump
was here for the NATO summit about sort of British politics following the Trumpian fashion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Here in the U.K., we feel the long-shot of Donald Trump's agenda, but also how the rise of the far-right extends
beyond the USA and is felt here. So, we see it, for example, in the fact that you've got politicians in the U.K. and those on the far-right copying
Donald Trump. We see it in Hungary, in Italy, in Poland, in France, members of the far-right movement, people who support populist nativism,
having Donald Trump as their poster boy. And as (INAUDIBLE) for me as the mayor of the most diverse city in the world who believes in pluralism and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And many would say that Trump's very close association with Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also in that sort of group of Trump
wannabes that the mayor is talking about.
Again, given the polarization and given the fact that you are running for mayor, where do you see the ability to come to the center? The Liberal
Democrat Party, which kind of could have been maybe a kingmaker, looks like it's losing ground. It's the only out-and-out remain party in the general
election, and it is a centrist party, and yet, it's not doing very well, apparently, according to the polls.
STEWART: So, I think the center can feel like a very weak place. If it's just this sort of fudge compromise, where you're trimming between right and
left, it doesn't work. You need to reframe politics and you need to think about energy and action and including citizens.
So, what's wrong in our democracies? Basically, we get a vote once every four years. You put someone in. And you sort of delegate your brain to
them, then you get another vote four years later. That is not actually what a democracy is supposed to be. We need to get people taking an
interest. But the start of being able to talk about issues and getting away from fairy stories, so the right and the left like fairy stories and
its sensations, is to get people actually interested in the how of politics.
So, the way to win this is you have to make people concentrate on the how. And that partly means saying to somebody who's running to be the mayor,
look, it's easy to land blows on Donald Trump. None of us like Donald Trump. 85 percent of people in London love it if you're rude about Donald
Trump. But you've got to sort the sickling on the Piccadilly line on the subway, right, you've got to think about how you're going to get the
traffic moving. You've got to think about how you are going to deal with violence. Unfortunately, London is becoming an increasingly violent city.
So, it is about -- part of the centre ground is about politicians actually taking responsibility. And the danger in Britain -- and I think this maybe
goes back to the queen -- is we all behave like we're ceremonial monarchs. We don't really have any power. We're just sort of mouthpiece. And if
anything goes, it's not really our fault. It's the fault of the central government or fault of funding cuts.
Vigorous, proper centrist politics involves people saying, I'm responsible, I'm accountable, I'm going to do this.
AMANPOUR: Well, you have actually said that before even being elected. You have said, because knife crime has been a terrible scourge on this
capital, 15,000 knife incidents, many, many deaths.
Here in London is where it started, but it's now viral. It's gone around the country.
Many young kids are being caught up in this, and it's really an extraordinary thing. And there seems to be no public prescription from the
mayor or others of how to contain this.
You have been very bold. You have said that: If I can't get a handle on this, I will resign.
I mean, that's taking responsibility.
And I did it, actually, when I was the prisons minister, too. I said, if I couldn't reduce violence, I'd resign, and we got the violence down in
prisons. It's very important to do, because, if you say that, if you say, I'm going to resign, you suddenly set your organization a much clearer
target in what they need to achieve.
We know how to do it. New York has reduced violence. Los Angeles has reduced violence. And a lot of this is about interrupting knife crime,
getting to people in trauma units at the moment where they actually are open to having a conversation, maybe with a former gang member, about where
you could end up.
You could end up damaged for life with a colostomy bag. You could end up in prison. You could end up dead. It's also about getting neighborhood
But what's lacking usually is not the theory. It's the operational grip. It's having the culture where people really want to make this happen. And
that's true in any government around the world.
You can set a vision, you can have the lovely think tank paper, but it's fighting your way through the bureaucracy to make it happen. And that's
what we're lacking with a lot of our politics in Britain. We're not very executive. We need to become much more executive.
AMANPOUR: Have you studied the Glasgow method? They have successfully tackled knife crime. Why is that not being imported now to London?
STEWART: So, yes, I have.
And I was in Glasgow. And I was -- actually just spent quite a time with Karyn McCluskey, who set that up.
So, there are two bit to that there. It's a public approach to violence, which is understanding knife crime as an epidemic, violence as an epidemic,
and that's community centers, that's youth clubs.
But it's also very good old-fashioned neighborhood policing, people who are in those estates who know them really well. The problem with stop-and-
search is that you end up with a situation where people from the center come crashing in for an hour dressed up like Robocop and then leave again.
If you don't have the neighborhood policemen who have the relationships with the community, you get yourself in a lot of trouble. Scotland's
secret is that they have combined a very progressive policy with very some good, old-fashioned, serious policing.
And that's what we need to get to in London, and we haven't got there.
AMANPOUR: You talk very sensible solutions. You talk seriously about the responsibility of politicians, in no matter what elected office they are.
But we're seeing people, it seems, given the voting record, are more attracted to theatrics of policy, the theatrics of politics, the
personalities. Boris Johnson fits into it. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labor leader, fits into it.
What makes you think people are ready for sensible institutional, infrastructural, political solutions?
STEWART: Look, I think it's a really good challenge.
Obviously, I lost the leadership trying to argue these kinds of arguments. And I think, to get there, though, we need to do two big changes. One of
them is, we need to think about the way we think about politics.
So, all of us go to school. And in our high schools, we have huge pictures of Nelson Mandela or Gandhi. And we have an idea that politics is a sort
of revolutionary, world-changing thing.
A lot of politics is about fixing issues, fixing your pothole, making sure you're safe in the street. And there's a bit of education of getting
people to stop thinking that politics is a grand fantasyland.
Boris Johnson, a little bit like Donald Trump, does an enormous amount around this notion of greatness, make Britain great again. This is a great
What does this mean? Literally, what does that mean? What does that mean for my commute? What does that mean for my housing? What does that mean
And the second thing is, I have to involve the citizens in some things. In your own daily life, in your home, in your business, right, you have got to
be practical. If I say to you, we are moving tomorrow to Florida, for the next 20 years, I'm going to live in a $50 million mansion, you're going to
say, you're out of your mind. We don't have any money. How are you going to do that? You know have a job, right?
But, somehow, politics, if I say that, I say, you say, oh, terrific. This guy's got a vision. At least he knows what he wants to do. Right?
So it's about getting that normal language and making it exciting. The center ground's been boring too long. We have to animate people.
AMANPOUR: You have mentioned Boris. You have mentioned Trump. You have mentioned the sort of -- the theatrics and making everything great again.
At an event, you were recently, I think, a little bit of fun. You read out a letter written by the headmaster of Eton College, which is a prestigious
school -- you also went there -- to the father of one of his pupils.
Here's what you were reading:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: Boris sometimes seems affronted when criticized...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
STEWART: ... for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility...
STEWART: ... and surprised at the same time that he was not appointed captain of the school for next half.
STEWART: I think he honestly believes that it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's pretty funny. It's the headmaster of Boris Johnson's school writing to Boris' father.
And you could translate it today. We're all, as journalists, made to feel pretty churlish if we question Boris' -- Boris Johnson's promise that there
will be a fantastic future after Brexit, but, more to the point, that we will not head over a cliff without a deal.
Where do you think this election will leave us in that regard?
STEWART: Well, I think there's a reason to be very worried, because, having put a lot of energy into basically sacrificing my career in order to
try to stop a no-deal Brexit, we're now in a situation where Boris Johnson is saying that, if he wins, he's going to take Britain out, do or die, by
November of next year.
And that isn't much time to get a deal with the European Union. The trade deal with Canada took nearly seven years to negotiate. So if you're
thinking from the point of view of London, we have got to think about the financial system.
London is really big in financial services. It's going to be very important what deals it strikes. We're going to have to think about
As in the United States, our entire health care system depends on an enormous amount of European labor who are working in houses and care homes.
And we have got to get intellectual property stuff sorted out, security stuff.
So, we have been in the European Union for 40 years. And what worries me is that, if he comes in with a big mandate, do or die, for November, he
will go out with either no deal at all or a much inferior deal in November, and then years of uncertainty will follow from that.
And this question of being churlish and saying, how, how, how are you going to do this is what we need to do. To mature as a democracy, to really be
the country we need to be, to be a serious country, we need to ask our politicians, how are you going to do this, rather than just relying on them
to say, trust me?
AMANPOUR: Finally, you sort of burst onto the public scene in the days of the Iraq War. You became a provincial director of a governorate there
after the war.
You made this -- you wrote a book. You wrote a book about walking across the Middle East and Asia. And your life story has been pretty dramatic, to
the extent that Brad Pitt optioned your book.
Does he still have it? Has he let it lapse? What's going to happen? Is it going to be a movie?
STEWART: So, this is a really embarrassing thing for me.
So, I had a fantasy that Danny DeVito was going to play me in this great movie of my life. But...
AMANPOUR: And why is that?
STEWART: Oh, I -- Danny DeVito is my hero. I want to be played by Danny DeVito.
But the -- in the end, I think, from Brad Pitt's point of view, whereas has my life looked glamorous when I was walking across Afghanistan, when I was
governing Iraq, when you become a Conservative politician, that's not such an exciting story.
So I somehow think this movie is not going to be made.
AMANPOUR: Now that you're an independent politician, might change.
STEWART: Well, let's see.
If I can do a good job running London, that would be enough for me. I don't need the Brad Pitt movie. I would like to sort out the signaling on
the Piccadilly line on the subway.
AMANPOUR: Rory Stewart, thank you so much.
STEWART: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: Still laughing. How many politicians say they'd rather sort out the subways?
Now our next guest is one whose current projects range from growing human organs to resurrecting the woolly mammoth.
AMANPOUR: Harvard genetics Professor George Church is at the cutting edge of genetic experimentation.
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George Church, welcome to the show.
GEORGE CHURCH, GENETICIST, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: Thank you. Great to be here.
ISAACSON: You have a paper coming out on age reversal in mice.
ISAACSON: How do you do that? And, by the way, you going to get it done before we have to get too old?
CHURCH: Yes, so, it is aimed at -- after mice.
We're already starting clinical trials in dogs. And then, after that, it will be clinical trials in humans. So, it's on a very fast track. It's a
gene therapy. The way that it works is, it's a gene therapy.
And it's a combination. So, we have combination drugs for cancer and infectious disease, but not so much for other things. So, this is -- this
will be interesting.
And because there are like nine pathways of aging that are fairly well- accepted, things like telomere and calorie restriction are some sort of things that people have heard of.
And we want to hit all nine pathways at once. And so we want to deal with diseases at aging and the phenomenon of aging. And we want reversal,
rather than longevity, because, like, some mammals, like the bowhead whale, lives 200 years.
If I went to the FDA and said we have some pills that will make you live 200 years, they will say, great. Come back in 120 years in a clinical
trial, you know?
ISAACSON: Give me an example of a reversal. What does that mean?
CHURCH: Many of the proteins, the enzymes and other things in your body that are helping you repair and respond are dropping with age, because you
don't -- really, you just don't need them anymore. And so we're just boosting them back up.
ISAACSON: Do you think any ethical, moral issues about trying to reverse aging?
CHURCH: I usually see some ethical safety moral issues on every new technology, especially the technologies that we deal with are usually quite
The ones that come up here are population. Our population is decreasing its rate of increase. And, in fact, in cities, it's going down. It's like
at 1.2 children per family, which is below the replacement rate.
There's issues of, you know, are we truly reversing aging, so that we think younger thoughts, and we're not stuck in our ways, and we're not like just
sitting on a big pile of money and not letting anybody else have a chance?
I think these are things where the problem isn't the aging reversal. The problem is various other things in society, and we need to address those.
ISAACSON: So, at one point, when you're doing genetics, you decide, I want to help bring back the woolly mammoth.
ISAACSON: I want to regenerate some species that have gone extinct.
ISAACSON: And now it's continuing to happen. You're still involved. Tell me about bringing back the woolly mammoth.
Well, it's a very popular topic. It's a fairly small fraction of what we do, but it is very exciting. I just returned from Siberia, where we
collect -- I personally got to dissect six frozen mammoths that were -- some of them were 40,000 years old.
And we brought them back. And we used a new technology for reading them. So, the thing that's interesting here -- there are two things -- is, one is
that we can read that ancient DNA. In fact, we can read ancient DNA that's up to 700,000 years old.
Furthermore, that we can read it into the computer. We can figure out what the ancient genome -- we can reconstruct the ancient genome. And then we
can decide which genes are likely to achieve whatever it is we want to do.
So, we're really resurrecting genes, not species. And we're putting them into a species that needs help and can help us. So, the Asian elephant is
an endangered species, and it is very closely related to the mammoth.
They're almost -- they're so similar in sequence. They're closer to each other than they are to the African elephant. So, we can help them by
providing them a new place to live. And they return the favor by keeping the Arctic cold, and hence keeping the carbon there trapped.
And the carbon there trapped is way more carbon than we're worrying about in the atmosphere or even in the rest of the world's forests.
ISAACSON: So you think there would be an impact on climate change?
CHURCH: We're working with the Zimov family, who established two parks, Pleistocene Parks. One in is very Northern Siberia, and one's near Moscow.
And they're trying -- and they have shown that, if you bring herbivores, they can maintain the more ancient grassland, which is far better at
sequestering carbon. It's better at reflecting sunlight than these black trees are.
And they allow the herbivores to stomp down the snow. So you get a conduction of the minus-40 winds, rather than this fluffy snow blanket,
which protects the summer soil temperature from the low temperatures above.
So, all of those things can be mitigated if you shift back from trees to grass. Now, normally, I am a big fan of trees, but in this particular
case, it was not what humans want anyway, and was not what the animals wanted back then.
So, the elephants are the few herbivores that can knock down trees, and they can knock them down in 15 seconds. They love doing it.
ISAACSON: So you think we may, 20 or 30 years from now, have woolly mammoths roaming the Arctic again?
CHURCH: So, I don't know the exact tame frame. We're trying to accelerate it.
Many of the things -- many of the technologies that I have worked on have arrived ahead of schedule. Like, the affordable sequencing was supposed to
take six decades. It took six years.
So, I don't know. It could -- I could be wrong in either direction if I predict it. But, yes, the hope is that we will have large herds of them,
if that's what society wants.
ISAACSON: What other extinct species would you bring back, if you could?
CHURCH: You know, there's not a close second for me personally, but I'm part of a team that has a Web site, Revive & Restore, where they list about
100 different species.
And there are some very ardent champions of each of these. But I think the woolly just really has it all in terms of, people like big things. It's
not a carnivore. It's an herbivore, knocks down trees. It's saving the environment.
It just has so many things going for it, in addition to its charisma. But this is just my personal opinion. I could present arguments for some of
the other species.
ISAACSON: Well, you made a little bit of news about 10 years ago, when you kind of said, hey, maybe we should bring back the Neanderthal. And you
even said, maybe we should have, you know -- a surrogate mother would volunteer to give birth to a Neanderthal.
Yes, there weren't any shoulds in my statements. This is the problem. When scientists are asked whether you can or not, they will say,
technically, you can do it.
And so I was asked multiple times by multiple journalists. And I try not to dodge the questions. I try to -- and I said, yes, that's technically
possible. This is what it would be.
And -- but I said, we're not doing it, right? There's no -- there's not any compelling reasons. You know, I think there are even fewer compelling
reasons for the Neanderthal than there are for the dodo, and it's so ethnically fraught.
You know, we'd have to develop the technology of cloning humans. And you would have to get approval for every step of the way. And it's just not --
who's it benefiting?
ISAACSON: You recently got caught up in this Jeffrey Epstein affair, where he was donating money to Harvard and other places. And you recently
apologized for it.
What did you learn from that? And do you have any comment on that?
CHURCH: Yes, I mean, I think that there's a great tendency to -- for people to distance themselves, rather than apologizing and worrying about
I mean, I think the conversation really should be about how we can avoid this in the future and how we can just face -- the first step is facing
what we have done wrong.
And I think that my role was small, but it doesn't mean that I can just distance myself from it.
ISAACSON: You helped develop the technology for the human genome sequencing.
ISAACSON: And what you really did is, you pushed down the price. You made sure it got cheaper and cheaper.
ISAACSON: Now it's almost less than $300 to get my genome sequenced.
ISAACSON: Should I do it? Should our viewers do it? And why?
CHURCH: Well, the should is -- the should is, in order to do what, right?
And I think that if you're -- if -- we really, as a society -- it's a public health threat that isn't easily understood by the public. It's like
seat belts. You had a 1 percent lifetime risk of dying or getting seriously hurt if you don't buckle up.
ISAACSON: But if I got my genome sequenced, couldn't I figure out a lot more than just major genetic diseases? Like, couldn't I figure out
propensities to cancer, propensities to diabetes?
You know, I think it's up to the individual whether they want to learn more. I'm very curious. I wanted to see my whole genome. But, you know,
I think it's a conversation you need to have with whoever's providing the service and your personal physician.
But, at a minimum, you should be doing the very highly actionable things and making sure that next generation is not burdened with serious genetic
ISAACSON: What are the things advancing in terms of cancer treatments that excite you the most?
Well, cancer is entering a whole new phase now, with things like CAR T therapies. This is chimeric antigen receptor on T-cells, where you can
train a T-cell -- or you can program a T-cell with molecular biology to attack a particular cancer, if that cancer has a particular protein on the
surface that you -- that is characteristic of that cell type or that cancer.
ISAACSON: And those cell types are immune cells in our body, right?
CHURCH: Well, the attacking cell is immune.
CHURCH: The target doesn't have to be immune. It can be, in principle, any cancer. So far, it's been -- the first target were other immune cells
that were cancerous.
And you can consider that a precision or personalized medicine, but it's not in the classical sense, where we, you know, study the cancer on good
genes, the things that are causing the cancer, and target them with small molecule drugs.
This is more like we pick anything on the surface that has nothing to do with the cancer cell. We're just killing all B-cells.
And, also, we're getting better at prevention, so, the genes that cause cancer, something that could be avoided, much, much earlier in life, before
you actually get the disease.
So, Angelina Jolie was -- I thought was something that was going to be such a moving experience that everybody was going to go out there, get their
genome sequenced, because she did not have cancer. She did not have any shred of, you know, a positive mammogram or lump or anything like that.
She had a genetic risk factor, which she -- you could only get by looking at your genome. We need more of that.
So, those are the two main things that I think, the CAR T's and the -- getting your genome sequenced to see -- so you can avoid cancer by
preventive measures, not -- because, once it starts growing, you're kind of fighting this losing Darwinian battle.
ISAACSON: When we edit human genes, and do it in the germ line, which means it goes on to our children and our descendants...
ISAACSON: ... do you think that ought to be done only for therapies, like to fix things such as Huntington's disease, or do you think it would be a
good idea to make our children taller and blonder and stronger?
CHURCH: I just want to be clarify, we don't do this right now. We don't edit genes in germ line.
There are alternatives. And you always have to consider the alternatives in medicine. Right? So, the alternatives for Huntington's, which is
practiced, is that you can go into an IVF clinic and you can pick the embryos that don't have Huntington's.
You can even do that in such a way that you don't even let the parents know whether they have it or not. Some parents don't want to know whether they
have Huntington's. They just want to make sure their kids don't.
And so that's all done. So, there's no particular motivation to develop a new technology. All these new therapies, it costs a billion dollars to
develop a new therapy, whether it's gene therapy or some regular small molecule.
I prefer things that are equitably distributed. This is -- when you talk about ethics, I think this is something that should come up more than it
does, is, it's not just, is it safe and effective, but is it going to be available to everybody, so you don't have the rich-get-richer situation and
the poor get poorer?
And the alternative that is very cost-effective and available today, doesn't require new research particularly -- it does require some
communication -- is genetic counseling, rather than gene therapy.
So you just read your genome, which you kind of have to do anyway to do the therapy. Just read it, and then you can pick people that are compatible
with you before you start dating.
So, this -- it's only 5 percent of the people that you will miss. So, 95 percent of the people are compatible with you, so it's not a big burden
from a dating standpoint.
ISAACSON: What did you think when the Chinese doctor, though, did this type of editing that was inherited?
CHURCH: I mean, it was inevitable.
And I wasn't necessarily happy with it, the outcome, but I wasn't surprised by it either. We did -- we had not set up an adequate system for whistle-
blowing. They can't point the finger at just at the person who did it.
There is also -- there were dozens of people who knew about it, both in the United States and in China. None of them spoke up. We just don't have a
culture of whistle-blowing. And we should, because there -- this is not the most serious things that we should be blowing whistles on, I mean,
things having to do with pathogens and so forth.
You know, it's unlikely that people will die because of this particular experiment, OK. There are two children born so far, maybe a third. I
think it's unlikely they're going to die. But we will see.
And I think we should be paying attention to them. There should be some sympathy for their plight. They have at least been spared of the
But, you know, there were deaths at the beginning of gene therapy. Gene therapy forged ahead. This case, I don't even think we're talking about
life and death. We're talking about something much more abstract.
ISAACSON: You have formed more than 20 companies, I think, coming out of the...
ISAACSON: ... basic science that comes out of your lab or that you have worked with.
Do you think that's a really good thing for science to be driven by trying to create biotech companies and fund it, or do you think that that can be a
problem as well, which is, it drives science to do things that you wouldn't do unless you could make a lot of money at it?
CHURCH: Well, so, I mean, I think you can be driven in that in odd ways without ever making a company.
I mean, you could -- and there is a problem that, if you just publish something without escorting it into the public, where it can be used, it
dies. It doesn't blossom.
So, I think there's some -- you need some commitment to getting it out there. And, you know, some of these things are quite expensive. The cost
of developing a drug is $1 billion. If you're going to try to do that -- if you expect somebody to read your paper and somehow it's just going to
happen, it's unreasonable.
But for the most part, most of my colleagues that I know that do this, they're just totally motivated by the science, the cool factors, the
helping society. And what they do with the money is, they just plow it right back into research, some -- for either basic research or more applied
I don't think it warps our mission that much.
ISAACSON: George, thank you for being with us, sir.
CHURCH: Thank you very much.
ISAACSON: Appreciate it.
CHURCH: Yes, lovely.
AMANPOUR: The moral maze that binds ethics with lightning-speed progress in technology.
That is it for now. Remember, you can listen to our podcast and see us online at Amanpour.com. And you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
Thanks for watching, and goodbye from London.