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Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), is Interviewed About the Impeachment and His New Book, Desk 88; Interview With Daryl Davis; Interview With Former British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 11, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): If the House continues down this destructive road and sends us articles of impeachment, the Senate will take them up in
the New Year and proceed to a fair trial.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: As Congress prepares to vote on impeaching President Trump, Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, from the swing State of Ohio joins us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tomorrow, people all across the U.K. will go to vote and they have a choice.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This could not be more critical, it could not be tighter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: On the last day of campaigning in Britain's Brexit election, former foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, joins us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARYL DAVIS, AUTHOR, "KLAM-DESTINE RELATIONSHIPS": I try to elicit the good in everybody. At the end of the day, we are all human beings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The musician who helped hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members turn over a new leaf. Darrel David speaks to our Hari Sreenivasan.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Congress is aiming to vote on impeaching the president next week. He faces charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. And if the vote
passes, President Trump will be the third in American history to be impeached. Then the case would move on to the Senate for the trial, where
senators will act as jurors.
But how is all of this, this very grave matter, affecting the American people who have crucial concerns over issues like the economy, trade,
health care, gun violence, climate, all of which will be up for grabs in the next presidential election?
My first guest tonight, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, hails from the swing State of Ohio. And his new book "Desk 88" traces the progressive
history of his seat in the Senate. And he's joining me now from Washington to discuss the book and all the issues around it.
Welcome to the program, Senator Brown.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Thanks. It's an honor to join you. Thank you for the incredible career you've had.
AMANPOUR: Well, thank you, Senator. And I just want to ask you whether you agree that these issues that I just sort of, you know, reeled off are
more important to the American people than the impeachment. In other words, how is the impeachment affecting the American people, impacting the
American people, particularly in your state? What's the view from there?
BROWN: Well, to hear President Trump talk about it, the Congress is doing nothing but impeachment, and to look at Mitch McConnell in the Senate, all
we're doing in the Senate is confirming a young, far-right, ideologically far-right judges, but the House has passed bill after bill that will affect
people's lives. Minimum age, violence against women act, net neutrality, pension bill, climate change, gun bill to address gun violence with
universal background check. The House is doing all that and doing impeachment.
The Senate is simply not doing anything legislatively much that would matter to people's lives. And so, that's really the story.
AMANPOUR: And how is that affecting? I mean, do people get it? I mean, people in your important swing state?
BROWN: Well, I think the -- I mean, the president is saying all the time the Senate is not doing anything. I understand most of the coverage of the
U.S. House and Senate is about impeachment, because that's the story of the day or the week or the month or the year, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't
be doing our work every day.
We did a pension hearing today. We've got to fix this -- pensions for 60,000 Ohio mine worker and Teamster and ironworker and bakery worker
retirees, and we've got to move forward on those things. I can't tell the media what to cover. They're going to do what they're going to do. The
president is going to continue to lie about all this. But we still need to do our - to get up every day and do what people hired us for.
AMANPOUR: Well, you did -- and you mentioned Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate leader, has said that if this proceeds, the trial will come up in
the New Year. You as a senator will be a juror. Have you decided how you're going to vote or will you need to see how trial -- the so-called
trial in the Senate unfolds?
BROWN: Well, all 100 senators should answer that question the same way, no, we haven't decided. I have supported -- I publicly have said we should
-- the House should impeach this president, if I were a member the House, I'd vote for that because this president has done something that Richard
Nixon never did, and that is to try to bribe a foreign official to help his campaign using taxpayer dollars and all that surrounded it.
But when it comes to the Senate, there are 100 of us, we should look at the evidence. I will listen to the House managers and what they say, the
prosecution, and I will listen to the president's lawyers, the defense, and our decision should not be based on what I think about Donald Trump's
character or should not be based on any personal bias we have, it should be based entirely on the evidence.
And I hope my Republican colleagues look at it the same way, because a number of them have said they are going to vote to find him not guilty, and
they -- people shouldn't be answering that question that you ask with anything, but I'm going to look at the evidence and make the decision at
the end of that trial in January.
AMANPOUR: And yet, of course, this does seem to be very much a party line affair, whether it's in the House or potentially in the Senate. And I just
-- reminding that, you know, you voted not to impeach President Clinton, and I just wonder whether you can say what is the difference between -- I
mean, you're a Democrat, Clinton was a Democrat. You know, you felt he should be censured rather than impeached. Tell me what's the difference?
BROWN: -- difference.
AMANPOUR: And did party politics play a role?
BROWN: I know you know the answer to that. The difference is so stark. The difference was Bill Clinton lied about sex. He should have been
censured for that. This president has been willing to jeopardize our national security and our place in Europe and the Ukrainian government and
that country -- the country of Ukraine, but most importantly, our national interest, he has compromised by what he did.
So, there is no comparison here. And I -- you know, the interesting thing about all this is I hear a number of Republican senators who think Trump
doesn't tell the truth, who thinks that Trump is a bigot, who thinks that Trump did things he shouldn't have done with Ukraine and many other places
around the world. Yet, for whatever reasons, have chosen to throw in with him and protect him, either because they're scared of the Republican base
or they -- in the next primary -- or because they love the tax cuts and their young right-wing judges that Trump is giving them. Whatever the
reason, they're not -- they really are abdicating their jobs in this country.
AMANPOUR: What do you think coming -- obviously representing Ohio -- what do you think will happen in -- you know, in the next round of -- you know,
in 2020, the presidential? Because we hear that in those six important states, impeachment is, in fact, helping Trump, not the Democrats.
BROWN: Well, I think it's more -- I see all kinds of mixed results from polls, and I don't really care much about that. I see a very evenly
divided country and evenly divided Ohio and evenly divided industrial Midwest, Great Lakes states.
But what really matters is we will point out -- and elections are always about choices, of course, and whose side are you on, and we will point out
that this president has betrayed workers in our state. He's betrayed people of color. He's betrayed consumers with preexisting condition
consumer protections. He is opposed to minimum wage and overtime rule.
All these kinds of things where this president clearly -- I mean, the White House looks like a retreat for Wall Street executives. The president has
never been on the side of workers and the middle class and working families in our state.
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, interesting, that brings me to your victory in the midterms. You were the only Democrat to win state wide, I believe, in
the 2018 midterms, a state that Trump had won by a good percentage in 2016. How have you managed to persuade, you know, working class voters and
progressives, bring them to your side in Ohio?
BROWN: Well, it's not a choice between talking to progressives and talking to workers. When I talk about workers and the dignity of work, I don't
mean white male firefighter union members, I mean all workers, whether they're somebody working construction or somebody preparing food in the
cafeteria or someone that's a physical therapist or an orderly in a hospital.
And I have a lifetime (INAUDIBLE) from the National Rifle Association. I know that some people won't vote for me because that. I've been pro
marriage equality for quarter a century. I know some people -- a few may not like that.
But when I talk to voters about their kids, about getting a chance to go to Ohio State or Dennison or to their -- to Stark State Community College or I
talk to them about their healthcare with projecting preexisting condition consumer protections, voters that may not like me on other things because
I'm aggressive and speak out strongly on those issues, some will vote for me. And that's how you win an election in a state that looks on paper
probably more conservative than it really is.
AMANPOUR: So, you're a true believer in these issues that you've just talked about, so much so that you've written -- well, you chose your desk,
your seat in the Senate based on those who had held it before you, and you have written your book honoring your desk, "Desk 88." Tell us what that
means, whose is "Desk 88" and what is the tradition that you are following in?
BROWN: Yes. About a dozen years ago when I first came to the Senate, we were all looking where we were going to sit on the Senate floor, the
freshman and I. And I heard that senators, sort of like middle school, carved their names in the bottom of their desk drawers. And I pulled out
the desk drawer and I saw McGovern, Hugo Black, Ribicoff, and I just saw Kennedy.
And I asked Ted to come over, Senator Edward Kennedy, I said, whose desk is this. He said, well, it's got to be Bobby's, because I have Jack's desk.
So, I started thinking about who sat at this desk. I've worked on this for 10 years. I've talked about the eight progressive senators, wrote a long
essay about issues that affected -- might have grown out of those eight senator's achievements.
I talked about their contribution to a progressive America, that when progressives win, we win really big. We do big things from social
security, to Medicare to civil rights, to safe drinking water, to collective bargaining, to all the things that have made this country's
middle -- that have given people an opportunity and made our middle class stronger.
And that's why I wanted to write about that, to show my colleagues and this country -- as I worked on it for 10 years, my colleagues and this country
that progressive government gets the country going in the right direction every single time.
AMANPOUR: So, tell us, what is the difference between your progressive government ideal and what we hear from the more -- I don't know, what's
called now the progressive wing of the Democratic Party versus the moderate, like the AOC or even Elizabeth Warren, even Bernie Sanders? What
is the difference between what they are calling for in terms of Medicare- for-All, in terms of the Green New Deal and your version of progressive?
BROWN: Well, my version of progressive is about standing on the side of working families and looking at the government -- looking at campaigning,
and as you campaign and govern, you look through the eyes of workers. And I talk about the dignity of work. And Dr. King said, no job is menial if
it pays an adequate wage.
And my goal in Congress always is raising minimum wage, making sure the overtime rule is complete and full and people get the pay they deserve,
making sure people have healthcare and education and opportunity.
And I wear this pin on my lapel, I have worn for 20 years, it's a picture (ph) of a canary in a bird cage. The mine workers took the canary down in
the mines, and it stands for -- it simply for this, that government -- the power of government can be used to improve people's lives, and it's about
social security and Medicare and civil rights and food safety and protections for the disabled, and all of those things that progressives
have fought for, for several decades.
AMANPOUR: I just want to -- because you've led me right into this perfect segue into a clip from the film "American Factory," which you have probably
seen, you feature in it. This is the film, actually, that the Obamas helped produce for Netflix and it is about an American factory that was
going, you know, down the tubes -- or did -- and then it was bought by Chinese owners, turned into a glass factory, hiring American workers.
In any event, you turn up on the opening. Here's the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And I know many workers here are trying to form a union to strengthen their voice in this great company. Ohio has a rich, rich
history of unions and management working together. I support those in this community, in this plant, in this crowd that want to vote on whether or not
to join a union. I hope Fuyao looks at it the same way. Thank you all so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) does he think he is?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Woops. The American manager then says, you know, what the F does he think he's doing here or what is he doing? What was your reaction
to that? I mean, it was bold of you to get in there.
BROWN: Yes. And then he said something about cutting my head off but -- which was a little bizarre. Then the same gentleman that said later that
got fired and said he wished he had a union, if you watched the rest of the movie. I didn't know. I knew what I said there. I didn't know the rest
of it until I saw the movie.
I did -- I think -- I mean, I knew when I talked about these workers, these 2,000 workers, who aren't paid very well, who don't -- who -- that company
has all kinds of worker safety violations, I knew that -- I thought those workers should have a chance to join a union.
And when I -- that was at the ground breaking when I spoke. I knew there were very few friends of unions in that crowd, because it was an entirely -
- almost an entirely business crowd. But I wanted them to know as the senior senator from Ohio, I think everybody that wants to should have a
chance to join a union, if they choose to. There should be an election, and the election should be fair. And that company has done everything it
could to keep the union out.
AMANPOUR: And just a final question. Basically, again, about the divisions in the current crop of candidates running for the Democratic
nomination. You just said that you believe in worker's rights and you're progressive, but not the progressive who believes in a Green New Deal or
I happened to speak to Michael Bloomberg, who is the latest Democratic candidate, and he too believes that a Green New Deal wouldn't work, and
some of the more progressive policies won't work.
And this is what he said to me about why he's running and what he thinks about some of those candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Trump is getting stronger, and I think he would just eat alive the candidates, because they
don't have plans that I think are practical, that can be implemented. They don't have management experience. And the president's job is a management
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Do you agree with that? And are you concerned that some of the candidates will be quote/unquote, "eaten alive" by President Trump?
BROWN: No, I think that we're going to beat Trump. I think this election is about contrast. When I look at healthcare, here's what I wish would
happen, that instead of Bloomberg talking that way and Democrats sometimes -- other Democrats talking the other way, that we would simply say, you
know, everybody on this stage, all 10 or 12 or 15 Democrats, all of them are progressive. All of them went to get to universal healthcare. Each
has a different path going at a different speed, but the story, the issue is that Donald Trump opposes it. He's opposed the Affordable Care Act. He
wants to take insurance away from 900,000 people in Ohio that now have insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.
So, this is about contrast. It's not the infighting that Democrats do. Of course, we do. It's a primary, that's what people do, and especially
Democrats. It's making the contrast about who we are and what we stand for and how this president has betrayed workers, he's betrayed seniors that
have preexisting conditions and need drug coverage.
Just chapter and verse about who we are, what we stand for and how this president has betrayed us and undercut all of those values that are so
important to Americans.
AMANPOUR: You believe so deeply and passionately. Why did you choose not to run?
BROWN: I just didn't really want the job. To run for president, you've to want it like nobody else. A senator years ago from Vermont said -- 60, 70
years ago -- said the only cure in the United States Senate for the presidential virus is embalming fluid.
I just -- you've got to really want the job, and I didn't want to be president badly enough to spend a year and a half away from family and
friends and from this job that I love in the United States Senate to go out and fight for it.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, on that note, Author of "Desk 88," Senator Sherrod Brown, thank you so much for joining me.
BROWN: Thank you. Thanks.
AMANPOUR: Now, the U.S., of course, isn't the only country with one issue, casting a huge shadow over an election. Here in the U.K., party leaders
have been frantically canvassing for votes only the last day of campaigning for the general election tomorrow, where Brexit is top of the agenda, with
other issues like climate and Britain's national health service not too far behind.
By Friday, the country will have elected a government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party or one led by the main opposition and
Labour Party headed by Jeremy Corbyn or possibly another hung Parliament.
Both of the main parties are branding this vote as the most important in a generation and with just hours to go until the polls open, things are
Joining me is Jeremy Hunt, former health secretary and former foreign secretary.
Welcome back to our program.
JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE: Good evening, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Gosh, there's so much changed in your life and career and politics since we last spoke.
AMANPOUR: When we last spoke, you were foreign secretary. In fact, you were also challenging Boris Johnson for the party leadership, and you were
most definitely not on his side then. You did not believe in Brexit, you're a Remainer. Where are we today? Who is going to win?
HUNT: Well, actually, just to correct you on that last point, I did vote remain, but I've always thought we have to implement the referendum result.
So, I was in a -- very, very much on his side in terms of believing we need to get on with Brexit.
But, you know, this is a moment -- I can't remember a moment of such an enormous choice for the country. Because normally in an election, you
know, there will be a little shade to the left, a little shade to the right. But this time you have the Conservatives under Boris Johnson, who
will deliver Brexit, if we get that majority. Put that issue to bed and move on with a centre-right agenda. And then you have a radically
different alternative with Jeremy Corbyn, the most left-wing manifesto that we've had in my lifetime, wholesale nationalization of private companies,
the utility companies, the rail companies and so on.
And that's why I think this is going to be an interesting election for turnout, because despite the horrible weather, despite the winter, I think
people do feel there's a lot of stake.
AMANPOUR: There certainly is a lot of stake. Many people are saying, though, you know, they feel a little down, they are downcast, that they are
voting against, rather than for. I just want to take a couple of the things you mentioned.
Obviously, your party's slogan has been Get Brexit Done. You've just said Boris Johnson with a majority, if he gets that, will deliver Brexit. Are
the two slightly semantically differently? It's one thing to have a majority and pass a vote through the House of Commons, that might happen.
But getting Brexit done, that's just the beginning of trying to get Brexit done, right? Because the rest is trying to create a new relationship with
Europe and with all the other countries. That is not the end point, this election.
HUNT: Well, I don't accept this argument that we won't substantively be able to get Brexit done, because if we pass through the deal that Boris
Johnson has negotiated, we will legally leave the European Union by the end of January. So, Brexit will have been delivered.
The trade deal, of course, is going to take a bit longer to do. But we know the outline of that, because we have seen it in the political
declarations be made and we've had indications in the E.U. that they think the bare bones of a trade deal could be delivered by the end of next year.
So, I think that is to come. But I think we know the shape of it, and I think the key point is that people voted to leave by the end of January.
Legally, we will have left.
AMANPOUR: Again, yes, you will have left. But actually getting Brexit done and Britain's, you know, all of its organizations and trade and
associations is going to take a lot longer, according to a lot of people, including the possibility that if things don't happen if your satisfaction,
there could be another, you know, off the cliff, no deal situation at the end of 2020, which I think people just hope that this won't happen.
But I guess to that end, what do you make then as former foreign secretary of a senior three-decade, you know, career foreign service official,
writing a very tough letter of resignation. Alexandra Hall Hall in the U.S. Embassy, saying that she could not in conscience continue, basically
peddling distortions and untruths about what Brexit is about and what relations might be. I mean, it's pretty tough.
HUNT: Well, I think Brexit does arouse very strong passions on both sides of the --
AMANPOUR: No. But she said that the government -- she was having to peddle distortions by the government.
HUNT: Yes. I mean, I don't agree with that. I mean, I was foreign secretary, and I was responsible for all our diplomats and we would have
frank discussions. But I don't think that, as foreign secretary, we ever - - I never said that this was going to be a smooth and easy process.
But I understand how some people who are passionately against Brexit feel very uncomfortable representing a government that is committed to
delivering Brexit. But I think the -- this debate about half truths has been distorted, I think, because in the referendum campaign, there we
exaggerations, but there were exaggerations on both sides. You know, we have the 350 million on the side of the bus on the side --
AMANPOUR: That's Boris Johnson, yes, with the NHS.
HUNT: -- but we also had the project fear and all the stories about an emergency budget, house prices crashing --
AMANPOUR: You were on that side, remember?
HUNT: Yes, I was. But I -- what I'm saying is I think when you step back and look at it perhaps objectively as you can as a journalist, you can see
that there were the kind of distortions that you get in any general election campaign. And people knew that both sides were making those
exaggerations and they made their choice.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, what do you say then to something that's, you know, black and white? Boris Johnson, you know, got his deal by essentially
selling out the (INAUDIBLE) in Northern Ireland, right? I mean, he just did something that Prime Minister May said no British prime minister could
do, and that is create a separation between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
And now, we've got this back and forth again, these papers and recordings where he's basically saying that there won't have to be any duties or
tariffs, you know, on goods going to and from. We're just going to play this little soundbite because it seems really difficult to understand what
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: George, you know perfectly well that goods going from NIGB GBNI will have no checks. The only checks will be for goods that are going via
to NI into Ireland. Everybody understands that. And that's how we avoid a hard border in -- between Ireland and Northern Ireland. That's a fantastic
thing we have achieved. It's a great deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Only it's not true.
HUNT: Well, I don't think that's the case actually. The big reason why the Northern Irish unionist community couldn't support Theresa May's deal
was because they thought that if the -- Great Britain, the U.K., excluding Northern Ireland, set its own customs tariffs left what's called the
Customs Union of the E.U., Northern Ireland would get left behind. And the deal that Boris Johnson has negotiated is one that keeps the customs
And if we are able to reduce tariffs because we do a new trade deal with the United States or anyone else, consumers in Northern Ireland will
benefit from that. So, the issue is about something slightly different, which is regulatory trade checks.
And in truth, we have to recognize that the Northern Irish economy is very interlinked with the economy of the Republic of Ireland and people want to
AMANPOUR: I just think he got himself all mixed up and tripped up because he said -- yes. He said there's going to be checks for goods going via
Northern Ireland into Ireland. I mean, that was the whole point, that there isn't going to be because that would be a hard border. So, I think
he seems to have got himself all mixed up.
And previously, he had publicly confirmed that goods traveling in between will have to be checked. Does he not know? Is he tripping over? Is
something different happened?
HUNT: I think it's something different. I think what he is saying is that Northern Ireland will be part of the U.K. customs territory. So, any
tariffs that we negotiate away, Northern Ireland will benefit from. But he's also saying, because this is very important for the Good Friday
Agreement, that have an invisible border between north and south. And so, for that purpose, I think businesses in Northern Ireland will benefit
enormously from being able to access both the European single market and the U.K. markets.
AMANPOUR: So, again, the Conservatives have a very pithy slogan, three words, Get Brexit Done. Just like in the leave campaign, Take Back
Control. But Boris Johnson himself, as you know, is being basically attacked from all sides on his trustworthiness. He has refused to do what
prime ministers have done or party leaders for decades, and that's do the big interview.
He was, what we call, empty chaired and challenged by Andrew Neil, the main presenter, who interviewed Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dems' Jo Swinson.
And this is what he did about Boris Johnson. I want to get your reaction to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW NEIL, BBC ANCHOR: The prime minister, we have been asking him for weeks now to give us a date, a time, a venue. As of now, none has been
forthcoming. No broadcaster that can compel a politician to be interviewed. But Leader Interviews have been a key part of the BBC's
primetime election coverage for decades.
We do then, on your behalf, to scrutinize and hold to account those who would govern us. That is democracy. We've always proceeded in good faith
that the leaders would participate. And in every election, they have, all of them. Until this one. It is not too late. We have an interview
prepared, up and ready as Mr. Johnson likes to say. The theme running through our questions is trust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, of course, it is too late, because you can't do anything further (ph), the British system have not been able to report on the
elections during the poll's opening time. If you were party leader, would you have sat down and done that interview?
HUNT: I can't tell you what decisions I would have made --
AMANPOUR: You can. If you had beaten Boris Johnson for the leadership.
HUNT: Well, I did an interview with Andrew Neil --
AMANPOUR: So, you would have done it?
HUNT: -- in that leadership campaign. But let me say this, in this campaign, I think there are two issues here.
AMANPOUR: You don't think it's right that Boris Johnson didn't sit for the main interview?
HUNT: Well, in this campaign Boris Johnson, as prime minister, has done something that no prime minister has ever done before, he's had two head-
to-head debates with the leader of the opposition, the person who would like to be prime minister. That has never happened before. And Boris has
done that twice.
So, in terms of exposure to the media, I don't think it's fair to say on the basis of not doing one interview for Andrew Neil that he hasn't been
doing -- having proper media exposure. But I think there's something else here, and, you know, Andrew Neil mentioned the issue of trust and you said
earlier in our discussion that there's a sort of --
AMANPOUR: Trust deficit.
HUNT: People have a negative feeling about this campaign.
HUNT: And I think what happens on both sides of the Atlantic, sadly, is that in election campaigns, people go for the personality of their
opponents. They attack the man, not the ball. And that leaves a nasty taste in everyone's mouth. And I think we have seen in this campaign huge
attempts by opposition parties to attack Boris Johnson on trust but also, there's been huge doubts cast about Jeremy Corbyn's fitness to be prime
And what I hope is, that at this final moment in the campaign, people actually distill things down to the issues and not just the personalities.
Because this campaign, we have two potential prime ministers who are both very controversial personalities. But I think what British people will be
thinking about is what is going to happen to the economy? What is going to happen to our democracy if we don't sort Brexit? What's going to happen to
our NHS if we don't have an economy that can fund all the extra resources it needs? Those kinds of things, I think, will be on people's mind.
AMANPOUR: Well, look, you mentioned issues, and you're absolutely right. And particularly, as you know, in your own government, your own country and
when you were foreign secretary, climate was at the forefront of Britain's policies. An issue during the debate was a climate debate between the
party leaders. Where, as you know, Boris Johnson didn't turn up, Nigel Farage didn't turn up and --
AMANPOUR: Well, look, you mentioned issues. And you're absolutely right.
And particularly, as you know, your own government, your own country, and when you were foreign secretary, climate was at the forefront of Britain's
An issue during the debate was a climate debate between the party leaders, where, as you know, Boris Johnson didn't turn up, Nigel Farage didn't turn
up. And there were ice sculptures of the earth put there to represent the fact that they didn't turn up.
Why would a gentleman or anybody seeking the highest office in the land not turn up to a climate debate?
JEREMY HUNT, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Well, you don't have an obligation to turn...
AMANPOUR: And Greta Thunberg, by the way, has just been named "TIME" person of year.
HUNT: Yes. No, no, very well deserved that is, too.
You don't have an obligation, as prime minister, to accept every single invitation. But he has accepted invitations to...
AMANPOUR: Only two.
HUNT: ... two head-to-head debates that no prime minister has previously done.
But, on climate, I think it's actually one of the slightly unusual areas in this debate where there's a wide degree of consensus between the parties.
This Conservative government, Conservative Party, hasn't always been known for its commitment on climate issues.
That changed under David Cameron. And we have seen the biggest reduction of emissions of any G20 country under a Conservative-led government.
But we all agree that there needs to be much more done. And this was the first country to legislate for zero net emissions. So, I think there is
consensus there. And I don't think that should be overshadowed by who does or doesn't turn up to a debate.
AMANPOUR: But you say that we shouldn't focus on personalities. I mean, frankly, all we have is the person to look at and see.
And I'm bringing up issues. I'm not bringing up any sort of weird tabloidy stuff. And you were health secretary for many, many years. And, for
whatever reason, Boris Johnson could not respond to a reporter's question about a poor boy who was languishing on a floor in an NHS hospital.
He just shoved the question away. What does that say about somebody who's claiming -- who potentially won the Brexit vote by claiming to put hundreds
of millions of pounds per week into the NHS?
HUNT: Well, you have the cut and thrust of election campaigns, which you're very well aware of.
And here was a situation where a journalist was laying a trap for the prime minister. He didn't want to go into...
AMANPOUR: But he's just asking a question.
HUNT: He didn't want to fall into that trap. And then we ended up with an issue that was made of it.
But on the NHS, remember, Boris Johnson is the first Conservative prime minister that I can remember who has actually decided to campaign
positively on the National Health Service.
In the two election campaigns that I fought as health secretary in 2015 and 2017, my prime minister, on one occasion David Cameron, the other Theresa
May, they didn't want to talk about the NHS. They thought this was Labor's issue.
Boris Johnson said, no, he wants to talk about it. He wants to talk about the extra resources that we're putting in. He's actually leading Jeremy
Corbyn when it comes to trust in the NHS.
So, again, I think when it comes to the NHS, when we talk about the issues, rather than these sort of media moments that you get in any election
campaign, actually, people will reflect that this is a Conservative government that is showing real commitment to our public services.
AMANPOUR: And finally, Donald Tusk, famously one of the main E.U. leaders, and was sparring quite a lot, he's now -- he's part of the old guard. A
whole new load of European leaders have come in.
But he said -- he said he thinks that Brexit and the leavers are running for sort of empire, and that he is concerned that not only will the economy
take a hit, which I know you thought -- otherwise, you would have -- you spoke about the economic damage potentially from Brexit -- but that Britain
would be relegated to kind of a second-tier role on the international stage.
What's your reaction to that?
HUNT: Well, look, I respect the fact that Donald Tusk is a great Anglophile.
And he is, therefore, personally -- he's very open about he is very sad about the fact that Britain is leaving the E.U. But he doesn't understand
what is motivating the people who voted for Brexit.
They say, why can't Britain be a country that stands on its own two feet, in exactly the way Canada or Australia or New Zealand does, an independent
country, good relations with its neighbors, good trade deals around the world?
And that is not condemning Britain to a second-tier country. We're going to be punching well above our weight. We have got a great future in front
But it's one where we have an independent, sovereign relationship with the E.U., not one where we are taking steps the whole time towards a united
states of Europe.
AMANPOUR: What is your prediction? I'm going to put you on the spot. What will the result be tomorrow?
HUNT: Well, I am -- I'm very cautious about this, because I think we have all had our fingers burnt.
I would say the most likely outcome, looking at the polls, is a small Conservative majority. But to do that, we're going to need to persuade
Conservative voters to get out and vote.
And the weather's pretty horrible tomorrow. So, I think it's going to be tight.
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, thank you very much for being with us.
HUNT: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
Turning now to an African-American musician, Daryl Davis, who's played with some of the leading stars of our time, including Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck
But Davis has also spent the past 30 years engaging in something quite remarkable, meeting and, in some cases, befriending members of the Ku Klux
Klan and other white supremacist groups.
Well, Daryl Davis says he's managed to help more than 200 KKK members to renounce their ideology.
And our Hari Sreenivasan talks with him about being featured in a new documentary called "Accidental Courtesy" and about his book "Klan-destine
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Daryl Davis, you have been a man who has reached out to members of the KKK for the past 30 years.
DARYL DAVIS, MUSICIAN: Well, they're a part of America just as well as I am.
They're as much a part American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet. And they have been around since 1865, about 150 years. Why are they still here
in the 21st century? This needs to be addressed. We need to come together. We're too divided right now.
And as we evolve, we cannot afford to become more and more divided as our country becomes more and more diverse.
SREENIVASAN: So what do you do with that when you meet someone from the Klan?
DAVIS: We have the conversation. We have civil discourse.
I'm there to hear what their concerns are, what their fears are, what myths have set them off, and hopefully to dispel some of those fears.
SREENIVASAN: Is your goal to try to get them to leave the Klan?
DAVIS: My goal was never to convert them. A lot of the media says, oh, black musician converts X-number of Klansmen.
I never converted one. But over 200 have left that -- the white supremacy movements, because I have been the impetus for that. I give them
information. They think about it, they process it, and they come to their own decision, I need to change my way of thinking here.
So I have been responsible for that, yes. But I don't like to say that I converted them. They converted themselves. I'm just the conduit to lead
them in that direction.
SREENIVASAN: This all started, what, in a country bar 30 years ago?
DAVIS: Right. Exactly. Exactly.
SREENIVASAN: After a music gig?
SREENIVASAN: You were playing the piano. And then what?
DAVIS: I was -- I joined a country band. I was the only black guy in the band, and usually the only black person where we would play.
And this particular bar was known as an all-white bar, not meaning that blacks could not go in, but blacks did not go in by their own choice. And
it was a good choice, because they were not welcome.
And I came off the bandstand with the band, and I was following them to the table on a break. And I felt somebody put their arm around my shoulder.
And this white gentleman said to me: "Man, I sure like your piano playing. This is the first time I ever heard a black man play piano like Jerry Lee
Now, I was kind of taken aback. I was not offended. But I was surprised, because this guy was 15, 18 years older than me. And he didn't know the
black origin of Jerry Lee Lewis's style of piano playing?
And I said: "Well, where do you think Jerry Lee Lewis learned how to play?"
He says: "What are you talking about?"
I said: "He learned from the same place I did, from black, blues and boogie-woogie piano players. That's where rockabilly and rock 'n' roll
"Oh, no, no, no, I never heard no black man play like that, except for you."
I said: "Look, man, I know Jerry Lee Lewis. He's a good friend of mine. He's told me himself where he learned how to play."
The guy didn't buy that I knew Jerry Lee. He didn't buy that Jerry Lee learned it from black people.
But he was fascinated and wanted to buy me a drink. And I went back to his table. I had a cranberry juice. And he took his glass, and he clinks my
glass. And he cheers me.
And he says: "You know, this is the first time I ever sat down and had a drink with a black man."
Now, he's making some kind of proclamation. I'm looking at this guy. I was in total disbelief. I said: "Why?"
And, at first, he didn't answer me. I asked him again.
And his friend said: "Tell him, tell him, tell him."
I said: "Tell me."
And he looked at me. He said: "I'm a member of the Ku Klux Klan."
I burst out laughing, because I did not believe him. I thought, this guy's joking, man, because I know a lot about the Klan. They don't come around,
put their arm around your shoulder and want to buy you a drink and hang out with you, if you're black, you know?
So I'm laughing at him. I'm going to go along with this joke. He goes inside his pocket, pulls out his wallet, and gave me his Klan membership
card. I looked at it. Ooh, this is for real.
I stopped laughing and I gave it back to him. And we talked about the Klan and some other things.
But that was the start of my quest. I'd had a racist experience as a child at age 10, where people had thrown rocks at me and bottles. I didn't
understand. And all it was, was because of the color of my skin, nothing I had done, nothing I had said.
And so I had formed that question in my mind, how can you hate me when you don't even know me? And I have been looking for the answer.
And so, after meeting this guy, it didn't dawn on me that night, but later, it dawned on me, Daryl, the answer fell right into your lap. Who better to
ask that question of than someone who would go so far as to join an organization that has over a hundred-year history of practicing hating
people who do not look like them and who do not believe as they believe?
Go back to that guy and get the answer.
SREENIVASAN: So you went back, you found him?
DAVIS: Yes, he had given -- no, he had given me his number and stuff.
DAVIS: And I went back. And I went back to him and I said, you know what? I'm going to go around the country and interview members and leaders and
ask that question and write a book on it.
SREENIVASAN: You also go out of your way to say that, after these conversations, you are their friend.
DAVIS: That's right.
SREENIVASAN: Even if they might not be yours.
DAVIS: That's right.
SREENIVASAN: Why? Why put them into that category?
DAVIS: Because I try to elicit the good in everybody.
At the end of the day, we all are human beings. And I prove that I am their friend. They don't have anything to fear from me. And they realize
that later on, which is why, at the end, when they finally come to that conclusion, even leaders, as well as rank-and-file members all the way to
the top, grand dragons, which are state leaders, imperial wizards, which are national leaders, end up giving me their robes and hoods.
This is a Klan hood from an imperial wizard. That's the hood. That's the mask. Members who want anonymity, they wear this mask, and people chew
through these eyelets. If they don't care that their identity is exposed, the mask is attached by three snaps. Just detach it, and the face is
exposed under the hood.
And here is the corresponding robe. This is the robe of an imperial wizard.
SREENIVASAN: Just seeing that is going to draw some viewers to just possibly turn the interview off. It is going to trigger them, a sense of
fear, a sense of sadness, hatred. Lots of things are rolled up just in that tiny robe.
DAVIS: But, see, that's what we -- we need to overcome.
This is nothing but a piece of material, all right? Yes, it invokes fear, because we allow ourselves to be afraid of this piece of material. There
are people who wear a shirt and tie, a suit, a uniform with a badge and a gun, a judge's robe, a Hawaiian shirt and Bermuda shorts who feel the exact
same way as somebody wearing this robe and hood.
SREENIVASAN: But at least I know exactly where that person is coming from.
I have been doing this for 30 years. And I have seen them in their regular street clothes. And then I have seen them don their robes and hoods, and
all of a sudden they feel powerful, OK? It's like a Clark Kent mild- mannered reporter becomes Superman, all right?
I have seen that transformation.
SREENIVASAN: Because racism, in itself, doesn't pay the bills.
SREENIVASAN: They have to have steady jobs.
DAVIS: That's right.
SREENIVASAN: They are members of our society.
DAVIS: That's right.
And guess what? They're teachers. They -- they're on the school board. They work at the grocery store. Some of them are even on the police
I have a former Baltimore City police officer's uniform and his robe and hood. He was the grand dragon, which means state leader. His day job,
what paid his bills, he was a Baltimore City police officer, not an undercover officer in the Klan gathering intelligence, but a bona fide
Klansmen on the Baltimore City police force.
And there -- there are more. OK? Now, he went on to become my best friend, one of my best friends.
DAVIS: And, today, I own his robe and hood and his police uniform.
He gave up that ideology as a result of civil discourse, talking with one another, getting to know one another, getting that exposure that you don't
SREENIVASAN: In the film about you, it shows a scene, for example, when you talk to different types of groups, the SPLC, the Southern Poverty Law
The individual there says, you know, our goal is to wipe out groups like this.
And I'm sure you have heard this critique from other members of the civil rights community. What you're doing isn't really helping us. You know,
what this person says to you and their process of befriending you over time, well, that's not destroying this group. That's not destroying the
ideology. That's not taking the hate out of the system. That's not injustice out of the system.
Is this a great use of your time?
DAVIS: It is absolutely a great use of my time.
And what the SPLC does is, they -- yes, they -- the man said he wanted to destroy the Klan.
I'm not out to destroy individuals. I'd like to see them destroy their own ideology, which is what this guy did when he gave up that robe.
When you seek to destroy somebody, all you do is empower them, because they feel like, you see? They don't want us to have our rights to feel the way
we want to feel. And they get more and more emboldened and more and more empowered.
Now, this -- now, if they cross the line and do something wrong, you absolutely take them to court and you sue them, you put them in jail, you
But you don't destroy the person. These are my fellow Americans. These are my fellow human beings. I want them to see something and come to the
realization that, you know what, this is a better path for me, and I'm going to help get other people out there.
And I have a lot of neo-Nazis -- former neo-Nazis and KKK members and alt- right members who come out with me sometimes and speak out against their former organization and work hard to pull others out and prevent others
SREENIVASAN: There's also a scene in the film, a very tense one. It starts as a conversation with young Black Lives Matters leaders in
SREENIVASAN: And they -- and it gets heated very quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, stop wasting your time going into people's houses that don't love you, a house where they want to throw you under the
DAVIS: So you believe that nobody can change?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you -- I believe you believe the wrong people can change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: And I know the conversation lasted an hour in real life, but, in these eight minutes, you can see the tension. It's palpable.
And they're saying, you know what? While you were out doing this over your 30 years, befriending a few dozen people and getting their robes, we are
here suffering the injustices that are -- why aren't you doing that for this city? Why aren't you spending your time in this way, where you could
be making real impact on the lives of all of those people that you want to help?
DAVIS: If I were to open up a magazine, or go on the Internet, and see a picture of a black man shaking hands with a man in a robe and a hood, like
you see tons of pictures of me on the Internet like that, I would have a visceral reaction, like, what's going on here? Why...
SREENIVASAN: This guy sold out.
DAVIS: Yes. Yes.
But, knowing me, I would want to read the backstory to find out, why is this taking place? Oh, OK. I get it. Well, yes, that's pretty cool. I
understand what's happening now.
But all too often, some people don't read the backstory and jump to a conclusion, and that's where it stays. And the anger and anxiety and venom
and animus comes out.
SREENIVASAN: They think you're a traitor to black people?
DAVIS: Exactly. Exactly. And that's what happened there.
But on the upside of that, about a year later, those same people reached out to me, and we got together, we had dinner, and we talked. And, today,
we work together for the same goal. They continue doing what they're doing, and they now understand what I'm doing and support me.
SREENIVASAN: Do these friends of yours, do the organizations, do these different chapters of the KKK, have they been emboldened in the last couple
DAVIS: Oh, absolutely. They have definitely been emboldened.
And so you see a lot of them acting out not even wearing the masks on their face, because they feel now they have carte blanche.
Now, one thing I want to point out, there has been a slight rise. And people think, where do all these racists come from? They're increasing.
They're not increasing that much. They have always been here. You just didn't see them, but they have always been here. There's a slight increase
in them, but more so an increase in racist incidents, because of that emboldened -- there more hate crimes, more people pinning swastikas on
synagogues or KKK on somebody's car or just acting out.
But another thing that is happening that a lot of people don't talk about is the shift that's going to occur in 2042, all right?
SREENIVASAN: The demographic shift.
This country was built on two -- it was a two-tiered society, white supremacy and slavery. And as it progressed, it did not progress like
this. It progressed like this, all right?
These people are not coming down and helping these people up. And when these people try to get up, they step on their heads, push them back down.
But now, with miscegenation, different people coming in from different countries, et cetera, the majority is coming down, and the minority is
And by 2042, for the first time in history, this country will be 50/50. And while a lot of people, white and otherwise, embrace that, because
that's evolution, there are a lot of people who do not embrace it. And they become very disconcerted. And now they're acting out.
So, what happens is, they join these groups, because the groups step up their recruitment efforts. Hey, come join us. And we will take our
country back. We're going to build that wall. We are going to do all this and get rid of these illegal immigrants, blah, blah, blah.
Well, people go and join these groups, because they're fearing this. And when they join the group, and nothing happens, then they say, you know
what, if the Klan can't do it, or the NSM can't do it, whoever, I will do it myself.
And then they walk into a black church, or into a synagogue, or into El Paso, Texas, boom, boom, boom, boom. These are called lone wolves. And as
we get closer and closer to 2042, which is only 23 years from now, unfortunately, we're going to see more and more lone wolves.
SREENIVASAN: When you saw those kids marching with tiki torches in Charlottesville, what when through your mind?
DAVIS: It didn't surprise me. It didn't surprise me at all, because we refuse to address these things.
We need to be more proactive in this country, and not reactive. And had we addressed racism like we should have decades ago, we wouldn't be where we
SREENIVASAN: You also sat down with some of the people who were at the Charlotte protests?
DAVIS: Oh, yes, I knew them very well.
SREENIVASAN: And what was that like? What was that dinner like?
DAVIS: It was fine. I had dinner, talked.
Richard Spencer, Jason Kessler, Jeff Schoep. In fact, Jeff Schoep, who was -- who was the head...
SREENIVASAN: Of the National Socialist Movement.
DAVIS: Exactly. He's a very good friend of mine now.
And he was -- he was in the movie with me on the other side of the fence, right? Now, he and I are going out together to give lectures.
DAVIS: About de-radicalizing. He's no longer the head of the National Socialists. He gave it up. He has renounced it. And now he's working
hard to de-radicalize people who are in those movements and prevent other ones from joining.
SREENIVASAN: As successful as you have been at having an impact on these different people, you have to run into folks that you realize, this person
is not open, not ready to hear me.
We have to accept that there will be people on all sides who will never change. They will go to their grave being hateful, violent and racist.
There is no changing them. OK? You don't give up. But you focus more of your efforts on those who are willing to sit down and talk, even though
they may feel the same way.
If somebody is willing to sit down and talk with you, regardless of how extreme they are, there's an opportunity to plant a seed. That seed might
not bloom tomorrow, but at least it's planted. And if you keep nurturing it, it's going to -- it's going to begin to grow.
SREENIVASAN: How do you stay eternally optimistic?
DAVIS: I saw the future when I was a kid.
I'm 61 years of age. But I was a child of parents in the U.S. Foreign Service. And starting in 1961, every two years, we lived in a different
country. I lived in Africa. I lived in Europe.
SREENIVASAN: So, you got along with different kids from different places, all walks of life?
In the 1960s, when I was in class overseas, my classroom in elementary school was filled with kids from Nigeria, Italy, Japan, Iran, Russia,
Japan, Germany, OK? We all got along.
But when I would come home, after my dad's two-year assignment, back home here to my own country, I was either in all-black schools or black and
white schools, depending upon whether I was in the still segregated school or the newly integrated school.
And there was not the amount of diversity in the classroom that I had overseas or that we have today. So, I was already prepared for
multiculturalism when it finally got here.
Unfortunately, many of my peers were not. So, we all got along as little kids. That was the future.
So, I know it can work. That's why I'm optimistic.
SREENIVASAN: Daryl Davis, thanks so much for joining us.
DAVIS: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
AMANPOUR: Now, did anybody hear Daryl Davis described the Klan uniform as robe and hood?
Did anybody, like me, suddenly think of Robin Hood? Well, the two obviously are not the same. In fact, they're diametrically different.
And that leads us to our final note tonight. We could not help but notice this tale of two very different leaders, one atoning for war crimes and one
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made her first visit to the Auschwitz death camp to mourn and to apologize for crimes of her nation during World
War II. This is what she said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): I am filled with deep shame, in the face of the barbaric crimes that were committed here by
Germans, crimes that are unfathomable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, contrast that with another leader, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi.
Today, exactly one decade after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, she is at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to defend and deny charges
of genocide against her nation for the brutal treatment of the minority Muslim Rohingya population in Rakhine state.
This is what she said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUNG SAN SUU KYI, MYANMAR LEADER: We pray the court to refrain from taking any action that might aggravate the ongoing conflict and armed conflict and
peace and security in Rakhine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, you can always choose where to point your moral compass, and we can all observe it in real time.
That is it for now. You can always catch us online at our podcast and across social media.
Thanks for watching, and goodbye from London.