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Interview With Artist Antony Gormley; Interview With Former Cambridge Analytica Employee Christopher Wylie. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 24, 2019 - 13:00:00 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." This Holiday Season, we are dipping into the
archives, looking back at some of our favorite interviews from the year, and here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN BAQUET, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Our first duty in something like this, an impeachment hearing, is to tell -- is to let people
understand and see all the facts to make the judgment for themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The "New York Times," the president's favorite media adversary in his media war. I speak to Dean Baquet, executive editor of that
newspaper about covering these extraordinary times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER WYLIE: You know, seeing, you know, people go to these events or become what -- in my view, was a process of, you know, radicalization, that
freaked me out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The whistleblower who exposed the data harvesting scandal at Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie on how it helped Trump get elected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY GORMLEY, ARTIST: You know, these are, you know, three, two, move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: One of Britain's most loves artist, sculpture, Antony Gormley, takes me inside his block buster exhibition at London's Royal Academy.
Welcome to the program, everybody. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
No other newspaper has drawn the ire of President Trump more than the "New York Times." For many though, it is the paper of record, not just in
American but around the world. And at the helm of it all is the executive editor Dean Baquet. He's accused Trump of putting his reporter's lives at
risk through personal abuse and describing them as enemies of the people.
Baquet is leading the newspaper during a challenging time for journalism, but not the most tumultuous he says. I sat down with him back in November
just as a new phase in the impeachment inquiry was about to kick off the public hearings, which played out on TV screen, computers and phones across
American and the world. We spoke about covering the Trump era, about racism and the paper's highly acclaimed 1619 project, which marked 400
years since slavery, America's original sin.
Dean Baquet, welcome to the program.
DEAN BAQUET, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Thank you. It's good to be here.
AMANPOUR: So, do you expect public perception to start to shift because of the televised hearings of the impeachment that start on Wednesday?
BAQUET: I actually do but I'm not sure which way. Remember, most people have now seen only second-hand accounts of the witnesses. So, actually see
witnesses. And I think -- obviously, there's a certain number of Americans who are set in their view of Donald Trump and whether he should be
impeached. But one way or the other, I got to think that this is going to alter views, whether it's to solidify support for him or to make people
believe in impeachment.
AMANPOUR: I just wonder for some -- for a paper like the "New York Times," which is so front and center to all of the news reporting and it's so
emulated by many other news organizations, how difficult is it for you, and let's add the "Washington Post" as well, I mean, even "CNN". We are --
BAQUET: Sure. Yes. We're watching it right now.
AMANPOUR: I know you are. It's called the "Washington Post."
BAQUET: OK. OK.
AMANPOUR: When the president publicly says the White House is no longer going to subscribe to "The New York Times" or the "Washington Post,"
probably he's not watching CNN, maybe he is.
BAQUET: I suspect he is.
AMANPOUR: Yes. But getting a lot of his news from "Fox." How difficult is it to be able to engage in a way that the press is meant to engage?
Because I remember very distinctly and you may have even said it to me, but I know you said it in public, you basically said in 2017, shortly after the
inauguration, our job is not to be the opposition to Donald Trump, it is to cover the hell out of Donald Trump.
BAQUET: That's right. That's right. It's up to him whether he reads the "New York Times" or "Washington Post" or watches CNN. That's his call.
And I'm not -- you know, there's another part of the "New York Times," it sells subscription. So, let them worry about that part.
I do think his attacks on the press are pretty bad and hurt our role. I think when he levels personal attacks at reporters, as he recently did to
the "Washington Post," I think that's designed to undermine the handful of institutions that are independent and powerful and that are supposed to
I take that -- I want to make sure the public knows we feel that way. I want to make sure that the public that we call him out when he does that.
But I also want to still cover him. I also still want to cover him with tremendous aggression and fairness.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that the aggression and fairness are being comprise, at least in the publics' view, at least in his supporter's view?
BAQUET: First off, it'll be easier in the next couple of weeks because people can watch the witnesses and judge for themselves. I actually think
that when push comes to shove, when -- people will make their own judgments about Donald Trump and impeachments, that's not my call.
But people will get to hear from the witnesses. We will cover them. We will truth fact them. We'll fact-check them. We'll let them speak. We'll
get the White House's side of the story. And that's my job.
AMANPOUR: They still engage with you even though they've --
BAQUET: The White House?
BAQUET: Less than otherwise White Houses. But sure they do, sometimes.
AMANPOUR: And less than they did at the beginning?
BAQUET: Less than they did in the beginning, for sure. Yes.
AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean, that's pretty dire.
AMANPOUR: It's pretty dire. I want to ask you this. Because "The New York Times" and others have -- as you call it and as I believe we do,
report aggressively and fairly --
AMANPOUR: -- it does actually turn some people off, even perhaps some people within our systems --
AMANPOUR: -- within our organizations.
AMANPOUR: You've probably seen a recent "Vanity Fair" article in which two "New York Times" editors, current editors, anonymously spoke about your
leadership in the Trump era. The first one said, we're in a bit of uncharted territory. There is definitely some friction over how does this
paper position itself. I don't think you could argue that we haven't been tough on Donald Trump. There's real debate and some real disappointment
about how we position ourselves as an institution.
I mean, we just talked about you --
AMANPOUR: -- being the opposition, you said no.
BAQUET: Sure, sure.
AMANPOUR: So, how do you respond to this editor?
BAQUET: What I've said to editors like that in my news room, my job is not only to cover Donald Trump, my job is to position the "New York Times" for
a post Donald Trump world. My job is to make sure that we don't change all our rules of engagements, so much so that when President Warren or
President Haley or fill-in-the blank --
AMANPOUR: Or President Trump.
BAQUET: -- or President Trump comes along that "The New York Times" -- of course, we all have to change, but that "The New York Times" and its
foundational principle remains the same. I have to look past Donald Trump.
AMANPOUR: I mean, you're a student of the history of this business. Has it actually been this bad? Has there --
BAQUET: Oh, my God. I think -- I'll tell you --
AMANPOUR: I mean, in our recent memory. I know everybody goes back to, you know, the founding fathers but --
BAQUET: Well, I'll give you two big differences. But, of course, think about what the '60s were like. There was a war. There were people in news
rooms who were draft age. There were many, many more Americans in the military. Everybody, every American knew somebody in the military. The
south was on fire. There was evident signs -- I mean, I grew up in the south, evident signs of just a traumatized America. That feels like
history worth, at least, understanding and remembering.
There are two differences this time between now and Watergate, I'd argue. First is the internet, which is mostly great but sometimes a distraction.
And secondly, "Fox News," to be honest. I mean --
AMANPOUR: Why do you say that?
BAQUET: Well, let's picture if there had been "Fox News" during Watergate. During Watergate, the American press came to understand that Richard Nixon
had violated the law and that it was time for a change. The American press did the investigative work that lead it to happen.
There was no powerful large voice taking Richard Nixon's side. There is now. That's different. Just say it would be an interesting --
AMANPOUR: Some people would say that that's fairer.
BAQUET: I think if -- I mean, I'm not a fan of "Fox News," to be perfectly frank, because I don't think "Fox News" covers the world. We all struggle.
We all make mistakes. I think "Fox News", in its powerful opinion, shows that are front and center, is too close to the president. I would just
argue that that's a fact.
AMANPOUR: And the fact of the matter is that the current press secretary, communications director --
AMANPOUR: -- the White House, Stephanie Grisham --
AMANPOUR: -- only does "Fox News."
BAQUET: No. Whenever the White House --
AMANPOUR: Have you asked for her?
BAQUET: I haven't personally. But we -- my staff, of course, asked her comments. But when the president can have a favored television network
that he can call, can even call into their shows, that did not happen during Watergate. That's different. And the internet. Those are two huge
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about polling?
AMANPOUR: So, in 2016, the narrative was that everybody got it wrong, that the polls were wrong. I mean, it seems that the big major national polls
were right, that Hillary won the popular vote --
AMANPOUR: -- but the actual -- where it counted, in the major swing states, it was wrong.
BAQUET: That's right.
AMANPOUR: And you, "The New York Times," have now undertaken a whole new sort of investigative forensic approach to polling, I think.
AMANPOUR: And I wonder whether you think you're going to get it right or more righter this time and what are you doing differently?
BAQUET: I think the difference last time was maybe we all depended too much on the polls. Polls are -- I mean, every polls who will tell you
this, no matter how sophisticated it's a snapshot in time. I think what we have to do this time that I wish we had done more aggressively in 2016 is
sort of get out and understand the country more.
I think the reason people missed the rise of Donald Trump and the change in the electorate is I don't think we understood how much anger there was in
I don't think we understood how much of an anger against the elites, which includes us by the way. And I think -- I've already sent more reporters
out in the country and we do more work to try to record that. That's the difference.
AMANPOUR: I want to get to a whole different issue, but a really important substantive issue because sometimes process can take over in the Trump era.
1619, something that you at the "New York Times" did to great acclaim, obviously, 400 years since then, the anniversary of slavery. It was
podcast. It was, you know, magazine reports. It was everything and it really, really did shift the way U.S. history should be seen.
AMANPOUR: It really brought in the African-American contribution to history and music and the economy and all of those things that we hadn't
known now. How important -- I mean, you're the first black editor of -- obviously, editor-in-chief of the "New York Times" and one of the top
African-Americans in the business. How did that come about?
BAQUET: Well, I'll tell you a story first and then I'll tell you how it came about. When I was a kid growing up in Louisiana in the 1960s, I was
an addictive reader of books. I told this story recently at a 1619 event. And all the books available to me in the deep south, in the 60s, were
biographies of civil war generals, and that's how I got my history. And it took me awhile to understand that those generals were not necessarily
fighting for me or my ancestors.
That's why, I think, this was such an important project. That same kid now has another version and a more accurate version. This came about because a
brilliant reporter, Nikole Hannah-Jones --
BAQUET: -- who wanted to do this for a generation walked in to her editors and her editors said the magic word for editors, they said, yes, and then
they said, let's make it bigger. All I did was to sit there and not say no. And it was a brilliant reporter and a group of ambitious editors and
they pulled it off.
AMANPOUR: I want to, again, read from one of these anonymous editors that spoke to the "Vanity Fair" on this issue, reporters on the front lines,
particularly reporters of color are attuned to something happening in the country that is, to a lot of them, deeply scary both personally and
politically and there's a hunger to have a conversation about it. If this rhetoric continues, how is the times covering it? What are the rules of
engagement for a president who traffics in this stuff? And obviously, he's talking about all the kind of racist demagoguery that comes out of the
BAQUET: My goal is to listen to those editors and reporters. To understand their view. But I do have to take their view and accept it in
the context of what the "New York Times" is. And the "New York Times's" job is to cover Donald Trump. The "New York Times's" job is not to let the
people around Trump yank us into name calling but to cover Donald Trump. I know that's controversial in my newsroom and elsewhere, but I think that's
AMANPOUR: Which part is controversial?
BAQUET: There was a real group -- there are people that want me to use the word racist more frequently than we do, and we have used it. My own view
as somebody, again, who grew up in the south and read the history of the south and who understands the south is that the best way is to quote
people, to report and to let people make their own choices. The most powerful writing I have ever read about the south and race was done by
people that didn't cavalierly use the word racist. They were done by who that let people speak for themselves, who offer portraits of the world, and
it was so clear what was going on.
AMANPOUR: So, I need to ask you then because, you know, there's --- these conflicting headlines on these issues. When Donald Trump was called upon
to respond to a string of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, you remember, this summer. The "New York Times" covering his speech first said
this. Trump urges unity versus racism.
BAQUET: Yes. Bad headline.
AMANPOUR: Bad headline. Widely criticized. Then --
BAQUET: Rightly criticized.
AMANPOUR: Widely and rightly.
AMANPOUR: So, you admit that?
BAQUET: Oh, of course. Yes.
AMANPOUR: Then it changed to assailing hate but not guns.
BAQUET: Yes. Better but not quite the perfect headline.
AMANPOUR: And Trump weighed in and said, excuse me, the first headline was perfectly great and you're giving into the mob --
AMANPOUR: -- by changing it.
BAQUET: Yes. He's wrong. We recognized early on it was a bad headline. I mean, here's the way the world works, we can say that newspapers are
great poetic institutions with people who stroke their chins and smoke pipes and write headlines. That headline was written on extreme deadline
and it was bad headline.
As soon as the front page was passed around to senior editors, including myself, we recognized it was terrible. We tried to change it. We were
stuck with a -- it's amazing how news organizations like manufacturing plants, we were stuck with a layout that allowed for few words and we came
up with a better headline, but not a perfect headline.
Newspapers are, by their nature, flawed institutions. We admitted we got it wrong. We fixed it as fast as we could. I have said to everybody who
has ever asked it was a bad headline and I think that's how you do business.
AMANPOUR: Do you feel completely battered by Donald Trump?
BAQUET: No, no. I mean, look, Donald Trump, as I've said, has sought to undermine the "New York Times, "The Washington Post," "CNN" and
institutions who see it as their job to ask hard questions. I feel energized that the public is rewarding us for asking hard questions. I
mean, my readership is through the roof. And I think my readership is through the roof, because people looked to us to ask hard questions, and
that's what we're doing.
AMANPOUR: So, the publisher of the "New York Times," new publisher A.G. Sulzberger, had a famous talk with President Trump, and we have some audio
of it, but then he also wrote a pretty, you know, front and center op-ed in the "New York Times". He said, my colleagues and I recently researched the
spread of a phrase fake news. And what we found is deeply alarming. In the past few years, more than 50 prime ministers, presidents and other
government leaders across five continents have used the term fake news to justify varying levels of anti-press activity.
He -- just before this, he actually had spoken to President Trump. And it's -- we got a little bit of audio of that. It goes to the heart of
this. I just want to play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A.G. SULZBERGER, PUBLISHER, THE "New York Times": As I've talked to my colleagues around the globe, you know, working in different countries,
particularly working in countries where a free press is already a tenuous thing, they say that they are increasingly of the belief that your
rhetoric is creating a climate which dictators and tyrants are able to employ your words in suppressing a free press.
TRUMP: I understand that.
SULZBERGER: But if you choose not to, I just -- I want you to be aware of some of the consequences that I'm starting to see out there.
TRUMP: Would you say more so now than over the last five years?
TRUMP: Right now? I mean --
TRUMP: -- more so now than even a year ago?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And we know some of the instances. But what strikes me is that President Trump acted as if he didn't believe his words had consequences.
BAQUET: He sure did. But he's got to know his words have consequence. He has to, he has to. He says -- I mean, it has been reported that he says
the same thing to other world leaders. He certainly is aware that other world leaders quote him, he certainly is aware when he stands in front of a
large rally and he points to CNN reporters or he points to "Washington Post" reporters or he points to "New York Times" reporters and says fake
news, he certainly knows what those words are --
AMANPOUR: Has anything changed since that encounter with your publisher?
BAQUET: No, no.
AMANPOUR: On #MeToo, really, really important and, obviously, "The "New York Times"" broke the story, the two wonderful reporters, Jodi Kantor and
AMANPOUR: And they've just written a book, "She Said." It was interesting because it goes the heart of how you got Harvey Weinstein to respond. He
had repeatedly tried to contact you. Went over and above the head of the reporters.
AMANPOUR: Wanted you to do something, intervene.
AMANPOUR: Like everybody had done for Harvey Weinstein all the years. And you kept telling, talk to the reporters. In the end, you got on the phone
BAQUET: Yes, yes. I wanted him to -- I do not like when powerful people come to the editor of "The "New York Times"" and say, let's talk powerful
person to powerful person, forget the reporters, I don't have those kinds of conversations. In this case, I walked past the room. He was screaming
at the two reporters. I mean, it was -you know, it was awful.
AMANPOUR: On the phone?
BAQUET: Yes. He was on the phone. He was screaming the at them. And I got upset and I walk over to the phone, I wanted to scream back but I
decided that wasn't a good idea. So, I stopped him and said if he didn't give us his comment now, we're going to close the paper. And --
AMANPOUR: Go to press without his comment?
BAQUET: That's right.
AMANPOUR: And he --
BAQUET: He gave us his comment. So --
AMANPOUR: Final question, five seconds, yes or no answer. Would you please reveal the name of anonymous?
BAQUET: No, because I don't know who it is.
BAQUET: Seriously. I have no idea. Zero.
AMANPOUR: Dean Baquet, thank you very much for joining me.
BAQUET: Thank you. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And getting back now on our focus on whistleblowers, they are certainly coming under the spotlight, and our next guest is familiar with
Christopher Wylie last year exposed the inside story of how data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica had illegally harvested and exploited the data of
millions of Facebook users. He was the former director of research for the company, which didn`t survive the scandal. And in a new book, he gives his
account of what happened and what he calls the psychological manipulation behind the election of Donald Trump and the vote for Brexit here.
Wylie sat down with our Hari Sreenivasan to talk data crime and its dangers to democracy.
HARI SREENIVASAN, BROADCAST JOURNALIST, CNN: So, who did Cambridge Analytica target. How many people. I mean, we have an enormous electorate
but it`s really just a few states, maybe even a few counties that matter.
CHRISTOPHER WYLIE, DATA CONSULTANT: Cambridge Analytica was fairly surgical in how they were targeting people. You know, they wouldn't
necessarily be targeting people in California, they would be focusing their efforts on particular states, you know, where in terms of the electoral
college that would be beneficial to, you know --
SREENIVASAN: So, say Wisconsin, for example.
WYLIE: Yes. And so, you know -- and when you look at the types of people that the company was targeting, it wasn't everybody that they were trying
to engage with. It was very much on the margins and in the fringes of society to bring and recruit people who otherwise wouldn't necessarily
engage in conventional politics, but would engage with particular kinds of ideas that they promoted online. And, you know, that can make an impact.
If you get an extra 1 percent, an extra 2 percent in that swing state and you win that swing state, that might mean that you win the presidency.
SREENIVASAN: So, was it -- for example, was it trying to get more folks on your side to vote or keeping the other teams voters from showing up at the
polls. What kind of messages, what kind of influence --
WYLIE: Yes, I think -- so, the company engaged in both what you would call GOTV or get out the vote or identifying people who were likely to vote and,
you know, through their own admission, voter suppression and activities. But I think what's important and what I talk about in the book is that, you
know, the origins of why, you know, Steve Bannon wanted to engage Cambridge Analytica really rests in this idea of the Breitbart doctrine, what he --
what he followed when he worked at Breitbart, which is that politics exists downstream from culture. So, if you want to make an enduring and lasting
change on a society, you don't focus just on day-to- day politics, you actually focus on changing culture.
And so, you know, a lot of the work that Cambridge Analytica did wasn't necessarily just day-to-day politics, it was about changing how people
perceived what was actually happening in American society and what was American society.
SREENIVASAN: So, you know, there's this kind of -- without getting too far into the weeds of the psychology, there's these five different axes that
you're looking at people and sorting people. How does this work and how does Facebook and information from Facebook feed into that?
WYLIE: Yes. So, you know, if you imagine for a second that, you know, you're on a blind date, right and, you know, you've just met somebody and,
you know, by sheer coincidence, they're able to -- you know, they talk about what music they like and it happens to be exactly what you like and,
you know, what kinds of TV shows and who they hang out with. And you leave that going, oh, wow, this person knows exactly -- they understand me.
But, you know, what if that date that you went on was actually with a stalker and that -- that stalker had been following you around for years
and years, looking through your photos, talking to your friends, watching you at work and following you to the point where they know exactly what to
say in order to lure you in.
And when you're in that moment and you don't realize that that's why, you know, this person on that blind date is saying that. You're vulnerable to
being exploited. And what Cambridge Analytica did was sort of a scaled version of that blind date, where people online would see things that just
resonated with them. And they would be brought on to an environment, whether it would be a group or a page or a forum that was controlled by the
company. But from the perspective of that -- of the target, it's just something that they happened to discover.
So, for them, their guard is down and they start reading things that appeal to them that they have, like, this sort of intuition that something must be
-- this must be true. And --
SREENIVASAN: And look at all of these other people.
WYLIE: And look at all these other people who happen to also be on this group just by sheer coincidence.
SREENIVASAN: And so, it's sort of a power of the community there, too.
WYLIE: And there's a collective amplification of a lot of these beliefs. And what Cambridge Analytica would do would be encourage these people to
talk amongst themselves to go further and further into some of these frankly outrageous beliefs.
WYLIE: And, you know, they would then organize things like events, people would be encouraged to meet each other. Right. And, you know, if you have
a group -- and let's say it's just a couple thousand people -- Smith County patriots, whatever. Right.
WYLIE: And only 5 to 10 percent of people actually show up to an event in Smith County, right. You've got a couple hundred people. Right. Even if
you have 50 people, you flood a coffee shop with 50 people and all of a sudden what you sort of see online -- you know, and intuitively you know is
-- it's true -- all of a sudden you see everybody around you in this coffee shop, and they're talking about it.
And you know, they might be an electrician or a plumber or a teacher, a lawyer, whatever. From your perspective, they're just regular Americans
and they don't have an agenda. But all the things they're talking about, you know, that Obama is moving people into Texas to take their guns or that
look at all the people flooding across the border, you know, whatever.
WYLIE: That -- you hear your fellow Americans talking about it and you're seeing it everywhere online by sheer coincidence, because that's what
everybody's talking about, but then when you go and watch, you know, "CNN" or "NBC" or whatever, you read the "New York Times," you don't see any of
And so, from your perspective, you go, well these people don't have an agenda but these media organizations must have an agenda and they're
misleading me, they're the fake news, these are real people, these are honest, genuine Americans.
SREENIVASAN: Right. So, what did you do inside Cambridge Analytica as part of all of this. I mean, you're a database guy, you're a, you know,
former sort of computer hacker type. But what do you bring to the table in how that whole process unfolded?
WYLIE: Yes. So, when I got recruited originally by the company, I was doing my Ph.D. research in fashion trend forecasting and cultural trend
forecasting. And so, I, by coincidence, got recruited because I happened to have a background both in looking at, as you said, databases and
algorithms and all that. But also looking at, you know, how does a culture change and how does a culture evolve. And what makes something cool.
Right. When I first started, we were looking at extremist groups. Right. And so --
SREENIVASAN: You're trying to figure out why ISIS is cool and being -- recruiting kids.
WYLIE: So, what makes, you know, a young unmarried man in, you know, the south of England all of a sudden want to engage with pretty radical ideas,
and where they go from just being a regular Joe to, you know, thinking about going to Syria. And what are the aspects of both their lives and
their characteristics that make them prone to, you know, believing or engaging with those kinds of ideas. And what is it about those ideas that
appeal to that target audience.
And, you know, ultimately, you know, when we got acquired, a lot of that same approach was used in the United States. But we were looking at groups
of people who had the same kinds of characteristics but they happened to be in America, they were Americans. And rather than trying to mitigate them
joining a radical organization, you know, Steve Bannon took over and he wanted to create an insurgency in America.
SREENIVASAN: An alt-right insurgency.
WYLIE: An alt-right insurgency. And what Cambridge Analytica sort of became was a vehicle or a tool to identify people who would be vulnerable
to that kind of messaging and exploit them. And, you know, when I -- you know, and that's not what I went into the company to do.
And so, when I started seeing that, you know, this company, we are now working on doing, in my view, the exact opposite of what we set out to do.
Rather than protecting Americans or protecting, you know, British people or Europeans from potential harms that you get from extremism, we are
catalyzing extremism. It's just for a different flag. Those people were vulnerable, they didn't consent or agree to be put into one of the largest
psychological experiments in the United States, and that -- you know, that was grossly immoral.
SREENIVASAN: You mentioned Steve Bannon. How far back does the relationship between Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign go?
WYLIE: Well, so, that's an interesting question because, you know, officially the company said they only joined the Trump campaign in the tail
ends of the election. But, you know, when I was there and after I left, I knew that they were meeting with Donald Trump, you know, before he had even
announced that he was running.
And there is a sort of real question about, what was the company doing meeting with the -- what later became the Trump campaign, when, at, the
same time, they were also officially advising Ted Cruz?
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Steve Bannon was on the Cruz campaign at the time.
WYLIE: At the time.
But they were also meeting with what later became the Donald Trump campaign. And so I'm not sure what Steve Bannon had in store or in mind as
to why that company was meeting with the Trump campaign.
But what I can say is that they were. And...
SREENIVASAN: And you know that because?
WYLIE: I know that because I have it in writing from their own lawyers that they were meeting with them.
And, you know, I -- they would deny it publicly, but I have it in writing that they were.
SREENIVASAN: You also point out in the book there were connections between the Russians and the Trump campaign that even the Mueller investigation
What did they miss?
WYLIE: Well, when you -- so, one of the things I talk about in the book is, a lot of interactions that Cambridge Analytica has with Russian assets,
but, also, I tried to explain some of the connections between the Brexit campaign and the Trump campaign, and the behind the scenes of all these
alt-right people, who are all meeting and talking to each other all around the world.
And one of the things that I revealed in the whistle-blowing that happened last year, but also I talk more about in-depth in the book, is that people
who were traveling to the United States to meet with the Trump campaign were also, at the same time, talking to the Russian ambassador in London.
They were having meetings with the Russian Embassy, talking to Russian diplomats, at the same time as them traveling to the United States and
meeting with Donald Trump, meeting with the Trump campaign, meeting with Steve Bannon.
And when some of their associates were arrested in the United States on charges of wire fraud and all kinds of financial crimes, which then later
pled guilty to, they took that information and sent it to the Russian Embassy.
And so there's a lot of questions about, why was the Trump campaign talking to these people in Britain who were also, at the same time, talking to
Russian diplomats, who were talking to the Russian ambassador?
And in the book, I talk about the e-mail correspondence that they had, the text messages that they had. And some of the first people that Donald
Trump met with were people when -- after he got elected -- were people who were also meeting with the Russian ambassador.
And none of that got disclosed. And, unfortunately, I feel like that issue never fully got explored in the Mueller inquiry or, more broadly, the
Trump-Russia investigation, because, if you have people who are going and communicating with the Trump campaign and at the same time going back to
the United States -- or going back to the U.K...
WYLIE: ... and having meetings with the Russian Embassy, that seems like something that should be explored.
SREENIVASAN: And you also say in here that Russian intelligence was connected to and backing the campaign to leave the European Union.
WYLIE: You know, the concerns that I raised with British intelligence and British law enforcement really surrounded the fact there was a lot of
unusual interactions between the Russian Embassy and people who were supporting or funding Brexit during the referendum.
SREENIVASAN: What's unusual mean?
WYLIE: It's unusual, for example, to invite Russian diplomats to a Brexit victory party. It's unusual to have such a regular pace of meetings with a
foreign diplomat, and to only meet with one country's set of diplomats.
I just -- for me, that raises a lot of questions...
WYLIE: ... that still haven't really been clarified.
SREENIVASAN: So, even if someone met with Russian diplomats at their leave party, I can hear the leave campaign now saying, so what? We like the guy.
We invite him over for beers. What is Chris saying is nefarious about that?
WYLIE: Well, I'm saying that it's unusual.
I'm saying that it's unusual to have such a close and intimate relationship with a country's diplomats, particularly when it's known that this country,
Russia, doesn't necessarily support a lot of the values of Western democracy.
And I'm not necessarily saying that there is anything that the different leave campaigns did that was knowingly nefarious. But what I'm saying is
that you also have a very sophisticated intelligence-gathering operation on the part of the Russians.
And it is -- every time you talk to a Russian diplomat, you are speaking to the Russian state. And I just find it suspicious that you had such a close
and intimate relationship with a particular country's diplomats.
SREENIVASAN: What role, what responsibility do you have in all this?
WYLIE: Well, when I first started at the company, I was working in something that I thought I would be helpful to society, looking at -- you
know, using my knowledge and skill sets to identify pathways to mitigate extremism, which was and is an emerging security threat for Western
The problem at the time was that, if you work in a company that is acquired, and your new boss and everybody who's in charge has made a
conscious decision to go down a path that you find morally wrong and arguably unlawful in certain contexts, it's not like you can go to H.R. and
say, I would like to put on my file that I disagree with, like, what the company is doing.
SREENIVASAN: You could have left.
WYLIE: I did. I did. After the acquisition, I only stayed for like nine months, and then I left. I had enough. I was the first person to leave.
SREENIVASAN: But even before that -- I mean, this is a company that really was bragging to their potential clients about the kinds of work they were
doing all over the world.
They were influencing elections in not-so-great ways...
SREENIVASAN: ... for their clients that might have been a politician. It might be somebody else.
SREENIVASAN: Right? And I get it. I get that you were there to say, hey, if I can help decrease the influence of ISIS and make it less cool, I get
But at some point, around the watercooler, you didn't hear these guys bragging?
WYLIE: You know, I did. And this is one of the things that I -- not to use this as an excuse, but I was -- this was one of my first jobs, first
big jobs, and I was 24 at the time.
And when I started seeing what was happening, particularly in the United States, and how the company was repurposing a lot of work that I was
working on and that others were working on, and then watching footage of people or seeing people go to these events or become what in my view was a
process of radical -- radicalization, that freaked me out, and I did leave.
Immediately after leaving, I got sued by the company. They wanted me to sign all kinds of NDAs, and all kinds of legal pressure. I had legal bills
that were, like, 50,000 pounds. And that's a lot of pressure to be under. But, nonetheless, I did try to warn people about it.
SREENIVASAN: What about the critique that here you are now, you've got a book out, you're profiting from this?
There was a colleague of yours, a former colleague who said, Chris Wylie thinks he's Edward Snowden, when he's actually Walter Mitty, that this is a
part of -- you figured out a way to come out ahead in this.
WYLIE: Well, what I would say to that is, firstly, the -- you know, the company that has really profited from this is Facebook.
You know, its share value went up after all of this at the end of the day. I spent over a year -- even before all of the media came out, I had to be
asked several times by "The Guardian" to actually put myself out there.
I was working with law enforcement. I was working with regulators in multiple jurisdictions well before the story even emerged. And then after,
when the story did go public, I spent all kinds of hours -- hours and hours talking with members of Congress, talking with law enforcement, being a
witness in several investigations.
So, at the end of that, thinking about all these things that have happened, I chose to write a book about it, because I think it's important that
people actually understand what -- what happened and also what can still happen moving forward.
SREENIVASAN: Chris Wylie, thanks so much for joining us.
WYLIE: Cheers. Thank you.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: My next guest is one of Britain's most loved artists.
Antony Gormley's sculptures often make big statements, and they're recognized all over the world. Perhaps best known, his famous 200-ton
Angel of the North in Northern England, a symbol of hope representing the very character of that part of the country.
His newest and perhaps most ambitious exhibition represents a significant milestone in his career, as he takes over the prestigious Royal Academy in
London with a series of experiential installations.
Few other artists would probably be allowed to flood the Academy, a grand 19th century period building, with water and mud or drill holes in the
glass domes to suspend massive works of art.
We got our own morning at the museum with Gormley himself.
AMANPOUR: Sir Antony Gormley, welcome to the program.
ANTONY GORMLEY, ARTIST: Lovely to be here, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, this is quite an amazing, incredible exhibition, and we're sitting in the room which I think you call this particular room Lost
GORMLEY: I do, yes.
AMANPOUR: And it's all floating and fixed to the walls and the ceilings.
How on earth did you even get it installed?
GORMLEY: Well, yes, I -- people are very intrigued by the engineering, but that's obviously not the point.
AMANPOUR: But it's part of the gee whiz nature of this whole exhibition, which then goes to what you hope to communicate.
GORMLEY: Yes, I think you have to stop people in their tracks and ask them to think again about what's possible.
And, hopefully, that opens kind of the doors of the imagination, and they start running with it for themselves. I say to everybody that comes, you
know, you are the subject of this exhibition, and you might say, even in this room, where there are 24 industrial fossils of me, I think that this
room is really asking you to reorientate yourself in space.
And I think that goes for the whole show. It is really about making propositions in the space that hopefully catalyze that space and make the
subject, which is the viewer, hyperaware of his or her relative position, and that's absolutely true in here.
AMANPOUR: And what I think is amazing is the beginning. Before you even get into the gallery in the courtyard, there's that tiny, tiny, little
baby, which even looks smaller than I expected from the pictures I saw before coming in.
And you've just laid it on the ground, and it is so vulnerable. Tell me what you were doing with that.
GORMLEY: I think I just wanted to make the point that art is useless if it doesn't, in some way, energize life.
Here, we have a 6-day-old baby, my daughter Paloma. I didn't mold her, I hasten to add.
And I guess I just wanted that to be the initiation of a sequence of thoughts about human futures, about our relationship with the planet. So,
here -- here is a baby almost removed from the chest or the stomach of the mother and placed onto the Earth.
And I think the baby is immensely peaceful. It seems to be at ease, and yet, at the same time, as you say, it's extremely vulnerable. And seeing
it straight off Piccadilly, where the buses roar past, I guess that's just asking a question, like Greta Thunberg asks. What is our part in making
sure that our children and our children's children's future is as rich and supportive as ours?
AMANPOUR: The baby is sculpted in iron...
AMANPOUR: ... which is the core of the earth.
AMANPOUR: And you did that deliberately.
All of these works -- these works weigh 630 kilos, so about three-quarters of an imperial ton each. They are mass. They are displacements of a human
space in space at large.
And I think of them -- you know, the traditional materials in sculpture are bronze and marble. And I wanted to remove those in order to focus in a
sense on the elemental and our relationship, as you say, to the core of this planet.
AMANPOUR: And I hadn't realized, but I think all these figures, as you say, I mean, this massive tonnage, but they're solid. I mean, these are
not hollow. They're solid.
GORMLEY: Yes, very, very solid.
I should be able to go and -- you can...
AMANPOUR: Oh boy.
GORMLEY: You can really...
AMANPOUR: Only you can do that.
AMANPOUR: None of us are allowed to touch the sculptures.
GORMLEY: You can really -- I mean, I think -- I'm not bothered about people touching these.
AMANPOUR: There is an image of one of your very early sculptures, if not the earliest. I'm not sure.
But it's also a lying figure in a street covered with what looks like a sheet. And it I understand that came from your experience in India.
GORMLEY: India, yes.
I lost all my money and my passport in Kolkata and spent a couple of weeks on the streets, and that was a very formative experience.
I had a very privileged upbringing and had never really lacked for anything. And the fellowship of folk who had nothing, but gave everything
was -- that was an amazing lesson.
And that work, which is called Sleeping Place, well, I made it very soon after coming back. I just asked Nicki Chubb (ph), who's a friend, to lie
on the floor, and I covered her in a plaster-soaked hospital sheet.
And it is absolutely a reproduction of what I saw on Howrah Station in Kolkata, but all over India, and people sleeping on the streets, often with
a couple of slippers left by the side of the head.
You didn't know whether they were alive or dead. This was a -- well, like the baby, a description of the minimum space the human being needs to
survive, and, curiously, this intimate thing, again, in the world, in the world of bullock carts and rituals and all that noise.
AMANPOUR: Is the cave also a body form?
GORMLEY: Yes, it is.
AMANPOUR: Apparently, if you look -- yes, from above. You designed it. Yes.
GORMLEY: No, no, I will show you. I will show you in a minute.
AMANPOUR: Yes, OK.
GORMLEY: We can go and stand underneath the head.
GORMLEY: And you do actually see the whole thing.
I love the acoustics in here.
AMANPOUR: Oh, my giddy aunt.
GORMLEY: It's just a very particular feeling.
GORMLEY: You can stand up now.
GORMLEY: So, this is -- if you look up here, this is now the left arm. And then -- and now we're in the torso. And...
AMANPOUR: Wow. Wow.
GORMLEY: But I just wanted -- you know, this is a grand -- a grand building, 18th century palace, really
And I just thought to introduce our first habitation or our first experience, our species' first experience of shelter was this kind of
space, with this kind of acoustic, with this -- so, it returns you to, I think -- yes, I want firsthand experience.
But I also want to link that in a way to maybe those feelings that we had before we had speech, when we were in our mother's tummies.
AMANPOUR: Wow. It's just...
GORMLEY: This noise, it goes on.
AMANPOUR: That is a profound rumble.
GORMLEY: I love it. It's still going, isn't it?
AMANPOUR: I understand that, when you were growing up -- and you grew up as a fervent Catholic -- or at least in a fervently Catholic home.
GORMLEY: Yes, absolutely.
AMANPOUR: And your family's tradition, I think, after lunch was for you all to have a nap.
How did that affect your imagination, your relationship?
GORMLEY: I think that is the basis of my work, thinking about the body as a vessel, as a place, rather than an object.
And that experience being sent up after lunch for an enforced rest, when I wasn't tired -- in fact, I was highly energized, because I had just had
GORMLEY: And lying there with my eyes closed, and feeling -- it was a particular room -- it's this enclosed balcony on the first floor, very hot
with a cork floor with a particular smell and very bright.
I'm closing my eyes, and my eye -- my -- the eyelids would make that light coming through them pink or red. And it would be hot.
And, anyway, over time, over the repeated action of going up there, this space ,I became familiar with, and I began to inhabit it. And it -- and it
transformed from being hot, red and claustrophobic to being increasingly more open and cooler and dark.
And when I -- I often ask people, when you close your eyes, now, where are you? You're in a space , but it has no objects, it has no edge, it has no
things in it, and this is the space of consciousness.
This is the space of imagination. This is where we can go when we want to be free. You project hopefully onto these spaces and the objects in them
your feeling, your thought.
And I think that's the best that art can do, return us to the miracle of being alive.
AMANPOUR: So, is that -- there's a room beyond where we're sitting now. It's the last room with the huge pool.
AMANPOUR: And I think you've called part of the Atlantic and part of Buckinghamshire.
GORMLEY: That's right.
AMANPOUR: AKA mud.
No, it's mud and seawater. It's 30,000 liters of the Atlantic and 25 cubic meters of Buckinghamshire.
This is host.
AMANPOUR: I love this. It's so dramatic.
GORMLEY: But what I love most is the way this is a self-producing landscape. This is terraforming just itself.
And it reminds me of flying over of the middle of Australia, this kind of...
AMANPOUR: It's remarkable.
GORMLEY: ... this kind of infinite, subtle kind of bumps and hollows.
But it's beginning -- you can see, it's beginning now...
AMANPOUR: To bubble a bit.
GORMLEY: ... to bubble.
So, this is -- this is a living thing. This is -- this a primal soup. This is an organic process. There we are, some organic residues in here.
So, this is the grand rotunda in the center of the Royal Academy. And I have sort of done this -- well, this is -- this is Newton's apple...
GORMLEY: ... in arrested fall, making -- hopefully, you aware of gravity in a way that you wouldn't otherwise.
These are -- these are supported by two cranes permanently put in. And these are free to move. And I -- it's difficult not to...
AMANPOUR: Are people allowed to touch it when they come in?
GORMLEY: Well, they're not really.
GORMLEY: I really like it when...
AMANPOUR: It is remarkable.
GORMLEY: That sort Foucault pendulum feeling.
I like the idea that you negotiate around these two things.
GORMLEY: So they're like two planets sort of hanging, grace of gravity.
AMANPOUR: Just beautiful.
You have some amazing, huge works outside, North of England. And then on the beach at Merseyside, you have all these figures like this on the beach.
GORMLEY: And other places, yes.
AMANPOUR: And now you're planning to do something on the coast of France, in response to Brexit, I think.
What are you saying about our current political climate? Or why are you building them on the coast of France?
GORMLEY: I think it's an extraordinary paradox, that, in a time in which we have the greatest potential of understanding -- in other words, we have,
with the Internet, this realization of what Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky called the noosphere, the encirclement of the globe by human mind
and our ability to communicate.
At the same time, we have this reactive force that is both fundamentalism in religious terms and nationalism in political terms.
And I think we cannot face the future, we cannot answer any of the issues of the social justice without talking to our neighbors and without
realizing that our future and their future are one future, and that, yes, I will go on doing as much as I can to work across the globe to make pieces
that encourage people to think openly about what is possible and what our species is possible -- well, what is possible for our species in terms of
our participation in the evolution of life.
AMANPOUR: And you almost said to make peace.
GORMLEY: Well, no, I think you can have hubristic ideas about what the possibility of art can do.
I think -- I think art is always a space apart that hopefully allows you to look back at your own life and the world and recalibrate your relationship
with it. That's the best it can do.
AMANPOUR: Sir Antony Gormley, thank you so much.
GORMLEY: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And that is it for now.
Join us again tomorrow night, when we will be looking back at my interview with Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Julian Fellowes. We spoke as
the highly anticipated "Downton Abbey" the movie hit the cinemas. And he takes us back to a bygone era filled with grandeur.
He explains why he thinks this nostalgia-filled film is an antidote for our turbulent times.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN FELLOWES, WRITER AND PRODUCER, "DOWNTON ABBEY": I do think there's a sense in the show, which actually, to a certain extent, is illusory, that
this was a very settled period, and we are all living in a rather unsettled period.
And it seems perhaps attractive that there was a time when everyone knew what they were doing and when dinner was and what they were supposed to
wear and all that kind of thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Thanks for watching this special edition of AMANPOUR.
Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at Amanpour.com. And you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
Goodbye from London.