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Two Shot Dead in Third Night of Wisconsin Protest; Suspect in Kenosha Shooting is a 17-Year-Old from Antioch, Illinois; Trump Sending in Federal Law Enforcement to Kenosha, Wisconsin; California Wildfires Burns Over a Million Acres and At Least Seven People Dead; Hurricane Laura Heading Towards Texas and Louisiana; Republican National Convention Nothing To Say On Climate Change; Interview With Jeh Johnson, Former Homeland Security Secretary; Interview with Fmr. Rep. Mia Love (R-UT); Interview With Josina Machel. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 26, 2020 - 14:00 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.
Two dead as racial unrest in Wisconsin grows after police shoot yet another black man, Jacob Blake. I talked to Jeh Johnson, President Obama's
secretary of Homeland Security.
Then, amid record-breaking wildfires and hurricanes approaching, young conservative environmentalist, Benji Backer, talks about how climate change
is AWOL again at the Republican National Convention.
Plus, around the world domestic abuse spike under coronavirus lockdowns. I talk to survivor, Josina Machel, about her movement to empower women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. REP. MIA LOVE (R-UT): I'm not going to follow at all cost, just because the person says that they are Republican and they are the president
of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Our Michel Martin talks to former GOP congresswoman, Mia Love, about the success and failures of the Trump administration.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
And the tension is rising as President Trump says that he is sending in federal law enforcement to quell unrest Kenosha, Wisconsin. This follows
the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man by police. The president tweeted, we will not stand for looting, violence, arson and
lawlessness on American streets.
Now, events there are quickly turning into a political flashpoint in one of the nation's most important swing states. Jacob Blake's family says it will
take a miracle for him to walk again after police shot him seven times in the back. In the aftermath, two people have been killed allegedly by a
member of what's been described as a vigilante militia, which claims to be protecting property from protesters. An investigation is underway to
determine exactly what happened and an arrest has been made.
All of this as Republican Convention unfolds amid two different messages. First lady, Melania Trump, made a plea for racial harmony, while the
president's son has raised the dark specter of more violence, fear and destruction. With me to discuss the racial security and political
ramifications is Jeh Johnson, President Obama's secretary of Homeland Security.
Secretary Johnson, welcome to the program.
JEH JOHNSON, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: The latest information from Wisconsin is that officials have made an arrest. It's allegedly a teenage boy coming from out of state, not
so far away, but from out of state in Antioch, Illinois, and he's being charged with homicide in the first degree, intentional homicide. This is
over the shootings overnight that's caused so much drama now there.
What do you make, first and foremost, of who this kind of vigilante militia, as it's been described is? What is happening there unfolding in
front of our eyes now?
JOHNSON: Christiane, thanks for having me on. I think that there are numerous elements of what is happening in Wisconsin. One, you have people
who are rightly upset at what seems to be the endless stream of use of excessive force by our nation's law enforcement against members of the
African-American community who are on the streets protesting peacefully as I did in June, after George Floyd was killed here in Montclair, New Jersey.
I guess that makes me a protester. I was on the streets, I marched peaceably. There were a number of people on the streets doing exactly that.
You have another category of people, frankly, who are concerned, who are upset and can be provoked into something by an unnecessarily antagonistic
law enforcement presence in the situation. There is opportunistic looting by people who don't even know the name Jacob Blake or George Floyd, and
then you have -- and this is what troubles me about Wisconsin. Now, apparently the presence of groups or individuals of some type of self-
proclaimed militia, which cannot be there for any good purpose, certainly not at the request of local authorities who are adding to the danger of
this situation, as your broadcast just a second ago indicates.
AMANPOUR: So, let's just remind everybody what happened on Sunday night. There is video. It didn't go as viral as what happened to George Floyd.
Jacob Blake is still alive but his parents, his family is saying, you know, he's fighting for his life. It will take a miracle if he's not permanently
paralyzed. Let us show the video of what happened on Sunday where it's clear that there is some kind of altercation around the back of a car,
allegedly some of his young children are in the car, and then he's seen to be walking around again to the door of the car trying to get into the car.
And there are policemen behind him, and you hear these shots, and then we know what happened.
So, this is the video that I'm talking about. I want to know -- I guess I want to know from you -- first of all, there's been no, you know, reaction
from the police, we don't know what's happened or what will happen to the policemen in question, and we don't know, certainly -- the family says they
haven't had a full explanation of everything. So, how, especially now, does this keep happening, I guess, is what I want to ask you?
JOHNSON: Christiane, I believe that the cry, the grievance that we hear so much in this country and beyond this country, Black Lives Matter, is
legitimate. Over and over and over again, we see our nation's law enforcement engaging in acts of excessive force, homicide carried out
against people with black skin, treating them as if they are animals and the cop is the hunter.
We don't know all the facts about what happened in Wisconsin, but from the video and from the circumstances we do know, it is extremely hard for me to
justify why a nation's -- a member of nation's law enforcement would shoot an unarmed man in the back seven times in front of his children. I believe
the larger problem we have here is our local police, our nation's law enforcement, are not sufficiently trained in tactics of de-escalation, to
de-escalate a tense situation like this so that you don't end up with tragic results like this.
AMANPOUR: I just want to read you something that white correspondent for PBS tweeted, it's in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake and about his
family. She said, Jacob Blake's family said for years that they've watched as police shot and kill black people on video and now, they're living part
of that nightmare. That's at the heart of being black in America, living with that terrible anticipation of death. That's the trauma in our bones.
How does that resonate with you, Secretary Johnson?
JOHNSON: Well, I've been a black man in this country for almost 63 years. So, of course it resonates with me and it resonates with members of my
family. It's a conversation that I've had to have with my own children about living in this society.
I think it's important to remember that most of our nation's law enforcement are there to serve and protect. Here, for example, in
Montclair, New Jersey when we had our marches after George Floyd's death, the only presence I saw of our local police were those who were protecting
the marchers, barricading the streets, protecting the marchers. But far, far too many of the members of our nation's law enforcement are engaging in
acts of excessive force.
I think there is a recruitment problem with the type of people we're recruiting into police forces in our cities, and I think, as I mentioned
earlier, there is a problem with not teaching cops how to de-escalate a situation where somebody falls asleep at a drive-in to a fast food
restaurant or over a package of cigarettes or over a counterfeit $20 bill, the tactics of de-escalation so that you don't end up with these tragic
AMANPOUR: You mentioned, obviously, what happened in Georgia after George Floyd, what happened to Eric Garner in New York and what happened to George
Floyd, those three cases that you just mentioned. So, now, I want to ask you this, because we've seen similar anger in Portland, and it's been
framed very differently by different political parties. You saw the Homeland Security Department, which you used to lead, send forces there.
And now, President Trump is saying that he's sending forces, federal assistance, he said, plus the National Guard into Kenosha, into Wisconsin,
at the apparent request of the governor there. Will that de-escalate or will that escalate? And we know what happened in Portland. I just -- what
is the point of this at this time, do you think?
JOHNSON: Good question. I'm very worried that sending in a federal presence, a federal force and telegraphing it as this president just did
has the effect of unnecessarily antagonizing and amping up and provoking the situation rather than calming it down. That appears to have been the
case in Portland. So, I would be thinking really hard about whether or not I'm making the situation worse by doing so.
You have to unpack that tweet, by the way. Sending in the guard, the National Guard under the control of the governor, paid for by the federal
government, is not that unusual. And so, that might be what's going on right here if the governor believes that local law enforcement is not
sufficient. My concern, however, is that we are in an election year. We're in a convention week, and some of this, quite frankly, has the appearance
of politics at work here. It's as if it's the 1968 Richard Nixon law and order card being played again, but in very, very different circumstances in
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, that leads me into the next question. As you know, after George Floyd's killing, there was a huge explosion of support
for tackling racial injustice across the board. I mean, it was very, very, you know, high, many people saying it was a big, big election issue for
AMANPOUR: But it seems to be decreasing now after George Floyd's death. Basically, many people said the protests were mostly legitimate in June, 62
percent, but in August, 53 percent, and those acting unlawfully in June, it was 28 percent, in August now 38 percent. In other words, majority still
support the protesters, but the support has fallen about 10 percent since June.
So, what can you -- what do you read from that? Because obviously protesters, the peaceful ones who you mentioned and that the world has
seen, are being conflated with some who have come to do harm and who have rioted and who have killed now and who have burnt down property.
JOHNSON: Yes, but these incidents directed at African-Americans keep happening over and over and over again, so the conversation gets renewed. I
believe that since George Floyd, since that day, the conversation nationwide has, in fact, been elevated. I think that the conscience of
white America has been elevated about black lives mattering. The polls will ebb and flow, but we continue to have these incidents to the point where,
yet again, it's front page news and it's uppermost, it's the top of the hour on shows like this.
So., I believe that in this country, at least, there is a new awareness of the grievance that is being discussed on a weekly and daily basis. The
polls may ebb and flow, and then the current administration seems to want to play the law and order card with this, but the grievance is real, and it
continues in a national dialogue, in my observation.
AMANPOUR: Can I finally ask you about, again, politicization of certain issues? You've inferred that, you know, there is a lot of politics being
played around this right now with the -- you know, what's going on.
AMANPOUR: And also, as you have seen over the convention, the president has used the White House for various -- obviously, political partisan
events. It's his re-election campaign and he's used that. I want to know as a former cabinet secretary and obviously, you know, the former secretary of
Homeland Security what you think of Secretary of State Pompeo breaking tradition, being the first secretary of state to address a convention and
that from abroad, from Jerusalem, and what about one of your successors, acting secretary, Chad Wolf, using the White House to stage a
naturalization ceremony for the president, you know, last night?
JOHNSON: Christiane, there is some limited space to allow a cabinet officer in his personal capacity to participate in politics, emphasis on in
his personal capacity. It is difficult to see how the secretary of state on an official foreign trip can segregate that out and claim to be acting in
his personal capacity when he gave that speech from Israel like last night.
Likewise, I do not see, as a former secretary of Homeland Security, how I could participate in an event in my official capacity as secretary of
Homeland Security, filmed for something I know is going to be a political convention. Frankly, I went to the other extreme because I believed that
Homeland Security needs to be completely apolitical. I went to actually both conventions four years ago because I was responsible for the security
of both conventions.
And so, a week before they took place, I actually visited both sites. But I made sure that I was going to both the Democratic and Republican convention
sites because DHS has the responsibility for the security of those sites, and we should do that in an even-handed way. Homeland Security is something
that has to be above politics.
AMANPOUR: This is so interesting to remind us of that. Thank you so much for joining us, Secretary Jeh Johnson.
And now, the ravages of nature are also framing this Republican National Convention. In California, raging wildfires have burned over a million
acres, and at least seven people have been killed. At the same time, Hurricane Laura is barreling towards Texas and Louisiana, forcing residents
to evacuate, and scientists say there is no doubt that climate change is driving extreme weather.
And yet, for the second time in a row, the Republican National Convention will have nothing to say about it. Environmentalists and Republican, Benji
Backer, grew up knocking on doors for John McCain and Mitt Romney. In college, he created thee American Conservation Coalition, aimed at engaging
young people on climate change. And he's joining me now from Billings, Montana.
Benji Backer, welcome to the program.
BENJI BACKER, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, AMERICAN CONSERVATION COALITION: It's great to be --
AMANPOUR: Yes. It's great to have you to talk about this, actually, because, you know, it's a really important subject, and I just wondered
what you thought about the convention, again, not having it on the platform at all.
BACKER: Yes, well, honestly, it is a very frustrating moment for a lot of young people across the country who are looking for both sides to engage on
climate. Young people don't see climate in terms of Republican or Democrat, they see it in terms of climate. And to have only one side of the table is
really damaging for not only the environment but the conservative movement and the Republican Party as well.
77 percent of young conservatives, according to our polling and other polling, want action on climate. And that includes our members across the
country. We have thousands of them across the country who want this sort of action. And for two presidential conventions in a row to not engage on
climate, it's an immense failure of the Republican Party. But it's also too bad because there has been a lot of action within the Republican Party on
climate over the past four years.
In fact, the most climate-friendly governors in the United States are Governor Baker, Governor Hogan and Governor Sununu, all Republicans. And
Republicans have been putting together climate plans. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader put together a climate plan. Senator Braun and
Congressman John Curtis had been stewards of the environment in putting together tons of climate policies. But unfortunately, the national party is
not reflecting not only the youth voters but also the immense progress that has been made within the party itself.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's interesting to hear you, you know, raise this to that level, and especially the 77 percent number is very high. And last week you
tweeted, conservatism without a climate plan is a conservatism that will never last. What do you mean by that?
BACKER: Well, in all honesty, it's the truth. Conservatism will not last if climate policy isn't at the forefront of these issues. Young people are
wanting climate action more than ever. And like I said earlier, climate is not perceived as a partisan issue to young people. They don't want it to be
partisan. And so, if you have one side that is perceived as the climate party and one side that is perceived as the climate denial party, even
though that's not true, you are not going to be able to recruit and get young voters on your side as the climate denial party.
And so, the conservative movement is once again delaying four more years of progress with young people who oftentimes have fiscally conservative
values. They want to be economically and fiscally responsible, and they want -- but they -- at the same time they want action on climate. They want
pragmatic action. They don't want the Green New Deal. But if the Green New Deal and the Democratic Party is all they're hearing from on climate, then
they will never vote for Republicans or free market ideals or limited government ideals, which I have fought my entire life for.
So, somebody who has fought their entire life for conservative ideals, I know firsthand, knowing other thousands of young conservatives across the
country and young moderates, that this is an issue that is going to make or break how they associate politically going forward.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, again, so, how do you mobilize the people who you seem to be saying are standing in the way of serious climate policies in
your party? And let's just say that, you know, you belong to a party that says, you belong to a party that says, you know, climate change is not
oppressing national security, it's the triumph of extremism over common sense.
How do you make your young voices heard given that young people are such a powerful voting bloc, particularly this cycle? How can you, in your party,
you know, ramp this up to the top of the agenda?
BACKER: Well, for the past three years, the American Conservation Coalition has been building grassroots base of young people who want
market-based solutions, pragmatic solutions to environmental challenges and we've mobilized them during in-person fly-ins when we could fly people in
to D.C. and have meetings. We were doing tons of virtual events and meeting with elected officials to push them to do more on climate.
We're obviously being very active on social media. In fact, this week, we launched a campaign called #whataboutclimate where we've already had over 2
million people engage with us on why the conservative movement should -- and the Republican Party should have a platform on climate. Our voices are
working, our numbers are growing, our base is growing, and it is really actually exciting, and I have a lot of hope outside of this convention. I
have a lot of hope about where the party can go in the future, because there is a lot of progress being made. And unfortunately, the national
party is not reflective of where the average activist or voter is, but it's also not reflective of where the elected officials are and how far people
like Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik and these members of Congress in the United States on the Republican side have come on these issues.
There have been some incredible -- there's been incredible leadership on this side and the Republican Party can be a party of climate, and we're
pushing for the Republican Party to be the party of climate, and at the same time the national party has not been responsive while a lot of others
have been. And so, young people and the environment at large are waiting for the Republican Party at the national level to engage.
AMANPOUR: So, I hear what you're saying from a young person's perspective, and you mentioned some of those officials, and yet they have sort of stood
by as the administration, the Trump administration over the last three years, has systemically dismantled a lot of the environmental protections,
a lot of the EPA protections and now, of course, we hear about, you know, opening up the Arctic Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.
Would you prefer for that not to happen? I mean, are you the kind of climate activist who would rather see regulations in place for clean air,
you know, clean water, all the things that are being rolled back, including limits on methane, which is a terrible, you know, climate danger?
BACKER: Yes. I mean, you're seeing firsthand right now the effects of climate change in California and the hurricanes, and it's on the top of
people's minds. And so, when you have these terrible situations happening nationwide and then it's not backed up through policies from the top down
in the United States government, that is really frustrating.
As a young conservative climate activist, I think there is an important balance between regulation and the marketplace and the kind of how we
compare small-scale solutions and market-based solutions with common sense regulation that doesn't necessarily always harm the economy. And I think if
the president wants to reduce regulations that are not necessary for improving the environment, he has to have a plan as to, OK, so, if this
regulation wasn't working, then what? Instead of just rolling things back, have his own plan.
And so, as an organization, these things are not as simple -- we know these things are not as simple as regulation good or regulation bad or market-
based mechanism good or market-based mechanism bad, it's more convoluted than that, and people need to understand that. But at the same time if
you're only rolling things back and attacking one side for their climate policies when you don't have your own, that doesn't send a good message and
it doesn't help the climate conversation.
We don't have time to wait for one side to be at the table and the other side to not be at the table. And honestly, younger generations are pushing
that more than ever before, and you're going to see that reflected in how they vote this November.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, again, that's really interesting. How are you going to vote this November? Are you going to vote for your president?
BACKER: Well, that's a really great question, and for me personally, I've been really focused on trying to elect those conservatives in the House and
the Senate. We released some endorsements last week for the Republicans that had been at the forefront of climate action. And so, as an
organization and in my personal capacity, we're really focused on keeping conservatives who are good on these issues engaged, people like Congressman
John Curtis, who I will join on a livestream talking about this very issue at the RNC tonight on Facebook. And it's people like that we need to keep
in the House and the Senate.
So, personally, I believe for climate action to actually happen, we need action from Congress, state legislators and businesses, and then, of
course, in the globe, we need the globe to act as well. I'm not as worried about the president as a lot of people are because the action comes from
other sources, and that's where we have to prioritize our time.
So, I believe that as consumers, we have a huge role in using our dollars for voting power. I believe that our State House and Senate members and our
Federal House and Senate members are the key to unlocking the right policies on these things, and we focus far too much on the presidency when
the action comes from other places.
So, I have not decided where I'm going to be in the presidential election at this point, but my focus right now, and our focus at ACC is on those
races that will actually make a difference on climate change. And I would urge people who care about climate change globally and here in the United
States to focus on what types of people are getting elected who are going to make those decisions and also, what companies are doing and how we can
push both forward into a cleaner, better future.
AMANPOUR: And on your side, presumably, are great stats which show that, you know, the green economy has generated more than $1.3 trillion in annual
revenue, which is a big part of the U.S. GDP. Green economy has grown by 20 percent over the last several years. So, these are great stats that you can
take with you to your officials.
Benji Backer, thank you very much, indeed.
Now, the coronavirus pandemic is another leadership litmus test. South Africa, one of the continent's biggest economies, tackled it head on with a
strict lockdown. President Ramaphosa also imposed prohibition to stave off endemic domestic abuse in the country. But alcohol is now back on sale,
back on the shelves, and women are now back suffering an eruption of violence against them.
Our next guest, Josina Machel, is a survivor after her partner leveled a brutal attack five years ago that blinded her in one eye. She has set out
the Kuhluka Movement that empowers women like her. She is also Graca Machel's daughter and thus, Nelson Mandela's stepdaughter, proving that
this violence knows no boundaries and no privileges. She joins me now from Johannesburg.
Josina Machel, welcome to the program.
Let's just talk about what's happening in South Africa at the moment and particularly the spike in coronavirus, at least the time of lockdown, how
that has really led to a spike in domestic violence. Tell me what you're seeing there.
JOSINA MACHEL, DAUGHTER OF GRACE MACHEL, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVOR: Christiane, the truth is that domestic violence has spiked, indeed, or
we've got more cases being recorded during this period. But, as you know, South Africa has already horrendous numbers of women reporting gender-based
violence through rape, beating and the highest level of femicide in the world.
So, what corona has done is really driven the concentration, the attention of people in general to realize the horrors of gender-based violence, but
it is not a problem that has come solely because of gender-based violence, and it is something that we still have to deal with adequately in the
AMANPOUR: Josina, I mentioned a little bit about your own traumatic experience. Tell us what happened to you, and what was the result in terms
of accountability, law enforcement, the courts?
MACHEL: I was brutally attacked by my then-partner, Rofino Licuco, on October 17, 2015. I received two blows, one to the middle of my face, one
to my right eye which blinded me immediately, and a third one to the back of my head. At that point, I run away from the car, and eventually he did
pick me up and took me to the hospital.
At the hospital, I endured what is called second victimization with a treatment that was given to me was extremely poor. Later on, we discovered
that my files in the hospitals, my file in the police, had disappeared.
By the time we actually got to court, something like 18 months later, myself and my lawyer and the team had already resorted to making three to
five copies of each document, before we actually presented in order to ensure that it never disappeared.
And so, eventually, we did get the verdict of guilt. He was found guilty. And, unfortunately, a few weeks ago, a higher court of appeal has absolved
him of the crime of gender-based violence.
AMANPOUR: So, I mean, that's the horrible postscript to all of this.
And is that the norm in -- I mean, this happened in Mozambique, the country of your birth, but you're also the stepdaughter of the great liberation
leader of South Africa as well, and it's happening there.
What is the accountability level? Do most people have your experience in terms of trying to get justice?
MACHEL: Unfortunately, I have to report that millions of women in this part of the world, in the African continent in particular, experience this
kind of treatment by the authorities that are meant to protect them.
It is not new to hear that files of victims have vanished. It is not new to hear that women who have gathered all the evidence and everything is in
place to ensure that perpetrators of violence are held accountable.
Unfortunately, it is not new to hear that the cases go actually against it, and the judiciary authorities still allow violence to go unpunished and for
perpetrators to not be accountable.
AMANPOUR: I want to play something that the president of South Africa said. He had a nationally televised address in June, when this was becoming
very, very evident in South Africa.
This is what he said to the women of South Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: As a man, as a husband, and as a father to daughters, I am appalled at what is no less than a war that is
being waged against the women and the children of our country.
By looking away, by discouraging victims from laying charges, by shaming and insulting women for their lifestyle choices or their style of dress, we
become complicit in these crimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Josina, that is a pretty big statement for a president to make. He really does seem to be like he gets it, he's on your side.
Last year, he signed some $75 million to fighting gender-based violence, and he's asking lawmakers to process amendments, including minimum
sentencing, stiffer bail conditions for perpetrators. Is that working? Is it showing results?
MACHEL: We have to congratulate President Ramaphosa for actually having put in place all these measures and ensuring that his government actually
takes the issue of gender-based violence as an emergency.
However, GBV in this country is really a war against women. Millions -- thousands of women wake up every day as if they were soldiers. We never
know how many of us will be beaten, how many will be raped, how many will be killed.
As we're talking right now, in the few minutes, our statistics demonstrate that at least three women have already been raped while we were having this
Now, we have to congratulate the government for all the legislation that it's putting in place, but the issue with gender-based violence goes along
the way of having legislation, but ensuring that such legislation is actually applied.
So, there is effort in the country at this point to ensure that, at the level of the judiciaries, at the level of the police, there are trained
people to handle this issue.
However, the numbers are horrendous. It's every day. It's families, it's women that are getting ripped apart. And, of course, nothing that is done
still justifies. And we also have a very low level of prosecution when it comes to abuses of gender -- to abusers.
And so it does not really respond or it does not make sense to us for women to step out, to come and talk about the experience, if then the
perpetrators are not punished and made accountable.
AMANPOUR: Well, also, you believe that men should speak out, too.
And one of the major male figures in South Africa, the captain of the Springbok national rugby team, has spoken up. He says he has done so
because he witnessed his mother and his aunt being abused when he was a child.
This is what he said recently. I will read it for you: "I remember, when I was younger, the first thing I was taught was how to use a condom, not how
to treat a lady or how to be a better man."
I mean, that's pretty -- it's a pretty big admission, a pretty sensitive thing to say.
MACHEL: And it is the reality of many men in this continent.
They are not -- men are not taught how to treat women with respect and to value them. As a result, we see the horrible numbers that show every day in
terms of rape, in terms of abuse and disregard.
Above that is the disregard for women's lives. And then, of course, it's from the lower level, it's from the family level that goes to the societal
level to institutions that then manifest the kind of sentences that we, as African women, are now fighting again and demanding that there is justice
for each one of us that goes and reports gender-based violence.
AMANPOUR: And, Josina, I'm sure, for your global community of women as well, because it's happening here in the U.K. Brazil, France, Mexico, the
U.S. has seen spikes.
And, according to the U.N., literally, hundreds of millions of girls and women last year alone were attacked by their partners.
Josina Machel, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.
And now back to the big story of the week, which is the Republican Convention and the case of President Trump and four more years.
Mia Love broke a glass ceiling in 2015 when she became the first black Republican congresswoman. The daughter of Haitian immigrants and a Mormon
convert, Mia Love represented Utah's 4th District, until she lost her seat back in 2019, last year.
Love is a proud conservative. Indeed, she spoke at the 2012 Republican Convention, but, today, the question of whether she supports her party's
president is not an easy one for her to answer.
And here she is explaining why to our Michel Martin.
MICHEL MARTIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Christiane.
Mia Love, thank you so much for talking with us.
FMR. REP. MIA LOVE (R-UT): Thank you for having me. I'm happy to speak to you.
MARTIN: I'm happy to speak to you, too.
I do want to talk about the conventions, both conventions.
But I want to kind of go back big picture before that.
MARTIN: And I wanted to ask you, looking back at the last three years, what do you think the Trump administration has done well, if anything, and
what do you think the Trump administration has done poorly, if anything?
LOVE: Well, let's talk about the negatives first of all.
So, I mentioned in my concession speech that it seems to me that the administration is incredibly transactional. And as you saw in the
convention last night, all of the people that were speaking have been people that have been supportive from day one.
He has this mentality that, you're either all in with me or you're all out. And for some Republicans, that has been difficult, because there are
principles and platforms that we believe in. And when you leave those platforms or you turn away from those platforms, as a member of Congress,
and even as a Republican or a citizen, it is your duty and responsibility to say, wait a minute, that's not what we believe in.
MARTIN: And I remember, in part, you said in 2016 part of the reason you didn't go to the Republican Convention is that you were representing your
constituents, who were still ambivalent.
And so it doesn't mean -- I mean, you can't take those things personally, and I think the administration does take some of those things personally.
Also, I don't think there is really an American that agrees 100 percent with the president's Twitter feed and the language that he uses.
It can be incredibly divisive. The only people that I think probably are OK with that are the ones that are really on the fringe and, really, I mean,
they're just fed up and they will go with him at all costs and justify anything that he says.
So, my issue with the president has been mainly a personality issue.
So, let's talk about what he's done correctly. I think that foreign policy, the tough mentality with Kim Jong-un in North Korea, with terrorist groups,
with even Putin in terms of trying to say, look, you're not going to mess with the United States, that brash bulldog, has been good for us.
I think that the actions that he's taken in making sure that he took out terrorists has been good for us. I also think that the economy pre-COVID
was doing really well for all Americans. In the state of Utah, we had less than 2 percent unemployment and dropping.
So, that raised wages, and people were doing well. Black communities were doing better. Criminal justice reform has been a great thing for the
administration. Funding HBCUs permanently has been a great thing for the administration.
I worked on tax reform. Signing some of these bills into law has been really good. So, policy-wise, I think that we and the economy as a whole
was doing really well. So, when he actually says, if you want the economy to come -- to go back pro-COVID, I'm the one that can do it because I have
done it before, those are the positives.
MARTIN: Are you going to vote for him?
LOVE: I have not made that decision. I actually think that it's important for me to continue to give myself as much time as possible before I commit,
because you never know what's going to end up happening.
But I do -- I can tell you this. For the policies that I know of with Joe Biden and what he believes in, I will not be voting for Joe Biden. I'm not
going to be one of the Republicans that supports Joe just because of my issues with the president.
MARTIN: So, you gave us a lot to think about.
Briefly -- I don't want to spend too much time on tone, because conventions are television shows. They have been television shows for years.
Give me your take on what the Democrats presented shown and then give me your take on what the Republicans have presented so far, tone, because you
raised tone as part of your issue with the way the president's conducted himself in office.
LOVE: And you know what? It is. It is about tone, because I think that Americans are just tired of the doom and gloom.
I believe they're tired. People are tired. They have been stuck at home. They have had to deal with a health crisis and then had to deal with not --
losing so much work, not being able to feed -- it's just too much doom and gloom.
I think the Democrats lost an opportunity to talk about some of the positives and to talk about what they're going to do to help the country
A lot of the speeches were recorded, several -- some of them two weeks in advance, and I think it lost the opportunity to really address or to flow
freely on some of the issues that were present.
So I think that that was a mistake. I was pleasantly surprised -- I was keeping my fingers crossed hoping we wouldn't talk about the president as
much as we would talk about the American people. I think that people like Senator Tim Scott was phenomenal, because he talked about the American
dream. His tone was about -- I mean, it was about from cotton to Congress and how that was his -- that was the American dream that was achieved.
His grandfather that couldn't even read now has a grandson, was able to see a grandson become a member of Congress. It spoke to me, because my parents
immigrated from Haiti, and they had nothing, $10 in their pockets and saw their daughter become the first black Republican in Congress.
That was their American dream. It had nothing to do with health -- with wealth. It has everything to do with an ideal, that you can, through hard
work and education, be something way beyond what you -- what you envisioned for yourself and for your children.
MARTIN: Both nominees have said, in one way or another, don't just watch what I say, watch what I do.
And I think a lot of the Democrats felt that their presentation was its own message of optimism, the diversity, the going around the country, the
display of different kinds of people, all different kinds of people in the roll call, showing people all over the country, the calamari, that that was
its own message.
And as a champion of diversity in your own party, you didn't see that? You didn't...
LOVE: No, no, I saw some of it, but I think it was -- there was a lot of, this is how the president has hurt America.
And I didn't see very much -- as a person that's looking for solutions, I didn't see very much of those -- what are the policies that are going to
change? All I kept saying is -- all I kept seeing is, this has to change. This is what the president has done.
I'm aware of the negative effects of the administration, as a Republican. I'm aware. But what are you going to do to really change it? What are the
And I just don't have any -- any solid policies, whereas, when I'm looking at Tim Scott, who is a good friend, full disclosure, a very good friend of
mine, but I saw him work on police reform policies.
And he even stated, which I think is going to resonate with Americans, is that they would rather have the issue than the solution.
MARTIN: So, let's talk about the policy. Let's sort of talk about the substance.
You have identified a couple of areas similar to what many convention of the speakers identify as what you consider to be areas of accomplishment.
Let's talk about the president, President Trump. In the first three years, he brought about or what occurred under his administration slightly less
employment growth than his predecessor did, the same gross domestic product growth, slightly better stock market growth, the same wage growth.
This was all pre-pandemic. And now, of course, we see that we have record unemployment, the worst unemployment since the Great Depression. Is that
really a record of accomplishment?
LOVE: Actually, a better economy, more people finding jobs.
Look, I am -- this is -- I'm not an apologist for the president. I have not been. But that's an area where he actually has done well. I have seen it in
our state. I have seen it across the country. That was one area that, no matter where -- what we talked about, that was one area that we kept
saying, you need to focus on that.
And even Democrats kept saying, if he focused on that, instead of the language that he was using, he would actually do a little bit better. So,
that is an area that I do think, yes, that he has done well. Slightly better is better than a decline.
And I think it was a little bit more than slightly better. We saw it in our -- like, in our state. We saw the economy growing. We saw the projections.
And it's -- people were bringing home a little bit more, were making a little bit more, were able to get more jobs.
And that's always a good thing.
MARTIN: And in the foreign policy realm, no concessions from North Korea. Yes, it's true that he's reimposed sanctions. He's reimposed sanctions on
Iran. No concessions from North Korea. Met with the North Korean dictator without any prior concessions at all, something no previous president has
Has achieved no concessions since those meetings, and says that he and the North Korean dictator fell in love. Has yet to confront the president of
Russia about bounties leveled on troops in Afghanistan.
And I will also add to that 70, at least 70 Republican national security officials released a letter saying that the country is now less safe than
it was before he took office.
What's your take on that?
LOVE: Well, I don't know if we are less safe. And I'm not going to agree with everything that the president has done when it comes to foreign
policy. I don't agree with the lovefest.
But there are the -- the previous administration in terms of crossing lines, I was there in Congress when the Iran deal was done. That was done
without Congress at all. That was done -- that was giving Iran about a fourth of its GDP back to them without having any concessions on stopping
the terrorist attacks.
I was there watching that. And that was really -- I think that that was incredibly harmful. So I think that, when we're talking about some of these
things, talking about North Korea and making sure that we denuclearize North Korea, that's important.
I don't agree with some of the things in terms of removing ourselves. We have become a little bit more isolationist, instead of being a little bit
more engaged and involved. I don't agree with that.
MARTIN: Does he show you any inclination of being willing to reach out beyond the people who have already supported him all these years? Has he
given you any indication of any willingness to do that, even within the Republican Party?
I mean, again, this is the precedent that, I mentioned earlier, you're either all in with him or you're all out. And I think that that's a
detriment, because, when you are the leader of the nation, your job is not just to represent your followers, not just to represent Republicans, but to
MARTIN: And where does that leave somebody like you? And where does that leave somebody like former General Jim Mattis, or the former secretary of
state, or the former heads of all these -- other Republican people who tried to -- Republican national security officials, distinguished in their
fields, many of them with distinguished careers, someone like yourself, a rising star, who has -- in the party, a groundbreaker, a glass ceiling
breaker, and yet because of points of difference on policy issues, legitimate points of difference, find yourself without a party.
Where does that leave you?
LOVE: Here's where it leaves me, as a daughter of parents who immigrated and who worked hard, who are legitimately Americans also.
It leads me to saying, I am not going to put all my eggs in that basket, that I'm not going to follow a person blindly, that I'm going to stick with
my principles and my beliefs, and I'm going to continue to say things the way that I believe that -- the things that I believe in.
I'm not going to follow at all costs, just because the person says that they are Republican and they are the president of the United States. I have
always maintained that, when I was a member of Congress, it was not my job to follow behind him, but it was his job to follow behind us, because us is
the American people.
That's what it means to be government for the people, by the people, is that you are not -- being a leader is not just saying, all of my decisions
are correct, but it is representing the people that put you in office.
MARTIN: Where does that leave you? Yes.
LOVE: With not pulling away from the things that I believe in.
What that leaves me is being honest, as a mother, and as a wife and as an American, to continue to say, these are the things I agree with, these are
the things I disagree with. And if you don't like me, then that's your business.
But it is, I put you there. It is, you are to represent me. You are not my boss. I am yours.
MARTIN: Can I get a reaction to something that Nikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador, former South Carolina governor, a person -- a woman of
color herself, said in her remarks to the convention.
She said: "In much of the Democratic Party, it's now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country."
What is your reaction?
LOVE: My reaction to that is, the more we talk about it, I thought -- I prefer to have the Tim Scott approach to it.
I understand what she's saying. And I think that what she probably should have said is, maybe we're not where we were in 1800s. Maybe we were not
where we were in the 1900s. There are some things that we can do better.
And so that would be my reaction to that. You can't completely ignore some of the things that we have to work on.
MARTIN: As we have noted, you are a glass breaker. You were the first African-American -- black Republican woman elected to the Congress.
Kamala Harris is the first black woman, the first woman of color on a major-party ticket. And she has been -- I don't know another way to say it,
but conservative media has conducted an assault on her.
I mean, they have directed a sexual smear campaign at her. I mean, they have questioned her right to run, a birth -- a so-called -- another birther
attack, claiming that she is -- some obscure legal theory from the 19th century claiming that she's not qualified to run. She was born in the
United States. Of course she's qualified to run.
I just wonder, even though you're not of the same party, does her ascension to the ticket mean anything to you? And do the assaults on her mean
anything to you?
LOVE: Of course. Of course it does, because I witnessed some of that.
You know, being a black woman in America is difficult as it is. And I remember a lot of assaults against me. And it was from -- actually from
both. And we always have to work harder to prove ourselves when we're articulate.
It's really interesting. It's like, we always get, hmm, that person's really articulate. Like, well, I'm an educated American. Somebody -- no one
gave this to me. No one gave this.
You earn your way through. And so I think that, of course, I feel it, because I think that I witnessed that myself.
And here's what I always say. Attack the policies. Attack the politics, not the person.
MARTIN: Do you have any advice for her?
LOVE: I would say to continue to just rise above it and push forward your policies.
I think that there -- I think it would -- it would be better for her if she -- if they got away from, this is what's bad, and go towards, these are my
solutions, this is my policy, this is how I'm going to fix things, and ignore it.
And just -- and one of the things that I agree with, actually, Michelle Obama about is, go high. Rise above it. And it's really -- again, really
interesting is, when I first met Michelle Obama, she said: "I want you to know that I'm happy you're here. Set the standard high. Set the standard
And so I would say for all women, all women of color, and for everyone, is to set the standard high, because we, as Americans, deserve better. We
MARTIN: Mia Love, thank you so much for talking with us.
LOVE: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. This was fun.
AMANPOUR: And we should all set our personal and professional standards high.
That's it for now. You can always follow us online and all over our social media.
See you again tomorrow night.