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FBI Chief Says Russia Denigrating Joe Biden in 2020 Election; Russian Trolls and Hackers Making Mischief on the Internet; Alex Gibney, Director, "Agents of Chaos," and Andrew McCabe, Former FBI Deputy Director, are Interviewed About Russia's Election Interference and Trump; Interview With Jay Shetty; Interview With Director Yoruba Richen. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired September 18, 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2016, our sovereignty was violated by a foreign power which found a way to interfere in our democratic process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Pulling back the curtain on Russia's agents of chaos. But has the U.S. learned anything from interference in the 2016 election? I ask
Oscar-winning filmmaker, Alex Gibney, and former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From New York for tonight's show, starting Johnny Carson. And now, here's Harry Belafonte. Here he comes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: This city remembers a ground-breaking week for America when civil rights activist and trailblazing star, Harry Belafonte, took over
"The Tonight Show," bringing black lives into American homes. Director, Yoruba Richen, joins me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SHETTY, AUTHOR, "THINK LIKE A MONK": If we're looking for a kinder, more compassionate, more loving world, then understanding monk's practices
are a great place to start.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Think like a monk. Our Hari Sreenivasan talks to viral wellness sensation and former monk, Jay Shetty, as he shares his peace with the
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour working flexi Friday from home here in London.
It is now just 46 days until the United States hold its election and American voters are increasingly presented with two very different visions
for their future. And, of course, the choice should be up to the American voter, but since 2016, a pernicious and hostile foreign power has also had
a hand on the lever of American democracy.
Russia's military intelligence campaign against the United States, which is also known colloquially as interference in elections. Last time, the FBI
and intelligence concluded that Russia favored Trump against Clinton. And now, the FBI chief says, Russia is very actively interfering to denigrate
Joe Biden in this 2020 election. President Trump's former intelligence chief, Dan Coats, warns that this means "voters also face the question of
whether the American democratic experiment will survive." A new documentary, "Agents of Chaos," digs deeps into this. Here's some of the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Russians hacked democracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been trying for years to figure out what happened. If the U.S. system depends on trust and democratic institutions, who
benefits if Americans lose that trust?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we doing everything we can to make sure that Americans will decide who is running this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 2016 was a three-ring circus of election meddling. Russian trolls have been making mischief on the internet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were using fake accounts, fake organizations and finally, fake local media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, what is the plan to stop it happening this time around? I'm joined now by the film's director, Emmy and Oscar winner, Alex Gibney, from
Summit, New Jersey, and by former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, who features prominently in the film, and he's joining us from Quincy,
Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us.
It is four quite harrowing hours, and it is meticulously documenting what happened in 2016, the troll farms on the IRA, so-called, in Russia and that
campaign. Can I first ask you, Alex? You called it agents of chaos. Obviously, the Russians are sowing chaos, but you also say President
Trump's brand is chaos. Tell me how you came to that.
ALEX GIBNEY, DIRECTOR, "AGENTS OF CHAOS": I mean, ultimately, that was my conclusion in terms of looking at this whole story. I think it had been
framed by some people with Trump as sort of a Manchurian candidate captured by Putin in some unholy arrangement that involved a red phone. I don't
think it was anything like that, but I do think that Trump was an agent of chaos in a lot of ways, both in terms of working in a kind of calm and
response manner with Putin, but also because he knew that his best way to power and fame was to sow chaos. It's part of his brand. And that that, you
know, became a way for trying to understand what happened here between Trump and Putin.
AMANPOUR: So, I said IRA. I think that's the International Research Agency of the Russians, which is, you know, about the trolling and hacking. So,
lay it out. You talk about two -- sort of two lines. One is the trolling and the other is the hacking. They're not exactly the same but they achieve
GIBNEY: I would say there is actually three. One is the trolling, which is -- which was run as a kind of off the books operation by Putin's chef, a
man named Afghani Progosian (ph), through the Internet Research Agency, and that was using social media to essentially sow discord in the United States
where they would literally take both sides with fake accounts of an issue to try to sow anger and ultimately disgust as part of the process. In fact,
in one case we document, they literally sent people from both sides of an issue to the same street corner to demonstrate against each other.
The other -- you know, problem number two was the hacking of various e-mail accounts, specifically the DNC e-mail and also the John Podesta e-mail
accounts that they then released through Guccifer 2.0, a website which then gave it to Julian Assange at WikiLeaks and then it was dropped at certain
key moments in the campaign.
The third, which should be a particular concern for us today is an attempt to actually infiltrate election systems. And we believe that that was done
not to switch votes but to sow doubt about the outcome. And because everyone assumed that Hillary was going to win in 2016, the idea was to
amplify those claims by Trump, which he made in 2016 and is still making in 2020, that if he didn't win, the election would be rigged. And so, the plan
was to -- and the Russians had gotten in to all 50 states. The plan was to sow enough doubt after the fact by corrupting data that people would be
convinced that the election, in fact, had been rigged.
AMANPOUR: So, Andrew McCabe, you figure prominently in this documentary, of course, being in the FBI, being around this whole affair, trying to look
into it. Can I just first ask you, because I think everybody wants to know, what -- I mean, do you think that there is any inoculation today? I mean,
how worried are you that what they did then is going to happen again this time and maybe even, you know, more sophisticated?
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Well, Christiane, I'm very concerned, as I'm sure our intelligence and law enforcement professionals
here in the United States are concerned as well.
I think there is some value to this so-called inoculation effect, and that is simply the fact that we've been talking about this, that investigative
efforts like those at the FBI and the internet -- and the intelligence community assessment that talked about this activity, and of course the
special councils work, those things have at least raised this in the minds of many Americans that this is possible.
But I think there are a number of really bad signs that we've already heard our intelligence professional talk about this this election cycle. We know
in 2016 the Russians had three goals. It was to sow chaos and to further divide us. Their second goal was to hurt the campaign of Hillary Clinton,
who they saw as being more adverse to Russian interests. And the third goal was to help the campaign of Donald Trump.
So far, according to what we've heard from intelligence officials as recently as yesterday when Director Wray testified, we've got those first
two goals already checked off. We know that the Russians, from what the director said, are engaged in a massive disinformation campaign on social
media, so that sounds very similar to the activity in 2016. Director Wray also indicated that their intent is to damage the candidacy of Joseph
Biden. So, I think that's two out of three, and we still have over a month to go. I think there is a lot of reason to be concerned about what the
Russians have in store for us between now and the election.
AMANPOUR: I want to play a little soundbite from -- a little bit -- clip from the documentary. It's essentially David Higton now talking. He's a
U.S. attorney, he's a cyber security expert who you interviewed. And he's talking about how Russia was able to harmonize its attacks with the Trump
campaign. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The system is totally rigged and broken. First, the issue of voter fraud.
DAVID HICKTON, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: On social media, Russian trolls harmonize with the Trump chorus. Voter fraud. Rigged election. They were
amping up their game and deciding that they couldn't lose no matter who won the election if they discredited the process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, let's just take a minute. Russia could not lose no matter who won. Andrew, to you first. Had you any idea, when you were starting to
look into this, you know, in the last election cycle, that it was this sophisticated? I mean, what surprises you, I guess, in what Alex has
uncovered and how it actually worked?
MCCABE: Well, what surprised me the most, I think, in reviewing the film is how much Alex and his colleagues have uncovered. It's incredibly
detailed, particularly on the lead-up to the election, all of the activity we saw in Russia as early as the end of 2014 and then through 2015.
So, to answer your question, we did see Russian-maligned cyber activity, activity that we thought was focused at government institutions, political
institutions, academic institutions doing the sorts of things that Russian intelligence, cyber actors typically do. Probing systems, looking for data,
sometimes getting into cyber systems and actually exfiltrating data.
What we did not know was what they were going to do with that data, and we didn't see that until they weaponized the information they had stolen from
the DNC, clearly to undermine the prospects of one of the candidates in the campaign, that being Hillary Clinton. That was something that surprised us
and I think the rest of world incredible. We had never seen such an active shot right at our democracy and actual attempt to influence the results of
the election with material that had been stolen from a cyberattack. That was brand new to us.
AMANPOUR: And, Alex, you know, I thought it was really remarkable how you sort of laid out that the Russians were not attacking Hillary Clinton's
policies. Because they could see that they were broadly popular with a broad majority of mainstream America. They went after this e-mail thing
that the press was focused on. How did that work? I mean, how did they just decide, oh, my goodness, we can't go against her at that, but we can sure
as hell keep this thing in the spotlight?
GIBNEY: Well, I think it goes back to what Andrew and what we were both talking about before. I mean, it was effectively to sow chaos. You're not
looking to advance a particular policy, you're looking to smear somebody, and Hillary's greatest weakness in 2016 was the word e-mail. She was just
associated with it. People have done studies about it, that Hillary and e- mail were connected as concepts. And so, what better thing than to release e-mails that discredit Hillary Clinton, which not only show her in a bad
light. I mean, you know, the DNC e-mails did reflect, you know, real problems in our democratic process in the sense that the DNC was putting
its finger on the scale against Hillary and -- I mean, against Bernie Sanders and for Hillary. But also, you know, leaking the John Podesta e-
This reverberates because Hillary Clinton is involved herself in an e-mail investigation and then Donald Trump goes one step further, you know,
calling for Russia itself to hack into Hillary's e-mail account to find some missing e-mails. Which, by the way, Russia tries to do, you know, only
four hours after Trump asks them to. So, it was really -- it's like a treasure cat operation. I mean, they were having -- and Putin, I think, and
those in Russia, must have been having a ball. It wasn't really attacking serious policy issues. It was an attempt to smear the Clinton campaign.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you, because I hadn't realized this, not working in the United States, not being on a presidential campaign, that one of her
key advisors, Jake Sullivan, and you interview him, did actually, in 2016, make the rounds of the major news organizations to tell them what they had
discovered about interference and about, you know, what was happening. And tell me what you -- what was the reaction from news organizations to this
warning from inside the Hillary Clinton campaign?
GIBNEY: Extremely skeptical. They thought that it was a kind of special pleading, a kind of way of excusing, you know, mistakes that they may have
been making or trying to deflect from, you know, real issues that have been brought up by these e-mails. I think that reflects a broader problem in
terms of what happened in 2016, which is that the administration, the Obama administration, was extremely reluctant to make public what it knew about
Russian interference, I think in part -- well, in large part, because they assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to win, which is deeply ironic in
AMANPOUR: Andrew, you know, people have asked over and over again why President Obama -- you know, you've just said part of it, Alex, why
President Obama didn't confront the Russians and didn't make it public in a much, much, much more serious way. Andrew, do you think that there was a
failure of leadership then? I mean, surely this is something so vital that you have to put aside politics and talk about the security and the national
security of your country.
MCCABE: Well, you do. Unfortunately, like most of these issues, it's much easier in hindsight to go -- to look back and say, well, we should have
decided otherwise, you know, a month earlier or six weeks earlier or something like that. The fact is we talked a lot at the National Security
Council and in the principals' and deputies' meetings about whether or not the government should go forward publicly and make a statement about what
we saw was happening. And we discussed whether or not that would have this sort of inoculation effect that we discussed earlier.
But the problem was, the feeling -- the opposition to going forward was the feeling that if the president went forward and talked about the fact that
he felt that Candidate Clinton was being targeted, it would look political, it would look as if he were trying to influence the political outcome of
the election rather than just letting the two candidates fight it out. So, it's an impossible conundrum to sort through at the moment.
Plus, of course, you have all the challenges of how much of what you know can you actually say without exposing how you know what you know. That's
the challenge with talking about intelligence, highly classified, very sensitively collected intelligence in any circumstance. So, it was an
incredibly fraught series of meetings and conversations. Ultimately, they decided to go forward and notify Congress and make a public statement. I
think by the time they decided to do that, the opportunity to have it positively impact what was happening had been lost weeks and weeks earlier.
GIBNEY: Christian, if I may --
AMANPOUR: So, I want to play this -- yes?
GIBNEY: May I follow up on that just very briefly?
GIBNEY: So, two things on that. One is, I must say it does -- as a member of the press rather than a member of the Intelligence Committee, it always
drives me crazy, this whole issue of sources and methods. I understand the need to protect sources and methods, but very often I wonder like what is
the point of intelligence if at some point you can't disclose it in broad form to the American public, number one.
Number two, the other culprit in this affair is really the Republican leadership, because there was a point at which the administration went to
Mitch McConnell and Brian and tried to get them to release a bipartisan statement with (INAUDIBLE) to say that, you know, we are concerned that
we're under attack or the election is being interfered with by a foreign power. It has nothing to do with our ultimate goals, but McConnell decided
not to go along because Russia was interfering on behalf of his candidate, which is a terrible, you know, advocation of principle. And so, that really
did, you know, feather into this.
AMANPOUR: Well, I want to play another clip because it goes again to the question, I sort of started out. You know, is this country -- your country,
doing as much as it can to make sure this doesn't happen again? So, here is Andrew Weissmann, who you interviewed. He is the lead prosecutor for the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW WEISSMANN, FORMER LEAD PROSECUTOR, MUELLER INVESTIGATION: Our report has one key finding. Clear, unequivocal efforts by the Russian
government to interfere with our election. The issue that goes to the core of a democracy is, are we doing everything we can to make sure that
Americans will decide who is running this country?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Last word to you, Andrew McCabe. Are we doing, are you doing, is America doing everything it can to make sure that Americans are in charge
of their own destiny?
MCCABE: Well, I certainly hope so. I think that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies have learned a lot from the experience in 2016. I'm
sure they're bringing that knowledge to their efforts in 2020. But the Russians learned a lot in 2016 as well. And the gap is always, do we know
what they know? Do we know where they are? Do we know what they're going to try to do? And I think that any intelligence professional would tell you,
we probably don't have a lot of confidence that we know what's coming in the next few weeks.
And I would also add that on the legislative side, we absolutely have not done enough. There is no question that this is a problem larger than the
intelligence agencies, larger than the FBI. It is one that we need Congress to get behind us and give us due laws and due authorities and due
regulations to the campaigns and the electoral process, and they have clearly not done that in the last four years.
AMANPOUR: It's really sobering viewing. Andrew McCabe and filmmaker, Alex Gibney, thank you so much. "Agents of Chaos," the documentary, is airing on
HBO Max. It starts September 23rd and 24th.
Now, the closest America came to the partisan, political and racial turmoil of today was back in 1968. The Vietnam War was raging, unrest gripped
American cities and there was a divisive election campaign. Amid all of this through came one transformative when civil rights activist and
superstar performer, Harry Belafonte, took over "The Tonight Show" sitting in for the legendary Johnny Carson.
For five nights he brought the beauty and the brilliance of black America into middle America's living rooms. It was the very first time that
happened. It might be the greatest story never told until now because most of the footage was destroyed. A documentary team tells the thrilling story.
Here's a clip from the trailer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON KING: Harry Belafonte takes an existing white institution and he turns it into something that represents his world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are many sides to Harry Belafonte. Singer, actor, activist.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTOR: Harry had the agenda. And he had the people to back it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you have in store for us this summer?
HARRY BELAFONTE: I fear that we -- I am amidst the most critical period in our nation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see how pivotal this week was.
QUESTLOVE: That was the most revolutionary move that mainstream television could have done at the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: "The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte, Hosts The Tonight Show" is directed by Yoruba Richen, and she joins me now from New York.
It is incredible just to see that clip, Yoruba, of just what was going on and nobody really knew about it. It's extraordinary that that footage was
destroyed. Just tell me about what that means. It was such a highly rated week of programming, too.
YORUBA RICHEN, DIRECTOR, "THE SIT-IN; HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW": Thank you, Christiane. It's great to be on. Yes, it's pre
incredible that only an hour from that week exists. The half-hour with Martin Luther King, (INAUDIBLE) Luther King and with Robert Kennedy.
And, you know, what it means in terms of how it's remembered is that a lot of people don't remember it, because the footage was, you know, taped over.
And so, it's a real loss, you know, all the amazing guests that were on that week, everybody from Lena Horne and Diane Carroll, Dion Horwich (ph),
Aretha Franklin. I mean, how amazing would it have been to see these superstars who were also activists sitting down with their friend, Harry
Belafonte, in one of the most, you know, decisive years, both politically and culturally.
So, you know, we're so grateful what we do have but it's certainly a loss. And we really tried to recreate what that week was as much as possible with
the other archive footage and with Harry and some of the other guests who are still with us telling us about it.
AMANPOUR: Yes, it is an amazing story as it unfolds in the documentary. Really amazing. And I want to -- let's just start slightly at the
beginning, because it's Johnny Carson that had the idea, right? Here's Johnny Carson, this incredibly successful middle America TV late night
host, and he also realizes that something is going on around the country. But he feels like he can't do it himself. Just fill that in for us because
it speaks volumes about Johnny Carson as well.
RICHEN: Absolutely. You know, it's -- how could anybody not realize that something was happening in this country that was very big and
consequential? And Johnny had the foresight to know, you know, that he wasn't the person that could, you know, bring all of these issues to light
in a way that was both informative and entertaining.
And so, kudos to Johnny for recognizing that, and he felt that Harry was the only person who could do it. Harry was, at that time, and for many
years, a huge star. He was on star on stage as an actor and singer. He was a star on screen, as an actor and singer as well. Really, the first -- one
of the first like multi hyphenate entertainers of the 20th century.
So, Johnny recognized that and recognized that Harry was the one who could do it, bring these big issues to a mainstream audience, both black and
white, and could also be entertaining.
AMANPOUR: Yes, because it wasn't just politics. As you say, it was art as well, but it all led to, you know, this massive moment that was going on.
And of course, of the great political names, he was able to secure Martin Luther King. He was his friend. He was a fellow activist. We're going to
play a clip in a minute, but I just want you to tell the story of how when he told -- you know, he told the Brass (ph) that he had secured Dr. King,
what their response to that was.
RICHEN: Yes. So, Harry was able to, you know, create his own guestlist and happily wanted to have on. When he told the higher-ups that Dr. King was
going to be on, they said -- they reportedly said, he's not going to talk about that civil rights stuff, is he? And Harry said, well, what do you
want him to do, sing a song? So, yes, there was obviously some fear from the higher-ups about what they were going to get into that night.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's just hilarious to hear that. I'm going to play a little clip because this is that part of what survives where Harry is
talking to Dr. Martin Luther King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unlike the coverage that was in the papers and on TV, too, this was a different side of Dr. King. He was relaxed, he was smiling.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: Well, I'm delighted to be here, Harry, and apparently one of the reason I'm so happy to be here, I
flew out of Washington this afternoon and as soon as we started out, they notified us that the plane had mechanical difficulties, and I don't want to
give you an impression that as a Baptist preacher, I don't have faith in the God in the air, simply that I've had more experience with him on the
QUESTLOVE: I was kind of amused that he knew how to get laughed at, which is something that you don't see in his speeches because he's so serious. I
think it was, oh, he can tell a good joke.
HARRY BELAFONTE: What do you have in store for us this summer?
KING JR.: I feel that we are in the midst of the most critical period in our nation, and the economic problem is probably the most serious problem
confronting the negro community and poor people generally.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His new project that very week was the Poor People's Campaign.
BELAFONTE: He knew that the civil rights movement itself would have to give way to something more profound, like economic rights. But bringing
people together in a much more fundamental way around issues that affected everybody --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It just is extraordinary that clip for the laughter that he got out of Ddr. King, and then, whoa, completely serious again about just
gentle probing to get, you know, the depth of the need regarding confronting poverty.
RICHEN: Yes, absolute. I mean, what's so fascinating to me is that when he had Dr. King on, Dr. King was in the middle of, you know, launching his
Poor People's Campaign, which was really different direction than he had, you know, traditionally been going -- the traditional, you know, early '60,
mid '60 movement was going in. And Dr. King was really trying to bring all groups together of low-income folks, blacks, white, Asians, Latinos, native
And he was getting a lot of criticism for it. He was getting a lot of criticism for it. He was also getting criticism from the more militant side
of the civil rights unit, the (INAUDIBLE) Carmichael and snitch. So, he was in a real -- it was a real, you know, interesting place that Dr. King was
in when he appeared on the show, but I also think that you see, you know, him telling that joke and smiling and, you know, chatting it up with Paul
Newman next to him, the relaxed nature that he had when he was with Harry because they were so close.
AMANPOUR: You know, I was going to ask you about that and just remark on that, because that whole line-up on the couch, they were all African-
American. There was one white guy there, and that Paul Newman, mega superstar. And you never see that. Usually, it's one African-American and a
whole load of white people.
AMANPOUR: That itself must have been just an amazing vision for the public to see.
I mean, one of our commentators says in the film we forget how segregated television was at the time. And to have, exactly as you said, the couch
filled with African-American entertainers and celebrities, and then Paul Newman be the one white guy, is pretty, pretty incredible.
And Paul Newman -- yes, we would vote Paul Newman to be the one white guy on the couch with us.
AMANPOUR: Yes. his heart and his art were all in the right place.
Let me just say some something -- you told me this -- 15 of the 25 guests that we were African-American. And Harry Belafonte managed to get control
of the guest list. He was his own booker. He was able to put who he wanted on that program.
And in the film -- and I'm going to quote her here -- Whoopi Goldberg says the impact of that: "We here. We're Americans. We're part of this. We're
not going anywhere. You all brought us. Now we're here. So get into your bed, let Belafonte be the last thing you see before you go to sleep."
How did people, before they went to sleep, take this? What was the ratings? What was the commentary around it?
RICHEN: Christiane, that's my favorite line in the film. So I'm so happy you read that.
AMANPOUR: It's really good.
RICHEN: That is so good.
So, we know that it was very high ratings. So, obviously, people watched, and they watched throughout the week.
He was -- as you said, Harry was a big star in that. So that's going to be a big draw. And he was a star in all kinds of communities, all kinds of
racial communities, because that's how Harry was, not just black and white, indigenous, Asian, Latino, et cetera, and internationally.
So, also remember that, what, there were only three channels at that time? So, you had -- you only had three choices. And the ratings were so high,
and, obviously, a lot of people chose to watch that week.
But there was also some criticism as well, people who felt that they didn't want to be preached to. There were some scathing TV reviews and some
letters that show that what he was doing was pretty radical. And people -- some people weren't ready for it.
AMANPOUR: Let's play a little bit of the clip, which is where he's being interviewed by Johnny Carson after his week, and they're doing a little
sort of recap.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just about a month after Harry's hosting big, Johnny Carson had him back on "The Tonight Show" to talk about it.
JOHNNY CARSON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Did you have a ball with it?
I caught you a couple of nights. Look you were having a great time.
HARRY BELAFONTE, ENTERTAINER: I had a marvelous time, the grooviest time in the world here the week that I spent here.
We ended with ratings that were larger than the ones we opened with. And we opened with the largest numbers in the history of the show.
I must honestly say that each and every member of your staff did everything in the world to make me comfortable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He took out a full page in "Variety" thanking the entire staff and all the guests that were on the show.
And it did say: "I enjoyed my sit-in on 'The Tonight Show.'"
CARSON: You had a great week. Once you lay back and have fun with it, you can't go too far wrong.
BELAFONTE: But you never know that in the beginning.
BELAFONTE: I also got a number of letters protesting they didn't want to be preached to. People came there to be entertained.
We consciously put before the public all of the issues they saw during the past week, with the knowledge that they were hearing things that they would
never have heard before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And, Yoruba, he also said in a statement: "All of this was consciously arranged by me to give you all a taste of what's being said in
rooms that many of you may not know or enter. Thank you for listening."
So, that was a pretty amazing postscript as well.
Can I just ask you, also, because you're also involved in the film about the documentary, along with Rukmini Callimachi, Brianna Keilar -- sorry --
about Breonna Taylor and her killing.
Tell me about that film, about what it says, and how you think that is being resolved or not, what all of this says, I guess the -- Harry's week,
50-odd years later, we we're still having this terrible racism going on, on the streets.
RICHEN: Yes, it's really incredible that these films came out within a week of each other.
I mean, the Harry film I have been working on -- we have been working on that for eight months. The Breonna Taylor film, "The Killing of Breonna
Taylor," which is on -- streaming on Hulu and FX On Demand, that came about this summer, obviously.
And I directed the film. I worked with Rukmini, she's a producer, and the reporter, and we knew that we wanted to get out this film as soon as
possible, because there were so many questions around her death, around her killing, why no one was being held responsible.
And, for sure, I mean, one of the things that we see in Harry's film, and he talks about this at the end, he says: I have been in this game for 90-
some-odd years. And what is it -- why is this still happening?
And you kind of look to Breonna and what has happened -- what happened to her, her killing by police, that we are -- in many ways have not solved
these issues around racism, around police brutality.
One of the things that I think is interesting that they have talked about in this year of uprise, this summer of uprising, that in MLK's March on
Washington speech, he talks about police brutality. They never play that part, though. He talks about -- he said this -- he says, we will never be
free until we are free from brutality from the police.
RICHEN: So, this has been a longtime issue. We know this.
Now there's footage sometimes. In Breonna's case, there wasn't footage. And we have reached hopefully a boiling point where this stuff has to stop.
And, in Breonna's case -- I was just going to say, in Breonna's case, they have recently -- yes, earlier this week, they came to a settlement with the
But the officers -- the results of the investigation, we're still waiting for. So it's still ongoing.
AMANPOUR: Yoruba Richen, thank you so much indeed for joining us, really a great film.
Now picture having just graduated from college and turning down job offers to become a monk. This is exactly what our next guest did.
Jay Shetty is now a self-help coach and host of the health and wellness podcast "On Purpose," drawing on his experience living and studying in an
ashram in India. And he wants you to "Think Like a Monk" too in a new book about training your mind for this modern world.
And he tells our Hari Sreenivasan we all hold the key to living better.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Christiane.
Jay Shetty, thanks for joining us now.
Now, this is going to be a little strange for people, because, if they google you, they're going to say this guy is all over social media. He's on
Facebook. He's on Instagram. He's all over the place. Got a podcast. And why is he talking about thinking like a monk?
This is actually, if they don't know your history, this is stuff that you picked up when you actually were living as a monk for three years.
JAY SHETTY, AUTHOR, "THINK LIKE A MONK": Absolutely.
So, I was born and raised in London. But the three years that I spent living as a monk, I almost see them as school. And then the last seven
years since I left, I have been trying to practice and experiment and test the principles and lessons that I learned at monk school.
And everything that I share in this book are, things that I have experimented with, things that I have tested, things that have tried out,
and have supported and served me and many others that I have worked with in the last seven years.
And so I really wanted to share a step-by-step guide to some of these incredible teachings and the wisdom I came across, because, when I first
learned about them, I was fascinated that we didn't have access to these. We don't have a class called mind class, or we don't have a class at school
called understand your emotions.
And this is what I was so fascinated by and wanted to share in a way that was relevant and accessible and practical and, hopefully, slightly
SREENIVASAN: Now, you said in the book that it's not just possible to think like a monk, but it's necessary. Why is it necessary?
SHETTY: I think we live in a world today where we're overwhelmed with noise, right? We know that, whether it's notifications, whether it's e-
mails, whether it's messages, whether it's invites.
Whatever it may be, we all get inundated and overwhelmed with requests. And so we're living in a high-paced, high-energy environment. And the monks'
minds, not only from my experience -- and, really, it's beyond the three hours I spent there -- I'm intrigued and completely in awe of monks brains
that have been scanned and show the highest form of gamma waves, which are linked to happiness, joy and attention.
So, for me, if we're looking for a kinder, more compassionate, more loving world, then understanding monks' practices are a great place to start,
because they have dedicated their lives to cultivating this mind-set.
SREENIVASAN: You talk about the monk mind vs. the monkey mind.
SREENIVASAN: And when I look down that list, a few things.
Disciplined, that would be monk mind. Distracted, that would be the monk mind. Breaks down negatives, the monk mind. Amplifies negatives, that would
be the monkey mind. Looks for meaning vs. looks for pleasure. Single tasking vs. multitasking.
I am firmly living in a monkey mind world. I mean, all of the rewards are given to people who can do more things with less time. And it seems like
society around us doesn't value our ability to just stay single-minded and focus, our ability to stay not distracted.
SHETTY: Yes, I would say that the monkey mind rewards us in a short-term and unsustainable way.
And that's really some -- why we see the world governed in that way, that sometimes we know that, if we do this, we will get instant gratification or
an instant result or an instant pleasure.
But then we see long-term burnout. We see long-term stress. We see the long-term fragmentation of relationships and families. And so, for me, it's
really rewiring ourselves up for long-term joy and long-term success.
And that requires this transition from the monkey mind, as you really well- explained, to the monk mind. And that journey isn't easy. But it's so important if we want to hold on to -- I don't think there's anyone in the
world who wants to reach somewhere and not be able to keep it and not savor it and not accept it and truly allow it to be a part of their lives.
So, studies have shown us that very few people in the world can multitask. And we think, by multitasking, we're doing more. But research shows that
single-tasking makes us more productive, effective and creative. So, almost, we have created the wrong representations of what we think
something's going to achieve as well, when, statistically and through research, we're shown very much the opposite.
SREENIVASAN: So, let's talk a little bit about the practice.
You go out of your way in the book to say, listen, you don't have to shave your head and go live in an ashram for years to figure this out.
What is something that we can do, I guess starting tonight, either -- or today, your wakeup behaviors, your good night behaviors? What is a way that
you can start to rewire your brain?
SHETTY: I think one of the biggest things for me is how we wake up in the morning.
And I read a study that said around 80 percent of us look at our phones first thing in the morning, before we see our partners, and last thing at
the night after we see our partners. And so, for me, that's a really big challenge, because it we're saying -- no one wakes up and says, I want a
Or no one wakes up and says, I really hope I start my day in the negative. Now, what happens is, let's say you start your day at zero. Let's -- for
argument's sake, you start your day at neutral. And you wake up and you look at your phone and you're bombarded by news, notifications, media, all
of this. You're now starting your day in the negative.
So you're at like a minus-five. And you spend the whole day just trying to get back to maybe-two or zero. But let's say you switch those habits.
And there are four key habits that I recommend in the book that can be done just for five minutes a day to begin with, and then expand as you gain some
confidence and courage. They come in the form of the acronym TIME, T-I-M-E.
And these four habits are not any monk habits, but scientifically proven to have a positive impact on our minds and bodies.
So, the T stands for thankfulness. When we take a moment when we wake up in the morning to be thankful to one person, not just a feeling of gratitude,
but also to express that gratitude, and when that gratitude is expressed in a personalized, specific way, not only does the receiver get joy, but we
also get a deep sense of joy as well.
So finding time to be thankful is such an important trait, and not just feeling it, not just journaling, but actually sharing it and saying it.
The I stands for inspiration or insight. One of the reasons why we feel stuck in life, or we feel like we haven't moved is because we don't feel
we're growing and learning.
Now, if someone's listening to a podcast or reading a book or getting an insight from reading their favorite quote or paragraph or prayer when they
wake up first thing in the morning, that's a great grounding habit to make us feel like we're starting our day already moving forward.
The third one is M for meditation. Now, meditation is all out there and people hear about it and have tried it and maybe don't know if it's for
them. For me, at the core level of it, meditation, at its essence, is just being present with your body and mind.
So, ask yourself, how much time do you take out of a week just to spend with yourself? And even if that is five minutes a day or 10 minutes a day,
just allowing your body and mind to communicate with you and understand it deeper.
And E, probably the most obvious one stands for exercise. And whether you exercise, you use the gym on the treadmill, or whether it's a sport or a
dance party, the movement part of our lives is so important.
And, of course, for us, yoga was the biggest bedrock. But even if it's not yoga, any form of movement is powerful for you. So those would be four core
habits that I would start trying to implement in your day and just ask yourself every day, have I made TIME, thankfulness, inspiration,
SREENIVASAN: And you also talk a lot about just practice with your breath. Why is that important? And what is it?
SHETTY: So, I'm a big believer.
And when I went to monk school, it was one of the first lessons that we were taught, that our breath is something that stays with us from the
moment we're born to the moment we leave. And our breath is also deeply interconnected to every emotion we experience in our life.
So even if it's a positive emotion, we say things like, that's breathtaking, or that took my breath away. And if something's a negative
emotion, or we're in anxiety or nervous or late, we always say, let me catch my breath, let me take a breath. And so breath is interconnected.
Whether we feel sad or happy, what changes? Our breathing pattern, which means our breath is interconnected to our emotional state. And so when we
learn to really understand and navigate our breath, we start being able to truly guide ourselves through the multiple emotions that we feel in a day.
So that's why breath is so important. And it's crazy that athletes and musicians are all trained in their breath, and they're practiced to use
their breath effectively. But in our own ways, we're all athletes in our own lives in different areas. And, therefore, we need that training as
SREENIVASAN: You talk about a situation when, if you're -- if you get angry, and a lot of people do lots of little things in life, that it only
takes a breath to bring it back.
SHETTY: Yes, I feel that a lot of us try and manage anger when we feel angry. And that's not always a good habit. It's like being on the pitch or
the court on the weekend, right, the playoffs.
It's like being on the court and trying to learn the skill on the court. It's very difficult. And so what I do recommend is that we try and prep and
deeply understand our anger offline. Anger actually is a great signal for some deeper pain we have. So we can unpack that.
But if we are in an angry state, and we are about to have -- and this is the crazy thing about anger -- we say things we don't mean to people we
deeply love. It's really important at that point to breathe in for a count of four and breathe out for more than four.
This will slow you right down and bring you back into alignment. And that's what really emotions are. Emotions are when we're out of alignment. And so
bringing ourselves back into alignment with our breath allows us to come from a more centered space.
SREENIVASAN: You walked into this monkhood voluntarily. You were drawn to it. You were interested in it. You say you fell in love in a way.
Why did you leave?
SHETTY: The biggest reason I left was, I, through all that self-awareness training, came to the realization that my path was not to be a monk. And
that's sometimes the hardest thing.
And you may not have that from becoming a monk. But maybe you worked your whole life to become a lawyer. And then, after 10 years in law, you
thought, you know what, law isn't for me, or maybe you worked in the corporate world, and you said, finance isn't for me.
And so we all get to places in our life. And, for me, it was like, I learned so much through my monk life that I realized, I'm not meant to be a
monk. I want to be someone who's out in the world, sharing these insights, connected to society and still trying to keep that balance.
I enjoy the challenge of trying to stay true to my monk roots in a noisy world. And that's something that helps me want to go deeper and strive
deeper. And so that was a deep realization.
And, at the same time, myself teachers obviously also saw that in me, because, at the time, they recommended that I leave so I could share what
I'd learned. So it was almost like a breakup.
SHETTY: And, at the time, it definitely wasn't full of hope, or I didn't have this grand vision or idea or where anything would go. I was stuck and
lost and confused.
But that's when all of my monk wisdom came to the rescue. And that's what I'm trying to share an offer with everyone today.
SREENIVASAN: I wonder. Right now, a lot of people are anxious for so many different things. You have got fires in one part of the United States. You
have got floods in another. You have got just fears, whether it's the pandemic, whether it's an upcoming election result, and really even a
collective selfishness that we might be witnessing.
When so many of those big problems that we don't have any individual control over are around us, how does a monk find a center, a steadiness?
SHETTY: That's a really beautiful question, Hari.
And, also, I think you're so right. And my love and compassion goes out to everyone who's deeply in pain or any challenge they're in right now.
Everyone's lost something, and some people have lost someone. And so it's really important that we come from a place of kindness and compassion and
don't devalue anyone's loss or belittle anyone's pain, because I think that can be really tough right now, when you feel guilty because you feel
someone's struggling more than you.
But you also have to honor that pain and accept it and understand it. And that's an important starting place.
But monks find certainty in uncertain times through service, when we extend ourselves to serve, help, support someone else. This doesn't mean we're
fixing their problems. It doesn't mean that we can solve their problems. It doesn't mean that we're going to eventually just remove everyone's
But being an ear that people can talk to, being a supporter for their children and their education, being someone who delivers groceries to their
door, there are countless ways in which we extend ourselves for others who may be on the front line, who may have less than we have right now, who may
be elderly and more at risk.
There are so many opportunities to serve. And when we choose to serve and extend ourselves -- and, by the way, serve in the way we can. And the way
you serve may not solve everything. The way I serve may not solve everything, but it's going to help someone. And that's what's important
When we take on service, we get perspective. We receive gratitude, and it starts to fill us up and it makes us feel a part of making a difference,
even if it doesn't solve everything.
SREENIVASAN: Whether it's capitalism or whether it's systematic kind of structural racism that exists, I mean, the United States and really parts
of the world are now facing this reckoning that is bringing to light some of the gross inequities that we're just seeing play out in front of our
How do we tackle that in a monk mind-set? I mean, what is the thing that Americans need to get to, to, in themselves see that they are part of
either the problem or the solution when it comes to these systemic forces?
SHETTY: I think it begins with a deep sense of stillness and space for introspection and reflection.
One of the biggest challenges we have right now is that people don't have the time and the space or don't feel enthusiastic to make the time and the
space in their life to really introspect and reflect, because all of this is deep work. And it's not going to be solved by a tweet. It's not going to
be solved by a post.
It requires us to really go deep within ourselves and ask ourselves, are we a part of the problem? Are we a part of the solution? Where do we fit in?
What is our perspective?
And that's not gain just by reading lots of articles or just consuming information. It's by research, by deep dives into studies and books and
looking at history, and then going away, and having time and space to make our mind up.
And I do believe that it's important, as parents, as partners, as CEOs, whatever role we play in society, to take time and space to form our
perspectives on these important themes and topics, because, otherwise, our perspective is just made up of noise.
And that's why we feel distracted or we don't feel we have much to add in these conversations. And so I really feel the monk mind-set in there is to
hear, to listen from opposing sides and ideas, and then go away with that and sit with that.
And we may say, well, Jay, I don't have time to do that. I barely have time to do everything else in life. And that very well may be true, and I
completely empathize with the lack of time.
But, at the same time, I think we have to do it for future generation. If we're not going to do it for ourselves, we have to do it for our children,
we have to do it for our children's children, because if they don't see us doing that, then they're going to repeat all of our mistakes and all of our
And so I think it's really important that, even if we can't do it for ourselves or our families or our friends, that we extend ourselves to think
about our children and the world that they are going to be raised in and that they're going to try and influence.
SREENIVASAN: Jay Shetty.
The book is called "Think Like a Monk" on "The New York Times" bestseller list now.
Thanks so much for joining us.
SHETTY: Hari, thank you so much. Such a pleasure and so grateful for your questions. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Dare I say food for thought there?
And, finally tonight, from the mind of a monk to the heart of a machine.
Coronavirus cases in India surged past five million this week, making it the second worst-hit country in the world after the United States. Now an
unlikely ally is joining the front lines of this pandemic in the city of Noida. Her name is Mitra, which means friend in Hindi, prowling hospital
With her inquisitive stare, she uses facial recognition technology to remember her patients, while a tablet affixed to her chest opens a window
for the sick to see their loved ones as they recover.
In this same way, Mitra the robot even helps doctors monitor patients from a safe distance.
And that is it for us for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media.
Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.