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Trump's Refusal To Concede; A Promising COVID Vaccine. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired November 10, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.
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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: President Trump is 100% within his rights, to look into allegations of irregularities and
weigh his legal option.
AMANPOUR: Trump throws up obstacles to a transition. The Biden camp keeps calm and carries on. Perspective on democracy from former Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright, who grew up under communism. Then, why Trump's circles stand by his refusal to concede. The President's friend and CEO of
Newsmax Chris Ruddy joins me. Plus --
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): My investment in Joe Biden had everything to do with the restoration of our pursuit towards a more perfect union.
AMANPOUR: Jim Clyburn's endorsement helped propel Joe Biden to victory. I speak to the House Majority Whip about building that better. And we
discussed the promising news of a COVID vaccine with the chair of Britain's COVID Critical Care Committee.
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AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
We saw it coming President Trump's refusal to concede and his attempts to delegitimize the election. He did, in fact telegraph this very scenario for
months leading up to the vote. But the spectacle unfolding in the United States is nonetheless shocking. Allies have called it bizarre. Adversaries
are licking their chops at the thought of weakened American democratic institutions. And most of them have not yet acknowledged President-elect
Joe Biden's victory.
Now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just said this to the world.
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MIKE POMPEO, US SECRETARY OF STATE: There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. All right, we're ready. The world is watching
what's taking place. We're going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there'll be electors selected. There's a process. The
constitution lays it out pretty clearly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: An unusual judgment, to be sure. And this is what a normal transition looks like. Four years ago today, President Obama and then Vice
President Biden met with President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to assure a smooth transfer of power.
Few understand the importance of defending democracy better than my first guest tonight. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. N0ot only the
first woman to hold the job, but she's also dealt with her fair share of despots, albeit foreign ones. And she's joining me now from Washington.
Secretary Albright, welcome back to the program. Let me just first get your reaction to the Secretary of State, one of your successes, actually saying
that there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. How do you compute that? How do you react?
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, first of all, Christiane, great to be with you on such an important time. I think that he
misspoke. I think he was trying to say there will be a smooth transition out of Trump's term to the next elected president of the United States, Joe
AMANPOUR: OK. I don't know whether you are being diplomatic and giving him, you know, the alternative. Sometimes diplomacy can offer an alternative
exit ramp. But let's say he meant that, and let's say the rest of the world is confused. Certainly the adversaries are confused. Many haven't reached
out and acknowledged vice president-elect Biden yet. What would you be telling world leaders now about the process that's underway?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I do think that we are the world's oldest democracy, and there is a process and the transition is a very important part of it. I do
think that I have been saying this now for some time, we're going to need patience. And that is a very important part, because this was a complicated
election, with a lot of people voting by mail because of the pandemic. And there are and have been a lot of votes to count.
I think that we need to be continued to be patient. But what I'm really troubled by is that the people around Trump are not really giving him a
reality check of what is going on, and instead coddling him in terms of his misguided approach and thoughts about what really happened. And so, I think
that I have been counseling patients and reality checks, and I wish I am such a believer and bipartisanship, Christiane, you know that.
ALBRIGHT: And I think that it would be helpful if more Republicans actually made clear that this is a process that has worked, and that we need to be
patient and saying things that undermine the process in the way that the current Secretary of State has given his statement. It makes it more
complicated in so many ways.
AMANPOUR: You know, it's really strange, because this very Secretary of State, or at least the Department issued a statement, literally the day
that President Trump was saying, stop the count. Two, West Africa to the Ivory Coast saying respect the results of your legitimate election. I mean,
it really is a disconnect. And again, I just wonder, what should Democrats be doing right now?
There's a lot of talk about, you know, they hold the votes, they seem to have won. They he's been named president-elect. What should Democrats be
doing to, I don't know, to be out front and center?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I have to say that, I think actually, that has is what's happening, because President-elect Biden has been talking about the plan of
how he's going to deal with the number one problem, which is the pandemic, and in naming a group of people scientists, to help really changed the
understanding of what the virus is about, and the misinformation that has been put out by the Trump administration.
And so, they are working. People are dedicated to making the transition work. As you pointed out, the group of people, especially President-elect
Biden has been through transitions. There is a process, and I think that they, the Democrats, are doing what is necessary, is to keep moving and
have that kind of patience, and the capability of understanding that this was a very important election. That the number of votes cast were really
And that it, we -- I think most people understood that we wouldn't have a result immediately. And so, patience and work already, and that's what the
Biden people are doing, from Joe Biden on down.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And we're going to dig further down with our guests later in the program. But we have we have talked, you know, endlessly now to
lawyers, both Democratic lawyers, Republican election lawyers, all sorts of experts. And, a, none of them say any evidence of fraud, you know, credible
evidence that would proceed in court has been demonstrated. And, b, many are saying that even if there is some, it would never amount to overturning
result of so many tens of thousands of critical votes for President-elect Biden.
But I want to ask you this, because I also said that you've spent, a, your life. You know what it's like to live under totalitarianism, under
communism and under freedom and democracy. And you've written books about it in your last book "Fascism: A Warning." And actually in it, you said,
you called President Trump the first anti-democratic president in modern US history. And you pose the question, could this, you know, could this happen
in the United States? What do you think now about that aspect of, you know, your study into these political movements?
ALBRIGHT: Well, I really do think in some ways, I wish I had put a stronger title on "Fascism" and "Alarm." I am worried about where this is coming
from, why, in fact, we have not paid more attention to some of the aspects. By the way, the best quote in that book comes from Mussolini, who said, "If
you pluck a chicken one feather at a time, nobody notices." And there have been a lot of feathers plucked.
And I think that it is essential to tell the truth and for all of us, that have a sense of what happened and what needs to be solved. We need to
explain that Trump has been a leader who, in some ways, took advantage of what was going on which were divisions in society and exacerbating them.
And then thinking that he's above the law and calling the press the enemy of the people.
And so, I think that we need to keep repeating. What does happen if one does not, if our leaders don't look at unifying forces to bring a country
together, and that is exactly what Joe Biden has been talking about. He has really made very clear that what his plan is, is to soar, you know, to
bring people together to find, to listen, and not just sprout things that really don't make any sense.
And to try to understand what the divisions in the United States are about. And to, you know, to try to unify people. And so, there's no question,
Christiane, that there's a lot of work ahead, and that there has to be a recognition of some of the issues that have existed in the United States.
Some of the systemic racism, some of the genuine divides.
By the way, you talk about, you know, where I come from, we came to the United States, believe it or not, on November 11, 1948, so tomorrow is 72
years that I've been here. And I do think that democracy is both fragile and resilient. And we are seeing both sides at the moment, but the
resiliency of democracy and the capability of democracy to correct itself. And that's why there's going to be a lot of work to do.
AMANPOUR: Well, first, congratulations on 72 years, and you have always been known for your strong belief in the power of American ideas. You've
often called the United States, the indispensable nation. But I just want to ask, because in your book you mentioned enemy of the people, as Trump
has called journalists. That you say in your book, and you remind everybody that is what Stalin said that was, that was a term that he brought up.
You also in your book, quote, your own father, about the perils of tyranny, saying that he worried that Americans were so accustomed to liberty. So
very, very free, that they might take democracy for granted. And then you also quoted the Italian writer, the Holocaust survivor, Primo Levy, who
said, every age has its own fascism.
But go back to the business of your father worried, you know, as an immigrant to this free and democratic nation, worried that, you know, they
might not take care of it as well and as carefully as they should.
ALBRIGHT: Well, I think he was warning but he also did speak about the resiliency of democracy. But he was worried having lost his country twice,
basically, because we were -- I was two years old, but he was a Czechoslovak diplomat when the Nazis marched into Prague in March 1939. And
was, went to Western England in, who spent World War II in London, in the blitz, in Notting Hill Gate before it got fancy, all through the blitz. And
then after that, he became the Czechoslovak ambassador to Yugoslavia. And then the communists took over.
So he understood what happens. And so, he was warning about it. But also, and I still remember this, is in terms of his real sense that America was
heading the right way that one had to speak about the fragility, but also really appreciate the resiliency of it, and talk to people about it and
kind of explain what had happened in Europe and why it couldn't happen in the United States, or shouldn't happen in the United States.
So that's what I grew up with. And one of the things that I think we need to look at is the history and understand we've been through hard times. But
I do think, and I have been very worried about the fact that that chicken was getting pretty bald. So we need to call it out, and it isn't solved.
And I think that's why Joe Biden and his team really are going to devote a lot of time to understanding what the basis of these divisions are, and how
to unify and how to improve the situation and understand that democracy is never finished. That it is a journey, and that we're on it on a tough time.
But we have to be patient and work hard.
AMANPOUR: So that's for the United States. And abroad, obviously, certainly under your administration, under the Clinton administration, there was a
quite a concerted effort to export democracy and freedom, and peace wherever possible. Notably, in the Middle East, obviously, the famous Rose
Garden handshake between the Israelis and the Palestinians. As you probably know, Saeb Erekat, had one of the main peace negotiators has died of COVID.
And he ended by being very disappointed with the United States as no longer under this administration, an honest, you know, broke up. He was very upset
Just reflect a little bit on that on Saeb's legacy and, you know, whether you think something that important might be resolved or, you know, new
negotiations might be launched under a Biden presidency.
ALBRIGHT: Well, I actually spent a lot of time with Saeb in various places. One was at Camp David in the summer of 2000, and he was always somebody
that was very involved in the negotiations and a respected person among the Palestinians and those who dealt with him.
I do think that this situation is obviously not resolved between the Israelis and Palestinians. And part of the issue, Christiane, also is that
it's no longer the only issue in the Middle East. Everything is unbelievably complex that is going on there. And that kind of that issue,
the Israeli Palestinian one has been put to the side, which I think is very unfortunate, because there's so many people's lives involved in it.
I think the hard part is, the United States is, I think, in the past been brilliant in terms of putting out various bridging proposals and ideas for
something to do. But ultimately, it requires the involvement of the political leaders of the Palestinians and the Israelis. And in both cases,
they have been kind of absent in all of this also.
And so, I hope very much that there is a renewed interest in this, I believe in a two state solution. I do think that it is useful that the
Israelis have made some agreements with some of the Arab countries. But I think that the Israeli Palestinian issue cannot just be totally ignored,
because it does affect the lives of millions of people.
AMANPOUR: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
Now, President Trump won the important state of Ohio as we know and yesterday, the state's Republican Governor Mike Dewine, congratulated
President-elect Joe Biden for his overall victory.
But for the most part, Republicans are rallying around President Trump's refusal to admit defeat, and only a rare few have condemned his actions or
congratulated Biden. Newsmax Media are also refusing to accept the reality of the election outcome. Chris Ruddy is the group's CEO and a close
confidant to the President, and he's joining me now to discuss what's next.
Chris Ruddy, welcome back to the program. We have spoken to you many, many times over the years of the Trump administration. I just wanted to sort of
follow on from what you heard Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talking about.
You know, just we have the leader, the current president of a major Western democracy, not conceding after losing, you know, by 4.5 million votes, at
least, of the of the popular vote, you know, calling for stopping the count, just trying to slow down or block any sort of attempted to
transition process. I mean, we could be forgiven for thinking this was Belarus or something like that.
What do you think the point of all of this and how the United States looks to the rest of the world right now?
CHRIS RUDDY, CEO, NEWSMAX MEDIA: Christiane, I think this is wonderful. I think it's a celebration of our democracy. I think I accept reality maybe
more than CNN does. The reality is, that in America, the popular vote doesn't decide the present, the Electoral College is. We have four or five
states where it's a half a point, in some cases, less than a quarter of a point like in Georgia. You have one of the contestants who say, hey, I want
recounts. I want to check the vote. I want to make sure every vote is counted.
When the constitutional fathers created this system, the election had a six month window before the president took office. There was provisions in case
there was a dispute to go to the House, that was done for precisely the reasons. Now it's a three-month delay before you become president. The
elections won't be certified throughout the various states by November 23rd. Newsmax is waiting for those certifications.
As soon as that happens, I think we'll take a look and make a decision if Joe Biden will be the president-elect. He will be the president-elect not
because I say it, or CNN or anyone else, if the Electoral College meets in December, and they make him president, the next president of the United
States. And I will accept that if that is the case.
AMANPOUR: OK. So obviously, he didn't just win the popular vote, he won the 270 in the Electoral College and probably more.
RUDDY: Christiane, he hasn't won one Electoral College vote yet. They haven't met, so, and there's a contest. You know, when Al Gore --
AMANPOUR: So does that mean President Trump hasn't won either? I'm not sure what you're saying.
RUDDY: That's correct.
AMANPOUR: OK. Let me just read this to you because --
RUDDY: No offense.
AMANPOUR: OK. I understand what you're saying about finally the Electoral College signing off. But as you know, the way elections in America happen,
they tally up the Electoral College on the night of the election, and so on, and over four or five days as we've seen.
But let me just read this because this is from a conservative evangelical activist, just pretty big in the conservative movement, Erick Erickson.
This is what he says, first, vote fraud happens. It happens almost every election, but it is rarely enough to throw out even local races. But let's
take Trump versus Biden in Michigan.
Right now in Michigan, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 146,137 votes. If Republicans find 50,000 fraudulent votes in Michigan, Joe Biden will still
lead by 96,137 votes. He goes on to say, I have never seen voter fraud in the hundred thousand vote range, how I've never seen it in the tens of
thousands vote rage. All of that is to say Joe Biden is president-elect of the United States, and it's not going to change. So I guess my question to
you is --
RUDDY: I agree.
AMANPOUR: Do you think -- OK, you agree.
RUDDY: I agree with this sentiment. I agree, Christiane, in the sentiment that it's going to be very difficult to change that. I'm not naive to those
RUDDY: We are in a bitterly divided country, the President, the current President got 70 million votes, and the challenger got over 75 million,
maybe 78. This has been the biggest election in our lifetime. The history of our nation, but the country is very divided when they're very close
Why should the media who, by the way, for months said that Joe Biden was going to win by 10 percentage points, the various polls. I can name them,
all had him winning eight to 10. And he ended up with it was a very narrow margin. They were all -- it was a sort of media malpractice there.
The public, the Trump supporters want a clear, very careful vote, why not we give them that? What is the rush? When Al Gore said, he contested
Florida. You and everyone else said, let's give them the doubt no one projected Bush the winner, nobody said Gore was the winner. They waited
until December. And you're saying that Donald Trump shouldn't have that right in the close election?
AMANPOUR: No, I'm not saying that at all. No, no. We are not saying that at all. We're not saying that at all. What we're trying to figure out is why,
and certainly it's not the media who calls a race, as you know perfectly. Well, it's broadcast on the media, but that's the way it is.
RUDDY: Because we are the organs of information. But here's the thing I want to ask you. You know, I was out in the field in 2000, nowhere near the
Gore-Bush race. But certainly, I've spoken to the lawyers, obviously, who did work for George W. Bush on that.
And I've asked them about, you know, the, I guess the credibility or the practicality of these challenges, and they have sort of caused the
President has the right to challenge if he has credible evidence and presents travel credible evidence.
But as of yet, no such thing has been presented. And it looks like a whole load of as people say here, spaghetti thrown at a wall, see what sticks.
And I just want to ask you this.
AMANPOUR: Yes, maybe. It's really interesting to hear you hedging, Chris, because we had --
RUDDY: No, I think I'm very real. And I think I'm being honest with you.
AMANPOUR: OK, good. I'm glad to hear you being honest. Because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as we just aired, literally told the world at the podium
of the State Department that there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. You know, I mean, I don't know, what --
RUDDY: Well, I'm hoping that too. I would to see just, you know, for disclosure, I voted for Donald Trump and I support, still support him. I
think he had an incredible record the vaccine. He came up with the $2 billion for Pfizer to get that done.
AMANPOUR: You know, they didn't take government money, it's not work for the money.
RUDDY: Well, it was a pledge to do it. I think it's pretty big incentive, 2 billion. I would have done it for less. But, look, you know, I think that I
think the President will ultimately have a smooth transition once the Electoral College meets and this thing is all certified. That's my view.
But I have spoken to him in recent days. He was not happy with the result. He's questioning a lot of things, the election results, the media coverage
like Fox News. It's actually put Newsmax TV. We've just, we're like number two or number three now on downloads on our smartphone apps, on iPhone, and
our ratings have surpassed CNBC and MSN, and Fox Business in just a matter of days. So it's been a huge boon for us.
And I think people are coming to us not because we're the greatest thing in the world, but they feel they're getting a fair shake, and the President is
getting a fair shake. And I think this will play out, you know, when I was on your show, in the middle of the impeachment, I didn't demonize Joe
Biden. I think he's a centrist Democrat. I have no problem with him, per se.
I think Donald Trump would be a much better president. There's just no question in my mind that he did a better job, had a better track record is
a national leader than Joe Biden. And I want to see a full accounting of the votes. That's why I'm not -- you say there's no evidence but on the
same hand, like we know --
AMANPOUR: No, no. I don't say sorry -- Chris, Chris, Chris. I don't say there's no evidence, the lawyers say there's no evidence. And I agree with
you in Pennsylvania, they might talk about votes that came in after the election. But everybody says the margins are not enough to overturn it and
you've just said it yourself. So this is an exercise maybe in a swaging --
RUDDY: This is like somebody go in and say --
RUDDY: Well, if somebody say, hey, there's no evidence I have cancer. Somebody say, did you go to the doctor? Yes. Did you let them exam you? No,
I actually didn't believe in the test.
In the state of Pennsylvania, they did not allow the Republican observers to go and literally observe the ballots as required and is mandated by the
state law. And that could throw out tens of thousands of votes in that particular state for violating rule.
AMANPOUR: The governor denies that, , you know that, and the election workers, they denied it. Let's just go over that. No, no, no, no, no. Let's
just ask you a question, because I want to ask you about the senators right now. So we had or, you know, my colleagues had, Senator Chris Coons,
Democrat obviously, from Delaware, good friend of Joe Biden on the air today.
RUDDY: Good man, yes. I think he's a good man.
AMANPOUR: Good, good. Glad to hear it. So this is what he said about his Republican colleagues in the Senate.
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SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Bluntly that they accept that by, I mean, they call me to say, you know, congratulations, please convey my well wishes to
the president-elect. But I can't say that publicly yet. And so, these are these are conversations best kept private.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, you know, there you have it. So I don't know what's your reaction to that?
RUDDY: Hillary Clinton in August of this year said that if Joe Biden loses, he should not concede under hard words, under no -- under any
circumstances, under no circumstances? I think that asking and having a legitimate contest on close races is perfectly fine. And Donald Trump has
never said he's never going to concede. I think there's going to be obviously a waiting for the certification of the state that will happen all
by November 23rd.
For the sake of democracy and all of the divisions in the country, why don't we give people a few days to carefully --
AMANPOUR: Right. I'm sure they are getting a few days. You're absolutely right. Can I ask you this, Chris? Did Donald Trump indicate to you that
did, you know, he would leave under the correct terms of a smooth transition?
RUDDY: We didn't get into how he might see himself departing. I think at that point, he felt he still had a pretty good chance. I think they still
see that they have some pathways. It's a very close race, Pennsylvania, still, there's legal challenges in Pennsylvania. I know the races are not
as close as some people think, but there are some, you know, Georgia, Arizona, even Nevada had, as of yesterday, had hundred thousand votes that
AMANPOUR: Yes. I want to talk to you about Georgia because there's a lot of thought that a lot of this is about firing up the base, keeping them fired
up because obviously for the Senate, the two Georgia runoffs in January, a massively important. And this, in fact, is what Lindsey Graham said,
Senator Graham, who was in fact reelected.
He ties the Republican efforts to delegitimize mail-in ballots to the next election ballot, those two elections that I said to the Senate once. I
think what would hurt our chances in Georgia, he said, is if we don't put these systems under scrutiny. What do you think?
RUDDY: Well, I think your comment that maybe there's firing up the base, that's normal politics, it's probably accurate. I do think, you know, this
is the first time in history of this country that we've had massive so many mail-in ballots. It was meant to be an exception and you had to certify
that you could make an election day, most systems looked at was considered also an invitation for electoral fraud. That's been -- Jimmy Carter said,
you should never have an election that was based on mail-in ballots in 2005.
AMANPOUR: Anyway, things have changed, it's pandemic.
RUDDY: He was a world class independent election observer.
RUDDY: So, you know, I do think that that the exception in this race that so many votes came in mail and the ability to manipulate those is beyond
just a simple ballot casting.
AMANPOUR: All right, OK. As I say, none of the election observers have seen any, any, any evidence of any kind of significant fraud, and I read you all
of this Erick Erickson --
RUDDY: I think there are sworn depositions, Christiane, of people seeing behaviors. There was just a video I saw at one of the observers in Detroit,
where there were all sorts of rules broken on the Detroit ballots that was on a Chinese station because the American network wouldn't publish it for
AMANPOUR: You know well that's anecdotal. But anyway, we'll get to the court case.
RUDDY: Yes, of course, it is. I agree. It's anecdotal. There is not evidence of widespread fraud as evidence of anecdotal fraud, but there is
evidence of widespread voter regularities like in Pennsylvania. And the governor did things that he was just not legally allowed to do in the mail-
in ballots. And I think that is the legislature's supposed to control that.
AMANPOUR: All right. Let me ask you one last question. You did a lot about, you know, Fox News and how, you know, Newsmax has positioned itself. And as
I said, you haven't called it yet, the race.
Do you hope that President Trump becomes a Newsmax reality star or personality of any kind in a post presidency?
RUDDY: I don't think I'd be able to afford his rates. That's a joke. I've joked with him that line before, so I like using it. But I would welcome
him being a part of our lineup at Newsmax. I don't think that he's going to be doing a daily TV show anywhere. I do see him going back to media. But I
also see his success really came from being on all media and all media platforms.
I think he's going to have that ability, because he just has such a huge following. And the press don't like them, but they like his ratings. And
that's why I think he's going to remain a force after the election. And that's fine with me. And I'd love for him to be on Newsmax a lot.
AMANPOUR: Chris Ruddy, thank you for joining us. So with Republican stalling, Biden and his team are being urged to stand their ground ever
more firmly. Congressmen and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn among them, he likely did change the course of history by endorsing Biden and bringing out
the black vote at a critical moment in his campaign, just when Biden was all but out of the race, winning big in South Carolina propelled him to the
nomination and onto the presidency. Jim Clyburn joins me now from Washington.
Congressman, welcome to the program. I don't know whether you heard all of that, but there was a little admission there from a very close friend of
President Trump and a conservative media CEO, media baron, that he did not think the results were going to be overturned. A nonetheless, you know,
felt that the legal aspects or angles rather should be pursued. What do you make of that?
CLYBURN: Well, thank you very much for having me. I'm not following these guys too closely. I think that he makes it clear that his motive in all of
this are ratings, what gives the ratings, and the ratings determine how much money you make off the process. And that's all they're doing.
They know too well that this election is over. There's nothing in Pennsylvania, or I don't think anything is in Georgia, for that matter, or
Arizona, Nevada, that's not overturned this election. And I think that they're just popping up -- there a viewerships in trying to run up their
rates, so they can make money off the process. That's all it is.
AMANPOUR: All right. Congressman, what do you make of, you know, for instance, Secretary of State Pompeo, as we said earlier, he told the world
from the podium that there would be a second Trump administration. I don't know whether he misspoke. He didn't seem to have misspoken.
But on the other hand, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, basically told people don't be alarmed. There's nothing unusual about this.
It's all going to play out and it's all going to be OK in the end. What did you read from Mitch McConnell's message today?
CLYBURN: Well, I think Mitch was just being Mitch. He decided a long time ago that he was not going to let anything happen in the Senate, that this
President did not approve of. And I don't think he's going to let anything drop from his lips. That he doesn't think this president will approve up.
So that's all this is. I don't know why these, suppose the leaders, are so -- put this man in front of the country. This country is too valuable to
the world for us to allow any one miss-rep (ph) destroy its credibility. And I said that with all due deference to these guys who I've worked with,
for a long, long time.
I don't understand it. I am really surprised at it. I had a long relationship with Lindsey Graham, and I just don't recognize them as
granted last three, four years. He is a totally different person than I think he was for years I knew him before. I don't understand it. But maybe
I am not old enough to understand that.
AMANPOUR: The President-elect Joe Biden has talked, obviously, about healing, about unity, about, you know, trying to address the very serious
divisions in your country. Obviously, all of this that's happening is causing further divisions, you know, in Trump world amongst Trump
supporters, and there are a lot of them. How do you think, I mean, you know a lot about healing and unity and divisions, how do you think Biden when
he's president can start this really difficult, difficult, you know, process.
CLYBURN: I think he's already started as president-elect. He's supposed to be speaking to the country and the world, I guess, again today. I think
he's demonstrated over the last several days the kind of leader that he would be. He said time and time again, although he was running as a very
proud Democrat, he would govern as an American. And no matter who you may have supported, you will get the benefit of his energies as much as anybody
So I think that he is showing by example, what a leader should be. I learned very early in my life that leaders lead by precept and example. We
had a president who's full of precepts, never give any positive examples of leadership. Joe Biden is showing in very short order, how leaders ought to
conduct themselves. And I think he's going to do well, because though, there'll be lawyer. Trump is, he will never, ever accept Joe Biden. They
will accept anybody else for that matter.
AMANPOUR: But I think that Joe will continue to show us how leaders are supposed to act. And do you think that that, you know, there's word that he
and his campaign are being urged to be more forceful, as you say, he's addressed the country again, today. He's really out there. He's being
presidential. He's doing his, you know, health convening health panels, COVID, and the rest. So he's really doing that.
But there's also some obstruction that's being instructed to the transitional agencies, you know, the bureaucracy that should help with
transition. And I know the Democrats have sent a letter to make sure all the departments keep their, you know, keep there papers, preserve
everything, and not to create mayhem in a transition. Are you confident that that will happen?
CLYBURN: No, I don't think that will happen. I think that we may end up going to court. I'll never able to understand why the Trump people think
they've only got lawyers.
We've got lawyers too. I don't know why they seem to feel that all you got to do is go to court, and the judges will agree with us. I don't think
that's true. I do believe that this process is for the country to remain stable. And I think the judiciary is where you go in order to maintain that
stability. And I don't think for one moment that these judges are going to run the risk of putting this country in chaos, because you got some people
who don't want to accept reality.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask the same question of, you know, Trump confidant, Chris Ruddy, about Georgia. And you just mentioned Senator Lindsey Graham,
and he's been talking about it. What do you think? Do you think a lot of this is to try to, you know, well, I would have a galvanized the vote in
Georgia is important runoff in January. How do you think that's going to play out?
Georgia, you know, also brought out huge numbers of new voters, particularly in the black community, like you have done.
CLYBURN: Yes, that's another case. People, most voters came out on both sides. Trump got more voters than he got four years ago. Biden got the 5
million more than he got. This was a record turnout. It's a record in every state. Here in South Carolina, we had a record.
And so, I do believe that there would be a good solid contest in Georgia. And if Biden can finish 13, 14,000 votes ahead. So if everybody go back to
the polls that went there the first time, and never had vote the way they voted the first time, now that you've got a definitive feel, if you've got
a term out the same way it came out for Biden.
J0ust remember in that runoff involving Warnock, I think they had 27 candidates splitting up this vote and he still got 40 something percent. So
I don't think that is a foregone conclusion that Democrats cannot win this runoff.
AMANPOUR: Can I just ask you finally about the wings of the Democratic Party. You've heard, you've seen, I mean, a lot of chatter in Washington
about, you know, all these different wings, progressives, moderates, I know you don't want any of that. We're all Democrats and we've got to, you know,
go ahead together to build back better. But what about, you know, some have said, you know, don't just stop sloganeering defend the police this and the
[17:40:00] Again, on these real big issues of internal, you know, reckoning on racial justice, trying to get a fairer situation between the police and
certainly the black community. How do you think that's going to happen? What's the right tone, the right language to use to try to achieve that?
CLYBURN: Well, I think that what you do is continue to follow the Constitution of the United States, continue to follow precedents in this
area, and continue to put forth a positive agenda for making this country's greatness accessible and affordable for all. I don't believe for one
moment, that there's in a split in the Democratic caucus about that.
I expect for everybody to represent their congressional districts. But I've been telling everybody, Joe Cunningham and I split six counters. He doesn't
have a six counters in his congressional district. He spent all six of them with me. I cannot win a campaign in his district. In fact, he just could
not get reelected to it. And he could not win in my district. But we are both solid Democrats. And that's what we have to do. You got to look at
these congressional districts.
And let's look at the Senate. It is no way under the sun, that Democrats running for United State Senate can run on a platform of defunding the
police and get elected. That ain't going to happen.
So let's just get rid of all of that. Stop the slogan airing, and let's think about what it would mean to everybody to have two Democratic senators
elected to the Senate. What will that do for our agenda?
That's a much better way to get our agenda pass, then for us to force, language and slogans that we know would be detrimental to the result. I
don't understand that.
AMANPOUR: Well, we thank you very much for being with us tonight, Representative Jim Clyburn. And thanks a lot. And now all of this is
happening, of course, with the backdrop of the COVID pandemic. After a month-long spike, there are now over 10 million cases in the United States
and over 50 million globally.
But there is, of course, as we've been saying cautious optimism with news of a promising vaccine. The question is how and when it will be rolled out
and how safe it will be, of course. In the interim, Joe Biden appeal to Americans to wear masks and hear the British Prime Minister warned the
public not to rely on a vaccine yet, and still take extra care.
Joining me now to discuss is Hugh Montgomery. He's Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at the University College here in London. And he's also Chair
of the National Emergency COVID Critical Care Committee. Hugh Montgomery, welcome to the program.
HUGH MONTGOMERY, DIRECTOR, HUMAN HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Thanks very much for having me.
AMANPOUR: So how excited are you about this vaccine? And we've seen Joe Biden he's, you know, the first thing that he's done as president-elect is
convene an attempt to sort of, you know, get the United States into a situation to, you know, have global leadership on this and also get it
under control there. How big a news is this vaccine?
MONTGOMERY: Well, it is very good news, because it's the first in many ways, actually. It's the first vaccine that is proven to work against
coronavirus, that particular Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It's actually also the first human vaccine of its class, a vaccine that works in
the particular way that this one does. And there are some unknowns, which we could discuss in a moment if you like, but this is good news that it's
the first thing that we've got that might protect us, and it does look to me highly effective.
AMANPOUR: So, yes, the unknowns, I'd like to hear them again from your perspective. We've heard some, you know, in the day since the announcement
was made yesterday, but also, you know, the practicalities of it getting actually to enough people to make, I heard, immunity and to make people
safe from this.
MONTGOMERY: Right. So the first thing is, Pfizer put out preliminary data. So these are not the final data from the study. And they've reported a
little over 43,000 trial participants and 94 cases of COVID in the group. But they haven't made clear how many were in the placebo group and others
didn't get the vaccine, and how many did. They've just been able to infer from these data that it looks as if it might protect nine out of 10 people
But the trial isn't over yet, it needs to get around 164 cases. And at that point, we'll know definitively how well it works. It may settle out at less
than 90%. But to be honest, even we're protecting 50% of people that would still be a very big deal.
The second thing we don't know is what sorts of patients it protects, does it protect people from asymptomatic carriage because if it does, that's a
really big deal. If it stopped people spreading the virus, that don't know they're spreading it, that's a big win.
Does it protect you from mild or moderate disease which will be less of a win, often the severe disease is life threatening, which would be big
ticket item. And we don't yet know whether it protects across all of those, and nor do we know the duration of the protection. So does it last for
days, weeks, months or years.
The other slight downsides of this compared to some of the other vaccines are price. It's going to come in probably we're told around $39 for the two
shots, because this is a double shot. You have to have one vaccine shot, and then another one three weeks later. And it looks as if it's giving
protection a week after that. So $40, and it does have to be refrigerated in a chain. And answering your question that does make it harder to get
out, particularly to poorer communities around the world where those chains of refrigeration are much more difficult.
That said, though, we've got a whole raft of other bar of vaccines coming along in four different classes, so different mechanisms of action. And the
Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is probably the next front runner that works in a very different way. We hope to have those data within the next perhaps
month or so. And, again, rolling out production to start vaccination for either of those, made even by the year's end. Then it's a question of
scaling up production and getting it distributed, because this is no mean feat with 8 billion people on the planet. This is a production at scale,
AMANPOUR: Yes, it really is. And again, President-elect Biden is talking about, you know, the Defense Procurement Act, and all of that mean, just
really trying to put a hole of government system into backing all of this and getting it all done. Of course, that's for the US.
Just quickly, you mentioned the price, but Pfizer saying for free, will get to Americans for free. Yes.
MONTGOMERY: Yes. I guess there was other talk yesterday of it being $39 for the pair of vaccines, and the Oxford AstraZeneca courses, they've agreed to
do that for no profit. And they're looking at coming in potentially at a price point around $4 without the need for refrigeration. But I don't think
we should be doing these things as competitive.
We're going to need all of these vaccines, partly for the reasons you mentioned that to get it to that large number of people, it won't be one
vaccine, it'll be many. And we've got some other challenges coming down the line too. I'm sure your viewers will have heard reports of this slightly
new variant that's appeared coming out of mink farms in Denmark.
MONTGOMERY: That's a bit weird, because the natural immunity that one finds from people who've had COVID so far, that naturally -- she doesn't seem to
be very effective against this new viral subtype. Now, we don't know what the implications that are for the vaccine, but it's worrying that we might
AMANPOUR: But what are you looking for, what are you looking then for this one that's developed in the Danish mink farms and with their they're
calling millions and millions of them.
AMANPOUR: I mean, what are you looking for when, I mean, we saw what happened in Wu Han after Apparently, the bat and et cetera, and it just
spread. What could happen with this mink situation?
MONTGOMERY: Well, this is the problem that the virus only has changed a little bit to change infectivity. We had that actually. There was a very
small mutation in the first original Wu Han variant that just gave the new mutant a little bit of an infection advantage. And that's now the dominant
one in America and Europe, in most of the cases from that slight mutation variant.
Now, this one looks as if it's, it's the same virus, remember. It looks as if it's probably equally contagious. But the protein that your body
recognizes to fight against with your immune system, if you get the first version, the one that's currently circulating, those antibodies don't seem
to recognize this new virus very well at all. Now, if that's true, it means that it opens up someone who's had this version of COVID, and to be much
more susceptible to a second infection from this mutant version.
And again, we don't know whether that actually that slight change in the protein structure the virus means that it will no longer be defended
against by the new vaccine. So I'm very worried about this. Of course, it may turn out to be nothing very significant. But we've got 12 human cases
already in Denmark. And I'm a little mystified as to why the borders haven't been locked down completely at this point.
I don't think this is something we can play. This is dangerous stuff if this gets out into the broader world community.
AMANPOUR: Well, I'm very glad you're issuing a warning. I just want to ask you then, does that, I mean, I was just about to ask you that John Bell,
the Oxford University, Professor of Medicine said, today in Parliament, that the UK has a 70% to 80% chance of getting life back to normal by
Easter, if it doesn't "screw up" the distribution of a potential vaccine.
AMANPOUR: Does that timeline sound realistic to you? And is the potential for a screw up huge?
MONTGOMERY: No. In fact, I would go with John on that. I think if the Astra, I mean, let's assume it's just the Pfizer version. And then, it will
be a question of whether the mass production can meet the American market demand. And then, there's enough leftover for everyone else to start
In Great Britain limits, let's suppose the Astra one comes on board, or one of the many others that are what probably 70 or 80 other vaccines in
development at the moment around the world. And if, let's suppose some of those came to home, the reason the Astro one would be the homegrown one, as
it were, production probably could ramp up at that scale, to get enough immunity to break the chain of infection.
So I think his estimates are realistic if you get vaccine proven to work. And, again, we'd hope to have those data within the next perhaps three or
four weeks. And that's you're on record as saying that they would hope to be able to start a vaccination program the United Kingdom by the end of
December or the beginning of January.
AMANPOUR: You know, there's -- obviously we're living in the midst here of lockdown 2.0, and restrictions all over the Europe. And you've had the head
of the EU say that we have two enemies right now, you know, the coronavirus itself and COVID-19 fatigue. Are you satisfied?
I don't know what you're seeing in your intensive care and in all the departments you're monitoring, but are you seeing overwhelming numbers of
patients coming in? What do you think, I mean, of, in general, people's voluntary cooperation to try to keep this virus at bay as much as possible
until a vaccine comes?
MONTGOMERY: I think your point is well made. I think there is that fatigue. And it's difficult because as healthcare professionals, we're used to
infection control. And it's second nature to us to be dancing our hands with alcohol gel every few minutes. And we don't mind wearing masks for
prolonged periods of time. And there has been that fatigue, I think there's no doubt at all about it.
And particularly, certainly in Great Britain, areas that didn't get hit a first time round seem to be getting hit very much more this time. And if
you're looking at London, we're very, very much more under control than we were before. And I suspect strongly that this is actually just behavioral,
and London assault as they all knew someone who was on an intensive care unit we got hammered. Absolutely hammered the first time around the
northwest of England, the Midlands were busy, but not hitting quite the same way.
And I think the general population probably just didn't feel that direct impact is a viscerally first time around. And it behaves in a way that
spreads this virus. So I think it is a problem, that level of fatigue, and it'll be tracked in one of two ways. Firstly, people just getting back down
to knuckling down and doing what they're meant to do.
The second actually is still testing because testing has a role if you enact something from it. In other words, if you can identify cases, and
isolate them quickly, you can slow transmission. And then, the third approach is going to be the vaccine program. And my guess would be it'll be
a combination of the three. But as you say, given the level of fatigue that said that the emphasis on testing and vaccination will become more and more
AMANPOUR: Right. Can I ask you one quick final question? You know, almost in the beginning, the world has been waiting for America to help lead the
global response. It hasn't happened under President Trump. There's a lot of hope that it might happen under President-elect Biden. What would that
shift look like? What would it mean?
MONTGOMERY: I think the first thing is scientific collaboration and cooperation will be strengthened. We can't underestimate how important that
is. And actually, I think that's perhaps the biggest thing here. The difference in the signaling from Joe Biden is that he listens to rational
argument and scientific thought. And sadly, that is something that has clearly been lacking from the previous from your current president.
He's dismissed science across every single domain, whether it be health care, or climate change, or various other things. I think the signal we're
getting from Joe Biden it goes way beyond leadership in COVID, and much more to saying that he's back in a rational scientific community worldwide,
with other nations.
AMANPOUR: All right. On that note, Hugh Montgomery, thank you so much for joining us.
And finally, a peace deal leads to both jubilation and anger. These are scenes of celebration in Azerbaijan's capital Baku. We've been reporting on
this in Armenia protests against the government had been going on. It's after the two countries signed a Russian brokered agreement to end the
military conflict between them. Violence has rocked the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh for weeks with dozens of casualties.
And only time, of course, will tell what this agreement will lead to. Let us hope, though, that citizens caught up in the violence get some relief.
And that's it for now, you can always catch us online on our podcast and across social media. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.