tv Amanpour on PBS PBS February 15, 2018 6:00am-6:30am PST
tonight the tone flows from the top. the white house remains mired crisis exposing a culture of condoning and cover-up within trump's inner circle. my conversation with jennifer granhall and the journalist joshua green, chronicler of the ex-white house and steve bannon. plus, suspicious circumstances as a prominent academic dies behind bars in iran's most notorious prison. we hear a harrowing account of life inside the two iranian-americans. >>. ♪ ♪
amanpour on pbs was mad possible by the generous support of rosalynn p. walter. ♪ ♪ good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. i'm crihristiane amanpour. in any other time in any other news cycle this would be a blockbuster, game-changing headline. president donald trump's personal lawyer saying he paid $130,000 to a porn star who says that she had an affair with trump. he denies it, but such is the new normal that today it is just another news line. the white house is still struggling to explain why a top aide, rob porter was kept on staff for months after the fbi said that he faced allegations of abusing two ex-wives. so is the president who was elected despite multiple allegations of sexual harassment
finally having his me too moment? jennifer granholm is the former democratic governor of michigan and joshua green is the journalist and biographer of former trump strategist steve bannon who has been outspoken on the me too effect. welcome both of you, thanks for joining me. >> thank you. >> can i start by asking you about this blockbuster headline and just to ask you, so how does that go down with the assembly line worker in your state in michigan? >> right. it's a great question. the blockbuster headline of a lawyer paying off a porn star who now says that he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart, not that he was instructed by the president to do it, first of all, i mean, come on. how stupid do they think we all are? but this is, of course, in the context of this whole domestic abuse allegation inside the white house, and when you look at the women in michigan
especially the white, blue-collar, non-college educated woman in michigan and across the rust belt states, these women supported trump when he was elected by 61%. they were the backbone of how he got over the finish line, but that number as of now has dropped by 18 points, meaning he's under water with those women. why? because they see this kind of nonsense happening happening every single day. >> so let me turn to you, joshua. the governor said come on, how stupid do they think we are? she herself answered the question that so many people despite the knowledge of that famous tape and all the rest. there are so many women, a majority of while americans voted for him. do you think because you're written today, joshua about steve bannon, the sort of uber strategist who believed the me too moment will be a game
changer for this white house. >> yeah. i mean, in the preface to my new paperback book "the devil's bargain" i re-embedded with steve bannon and in one of the new scenes in the book i tell the story of bannon watching the golden globe awards last m when oprah and the actresses famously had the galvanizing moment of female empowerment that was so powerful that people were talking about oprah for president. bannon had a much different reaction. he viewed this as he told me an existential threat not just to trump, but to republicans' majority in congress because he didn't think that republicans, especially not trump and the senior people in the white house were sufficiently alert to the political threat posed by the rise of this female-driven resistance. they had a great falling out a month ago and bannon was in the political equivalent of siberia and it is not clear that his
warnings will be heeded, but at least someone in trump's orbit recognizes that this could be a real problem for the party as soon as september and the spousal abuse scandal now entering its second week is only making that problem worse. >> to press you on that, bannon thought roy moore inial bamma was going to win despite the allegations against him and he didn't because of the climate that he created in his state. do you think bannon has his finger on the pulse or is he taking his misjudgment about alabama to go forward with? >> no, i do think he has his finger on the pulse and i think alabama taught him a lesson. i think the reason he stuck with roy moore was because bannon was fited on his grievances with mitch mcconnell and the government establishment and saw roy moore ahis ticket to power as someone he could install in the u.s. senate who would be a problem for mitch mcconnell and would help give bannon a base with power in the u.s. senate
and when the charges that moore had engaged in predatory behavior where the young women came out and most republicans abandoned him and he didn't want to give up the chance to get more elected and that ended up costing him. >> governor, i don't know whether you take any sustenance from the democrat from the fact that some including conservative republicans in congress are coming out and just about criticizing the president for this latest scandal? >> it is just about because i want to know whether they're going far enough. >> can i tell you what senator joni ernst notorious conservative senator told cnn just this week about this crisis? >> i am extremely disappointed in this situation. abuse is never okay. we need to send a very clear signal that it won't be tolerated, and it won't be tolerated with our employees.
>> is the president sending that signal? >> i think he needs to send a stronger message, a stronger message. >> so i wonder how you read that. you know tonight the vice president has said the same thing although definitely closing ranks among john kelley, the chieff o staff who was rob porter's big backer and defender. >> right. number one, we should not -- we americans, men and women should not have to beg the president of the united states to say in his own words that domestic violence is not acceptable. why is it that we have to beg him? these republicans who have come out to applaud the women, often they use language sort of in the third person that doesn't say donald trump, you should take this moment and use your twitter feed, in fg else, if nothing el
condemn domestic abuse. the data and the anecdotes that we are hearing and not even anecdotes, emily's list which is an organization that recruits democratic women to run for office. at this time in the last cycle they were working with 900 women. in this cycle 30,000 women have raised their hand to run for office. it is unprecedented. we have five women governors now and we have five women considering running for governor of these 50 states. it is the way it is happening and just one other bit of information is that yesterday in the state of florida, another democrat flips a republican state seat. it was a woman and this has happened 36 times now. there have been 36 state seats that have been flipped from republican to democrats since donald trump was elected in special elections and two-thirds of those have been won by women. >> it's fascinating to see where
this is landing. >> i started by saying that the culture flows from the top and has been this incredible revolving door in the white house over the last year and most particularly, to follow up on what the governor said about donald trump's tweets, in fact, just last week about this latest crisis, and about me too, he said, people's lives are being shattered andestred by a mere allegation. some are true and some are false, some areld and some are new. there is no recovery for someone falsely accused. life and career are gone. is there no such thing any longer as due process? now, as we have been reporting, you know, all along that at least 15 people have accused president trump before he was president of improper conduct. i mean, what do you make of that particular tweet in it doesn't support me too. it doesn't support women. >> i do think that issues like this are problematic for donald
trump for the very reasons he laid out. were he to express any sympathy for the victims or the alleged victims in this case, of course, it would call to mind the question what about donald trump's victims and that's not a discussion he wants to have. i think the other issue here is trump is serially incapable of admitting defeat and of seeming weak and apologizing. so someone who likes stoking these cultural battles as much as donald trump does, i think he can use it in the same light as he's used the nfl kneeling scandal and other things as something where he can create and even exacerbate a division that will rally his base to his side and maybe deflect from some of the more difficult questions about the managerial failures in the white house that allowed for this man,ob porter to continue serving and handling national security documents even after his abuse of history was well known. >> governor, can i ask you just
how your party plans to capitalize on this. >> you have spoke ben the 36 seats that have been flipped and the difference in polling before and after amongst women, but there are equally loud voices in the democratic party that say that you need to be concentrated if you want to win on the bread and butter pocketbook issue and that you don't yet have an economic message and the donald trump numbers are still low, but inching upward on the economy. >> yes. here's what i would say about that is that it is both. yes, we are about the word all. that means all citizens should feel like they can participate in this economy, and this notion of pitting or him looking for cultural moments to pit one group against the other. this group, the female group, weir the largest bloc. you don't decide to you're going
to just decide that ail my base is going to be white male. that is not a winning strategy. democrats absolutely have to talk about fairness and about everybody having opportunity and about jobs and about being pro-american, pro-patriotic, yes, but making sure that everybody gets a chance when you divide people up like he has done, it is not ultimately a winning strategy. now, it worked in the election and people are on to him and the fact that he has a biggest gender gap of any president of the in the united states in the first year in office. he is 12 points under water with women. that is not going to be a successful strategy. he can continue to go along that line. he can continue to stoke those divisions and democrats have got to capitalize on that and on the economy, and on the policies that he's putting forth that are not going to be allowing people to everybody to have an opportunity to succeed. >> governor granholm, joshua
green, thank you both very much for joining me. now, while the white house does remain impaled on this week of self-inflicted scandal, the human rights situation in iran is deteriorating as relations with the u.s. deteriorate. the regime hard liners there are targeting dual nationals for imprisonment and worse. a canadian environmentalist, they died in custody this week. officials ruled it a suicide and it doesn't believe it. the british iranian radcliffe has been in prison almost two years now. the young mother was arrested while she was on a visit to her parents and an iranian-american family is experiencing the heartbreak of having not one, but two family members in custody right now. businessman namazi who served two and a half years of a ten-year sentence and his father, 81-year-old baman
namazi, even though he should be released to proper medical attention. it could be tantamount to a death sentence and they join me from dubai and the editor of iran wire join me here in the studio. he was imprisoned by iran in the 2009 revolution. welcome to the program. baba, can i ask you firstut there in dubai, what is the very latest with your father? he's over 80 years old and he was earlier this week rushed back to hospital. >> hi, christiane. my father was for the second time this month rushed to the hospital on suspected night. this was the second incident that happened since he was forced to go back to prison last week. the other night he suffered from
a severe, irregular heartbeat where his heartbeat doubled and a drop in his blood pressure and a severe depletion of his energy, to the point that the prison officials decided to rush him to the hospital. >> let's just make it very clear. he was put back into prison even despite the advice and the warning of, i think, the prison doctors and those who -- who said to the government that he shouldn't come back into prison, isn't that correct? >> that's correct. it was more than that, christiane, he instructed my father two weeks ago when he was in the hospital to report to the country's medical examiner's office which is affiliated with the judiciary. a medical panel examined my father and they subsequently told my mom that he has -- they
have recommended that they give an extended leave of three months and that's why we were astonished and shocked, really, when he was ordered to report back immediately to the prison right after their judiciary had ordered him to go and get examined by the medical examiner's office. >> i'm going to get into some of the details of it in a second, but i just want to turn first to maziov, obviously he is a u.s. iranian citizen. you are a canadian-iranian citizen and you were imprisoned during the so-called green revolution. describe why you were taken in and what political underpinnings there were? >> well, i was arrested because of my work as a journalist and the government of iran wanted to teach a lesson to a group of journalists and documentary filmmakers and because of that i was arrested. i was tortured, interrogated and forced to confess on television, and you have to understand that the iranian government regards
iranian dual nationals as commodity. so they want something in return when they release them. in my case it was different because it was in the beginning. they didn't know what to do, but since -- especially since 2016 when they released four iranian american prisoners and hostages and in january, 2017 when they released iranian american hostages when they released them and they received millions of dollars they realized that they can use this commodity to their advantage and because of that i think, unfortunately, they are holding bahrain namazi who is more than 8 years old and my friend and many other iranian-americans and iranian canadians because they want something in return. >> you just heard the most cynical explanation for the imprisonment of dual nationals. do you believe that that is why
your father and your brother are both in prison right now? >> christiane, what i know with certainty is that both my father are innocent. i also believe that with them being americans have become a target and that is, unfortunately, i believe my family has become stuck in a game that has been played between iran and the united states. it's terrific to think that your family are being used as pawns and my father is deteriorating so rapidly that thishrrific to family are being used as pawns and my father is deteriorating so rapidly that thorific to thi family are being used as pawns and my father is deteriorating ing can result in his deaths.thr >> what can you t saythe
american government. you are also an american citizen. are you talking to anybody in iran? i mean, do they understand how this might be a death sentence? are they prepared to see an american citizen die in iranian custody? christiane, logically, i want to think not, but if i look at all of the events that have unraveled especially for the past few months in respect to my father where they are knowingly exposing him to danger and whether they're knowingly against the advice of not only my father's positions, but their own medical examiner are sending my father back to very unsafe conditions and it is the worst fear that they are no longer exposing both my family members to a condition that could have a tragic end. >> your father used to work for unicef. he was a diplomat. your father is an economist and has been an analyst for many years. what are the charges against them?
>> no one has provided us with a fair and transparent means of understanding of what's going on. my brother and father were never really made aware of what the charges are. the whole process including the initial trial and the subsequent appeals has been clouded and under the very dark proceedings. they've never had a chance to really understand the charges against them and to present a reasonable defense. they were denied access to legal counsel. they were denied access to the information and allegation against them. they had over a year to prepare whatever nonsense they prepared against my family, and all of the time they had a new opportunity to be able to confront the allegations and finally a trial of a short few hours and subsequent to the
conviction and we don't know what's going on until today. we never understood what the allegations are and what the charges are and why it is that my family has ended to become part of this as pawns. >> you went through your own similar situation. give us a sense of the politics around what's happening rid now. >> well, it's sad that they're not only pawns between iran and the west and they are also pawns in the conflict within different groups inside iran. on one hand, you have president rue h rouhani who wants to have better relations with the west. on the other hand you have the revolutionary guards people around ayatollah khomeini whose survival depends on chaos and they thrive on chaos and they thrive on sanctions so they want to sabotage president rouhani's
diplomatic moves as much as possible. >> this comes at a time when the american administration of donald trump is putting double like even the nuclear deal that president obama and the rest of the world has negotiated with them. how much more does that complicate? whose hand does that play into? >> it complicates the matter to a certain extent because iranian people who are poor, 30% of at least 30% of the iranians live under poverty. so iranians are desperate and as you say, they came to the street in the beginning of this year over christmas and they protested against this government which has been a failure for the past 39 years. by the way, on sunday it was the 39th anniversary of the iranian revolution. so iranians, they want to hear from the president of the united states. it doesn't matter if that is donald trump, barack obama or whoever.
they want to hear the support of the president of the united states, and when -- >> for the people. >> for the people. for the people's demand for change in the country. they want to hear from the president of the united states and when donald trump voiced his support for the people of iran that complicated the situation. and unfortunately, it has complicated the situation for our actual prisoners, why? because the iranian government doesn't want to be presented as a weak government. they do not want to lose faith. there are dozens of them who we don't know. one of them, quote, unquote, committed suicide on saturday, last saturday. >> that was the canadian-iranian. that was a canadian-iranian who was arrested less than a month ago on charges of espionage. he was an environmentalist. and he quote, unquote, committed
suicide and he is the third person who has committed suicide in prison for the last -- >> you think he has been killed? >> that is the theory that the government that the iranian judiciary and the revolutionary guards are killing and this is inside prisons and they have been committed suicide in order to scare many other activists and dissidents. >> i just wonder whether there's any line that you have that's productive or at least hopeful with the trump administration. is there any third party like the swiss authorities used to represent america's interest in iran? >> i've obviously been very engaged with the trump administration since they took office. just this last week i was in washington and the new york city where i met with very high level
administration officials in the white house as well as with u.n. officials. i am confident there are a number of measures and an array of measures being taken and i do believe that my family' situation is a priority and i know everyone's trying and i'm desperate for the u.s. government to redouble, retriple, really do everything it can and i also implore the iranians. i'm begging them. it's enough. it really is enough. who puts an 81-year-old man in solitary confinement for three or four weeks. what kind of treatment is that? so obviously, i'm highly desperate and i really need both the iranian government and the u.s. government to find a way to resolve this. ? all right. well, thank you so much for joining us with that heartfelt plea from dubai and for your
experience and explaining also the heightened political climate that we find ourselves in. thank you both. >> thank you. a dramatic violation of human rights there. and you might remember that maziov's story was turned into a film "rosewater" a few years ago directed by the daily show's jon stewart. that is it for our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour on pbs" and join us again tomorrow night. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ amanpour on pbs was made possible by the generous support of rosalynn p. walter. ♪ ♪
steves: this region's breathtaking coastline is traversed by three coastal routes -- the low, middle, and high corniche. the low corniche strings ports, beaches, and villages together. it was built in the 1860s, along with the train line, to bring people to the casino in nearby monte carlo. the middle corniche comes with views of impressive villas,
and the grande corniche caps the cliffs with staggering mediterranean vistas. while hailed as napoleon's crowning road construction achievement, it actually sits upon the via aurelia, a road built by the ancient romans as they conquered the west. a towering roman ruin celebrates that conquest. caesar augustus but thhy oe tropthe alpes to commemorate his defeat of the region's many hostile tribes. with this victory, the completion of the main artery connecting italy and spain was made possible. this opened the way for the continued expansion of the roman empire. the inscription tells the story. it was erected by the senate and the people to honor the emperor. carved below is an inventory of all the feisty barbarian tribes that put up such a fight. and on either side are the vanquished in chains at the feet of their conqueror, a reminder to any who would challenge the empire.
nearby, standing high above the sea, is touristy but magnificent eze. the once-formidable town gate, designed to keep rampaging pirates out, leads into the medieval village. this self-proclaimed village of art and gastronomie mixes perfume outlets, upscale boutiques, cobbled lanes, and scenic perches perfect for savoring a drink. the more adventurous can climb even further up to the scant ruins of the eze chateau. the paths leading there host a prickly festival of over a hundred varieties of cacti. looking beyond the flowers, you'll enjoy a commanding riviera view.