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Is The White House Under Siege; Christine Lagarde Is At The Helm Of The Global Economy And In The Cross Hairs Of Trump's War On Trade; The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Aired: 11:00-12:00m ET
Aired September 10, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST, AMANPOUR: Hello, everyone and welcome to the new hour long edition of "Amanpour." And here's what's coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Donald Trump, President of the United States: $3.2 trillion ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: As sources in the Trump administration go public with their account of the presidency off the rails, I ask Kellyanne Conway, the most
powerful woman in the Trump administration, "Is the White House under siege?" Then, to one of the most powerful women on the world stage, as
head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde is at the helm of the global economy, and in the cross hairs of Trump's war on trade.
Also ahead, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, borne out of the Civil Rights Movement celebrating the African-American experience for the past 60 years.
Our Hari Sreenivasan sits down with the Artistic Director, Robert Battle.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in Washington at this hour where crisis continues to disrupt the Trump administration. And
if Democrats retake the House in November, buckle up for endless investigations and ever more bitter partisan fights.
It is in this contentious atmosphere that I sat down with the Presidential Counselor, Kellyanne Conway. She is the most powerful woman in the White
House and one of the few senior advisers still standing some 600 days into an administration of revolving doors. Conway is best known around the
world for her combative defense of the President and for introducing the phrase, alterative facts to the lexicon.
But she has a major policy role as well, overseeing critical initiatives from the opioid epidemic ravaging this country to working with veterans and
military spouses. Now, instead of getting into the ring with Conway, instead of debating and wrangling and wrestling, I really wanted to probe
and get real answers and explore issues that her job is responsible for, including the relationship with the press.
So we started by talking about the personal when we sat down in the Eisenhower Executive Office building next door to the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: Kellyanne Conway, welcome to the program.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, PRESIDENTIAL COUNSEL: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Let me start by just digging a little bit into what it means to be the most powerful woman in the White House - that is who you are
professionally. But personally, you are a wife, you are a mother of four. How do you do it all? Are you living the "I have a dream have it all"
CONWAY: I think I'm living the feminist ideal without calling myself a feminist and without being anti-male ...
AMANPOUR: That would be too radical.
CONWAY: Or pro-abortion which seems to be what some people think is the entry fee, the definition of being a feminist. I consider myself,
Christiane, a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances. But in some ways, as blessed as I am and fortunate as I have been in my life,
thank God, my life is a very common experience. It's a very pedestrian, everyday example of the American dream come true, in that I was raised by a
single mom, my father left when I was three years old. And we have a great relationship now. He has a great relationship with me and my family and my
But my mom figured it out in the 1970s with her high school degree, never expecting to go back into the work force and she just figured it out as I
think as so many women have. I was raised in a house with my mom, her mom and two of my mother's unmarried sisters. So these four Catholic Italian
women raised me in a small house in South Jersey between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Never had a single political conversation that I can
We had pictures of the Last Supper and the Pope on the wall, not of John Kennedy or Ronald Reagan.
AMANPOUR: I just want to ask you, how did what you described as your circumstances affect you and shaped the way you are as a woman - as a
professional woman? I mean, did you face obstacles climbing the proverbial professional ladder? You are a successful political consultant. You've
done books. You're on television. You're now the senior counsel to the White House, to the President. Did you have to face your own misogyny
moments, your own sexism, your obstacles and adversity?
CONWAY: Yes, actually, but it didn't let it define me. I didn't let it stop me. I let it help me to be - to shape me and to help me grow and know
who I am. I'm self-deprecating. I'm self-aware. I know what all my weaknesses are. I didn't need men to point them out for me, although many
tried along the way and failed.
But remember, too, I was in political polling. I was in polling - corporate and political polling in the Republican Party, in some ways, in a
microcosmic level, that's like being in an elks' club meeting in a locker room on a golf course. It's very, very male dominated and male-centric,
and there were many times, Christiane, as you can imagine, even when I had my own company and I was a paid political analyst on CNN 22 years ago when
there were very few of them, they gave me my first shot on TV, even then, it would be ...
CONWAY: ... let's let the girls do the focus groups, the men will do the polling. Which looking back, only men, let's put her on the airplane for
three days away from home, and I'll sit here on my behind in Washington and look over the numbers.
But that's okay, because I got on the plane. When they say, "How's it playing Peoria? What's going on in Lubbock?" I get on the plane and I
talk to the people Peoria and Lubbock and I worked, literally, physically, in all 50 states. So I've had such a privilege for decades now of
literally going out and talking to Americans and that helped me when Donald Trump on August 12, privately - it was announced five days later - asked me
to be his campaign manager, August 12, 2016.
One of the things I had seen in his rise vanquishing 16 or 17 other qualified men and woman in the Republican side is that he had a connective
tissue with Americans and I had heard so much about it in focus groups and in open-ended questions over the years in the polling that he was
connecting with them. They did feel invisible. They did feel left behind. They felt forgotten.
AMANPOUR: Christiane, Kellyanne, obviously, you work for the President, you are a senior counsel, you're a true believer. I wonder how you have
been affected then by the storm of new writings, books, Bob Woodward, the op-ed in the "New York Times." Do you feel a under a sort of sense of
siege at the White House?
AMANPOUR: Or do you feel sort of relief that maybe some of this is out in the open, and you continue serving the President as these people seem to
say, also tried to put a break on some of the quote, unquote, "whims."
CONWAY: I feel neither of those, Christiane. I am glad you asked. I guess, my first feeling would be disappointment and it's disappointment in
whoever has authored this op-ed. It's ironic because, come forward, because I think it's pathetic, not patriotic, that you would hide behind
anonymous. For what reason? The "New York Times" said they granted anonymity to protect that person from losing his or her job. That's odd
AMANPOUR: You think that person is inside the White House?
CONWAY: Most of us don't think that. the President just yesterday said he believes it's somebody in National Security. But what I do believe is that
who has said that ought to come forward and say it or ought to resign because the loyalty is not to the President only or at all, it's loyalty to
the Presidency, it's loyalty to the Constitution, it's loyalty to serving an administration that has views on issues, wants certain positions to fail
and others to prevail
So, I didn't work in President Obama's administration. I didn't work in President George W. Bush's administration. People who did, I would think,
although they all didn't, I am not saying otherwise, believed in what was happening there at the time.
And so, the disappointment I really feel is for the 62 million Americans who voted for President Trump and the over 300 million on whom he governs -
330 million or so whom he governs as President.
AMANPOUR: So, what do you think then of President Trump saying that the "New York Times" should hand over this person to the government, of Senator
Rand Paul who is a big advocate of the President saying there should be a lie detector test inside the White House or inside the administration to
try to ferret this writer out? Is there - and others have said this hunt for the so-called culprit. Is that happening in the White House? Or in
CONWAY: I'd much rather see an investigation of all the high ranking people at the FBI who were trying to fix an election for ...
AMANPOUR: We'll just get through this one ...
CONWAY: I'm not interested in an investigation of this. I guess, those who are investigating, great. I really hope they find the person. I
believe the person will snuff himself or herself out though because that's usually what happens. People brag to the wrong person. They brag that
they did this or they did that because I assume part of this isn't the goal here, not with the op-ed potentially is, Christiane. Isn't the goal here
really to try to sow chaos and get us all suspicious of each other ...
AMANPOUR: And is that what's happening? Are you all getting suspicious of each other?
CONWAY: No, that isn't what happened. It never happens. What happened at the beginning of this week when Bob Woodward's book came out and then the
anonymous op-ed came and this happened and that happened and if you go back to look on Twitter, it's embarrassing, but what isn't - for many - not all,
not even most in the press corps. So many people, I have screenshot at them for my amusement, yes, I'm so happy.
So many people - by the end of this week, there will be a massive purge. There will be an exodus of people who will leave. How many times have we
heard this? They don't - what worries me is that people who have the privilege of being in the media industry or really just being in almost any
industry that are covering the White House don't still understand how Donald Trump got elected and why and they're still not understanding who
elected him and what they heard from his message and how they contrasted that to the loser's message and wondered what he ran on to prevail.
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you because it's obviously clear that we have to get to this point, and that is this, I mean, I don't know what to call it -
- distrustful, dysfunctional, really destructive relationship between the Presidency and the press at the moment. I wonder whether there's a way to
get out of it? I'm really interested in exploring it because it is the pillar of democracy. I mean, the fourth state is a vital pillar of our
democracy in civil society.
You yourself, I don't believe, thinks that we, the press are the enemy of the people? Do you believe that?
CONWAY: I don't. I said that, no.
AMANPOUR: You don't believe that.
CONWAY: I don't.
AMANPOUR: Then, do you try to weigh in with the President on this issue? Of course, he has his views and he makes it clear all the time. But you
know that a couple of - or a month ago, there was some 300 US newspapers that tried to gather the group to defend the press themselves against this
enemy of the people slogan, and shortly afterwards, there was the arrest of a man in California who had taken this to heart, who had threatened to
shoot "Boston Globe" reporters in the head.
I mean, at what point is there a red line for you, personally, in the rhetoric causing potential danger and having consequences?
CONWAY: There is a lot in your extended statement. So let me just say this. I don't think the press at large is the enemy of the people. I do
find the press often in their coverage of this White House and this administration and this President to be the enemy of the relevant, to be
the enemy of what Americans are telling the press and the presses on polling is relevant to them.
They don't cover what's in their own polling, so a major outlet will do a poll and they'll ask Americans what's the most important issue to you and
let's just say, in some fashion, the top three or four issues are the economy and jobs, healthcare, immigration, foreign policy, education. They
don't cover those issues day after day. And they say, "Yes, we do." And they don't.
If you do a content analysis, they simply don't. They want to cover the messenger, not the message. They want to cover palace intrigue and
personnel and not principles and policies, which is what people around the kitchen tables are talking about.
AMANPOUR: And to an extent ...
CONWAY: It's going to - it's going to be a little tough for me, and I would think some of my colleagues here who have been forced to have Secret
Service protection or security, and really just change some of our lifestyles at times, it's going to be a hard thing for me to swallow that
the only people under threat or under assault are reporters at this newspaper or this person.
If certainly reporters feel that way, why do they go on late night TV? Why do they have agents they pay a percentage to? Why do they write books?
Why do they give speeches for tons of - I have probably two speeches we'd all make in the White House in a year. So many people want themselves to
be public figures.
AMANPOUR: I am not entirely sure of the logic, but ...
CONWAY: Well, I think people watching will be, not the press.
AMANPOUR: Right, but no. I'm serious about trying to figure this out because I've put my life on the line most of my career to tell the truth.
CONWAY: And you have.
AMANPOUR: To tell the truth, and I just wonder whether, again, you feel that there is a potential consequence. I understand that there is some
hate groups ...
CONWAY: It goes both ways ...
AMANPOUR: ... there are some hate groups directed towards some of you in the White House, however, there are also all sorts of despicable and
undemocratic leaders all over the world who are taking seriously President Trump's permission to demonize their own press, not to mention us, but to
demonize their own press to put them in jail, to often do worse to them.
CONWAY: Christiane, that didn't happen in the last 20 months as you full well know.
AMANPOUR: I do also know that actually ...
CONWAY: You have had awards as a journalist who has gone around the globe.
AMANPOUR: But it has got worse in the last few months.
CONWAY: Well, I think ...
AMANPOUR: And people are using the fake news slogan to justify the unprecedented amount of imprisonment and violence directed towards
journalists around the world.
CONWAY: I see things every single day that are just not true. People will call, even in the press in the coms shop and people will call me and ask a
question, and I'll say that's not true. People will actually do a story about my state of mind and I'll say that's not true and they will write and
then - well, we have two sources. Two sources who aren't me about what I think.
AMANPOUR: Could you accept what I just posited as ...
CONWAY: What I want to you is ...
AMANPOUR: The reality ...
CONWAY: I truly feel for your generation and your elevation of journalists because the media at large now does not include a lot of Christiane
Amanpours. It includes a lot of people who call themselves reporters because they sit on Twitter all day seeing who wrote what and then they
repeat it even though they don't independently research it themselves.
AMANPOUR: The President accuses people from established high level media organizations including the "New York Times," CNN - it's not just the ...
CONWAY: But they say things that aren't true. Christiane, I assure you, I work here. And I work here because I want to be one small molecule for
change in a country I love so deeply that has given me and my family so much.
CONWAY: Including freedom and the ability for my three daughters to go to school where girls - in some places in the world, can't. I can drive. I
can go to college and law school - the first person in my family. A lot of women can't around the globe. You know that more than anybody.
And for me, who's doing that kind of reporting? We see things every single day on TV and in print that I promise you, I swear to God, are patently
false. And nobody calls or they don't believe when we tell them what the truth is. And my main grievance has always been simple. I said it during
the campaign, I said it during the transition when I also said, "Look, the President and the media are going to share joint custody of the country for
the next four or eight years." I will say eight years now. We have to figure out a way to responsibly co-parent as they say in modern language.
And that goes both ways. But what I have always said, I will continue to say, it's not just biased coverage. That's easy to detect. If you want to
find biased coverage in this or I want to find biased coverage on that, you will find it. It's incomplete coverage. It's that the administration and
the media have two independent but consequential platforms by which to inform the American people, if not the world, to your point, of what's
actually happening here.
The economic numbers are the story - the greatest story never told. What the President is making good on his promise with respect to trade and
manufacturing, construction. If you are a coal miner, if you're in construction, if you're in manufacturing, if you want to be in a vocational
trade, this is your President. That story is not getting out there because it's not as riveting.
And you know what? A lot of policy is tough to figure out.
AMANPOUR: Almost - a lot of policies are tough to figure out ...
CONWAY: There are some journalist who are liberal, there are some who are just lazy and they don't want to figure out ...
AMANPOUR: And there are some who are good at what they do.
CONWAY: ... that's why I said, I feel for a certain generation elevation of journalists because, people, even the most variantly anti-Trump editors
will not allow certain things in their paper if they can't check them for veracity, right? Even if they'd like to, they won't do it.
But the same reporters who can't get away with doing it there, get away with it through their cable news contracts. They get away with it on
social media ...
AMANPOUR: As you know, our cable news organization, if there is a mistake, we apologize, correct and move on very rapidly and very transparently ...
CONWAY: Sometimes ...
AMANPOUR: We do. What I want to know though is, do you think the President might take a stance of his own to pull back from this? Because
remember what he told Lesley Stahl right after his inauguration, I mean, sorry, after his election, even before he was inaugurated, he basically
said, when she asked him about this, "You know why I do it. I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so that when you write negative
stories about me, no one will believe you." So, is this a long lasting strategy or can we see potentially, some way to get out of this thing that
doesn't seem to be good for you or for us?
CONWAY: I'll respond in two ways. First of all, I do agree that it's not healthy for the body politics on either side. There is no indication we
have and we - someone like I and others have tried, the President has tried to turn down the temperature, to give more access. He just gave a
few major interviews to print outlets, he gives interviews on television, but when you see story after story, you hear all the good news not being
I would give you an example. We talked about the economic reports. I think the media will start covering the economy if it ever goes down. I
think they will start covering the regulation if it ever starts going up again. And I want to say, if this country doesn't know what fentanyl is,
then the media are falling down ...
AMANPOUR: Okay, I want to ask you about that ...
CONWAY: Thirty thousand American died from it last year. And if you're not talking about that, if you're talking about anonymous - fentanyl is not
anonymous. My goal is to make sure that the 30,000 Americans who died from the fentanyl overdose last year aren't anonymous.
AMANPOUR: And this is your big issue in the White House. One of the big ones ...
CONWAY: One of the ...
AMANPOUR: ... the opioid crisis. Do you have personal experience that leads you, like so many Americans and so many politicians, do you know
people who have suffered from this? Do you have anybody in your family? I mean, is it close to you?
CONWAY: I do, but again, I think that makes me like everybody else. It gives me the connective tissue with the rest of the country. I do and I
think everyone does. The President went first here, Christiane. He said, "My brother, Fred, Jr., died of alcoholism at the age of 42." And he will
say - he said it again recently, I think the pool spray was there - the press pool was there, he said, "My brother was so handsome, he was so
smart, he was the oldest and it just ruined his life and eventually took his life."
So he went first in sharing his story. Here at the White House, we have a website, and it's share your story, crisisnextdoor.gov. Because we want
everybody to know, the stigma and the silence that attends to addiction in any form, particularly opioid and drug addiction needs to be blown away,
that people feel like they can come to somebody in their circle of life and share that story.
I have experience with the #MeToo Movement long before there was a #MeToo Movement. I was put upon, I was victimized, and nobody cares because I
work for President Trump.
AMANPOUR: No, people care.
CONWAY: Oh, I don't know. I said it after this thing ...
AMANPOUR: What happened to you?
CONWAY: It doesn't matter to me now. But I just want to say, I am 51 years old, so you can imagine. When this was - I think acceptable and much
more common place behavior ...
AMANPOUR: What happened to you?
CONWAY: ... nobody had cell phones. I want to say this. That I said that for the first time after the debate in St. Louis which was two days
after the "Access Hollywood" tape came out and President Trump and Hillary Clinton debated.
And afterwards, I said it on live TV. And they said here's a list of people who thinks Donald Trump should get out of the race. And Republican
members of Congress said - listen. I said, it's fascinating, I haven't thought about a few of them in a while, but when I see their names, I'm
reminded that they were early, early disciples of the #MeToo Movement. It wasn't called the #MeToo Movement at the time.
But that is, I think what's changed for women and what I'm really proud of with President Trump, is I was in Republican polling and politics and I had
a successful business for decades. But it's he who elevated a woman. I was hiding in plain sight to his campaign manager. It's he who has a
female Press Secretary. President Obama had four press secretaries, never a female. He had two or three campaign managers, never a female.
AMANPOUR: But he had a top counsel adviser who was a female also ...
CONWAY: And so, that's right. I have her office. She is lovely and she was great to me when we first got here in showing me the ropes ...
AMANPOUR: We should speak more about the opioids because Congress has attributed something like $5 billion.
AMANPOUR: Six now. Good. Some say though it needs about ten times that amount. And that a lot more emphasis needs to be on prevention and against
harm and treatment rather than law enforcement. Do you agree with that?
CONWAY: So I agree that there is a three-front war on the opioid drug demand drug supply crisis. And when the President gave his remarks and his
policy rollout on March 19th on New Hampshire, he said exactly that.
We need to tackle these simultaneously, not sequentially because they are all important. Treatment and recovery, prevention, education, law
enforcement interdiction. You cannot arrest or punish away out of a drug crisis. That is involving every demographic and geographic group. It
knows no boundaries. It discriminates against no one.
And what the President has done, I will quickly run through them - what the President has done, he has secured $6 billion in new funding from Congress.
Now through that $4 billion that came through the spending bill, of which not a single Democrat voted for. So I would ask this Democrats to say, we
need ten times $6 billion, why did you vote against the first $6 billion? I am happy to tell you that HR-6, the largest legislative package in our
nation's history on any one drug crisis at any one time, that passed the House, Christiane, 396-14.
Nothing passes the House 396-14. So there is great bipartisanship in the effort to solve. It's now in the Senate. We want it on the President's
desk so he can sign it and tell the country what's in it. So, prevention also means, and education also means of prescribers, of drug companies
because we are now seeing 30 pills in a bottle go down to five or seven. And I want to make very clear to your audience that we are not talking
about chronic pain survivors of which - excuse me, chronic pain - Americans who suffer from chronic pain and need pain medication, like my own mother.
We are talking about the collegiate or high school sports injury, we're talking about the dental procedure, the surgery where you go home with
these bottles of pills, and that's when the trouble begins.
Opioids are tricky. So we are trying to educate everyone. Opioids is tricky because that tiny little bottle bears a label that says "Family
doctor and local pharmacy." And it's been legally prescribed, so it's meant to help someone somehow, and you think trying one won't hurt you and
it's becoming a gateway for the process.
Education is also - prescriber education. These are addictive. They are mind scrambling. NIH is working on a non-addictive solution. Also, the
Surgeon General put out - first advisory for a Surgeon General in about a dozen years and it is about Naloxone. This is the overdose reversing drug.
He wants more Americans to be able to carry it around like you would an EpiPen.
AMANPOUR: I just want to get back to - from where I sit, usually reporting from Europe and around the world, some of the stuff that's come out in the
Bob Woodward book, and in previous accounts of this White House and this Presidency, people are kind of concerned. They don't know how to adjust
and adapt for the Trump factor. They see him sometimes denigrating and pouring cold water over global alliances and the hard work of diplomacy and
negotiations and tending to cozy up - that's my word - to more traditional adversaries.
Then they also see, well, the President may say something and tweet something, but the government, the administration, Congress are actually
taking traditional foreign policy positions. Do you buy that? I mean, is this administration doing traditional foreign policy while President Trump
AMANPOUR: ... says what he wants to say about things and responds to various allies and adversaries in that way?
CONWAY: Well, as Secretary and General Jim Mattis said earlier this week in response to the book, that the idea that he would disparage - this is
the key phrase - elected commander or tolerate anybody else doing that. That is the way many people view this President or any president. He is
the elected Commander-in-Chief. He has a certain view of foreign policy, he thinks this country has been taken advantage for many years. He has
said it many times. He said it many times on the campaign, so it helped him get elected where he says we're getting taken advantage of.
He's taken us out of the Iran deal. He kept the promise of five Presidents - five Presidents - to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and
to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel as Israelis do. He pulled us out of the Paris Accords and everybody said the same thing every single
time, didn't they? "Oh, my God, the whole world is going to fall apart. Our faces will melt off tomorrow."
AMANPOUR: Well, people are still saying that obviously, by the way. But let's talk about Vladimir Putin specifically ...
CONWAY: Okay, but if I say ...
AMANPOUR: He praises him and yet your administration and Congress keep up with the ...
CONWAY: He sanctioned him now. No, no ...
AMANPOUR: Sanctions, yes.
CONWAY: He sanctioned - it's not just the administration, and I'm sorry, I have to push back on that. This President has called for the Department of
Treasury, has called for Congress and others in a position to look at the sanctioning. He has sanctioned and expelled Russians from this country.
It's not that he's cozying up. I am actually offended by the term - the verb - to Vladimir Putin. It's that the President is doing what he always
said he would do, which is if he can join together with other major countries and leaders to work on the big issues on which they agree, he
will do that.
And so, in this case, it may be Syria. It may be North Korea. When he met with Vladamir Putin, they discussed the Middle East, they discussed Syria
and North Korea. Just this week, to get a lot of coverage because Kim Jong-un, I guess, is not anonymous, but it's a major thing that Secretary
Pompeo is continuing these talks to follow up on the Singapore meeting and that Kim Jong-un has said he wants to denuclearize and that they are taking
steps that way.
We are already ahead of the game that way, Christiane, because the Vice President went to Hawaii and received the remains of our brave men and
women in battle from North Korea. The three detainees are back here on American soil with their families. So this is a President who has said he
is open if the conditions are right and they continue to not put America last or even second, to meet with different leaders.
But let's be fair about all the trips he's had, all the bilateral meetings he's hosted here at the White House, all of the multilateral meetings that
he has attended. His first trip in May of 2017 was the very first stop was to the seat of the Muslim world. He went to Saudi Arabia, then he went to
the Vatican. He went to Israel the same trip. And that just shows - should show the entire world that he is serious about bringing peace not
war anywhere that he, as the Commander-in-Chief at a time such as this, the American President can do so.
But he also thinks that we are getting screwed on our trade deals and he is very honest about that. He is renegotiating NAFTA with Mexico and then
with Canada. And he thinks that our trade policy is part of our security policy. If you can have national security of the economic security and
vice versa. And NAFTA is 24 years old, he thinks it's very unfair to our workers. He thinks it's unfair to our interests and that it needs to be
modernized and more reciprocal and equitable to Americans. It's what a lot of Americans agree.
AMANPOUR: And we will take that up with one of the leaders of the global financial community, Christine Lagarde. Kellyane Conway, thank so much you
for joining us.
CONWAY: Thank you so much. Appreciate it, thank you.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: Revealing insights from a formidable Washington insider and as I said, we are taking up some of the economics with another powerful
Washington player, Christine Lagarde. She is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund where she is trying to hold the line against
new American trade moves and keep the global economy humming along.
Lagarde believes passionately that equality is an economic game changer as well. Listen to what she said about the global financial crash of 2007
which was spurred if you remember by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: If Lehman Brothers had been a little bit more Lehman sisters and brothers, you
see, concession here. We would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And Christine Lagarde joins me now. Welcome to the program.
LAGARDE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Let's just start with the little Lehman Sisters. I know, it's ancient history, but you know, you've often complained about posturing and
too much testosterone around a negotiating table.
LAGARDE: Well, I'm afraid this has not improved much. We are just actually going to release a study on the financial sector where it's very
clear that there are not enough women in finance. Only 2% of bank CEOs are women and if you look at the range of people in the banking and the
financial sectors who are taking decisions, 20% at the most are women. So we seriously have a shortage.
AMANPOUR: And you used to tell me and used to say publicly this is not just a moral issue and just a humanity project, but it's actually a dollars
and cents issue.
LAGARDE: Absolutely. It's more than that actually. It's a dollar issue because generally, firms that have women on their board or on the executive
teams are more profitable. You look at the bottom line, it's very clear and there have been many studies on that front. But most of the point in
finance, in banks that have more women or in supervisory authorities that have more women, it is more stable. It is safer. It is more secure.
There are less risks taken, and, you know, we have had a lot of risks.
AMANPOUR: Well, in fact, we just - that takes me back into the risky situation right now. You might have heard Kellyanne Conway. She just said
that the United States is getting screwed by many other countries in unfair trade and unfair surpluses and all the rest of it.
And actually, Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary told you, yourself, that you need to take a firm hand dealing with some of these global players
regarding their trade surpluses. Are you going to take a firm hand and do buy into that?
LAGARDE: I think it's not because you have a leak in your bathtub that you are going to destroy the destroy the bathroom. I know, it's a silly
analogy, but that's really where we are. We have international trade. We have been really fueling innovation, improved productivity, reduced cost of
living because of international trade. Because of international trade, an American family is able to spend probably about a third more than it would
had it not been for trade and that is particularly true for the low income families.
AMANPOUR: Even the left behind families.
LAGARDE: Yes, absolutely because they are the ones who buy more food, they are the ones who buy more clothes. They are the ones who are going to take
advantage of the good deals that you have on some of those goods that are imported. So it has been in the main, extremely beneficial for the
consumers and for the economies that have been opened. More innovation, more productivity that has been really a good deal, but it is true, and I
agree with Steve Mnuchin that the system need fixing. But you don't destroy it, you fix it.
So, I think we should collectively, because that's a collective adventure that we are on. We should collectively fix the system and make sure that
the trading terms and conditions that we are operating under are fair. That I completely agree with.
AMANPOUR: So that is what the President says as well. It must be fair, not just free trade, but the new book by Bob Woodward refers specifically
to some of his trade views and they quote, "His staff secretary," and even Gary Cohn, his former economic adviser, asking him about these views after
they saw scribbled on a speech, edited speech by the President, trade is bad. And Gary Cohn is supposed to be saying to the President, "Well why do
you think that?" And he says, "Well, I've thought about it for 30 years." And Cohn is reported to have said, "Well, I thought I could be a
professional baseball player for 15 years, doesn't make it true." How do you get to a political environment where you can overcome this economic
LAGARDE: I think you first of all have to demonstrate that it has been beneficial for nations. And when I tell you that innovation has been
better in the US as a result of trade, productivity has been improved as a result of trade and consumers have had a better deal because of trade, it
goes in that direction. That's number one. Not to mention the fact that hundreds of millions of people have been taken out of poverty because of
trade in other corners of the world.
But what's also really important is to pay attention to those people who have not had the benefit of all that because the jobs were gone, because
their industry was moved out to Mexico, to China, to Vietnam, to wherever because the cost of producing there were lower than the cost of producing
in the US.
So for those people, special deals need to be put in place, special programs need to be implemented so that they are trained to do other
things, they are supported during those transition periods and that's where I think many of the systems in the world, not just in the US have actually
AMANPOUR: Can you make bespoke carve-outs for the people who are losing out, as you suggest? I mean, is the economy that flexible that you can -
and have this globalization and free trade and lifting billions upon billions of people out of poverty and also try to help those who are by
technology or migrating jobs lose out?
LAGARDE: Yes, absolutely, because some people are net beneficiaries and others are net losers and you need to find a way to compensate them. But I
don't think it's only trade and globalization related. We are going to have a far more difficult challenge to deal with, with technology and with
the way in which technologies automation, robotization, artificial intelligence coupled with biotechs are going to actually affect the way in
which we work. And significantly, and more so women than men.
AMANPOUR: In what way?
LAGARDE: That's a new study that we are going to publish soon as well. What we did is we tried to measure the impact on work of robotization,
artificial intelligence, biotech and all of that, and work has been done by other institutions focusing on 30 countries of the OECD and to realize that
28 million women's jobs are going to disappear, which is roughly 11%. If you look at the male population, it's only 9%.
You extrapolate that to the global economy, it's 180 million women's jobs that will go. Now why are women more affected than men? I think that's
AMANPOUR: Because that's not the story we are hearing around the world. We are hearing that traditional male jobs are being lost, therefore, this
LAGARDE: It's not the - well, there is that and clearly, it's an issue particularly in advanced economies and particularly in this country. But
if you fast forward and you look at the impact that technologies will have, you'll very soon see that those who have repetitive tasks, those who do
routine jobs, those whose tasks can actually be substituted, replaced by machines are more women than men.
So we need to think about that now and make sure that women are equipped to actually deal with that and anticipate the risk they are under.
AMANPOUR: So I mean, are you saying that this disruption that people call it disruption and chaos from the Trump administration, up-ending the so-
called, post war, global liberal political economic world order has its flaws, but also has concentrated your minds, the global sort of economic
minders to actually deal with some of the stuff that he's talking about?
LAGARDE: Well, he certainly has emphasized areas where we need to fix, but we don't need to destroy. That's the point I was making about the bathtub
leak and the bathroom that you don't want to destroy because ...
AMANPOUR: Baby in the bath water, some people might say, too.
LAGARDE: I know, you don't want to throw - yes, but we live in an international world where problems are of an international nature whether
you look at pandemics, whether you look at terrorism, whether you look at financial crisis, whether you look at climate change. All of those factors
that will affect all of us greatly are global by nature. You can't stop any of that. You can't build a wall to stop that.
So we need to work on that collectively all together and it has to have the rules of law, it has to have order, discipline and ways in which to
implement those rules. So in that vein, he has led many of us to concentrate on what exactly needs to be fixed and how do we do it?
AMANPOUR: What about this trade war? Do you believe that we have been in a trade war, we are still in a trade war, is there a trade war truce?
Where are we right now with China for instance, and the EU vis a vis America and tariffs?
LAGARDE: We have seen an escalation of the trade war threats and we have seen implementation of some of the measures. $50 billion worth of Chinese
goods are now subject to additional tariffs. There's a threat that another $200 billion be under the same threat.
AMANPOUR: It's relatively little more ...
LAGARDE: It's relatively more - I wouldn't say that it's little. I wouldn't say that it's little because if you look at the global package of
total Chinese goods exported to the United States, and if that was under additional tariffs, you are talking about real impact on the economy.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And on American consumers?
LAGARDE: Oh, yes. Absolutely. The American consumer is going to pay a higher price because what you do if you - I won't take the American
consumer example, but I'm building airplanes. Let's assume I'm Boeing for a second and suddenly, the steel that I need, the aluminum that I need, the
titanium or whatever components I need suddenly, prices are higher because they have been subject to a tariff.
LAGARDE: What do I do? Do I squeeze my margin to keep my price to compete with Airbus? Yes, maybe. But maybe not. Maybe I increase my prices
because I want to keep my margins and to keep my shareholders happy. So this is what is likely to happen particularly for products that cannot be
easily substituted or that are not in a wide open competition.
AMANPOUR: A second ago you said you can't roll back this internationalization of trade and all sorts of other relations.
LAGARDE: Yes, climate change, terrorism, all of that.
AMANPOUR: And yet, the President is trying to renegotiate NAFTA. We understand he has come to some kind of deal, a separate deal with Mexico,
but Canada still has not come into the fold and the President has tweeted that there's no political reason to want or to have to have Canada involved
in a NAFTA or three-way deal. Congress has a different view, but is he right, that he doesn't need Canada to be part of any kind of North American
LAGARDE: Do you know any country that doesn't need its neighbors? We all need our neighbors and we all need to have good relationship with the
neighbor and when you are doing a lot of trade with your neighbor, you want to do it at the best possible terms, fair, reciprocated, but it has to be
accepted on both sides.
AMANPOUR: And for Europe, we have heard from the European trade ministers and others that they are happy to try to deal as Trump said. Let's just
get rid of all tariffs, all barriers on cars and all the rest, I mean, I am sort of lumping it all in, but is that a reality that there might be just
LAGARDE: That's an interesting proposition. It is one that should be explored. First of all, I would observe that tariffs are already very low.
So going one step further and trying to remove tariffs is to be explored. Why not?
AMANPOUR: How do you stay fit, healthy, motivated, upbeat. I know you used to be a synchronized swimmer for your country, for France. do you
still do that?
LAGARDE: I don't do the synchronized part. I do the swimming part on a regular basis, yes.
AMANPOUR: What did it bring you the synchronized part and the swimming part now?
LAGARDE: Well, swimming develops physical strength, resistance, resilience, and the synchronized part of it is the most interesting one
because it teaches you team work, discipline, coordination of music, athletic skills and flexibility. And you have to hold your breath.
AMANPOUR: Think before you speak and do.
AMANPOUR: Christine Lagarde, thank you so much for joining me.
LAGARDE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: With due deference to Lagarde's mother tongue, we will now jete if you will from the Board room to the green room. The Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theater, an American cultural treasurer was born out of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s. Its founder Alvin Ailey used the
language of dance to grapple with racial discrimination, America's original sin.
Sixty years later, the Ailey company is still going strong with Director Robert Battle at the helm. Battle grew up in one of Miami's toughest
neighborhoods using the security bars on his window as his ballet bar. Now, as Ailey's Artistic Director, can he still lift up audiences at this
time of discord and division? Our Hari Sreenivasan sat down to find out when he spoke with Robert Battle in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Robert, thank you for joining us.
ROBERT BATTLE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ALVIN AILEY DANCE THEATER: Thank you.
SREENIVASAN: Survival for an arts institution is not a given. The fact that is survived 60 years when you have seen other institutions rise and
fall in that time.
BATTLE: Yes, I think because the mission is very clear. Alvin Ailey said it best, "Dance comes from the people and should always be delivered back
to the people," always remembering why we are on that stage, always remembering that it's the act of communicating that is the most important
in what we do and so the audiences that come to see us, they don't just see an Ailey performance, but they feel it, they take it with them. They want
that feeling again because it leads them uplifted. That accessibility that Alvin had in his own person is the same blood that flows through the
SREENIVASAN: And this is a company that tours pretty aggressively. You are in dozens of cities, you're overseas, why?
BATTLE: Yes, because that's part of the mission, to bring dance to as wide of an audience as possible. To understand that the arts sort of, it's our
passport to the world. That dance communicates where language falters. And so the notion that we can tell our story all over the world, I think
was very important, especially for a company that was majority black. To tell that story, so we don't just entertain, but we educate.
And part of that is the traveling, the touring, reaching different countries and audiences. So no matter if we're across the street or across
the ocean, the truth is what we are getting at.
SREENIVASAN: But how does dance cut through that rural versus urban, that red state versus blue state line because you are not discriminating where
BATTLE: No, no. I think that dance in a way is wonderfully ambiguous. So that where language says what side you stand, in a way, dance has this way,
before you even know what it's about, you find yourself caught up in it. You know that it's able to deliver a hard truth but with a sense of
spirituality I think that is universal.
When I think about that, I think of one of the most important dances ever created, which was created by Alvin Ailey in 1960 and that's "Revelations."
We close pretty much every performance with "Revelations." And that work, no matter where we are, when I first took over the company, we were in
Russia. It's been - "Revelations" is the sweetest spiritual and it expresses the experiences of African-Americans in this country and how we
overcame through faith.
And here I was, about to take over the company, we happen to be in Russia and we see people in the aisles as if they were in a black church
somewhere, sort of celebrating this dance. I think it speaks to his ability to break through and communicate to whomever, wherever, whenever.
SREENIVASAN: Does "Revelations" take on a different meaning given the current climate that we are in today where we are seemingly questioning
some of the basic things that we thought we sorted out in the '60s and '70s?
BATTLE: Yes, I think that the art, certainly dance, is always important because it's the artifacts of human survival. It celebrates our common
humanity. And in times where we can be fooled into thinking that we don't need each other, I think it's so important that the arts speak loudly. And
so I think it's even more important now that we come and we see this company, that we come and see this rich legacy that's celebrating 60 years.
There's a reason why, it's because Alvin Ailey told the truth in his work. You don't have to question the truth, it just is. And so I think, this is
where the company means the most in times like these.
SREENIVASAN: Is there a better pipeline today for American dance? Obviously, Alvin Ailey created this as a space to start highlighting the
fact that African-American dancers could exist and choreographers could exist. Where are we now versus where he started 60 years ago?
BATTLE: Because he started 60 years ago, we have so many dancers these have come through the company as dancers or through the Ailey School that
are teaching now or whatever it is they are doing or just patrons of the art. When I think of the arts and education programs that we have, one of
them is called Ailey Camp that Alvin Ailey started 30 years ago. This was one of the last programs he implemented before he died. He started it in
Kansas City and now, it's in about 10 or 11 cities for young people who are sort of underserved in their communities to have access to the arts. It's
So we can't always measure the impact by numbers. But we know that it is there. We know that people have benefited and continue to carry that
SREENIVASAN: You are not the born dancer. If you come out with bow legs, nobody says, "This is the guy that's going to run the hundred meter hurdles
or go to dance."
SREENIVASAN: How did this happen?
BATTLE: Well, I think that that's sometimes the very thing that you are up against is the thing that becomes your best self. I was also shy, didn't
like to talk a lot. I know it's hard to tell now. And so luckily, my great aunt and uncle who took me in when I was an infant got me to the
hospital to get braces for my legs that they had to put on every night to get those legs straightened.
But the artistic part really came I think, from who I call my mother, who was really my cousin because she played piano for the church we went to.
She had a group called the Afro Americans. That was a group of her friends who did poetry and song relating to the black experience. So I was already
sort of hearing all of that stuff, all of those poems, all of those stories, where it was a part of my growing up.
SREENIVASAN: That was your norm.
BATTLE: That was my norm in a way. So I didn't understand this whole thing about performing arts. It's just what we did. It was part. And so
when I first saw "Revelations" growing up there in Liberty City, a tough town. In fact, I studied Martial Arts because I had a soprano singing
voice and I played classical music.
SREENIVASAN: Those are combinations for being bullied.
BATTLE: Oh yes. Oh yes. I had it all. I had the t-shirt, "Bully me." And so to protect myself, I studied Martial Arts with a friend's father who
was a retired third degree black belt, and so here comes the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater coming to perform in Miami, as they do, as we tour,
as you know, we were bused in as young people from different schools to see a mini performance which is a performance just for young people. And
seeing "Revelations," hearing those spirituals that I heard as a kid, seeing people who look like me on the stage, the effect that that had on
me, the curtain went down, then I went up.
And I remember thinking I want to be like that. I didn't think some day I would be in New York City, the third director of that company, but it
happened. So I think that for young people, I always say start where you are. That your imagination holds the keys to your success. Nobody can
take that away from you. You don't have to pay for it. And so seeing "Revelations" reminded me of that and here I am today.
SREENIVASAN: So you're in a neighborhood where you've got security bars on the window, you're using those as your ballet bars. Who did you have on
your walls growing up?
BATTLE: Gosh, I had this wonderful piece of wood that the termites got to eventually, but I used to, in "Dance" magazine, I would sort of cut out
pictures, Judith Jamison, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alvin Ailey, Arthur Mitchell - whatever it was, I would cut it out and I would sort of paste it on that
And then at night, I would take a flashlight and I would just look like I was watching a movie or something. But those images were important because
eventually you walk into those images. So, yes, it was wonderful to have that to look to.
SREENIVASAN: How much of that factored into when you actually get on stage, do you remember? Is there a performance, whether it's in high
school or when you started to realize like to choreograph things, I like to put things in perspective as well?
BATTLE: Well, you know, what I do remember is that I like to tell people what to do. That, my mother had to tell me, your friends are not your
servants and they are not your subjects. So she told me, she was like, "Listen, they don't like this." But this sort of notion, though, of
wanting to lead, wanting to be in front, wanting to inspire, I wanted to be a preacher when I was a kid because the preacher so moved the crowd, I
wanted to move the crowd. All of that has been in my DNA.
SREENIVASAN: And you still want to move the crowd.
BATTLE: I still want to move the crowd and I still in my own way am preaching.
SREENIVASAN: It's a larger - a different church.
BATTLE: Yes, a different church and Gospel is dance that can move people and that can change people's hearts.
SREENIVASAN: Help me understand dance because I haven't been exposed to it and perhaps there's other members of our audience, too, so how does a
dancer use their entire body as an instrument? How do you do that?
BATTLE: Part of that really I mean is the training. It's the training and the Ailey School, we are one of the best schools in terms of that hard-core
training that you need to be able to articulate all of those parts of your body to make a statement. Often though for me, I think about the audition
I think of my 32 fabulous dancers. They speak out for a minute and say how wonderful they are because they are able to communicate all kind of
feelings through movement, whether it be anger, whether it be fear, whether it be joy, or whatever it is. And I heard Maya Angelu say something one
time, to think of your whole body as an ear.
SREENIVASAN: As an ear.
BATTLE: Yes, so that sense of receiving and then being able to sort of speak it as you hear it, I think you find those dancers who are able to
communicate in that way, who are able to go beyond the steps, beyond the movement and touch your heart. I mean that is unique and you can't really
SREENIVASAN: Robert Battle, thanks so much for your time.
BATTLE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: And that is it for our program. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at amanpour.com. You could follow me on
Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and join us again tomorrow night. Goodbye from Washington.