01.20.2020

January 20, 2020

Experts Evelyn Farkas and Dimitri Simes analyze the impact of President Trump’s impeachment trial on U.S. relations with Russia, Steve Inskeep tells the story of America’s first political power couple and former White House speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz explains what Judaism can teach us in these divisive times.

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> HELLO, EVERYONE.

AND WELCOME TO 'AMANPOUR AND COMPANY.'

HERE'S WHAT'S COMING UP.

DO YOU SOLEMNLY SWEAR --

IN WASHINGTON, SENATORS PREPARE FOR JURY DUTY, WHILE HE FLIES OFF TO JOIN WORLD LEADERS IN SWITZERLAND.

WE ASK WHETHER PUTIN'S RUSSIA IS MAKING HAY OUT OF THIS DC DYSFUNCTION.

> PLUS, IMPERFECT UNION, STEVE INSKEEP TELLS ME ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK ON AMERICA'S POWER COUPLE AND IMPEACHMENTS PAST.

> THEN --

I WOULD SHOW UP AT MAJOR HOLIDAYS AND I WOULD GET FRIENDS TOGETHER AND WE WOULD GO TO A SYNAGOGUE.

I WAS PROUD TO BE JEWISH.

SARAH HOROWITZ TELLS US WHAT LED TO HER OWN SPIRITUAL AWAKENING.

'AMANPOUR AND COMPANY' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- EVERYONE.ME TO THE PROGRAM, I'M CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR IN NEW YORK.

THIS IS THE WEEK THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL STARTS IN EARNEST IN THE SENATE.

BUT WHEN IT DOES ON TUESDAY, THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF WILL BE AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS, SWITZERLAND, JOINING OTHER WORLD LEADERS, FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THE GLOBAL CHALLENGES ARE AS TOWERING AS EVER.

AND U.S. RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA NOW MORE STRAINED THAN AT ANY TIME AMIDST THE COLD WAR.

MAJOR POWER GRAB AT HOME BY PRESIDENT PUTIN AND HIS PROPOSAC DECADE.UTIONAL OVERHAUL IN A THE PARLIAMENT AND REDUCE THE CLOUT OF THE PRESIDENCY.

IS THIS ALL TO RETAIN HIS OWN GRIP ON THE COUNTRY WHEN HIS CURRENT TERM ENDS, AND WHAT ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITIES PUTIN SEEMS TO BE VACUUMING UP AT AMERICA'S EXPENSE ON THE WORLD STAGE?

WITH ME TO DISCUSS IS EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RUSSIA AND SHE'S NOW RUNNING FOR CONGRESS FROM NEW YORK.

AND DIMITRI SYMES, WHO RUNS THE THINK TANK THAT SPECIALIZES IN RUSSIAN AFFAIRS.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

DIMITRI, CAN I ASK YOU FIRST, BECAUSE YOU WERE AT THE PUTIN PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE END OF THE YEAR AND YOU HEARD HIM TALK MEANT TO HIM AND RUSSIA.AT IT DOES HE CONSIDER IT A PROBLEM IN TERMS OF U.S.-RUSSIA RELATIONS OR IN TERMS OF, I GUESS, SOMEBODY WHO HE CONSIDERS FRIENDLY TO HIMSELF, THE SURVIVABILITY OF PRESIDENT TRUMP?

WELL, WE ASKED PUTIN ABOUT THE IMPACT OF IMPEACHMENT ON U.S./RUSSIAN RELATIONS, AND I ACTUALLY WAS SURPRISED WHEN HE SAID, WELL, IMPEACHMENT, IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE HOUSE.

THE PRESIDENT WILL NOT BE REMOVED BY THE SENATE, AT LEAST PUTIN SAID I DON'T THINK SO.

SO HE EXPRESSED RELATIVE OPTIMISM REGARDING HIS ABILITY TO WORK WITH TRUMP.

BUT OTHERS IN THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, WHO OF COURSE PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY, AS YOU BAD, THAT NOT MUCH MAY HAPPENY BEFORE THE END OF TRUMP'S FIRST TERM.

AND EVEN IF TRUMP IS REELECTED, THEY'RE SKEPTICAL THAT THERE WOULD BE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES IN THE RELATIONSHIP.

SO DIMITRI, STAND BY A MOMENT.

I'M GOING TO ASK EVELYN FARKAS.

SO THE WORD FROM PUTIN'S RUSSIA IS THAT THEY EXPECT IMPEACHMENT, ACQUITTAL, RE-ELECTION, AND THAT THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES ARE BAD, AND PERHAPS RUSSIA CAN'T EXPECT TO HAVE A DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES UNTIL THE VERY END OF WHATEVER TRUMP TERM.

HOW DO YOU SEE IT, ESPECIALLY PUT YOUR OLD HAT ON AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY?

I THINK THAT VLADIMIR PUTIN MUST BE VERY HAPPY RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE HE IS SEEING AMERICA DIVIDED.

THIS PROCESS THAT WE'RE UNDERGOING RIGHT NOW WITH IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS IN THE SENATE -- OR TRIAL, IT IS ACTUALLY GOING TO PROBABLY RESULT IN THE PRESIDENT BEING LET OFF THE HOOK AND IN A VERY PARTISAN FASHION.

AND AGAIN, IF YOU REMEMBER WHEN PRESIDENT PUTIN, WHEN THE RUSSIANS ATTACKED OUR ELECTIONS IN 2016, IT WASN'T NECESSARILY ABOUT ELECTING PRESIDENT TRUMP.

IT WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST ABOUT DIVIDING US AND DEFEATING THE UNITED STATES, MAKING US WEAK.

AND SO FAR, SO GOOD FOR THE KREMLIN, UNFORTUNATELY.

SO DO YOU SEE THAT SORT OF SYSTEMATIC, YOU KNOW, INTERFERENCE IN THE LAST ELECTION, 2016, DO YOU SEE IT REVVING UP?

I MEAN, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT ALL THE SIGNS AND ACTUALLY THE ACTIONS ARE THERE FOR 2020 AS WELL.

CHRISTIANE, I SEE IT EVERY DAY.

I SEE IT ON MY TWITTER FEED BECAUSE I'M STILL A TARGET OF THESE RUSSIAN BOTS, RIGHT, THAT GET TOGETHER WITH SOME OF THE AMERICAN BOTS AND REAL PEOPLE WHO GET FOOLED BY THEM.

SO I SEE THAT ALL THE TIME, ESPECIALLY ON THE ISSUE OF UKRAINE AND BURISMA.

I MEAN, THIS IS WHAT THE KREMLIN IS USING RIGHT NOW TO DISCREDIT VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN, TO DISCREDIT ANYONE WHO CRITICIZES TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP.

SO THEY'RE USING THIS HARD CORE.

THEY'RE ALSO ATTACKING BURISMA.

YOU KNOW ABOUT THE HACK THAT THE OIL COMPANY --

THAT HUNTER BIDEN WAS ON, YEAH.

THAT IS VERY REMINISCENT OF WHAT THEY DID IN THE UNITED STATES WHEN THEY HACKED INTO THE DNC COMPUTERS AND STOLE THE INFORMATION AND RELEASED IT.

SOMETHING OR RELEASE SOMETHING, BUT I THINK WE CAN EXPECT THAT.

PLAYBOOK.RT OF THE RUSSIAN

DIMITRI, WHAT DO YOU THINK WANTS TO LEVERAGE ITS ABILITIES AND POWERS FOR THIS NEXT ELECTION, AND DO YOU GET THE SENSE WHEN YOU'RE THERE THAT THEY'RE AT ALL CONCERNED ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE NEGATIVE PUBLICITY AND ALL THE OTHER -- NOT SANCTIONS, BUT ALL THE OTHER -- THE SYSTEM HAS COME AFTER THEM SINCE THE 2016 ELECTION?

WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LET ME SAY THAT THERE'S NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT RUSSIA INTERFERED IN LAST ELECTION AND THEY'RE GOING TO DO IT AGAIN.

I ACTUALLY SAID IT SEVERAL TIMES ON RUSSIAN TV, AND QUITE REMARKABLY, THE PARTICIPANTS WOULD NORMALLY IGNORE IT AND NOT EVEN TRY TO ARGUE.

THE BEST DEFENSE THEY PROVIDE IS TWOFOLD.

FIRST, WE ARE NOT REALLY TRYING TO CHANGE THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTIONS.

WE'RE SIMPLY TRYING TO INFLUENCE AMERICAN POLITICAL PROCESS AND EVERYBODY DOES IT.

AND THEIR SECOND DEFENSE IS, WELL, SEE WHAT THE UNITED STATES IS DOING TO US, AND WHY SHOULDN'T WE TRY TO DO THE SAME.

BUT I'M QUITE PESSIMISTIC THAT THE INTERFERENCE WOULD STOP AND THAT IT WOULD NOT BE A MAJOR ISSUE IN OUR ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN.

SO WHAT WOULD YOU DO, DIMITRI -- I MEAN, YOU'VE TALKED TO MANY CANDIDATES IN THE PAST.

YOU COUNSELLED TRUMP, YOU KNOW, OVER THE YEARS.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO ADVISE PRESIDENT TRUMP OR THOSE AROUND HIM ABOUT THIS DANGER, AND DO YOU THINK FROM YOUR CONTACTS THAT THEY ARE AWARE OF IT AND THAT THEY CARE ABOUT THIS ONGOING CYBER DANGER?

WELL, AS YOU MAY KNOW, IN 2016 MY ADVICE TO THE CAMPAIGN WAS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE RUSSIANS, NOT TO HAVE ANY UNOFFICIAL CONTACTS WITH THEM WHATSOEVER.

NOW I THINK THE ADMINISTRATION UNDERSTANDS HOW DANGEROUS IT IS TO HAVE ANY CLANDESTINE CONTACTS, ANY CLANDESTINE ARRANGEMENTS WITH RUSSIANS.

I THINK THAT THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO HEAR IT EVERY DAY.

HAVING SAID THAT, YOU CAN LOOK AT THE IMPEACHMENT AND THE CHARACTERS AROUND TRUMP WHO WERE DOING WHATEVER THEY WANTED AND THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD WIN THE PRESIDENT'S FAVOR.

SO I OBVIOUSLY CANNOT EXCLUDE THAT WE WOULD HAVE CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WITH ACCESS TO TRUMP WHO WOULD TRY TO MAKE THEIR OWN PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS.

I ASSUME THAT THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD CERTAINLY TRY TO DISCOURAGE THAT.

IT IS NOT IN THE PRESIDENT'S INTEREST.

HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT, EVELYN?

SO I THINK THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION WELCOMES ANY ASSISTANCE FROM FOREIGN ACTORS.

THE PRESIDENT, HE'S BEING IMPEACHED BECAUSE -- NOT FOR THE RUSSIA STUFF, ALTHOUGH THAT'S ALSO IMPEACHABLE, BUT BECAUSE HE ASKED THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS BY PROVIDING DIRT ON VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN.

SO CLEARLY THIS PRESIDENT INVITES THIS KIND OF INTERFERENCE, AND I DON'T THINK HE WOULD TURN THE RUSSIANS AWAY.

THE OTHER ISSUE IS THIS COMMUNICATION.

SADLY, I THINK WE HAVE CLANDESTINE COMMUNICATION OCCURRING IN THE WHITE HOUSE BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE KREMLIN, BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT RELEASING TRANSCRIPTS OF THE PHONE CALLS BETWEEN THE HEADS OF STATE.

THAT DOESN'T SEEM VERY TRANSPARENT TO ME AND MAKES MANY OTHERS WHO FOLLOW U.S. RELATIONS WONDER WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS DISCUSSING WHEN HE HAS THOSE PHONE CALLS WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN, AND WHAT DID HE DISCUSS IN HELSINKI AT THE SUMMIT WHEN THEY SAT FOR ABOUT TWO HOURS, RIGHT?

SO PUT BACK YOUR PENTAGON HAT.

HOW SHOULD THIS COUNTRY AND THE RELEVANT DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES REACT TO ALL OF THIS?

HOW DO YOU PROTECT A NATION IN THIS KIND OF SITUATION?

SO FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE'RE HAVING A WHOLE HOST OF ELECTIONS, PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, MY OWN ELECTION AT THE CONGRESSIONAL LEVEL, AND LOCAL ELECTIONS OCCURRING.

THE RUSSIANS WILL ATTACK THESE ELECTIONS IF THEY SEE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE PROGRESS IN THEIR AGENDA, WHICH AGAIN IS WEAKEN US, GET RID OF PEOPLE WHO ARE OUTSPOKEN LIKE ME AGAINST THEM.

AND SO WE NEED MORE MONEY GOING -- MORE MONEY AND MORE EFFORT OVERALL GOING INTO FORTIFYING CAMPAIGNS, PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO CAMPAIGNS.

THAT STILL ISN'T HAPPENING.

BASICALLY THE SENATE CAME UNDER SO MUCH PRESSURE, SO MITCH MCCONNELL, THE MAJORITY LEADER, WASN'T RELEASING FUNDING, INCREASED FUNDING TO THE STATES.

TO PROTECT AGAINST THIS KIND OF VIOLATION?

HACKING, RIGHT.

AND UNDER A LOT OF PUBLIC PRESSURE HE FINALLY DID BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE CALLING HIM MOSCOW MITCH AND HE DIDN'T LIKE IT.

BUT THERE'S STILL A HUGE RELUCTANCE TO COME UP WITH A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.

THE WHITE HOUSE DOESN'T HAVE A CYBERSECURITY CZAR ANYMORE.

IT TELLS ME THAT THEY'RE PASSIVELY INVITING INTERFERENCE BECAUSE THEY THINK IT'S NOT GOING TO AFFECT THEM.

NOW, THAT'S WHERE THEY'RE WRONG, BECAUSE AGAIN, THE RUSSIANS, THE NORTH KOREANS, THE IRANIANS, THEY WILL ATTACK PRESIDENT TRUMP, THEY WILL ATTACK THE WHITE HOUSE IF THEY FEEL IT'S IN THEIR INTEREST AND THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT.

AGAIN, IT'S SO WEIRD, BECAUSE THERE'S JUST SO MUCH THAT -- YOU COMPUTE.ST DOESN'T SEEM TO MIXED MESSAGES OF WHO GAINS WHAT, WHY AND HOW.

DIMITRI, YOU ALSO HAVE HEARD -- AND I WOULD LIKE YOU TO EXPAND ON THAT -- THAT GIVEN THE FACT THAT RUSSIA DOESN'T, PUTIN DOESN'T EXPECT BETTER, WARMER RELATIONS WITH THE U.S. ANY TIME SOON, AND I THINK YOU SAID THAT THEY KNOW THAT THEY CAN'T CHALLENGE THE U.S. ECONOMICALLY, THAT THEY'RE PLANNING OTHER WAYS TO CHALLENGE THE UNITED STATES.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN?

WELL, LET ME SAY FIRST THAT I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH EVELYN, THAT WHAT THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WANTS TO DO IS TO DIVIDE AMERICA AND TO ENCOURAGE POLARIZATION IN THE AMERICAN SOCIETY.

AND I THINK THAT BOTH THE REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS POLARIZATION PROCESS.

AND IT'S VERY EASY DURING THE ELECTIONS KIND OF TO FORGET ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE.

AND THE BIG PICTURE IS THAT IF WE GO AFTER EACH OTHER, OUR ADVERSARIES WELCOME THAT.

AND THAT IS TRUE FOR BOTH PARTIES, NOT JUST FOR THE REPUBLICANS.

SECOND, I'M INTERESTED TO SEE IN MOSCOW TO WHAT EXTENT THEY REALIZE HOW WEAK THEY ARE ECONOMICALLY.

THEY ARE ACKNOWLEDGING IN PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS THAT THEY HAVE ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS, AND I'M USING THEIR EXPRESSION, THE LANGUAGE THEY USE THEMSELVES.

BUT THEY'RE ALSO SAYING THAT THEY'RE STRONG MILITARILY AND IN GLOBAL CONFLICTS THEY CAN STILL PLAY A ROLE AND THEY CAN COUNT.

AND I THINK THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT VIEWS ON HOW WE REACH THE STATE OF RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT, WHAT, IF ANYTHING, WE COULD DO BETTER.

BUT WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND NOW THAT THE RELATIONSHIP IS ADVERSARIAL.

AND WHILE THE RUSSIANS MAY PREFER TRUMP, LET'S SAY, TO BIDEN, THEY CERTAINLY DON'T LIKE TRUMP'S DEFENSE BUDGET, THEY DON'T LIKE WHEN TRUMP IS USING FORCE MORE THAN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IN A NUMBER OF GLOBAL CONFLICTS.

THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE RUSSIANS AND THE UNITED STATES, IT'S NOT WITH ONE PARTY.

IT IS AN ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM.

SO THIS IS REALLY QUITE WORRYING TO HEAR DIMITRI, WHO IS REALLY PLUGGED INTO THAT SIDE, TALK ABOUT AN ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIP THAT INVOLVES THEM THINKING THERE'S SOME KIND OF MILITARY RESPONSE TO THE UNITED STATES.

HOW EXACTLY DOES THAT WORK?

AS DIMITRI SAYS, THEIR MILITARY BUDGET IS MUCH LESS THAN THE UNITED STATES, THEY'RE MUCH LESS MILITARILY POWERFUL THAN THE UNITED STATES.

HOW ARE THEY GOING TO RESPOND MILITARILY?

I AGREE WITH DIMITRI HERE, TOO, BECAUSE AGAIN, RUSSIA PERCEIVES ALL OF THE UNITED STATES AS ITS ADVERSARY.

THE WAY THAT THEY'RE GETTING AT IT, CHRISTIANE, IS FIRST AND FOREMOST, ASYMMETRIC MEANS, SO ATTACKING US THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA IS PART OF IT.

BUT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ALSO WARNED US LAST YEAR ABOUT THE FACT THAT RUSSIAN BOTS AND MALWARE ARE SITTING ON U.S.

ENERGY AND WATER SYSTEMS, RIGHT?

SO THESE ARE ENERGY SYSTEMS, WATER SYSTEMS THAT ARE CONTROLLED BY COMPUTERS.

THE RUSSIANS CAN TURN THEM OFF OR MANIPULATE THEM.

NOW, YOU SAY TO YOURSELF WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO DO THAT?

BECAUSE IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR THE RUSSIAN GENERALS, THAT'S HOW THEY WOULD PLAY WAR WITH US.

AND WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT'S DANGEROUS, BECAUSE WHAT THE RUSSIANS ALSO DON'T UNDERSTAND IS IF YOU PLAY WITH OUR WATER AND IF YOU PLAY WITH THE LIVES OF OUR CITIZENS, YOU'RE GOING TO GET A HUGE AMERICAN BACKLASH, JUST 9/11, PEARL HARBOR.

BUT SOMEHOW THEIR DOCTRINE ALLOWS THEM TO TAKE THESE ASYMMETRIC MOVES WHICH ARE VERY RISKY AND ESCALATORY, BUT THEY THINK THEY CAN PREVAIL.

THEY THINK THEY CAN CAUSE IT TO SAY, OKAY, RUSSIA, WE DON'T WANT A WAR WITH YOU, WE'LL BACK OFF.

WELL, MAKE THAT INTO THE BIGGER GLOBAL PICTURE THEN, TRANSLATE THAT INTO THE GLOBAL PICTURE BECAUSE WE HEAR THAT -- YOU KNOW, THE DEATH OF QASSEM SOLEIMANI BY THE AMERICAN TARGETED KILLING AND THE IDEA THAT THAT MIGHT PUSH THE U.S.

OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST, THE IDEA THAT THEY'VE HAD SUCCESS IN OBAMA WHEN YOU WERE IN OFFICE FROM SYRIA.

HOW MUCH ARE THEY GAINING IN TERMS OF FILLING A VACUUM LEFT BY THE UNITED STATES, OR IS THERE NO VACUUM LEFT BY THE UNITED STATES?

HERE'S THE THING.

WE'RE STILL THE MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, POWER AS DEFINED BY HOW MUCH MILITARY HARDWARE WE HAVE, HOW MUCH ECONOMIC RESOURCES WE HAVE, POLITICAL POWER.

BUT OUR POLITICAL INFLUENCE HAS DECLINED.

SO THE IRANIANS AND SYRIANS WILL LISTEN TO THE RUSSIANS BECAUSE THEIR RESOURCES ARE SUFFICIENT, AND AGAIN, THEY KNOW HOW TO USE INFLUENCE.

SO UNFORTUNATELY THE RUSSIANS ARE PLAYING A BIGGER ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST BECAUSE THEY'RE WILLING TO BE MORE RELIABLE THAN WE ARE.

IT IS TRUE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S UNPREDICTABILITY HAS CAUSED PROBLEMS FOR OUR ALLIES, INCLUDING OUR WESTERN EUROPEAN ALLIES, WHO BY THE WAY, ARE WITH US ON THE GROUND IN IRAN AND IRAQ AND HAVE BEEN SUBJECT OF THESE ATTACKS IN THE MIDDLE EAST RECENTLY.

SO THE RUSSIANS HAVE USED ALL OF THIS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE TO GAIN INFLUENCE.

THEY CAN'T PREVAIL, THEY CAN'T SOLVE THE WAR IN SYRIA ALONE.

ULTIMATELY THE U.S. WILL ACTUALLY NEED TO BE AT THE TABLE TO SOLVE IT.

BUT THEY CAN DRAG IT OUT AND MAYBE OVER TIME EXHAUST US, EXHAUST NATO AND OUR WESTERN EUROPEAN ALLIES, EXHAUST THE DEMOCRATS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND GET THEIR WAY.

THAT'S THE RUSSIAN GAME.

AND IN THE MEANTIME, THEY'RE ALSO STRATEGICALLY EMBRACING CHINA, AMERICA'S OTHER RIVAL.

SO DIMITRI, CAN YOU TRANSLATE FOR US AND DECONSTRUCT FOR US WHAT PRESIDENT PUTIN HAS JUST DONE AT HOME IN TERMS OF PAVING THE WAY FOR THIS BIG CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE TOWARDS PARLIAMENT AND AWAY FROM THE PRESIDENCY?

I MEAN HE'S THE PRESIDENT.

WHAT IS HE ACTUALLY DOING?

WELL, WHAT HE'S DONE IN HIS ADDRESS TO THE FEDERAL ASSEMBLY, I WAS IN WASHINGTON.

SO I DON'T HAVE ANY PARTICULAR INSIGHT FROM PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS IN MOSCOW.

BUT WHAT I CAN TELL YOU, FROM INFORMED RUSSIAN OBSERVERS WHO I TALK OR VISITED IN WASHINGTON, INCLUDING LAST WEEK, I HEAR THAT THIS WAS QUITE SIGNIFICANT.

THAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR A FORMULA WHERE PUTIN WOULD BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN POWER, OR AT AFTER HIS PRESIDENTIAL TERM END.

HE WANTS TO PROBABLY DEMONSTRATD HE'S STILL NUMBER ONE AND WILL REMAIN NUMBER ONE.

THE DETAILS ARE STILL BEING WORKED OUT, BUT I THINK THAT WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT, THAT THERE WOULD BE CONTINUATION OF THE PUTIN ERA WELL AFTER 2024, IF OF COURSE HIS HEALTH, AND HE SEEMS TO BE IN GOOD HEALTH, IF HIS HEALTH WOULD ALLOW.

LET US PLAY A SOUND BITE WHEN HE DESCRIBED WHY HE WAS DOING THIS.

WE'LL JUST PLAY THIS SOUND BITE FROM PRESIDENT PUTIN LAST WEEK.

Translator: I KNOW THAT A CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION IS BEING DISCUSSED IN OUR SOCIETY,O CONSECUTIVE TERMS.

I DON'T THINK THIS IS A FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE.

I AGREE WITH THAT.

IT'S SOMEWHAT MIXED MESSAGING, BECAUSE HE'S ALSO SAID THAT PEOPLE -- YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY SHOULDN'T BE IN POWER FOREVER AND EVER.

HE SAID IT WOULD BE VERY WORRYING TO RETURN TO THE SITUATION WE HAD IN THE MID 1980s WHEN STATE LEADERS STAYEDY CONDITIONS FOR A TRANSITION OF POWER.

SO THANKS, BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE BETTER NOT TO RETURN TO THAT SITUATION.

AND YET IT LOOKS, EVELYN, FROM HERE THAT HE IS RETURNING TO THAT SITUATION, BUT JUST USING DIFFERENT PUBLIC OFFICES TO HOLD ONTO THAT POWER.

YEAH, WHAT I PREDICT IS HE'LL END UP BEHIND THE SCENES HOLDING ONTO POWER.

SO THE PERSON THAT HE PUT INTO THE -- APPOINTED OR SAID WILL BE THE NEXT PRIME MINISTER, HE'S A TAX GUY, HE'S NOT A THREAT.

HE'S 53 YEARS OLD AND DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE MAJOR AMBITIONS.

SO HE'S NOT CONSIDERED A THREAT TO VLADIMIR PUTIN.

AND I THINK WHAT PUTIN WILL PROBABLY DO, IF HE CAN FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO BE PRESIDENT WHO WILL BE AS OBEDIENT AS MEDVEDEVN PLACE.

BEHIND THE SCENES HE CAN CONTROL LEAVE LEVERS.

HE'S STILL THE POWER BEHIND HIS.

SYSTEM WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE AFU, FULL-FLEDGED DEMOCRACY.

I HATE TO CRITICIZE GEORGIA INTE RUSSIA.VERY HARD, UNLIKE IN PUTIN TO HOLD ON BEHIND THER SCENES SO IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THE OLD SOVIET LEADER GETTING WRINKLED IN THE PUBLIC EYE.

SO DIMITRI, FINAL QUESTION TO YOU, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT ALL THESE POPULAR PROTESTS THAT ARE GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD, FROM IRAN AND AROUND THE MIDDLE EAST TO WHEREVER, HONG KONG AND EVERYWHERE.

AND EVEN SOME OF THEM THAT TURN OUT ON THE STREETS OF MOSCOW.

WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK THE YOUNG PEOPLE MIGHT EVER HAVE IN MOSCOW OR RUSSIA, BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN A HUGE AMOUNT OF ATTENTION ON HOW SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE -- I MEAN, 40%, 40 MILLION RUSSIANS BORN AND RAISED IN THE AGE OF PUTIN, TWO-THIRDS OF RUSSIAN SCHOOL CHILDREN SAY THEY HAVE NO INTEREST IN POLITICS.

WHAT SORT OF -- I DON'T KNOW, SOCIAL MOVEMENTS CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT COULD EVER CHALLENGE PUTIN?

WELL, IT OBVIOUSLY DEPENDS UPON SOCIAL CONDITIONS IN RUSSIA.

IN THE MAJOR PART OF HIS SPEECH TO THE FEDERAL ASSEMBLY, IT WAS WHAT HE IS GOING TO DO TO PROVIDE DIFFERENT BENEFITS TO THE PEOPLE, OLD PEOPLE, YOUNG PEOPLE, MOTHERS AND ET CETERA.

I DO THINK THAT PUTIN IS STILL POPULAR, BUT THE LEVEL OF HIS POPULARITY DOES NOT REMAIN THE SAME.

THEY THINK THAT ONE REASON HE PROCEEDED WITH THE CHANGES RIGHT NOW IS THAT HE'S CONCERNED ABOUT RELATIONS WITH THE PARLIAMENT AND THAT HE MAY NOT HAVE FULL CONTROL.

AND HE NEEDS THE FULL CONTROL FOR THE CHANGES IN THE CONSTITUTION WHICH WOULD ENSURE HIS INFLUENCE.

SO I THINK THAT THERE IS NO YET RIGHT NOW.T WOULD BE LOOMING

REALLY INTERESTING.

DIMITRI AND EVELYN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

> TURNING NOW TO ANOTHER CONTENTIOUS ELECTION, YEAR 1856.

AN IMPERFECT UNION, THE CO-HOST OF NRP'S MORNING EDITION, STEVE INSKEEP, TELLS THE STORY OF JOHN AND JESSIE FREEMONT.

FREEMONT WAS THE FIRST EVER REPUBLICAN NOMINEE AND THE CAMPAIGN WAS DOMINATED BY IMMIGRATION, RACE, AND POLITICA.

WASHINGTON.EP JOINS ME FROM I CAN SEE YOU SMILING BECAUSE I.

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THESE THINGS JUST LAST AND LAST ANDLA?

THAT IS THE NATURE OF DEMOCRACY.

THERE ARE POLITICIANS WHO HAVE SAID OF DEMOCRACY THAT IN OUR POLITICS NOTHING IS EVER OVER, AND YOU UNDERSTAND WHY WE HAVE NEW GENERATIONS, WE HAVE NEW PEOPLE ENTERING THE POLITICAL SYSTEM EVERY SINGLE TIME.

WE HAVE THE SAME ESSENTIALLY POLITICAL SYSTEM THAT WE'VE HAD FOR CENTURIES NOW, AND AS A RESULT, CHRISTIANE, WHAT I'M ABLE TO DO HERE BY GOING INTO THE YEARS BEFORE THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, IS FIND THE BACKDROP TO THE DISCUSSION YOU'VE JUST BEEN HAVING.

WE ARE IN THIS TIME OF EXTREME POLITICS IN WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE FEAR, NOT JUST LOSING AN ELECTION, BUT THAT THEIR SIDE WILL LOSE FOR ALL TIME, FOREVER.

YOU HAVE REPUBLICANS CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE IN THE COUNTRY.

DEMOCRATS ARE CONFIDENT THAT DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE IS IN THEIR FAVOR OVER TIME, BUT THEY ARE ALSO WORRIED ABOUT BEING SHOVED OUT OF POWER FOREVER BY A PRESIDENT THEY SEE AS AN AUTHORITARIAN, SO THERE'S A LOT OF ANXIETY IN THE AIR.

AND IN THE 1840s AND '50s, IT WAS SIMILAR.

THE UNITED STATES WAS DIVIDED BETWEEN THE SOUTH, FREE STATES AND SLAVE STATES, AND THERE WAS A BIG DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE GOING ON CAUSING THE FREE STATES TO BE SOUTH FOUND REALLY, REALLYHE THREATENING.

AND IN MY STORY I TRACE THE STORY OF AN AMBITIOUS COUPLE, JESSIE AND JOHN FREEMONT, AS THEY -- HE WAS A WESTERN EXPLORER, SHE HELPED PROMOTE HIS EXPERIENCES AND THEY ENDED UP SO FAMOUS THAT JOHN RAN FOR PRESIDENT IN 1856 IN THIS BRUTAL ELECTION.

SO TELL ME ABOUT IT.

BECAUSE I'M FASCINATED.

FIRST OF ALL, HE IS THE FIRST REPUBLICAN NOMINEE, SO I DON'T KNOW WHETHER EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS SO NEW RIGHT THEN.

AND THEN ALSO HIS WIFE WAS SO IMPORTANT.

EXPLAIN THE DYNAMICS BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND THE OTHER PARTY, AND THEN THE ROLE OF WOMEN.

I MEAN, NOW WE'VE SEEN HILLARY CLINTON REALLY POWERFUL FIRST LADY AND THEN IN HER OWN RIGHT.

MICHELLE OBAMA, REALLY POWERFUL SO MUCH.DY, BUT THEN IT WASN'T

NOT AT ALL.

WOMEN, OF COURSE, HAD GENDER ROLES THAT WERE MUCH MORE LIMITED.

BUT THE EMERGENCE OF JESSIE AS A CHARACTER AND WOMEN MORE GENERALLY AT THAT TIME AND THE CREATION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE CONNECTED.

IN THE EARLY YEARS OF AMERICAN POLITICS, SLAVERY DID EXIST IN A BUNCH OF STATES IN THE SOUTH.

AND IF YOU WANTED TO HAVE A NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY THAT WAS VIABLE, YOU NEEDED TO ACCOMMODATE WHAT WAS CALLED THE SLAVE POWER.

YOU NEEDED TO BE PRO-SLAVERY OR AT LEAST KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS FOUNDED IN THE 1850s ON THE IDEA THAT THE NORTH HAD BECOME SO POPULOUS THAT THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO WIN A NORTHERN VOTES ALONE, WHICH MEANT THEY COULD BE ANTI-SLAVERY.

THEY WEREN'T ACTUALLY FOR ABOLITION AT THE BEGINNING, THAT WAS CONSIDERED EXTREME, BUT THEY WERE AGAINST THE EXPANSION OF SLAVERY.

SO THEY CAPTURED A LOT OF ENERGY IN THE COUNTRY IN 1856 WHEN THEY RAN THEIR FIRST PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

WOMEN HAD NOT BEEN ALLOWED TO BE IN POLITICS UP UNTIL NOW, BUT THEY WERE ALLOWED TO TAKE ON WHAT WAS CALLED A BENEVOLENT CAUSE.

A LOT OF WOMEN TOOK THAT OPPORTUNITY, GRABBED THAT LOOPHOLE TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST SLAVERY.

AND WHEN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINATED JOHN C. FREEMONT AS THEIR FIRST CANDIDATE, JESSIE FREEMONT WHO WAS PROMINENT HERSELF, THE DAUGHTER OF A UNITED STATES SENATOR, WAS TAKEN UP AS A KIND OF SYMBOL OF THEIR CAUSE.

SHE WAS A SOUTHERNER FROM A SLAVE-OWNING FAMILY, WHOSE MOTHER HAD TURNED AGAINST SLAVERY AND HAD TRANSLATED HER VIEWS TO JESSIE IN A WAY THAT WAS UNPRECEDENTED AT THE TIME, PEOPLE WOULD GO TO THE FREEMONT HOUSE BY THE THOUSANDS AND DEMAND TO SEE THE CANDIDATE, THEY WOULD ASK HIM TO COME TO THE BALCONY, BUT WHEN HE CAME AND WAVED, THEY WEREN'T SATISFIED AND THEY WOULD SHOUT FOR JESSIE TO COME OUT, TOO.

NO COINCIDENCE THAT HIS CAREER BEGAN TO SOAR A FEW MONTHS AFTER THEY ELOPED.

WHEN HE WAS 28 AND SHE WAS 17.

I THOUGHT, AS MANY OTHERS DID, SAID ONE OF THEIR CRITICS, THAT JESSIE FREEMONT WAS THE BETTER MAN OF THE TWO.

THERE'S A COMPLIMENT IN 1856 OR SO.

YEAH, THE GUY WHO SAID THAT MAY HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN TRYING TO DIS JOHN FREEMONT IN A WAY BY SAYING THAT HIS WIFE OVERSHADOWED HIM, BUT HE WAS ALSO IN MANY WAYS TELLING THE TRUTH.

SHE WAS A YOUNG WOMAN WHO HAD GROWN UP VERY CLOSE TO HER FATHER, IN SOME WAYS YOU COULD SAY THAT SHE WANTED TO BE A MAN, BY WHICH I MEAN THAT SHE WANTED TO DO THINGS THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO BE LIMITED TO MEN.

SHE COULDN'T REALLY DO THAT, BUT SHE WAS ABLE TO OPERATE THROUGH HER HUSBAND.

HE EXPLORED THE AMERICAN WEST IN THE 1840s AND '50s.

WENT OUT ON DRAMATIC EXPEDITIONS AND TOOK PART IN THE UNITED STATES CONQUEST OF CALIFORNIA FROM MEXICO.

WAS CONSIDERED A HUGE HERO.

BUT AS AN EXPLORER, HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY DISCOVER THAT MUCH THAT WAS NEW.

WHAT HE DID WAS COME BACK EAST AND WRITE THESE DRAMATIC ACCOUNTS OF HIS ADVENTURES AND ALSO MAKE GREAT MAPS, WHICH WERE INTENDED TO PROMOTE THE AMERICAN SETTLEMENT OF THE WEST.

PROMOTION WAS THE POINT, WHICH IS ONE OF THE WAYS THIS IS A REALLY MODERN STORY.

AND JESSIE HELPED HIM WITH THAT.

SHE WAS HIS SECRETARY, AS HE WROTE, SOMETIMES HIS EDITOR.

SOMETIMES HIS CO-AUTHOR.

OCCASIONALLY EVEN HIS GHOST WRITER.

SHE WAS HIS POLITICAL ADVISER, SOMEONE WHO HAD GROWN UP AROUND SENATORS AND EVEN PRESIDENTS AND WAS ENTIRELY CONFIDENT, EVEN AS A YOUNG WOMAN, TELLING PRESIDENTS HER OPINION EVEN WHEN SHE KNEW THEY DID NOT AGREE WITH THAT OPINION.

SHE WAS A REMARKABLE FIGURE, WHO EVEN BEFORE THIS CAMPAIGN OF 1856, HAD BEGUN TO DEVELOP A PUBLIC PROFILE OF HER OWN.

NOW, IT'S NOT UNPRECEDENTED THAT WOMEN IN WASHINGTON IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THIS COUNTRY WERE INFLUENTIAL.

THERE WERE A BUNCH OF INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN THAT TIME.

BUT IT WAS UNUSUAL THAT A WOMAN WOULD BECOME SO PUBLIC AND SO PUBLICLY ASSOCIATED WITH HER HUSBAND'S POLICIES.

AND WHEN HE DID RUN FOR PRESIDENT, SHE WAS ALSO VICIOUSLY ATTACKED AS A WOMAN FOR BEING SO FORWARD.

THAT HASN'T CHANGED, HAS IT?

LET ME ASK YOU THIS, THOUGH.

IF JOHN WAS THE FIRST REPUBLICAN NOMINEE, PRESIDENT TRUMP OR CANDIDATE TRUMP IN SEPTEMBER 2016 JUST BEFORE THE ELECTION SAID THAT HE MIGHT BE THE LAST REPUBLICAN NOMINEE, BECAUSE OF THE SITUATION OF DEMOGRAPHICS THAT YOU'RE JUST TALKING ABOUT NOW, AND HOW IMMIGRATION THEN AND NOW IS STILL OBVIOUSLY A MAJOR ISSUE AND USED BY THE DEMAGOGUES, REALLY.

THIS IS WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID ABOUT WHY AMERICANS SHOULD VOTE FOR HIM.

I THINK THIS WILL BE THE LAST ELECTION THAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE A CHANCE OF WINNING, BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE PEOPLE FLOWING ACROSS THE BORDERS, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS COMING IN AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE LEGALIZED AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO VOTE.

AND ONCE THAT ALL HAPPENS, YOU CAN FORGET IT.

SO STEVE, I MEAN, LOOK, YOU KNOW, CLEARLY POLITICIANS HAVE BEEN POINTING THE FINGER AND POINTING THE FEAR AT THE OTHER.

IT'S HAPPENED FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

I MEAN, IS THERE ANY WAY YOU CAN SEE A SOCIETY CHANGING THE POLITICAL, YOU KNOW, CAMPAIGNS WOULD BE LESS LIKE THAT IN THEF?

OR IS THIS JUST SOMETHING THIS COUNTRY AND MANY OTHERS ARE GOING TO BE LIVING WITH?

WELL, LET ME SAY TWO SEEMINGLY CONTRADICTORY THINGS.

ONE IS NOTHING IS EVER OVER.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE NEW VOICES IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM AND NEW PEOPLE ENTERING THE POLITICAL ARENA AND THEY MAY WELL START WITH CERTAIN VIEWS THAT HAVE TO BE ARGUED OVER AGAIN AND AGAIN.

THERE IS A SIMILARITY BETWEEN RIGHT NOW AND THE 1850s, BECAUSE THERE WAS A DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE THAT PEOPLE FOUND TO BE THREATENING.

IN MODERN TIMES, AS YOU KNOW, THE ELITE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TRIED TO DEAL WITH THAT DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE BY SHIFTING REPUBLICAN PARTY POLICIES TO BE MORE WELCOMING SPECIFICALLY OF LATINOS, A HUGE GROWING POPULATION IN THIS COUNTRY.

BUT THEY FOUND OUT THAT THEIR ELECTORATE HAD A DIFFERENT SET OF CONCERNS.

AND I'M SURE THAT MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE WATCHING THIS WHO VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD SAY I'M NOT AGAINST IMMIGRANTS, BUT THEY DID WANT A REDUCTION IN IMMIGRATION, LESS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AS WELL.

THEY DID WANT A WALL FOR SOME KIND OF BORDER SECURITY.

THESE ARE THINGS VOTED FOR EXPLICITLY.

IT WASN'T JUST A METAPHOR FOR THEM.

THAT HAS BEEN DIVISIVE.

BUT THE OTHER THING TO REALIZE IS THAT AMERICA GETS PAST THESE PHASES AND CHANGES.

AND THAT PEOPLE THAT WE WORRY ABOUT ASSIMILATING END UP FITTING INTO AMERICA JUST FINE.

IN THE 1840s AND '50s, JOHN CHARLES FREEMONT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT WAS REVEALED TO BE THE ILLEGITIMATE SON OF AN IMMIGRANT, WHICH WAS TRUE, AND THEN THE OPPOSITION PRESS TURNED HIM INTO AN IMMIGRANT.

SAID HE HAD BEEN BORN OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES.

THERE WERE BIRTHERS IN 1856.

HE WAS ALSO ACCUSED IN A WAY THAT CAN SOUND FAMILIAR TO US OF BEING A MEMBER OF THIS DANGEROUS ALIEN RELIGION.

WE TALK ABOUT ISLAM TODAY OR SOME OF US DO IN THAT WAY.

IN THOSE DAYS THE DANGEROUS RELIGION WAS CATHOLICISM AND THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF PARANOIA THAT IT WOULD BE USED BY FORCES TO TAKE OVER THE COUNTRY.

IT WAS A VERY REAL FEAR IN A LOT OF PEOPLE'S MINDS, AND THE FEAR OF CHANGE IN THE COUNTRY.

BUT ONE THING ABOUT LOOKING BACK IN HISTORY IS THAT WE CAN SEE HOW OUR FEARS OF THE MOMENT TURN OUT OVER TIME.

AND AS WE KNOW VERY WELL, THERE IS A VERY LARGE CATHOLIC POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY AND THEY FIT INTO AMERICA JUST FINE.

AND THERE WAS A CATHOLIC PRESIDENT, OF COURSE.

YES.

JOHN F. KENNEDY WHO HAD TO GO THROUGH THAT AS WELL.

LOOK, WE'RE TALKING ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF DR. KING'S BIRTHDAY, A FEDERAL HOLIDAY, AND WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, A RACE.

THERE'S NOT A SINGLE CANDIDATE OF COLOR LEFT IN THE DEMOCRATIC RACE AND OBVIOUSLY NOT ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE EITHER.

BUT THERE ARE WOMEN, AND 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' HAS COME OUT AND ENDORSED TWO WOMEN RUNNING FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION, ELIZABETH WARREN AND AMY KLOBUCHAR, TWO SENATORS WHO WILL BE SITTING IN ON THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, OF COURSE.

WHAT DOES THAT SAY TO YOU?

YOU'RE NOT JUST AN AUTHOR, YOU'RE A HOST OF A MORNING NEWS CAST WHICH IS MASSIVELY SUCCESSFUL.

DID YOU SEE THAT COMING?

I DIDN'T SEE THE JOINT ENDORSEMENT COMING.

BUT IT WOULD BE HARD NOT TO KNOW ABOUT THE CONFLICT AT THE 'TIMES' SHOWS WITH THIS ENDORSEMENT TO ILLUSTRATE.

THEY EXPLICITLY SAID LET'S PICK SOMEBODY THAT WE LIKE FROM THE MORE PROGRESSIVE WING OF THE PARTY AND SOMEBODY WE LIKE FROM THE MORE MODERATE OR PRAGMATIC WING OF THE PARTY.

AND AMY KLOBUCHAR WOULD SAY I'M PERFECTLY PROGRESSIVE BUT THAT SHE WANTS TO BE PRACTICAL AND GET THINGS DONE.

THAT IS THE DIVIDE THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FACES, AND AS A WRITER, AS A HISTORIAN, I CAN SAY THAT THAT IS A CLASSIC AMERICAN POLITICAL DILEMMA.

DO I GO FOR THE CANDIDATE WHO STANDS FOR MY IDEALS, OR THE CANDIDATE WHO STANDS FOR SOME OF MY IDEALS AND I THINK CAN WIN?

IT'S NOT ALWAYS A REALLY CLEAR CHOICE, IS IT?

IN 2016 REPUBLICANS WENT FOR THE MOST RADICAL CHOICE AVAILABLE AND ALSO WON.

SO THE RADICAL CHOICE CAN BE A WINNER, BUT YOU HAVE TO FACE THAT DILEMMA.

IN DOING MY RESEARCH ABOUT 1856, I FOUND THAT ONE OF THE GREATEST AMERICANS, FREDERICK DOUGLAS, FACED THIS KIND OF DECISION, WHETHER TO GO FOR A TRUE ANTI-SLAVERY CANDIDATE OR FOR THIS NEW REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT WAS SORT OF ANTI-SLAVERY.

IT WAS AGAINST THE EXPANSION OF SLAVERY.

DECIDED TO GO THE PRAGMATIC ROUTE.

JUST VERY QUICKLY BECAUSE WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

IMPEACHMENTS PAST, AS I SAID THESE SENATORS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE TIME OFF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL TO FULFILL THEIR JURY DUTY, SO TO SPEAK.

WHAT SHOULD WE BE THINKING IN LIGHT OF HISTORY AS WELL, ANDREW JACKSON AND OTHER PRESIDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH THIS PROCESS?

WELL, ANDREW JOHNSON IN 1868 WAS IMPEACHED AND PUT ON TRIAL BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SENATE, AND IT WAS NOMINALLY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT WHO HAD SORT OF BECOME A DEMOCRAT.

IT WAS A HEAVILY REPUBLICAN SENATE THAT WAS GOING TO JUDGE HIM.

AND THERE WERE A NUMBER OF SENATORS WHO HAD TO MAKE THE DIFFICULT CHOICE TO VOTE AGAINST THEIR PARTY AND KEEP ANDREW JOHNSON IN OFFICE.

NOW, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THE RIGHT AND PATRIOTIC THING TO DO NOW IS AUTOMATICALLY TO KEEP PRESIDENT TRUMP IN OFFICE.

LET'S SET ASIDE THAT JUDGMENT.

BUT WHAT I THINK IS REALLY VALUABLE ABOUT THAT MOMENT IS THAT, FIRST, THAT IMPEACHMENT WAS SIGNIFICANT.

AS HISTORIANS HAVE POINTED OUT, EVEN THOUGH ANDREW JOHNSON WAS NOT REMOVED, HE WAS LIMITED AND CONSTRAINED BY THAT PROCESS.

AND SECOND, THAT IT IS A GOOD IDEA FOR SENATORS, HOWEVER THEY VOTE, TO THINK IN THE LONG TERM, TO THINK ABOUT THE LONG-TERM HEALTH OF THE INSTITUTIONS THAT THEY ARE CHARGED WITH PRESERVING FOR ANOTHER GENERATION.

THAT MATTERS A LOT MORE THAN THE NEXT ELECTION, EVEN IF THEY FEEL IT DIFFERENTLY IN THEIR PARTICULAR SITUATION.

AND OF COURSE YOU'RE RIGHT, IT WAS ANDREW JOHNSON, NOT JACKSON.

I MISSPOKE.

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO SEE OR EXPECTING TO SEE AS A NEWSPERSON REGARDING EVIDENCE?

YOU JUST HEARD EVELYN AND DIMITRI TALKING ABOUT CERTAIN EMAILS AND TEXTS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED RELATING TO THIS SITUATION, THIS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AS A JOURNALIST?

I AM JUST WATCHING THE STATEMENTS OF THE HANDFUL OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO WOULD MAKE THE DIFFERENCE HERE.

MITCH MCCONNELL IN SETTING UP THIS TRIAL DIDN'T SAY NO WITNESSES.

HE SAID WE'LL DECIDE A LITTLE BIT LATER ON WITNESSES, EVEN THOUGH HE'S MADE HIS PERSONAL VIEW CLEAR THAT THERE JUST SHOULDN'T BE ANY WITNESSES.

BUT THEY'RE RESERVING THE ACTUAL DECISION FOR LATER AND THERE ARE A FEW STATEMENTS NOW FROM SENATORS LIKE SUSAN COLLINS IN MAINE, AS EVIDENCE HAS COME OUT IN THE LAST FEW DAYS, THAT MAYBE WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT WITNESSES.

NOW, CRITICS OF COLLINS WILL POINT OUT THAT SHE DOESN'T ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH AND THAT SORT OF THING, BUT IT SEEMS AN OPEN QUESTION.

INDEED, IT DOES.

STEVE INSKEEP, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE TODAY.

> AMERICA IS CELEBRATING MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY.

OUR NEXT GUEST ASKS WHAT JUDAISM CAN TEACH US.

SHE WAS A WHITE HOUSE SPEECH WRITER FOR PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA.

HER BOOK 'HERE ALL ALONG' IS ABOUT WAKING UP TO THE FAITH THAT SHE WAS BORN INTO, AS SHE TOLD OUR MICHELLE MARTIN.

TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU GREW UP.

I MEAN, YOU WERE BORN INTO A FAMILY THAT IDENTIFIED AS JEWISH, RIGHT?

YEP.

AND YOU DID ALL THE THINGS.

DID THE THINGS.

BUT WHAT WAS YOUR IMPRESSION OF IT THEN?

YEAH, SO WE WENT TO SERVICES TWICE A YEAR AT THE MAJOR HOLIDAYS, WE HAD A HANUKKAH PARTY, I WENT TO HEBREW SCHOOL AND MY IMPRESSION AS A KID IS IT WAS BORING, THE SERVICES WERE LONG AND THERE WAS A LOT OF HEBREW AND I THOUGHT I JUST HERE. HAVE THAT MUCH TO SEE

WHEN YOU TALKED TO YOUR PARENTS, WHAT DID THEY SAY?

I DON'T KNOW IF I ACTUALLY INQUIRED DEEPLY WITH THEM ABOUT IT.

I THINK IT WAS JUST A SENSE LIKE WE'RE JEWISH AND THIS IS WHAT I THINK IT WAS A SENSE WE GO THE SYNAGOGUE TWICE A YEAR, WE GO TO THE SCHOOL AND HAVE THE HANUKKAH PARTY.

THAT'S JUST WHAT WE DO AS JEWS.

I DON'T KNOW IF I EVER HAD A DEEP CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT IT MEANT FOR THEM.

IT IS A COMING OF AGE?

CEREMONY.

BAR OR BAT MITZVAH MEANS SON OR DAUGHTER OF THE COMMANDMENTS AND YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR TRYING TO OBSERVE JEWISH LAW AS AN ADULT.

IT HAPPENS AT 13 AS A TRADITION.

YOU WENT TO COLLEGE, YOU WENT TO LAW SCHOOL, YOU BECOME A BIG-TIME SPEECH WRITER FOR HILLARY CLINTON FIRST AND THEN FOR BARACK OBAMA AND MICHELLE OBAMA.

DURING ALL THIS TIME WHAT WAS YOUR SORT OF SENSE OF YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE?

THE OBAMAS TALKED ABOUT THOSE THINGS A LOT.

HE DID.

AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S REALLY FUNNY.

I HAD A VAGUE SENSE THAT SOMETHING WAS MISSING.

I HAD A VAGUE SENSE OF LIKE, GOSH, IT WOULD BE REALLY NICE -- I WOULD TALK TO PEOPLE WHO HAD A DEEP FAITH AND THERE WAS SOMETHING THEY HAD THAT I DIDN'T.

I DON'T KNOW IF I COULD ARTICULATE IT CLEARLY, BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING GOING ON THAT I DIDN'T HAVE ACCESS TO.

SO I WOULD SHOW UP AT THE MAJOR HOLIDAYS, I WOULD GET SOME FRIENDS TOGETHER, WE WOULD GO TO A SYNAGOGUE.

I WAS PROUD TO BE JEWISH, BUT THAT WAS IT.

I THINK IF YOU HAD SAID WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GOD, I WOULD HAVE SAID ATHEIST OR MAYBE, YOU KNOW, AGNOSTIC, WHO KNOWS.

JUST DIDN'T THINK MUCH ABOUT IT BECAUSE I WAS SO BUSY.

AND I HAD A LOT GOING ON THAT WAS FULFILLING, WHEN EVERY MINUTE IN YOUR LIFE IN THE WHITE HOUSE YOU'RE RUSHING TO DO SOMETHING AND SCRAMBLING AND THINKING AND WORKING, THERE ISN'T A LOT OF SPACE FOR OTHER STUFF.

SO THE DAY CAME THAT YOU DECIDED TO DIG DEEPER.

DESCRIBE THAT.

I MEAN YOU DIDN'T QUITE GET HIT WITH A BOLT OF LIGHTNING.

I'M NOT TRYING TO BE CULTURALLY INAPPROPRIATE, BUT YOU DIDN'T GET HIT WITH SOMETHING.

WHAT HAPPENED?

PEOPLE WANT THAT STORY.

THEY'RE LIKE YOU HAD THIS MOMENT OF CHRIST.

THE HONEST TO GOD TRUTH, I WAS DATING A GUY, I BROKE UP WITH HIM AND I WAS LONELY AND BORED AND ANXIOUS.

I SUDDENLY HAD A LOT OF TIME ON MY HANDS AND I HAPPENED TO GET AN EMAIL FROM THE LOCAL JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER ABOUT A JUDAISM CLASS.

AND I SWEAR I SIGNED UP BECAUSE I THOUGHT I NEEDED SOMETHING TO DO.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN AN INTRO TO PHOTOGRAPHY, KARATE.

I ACTUALLY PROBABLY WOULD HAVE TAKEN IT.

BUT LOOK, IF IT HAD BEEN INTRO TO CHRISTIANITY, WOULD I HAVE TAKEN IT?

I DON'T KNOW.

BUT INTRO TO JUDAISM, I THOUGHT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT JUDAISM.

SOME MIGHT SAY THAT THE UNIVERSE SENT YOU THERE.

SOME MIGHT SAY THAT, YES.

I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD SAY THAT, BUT SOME MIGHT SAY IT.

AND I JUST THOUGHT, YOU KNOW WHAT, I SHOULD LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT MY HERITAGE.

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

SO I WENT INTO THIS CLASS AND IT WAS A VERY STANDARD CLASS.

THE CLASS ITSELF WAS NOT UNUSUAL.

BUT WE STARTED STUDYING THESE ANCIENT JEWISH TEXT WITH ETHICAL WISDOM AND HOW TO BE A GOOD PERSON, DIFFERENT THEOLOGIES AND APPROACHES TO GOD, THE REALLY THINKING BEHIND ALL THE JEWISH HOLIDAYS AND RITUALS AND I WAS BLOWN AWAY.

THIS WAS SO DEEP AND EDGY AND WISE AND RADICAL AND COUNTERCULTURAL AND INSIGHTFUL IN A WAY THAT SECULAR SOCIETY JUST ISN'T.

AND I THOUGHT WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

WHERE HAS THIS BEEN?

YOU SHOW UP TWICE A YEAR FOR THE SYNAGOGUE SERVICES AND YOU DO THE HANUKKAH PARTY AND IT'S FUN, IT CAN BE MEANINGFUL.

BUT JUDAISM IS MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

THIS IS 4,000 YEARS OF PEOPLE, CROWD SOURCED WISDOM FROM MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN, AND SUDDENLY IT WAS ALL THERE BEFORE ME AND I JUST THOUGHT I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS HAS BEEN HERE AND I DIDN'T KNOW IT.

DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT IS IT ABOUT THAT CLASS THAT SO GRIPPED YOU, EVEN THEN?

JUST THAT FIRST MEETING?

DO YOU REMEMBER?

YOU KNOW, OVER THE COURSE OF VARIOUS CLASSES, I JUST THOUGHT, WAIT A SECOND.

THIS IS EXTRAORDINARY.

I JUST REMEMBER CALLING MY DAD AFTER ONE OF THE CLASSES.

WE READ A TEXT THAT SAID BASICALLY BUILD A FENCE AROUND THE TORAH AND THAT IS THE SACRED TEXT AND THE IDEA OF BUILDING A FENCE AROUND IT MEANS, YOU KNOW WHAT, JUST BE EXTRA CAREFUL ABOUT OBSERVING A LAW.

AND I CALLED MY DAD AND I SAID THIS IS WHAT YOU ALWAYS SAID TO US ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG, ABOUT WHEN SOMETHING IS RIGHT YOU GO A LITTLE FURTHER THAN NECESSARY TT THING.

AND, YOU KNOW, I SAID THIS IS A JEWISH IDEA AND MY DAD HAD PROBABLY LEARNED THAT FROM HIS PARENTS AND WE HADN'T NECESSARILY REALIZED THIS IS A KEY JEWISH TEACHING.

AND THERE WERE SO MANY MOMENTS LIKE THAT AND I THOUGHT I NEED TO LEARN MORE.

WHAT OTHER EXAMPLE?

ONE OF THE THINGS YOU SAY IN THE BOOK IS YOU FOUND YOU DIDN'T NEED JUDAISM TO BE A GOOD PERSON, BUT YOU NEEDED IT TO BE A GREAT PERSON.

GIVE ME ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THAT.

I THINK I'M A GOOD PERSON.

I DON'T LIE, CHEAT OR STEAL.

I FOLLOW THE LETTER OF AMERICAN LAW AND TRY TO BE KIND TO OTHERS.

AMERICAN LAW IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE THAT I DON'T PHYSICALLY THEIR RIGHTS.E OR INFRINGE ON THAT I AM HONEST, GENEROUS,E LOVING, KIND AND FAIR.

AND I DON'T WANT AMERICAN LAW DOING THAT.

BUT STUDYING JEWISH LAW, THERE'S ALL THIS THINKING ABOUT SPEECH, ABOUT GOSSIP, ABOUT SHAMING PEOPLE.

AND STUDYING IT, I FELT BUSTED.

IT WAS LIKE THEY WERE ALMOST SAYING LIKE SARAH, WE SAW YOU DO THIS LAST WEEK AND DON'T DO IT.

THERE WERE SO MANY LITTLE THINGS ABOUT HOW -- I'M SO CASUALLY CRUEL WITH MY SPEECH EVERY DAY AND I DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.

CASUALLY COOL?

CASUALLY CRUEL.

THERE ARE THESE MOMENTS WHERE, OKAY, AN EXAMPLE, IF WE'RE COLLEAGUES, WE GET INTO AN ARGUMENT AND I'M FURIOUS AT YOU.

I GO OUT AND I JUST TELL A BUNCH OF FRIENDS MICHELLE IS THE WORST.

SHE'S THE WORST.

SHE'S NOT SMART, SHE'S BAD AT HER JOB, SHE'S DISHONEST.

YOU CAN STOP RIGHT THERE.

I GET IT.

I GET SO ANGRY.

I COME BACK THE NEXT DAY, WE APOLOGIZE.

IT WAS A MISUNDERSTANDING AND I JUST TOLD A BUNCH OF PEOPLE PRETTY TOUGH THINGS ABOUT YOU AND MAYBE THEY TELL OTHER PEOPLE AND MAYBE A MONTH FROM NOW YOU'RE APPLYING FOR A JOB AT A COMPANY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE OWNS AND THEY SAY I REMEMBER SOMETHING ABOUT THAT WOMAN, SOME REPUTATIONAL ISSUES.

WITH THIS THOUGHTLESS SPEECH THERE'S A REAL CRUELTY.

I'VE DONE REAL HARM TO YOUR REPUTATION AND I DIDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.

AND THAT WAS SOBERING TO ME.

THAT ETHIC OF BEING REALLY CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORDS.

IRONIC AS A SPEECH WRITER I HAD NOT THOUGHT ABOUT THE WORDS ISP.

SO NOW I STILL MESS IT UP 100 TIMES A DAY BUT I USED TO MESS IT UP 150 TIMES A DAY.

I'M GETTING A LITTLE BETTER.

HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM ETHICS OR MANNERS, EVEN?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

I THINK WHAT'S DIFFERENT IS THE SPECIFICITY OF IT.

WHEN YOU JUST SAY WELL, SPEAK KINDLY, DON'T GOSSIP.

WHAT IS GOSSIP?

WHAT IF I SAY SOMETHING THAT'S TRUE, IF IT'S TRUE.

YOU CAN REALLY GET DOWN INTO THE WEEDS AND THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS I CAN SAY THAT'S NOT REALLY GOSSIP OR SHAMING.

JUDAISM ACTUALLY DOESN'T LET YOU GET AWAY WITH THAT.

THE MORE YOU STUDY THE LAWS, YOU THINK THIS ISN'T REALLY GOSSIP AND THEN THEY SAY YES, IT IS.

I THINK JUST DON'T GOSSIP, IT'S JUST NOT MEMORABLE TO ME, WHERE YOU KNOW, YOU STUDY THESE JEWISH STORIES, THERE'S ONE FAMOUS ONE ABOUT A MAN WHO GOES AROUND SAYING NASTY THINGS ABOUT HIS RABBI, HE FEELS BADLY AND GOES TO THE RABBI AND THE RABBI SAYS I'LL FORGIVE YOU, BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO TAKE A FEATHER PILLOW AND CUT IT OPEN AND SCATTER THE FEATHERS TO THE WINDS.

THE GUY THINKS THIS IS WEIRD BUT DOES IT.

HE COMES BACK AND SAYS AM I FORGIVEN?

AND THE RABBI SAYS, SURE, BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO GATHER UP ALL THOSE FEATHERS.

I THINK ABOUT THAT NOW.

THAT IS A VERY --

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT GOSSIP DOES, IT SPREADS.

YOU CAN'T GET IT BACK.

AND THAT'S JUST DIFFERENT THAN MANNERS OR ETHICS.

IT'S DEEPER, IT'S MORE --

BUT AT THE CORE FOR SOME PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY PEOPLE WHO SEE THEMSELVES AS RATIONAL, THE PROBLEM THAT THEY HAVE NOT JUST WITH JUDAISM, BUT REALLY MOST FAITH TRADITIONS IS THE IDEA THAT YOU'RE GOING TO GO WHAT THE MAN SAYS, RIGHT?T DO SO HOW DID YOU CONFRONT THIS WHOLE NOTION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FAITHFUL AND TO BE OBEDIENT?

THAT'S INTERESTING.

YOU KNOW, I REJECTED THAT AS A 12-YEAR-OLD AND I VEHEMENTLY REJECT IT NOW, BECAUSE I THINK ONCE YOU GO DOWN THE ROAD THAT THERE IS A GOD WHO CONTROLS EVERYTHING AND REWARDS AND PUNISHES YOU AS YOU DESERVE, THINGS GET HARD TO EXPLAIN.

WHAT ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST?

IT'S LIKE I FEEL LIKE THERE'S A LOT OF MENTAL GYMNASTICS NECESSARY TO JUSTIFY SOMETHING THAT I SEE DISPROVEN EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY.

SO I REJECT THE IDEA THAT THERE IS A BEING WHO REWARDS AND PUNISHES US AS WE DESERVE.

THAT'S A REALLY TOUGH THEOLOGY.

I JUST CAN'T BUY IT.

I REJECT IT.

AND THE JEWISH GOD IS NOT A MAN IN THE SKY WHO REWARDS AND PUNISHES.

THERE'S A LOT OF JEWISH CONCEPTS OF THE DIVINE, AND ONCE I WAS AWARE OF THAT, THEN THINGS GOT INTERESTING AND I FELT LIKE I COULD FINALLY DEVELOP AN ADULT SPIRITUALITY.

I COULD MAKE AN ARGUMENT THAT YOU CHOSE TO BE JEWISH, MAYBE YOU DIDN'T CHOOSE TO BE BORN INTO JUDAISM BUT YOU CHOSE TO BE JEWISH.

I CHOSE TO BE JEWISH.

AND YOU HEAR A PHRASE THE CHOSEN PEOPLE, WHICH I HAVE A COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP WITH, BUT I THINK WE'RE THE CHOOSING PEOPLE TODAY.

I THINK WE CHOOSE TO BE JEWISH AND I THINK THE WAY I RELATE TO THE ANCIENT HOLIDAYS IS I INTERPRET THEM FOR MODERN TIMES.

JEWS NO MORE LIVE BY THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE TORA THAN AMERICANS LIVE BY THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE CONSTITUTION.

THANK GOD.

BOTH OF THOSE DOCUMENTS ALLOWED SLAVERY.

I'M SORRY, LIKE THE EPITOME OF EVIL.

TREATING PEOPLE AS PROPERTY IS THE EPITOME OF EVIL.

GET RID OF SOMETHING THAT ISO EVIL.

SO I THINK ABOUT HANUKKAH AND I THINK WHAT DOES THIS HOLIDAY MEAN?

I THINK IT HAS LESSONS ABOUT ASSIMILATION OR NOT ASSIMILATION.

I THINK IT ALSO HAS LESSONS ABOUT HAVING ENOUGH.

THEY THOUGHT THEY HAD ENOUGH OIL FOR ONE NIGHT IN THE TEMPLE BUTT NIGHTS.

I THINK SOMETIMES WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH IN YOUR LIFE, YOU ACTUALLY REALIZE YOU DO AND THERE'S A REAL LESSON ABOUT GRATITUDE THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT.

SO YOU HAVE TO INTERPRET THESE FOR MODERN TIMES.

AND YOU MENTIONED SLAVERY.

SO HOW DO YOU RELATE TO WHAT SOME WOULD ARGUE ARE THE -- I DON'T KNOW WHAT WORD TO USE RESPECTFULLY, THE SCARS OF --

?

GENOCIDE.

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS DANIEL GENOCIDE.HE TRUMPET, THAT'S A HOW DO YOU RELATE TO THESE ASPECTS OF THE TEXT THAT SEEM TO WARRANT THE WIPING OUT OF PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY'RE IN YOUR WAY?

WE LIKE THE CONSTITUTION, YOU HAVE TO RE-INTERPRET THEM.

THE TORA CLEARLY SAYS AN EYE FOR AN EYE.

BUT 2,000 YEARS AGO THE RABBI ACTUALLY SAYS IF YOU PUT OUT SOMEONE'S EYE YOU HAVE TO MONETARILY COMPENSATE THEM.

THAT'S NOT WHAT IT SAYS, THEY RE-INTERPRETED IT.

YOU HAVE TO RE-INTERPRET THESE TEXTS AND JUST LIKE WITH OUR CONSTITUTION.

THEY'VE RE-INTERPRETED IT TO OUTLAW SLAVERY.

THESE ARE HUMAN SYSTEMS AND IT TOOK US A LONG TIME TO OUTLAW SLAVERY.

THAT EVIL WENT ON FOR A REALLY LONG TIME.

SO IF YOU'RE GOING TO TRY TO MAKE ME SAY THIS IS A PERFECT SYSTEM AND IT'S FOOLPROOF, NO, IT'S NOT.

THESE RELY ON US USING OUR HUMAN HEARTS AND MINDS TO INTERPRET THESE DOCUMENTS IN A KIND AND LOVING AND DECENT WAY.

BUT TO ME, I THINK THAT THE CORE IDEALS OF AMERICA HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH EQUALITY, WITH LIBERTY AND FREEDOM.

AND IF OUR LAWS AREN'T BEING INTERPRETED IN THE LIGHT OF THE CORE IDEALS, THEY ARE FAILING AND WE NEED TO RE-INTERPRET OUR DOCUMENTS.

SAME THING WITH JUDAISM.

HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN ON THIS PATH?

YEAH, GOSH.

HAVING DEVELOPED AN ADULT SPIRITUALITY THROUGH JUDAISM, I AM SO MUCH MORE OPEN AND GRATEFUL AND JOYFUL AND FILLED WITH WONDER AND AWE IN MY DAILY LIFE.

IT SOUNDS CHEESY OR WEIRD, BUT I'M JUST MORE GRATEFUL FOR SMAL.

I KNOW THIS IS SILLY.

I WAS IN A HOTEL ROOM THE OTHER NIGHT AND I JUST THOUGHT THIS IS SUCH A LOVELY HOTEL ROOM.

IT IS QUIET, IT IS SO CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL AND I JUST FELT A SENSE OF DELIGHT AND LIKE GRATITUDE FOR THE INCREDIBLE PRIVILEGE.

AND HOW IS THAT JEWISH?

SPECIFICALLY JEWISH?UELY AND IT ISN'T.

EVERY TRADITION URGES --

HOW IS THAT CONNECTED TO YOU?

FAITH? IS THAT CONNECTED TO MY JUDAISM PLACES A HUGE PREMIUM ON GRATITUDE.

NOW IT'S LIKE EVERYONE HAS GOT THE GRATITUDE JOURNAL.

FOR CENTURIES, TRADITIONALLY OBSERVANT JEWS, THE FIRST WORDS THEY SAY MEAN I'M THANKFUL.

THAT'S LITERALLY THE FIRST WORDS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING, THE FIRST WORDS OF THE MORNING PRAYERS ARE I'M THANKFUL AND YOU'RE BASICALLY SAYING A PRAYER OF GRATITUDE FOR YOUR LIFE, FOR YOUR EXISTENCE.

I JUST THINK UNDERSTANDING THE EMPHASIS TO ME, I TRY TO FEEL A LOT MORE GRATITUDE FOR MY DAILY EXISTENCE.

YOU TALKED ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU ALWAYS IDENTIFIED AS JEWISH, EVEN WHEN YOU WERE NOT PRACTICING OR OBSERVING IN THE WAY YOU DO NOW.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON ANTI-SEMITISM?

I MEAN, IT'S CAUSED A HUGE REACTION, SOME FAVORABLE, MUCH OF IT NOT.

WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON IT AS A PERSON WHO WORKED AT THAT LEVEL?

YEAH, YOU KNOW, TO BE HONEST, MY FIRST REACTION AT SEEING THIS GET SO MUCH NEWS AND ATTENTION WAS JUST A SENSE OF DISMAY BECAUSE I THINK SO OFTEN WHAT I AM SEEING IN THE NEWS IS THIS NARRATIVE THAT -- THE SORT OF NARRATIVE IN THE NEWS ABOUT JUDAISM IS ISRAEL PLUS ANTI-SEMITISM EQUALS JUDAISM.

AND THIS DEAL WITH ANTI-SEMITISM AND ANTI-ZIONISM, SO I JUST FELT THE SENSE OF HERE WE GO AGAIN, THIS IS ANOTHER KIND OF MOMENT IN WHICH THAT EQUATION IS KIND OF PLAYING OUT IN THE MEDIA.

SO I FELT A LITTLE BIT OF JUST DISMAY, LIKE WE'RE DOING THIS AGAIN.

I THINK THE ORDER IS ACTUALLY REALLY COMPLICATED TO BE HONEST.

I THINK WHY IT'S COMPLICATED, AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I HAVEN'T HEARD A LOT OF PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT IS WE'RE NOT A RACE, A NATIONALITY.

NOR IS JUDAISM JUST A RELIGION.

I CAN REJECT EVERY TENET OF JEWISH RELIGION AND I'M STILLJE.

WHAT IS IT?

IT'S A PEOPLEHOOD, WHICH YOU ARE BORN INTO OR CHOOSE TO BECOME A.

THERE'S NO LEGAL CATEGORY FOR PEOPLEHOOD SO I THINK WE HAVE THIS CLUMSY THING WHERE WE'RE TRYING TO FIND THE RIGHT CATEGORY FOR JUDAISM AND IT'S NOT THERE.

SO I THINK -- AND I'M A LITTLE FRUSTRATED WITH THE DIVISIVENESS OF THE DEBATES AROUND THESE THINGS.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN THIS IS COMING FROM AN ADMINISTRATION WITH A PRESIDENT WHO HAS BEEN REPEATING ANTI-SEMITIC SENTIMENTS, PEOPLE ARE SUSPICIOUS AND I CAN UNDERSTAND THE VEHEMENCE OF THE RESPONSE.

IT'S COMPLICATED.

HAVE YOU SHARED YOUR BOOK WITH THE OBAMAS?

I HAVE.

I DID.

WHAT DID THEY SAY?

I HAVEN'T TALKED TO THEM ABOUT THE BOOK YET.

BUT WHEN MY BOOK CAME OUT, MRS. OBAMA SENT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TWEET.

EVERY TIME I READ IT, I START CRYING.

IT WAS SO KIND AND LOVING.

BACK WHEN I FIRST TOLD HER AT THE END OF THE ADMINISTRATION THAT I WANTED TO WRITE THIS BOOK, SHE WAS JUST SO EXCITED.

SHE WAS SO PROUD AND I JUST THINK SHE SAW MY PASSION ABOUT IT.

THIS IS GREAT.KE GO, DO IT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TALKIN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

> AND FINALLY, AS WE SAID OF COURSE IT IS MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY, A FEDERAL HOLIDAY THAT HONORS THE SLAIN CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS.

THIS YEAR SCHOOL CHILDREN PAID TRIBUTE TO HIS LEGACY IN A SPEECH CONTEST IN WHICH THEY WERE ASKED THE QUESTION WHAT WOULD DR. KING'S VISION FOR 2020 AMERICA BE IF HE WERE ALIVE TODAY.

ONE FIFTH GRADER FROM DALLAS, TEXAS, COLLIN HARRIS, WOWED THE JUDGES WITH HIS MESSAGE OF LOVE AND FREEDOM AND EQUALITY.

TAKE A LISTEN.

DR. KING'S VISION FOR SOCIETY WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR US TO MOVE FORWARD AND ALLOW PEOPLE TO LIVE THEIR LIVES DESPITE THEIR RACIA.

IN ORDER TO MEET THAT VISION, WE WOULD HAVE TO LISTEN TO ONE EACH OTHER.VE COMPASSION FOR LISTEN TO MORE FROM COLLIN SHOWING WISDOM BEYOND HIS YEARS.

COLLIN SAYS THE ONLY WAY TO MOVE FORWARD IS BY LISTENING TO EACH OTHER, A MESSAGE THAT WE COULD ALL APPLY TO OUR LIVES TODAY.

SO IN THE WORDS OF THE FAMOUS STEVIE WONDER SONG WRITTEN ESPECIALLY FOR HIM 39 YEARS AGO, WE SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DR. KING.

THANKS FOR WATCHING 'AMANPOUR AND COMPANY' ON PBS AND GOOD-BYE FROM NEW YORK.

♪ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU ♪ HAPP♪ ♪ I NEVER UNDERSTOOD