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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to “Amanpour and Company.” Here’s what’s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The American people need more help.
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AMANPOUR: The Senate squabbles over a benefit bill as the U.S. economy faces a COVID catastrophe. We talk to Nobel prize-winner, Paul Krugman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL ROSENZWEIG, FOUNDER, RED BRANCH CONSULTING: Attorney General Barr sees himself more as a handmaiden of President Trump’s political interest
than he does as attorney general for the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Conservative lawyer, Paul Rosenzweig, tells us why he’s soured on America’s chief law enforcement officer. Also joining us, former
Wisconsin senator, Russ Feingold.
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EDUARDO PADRON, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, MIAMI-DADE COLLEGE: What the pandemic has made so real is the consequences of neglect.
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AMANPOUR: Eduardo Padron, President Emeritus of Miami-Dade College tells our Walter Isaacson America’s top universities are failing on social
Welcome to the program, everyone. I’m Christiane Amanpour working from home in London.
Things are not looking good for millions of Americans. Coronavirus benefit payments are set to expire today, and Congress is nowhere near a new aid
deal. There is little overlap in the proposals that are being put forward by Democrats and Republicans. And this is all happening at the end of a
week when we learn that the U.S. economy contracted an annual rate of 33 percent in the last quarter, which is a record. And the country topped
150,000 deaths from COVID-19.
The Nobel prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman, writes in his latest “New York Times” column that, the disaster unfolding in America is, “what
happens when you put a horrible boss in charge of running the country and nobody can say when, if ever, the damage will be repaired?”
Krugman’s latest book is called “Arguing with Zombies” and he joins me now from Massachusetts.
Paul Krugman, welcome to the program.
I guess the line in your column that really, really struck me is nobody knows when or if this economic downturn can ever be repaired, or even the
pandemic, the health crisis. Can you explain — can you build on that? What do you mean?
PAUL KRUGMAN, OPINION COLUMNIST; THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, OK, you know, eventually, the economy will make up most of the lost ground, but
eventually, it’s looking a long way away.
What we’ve learned, what a lot of us were trying to tell people, but anyway is now very clear is that there is no economic recovery as long as the
pandemic is out of control. You cannot — it doesn’t even matter what governors say. You can try to reopen, whatever, but as long as the virus is
still spreading freely, then very quickly, you’re forced to close down again, or even if you say it’s OK to go to restaurants, people won’t,
because they’re going to be afraid of, you know, dying.
And because the United States failed, because we blew it, because we took our original success, partial success, in reducing infections and threw it
away with carelessness, now we’re in a situation where we have an indefinite period of a very depressed economy. Basically, I think we’re
almost certainly going to meet the sort of informal definition of a depression, which is a year or more of 10-plus percent unemployment.
AMANPOUR: Wow. I was actually going to ask you whether it would stay at a terrible recession or whether you felt that it could head into a
depression, which is, as you’ve technically pointed out what it is. So, that is not good news for people to hear right now.
Are you surprised? Obviously, you talk about, you know, you warned, others have warned that unless you get the pandemic under control, you’re not
going to have this famous V-shaped recovery. The time was to try to build the public health and, you know, social circumstances that should have
allowed some kind of safer recovery. But now, you’re seeing, what you’ve just pointed out in terms of virus and infections, but also what we
mentioned, you know, the economy contracting, for the first time since records have been taken, by nearly a third. Is that what leads you to think
of a potential depression?
KRUGMAN: No. Actually — so, by the way, really, you know, these annualized rates, that’s become a real pistol. The company actually
contracted by about 10 percent, which is, you know, around 40 percent at an annual rate. But those are old. I mean, we’re living on COVID time. Things
happen very, very fast now.
So, a number on the economy in the second quarter is really basically where we were in May, and May is practically a lifetime ago in terms of the pace
at which events are happening. Where we are right now is that we had a month and a half when the economy seemed to be bouncing back, and then, you
know, we had the second wave and deaths started to rise, and we started retrenching.
And so, where we are right now is that we had an abortive takeoff. We had the beginnings. It started to look like a V-shaped recovery, but because we
hadn’t controlled the virus, it failed, and where we are now is really, really grim. It’s not clear exactly what it will take to get us actually
moving economically, and it’s — we’re in a very bad place and we appear to be stuck in it.
AMANPOUR: President Trump, nonetheless, appears to constantly and continuously be optimistic about this in many of his interviews. He talks
about how it’s going to be great. The economy is going to be great. Let’s just play this clip of what he said about what he predicts for the economy
in the third quarter.
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DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: We’re putting America first, and we’re making America better than it it’s ever been. You will see that. We’re
going to have a great year next year. We’re going to have a great third quarter. And the nice thing about the third quarter is the results are
going to come out before the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: What do you make of that, Paul Krugman?
KRUGMAN: Well, you know, the thing — the third quarter — again, third quarter means basically that that’s a description of the economy as it is
or, actually, as it was a week or two ago. You know, the third quarter is June, July, August, but basically — so you think that would be in the
number for mid-July. And mid-July, just two weeks ago, was terrible, but it was maybe not quite as terrible as mid-May.
So, it’s — you know, it’s possible that we’ll be seeing some positive numbers, but I don’t think anyone will be persuaded by that because it will
be obvious that we still have mass unemployment, that we may have bounced back a little bit from the absolute depths, but it’s not going to be where
the economy really is and — by the way, I should have said it’s actually August is the third quarter — but it’s — you know, the fact of the matter
is that it’s the — the fact of the matter is we have a stalled recovery.
Everybody who is looking at contemporaneous data, there’s a whole bunch of indicators there, says that, well, we had a little bit of a recovery and
then it sputtered out, and I think people are not that stupid. People will be aware of that.
You know, we only — we’re going to have three jobs reports before the election. The next one is not likely to be good. The next two might be
better, but they might be worse, and people are not going to come into that election thinking that we’re on the path to greatness. People are going to
be thinking, oh, my God, we’re still in this depression.
AMANPOUR: So, we pointed out that this supplemental, you know, unemployment relief is running out today. So, with more than 20 million
jobless Americans standing to lose that extra $600-enhanced unemployment benefits, what happens now, then? Because the Senate has recessed. It’s not
happening as we speak right now. What does that mean? What happens to people?
KRUGMAN: Well, remember, that it’s — you know, those are weekly checks. Actually, the last checks went out, you know, last weekend. So, that money
has ended. And given the way the state unemployment offices work, even if Congress miraculously reached an agreement to send money out, you know —
well, about when they’re back in session, which won’t be until next week, the money wouldn’t actually start flowing for a couple of week and it
doesn’t appear that they’re ready to do that.
So, you have tens of millions of families have been cut off from crucial flow of money, and they are — so they’re going to suffer terribly, and, of
course, we — those families, in turn, the money that they spend on necessities helps keep the rest of the economy afloat. So, what we’ve just
done is we’ve just delivered a further body blow to the economic recovery, and totally predictable. I mean, Democrats maybe didn’t like the bill, but
Democrats did pass a bill that was supposed to deal with exactly this situation, and they did that in the middle of May, and Republicans just did
nothing at all until last week. They suddenly said, oh, the money is about to run out. I wonder if we should do something. And it’s another totally
gratuitous, preventable catastrophe.
AMANPOUR: So, as you pointed out, the Democrats passed one, the Republicans reluctant. There is obviously a story line amongst some who say
that this extra $600 is more than they would get certainly for low wage workers, and it’s not an incentive to go back to work, hence, why should
we, you know, keep giving this if we want to get people back to work? Can you tell us — I mean, is that a legitimate concern?
KRUGMAN: Well, there’s actually very little evidence that that is — it’s a deterrent to accepting jobs. But in any case, what are those jobs that
people are supposed to be accepting? I mean, right now, we have about 30 million people on unemployment benefits. And there are 5 million job
openings, according to another government survey. So, what, someone says, oh, my money is cut out, I better take a job, except that there are six
people out there looking for jobs for every actual job there is to take. So, it doesn’t matter.
The fact that — the unemployment benefits have been pretty generous, I think appropriately so, but the idea that they’re deterring, that they are
preventing an economic recovery because people won’t take jobs were (INAUDIBLE) up against the hard fact there aren’t any jobs for people to
AMANPOUR: So, let’s get back to the inextricable link between the economy and the virus. You’ve recently written in the “New York Times,” and the
headline basically said that America lost the war on COVID-19. Why do you say that? Why do you think that? I mean, is it over yet, this war?
KRUGMAN: Well, I mean, it’s not over until either the virus has been extinguished or we’re all dead, I guess. But the point is that there was a
moment, up through maybe early April, all advanced countries were on somewhat similar tracks. We all had a big outburst of the virus and varied
in skill, some got a handle on it faster than others, but the U.S. didn’t look that different from the rest of the world.
But then, as other countries continued to pursue lockdowns as long as was necessary, ramped up testing, did all the things we needed, they brought
the levels of infections and deaths down to quite low levels. The United States threw every caution to the wind and started reopening bars, didn’t
wear masks, and we diverged. So, take — you know, I always like the comparison that the U.S. and Italy.
Italy had the worst initial outbreak. They had a terrible time. But now, Italy is — you know, has only a single-digit number of deaths most days.
It’s — a lot of normal life has resumed. And the United States, meanwhile, we’re still coping with a deadly pandemic. So, we blew it. We allowed this
thing to get out of control, and we would have to go through the whole lockdown thing all over again to get it back under control. We basically
completely squandered all the sacrifices that were made in the early months of this crisis.
AMANPOUR: So, Paul, some of that is going on here. There’s some semi lockdowns being re-imposed in the U.K. where I am, and you can see some
spikes in countries that had got it right from the beginning, places like Germany, Spain right now. Obviously, they had a hard time in the beginning,
but most of those, as you say, did the right things eventually.
Given these spikes that are happening in tourist season, what is this all saying to you? What are your concerns about not just the U.S. economy but
the wider, the global economy?
KRUGMAN: This is going to be a break on everyone’s activity. The world economy as a whole, even outside the United States, is not going to be able
to fully recover until we have really licked this virus. And aside from maybe New Zealand, nobody has completely eliminated it. But you do need
some perspective. What they call a spike in Germany is what we would call an inconceivably good day in the United States. The rates of infection and
death, even in these, you know, second wave episodes in Europe, are tiny compared with what is going on in Florida and Texas right now.
And so, yes. I mean, what we did learn is that you don’t act complacent. You don’t say, oh, well, that’s not that very many people, so let’s not
worry about it because of exponential growth. Once you let go, it really takes off. And it is possible to turn a success story into a disaster.
We’re seeing that in Israel right now, which really had done a very good job and then carelessly reopened the schools, and all of a sudden is a
But it’s a world of difference between the situation, even in the U.K., which also did a pretty bad job but not on the U.S. scale. But there’s a
world of difference between what’s going on in Italy or Germany and what’s happening in the United States right now.
AMANPOUR: Let me pivot a little bit to politics, because economy, you know, certain elements of it, often react to politics, as you know, much
better than I do. And this sort of brouhaha over the last 24 to 48 hours which President Trump with his tweet about possibly delaying the election,
questioning the integrity of mail-in balloting, and then President Obama at the John Lewis funeral saying the following about voting and elections.
Let’s just play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by
closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive I.D. laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical
precision, even undermining the Postal Service in the run-up to an election. That’s got to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And, Paul, if I might just continue a little bit, because the “Wall Street Journal” editorial page, which is usually a cheerleading
squad, as you know, has come out again against the president. This has been half a dozen times now in recent days and weeks, saying, this is not to
suggest that the November election will be rigged that Mr. Trump asserts. If he believes that, he should reconsider his participation and let someone
run who isn’t looking for an excuse to blame for defeat. I mean, that’s a pretty big bloodied nose or punch in the nose from the “Wall Street
Journal” editor page.
But my question to you is, in terms of economic security and the thing that is, you know, very — what economics don’t like is uncertainty. What do you
think questioning something as big as an American election, what effect might that have on the U.S. and the global economy?
KRUGMAN: I mean, look, the whole anti-democratic, anti-rule of law mode of behavior that we’ve seen from Trump, the economic consequences are not the
important reason to be opposed to it, but a lot — still, in the longer run, a lot of what has makes America — has made America a success is the
fact that we are a country where people believe that the laws apply, where they believe that the political system is stable, where they believe that
you won’t have your hard-earned wealth expropriated on behalf of some political crony that you won’t have your right to do business abrogated
because it’s inconvenient politically for people who currently hold power.
And all of that’s going away. As we — you know, if we start to behave like a tinpot dictatorship, we can expect eventually to have the economy of a
tinpot dictatorship. So, we’re at very early days. The U.S. has a huge reserve of credibility. People still operate as if this whole Trump
phenomenon is an aberration. But if it becomes clear that it’s not, then mostly we’re going to lose our liberty, but we can lose our prosperity too.
AMANPOUR: Paul Krugman, thank you so much for joining us.
KRUGMAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now, it was a busy week for the attorney general, Bill Barr, one of the president’s most ardent and powerful allies, after he pushed for the
case against Trump ally, Michael Flynn, to be dismissed. The legal saga was renewed on Thursday when an appeals court announced that it would further
review it. And earlier this week on Tuesday, Barr was questioned by Congress about that and about the case of another Trump friend, Roger
Stone. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TED DEUTCH (D-FL): The essence of rule of law is that we have one rule for everybody, and we don’t in this case because he’s the friend of
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I’m supposedly punishing the president’s enemies and helping his friends, what enemies have I indicted?
Who — could you point to one indictment that has been under the department that you feel is unmerited, that you feel violates the rule of law? One
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, the attorney general also faced questions about his role in clearing protests from Lafayette Square and the decision to send federal
forces to Portland, Oregon.
With the hearings underway, I spoke with former Democratic Senate, Russ Feingold, from Wisconsin and Republican, Paul Rosenzweig, who is deputy
assistant secretary for policy in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. He joined us from his family home in Costa Rica.
Gentlemen, welcome, both of you, to the program.
I know that in the areas where you are watching from, you’ve been looking at these hearings. Can I ask you, Senator Feingold, since it’s the
Democrats who called the attorney general, what you make of what you’ve seen so far? Have any points or any clarity been made?
FMR. SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): Well, I think it’s very clear what’s being demonstrated. I’d like to answer really as an American rather than as a
Democrat, because the fact is that the Judiciary Act of 1789 created the office of U.S. attorney general. And the first laws of the Justice
Department’s mission statement is that the attorney general is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law.
Not the president, he’s not the president’s lawyer, he’s not the president’s political facilitator, and this is a tragic moment in the
history of our Justice Department, which is one of the most important parts of this great democracy.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you as a Republican, Paul Rosenzweig, do you agree with Russ Feingold or do you think there is little bit more nuance in
what William Barr has been saying?
PAUL ROSENZWEIG, FOUNDER, RED BRANCH CONSULTING: Well, I confess that when Attorney General Barr was first appointed, I thought that it was an
appointment that might actually rescue the Department of Justice. He has a long history of service in the department, and I confess to being
I think that in addition to the items you listed out, we could add things like mischaracterizing the Department Of Justice’s inspector general report
or mischaracterizing the Mueller special investigation report or his actions in Lafayette Square, all of which seem to me to be inconsistent
with the fair and impartial administration of justice. I think that it is, indeed, a tragedy, and I think that the evidence is, unfortunately,
increasingly clear that Attorney General Barr sees himself more as a handmaiden of President Trump’s political interests than he does as
attorney for the United States of America.
AMANPOUR: Let’s start with the statement that President Trump has said in different ways many times about his authority as president. We’re just
going to play this little back and forth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you say my authority, the president’s authority. Because it’s not me. This is — when somebody is the president of the United States, the
authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your authority is total.
TRUMP: It’s total. It’s total.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, first and foremost, as a Republican, Paul Rosenzweig, what do you make of that, this maximalist interpretation of authority and the
fact that, as you and others have said, you know, the attorney general seems to be enacting that?
ROSENZWEIG: Well, it’s an extreme interpretation that almost nobody except the president and perhaps Attorney General Barr agrees with. The courts
have long limited the president’s authority in cases ranging from U.S. versus Nixon in which the president was subjected to criminal law to the
steel seizure cases in which President’s Truman’s attempt to nationalize the steel industry during the Korean war was rejected by the courts.
It is absolutely the case that the president has a unique set of authorities because he is the chief executive of the United States. But the
entire conception of the framers was one of checks and balances, one in which that authority was constrained, constrained by judicial review,
constrained by legislative oversight and funding, and ultimately, constrained by the American public.
We had a revolution against the British to get rid of kingly prerogative, and President Trump’s assertion of it now is really an attempt to kind of
return to pre-revolutionary days in the times of King George III.
AMANPOUR: Senator Feingold, you heard what he said, that he’s there to practice the law of the country without fear nor favor or in equal basis.
But he also says, in a speech last fall, that in waging a scorched earth, no-holds barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the
left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law.
How do you answer to that given that, basically, the four years of the president’s time in office has been marked by persistent pushback from
Democrats and others?
FEINGOLD: Well, I believe he gave that talk at Notre Dame, and that is simply not the kind of language that the attorney general, the chief law
enforcement officer of the United States should be using if he is going to be actually even-handed.
You know, not only do I agree with Paul, but I admire Paul. He is a conservative who has served under Republican presidents, and I also agree
with him that I didn’t think Barr would be like this. I figured somebody that had served under the first George Bush would actually try to restore
the Justice Department. I thought he was a person that was committed at a minimum to the rule of law. But it turns out that Paul Rosenzweig is the
person that represents that, and we have a situation here where it is the opposite of what happened the last time, the Justice Department was so
tarnished, and that was under Watergate, under Richard Nixon.
John Mitchell, of course, ended up on the wrong side of the law in that situation. And under Gerald Ford he had to appoint a new attorney general.
And so, he picked Edward Levy. So, under a Republican president, Edward Levy had the courage to stand up for the rule of law and the role of the
Justice Department and is now considered one of the greatest attorney generals of all time. We needed an Edward Levy right now. Instead we ended
up with somebody who is basically functions as a political hack for the president and has brought disgrace on the Justice Department.
AMANPOUR: Well, can I just — I mean, that’s clearly your view, and I see Paul Rosenzweig sort of agreeing — I’m putting words in your mouth about
the disgrace on the Justice Department. But I want to ask you, Paul, because from the very beginning, Senator Feingold, at the time, did not
agree with the Department of Homeland Security provisions, and you thought, because you were part of it, in the policy realm of it, that it actually
would turn out to be — you know, to fill a very important role.
But now, you’ve sort of had a bit of a conversion from a conservative legal point of view. Can you both describe what happened, that road to Damascus
conversion, so to speak?
ROSENZWEIG: Well, as you say, back in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when Congress was considering the creation of the Department of Homeland
Security, I thought it was a good idea and an appropriate response to the terrorist incidents that had so transformed the world and endangered
Senator Feingold, at the time, was one of a small number of senators who opposed it, and one of the grounds that he offered was his fear that the
department would become, in effect, a national police force at the beck and call of a president to exercise internal police authorities.
And truth be told, at the time I didn’t — I wasn’t persuaded by that argument. I thought it was theoretically possible, but in the end, so
sufficiently unlikely that we really shouldn’t give any credence to it and that it shouldn’t stand in the way of the formation of the department. And,
of course, in the end, it didn’t stand in the way of the formation.
But as you’ve alluded to, the events that we’ve seen in the last few weeks, especially in Portland with the mobilization of DHS law enforcement
authorities to conduct essentially internal police powers in the City of Portland, and if the president has his way, in other cities as well, really
suggests that there was a great deal of justice in Senator Feingold’s criticism at the time, and that those of us who supported the department’s
formation at the time and poo-pooed him, if you will, need to offer him a bit of an apology. He was more right than wrong.
FEINGOLD: I was just going to say, I appreciate that, but I would say there’s been a tremendous misunderstanding about the difference between the
Republican versus Democrat and the Justice Department issue. Not only were there courageous Republicans under Gerald Ford, but also even under the
Bush administration where I disagreed with the electronic surveillance and terrorist — or the torture use. Also, John Ashcroft, from — the attorney
general, from a hospital bed stood up to the president in the issue of authorizing further electronic surveillance, it was illegal.
So, it isn’t fair to say to just say this has been Republicans that have done this. I’ve given you a couple examples in this interview of where
Republicans stood up at the right time as well. So, that’s what this is about. Somehow, Bill Barr becomes a person who participates in a fiasco in
Lafayette Park personally instead of standing up for the rule of law and realizing that the Justice Department really has to not just be colorblind
but also has to be blind with regard to partisanship. And that’s what we’ve lost here.
AMANPOUR: Senator, can rule of law be reeled back in again? Can this somehow be reversed in a way that cements what exactly is meant to happen
between the Justice Department, the president and the rest of the nation?
FEINGOLD: I do think it can be fixed. I think we obviously will need a new attorney general, and I’m hoping that will happen one way or another. I
also think legislation that would clarify this. I mean, usually what happens in these crises, and I can understand why Paul would, at the time,
not imagine something like this happening, I didn’t imagine something like this happening. It’s usually the next crisis where a loophole like this is
So, it would be up to the Congress and probably a new president to tighten up that law to make sure it isn’t used in place of the military, because
the military has stood up to the president after Lafayette Park. They said, we’re not doing this anymore. So, he’s abusing his Department of Homeland
Security authority. It can be fixed.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you, Paul Rosenzweig.
You know, the military did what it did after Lafayette — the Lafayette Park debacle. And now some are looking at the Supreme Court of the United
States and asking, have they also recently acted to try to keep the guardrails, the constitutional checks and balances in place?
Let me just read — obviously, you’re much better versed in this than me, but many watchers were surprised when the court found against the Trump
administration on cases like upholding gay and transgender employment rights, the DACA order by the president, Obama, and held that Trump is not
immune from criminal investigation.
How do you read that in this particular environment, Paul Rosenzweig?
ROSENZWEIG: Well, I think your characterization is accurate, that the Supreme Court has seen — sees itself as the guardrails, if you will, of
democratic norms and the exercise of checks on executive authority.
It’s not always consistent, and it’s an imperfect institution, like all American institutions. But I think that the story of the last year or so
has been a growing realization among some in the court that the excesses of the Trump administration are more than just legal errors or things about
which reasonable people can disagree, but more in the nature of genuine existential threats to behavioral norms of limiting executive authority
that they are there to police.
It’s been a narrow-rung thing, but I think, at this point, the court is about — has ended its last term that will — under this Trump
administration. And, of course, there may be another Trump administration after the next election, but they laid down a marker this time around, and
I think that’s a good thing.
AMANPOUR: And yet President Trump does what he’s famous for. He turns what we may perceive or you may perceive as a setback in the courts into a
This is actually what he said about the Roberts decision on the DACA case. He felt, as he said to Chris Wallace of FOX News, that this actually
empowered him to use executive action. Let’s just play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We’re signing a health care plan within two weeks, a full and complete health care plan that the
Supreme Court decision on DACA gave me the right to do.
So, we’re going to solve — we’re going to sign an immigration plan, a health care plan, and various other plans. And nobody will have done what
I’m doing in the next four weeks. The Supreme Court gave the president of the United States powers that nobody thought the president had, by
approving, by doing what they did — their decision on DACA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Senator Feingold, can you untangle that for me, please? How does the president interpret a ruling that went against him on DACA into giving
even more powers, as he just — as he just enumerated in that interview?
FEINGOLD: Well, of course, he just takes what he wants from what he’s told.
I mean, it is true that the court said that particular version of what he tried to do doesn’t make it. But that doesn’t guarantee that he can just do
anything else to stop the future of these DACA people, these DACA children in our country.
I mean, this is a potentially encouraging moment for our country. Even though I strongly agree with the Supreme Court and its rulings on voting
rights and campaign finance and many other issues, the independence that’s been shown recently, I think, gives the American people hope that somebody
who has such a bizarre view of his own powers can potentially be controlled.
AMANPOUR: That’s a really interesting perspective.
And I want to end by asking you, Paul Rosenzweig, about one of the other things that came out and that has now being confirmed by Mary Trump, as you
know, has written a book about her uncle the president, in which she confirmed that she was the source to “The New York Times” of something like
19 boxes of tax returns.
And that led to a very thorough investigation by “The New York Times,” a Pulitzer Prize. And yet this is what she said about the final outcome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY TRUMP, AUTHOR, “TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH: HOW MY FAMILY CREATED THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS MAN”: It didn’t just happen in one day, but,
eventually, I got 19 boxes full of documents, drove them to my house, and handed them over. And the rest is history, one of the, if not the most
extraordinary piece of journalism I have ever seen in my life.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Were you surprised at how little political impact those revelations seem to have?
M. TRUMP: I was.
You know, a lot of people were rightly effusive and grateful for the brilliant work and the startling revelations that should have mattered.
But how many times have we seen this play out? And this is one thing that I grapple with trying to understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Paul Rosenzweig, what she’s basically saying is, this was not even enough to get some accountability, not to mention all the other
things, before the last election.
Nothing sticks, so to speak, Teflon Trump, as some have said about him.
In terms of rule of law and moving forward, how do you fit that little piece into the whole jigsaw puzzle?
ROSENZWEIG: Well, that’s a great question.
I, too, was surprised that the knowledge that the president is likely a tax cheat in his personal and private life has not carried weight. But then I
have been surprised at the incredible ability of the president to avoid responsibility for his actions for the last three or four years.
I would say that I don’t think that impunity like that is for forever. After the next election, it may very well be the case that others, whether
the new Department of Justice under the next president, if there’s a change in administration, or the state’s attorney in Manhattan, Cyrus Vance, will
be taking a look at these a little more seriously.
And it may just be that response to them has been delayed, rather than denied.
AMANPOUR: And we will keep watching.
Paul Rosenzweig, Senator Russ Feingold, thank you very much indeed for joining us this evening.
And on the matter of the rule of law, the governor of Oregon has now said that federal forces will be leaving Portland.
The next COVID dilemma for the nation and the world is opening schools and colleges in the fall.
Eduardo Padron is president emeritus of Miami Dade College in Florida,a state will set new records this week for single-day coronavirus deaths. His
college enrolls more minorities than any other in the country.
And here he is telling our Walter Isaacson why flexibility is needed to ensure that every student can get an education.
WALTER ISAACSON: Thank you, Christiane.
And, Dr. Eduardo Padron, welcome to the show.
EDUARDO PADRON, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, MIAMI DADE COLLEGE: It’s a pleasure to be with you, Walter.
ISAACSON: You have been at Miami Dade College for 50 years now in various capacities, now emeritus.
Tell me, what is Miami Dade going to do this fall?
PADRON: That’s a good question. And I wish I could tell you, because, frankly, it all depends on the spread of the virus at that point.
Right now, in Florida, we’re going through some very, very difficult times. As you probably know, now Florida has surpassed New York in the number of
COVID cases by about 3,400. So, it’s a problem.
Our South Florida hospitals are at over 130 percent capacity, the ICUs are. And even last week, for example, the number of cases varied between 10,000
and 15,000 daily, and the average of over 100 deaths daily.
So it’s a serious situation. So, if that continues, I don’t see how we can have anything other than remote learning coming — come September. But the
hope is that it will improve. But it will have to improve significantly.
And follow — we will have to follow the advice of scientists in terms of what is low enough to avoid the spread of the virus, because that is the
real problem, students going into the classrooms and getting sick, and then coming home and getting the rest of the family sick.
And nobody wants that to happen. The institution’s main objective is to protect the safety and the health of our students. So, that’s going to be
the number one priority. And right now, the institution is planning for various possibilities, so, in-person learning, online learning, and a
hybrid system of learning, in order to be ready for whatever is possible at that time.
ISAACSON: What transformations is COVID-19 having in the way we’re going to do college?
PADRON: Well, this pandemic — I’m the eternal optimist — will go away, and we will go back to a more normal life.
But this is going to have significant impact. And I hope it will be, because what the pandemic has made so real is the consequences of
inequality, and the consequences of lack of opportunity for people.
And I think this is a great opportunity in America today to really think very hard about social policies, about how we invest our resources, and how
we make sure that this country will never reach its full potential, will never achieve the kind of peace and the kind of pride that we need to have,
as long as we exclude so many people from the mainstream — the mainstream economy.
This is — these are values that are inherent in our Constitution.
And we need to make sure that we bring them alive, and that we all work very hard to be able to make sure that every American is able to achieve
the American dream.
ISAACSON: Well, tell us about your experience, your life path that takes you from Cuba to Miami Dade College.
PADRON: Well, I came to this country with a younger brother, three years younger, sent by our parents to the United States to avoid communism and to
be able to have a better life in the United States.
I was 15 and my brother was 12. And that was very great from our parents, because they didn’t know if they were going to be able to see us again,
because it wasn’t — it was very difficult to leave Cuba.
And so I think came to this country, and everything was new to me, the language. Everything was totally new. And my mother said something to me
with tears in her eyes when we departed. And she said, no matter what happens, even if you go to bed hungry, the one thing you’re going to do in
America is to go to college, because that’s the only real passport to a better life and to the American dream.
And so I committed to do that, in spite of all the problems and difficulties in finding the money to be able to eat and support and so on.
And I had three, four jobs. I was sleeping at that time about three hours every day only, because I had different part-time jobs and going to school.
And, frankly, when I — I did one year of high school. And when I finished that, I said, well, I need to follow my mother’s advice to go to college.
So, I applied to some of most — the best colleges in America.
And one by one, I got a rejection letter. And someone told me that there was a school called Bay County Junior College that had just opened. So I
went there. That’s today Miami Dade College. And that place changed my life.
That place gave me a self-confidence, a self-esteem, and the support that I needed and the understanding that, yes, I could go to college and be
successful. And the rest — the rest is history.
And I have to tell you, it’s a place — and I call it the great experiment. It’s what I call democracies college. It has been referred to as a dream
factory, because we’re serving mostly low-income people, immigrants, members of minorities.
We graduate more minorities than any other college or university in America. So, it’s an institution that is what America needs the most today.
It’s an institution that really has no pretensions of anything. We have an open door. We accept students where they are. All we ask is for them to
have a high school diploma.
But many of them come and prepare for college. You look at the zip code where they came, and you immediately know that they’re going to have —
they’re going to need a lot of remediation. But that’s what we do best.
We save a lot of lives that way that otherwise would be in the street corners. And to see these students grow and become presidents of the World
Bank that we have today, or presidents of foreign nations, or the top doctors in the city and the top engineers, the heads of the major
accounting firms, that is something that it’s America at its best.
And it’s something that I think higher education needs to adopt more.
ISAACSON: When you say higher education needs to adopt it more, are you saying that the elite universities and selective colleges are not doing
enough of a good job on social mobility, the way you just described Miami Dade College?
PADRON: Most definitely.
And I will tell you why, Walter. When you think about it, our higher education system, which I’m very proud of in many ways, because I think
it’s the best in the world — everyone in the world wants to come to America to study.
And for most of the last two centuries, it’s a system that served us well. It was created to serve the needs of the elite, people of privilege, and
that was OK. It was OK during that time — maybe not — OK is not the word, but it was OK. It was — we could accept that, because most Americans, even
as recent as 40, 50 and 60 years ago, could go into factories and offices with little education, doing repetitive tasks, manual work, earning a good
wage that would allow them to become middle class, buy a home, buy a car or two, and put their children through school.
Today, that is not possible. Most of those jobs that allow people to do that have been disappearing. And with the advent of the technological
revolution, the knowledge front, the ability of Americans to be able to join the middle class, achieve the American dream is very much tied to the
ability to get a college credential.
So, what I mean by that is, whoever doesn’t have a college credential in America today is probably destined to stay in a cycle of poverty for the
rest of their lives. So, colleges and universities have a very important mission.
We are about economic mobility. I’m proud that Miami Dade College, based on the cherished story of Stanford, very well-documented by “The New York
Times,” is the number one college or university in the state of Florida in terms of promoting economic mobility, and one among the top four
That is what every college in America should be all about it. Children from the lowest of the poorest populations in America, less than 50 percent of
them ever go to college.
And college access is highly, highly dependent on parental income. And we need to make sure that we make it affordable and we make it accessible.
ISAACSON: So, 100 years ago, when we entered a new economy, we decided to make high school universal and free for everybody. Should we be doing that
now for college? And what do you think of Joe Biden’s plan and other plans to try to make higher education universal and accessible?
PADRON: Well, for the last more than five years, I have been advocating for universal access to college.
And it’s interesting, because if we know that two-thirds of all the new jobs today in America require a post-secondary credential, right, if we
know that, in order to navigate this economy, you need to have certain skills and certain sophistication and learning that was unnecessary before,
it seems to me that we need to do that.
We need to understand that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. So, it’s our responsibility to open the door of opportunity wide open to the
masses that really need this in order to compete.
Today, nations, states, cities compete on talent. And we need to harness that talent. And we need to make sure that colleges and universities assume
that responsibility. Economic mobility is key, and it should be a major mandate of our colleges and universities assume.
So, yes, I am in full support of the Promise that — College Promise program. I’m chairman of that board right now, which advocates for
providing students free college in America.
I think it’s the kind of thing that is really going to elevate our level of competitiveness. And when you think about it, that action after so much
debate in America about 100 years ago of making high school a universal right of every student, in my opinion, and it has been documented, is the
single most important thing in the preponderance, in the preponderance of America in the 20th century.
Education, it’s now — a lot of lip service has been given to education throughout the years. Right now is the moment where we need to recognize
that, at this time, education should be a definite right to every American, a birthright.
ISAACSON: So, you have said that, 100 years ago, we made high school universal. That was the engine that made the United States the number one
ISAACSON: Now, we’re no longer number one world economy, because we’re not doing education quite as well.
And places, including Tallahassee, the capital of your own state, are cutting funding for colleges like your colleges. What is that going to do
to our economy?
PADRON: Well, this is nothing new, to be totally honest with you.
Between 2000 — to give you an idea, between 2008 and 2017, which is the figures that I have, states in the United States, collectively, cut
spending to colleges or universities by 16 percent, which is the equivalent of about $9 billion.
My own institution today is receiving less revenue from the state than we were getting in 2008. And that is a real problem. At the same time that
that is happening, universities have increased that tuition by about 31 percent.
And most of that is because the lack of revenues that we’re receiving from this, they have to be made up one way or another. So, who’s paying the
price for that? Students and families.
And when the price of education become so high, it makes it impossible for students to be able to afford it and families to be able to afford it. And
that’s a real tragedy. And it’s a travesty. We need to make sure that we stop seeing education as an expense, and begin to see it as an investment.
The return on investment from every dollar you spend on education, it’s better than anything else that I can think about. So, I’m concerned
because, between 2010 and 2018, the undergraduate enrollment in the United States fell by 8 percent, about 1.5 million students.
We need to make sure that we have more people going to college, and not less.
ISAACSON: Miami Dade College has been so much better than most other institutions in focusing on learning being a pipeline to a real job, a
How did you do that? And what could we be doing in the future to make sure that education really does lead to jobs?
PADRON: Well, maybe because of my own experience, but I really feel that that is so important, because we want to make sure that students are
prepared to be able to access the new jobs that are being created in this economy.
As you know, the jobs are being created and jobs are disappearing, and new jobs are being created. And the ability for the students to navigate the
new economy, where it wasn’t too long ago where people were going to jobs for 30 years and retire on that job and get a good pension.
Today, the fact of the matter is that most Americans change jobs upwards of eight to 10 times in their productive life. You require very different
skills today to be able to sustain those jobs and to be able to navigate the diversity of the economy.
And I really feel that that’s part of what we need to do for students. So, we have created partnerships with the major corporations of America,
whether it’s Google, or Facebook, or Amazon, AWS, whether it is Tesla, IBM. I could go on and on and on.
We have partnerships with all of these companies, whereby the students benefit because, by working with them, we know what they are looking for in
the students they want to hire, number one. Number two, very often, they provide equipment, provide opportunity for faculty exchange. They provide
even some of the executives and people to teach in our programs.
So, we give the students the best of both worlds. So, our placement rate for our students is in the 90s. It’s in the 90s. Why? Because the students
are getting the kind of education that has really prepared them to be able to be productive the first day they start at the job.
And that is something that we feel very proud. We are always watching and studying where the new fields are happening. So, in the last five years
alone, we have created programs in data analytics, in the supply chain and logistics, in engineering robotics, biotechnology.
I could go on and on and on. These are programs where the students, when they graduate, they have no problem finding a job that will pay them a wage
and will allow them to lead decent lives and to be able to support their families.
And that, I think, is what college should be all about.
ISAACSON: Dr. Eduardo Padron, thank you so much for joining us.
PADRON: Thank you, Walter. It’s been a pleasure.
AMANPOUR: A really important tutorial there.
And, finally, 1.8 billion Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al Adha today, God’s appearance to Abraham.
And it coincides with the Hajj, which is the Islamic world’s most important annual pilgrimage. And, this year, social distancing comes to Mecca.
These striking images show how the pandemic has dramatically changed the event. Usually, over two million Muslims flock to visit their holy shrine,
the Kaaba, but, this year, only 1,000 Saudi nationals and foreign residents can attend, all moving around the shrine several feet apart, wearing masks,
wristbands, and, reportedly, special clothing laced with nanotechnology that authorities say helps kill bacteria.
And that’s it for our program tonight. Remember, you can follow me and the show on Twitter. Thank you for watching “Amanpour and Company” on PBS and join us again next time.