Boris Johnson and Trump: Whose day was worse?
Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York where world leaders speaking at the United Nations General Assembly President Donald Trump's speech was heavily focused focused on his domestic reelection agenda lashing out at what he called a permanent political class he railed against China and Iran too and later though he seem to relax at a meeting with his closest European soulmate the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson but both face major crises at home controversies as the call into question their commitment to the rule of law and democracy itself here in the United States the latest scandal to engulf the president his phone call to the Ukrainian leader and request to investigate his political opponent the former vice president Joe Biden and he is now facing renewed calls for impeachment here's what the president had had to say as he arrived at the UN. It's a witch hunt. I'm leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stopped me the only way they can try through impeachment humint. This has never happened to President before. There's never been a thing like this before. It's nonsense and when you see the call when you see the readout of the call which I assume whom you'll see at some point you'll understand. That call was perfect. It couldn't have been nicer and even the Ukrainian government put out a statement. That was perfect call. There was no pressure. Put on them whatsoever. So of course we are waiting for a transcript that call but as for Boris Johnson before he took to the podium the Supreme Court at home home issued a momentous decision that is controversial five weeks suspension of parliament was in fact unlawful and it's another in a string of severe blows that he suffered since becoming prime minister and vowing to push brexit through do or died. Yes obviously this is a voted that oh we will respect and we respect the judicial process so I have to say I strongly disagree with what the justices found I didn't think that right but we will go ahead and Paul comeback and parliament is coming back tomorrow so democracy. Chrissy and rule of law are in focus on both sides of the pond today with me now to discuss share our oh he's the former French ambassador to the United States and also to the United Nations and Jane Harman. She's president and CEO the Wilson Center and she also served nine terms as a member of Congress. Well let us get to the heart of the matter I started by saying both these issues that we've highlighted do in fact speak directly to the commitment of our leaders to the rule of Lauren democracy. Let me ask you first because the president of the United States is in the crosshairs right now well they both fit it was interesting to hear Boris Johnson and just say that he will respect the decision. I think the alternative is to go to jail in Britain. It's very clear what the role of that court is. and I think that means that he may lose his majority because what will happen unless he can pull a no brexit deal together which he doesn't seem to be able to do you may have to extend the deadline is that Farrage Farraj brexit tears will bail from the Conservative Party and I I don't know where the future leadership of what about the president of the United States. I mean here now. There's increased pressure on Nancy Pelosi who stood back from this idea of getting in meshed in an impeachment but this huge amount of pressure on her now right here is ah of course the rule of law should prevail here. I think it's important to see what the whistle blower wrote and I think it will either leak or be given to Congress soon and then we'll we'll have more information. I think a partisan impeachment is a very sad result of this. Should it come to that. I saw the movie in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight against Bill Clinton. what happens is the president gets stronger. This will feed his sense of grievance. You just showed a a piece where he said that hat and and it will keep us divided instead if we wait and get more information and there is a bipartisan way forward. I think that will be much healthier for the country and for the rule Jira aerobic. I WanNa ask you also about well. Let me ask you I actually about the UK Parliament and the You you K- Supreme Court that has determined that it was unlawful and unconstitutional. What Boris Johnson did I know you're looking at it also in a lens of Brexit. How what do you make of the rule of law aspect of it? I think it would be embarrassing. Ears debt for a lot of citizens especially you know the people walk close to the the populist wave that we are facing it could appear as a new attempt by the establishment to block brexit and so I do think whatever my personal feelings towards Brexit of course I would prefer the UK to remain in European Union. I think that the UK has to leave you. You you know fifty. Two percent of the of the British voted for it you know in France we add a referendum in two hundred five here about the EU Constitution Institution fifty five percent of the French said no and eventually it went through the parliament and today the populist are still saying you stole the vote of the French so I I really again. We have to respect the rule of law but we have also to understand that there is a sort of tension between what the citizens want expressed express their anger and decision of the judge really interested to hear you both you on the on the on the Donald trump situation that an impeachment might in fact strengthen him and you're Democrat so I'm saying it in that regard and actually produce a backlash and you're saying that even the Supreme Court ruling might produce a backlash. That's interesting. I mean Boston well. I think there is an alternative. I I think Nancy Pelosi suggested last week that the the procedure of the office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department that prevents sitting President President from being indicted might be overturned by legislation and if courts consider. Let's come back to court whether Donald Trump pass committed crimes. I think that would be better than a partisan impeachment. What worries me about this is that there will be democratic. Support in the Senate a Dick Durbin has just come out in favor of impeachment and there is growing a consensus in the Democratic Caucus in the house so I think she probably has to move well. I'm a hearing actually that CNN sources are confirming that Speaker Pelosi is going to start an announce the process towards impeachment the formal the process which everyone knows is is basically the beginning of impeachment but what happened in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight was not pretty the better movies to the Democratic Ready President Bill Clinton and Republican stampede to impeach him. several counts were adopted in the house but in the Senate he was not convicted it and what happened was he got stronger and the driving force got weaker. the better movie was in the early seventies when I was a young council in the Senate the Nixon impeachment which was bipartisan bill call in then a freshman in the house later a Republican senator and then Secretary of defense had the courage to join the Democrats crats and the whole inquiry was much more low key in serious and after that the Democratic Senate leaders are the Senate leaders Republican Senate leaders came to Richard Nixon and said you will be convicted and he resigned and that was an orderly process based on whatever were were the facts at the time so I'm hoping that if it comes to this and impeachment is very sad thing to happen but if it comes to this and there certainly are a lot of allegations out there that it will be bipartisan and it we'll be done in a manner that gets the respect of not just our country but the world I mean so far. There is no indication at all that they'll be bipartisanship because the Republican Party has become the trump party in terms of all intensive for people who are leaving running against trying to run against the three of them Gerardo. I would like to play you a couple of soundbites because I want to ask you about the credibility of some of the reasons that president trump is giving for having tried to talk to the Ukrainian president. I'm I going to play the one that that he said earlier the conference talking about a congratulatory they treat message to the Ukrainian president. It's just play that conversation I had was is largely. Congratulatory was largely corruption. All of the corruption fixing play was largely the fact that we don't want our people like the vice. President Biden is done creating big corrupt already in the Ukraine