David Letterman sat down with Pakistan-born Malala Yousafzai for a new episode of his Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” which debuted on International Women’s Day, to discuss her activism and the “really tragic” leadership of America under President Donald Trump.
Letterman’s far-ranging interview with Malala, now 20, included questions about President Trump, his foreign policy, and her food preferences.
“This is really tragic that this is happening, and it does worry me that these leaders, they talk about eradicating extremism and ending poverty and then they ignore education,” Malala said after Letterman mentioned the Trump administration’s budget proposals. “That’s the first thing you need to do, you need to give education to the future generation and allow them the opportunity to follow their dreams and then contribute to their economies and their countries.”
“What do you think about President Trump?” Letterman asked, pointedly, of the Nobel Prize laureate. Malala appeared to deflect giving a direct answer responding to Letterman with, “well, I’m in the UK, so what do you think about him?” Letterman laughed and said, “I have many things to say on this topic. And you want me to be candid, right?”
The former late-night host continued, “Oh boy… I feel personally, not politically, but personally, he is not fit to represent me. I don’t think he’s fit to represent anyone in this room.”
Malala followed that up with, “I know, a ban on Muslims! And I’m a Muslim… Some of the things have really disappointed me, things about sexual harassment and a ban on Muslims and racism. You see all these things and you feel that America, being known for human rights and a country of liberty and freedom, that country should be leading in terms of human rights.”
In 2012, at the age of 14, Malala survived a devastating attack from masked Taliban members who shot her in the head and neck because she, a female, defied a ban on attending school. Years earlier she bravely spoke about her passion for education and expressed that she wanted to become a doctor.
Malala, 20, is a student at London’s Oxford University where she is pursuing a degree in politics, philosophy, and economics.