Return to Transcripts main page
PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
General Turmoil; Inside the Petraeus Scandal; How the GOP Lost
Aired November 13, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Good evening. You're looking live at Capitol Hill, reeling from one November surprise after another, from turmoil in the highest ranks of the military to the looming fiscal cliff that threatens the American economy.
Tonight, Washington is none too happy about being left out of the loop as the FBI investigates the General Petraeus sex scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN (D), INTELLIGENCE CHAIR: It's rather shocking to find out candidly that we weren't briefed.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: It would have been nice to know before we saw it on TV.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, the president was certainly surprised when he was informed about the situation regarding General Petraeus on Thursday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Meanwhile, the top general in Afghanistan allegedly caught red-handed exchanging flirtatious e-mails of his own with Jill Kelley. The latest on that scandal that just won't quit.
Plus the debut of my new CNN colleague, the culinary superstar who will dine on just about anything, even the still beating heart of a cobra. Anthony Bourdain is here.
But we begin tonight with the Petraeus sex scandal, joining me now is Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr and intelligence correspondent Suzanne Kelly.
Welcome back to you both. Every night I say, right off the top, can any of us get our heads round this and how much more ridiculous can it get, and lo and behold, it gets more ridiculous.
Barbara Starr, let's try and get to what we believe to be the facts behind all the kind of lurid, titillating headlines. A second general today, Petraeus' successor in Afghanistan, General John Allen, he's a Marine Corps four-star general, current nominee to be the new NATO Supreme Allied commander, so a very big fish indeed in the military. He is apparently at the center of a scandal involving 30,000 documents, all pages or e-mails or whatever that he exchanged with this second woman, the other, other woman, Jill Kelley. What do we know about the content of this? Because it's not as simple as simply 30,000 e-mails, right?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the real question. What's really involved here. The spin machine is in full cycle on this one. The Pentagon says it's about 30,000 pages of documents. They may not all be e-mails, but a good portion of them are e-mails between Allen and Jill Kelley.
Pentagon official telling reporters today in his words, they may have been inappropriately flirtatious. What does that mean? Well, the word on the street is that he might have written some of these e- mails and maybe in some cases called her sweetheart. Nothing more meant by it, we're told, than he's a Virginia gentleman but, and, it's a big but, on the other hand, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered up a full-blown inspector general investigation, knowing he would set off a new firestorm across Washington and Leon Panetta doesn't do that lightly.
People on the other side tell us Panetta would not have done it if there wasn't something to all this.
MORGAN: Right. The woman at the center of all this, this woman, Jill Kelley -- let's turn to you, Suzanne, on this. I want to play a tape. It's a 911 tape of Jill Kelley calling the Tampa police near her home to complain about people who were around the house, citing her status as apparently an honorary consul. Let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JILL KELLEY, FLORIDA SOCIAL LIAISON: You know, I don't know if by any chance -- because I'm an honorary consul general so I have inviolability so I shouldn't -- they should not be able to cross my property. I don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well, but now, because that's against the law to cross my property because this is not, like, you know, it's inviolable.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: All right. No problem. I will let the officers know.
KELLEY: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now, Suzanne, she seems to be laboring under some massive misapprehensions here. She's not entitled to any diplomatic immunity like this, right?
SUZANNE KELLY, CNN INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: No, she's not. I mean as an honorary, she's really not entitled to any of that. And -- but you know, I think we're such like -- we're looking for information into who she is and what we know about her and all of this, so this is really the first time we've heard from her in her voice and you can read into it what you want to. But no, she's not entitled to any of that.
MORGAN: I mean I'm getting the feeling watching her over the last two days, we've had the yellow dress, the pink dress, she's dressed to the nines, fully made up, looking very -- and I hate to say this, but looking like she's rather enjoying all the attention that she's receiving. We now believe, you know, if you believe what the people close to General Allen were saying, that she had contacts with all sorts of high ranking military officials.
But at the end of the day, Barbara, does this really matter? Does it have any real consequence? At the end of this, do we just have two women perhaps fighting for the attention of General Petraeus, one of whom he was having an affair with, one of whom he wasn't, and that this has somehow spiraled into this vast scandal when actually it never really needed to?
STARR: You know, other than they have great fashion accessories, you know, I think that there actually is something very important here and we started talking about it last Friday night, didn't we? It's the question of the judgment of the generals involved. What on earth were they doing surrounding themselves with these kinds of people who warned them, was this really a good idea? That's the fundamental question here. We pay these men a lot of money. What were they really doing?
MORGAN: And, Suzanne, we've just heard -- hearing tonight that the president will be giving a press conference tomorrow at 1:30 Eastern Time, which will be the first time he'd be, I guess, addressing this pretty contentious issue.
Can we expect any fireworks from that?
KELLY: I think you can expect fallout any time the president says anything, anything in Washington lately. I mean I think really, too, the focus tomorrow is going to be on the FBI and the FBI's deputy director, Sean Joyce, is going to have some hearings.
As you heard right at the top of the show, Piers, members of Congress are very upset that they weren't notified about this. Was there a national security risk, if there was, they should have been notified. If there wasn't a national security risk, why did the FBI go to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, on the night of the election.
So maybe the president will put some of those things to rest tomorrow. But the FBI really hasn't come out and said much at all so a lot of the information that's been out -- coming out about this case has been through leaks and anonymous sources.
MORGAN: Right. I think the reason the FBI is not saying anything is, you know, this is going to be deeply embarrassing when we get to the bottom of it.
Anyway, thank you both very much, Barbara Starr, Suzanne Kelly.
Now I want to turn to a member of General Petraeus' inner circle, his former spokesman, Colonel Steve Boylan.
Colonel, thank you for joining me. When did you last speak to David Petraeus?
COL. STEVE BOYLAN, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I spoke with him last night and we exchanged some correspondence this morning.
MORGAN: How would you describe his state of mind?
BOYLAN: Well, I think his state of mind is fine. I would suggest, though, that he is very well aware of everything that's going on, how much hurt he has caused his family, the implications of him resigning and the poor judgment and decisions that he made that led to this.
MORGAN: Colonel, would you say that there's any part of General Petraeus' state of mind that regrets resigning? And the reason I asked that is that he was interviewed by the FBI three, four weeks ago and clearly didn't resign as a result of that interview, which must have been the moment he realized this was all potentially going to come out. And there is a suggestion in some reports that he believed for awhile he may be able to hang on to his job.
BOYLAN: Well, I think he definitely regrets the reasoning behind why he had to resign. You have to understand the internal makeup of David Petraeus, 37 plus years in uniform, the morals, the characters, the ethics that go along with being in the uniformed service, this violated one of those tenets that he grew up with and served to his entire adult life up to this point.
He definitely regrets putting his family through the issues that they've had and I think he had to take and think through all the various implications of those decisions that he had made and came to the final conclusion that he had to resign.
MORGAN: Is he hopeful that he can save his marriage? Because I know that's been a priority. I've read and heard that over the last few days.
BOYLAN: Yes. That is definitely -- his family is number one priority. He hurt -- he knows that he hurt them badly. And this is going to be a lot of hard work for them. They're going to be taking one step at a time. You can expect that there'll be scar tissue over this. But you have to understand also the Petraeus family is a very strong family.
Knowing them as I do, I foresee and would fully expect that they will make their way through this. The question really for them is what steps need to be taken and how long it will take.
MORGAN: From everything that you've seen, from everything the general has seen, is there anything that he believes goes further than the fact that he was simply having an affair? Was there anything that goes into the territory of a potential security risk or anything of that nature? BOYLAN: No. I don't think so. Based on my conversations with him. He made it very clear to me that this didn't involve anything else other than a poor decision and bad judgment. In fact, the first discussion I had with him, his words to me were I screwed up, and I think everyone will agree that that was a mistake.
He is a person who cares deeply about national security, the implications about classified information. He would not inadvertently or even consciously share those with anyone that shouldn't have it or that wasn't cleared for it.
I've worked with him in that environment to know that he does not think of those things lightly and I can be very -- let me make it very clear that based on, again, my discussions with him, he has not provided Paula Broadwell or anyone with information, classified information that they shouldn't have.
MORGAN: Has he had any conversation or contact with Paula Broadwell in the last few days?
BOYLAN: Last few days, I'm not aware of any. She -- up until everything that came out with the news, I'm sure she was still working on her dissertation. There was some potential contact back and forth over a little bit of time about that. You have to imagine somebody who is doing their dissertation is not going to just give up that entire body of work and research very easily.
MORGAN: And what about Jill Kelley? How would you describe David Petraeus' relationship with her?
BOYLAN: Well, I think very simply as close personal friends of not only David Petraeus but of his wife, Holly, as well. They met the Kelleys not too long after they arrived at Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base, home of U.S. Central Command, where he became the commander October 31st, 2008.
My understanding is that the Kelleys hosted a dinner not too long after they arrived and took command to start introducing him to the community, those that might be more notable, and she was very active in the military support, fundraisers for different causes, worked with Holly many times in these types of projects. They have been to each other's homes. They did things as couples.
MORGAN: We have a question that's causing some sort of raised eyebrows is the fact that the White House appeared to have had no information about this. It just seemed to stretch credulity that the director of the CIA could be interviewed by the FBI over a scandal that could potentially cost him his job, and at no stage has anybody from the CIA or FBI or David Petraeus made any contact with anyone at the White House to alert them to this.
BOYLAN: Piers, you're going to have to talk to folks back in D.C. on their process and what rules, regulations are concerned about that. We have not discussed that part of events.
MORGAN: The Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein, said today she's hoping to have the general testify as early as Friday into the Benghazi hearings. Is he prepared to testify if he's called?
BOYLAN: Well, that will be a discussion between him, Congress and the CIA, I would imagine. He has already been out of the office so to speak for awhile now so his information may become dated fairly quickly unless you stay in tune and up on all the information. But again, that's going to end up being a discussion between him, Congress and the CIA.
MORGAN: I mean, from your discussions with him, does he believe that he personally did anything wrong in relation to what happened in Benghazi?
BOYLAN: We haven't gone into any of those types of discussions. I just know that the timing of his resignation, the offer of resignation to the president had nothing to do with anything other than his decision on going ahead and moving forward with this.
MORGAN: Colonel Boylan, I really appreciate you joining me tonight. I appreciate that he's a very close personal friend of yours and this must be a tough time for you. And I appreciate you being so candid.
BOYLAN: Thank you.
MORGAN: This is of course a scandal that's got everyone talking. Coming up, my political odd couple, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona and opinionated magic man, Penn Jillette.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Obviously, there's going to be examination of the conduct but my focus is on four dead Americans, all of them brave, unnecessarily, and what is clearly all the earmarks of a cover-up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Senator John McCain taking on the White House over the Benghazi attack. A lot of the questions are for General Petraeus, at the center of a growing scandal.
Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, who's a former Defense intelligence agency officer, once served in the CIA. Also the always opinionated Penn Jillette, author of "Every Day is Atheist Holiday."
God bless you.
Thank you so much, Piers.
MORGAN: Welcome to you, to come back.
And let me start with you, if I may, Lieutenant Colonel Francona. It is bordering on the absurd, this story. At the same time, there are very serious potential ramifications. We've already seen the loss of General Petraeus as director of the CIA. One of the -- to many people's minds, a great -- one of the great military figures of his generation. He's gone. You have another general, you know, supposed to take over the ultimate NATO Supreme Command position who is now embroiled in the same scandal as well and that may or may not end in a certain way.
What do you make of it? And where do you see this going?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.): Well, it's surprising that you have two four-star generals basically being removed from the scene this close together, and they both came from the same command. You'll remember that General Allen was General Petraeus' deputy when they were at Central Command headquarters.
And you have to wonder, you know, what's going on in Tampa? What is that microcosm of, you know, military activity down there doing? You know, Tampa is an interesting place because it's the headquarters of the Special Operations Command and the Central Command, but none of them conduct operations in the area, so it's kind of their isolated headquarters from their operations area. So it must do something to them down there. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the son.
MORGAN: Penn Jillette, Penn Jillette, understandably, yes.
FRANCONA: They seem to lose contact. Yes.
MORGAN: Right. Let me turn to Penn. I mean you've caught up on all this, I know. It is on one level quite laughable. On another level, it's not really, it's dragging down the reputation of the CIA, of the military, the FBI, all of them.
PENN JILLETTE, AUTHOR, "EVERY DAY IS AN ATHEIST HOLIDAY": What I'm wondering -- what I'm wondering with all of this, is this all just technology? Is this all stuff that has been happening for thousands of years and it's just because we have e-mail records.
MORGAN: I think it is.
JILLETTE: I mean, maybe this is not amazing at all. Maybe it's just the electronic paper trail.
MORGAN: Should we still be forcing out top leaders like David Petraeus for sexual shenanigans?
JILLETTE: We can just decide not to. I mean that's the thing that's so odd about this. All the blackmail issue, you know, he could be blackmailed by this, if we just said we won't punish people for this, all the blackmail threats go away. I just think that human beings really like sex.
I think that's all that's really showing.
MORGAN: Rick Francona, would you go along with that?
FRANCONA: Well, and -- well, and -- well, you know, our European counterparts laugh at us when they see that we do this to ourselves. They say well, you're removing a four-star general because he had an affair. And we say yes and they say why. As long as it doesn't --
MORGAN: I mean in France it would be almost compulsory.
FRANCONA: -- counterintelligence people.
JILLETTE: And a lot of Americans laugh, too. It's not just -- not just Europeans. A lot of Americans just go, we just need a few more Americans to say it's not a big deal.
MORGAN: I mean, Lt. Col. Francona, there is another argument here which is that we're all talking about the sex lives of these generals and so on. When actually, America's heading towards this gigantic fiscal cliff, to try and save an already precarious economy.
You know, is it time that we all grew up a little bit and said OK, what's done is done, now let's get back to real issues. I get tweets and if you're watching tonight, you want to tweet me, live @piersmorgan, let me know what you think about this issue.
Should we be talking about the fiscal cliff tonight, not the sex lives of our generals?
What do you think, Rick?
FRANCONA: I think we should be talking about a lot of other issues. As I said, you know, before, let's get the sex out of this. Let's talk about what happened in Libya. Let's talk about the FBI investigating General Petraeus, I don't really see why they even opened the case, although it turns out there was something there. Now we're investigating General Allen, he's about to be caught up in this, and I understand maybe we shouldn't be so critical of these general officers but until we change our rules, the military's not going to have much choice.
According to the UCMJ, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military legal system, adultery is punishable under that -- under the military standard.
FRANCONA: So the military is going to have no choice but to remove him.
JILLETTE: Right. You're not allowed to just -- you're not allowed to just say that these -- some rules don't matter and --
MORGAN: No. And the reason -- the reason they say it matters in the military is that it's the chain of command and discipline and all --
MORGAN: And trust the rest of it.
JILLETTE: Another reminder to stay out of the military.
MORGAN: They do a great job. But Penn, let me --
FRANCONA: Let me say -- let me --
Yes, let me add one thing there. If we look at the Petraeus- Broadwell affair, there's another issue there that people don't seem to remember. She is a reserve military officer, so you've not only got the affair but you've got this fraternization issues. So Petraeus really stepped on it more than once.
MORGAN: Yes, OK, good point.
Hey, let's just turn, Penn, to your book. Because many people turn to the power of prayer and their faith, turns on in crisis. You certainly would not be doing that.
MORGAN: "Every Day is an Atheist Holiday." Tell me about the book.
JILLETTE: I just wanted to -- you know, part of it started when I was on your show for the first time and you talked about the fear of death. you know? And said, and not being around in the future, and I thought about -- you know, the fact that we weren't around in 1909. We weren't around in the past, either. And that didn't seem so frightening. And I thought a lot about my mom and -- who's an atheist, who finally came out of the closet as an atheist when she was about 80.
And I just wanted to go through kind of the joy you feel day to day. It kind of seems to be the same message that artists say all the time which is kind of enjoy every day, not just wait for special holidays.
MORGAN: Well, I was -- I enjoy every day. And I'm sure the colonel does, too. Thank you both for joining me. And good luck with the book. It's a cracking read. You give me a good kicking in it but I probably deserve it.
And coming next, rising Republican star Governor Bob McDonnell on the Petraeus scandal, the Benghazi questions and the future of the GOP.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The polling we had, the numbers we were looking at, looked like we stood a pretty good chance of winning. And so when the numbers came in, you know, going in the other direction, when we saw the kind of turnout that was occurring in urban areas, which were really fairly unprecedented, it did come as a bit of a shock. So those are -- those are the tough kind of losses to have, the ones that catch you by surprise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Paul Ryan on why he and Mitt Romney lost to President Obama last Tuesday. A big defeat for the GOP. How can the party get back on track? With me now is Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, he's chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Governor, welcome to you.
GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: Hi, Piers. Thanks for having me on.
MORGAN: Paul Ryan looked a bit shell-shocked, you know? All the polling looked good and then wow, all these people came out for President Obama. Was it really that big a surprise? Every poll I was looking in the last few weeks had Obama ahead by two or three points.
MCDONNELL: Piers, we were very optimistic heading into that -- heading into that final week or two. I thought Mitt Romney after that first debate had really convinced the American people that he was the right leader, they had the right ideas to build up the middle class, to get us out of debt and back to work, and I thought the prevailing wisdom, honestly, was if we were closer, within a point going into Election Day which many of the polls had, particularly in Virginia, that the momentum on our side and the enthusiasm would carry the day. Wasn't so.
Democrats did a great job on voter turnout and their closing argument turned those undecided voters towards the president, not away from him. So I congratulate the president on his win.
MORGAN: But Paul Ryan refers to the urban vote coming out. What exactly do you think he meant by that?
MCDONNELL: The Democrats' base I think has largely been in some of the big population centers in the cities. That's certainly been the case in Virginia, and it's evidence of a very good ground game, organizing and bringing people to the polls in bigger numbers. So we had the same turnout in Virginia in '12 that we had in '08 which was about 76 percent.
We didn't think it would be that big. So again, credit to the ground game of the president, shows that we have to do a better job with technology, with turnout, with the tone of our message, and being able to convince people not just 90 days before an election, but around the year that the conservative ideas are better for them, their kids, their grandkids and the future of the country.
MORGAN: Paul Ryan also said that he didn't believe President Obama had a mandate to increase taxation which I thought was a bit ridiculous given President Obama was re-elected, he's got the perfect mandate. The American people have spoken and they've said, we're re- electing you. He can raise taxes if he wants to, can't he?
MCDONNELL: There's probably a fair argument is what really drove the president's victory. Was it, in fact, because he said that we should tax millionaires and billionaires? If that's the reason he won, I guess you would call it a mandate.
It was certainly a closer election this year than it was in 2008. But you know, close doesn't matter. The president won and their team gets to govern in the Senate and the presidency. And so I think what's important now is Republicans and Democrats in Washington do what they haven't been able to do for four years, and that is to find a way to get our country back to work and out of debt.
This is an immoral and unsustainable problem that we've got. We're 16 trillion in debt. There's some fault for the president. The Republicans now have to find a way to find that middle ground in the next 60 days or we go over a cliff and it's bad for the entire country. So there's work to do and we need to do it without capitulating on our principles.
That is cut spending, reform entitlements and then find whatever revenues make sense to grow the economy.
MORGAN: Talking of things falling off cliffs, you're down in Vegas with fellow governors Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal, but also Chris Christie who has taken some flack for so embracing the president over the hurricane that hit New Jersey. Many people saying maybe he swung voters away from Mitt Romney. Will you be chucking him over a cliff tomorrow?
MCDONNELL: Not at all. Chris is a great governor. He does what all of us did during that Superstorm Sandy, what I've done with three or four other storms and blizzards and tornadoes, is you put your people and your state first. Partisanship goes out the window when you've got a natural disaster. And you do what you do to take care of your people.
So I think there were numerous other factors that had to do with the reason that we didn't pick up seats in the Senate and the president won. And no, look, we're a united group. Piers, we got 30 Republican governors, the most in 12 years for either party;180 million people have Republican governors. We have gone from 22 to 30 Republican governors since Chris Christie and I won in 2009. At the state level, people are electing conservative, results oriented, can-do, positive, optimistic Republican governors. That's what we're doing. And that's why Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and Scott Walker will be leading the organization going forward. We're going to continue to win.
MORGAN: Finally, what do you make of what's going on with all these generals? Because there seems to be something in the air.
MCDONNELL: Well, I spent a fair amount of time in the military myself, 21 years, Piers. It's an incredibly honorable profession. General Petraeus was an unbelievably astute and competent and brave battlefield commander that had immense respect from his people. I think that's why the president put him in charge of the world's greatest intelligence agency, the CIA.
It's obviously a heartache for himself and his family. He admitted clearly that this was a failing that should not keep him in that job and so he's done what he thought was best for the country and himself and his family. So obviously it's disappointing.
But I'm more concerned really at this point about the unanswered questions in Benghazi generally. Why weren't we prepared on 9/11? Why didn't we send help when it was requested? Why are we blaming this on a video when it was a coordinated attack on 9/11 and pretty much everybody knew that. I hope Congress is interested in getting to the heart of the matter on why we're not protecting our folks overseas when we know that they're at risk.
MORGAN: Well, the hearings will start later in the week and we will get some answers hopefully. Governor, thank you very much for joining me.
MCDONNELL: OK, Piers. Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up next, a woman who has seen her fair share of fallen idols, Kitty Kelley on the Petraeus sex scandal and her new book on the Kennedy's Camelot.
Plus later, a man with great tastes, Anthony Bourdain is here to preview his brand new CNN show.
MORGAN: If there's anyone who knows about the sometimes tricky relationship between a biographer and her subject, it's surely my next guest. Kitty Kelley has written unauthorized biographies about almost everyone, from Oprah to the Bush family to Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra. So who better to talk about idols -- Kitty Kelley's latest book is "Capturing Camelot," some unseen pictures of the Kennedys.
And she joins me now. Welcome, Kitty. How are you?
KITTY KELLEY, AUTHOR, "CAPTURING CAMELOT": Thanks, Piers. MORGAN: Can't think of a better person to talk to about this Petraeus scandal. What do you make of what's happened to Petraeus? He's such a great iconic, all American hero in many ways, just brought right to his knees by this.
KELLEY: It is so sad, so sad, the end of someone's career. There's something we're missing, though. There's something missing. I don't know what it is. Is it just -- is it just jealous e-mails between two women that have set this off? That isn't usually how the FBI operates.
MORGAN: I think that's exactly what's happened. I think that's exactly what triggered this. And that's what makes it an extraordinary downfall, because really, that's what it comes down to, a couple of women swapping (inaudible) comments.
KELLEY: Well, the e-mails, as I understand, were anonymous. And they went from Broadwell to this Jill Kelley, right? And it took issue with her coziness with General Petraeus. So it does sound like two women. But we now have two generals that are involved. And you know, the military is held to a higher standard than, say, someone like Frank Sinatra.
MORGAN: Let's talk about Paula Broadwell, because she's a biographer who wrote this book about him. It was seen by many people as pretty sycophantic in the end, which is hardly surprising as they were as intimate as now seems to be the case. But what do you think of the relationship there between a writer and the subject, so close?
You never got within 100 yards of Sinatra, yet still wrote an amazing book about him. Do you think it's healthy for a biographer to be that close to their subject?
KELLEY: No. I believe firmly in writing an unauthorized biography, which is you do it without the subject's cooperation and that means you don't give up editorial control. She wrote an authorized biography. So she had to give General Petraeus complete control. I don't think it was a burden on her part or his part. But nevertheless, it doesn't make for the most honest, open kind of biography.
MORGAN: Listen, I'm a big fan of Petraeus. I think he was a brilliant general. And this is a tragedy for him. But what would have happened, for example -- with one of your subjects, JFK -- what would have happened to JFK if e-mail and text messaging had existed?
KELLEY: Yes. Although I do remember a wonderful story about JFK during the campaign when he was running for Senate in 1957. Someone brought in a picture and said, they're prepared to use this picture of you with this woman. And he looked at it and said I remember her well. So he sort of took it in stride. But he was very, very lucky. Very lucky.
MORGAN: I think a lot of those guys from that era, because I this digital trail that now comes. KELLEY: Also, the women that fell in love -- I mean, that had affairs with JFK mostly fell in love with him. And yet the affairs that he had with White House secretaries would have been considered so inappropriate for a boss.
MORGAN: Should it matter, Kitty? I mean, you have written about all these great characters, Sinatra and JFK and others. They're all flawed. But they're all, in their own way, geniuses. He was a political genius. Sinatra was a musical genius. Does it matter if they have affairs?
KELLEY: I think that's such a great question. Part of me says there really should be a divide between the public man and the private man. Notice we're talking men, not women. It's always men that do this.
On the other hand, that isn't the way of the world right now. And we do hold our politicians, especially our presidents, to a much higher standard. Americans really want to love their president.
MORGAN: Let's talk about this book quickly, "Capturing Camelot." This is a guy called Stanley Tretick (ph). He was a sort of official photographer for the Kennedys.
KELLEY: Well, he really wasn't, Piers. He was a real old time photojournalist who had immense access to the Kennedys.
MORGAN: But he wasn't official, then.
MORGAN: They just let him in.
KELLEY: They let him in. He had a symbiotic relationship with the Kennedys. He made them look good. And they gave him access.
MORGAN: They understood the power of this kind of image. Some beautiful pictures, a stunning book. Some of these pictures are really so touching, haven't been seen before of him with his little son. It's very, very moving.
But it also sends the right image of this great family man, when of course, the reality was pretty different, wasn't it? He was a family man, but he also had lots of time for other families.
KELLEY: That's very true. That is true. But he was a great father.
MORGAN: And a great president, and a brilliant communicator. That's the way it always comes back. It's like with Petraeus. Has the nation lost a brilliant general, a brilliant CIA director, over an affair? Should it matter? People take a moral view. I don't know. It's a difficult call.
Some of my favorite leaders in history, JFK, Clinton -- I'd add Petraeus -- KELLEY: How about Churchill?
MORGAN: I don't think Churchill ever had affairs. No.
KELLEY: Never did.
MORGAN: He drank a lot.
KELLEY: He drank a lot. He was no stranger to Brandy.
MORGAN: Kitty, it's been a pleasure to talk to you. It's called "Catching Camelot." It's a beautiful book. Lovely pictures. Thank you.
KELLEY: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: When we come back, the CNN debut of my newest colleague, culinary superstar Anthony Bourdain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Traveling is going to parts unknown, sharing a pipe with a shaman as the sun comes up over a 3,000-year-old ruin and only then realizing you forgot to pack your toothbrush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A sneak preview there of the new series, "Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown," which debuts in the spring here on CNN. Joining me now is the host and our newest CNN contributor, Anthony Bourdain. Welcome. Welcome to the family.
BOURDAIN: Good to be here.
MORGAN: I'm no longer the new boy. I like this.
BOURDAIN: I'm excited.
MORGAN: Why CNN?
BOURDAIN: Well, you guys called at a good time. And it was a very exciting opportunity to shoot in places that I have been wanting to shoot for a long time. This is a relationship that's going to open up the world to me and my creative partners, you know, in ways that I've long aspired to, where just for security reasons or reasons of content just couldn't have done elsewhere.
MORGAN: It's part food, which is obviously your most famous area of expertise, but also cultural travelogue, is that where you're going with this?
BOURDAIN: I think what we've found over the years shooting all over the world is that by virtue -- just by virtue of showing up with food just to see how people live and eat and drink as your only ostensible criteria, people show themselves to you, reveal themselves to you in ways that they often wouldn't to a hard news reporter, for instance.
So we've -- I've had a really unique perspectives on a lot of societies and a lot of countries and cultures that I don't think other people have been able to see largely because people let their guard down at the table. And it's just -- I found it's a good and very pleasurable way to see the world.
MORGAN: You have a link already to CNN, because Barbara Starr, who was on earlier, our Pentagon correspondent, told me this fantastic story that I didn't know about. In 2006, you were being evacuated out of Lebanon on to a Marine Corps warship in the Hezbollah/Israel war. You got on the ship and you came face-to-face with a CNN crew. And there is Barbara Starr. She asked me to pass on her very warmest regards.
BOURDAIN: Well, we had been trapped under bombardment for about a week. And finally were evacuated. And I'll never forget, standing there on the beach and having the hatch of the LCU open up. And the first person I saw was Barbara Starr and a CNN crew. I can tell you, it made an impression, clearly.
MORGAN: What do you make of this Petraeus scandal? What does it say about America now, about maybe the slightly puritanical view that people take? Is it time to have a different view? In your world of chefs crazier and madder the better, I mean, infidelities is almost de rigueur, isn't it, along with wild drinking and everything else?
BOURDAIN: I think we -- he's a military man. We hold people to impossible, ridiculous, hypocritical standards. Should this destroy a great career? Should this alone? I don't know. But as has been pointed out elsewhere, look, these are the times we live in now. We certainly knew it. It seems like it's shockingly risky behavior, one would think.
MORGAN: The places you are going to, talking of shockingly risky, you're going to some pretty rum places, get into dodgy situations. Are you comfortable about -- you have done this before, but you seem to thrive on being around danger?
BOURDAIN: I don't se myself as a daredevil. But I have -- I am intensely curious about some places that are difficult. Clearly in the past, some of the exciting and most interesting times have been challenging for one reason or another. So, yeah, I mean, one of the shows that I've been meaning to do for years and haven't been able to is to go up the Congo River and trace Conrad's trip up to the -- up all the way, as far as we can go.
It's an amazing country. But security is a concern there. Myanmar, where we're going very shortly, I imagine the security shouldn't be a problem. But it will be a politically tense situation for sure.
I don't know. I'm -- I like learning. And you are forced to learn -- it's a very steep and fast learning curve when you are dropped into a country you have never been before. And there aren't that many countries that I haven't been before. So I think we can look forward to doing some more challenging locations.
MORGAN: The love of food that you have, all things culinary, where did that come from?
BOURDAIN: My family was food centric. I grew up in the "Madmen" era. But my parents were unusually attuned to food. My father had been born in France.
But then I was a chef. I was a professional dish washer, cook, line cook and chef for almost three decades. So it's -- it was my life.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break. When we come back, I want to put this question to you, and just this question: if you just had an hour left to live, what meal would you want? Where would you have it? Can be anywhere. Can be a restaurant, can be a beach, can be any food you like?
You have three minutes to think of it.
MORGAN: Back with my guest, Anthony Bourdain. Anthony, you have been instructed to New Yorkers, telling them they shouldn't eat fish or sushi in restaurants on Sundays. Is that still the case? Have people woken up to that?
BOURDAIN: I think it's -- since I wrote that in "Kitchen Confidential," things have gotten a lot better. Better times to cook in America, for sure, and better times to eat in America. A lot of those things have changed.
MORGAN: You have eaten some disgusting things in your life. Sheep testicles, Warthog anus, the still beating heart of a cobra.
MORGAN: Which is the one you could easily or most easily stomach again?
BOURDAIN: The cobra heart. It's a very athletic, aggressive oyster. Imagine that.
Look, I try to be a good guest. I eat what's put in front of me. I'm very aware of the dynamic at the table, people -- it matters to people. They take it very personally whether you like their food or not.
MORGAN: What is the single most disgusting thing you have ever had to eat?
BOURDAIN: Actually, it's the fermented shark in Iceland, their beloved national holiday dish. That is just a -- MORGAN: You can't even find the words.
BOURDAIN: It's a WMD.
MORGAN: Right, let's get to your last meal. This is the final Anthony Bourdain meal. What would you have? Where would you have it? Who would cook it for you?
BOURDAIN: First of all, if I'm facing imminent death, I think I would want to eat alone. It would be a short -- a fast, selfish experience. And for that reason, I don't know if you've seen "Guro Dreams of Sushi""? It's a fantastic film about a truly great, super high end, very traditional sushi chef named Guro Ono (ph) in Tokyo.
I would eat very traditional, Edo style sushi from Guro Ono, at his restaurant in Tokyo, at his sushi bar. You are not allowed to wait.
MORGAN: I have been to that place.
BOURDAIN: So you know.
MORGAN: It's an unbelievable experience.
BOURDAIN: So you know. That would be -- if you shot me behind the ear right after my last bite there, I would go without complaint.
MORGAN: Who is the greatest chef in the world, in your professional career?
BOURDAIN: The greatest is a phrase I -- I don't know how to apply it. Certainly, Ferran Adria was the Jimi Hendrix of cooking, the most unconventional, creative. I think Fergus Henderson is the most influential chef in the world, a guy who, whether you have read his book or eaten at his restaurant or not, chances are chefs in your neighborhood are starting to cook like him.
MORGAN: People say, what does it take to be a really great chef? I always say, I had an amazing meal cooked by Marco Pierre White, who is a British chef and I know a good friend of yours. He got three Michelin stars. And it was that week he cooked me this seven course meal. I didn't order anything.
And every dish almost evaporated in my mouth. And I remember just thinking that is an exceptional skill, beyond most chefs, to be able to get to that level.
BOURDAIN: I think an obsessiveness, a true love and appreciation of pleasure, meaning you enjoy your own -- you like eating, commitment, and a certain willingness to -- a huge willingness to sacrifice. It's a hard thing chefs do.
MORGAN: Anthony Bourdain, it's been a pleasure to meet you. And good luck with the new show. It starts in April on CNN and CNN International, airing in nearly 200 countries and territories. So best of luck with that. It sounds a riveting show. I look forward to seeing it.
BOURDAIN: So happy to be here.
MORGAN: Anthony Bourdain, our new family member. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.