Return to Transcripts main page


Shooting at Oregon Mall; Three Amigos, McCain, Lieberman and Graham

Aired December 11, 2012 - 21:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And breaking news tonight, some new detail about a deadly shooting inside a crowded shopping mall outside of Portland, Oregon. Three people are dead including the gunman after he opened fire at the Clackamas Town Center several hours ago. No word on if the gunman was shot by police or if he took his own life. Two victims are dead. One other person was shot and is said to be in critical condition tonight. The witnesses are describing a pretty chaotic scene of people who were rushing for the doors to escape the gunfire, that it sounded, that it sounded like firecrackers.

About 100 officers and emergency vehicles are now on the scene. And police say they do believe that this gunman acted alone, but they are still searching throughout the mall saying that customers and employees may still be in there and hiding, not knowing if this incident is over yet.

Hundreds of people have already been evacuated and the sheriff held a news conference a short time ago updating the situation.


LT. JAMES RHODES, CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: I can confirm that we believe at this point that there was one and only one shooter involved and that that shooter is deceased. In addition to that, we have at least one patient who was taken -- taken from the mall with a traumatic injury and at least two that were deceased. In addition to the shooter.


BANFIELD: And we also have other breaking news tonight overseas. North Korea has carried out the launch of a long-range rocket. That comes from the South Korean government. And the Japanese government also told CNN that the rocket passed over the island of Okinawa, though no action was taken by them to shoot it down.

The news comes as a surprise because North Korea announced on Monday that it was going to extend the launch window into late December.

You can stay with CNN throughout the night for the latest on these two breaking stories. In the meantime Piers Morgan is in Washington, D.C. with a special interview. PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Welcome to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations' hearing room. This is where some of the most sensitive global issues are discussed. And tonight, it's where I'm sitting down with three legendary senators.

They've been dubbed the "Three Amigos," John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona and 2008 presidential candidate, and ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, Joe Lieberman, senior senator from Connecticut, a former Democrat who was on the 2000 ticket with Al Gore, and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and Lindsey Graham, the senior senator from South Carolina, a member of the Armed Services Appropriations and Budget Committees.

Welcome to you, three. The Three Amigos as dubbed by General Petraeus.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: You forgot to mention he ran for president also and lost. And he'll run and lose.


LIEBERMAN: This is John -- much too often when we travel has described us as the losers caucus. As a matter of fact, once we were in Pakistan, and the ambassador -- this was 2002, the ambassador was good enough to give a dinner in our honor. McCain and I led the delegation about eight other senators. And he gets up to make his toast. And you have -- I'm here, McCain, he lost for president, I lost for vice president in 2000. John says, "You have here before you the American government in exile."



LIEBERMAN: In Islamabad --

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: By the time this interview is over, you will know why they both lost.


MORGAN: Well, what is known about the three of you, you're very close friends. You sort of represent an era, perhaps, an essence of bipartisanship and genuine cross-party friendship, which many feel doesn't really exist in modern-day Washington.

How do you manage to do this and why can't more of your colleagues do this?

MCCAIN: Respect, affection, traveling together. When you travel together -- and by the way, other senators have described our travel as death marches.

(LAUGHTER) MCCAIN: We go to exotic places like Afghanistan and Baghdad and Libya and those really fun places. But I think traveling together is probably been -- for years now, we've traveled to the most interesting places, maybe not the most fun places. And so we've become friends that way. Here in the Senate; therefore, we have worked together on a lot of national security issues.

Lindsey is a reserve colonel in the Air Force. He served as active duty for years in Iraq, now in Afghanistan. Joe, being a key member of the Homeland -- the chairperson of the Homeland Security Committee, and so we have a lot of common interests, common interests, common working together, has built up a unique friendship over the years.

LIEBERMAN: Yes. I think this is -- this started -- this wasn't planned. When I came to the Senate, I admired John McCain from afar. Once I got to know him, I admired him less, but -- no, that's --



LIEBERMAN: I -- obviously we've become very close. And I have the greatest admiration for him. But I remember going to see him and saying, you know, I'd like to work together with you. I hope we can work together on something. And it turned out that the first thing we really worked together on was the war in the Balkans because we were increasingly agitated by what turned out to be genocide, really, and worked with Bob Dole and Joe Biden to push the Clinton administration to finally get it over with.

But it began a working relationship, a friendship, and really based on, I think, values that we all shared. This youngster came along in 2002, the kid. And basically we believed that America has a responsibility to be involved in the world in protection of our values and our strategic interests, all of which helps us be safer and freer here at home and it's just grown.

MORGAN: Senator Graham, what is the secret to proper bipartisanship, do you think?

GRAHAM: Well, in fairness to our colleagues, Piers, there are a lot of real close friendships around this place. There are a lot of Republicans and Democrats who get along very well and work together.

The reason you're talking about the three of us, I think, is because of 9/11. There had never been an attack on America. We've been three friends who travel and socialize. But what I think brought us together and put us on the map, after we were attacked on 9/11, everything changed in our country and throughout the world.

And as a result of 9/11 and all the national security issues that followed, our friendship became a cause. And I think it really did solidify over the Iraq War.

Bipartisanship is hyped as being willing to lose your job. And I really admire John because he suffered for our country and I hang around these guys because I feel young and smart. But the truth of the matter is, John has been a war hero in the true sense of the word. But during the Iraq War, we were one vote away from setting a deadline to withdraw. And Joe was the only Democrat who would cross over. So when you talk about bipartisanship, I think you're really trying to talk about courage.

Joe has the courage of his convictions and it drove him out of his own party. And I don't think there's much of that going on anytime in American history, particularly now. So without 9/11, without the Iraq War, without Afghanistan, without the challenges we face, I think we'd just be three friends. And I think we've become a force for the idea that America must lead. Because when we don't, other people will.

MORGAN: You had --


MCCAIN: Could I just mention one --


GRAHAM: One other thing about Joe that's interesting, that he supported me in 2008. And yet when the Democrats in majority, they still made him the chairman of one of the most important committees in the entire Senate, the Homeland Security Committee. That's the Senate. I've never see quite that level of respect.

And by the way, one of the things that I do for Lindsey is I translate a lot of his remarks into English when we are traveling.


GRAHAM: We went to South Carolina primary.


MORGAN: I mean, (INAUDIBLE) is that you are this amazing band, the Three Amigos, but the band is breaking up. You're retiring.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, this is the only thing I feel guilty about in regard to my leaving the Senate. But the time came, I've been here 24 years, and wanted to move onto something else.

We'll always be friends. We'll be amigos forever. And maybe they'll find a way to have me, you know, carry their baggage --


MORGAN: Perhaps the other guys -- I mean, it's been described to me as like ZZ Top, suddenly losing a member and in comes Katy Perry, who you've got Senator Kelly Ayotte, who's coming in, clearly a very different-looking contributory to that.

(CROSSTALK) LIEBERMAN: Very much better looking, yes.

GRAHAM: I think it's the Temptations without rhythm.


MCCAIN: Let me mention one other thing about our relationship. As you know, Joe Lieberman is an orthodox Jew. And we have had to put up with all the Shabbat stuff, all this --


All this lousy food, all the elevators, all the days off. And I want to tell you that we have gotten all the downside but none of the upside. So I'm seriously thinking about taking up his religion since I've had to eat all that salmon all these years.

LIEBERMAN: They have been very tolerant of me. And I -- but I've assured them that it could be that, you know, when they each complete their 120 years on earth and they get to heaven and at the pearly gates they find a rabbi, they're going to be in great shape.


MCCAIN: We were on an airplane flying to Europe which we do every year, and we were up in a compartment, just the two of us. And I woke up and -- it was just starting to get a little late, and I heard this -- I saw this figure with a shawl on and doing this mumbo- jumbo. I thought maybe I had died.


LIEBERMAN: So I -- then I said -- when I tell this story, I say this is the kind of man John McCain is. He thinks that heaven is populated by praying Jews.


What a guy.

MCCAIN: I have never known a person in my life that lives his religion to the degree that Joe Lieberman does. I have -- he's such a great contrast to people like me and Lindsey, because I've never seen him lose his temper. I've never seen him insult anyone. I have never seen him treat anyone but with the greatest courtesy. I cannot say that about Lindsey Graham or myself.

MORGAN: I mean, your temper is legendary, very --

MCCAIN: Very calm.

MORGAN: Very calm, levelheaded.

MCCAIN: Absolutely.

MORGAN: Have you ever known him not lose his temper? LIEBERMAN: Oh, yes.


They -- I just realized, they do really --

GRAHAM: In '73.


LIEBERMAN: They do a great service for me, because I don't have to lose my temper, because they do it for me. You know, they express it for me.

You guys are being too nice to me and I appreciate it.

MORGAN: We had a show last night. It was very American in the sense of the topics that we discussed. Bob Costas was on. And two things, obviously, were very pertinent to him. Guns and football, and particularly the relationship between the two now. Seventy percent of NFL players now carry guns and an ongoing debate.

Now I have to say, not a very loud one. I seemed to be one of the few people who even wanted to discuss this, about the proliferation of guns in America. You guys have been through decades of this kind of debate.

Where do you sit on this?

Let me start with you, Senator McCain. Guns in America. Should anything be done? Or are you comfortable with where things are?

MCCAIN: Actually, I'm comfortable. I think that the -- for example, the killing that has aroused Mr. Costas' anger was an act of hatred and brutality. And that person wanted to kill somebody, they didn't need a gun to do it. So but I just believe that it's one of our rights and I don't -- Joe.

LIEBERMAN: So I start with a belief that the Second Amendment actually does protect the right of individual Americans to own guns. But in my opinion, it's no more unlimited than the right of free speech, which has limits.

So I've supported, for instance, bans on the automatic weapons and for a while we've been trying to close what's called the gun show loophole. If you go into a store, it's pretty regulated now. To buy a gun, a regular gun shop, there's a check done on you and on a national computer files of criminal records, even if you can, mental health records are -- indications of violence.

If you go to a gun show, you don't have to do that. And that's a problem. It's even a problem related to Homeland Security because some terrorists have bought guns at those gun shows. So right of private ownership, but the government has a right to limit it.

MORGAN: Yes, but Senator Graham, here's where I come from all this.


I come from a country with strict gun control.

GRAHAM: You come from England, yes.

MORGAN: We have 35 to 40 gun murders a year. America has 11,000 to 12,000. It's the worst rate by miles of any of the advanced countries in the world. Yet nobody thinks this is a problem. Everybody thinks the right to bear arms means, as in Jovan Belcher's case, he had eight firearms.

Why do you need eight firearms to defend yourself? And secondly, why would any American, to me -- explain to me if you can. Why would any American need the right to just have an AK-47 assault rifle, for example? Why aren't there limits on the number of guns and the type of guns?

GRAHAM: Well, there are limits. Not anyone can own an automatic weapon. But the Second Amendment came about because of your country. The king wouldn't let average people --

MORGAN: You're going to blame the British?

GRAHAM: Absolutely.


GRAHAM: When in doubt, always blame the British.

MORGAN: Is this the constant threat of the British invasion -- invading again? I can probably relax you on that score.

GRAHAM: You've got remember, why did they put it in the constitution? Why did we decide as a nation early on that individuals can bear -- have the right to bear arms? Because in England, the individual person didn't have a whole lot of rights about religion, freedom of speech. And we've never had a king here. Some people would suggest that maybe that's -- maybe we should.

At the end of the day --

MORGAN: Or a queen, I hope.

GRAHAM: I own more than eight guns. Why should my constitutional rights be limited because you don't understand why I want eight guns?

MORGAN: Why do you want eight guns?

GRAHAM: Because I enjoy shooting. I hunt. It's something me and my dad did together. And in the South, it's part of growing up. Now when people abuse a weapon, I think having additional penalties for a crime committed with a gun makes perfect sense. But we are who we are as Americans. And we have our faults, but the Second Amendment is ingrained in our culture; 90 percent of the football fans at South Carolina or Clemson home games probably own a weapon.

And I just really do believe this about how you act as a person that determines your fate, not the sensibilities of someone else. Because if my individual rights under the constitution are limited by the sensibility of others, I don't have a whole lot of rights.

MORGAN: Let's take a break. Let's come back and talk about money, money, money, money, because right now, there's a paralysis in this very city about how to resolve things related to money in America. And I want you three to sort it out.


MORGAN: I'm in the hearing room of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. And back with me now, the triumvirate of John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham.

Welcome back to all three of you.

Lindsey Graham, you said this week, "You just got reelected." This is to President Obama. "How about doing something big that isn't liberal? How about doing something big that really is bipartisan? Every big idea that President Obama has is a liberal idea that drowns us in debt. How about manning up here, Mr. President, and use your mandate to bring this country to stop us from becoming Greece?"


MORGAN: Man up, Barack Obama.

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

MORGAN: Strong words.

GRAHAM: Well, he has a chance to be an historic president. What makes us Greece? It's not because the tax code is at 35 percent versus 39.6. What's going to make this country Greece like every other Western nation, we're retiring at 10,000 a day in terms of baby boomers. We have three workers for every retiree. In 20 years, we'll have two. Medicare and Social Security combined are about $40 trillion underfunded.

Here's the good news. If you did what Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan chose to do, reform entitlements, we become the most dominant place on the planet pretty quickly. So what I would plead with the president to do is use his mandate -- we'll do revenue because we should. Let's do it smartly. But what keeps us from becoming the country we all want to be and damns the future generations of America is unsustainable entitlement spending.

And these programs are worth saving. When I was 21, my mom died. When I was 22, my dad died. And if it weren't for Social Security survivor benefits, my sister had never gone to college. Social Security is going to fail.

So, Mr. President, work with the Republicans to adjust the age for retirement and means test benefits.

When I was 22, we needed the 300-something bucks that we got a month. I'm 57, I have no kids. I could easily give up $400 in retirement from Social Security to help people who can't.

MORGAN: Senator Lieberman, here's the reality, I guess, for the Republicans. And it's that President Obama has won a second term.


MORGAN: So in many ways, he won the argument. And now I'm sure he's thinking about history and legacy. And he hasn't got to worry about being reelected. That gives you a power perhaps that you don't have enough in the first term. But he's winning this argument in this sense, I think, on the fiscal cliff debate. He has managed to box the Republicans into a place you just don't want to be where it looks like you're prepared to allow the middle class of America to get tax from January onwards at a higher level to save the back sides of the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans when 70 percent of all Americans, polls say, we want the 2 percent to be paying more tax.

That argument has gone, hasn't it?

LIEBERMAN: Yes, it is. I mean, look, the president can rightly say that he made clear during the campaign for reelection that this was the beginning of how he was going to deal with our national debt problems, raise taxes on the top 2 percent. So he comes in with the mandate, and now he continues to advocate it and it gets great support from the American people.

I think it's part of a solution to our debt problem. But if you raise taxes the way the president wants, it's about -- it fills about 7 percent of the hole we've got now. If the national debt --

MORGAN: Right. Right. But here's -- but I would say back to that, it is still 7 percent. What do you also have to do is reduce the entitlements --

LIEBERMAN: Yes, this comes to a point --

MORGAN: Wait. You guys are the most experienced senators in Washington. Where is this deal, in the end, do you think, going to wash up?

LIEBERMAN: You know what, the question is whether we have the political will to put the deal together that most people on both sides, both parties will tell you is what has to happen and that is, yes, raise taxes, raise revenues. You got to do that in fairness and in political honesty and practicality.

And the second is the biggest driver of the debt is not the regular spending of our government on things like Defense and Homeland Security, education, environmental protection, it's so-called entitlements. You've got to curtail the increase in spending on things like Medicare. They're putting us in the hole. And that's the bargain. MORGAN: But what you don't want to do, though, Senator Graham, you don't want to make it punitive for people to make charitable donations, for example. To me, that's another lose argument for the Republicans.

GRAHAM: Yes, that's actually --

MORGAN: You've got to be very careful where you encourage the cutting of entitlements, right?

GRAHAM: Well, yes. One thing I don't think I should ask a Democrat to do is turn Medicare into a voucher program. You know, the Paul Ryan budget had a premium support system, which I think make sense, but a lot of people on the left are not going to go there.

But I think we could adjust the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67 over the next 30 years. You could ask all three of us to pay the full cost of part D premiums. And when it comes to prescription drugs --


GRAHAM: The prescription drug benefit, make us pay the full costs. We can afford it. But here's what I would say. How this movie ends, and that's your question.


GRAHAM: We will wind up losing on the -- probably the rate issue by then end of the year to some extent. I think capping deductions is a better way to generate revenue. But there'll come a time in February and March where we have to raise the debt ceiling. And when you're $16 trillion in debt, somebody in this place needs to say -- needs to say stop borrowing until you address why we're in debt.

I will not raise the debt ceiling ever again until we get significant entitlement reforms because if we don't reform entitlements, we're going to become Greece. So this fight goes from the end of the year to raising the debt ceiling in February and March. And that's a chance for the president to lead this nation, to get Republicans and Democrats in a room, and do something I've wanted to do for 20 years -- save Social Security and Medicare from bankruptcy and the country from becoming Greece. But if he doesn't lead, there's going to be one hell of a fight over raising the debt ceiling.

MORGAN: John McCain, in the end, the Republicans, whatever is being said right now, are going to have to acquiesce to him on that point. For him to want to acquiesce to what the Republicans want on entitlements.

MCCAIN: I think that's very possible that that could be the outcome. And I agree with you. He won the election. And he has the upper hand. And he has the upper hand in public opinion polls right now as you mentioned. But at the same time, it seems to me the way you do these things that I've seen in the past is call people over and sit down and start having conversations. MORGAN: But why isn't that happening?

MCCAIN: Don't go out -- don't go out and continue the campaign that is over.

MORGAN: Right. But I think the blame is on both sides.


MORGAN: There seems to be a strangely -- strange disconnect between Speaker Boehner, for example, and the president. When you compare it to Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan, or even Newt Gingrich in the second term of Bill Clinton.


MORGAN: The both of them told me, Clinton and Gingrich, they would get in a room, throw out all the advisers.

MCCAIN: Exactly.

MORGAN: Rush out a deal. I see no sense of that relationship at the moment.

LIEBERMAN: Maybe they began that on Sunday. I mean, I have the feeling that if you really left it to the president and the speaker, Obama and Boehner, they could work it out. Now they got -- they got forces behind both of them that will try to separate them. But that's where their leadership comes into play.

This country -- I'd rather be an American economically poised for the future than a citizen of any other country in the world. What's standing in the way of us really surging economically is the government. And if we can get together and adopt a bipartisan long- term debt reduction plan, I think our economy is going to take off.

MORGAN: Well said. Well said. We're going to leave it there, because I want to get into foreign policy now. You are the Three Amigos, the experts in this genre. I want to talk about the Middle East exploding, as you've hinted at, and also about Benghazi and Susan Rice, which I know is a favorite subject of yours, Senator.

LIEBERMAN: So good of you.



BANFIELD: Breaking news. I'm Ashley Banfield. Piers Morgan will return in a moment. But we're awaiting a live news conference out of Portland, Oregon. The scene there was a number of ambulances clearing the way after a shooter was apparently shot dead inside the Clackamas Town Center. Sadly not before two other victims were shot dead and one other victim was shot and is in critical condition, we're told, tonight in a hospital. This was a busy holiday shopping season. And this mall was crowded with people. Parents, children, the Santa Claus workshop where children were lined up as well for their photographs, this all apparently transpired in a food court, although witnesses say they saw this gunman, not only wearing a hockey mask but also a flat vest and camouflage running from the parking lot into the mall and throughout this mall, until apparently the shooting began, sounding like automatic gunfire to some, like balloons popping and firecrackers to others.

David Moran is an employee in the mall who joins me live by telephone. David, can you hear me in.


BANFIELD: I know that you were arriving at work when much of this transpired. But can you tell me what you saw?

MORAN: OK. So when I got to work, it wasn't about seeing anything. Where we're located is right below where it happened. We heard one gunshot. From what we thought it sounded like something fell. Then it was a matter of two or three seconds, then just rapid gunfire. Then from there, we all took off running the opposite direction from where we heard it.

BANFIELD: David, some of the pictures that we've been seeing coming in from the local affiliates, in particular KOIN, showed a number of people with their hands up. It looked as though they were being escorted by some of the 100 responding officers. Did you see people being escorted out of the mall with their hands in the air?

MORAN: I didn't see anybody with their hands up. From when I ran out, I went through the other Macy's store, the home department. We were stuck in the back hallways. We didn't know where to go. So from when I got out, I didn't see anybody with their hands up or anything. They were just escorting people out. This as like right after it happened.

BANFIELD: Also I'm not sure in relation to where you were in the mall, where the Santa's Village is. But there was another witness who reported at the sound of gunfire, the Santa was surrounded by children and fell to his knees and that they were very concerned. Ultimately the Santa -- person who was acting as Santa for the Santa's Village is OK. But did you se any of that? Were you close enough to witness any of that?

MORAN: I did see the Santa stuff. When I ran, I ran right next to it. The other Macy's store is right outside of there. And from when I ran, there was children running and their parents were carrying them. And like I said, we were in the back hallways and there were stairs. We didn't want to go upstairs because we were scared, because we thought maybe it happened upstairs .

So I went upstairs and I tried to find the way out. And I found a way outside. And then we yelled at everybody else to come on and hurry up and get out. They were carrying their kids running out. BANFIELD: I can only imagine what these parents must have been going through not withstanding the children themselves. What was that scene like?

MORAN: It was horrifying. I thought I was going to die. I think a lot of people did. The gunshots were so loud. It was very scary. Kids were crying. Yeah, you say parents were crying, too. Everybody was asking each other, why is this going on? Why is this going on?

BANFIELD: David, there was also another witness that said that people were locked inside the mall, that they were told to stay where they were, but you were able to get out?

MORAN: Exactly. The person I work with, she was locked in the mall. She made it to a body piercing place and they locked everybody in the back of the mall, in the back hallways and the back of the stores.

BANFIELD: David, I want to interrupt you for only a moment, because the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is giving updates and they have a live news conference that's scheduled to get under way in just a few seconds. We've been listening to Sergeant James Rhodes with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department, who has been updating us throughout the evening.

He's now I think prepared to give us a new update. Let's listen.

LT. JAMES RHODES, CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Lieutenant James Rhodes, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. I want to give you a brief statement and then introduce you to Sergeant Adam Phillips with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. Then we can take some questions at the end.

Just an update, we are almost finished searching the entire mall and locating everybody and releasing them from the mall. The numbers are still the same. We know there to be the shooter's deceased, two dead and one transported to trauma. Additionally, I can confirm that the shooter is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

By all accounts, there's no rounds fired by law enforcement in the mall today.


RHODES: No rounds fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll take all questions at the end.

RHODES: No rounds fired by law enforcement today in the mall. Again, we are wrapping up our search of the mall and releasing everybody at the scene. We have a lot of work to do as far as gathering witness statements and stuff before everybody is released from the scene. So I'm asking for family and friends to please still be a little patient before we get everybody released from the mall. And still, If you have questions, contact the sheriff's office. I'd like to introduce Sergeant Adam Phillips, the PIO for the Sheriff's Office.

ADAM PHILLIPS, CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: I've been in contact with the mall management. They have said that they are going to be posting information for businesses, employees and customers who were affected by this incident on their webpage. You can find it on the Internet. The mall is going to remain closed for the rest of this evening. And as long as the police investigation goes on, it will remain closed as well. We do not have a timeline for that.

People who have stuff left inside the mall, check the Clackamas Town Center webpage for more on information on how to get it back. Your property is secure tonight. The process will be developed on how to get that back to you.

Family members, once again, if you are still looking for somebody, be patient. With the two people deceased right now, their family members are being contacted currently. If you haven't been contacted soon, chances are your family member is not one of those people deceased tonight. The next press conference that we have and all future releases of information, any interviews, are going to be done at the Brooks Building, Clackamas County Sheriff's Offices.

That address is 9101 Southeast Sunnybrook Boulevard. We have a joint information center there that the media will be able to broadcast from. And, once again, all further information releases and interviews will be done there. At 8:00, Sheriff Roberts is going to be there for a live press conference.

And now open it up to questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's random?

PHILLIPS: Any information about the actual investigation is not going to be appropriate to release right now. I wish I could answer those questions, but it just wouldn't be appropriate right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk about ho the mall dealt with this. Did they do everything they were supposed to in situations like this?

PHILLIPS: I don't -- I was not here. I don't know what they did. I know that we got many calls from 911. The Clackamas Town Center security guards and employees all did the appropriate things. I heard many people locked in place, many people ran. Those are the two most appropriate things to do in these circumstances.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you us more about the two victims?

PHILLIPS: I don't have any identifying information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's word that the gun jammed. Can you confirm that?

PHILLIPS: I don't have any information about the investigation at this is point that I can share. That goes right to the same thing. I can't give that information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Number of people injured.

PHILLIPS: That number stayed the same as Lieutenant Rhodes mentioned. There was one person transported with an injury.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a critical injury. Any minor injure?

PHILLIPS: I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you folks in contact with mall security watching it unfold on video camera?

PHILLIPS: I do not have that information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people are still in there?

PHILLIPS: There's still police officers inside the mall. We're being assisted by Oregon State Police, Portland Police, Milwaukee, Gladstone, Oregon City. Federal law enforcement agents are also here assisting us. There are still many people inside the mall.

As far as customers go, my understanding is that that number is dwindling consistently. Part of the thorough search means going into every room that we can get into to confirm that nobody is inside of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has the gunman's family been contacted? And do you expect his name to be released at 8:00?

PHILLIPS: I doubt that it will be released at 8:00. At some point that information will be available. I don't know about 8:00.

I do not know it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can you tell us about him?

PHILLIPS: It was an adult male.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he 20S, 30s, 40s?

PHILLIPS: That's the extent of the information I've been given.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he wearing a mask?

PHILLIPS: I don't have that information for you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he coming to the same location you just said, 8:00.


PHILLIPS: If you're a witness to the incident, come to the Max Light Rail Platform at the Clackamas Town Center. There are detectives standing by there, ready to interview you, to take your information down. If for some reason, you can't come there in person, call our non-emergency dispatch line, 503-655-8211.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lieutenant Rhodes said shots were fired inside the mall. Were any shots fired outside the mall?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots were fired by law enforcement?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the shooter shoot anybody outside the mall?

PHILLIPS: I don't have any information about the shooter to share with anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has law enforcement identified the shooter?

PHILLIPS: I do not know. 8:00, 9101 Southeast Sunnybrook; media who are not familiar with it, once we go off air, I'll show you more information about how to get in there. Thank you.

BANFIELD: So you're seeing the officials from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department giving the final update until additional investigative information becomes available. And the headline here is that the shooter in this mall shooting was found dead from self- inflicted gunshot wound and not as a result of any shots being fired by police.

Apparently according to sergeant Adam Phillips, not one shot was fired by law enforcement officials tonight. But clearly that mall is still closed. And as the officers told us, it will remain closed for the duration of this investigation. In fact, they are asking people who may have witnessed this to come forward to them. Not only that, there is also a report that mall security was able to witness some of this on video.

So clearly those videotapes will be critical to this investigation as well.

We're watching this carefully and we'll have more information throughout the evening on CNN. In the meantime, though, CNN's Piers Morgan continues.


MORGAN: I'm here in Washington and back with three of the great legendary senators, John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham.

MCCAIN: Legendary means old.


MORGAN: Yes, it does.


MORGAN: I stand by my comment, Senators. Just on same-sex marriage, America has moved incredibly fast in the time that all three of you have been in the Senate, even. You're now seeing same-sex marriage being legalized in many states --

Do you think that younger people don't care nearly as much about it as their parents and grandparents?

GRAHAM: I think part of it's generational. I think part of it's the media. I mean you're -- you're casting movies and TV shows where people are -- same-sex couples are -- are funny, charming and kind.

The point is that you can be funny, charming and kind and be in love with someone of the same sex.

What's the role of the law here?

We're not talking about an academic discussion.

When is it proper for the government to set boundaries in terms of relationships?

It's clearly proper to say you can't kill someone. And I have no problem with people passing on their property to someone they love. I have no problem with people having the ability to -- to engage in a free and open life.

A lot of this is religious. In my state, we're not going to change the traditional definition of marriage. And I would support the traditional definition of marriage, not out of a hate, but if I believed it, I think that's just best for society.

At the end of the day, states will come out differently on this issue. And I think that's the way it should be. I think each state --

MORGAN: But can America really stand for freedom and genuine equality if half the states continue to view the rights of a homosexual couple to get married in a completely different way to the way they view the rights --

GRAHAM: Can --

MORGAN: -- of a --

GRAHAM: -- can --

MORGAN: -- heterosexual couple?

GRAHAM: -- can people in a republic, can people in South Carolina and New York differ?

I hope so.

But can we do it in a way that --

MORGAN: But can they both be equal? GRAHAM: Well, here's what --

MORGAN: Can they both espouse equality if, actually, in one state --

GRAHAM: Well --

MORGAN: -- you can't get married --


MORGAN: -- and in another you can.

LIEBERMAN: Can I answer this?

GRAHAM: Yes. They will.

LIEBERMAN: -- at the time, really, that's the basic question. Uh, two.

One is, is it unconstitutional to prohibit same-sex marriage?

MORGAN: And yes -- what do you think, yes or no?

LIEBERMAN: What do I think they're going to decide?

MORGAN: What do you think they should decide?

LIEBERMAN: I -- I think that marriage ought to be decided by the states. So that would mean that some states would have the right to prohibit same-sex marriage. Although I must tell you --

MCCAIN: That's the principle of the conservative federalist belief.

MORGAN: But it seems so un-American to me.


MORGAN: -- here's a country -- I'm sorry, but here's a country --


MORGAN: -- that stands on the grounds of freedom, democracy and equality. And here you are all telling me that's fine, as long as you're in the right state.


MORGAN: I don't get that.


GRAHAM: I've been waiting to ask you this question.

MORGAN: Go on.

GRAHAM: If it's based on love, can three people love each other?

MORGAN: Can three people love each other?

Why would you need three people?

GRAHAM: Well, is it possible for three people to genuinely love each other and want to share their lives together?

MORGAN: Of course it is.

GRAHAM: OK, then, is it OK to have three people marry each other?

MORGAN: Uh, I would say not. I don't think that's the debate. I don't think we're asking --


MORGAN: But I've not heard anybody arguing for the right --


MORGAN: -- for three people --


MORGAN: -- no, but that's -- but that's a facile point.


MORGAN: Because the point is simply a homosexual couple's right to get married in the same way as the heterosexual couple in America.

Now what -- all three -- unless I'm wrong, what you're all three saying is yes, if you're in the right geographic part of the country --


MORGAN: -- and to me, that isn't equality.

MCCAIN: The Constitution of the United States says all rights are reserved for the states --

LIEBERMAN: And the --

MCCAIN: -- except for those given to the government.

MORGAN: But there are many federal laws.

LIEBERMAN: No, there are.

MCCAIN: There are.


MORGAN: And the argument now, at the Supreme Court --

MCCAIN: There are --

MORGAN: -- will be should it be a federal issue.


MORGAN: And I don't see how you can be a free and equal America unless this is a federal decision that says --

MCCAIN: Can you respect the religious --

MORGAN: -- all rights are equal.

MCCAIN: Do you respect the religious belief of people who believe --

MORGAN: Would you still --


MCCAIN: Do you believe -- do you respect those religious beliefs?

And if they reflect those religious beliefs in the laws that are passed by their states --

MORGAN: I do respect religious beliefs --

MCCAIN: -- if that's -- that's -- that's the will of the people --

MORGAN: But there are many people --

MCCAIN: -- then --

MORGAN: -- of different religions in many different states, as you know.

MCCAIN: There certainly are.

MORGAN: Would you respect the original rights of the founding fathers to allow slavery?



MORGAN: Would you allow slavery in some states but not others?

LIEBERMAN: You know what we're dealing with --

MORGAN: No, you wouldn't.

LIEBERMAN: -- here?

There's been a legal tradition in our country, and it runs straight into what you're asking, which is that the states are the place where domestic law or family law is determined, state by state. The Supreme Court may say that's no longer valid.

Incidentally, I -- I'd just say this to you: Connecticut -- same- sex marriage is legal in Connecticut. Somebody asked me recently, um, how -- how has it -- how has it changed things?

And you know, I thought about it and to the best of my knowledge, it hasn't changed things at all. Things -- the -- it hasn't really changed anybody's life except people who are gay or lesbian and want to --

MORGAN: All it's done is make certain people's lives happier --


MORGAN: -- and better.

GRAHAM: Can -- can I suggest this?

Slavery was outlawed by a Constitutional amendment. Go watch "Lincoln," a great movie.


GRAHAM: The people decided. The question for us is who should decide these things?

Should it be a handful of judges or should it be the people themselves?

And I come out on the side of the people themselves. Different people will look at it differently.

But slavery was outlawed by a Constitutional amendment. If you want to propose a Constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage and it passes, that's the law of the land.

MORGAN: Well, here's my bet. My bet is that in 25 years, it will have happened.

MORGAN: And very quickly on pot, are you in favor of legalizing pot?

LIEBERMAN: What the experts tell me, at least the ones I've talked to, it's really a gateway drug that may lead to more drug addiction.

MORGAN: Senator Graham, I'm going to ask one of you --


MORGAN: -- have you ever inhaled? GRAHAM: No. No, I --


MORGAN: Do you ever wish you had --

GRAHAM: -- but I don't --

MORGAN: -- just to find out?

GRAHAM: -- I don't -- I don't pretend to be normal. I'm -- I'm not saying --

MORGAN: Really?



GRAHAM: I mean --


MORGAN: How abnormal are you?

GRAHAM: At the end of the day, I -- I -- I want to be me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty abnormal.


GRAHAM: Yes, right. Within the confines of the law. The -- the -- gun control is a federal thing. It's called the Second Amendment. You know, we're not known as constitutional scholars for a reason. But I'll take a shot at the pot question.

I think the federal government has preempted the states in this area. I think to create order and not chaos, you have to have, sometimes, a national regime to make sure that you have commerce and people can live without fear and reprisal. And sometimes, in a constitutional democracy, you let people go their own way.

It's called democracy. The thing I love the most about America is that so far, after 200 and something years, you can disagree on all this stuff and be friends. And you'll have the chance to vote for people whether you like them or not, on one issue or a bunch of issues.

MORGAN: OK. Let's take a final break.

We'll be right back with more from the Three Amigos.


MORGAN: We're back with the Three Amigos. And a final question for you gentlemen, and quickly, if you don't mind it, it's Christmas coming. What would you most like, politically, as a gift?

MCCAIN: Obviously, I think all of us, and all Americans, a resolution of this issue of the fiscal cliff so that people can live next year with a sense of predictability, with a sense that they are going to have a growing economy, and, frankly, peace in the world.

MORGAN: And a place on this committee?

MCCAIN: Oh, I -- I think it would be fun to do.

MORGAN: I'll take that as a yes.

MCCAIN: There you go.

MORGAN: Senator Lieberman?

LIEBERMAN: Christmas and Hanukah.




MORGAN: Yes, yes.


LIEBERMAN: So, uh, what -- what would I really like from the president?


LIEBERMAN: That he -- he take that leadership that he's now been empowered with by the election, bring the parties together, beginning with Speaker Boehner and the other leaders, and agree on a bipartisan package that will reduce the debt, increase taxes and cut the increase in spending on entitlements.

That will do it. And -- and that will usher in a brilliant new period in America's economic history.

MORGAN: That sounds good.

Senator Graham?

GRAHAM: Three things. That the president would agree to --

MCCAIN: I thought we only had one.


GRAHAM: This is America. You can have three. (LAUGHTER)

GRAHAM: That the president would announce that he will leave a follow-on force in Afghanistan of 15,000 to 20,000, to make sure the place doesn't fall back into radical hands; that the world would get behind the people in Syria and end Assad's regime, and that the president would lead us toward entitlement reform, so we can keep this country from becoming Greece.


LIEBERMAN: Here, here.

MORGAN: Well, it's been a fascinating hour, gentlemen.

Thank you so much for sparing the time.

The Three Amigos, you are, and, sadly, about to become the two amigos, although I suspect the friendship will continue.



MORGAN: Thank you all very much for joining me.