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The Story Behind the Death of Jesus; Obama's Former Pastor-in- Chief; The Brothers Emanuel

Aired March 29, 2013 - 21:00   ET



PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, the untold story of the son of God.

STEPHEN MANSFIELD, AUTHOR, "KILLING JESUS": He was defending the unclean. He was defending the ostracized.

MORGAN: "Killing Jesus".

MANSFIELD: What I learned deals with one of the great lies that comes out of the crucifixion of Jesus.

MORGAN: The explosive new book of the controversy it's fueling. I'll ask best-selling author Steven Mansfield why he thinks Mel Gibson didn't go far enough.

Also, handpicked to be the president's pastor in chief.

JOSHUA DUBOIS, PASTOR: This is a president who takes his faith very seriously. I was able to see that firsthand.

MORGAN: Joshua Dubois on faith in America and the future.

Plus, the brothers Emanuel, powerhouses in politics, Hollywood and medicine. I'll ask Ezekiel Emanuel on his brothers Rahm and Ari.

EZEKIEL EMANUEL, PHYSICIAN: I know that if I had to be in a foxhole ever, it's my two brothers who I want right by my side.

MORGAN: And he spends every night with Taylor Swift.

ED SHEERAN, POP STAR: Whenever she's pictured with some people say that she's dating them.

MORGAN: But she hasn't written a song about him yet. My exclusive with the pop new superstar, Ed Sheeran.




Today is Good Friday, one of the holiest days of Christians here in America and around the world.

And, of course, in just two days, it's Easter Sunday. It arrives with something else -- a shocking new book on the death of Jesus. It's called "Killing Jesus" and claims to have new insight and revelations into how he was murdered.

The best-selling author is Stephen Mansfield and he joins me now.

Mr. Mansfield, welcome to you.

MANSFIELD: Thank you very much, Piers.

MORGAN: This is probably the most talked-about, written-about, debated over murder in the history of mankind. What have you unearthed of this book that is new?

MANSFIELD: Well, you know, when you read the Bible, you hear very spare statements like "and they flogged him" or "and they crucified him." Well, what does that mean? And, often, we don't go to the Roman sources, we don't go to the original documents that are behind the biblical account.

So, to find out, for example, that a roman scourging was not just a lacerating like on the bounty, for example, but it was -- there were rocks and sheet bone actually woven into the leather straps and the idea of a scourging, or a Roman flogging, was to rip the flesh from the body.

We have an account from an early Roman historian that says one man who actually survived one had his bones exposed around his entire chest, his ribs were actually exposed. This helps us understand more of what was going on and what the history is behind those spare accounts that we tend to have in scripture.

MORGAN: Have you learned more about the kind of politics and religious corruption that led to the murder of Jesus Christ?

MANSFIELD: Yes. In fact, what I learned deals with one of the great lies that comes out of the crucifixion of Jesus. And that is that, you know, all the Jews opposed him and his death should be on all the Jews.

Instead, there was a small sort of Sopranos-like family that ruled the temple, was the high priest's family, and they were very turned towards Rome as were a number of others in their little conspiracy. They controlled the trade in the temple and made a cut of all the trade, the exchange of money and the sale of animals and so on, and they were trying to hang on to their power. They were trying to keep the nation, as they said.

And so, Jesus challenged that when he went and drove the money changers out of the temple. He wasn't just mad, he wasn't just upset that they were doing business in the temple, he was striking at this conspiracy that had illicitly taken charge of the temple and its trade, the corrupt upper leaders of the Jews.

And so that's sort of the back story of the crucifixion.

MORGAN: It's bound to be and is already getting a huge amount of attention. The book's not even out until May. You're bound to get some people saying this is anti-Semitic and so on. What is your response to that?

MANSFIELD: Well, it's not at all anti-Semitic. In fact, in making that distinction between the small group of leaders who were sort of kowtowing to Rome and thus were corrupt and going after Jesus, making a distinction between them and the average Jew on the street in Jerusalem, I'm actually dealing with that very issue.

The fact is that Jesus was quite popular with the people. That's why this small group of leaders tried him overnight. That's why they were concerned that the crowds would rise up, that he could lead a rebellion, and when they paraded him to the streets the next day after that overnight trial, and took him out to be crucified, the people wept and wailed.

So the idea that all the people of Jerusalem, all of the Jews of that time sort of crucified Jesus and were part of that conspiracy is false. And in me making that distinction, I think I'm trying to strike at that anti-Semitic lie that existed all through our history.

MORGAN: You are a serious scholar. You studied this since the '70s. So there's probably very little that you haven't read or seen or talked about with other experts.

In terms of the mythology around the death of Jesus Christ, what would you say now is definitely myth and what is indisputable pretty well widely agreed fact about what happened?

MANSFIELD: Well, there's no question there was a Jesus. Many people don't think there's evidence outside of the Bible. There is.

There was a Jesus. He was a leader. He did teach. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate. This is all affirmed by Roman sources. And he was perceived as a threat to the nation in the sense that he might prompt Rome to see what he was doing as a political move for control of Judea.

So, all of that's confirmed. Now, of course, there are those matters of faith, the resurrection, the miracles, things of that nature. But the idea that there was a Jesus Christ who did live when the Bible says he lived and was a threat to Rome and therefore, a small group of Jewish leaders sort of conspired against him, that's all affirmed in sources outside of the Bible. That helps me understand the Bible better.

MORGAN: And in terms of stuff that is maybe widely held beliefs about Jesus Christ and the crucifixion and so on, what can you now rule out? What do you think was built up that is just not true?

MANSFIELD: Well, I think a lot of the sort of Sunday school, if I may say it that way, images about the cross, the crucifixion, sometimes these are almost -- almost placid in their presentation, a calm Jesus hanging on the cross.

This is not the case at all. The fact, some of the teachings of Jesus come into question. I have to say that the Jesus I present in this book is very much a social justice Jesus.

The reason he clears the temple is not just to strike at that conspiracy that I mentioned, but also because he's defending the gentiles. His -- this trade, these money changers have set up in the only court, the gentiles have to pray. So in driving the money changers out, he wasn't just anti-business and he wasn't just going after that Sopranos-like conspiracy. He was defending the unclean. He was defending the ostracized.

So those themes begin to make a more holistic picture of Jesus that I think is compelling and deals with some of the myths.

MORGAN: The cover of your book features a picture of the famous Turin shroud and the shroud is by coincidence to be shown on television for the first time tomorrow, Easter Saturday (ph), at a time when new claims have emerged that the fabric is not a forgery, as many have claimed, but instead really does date back to around Jesus' lifetime. These claims are published in a new book called "The Mystery of the Shroud" by a professor at Padua University.

Where are we with the shroud? Do you think there is now irrefutable evidence from a scholastic point of view that it does date to at least the time when Jesus was alive?

MANSFIELD: Well, you have been very kind to me in calling me a scholar. My doctorate is actually in American history, so I'm learning with everybody else in this field. My understanding is that there's not unshakable evidence, but it's not -- it's more difficult to dismiss the shroud now. Some of the scientific evidence has proven that it is, as you say, older, that there are some inexplicable factors in the stains and the composition of it.

And I -- my publisher and I put it on our book because it's an icon of Jesus and this generation. That's kind of -- people just sort of say maybe that's the oldest picture of Jesus. They don't think of it as something that has to be scientifically confirmed.

But I am fascinated since I've got that image on my book with what they're going to be uncovering here throughout this process of deeper scientific investigation.

HAYES: Definitely. One of the most contentious scenes from the passion of Christ, Mel Gibson's very controversial movie, depicted the crucifixion, of course, and he was lambasted for this.

Your book sounds to me not just a vindication of Mel Gibson but perhaps he didn't go far enough.

MANSFIELD: Well, this is part of the problem. In an Easter Sunday morning sermon or Good Friday sermon, in Mel Gibson's film, how can you depict a man being scourged to the point where the flesh is being ripped from his body, how can you depict a man whose back is in shreds, moving up and down on the cross, gasping for breath, pushing down on those nails through his feet. It's so much beyond what Mel Gibson could have portrayed, or what a pastor or priest could portray on an Easter Sunday morning, that we really don't have a good picture.

That's why I think I chose a book to make that presentation, because it was more digestible but we just have so much confirmation, it's just a very, very bloody, vile, horrible scene, you know, some of the victims of scourging would have their organs exposed. I mean, I can just go on and on. And I don't want to gross people out.

But yes, I think Mel could have gone much further and I know it's rather unpopular to say it, but he probably was more tempered than we know. And he should be commended for that.

MORGAN: Stephen Mansfield, a fascinating book. It's out in May. Getting a lot of attention. Thank you for joining me.

MANSFIELD: It's great to be with you.

MORGAN: Coming up, the president's former pastor in chief on God and country. And the very personal advice he gives to Barack Obama.


MORGAN: When President Obama struggled with questions of his faith, he turned to my next guest, Joshua Dubois, who held the highest religious outreach job at the White House.

Pastor Dubois was nicknamed the president's pastor-in-chief. He stepped down in February. He's now on a new mission.

And the pastor joins me now.

Welcome to you, sir.

DUBOIS: Piers, it's a pleasure to be on with you and Happy Good Friday to you.

MORGAN: Well, and the same to you.

What is it like being called the pastor-in-chief to the president of the United States?

DUBOIS: Well, you know, it's been an honor to work for this president. This is a president who takes his faith very seriously and is a deeply faithful person and really, in many ways, actually typifies what I think is the new believer in this country, folks who want their faith to be known more for what they're for rather than what they're against.

And I was able to see that firsthand in private ways, in the way the president received devotionals and spent time in prayer with pastors around the country, but, also in public ways, in the way his faith motivated his approach to issues in public life, from compassionate immigration reform and to issues related to gun violence. And so, it was really an honor to have that front row seat to the president's values.

MORGAN: And the president has -- has described the Newtown atrocity as one of the biggest tests of his presidency for him personally.

You went down to Newtown with the president when he -- when he visited soon after that happened.

Describe what that was like for you and for him and the test of his faith.

When something like that happens to the president of the United States and 20 children are obliterated, that is a test of anybody's faith.

Describe to me, I guess, the emotional journey you both went on when you went down there.

DUBOIS: You know, Piers, gut-wrenching doesn't really describe it. I did go with the president to Newtown. And I saw the leader of the free world, the president of the United States, have to hold parents closely and to console folks who had just, 48 hours before, had their children ripped from them in a hail of bullets.

The depth of evil that they experienced, the brokenness that we felt in that place is something that I will never forget.

You know, Jesus, three times in the gospel, says that one of the worst things that people can do, one of the worst sins we can commit is to cause our little children to stumble.

And from Newtown to the streets of New York and Chicago, our kids aren't just stumbling, Piers, they're dying. And that reality really settled in with me in -- in Newtown in those -- in those private moments with those parents.

MORGAN: Well, what do you say to the president at a time like that?

DUBOIS: You know, we spent a lot of time mediating on Scripture, Second Corinthians, where it talks about how outwardly, we are wasting away, but inwardly, we are being renewed day by day because our light and momentary troubles are leading to something better. These broken bodies will be restored. That's the gist of those passages.

But in many ways, you know, there's not a lot you can say. You just have to be present. And the president was present for those parents at the time. He held them closely. For the little brothers and sisters of the loss, he would toss them up in the air and try to bring a little bit of laughter and levity in that horrible moment.

So just his presence meant a lot to them. And I just, you know, to the extent that I could, I tried to be -- to be present for him.

But then he started moving on to -- to talk about what's next, you know, what can we do in response to this?

How can we, not -- not move on from the moment, but how can we use this -- this horrible tragedy to motivate action on behalf of our kids?

And that's what the president moved swiftly to do.

MORGAN: One of the other great dilemmas, I think, for any Christian in America right now, is the debate over gay marriage and gay rights. It's moving very fast in public opinion. The president himself has moved his position in the last few years.

What do you say, as a pastor that has to talk to people who may be confused about this, what do you say about the evolution, I guess, of gay rights and gay marriage in America?

DUBOIS: Yes. I would say in -- in general terms, people of faith in this country have to be known more by what they're for than what they're against. When the public face of Christianity in this country is, in too many ways, defined by issues that divide us rather than issues that bring us together, there's a problem with that. And, you know, that doesn't mean that we can't have sincere disagreements on theological issues.

But once those disagreements are stated, we have to find ways to come together to talk about the points that we have in common, to talk about the love that we have for one another, for straight folks, for gay folks and, for our in -- entire country.

I think we've -- the faith community has got to, again, to focus more on the things that we have in common rather than the things that divide us.

Now, fortunately, there are a lot of Christians that do focus on those points of commonality. But -- but they -- they're not the ones that we see the most on our TV screens. They're not the ones whose voices are the loudest.

MORGAN: I mean, a lot of people fall back on the Scriptures as their basis for opposing gay marriage, for example.


MORGAN: They say, look, it's not in the Bible, it wasn't what was intended, you know, God never wanted anything other than a man and a woman to marry and so on.

As somebody who is very well-versed in the Scriptures, and, indeed, uses them a lot and has done with the president, what do you say to those people who use the Bible and its Scriptures as a sacrosanct defense, if you like, against moving times.

DUBOIS: Yes. You know, it's something that I think we have to grapple with, because, on the one hand, as you highlight, Piers, there, you know, are verses in the Old Testament and the New from Deuteronomy to the Apostle Paul that speak to issues related to homosexuality.

On the other hand, you know, Jesus said that, you know, the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor and to let that spirit of love dominate in terms of your actions and the way that you approach the world.

The Epistles then, um, go on to say that the greatest of all of these things is love. And so, you know, we -- we can't talk about one aspect of the bible but not speak to the -- the leading factor, the factor that Jesus Christ highlighted the most, which is the love that we have to share for our neighbors. And that includes our gay neighbors.

MORGAN: There's a lot of conjecture at the moment about whether religion is -- is slowly going out of fashion in America, that church attendances, as they are in most countries around the world, have been falling. There's a sense that young people aren't as energized by, perhaps, religious conviction as their predecessors and their parents and so on.

Yet, at the same time, you have the astonishing rating success of "The Bible" series, the Mark Burnett series, which I think took everyone by surprise and seemed to reenergize, particularly amongst the young, an interest in all things religious.

What do you make of what is going on here?

DUBOIS: Yes. I think it's a dynamic time for religion in this country. There are -- there is the dynamic of the rise of the nones, as -- as you say, and folks who don't adhere to a particular religion.

But then you have this phenomenal series that is really reinvigorating interest in the Bible. I saw that the Bible was trending on Twitter for the first time ever. And I think that's a great thing. And I think it's prompting tremendous debates about theology and about the way that we look at our faith and the world.

I would say another dynamic that's increasing interest in religion is the election of Pope Francis, and the interest that people have in -- in his, in his papacy. I think that that's invigorating the conversation about theology, unlike one that we -- we've had in a -- in a long time. And I think that's a very good thing.

MORGAN: Well, what I like about Pope Francis is he's obviously got genuine humility. And he's immediately renounced all the trappings that go with being pope and the Vatican and so on, which I think was a really smart thing to do, because the pope should be a man of humility.

And yet it's very easy, when they get that lofty, incredible job, presiding over 1.2 billion Catholics, including myself, to fall, I guess, for all the, you know, the financial benefits that come with it, the thrones and the cars and so on.

DUBOIS: That's exactly right, Piers. You know, I noted that yesterday, on Holy Thursday, the pope spent his time in a jail. He was washing the feet of prisoners and really emphasizing that message of redemption and a second chance.

What an amazing sight to see the Holy Father, the -- the pope washing the feet of prisoners. And I have to give credit to Cardinal Dolan in New York, who did the exact same thing and visited a prison and spent his Holy Week in that way, as well.

I think there's a time of soul-searching happening in the Catholic Church, where, um, they're thinking about how to bring a spirit of humility to the debates that we're facing as a world.

And I think that's a very, very good thing.

MORGAN: Now, you're in retirement. You don't look old enough to have even started work, let alone retire because you were so young when you began with Barack Obama.


MORGAN: You've got a book you're doing about daily biblical scriptures and inspirations for leaders.

But before we get into that, very quickly --


MORGAN: -- I mean will you still be sending the president scriptures?

And what is the kind of thing you used to e-mail him which really moved him?

DUBOIS: Sure. Yes, I still send the president a meditation every morning. And I'm just grateful for a leader who begins his day in a moment of reflection and Scripture reading and prayer.

You know, we explored a number of topics and continue to explore a lot of different topics. A few of the themes that we would address the most are, one is how to find joy in the midst of tough circumstances. And, we would look at the person, the biblical, the person of -- of David, a leader who was always able to find joy.

We'd also look at how we can love our enemies, even those who are really challenging for us and -- and, um, and -- and model ourselves after Jesus and really reflect on that as well.

So there were lots of different themes for different occasions. But, you know, I'm honored to continue to send those to the president. And I'm glad that he said he -- he's found them useful.

MORGAN: And if there was one Scripture that you could use or one extract from a Scripture that you would send to any would-be president, which one would you choose?

DUBOIS: That's a great question, Piers. There's so many that provide inspiration. I'll tell you one of the president's favorites is from the Prophet Isaiah. And it's one that he often comes back to. And it's even used in speeches.

It says, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings of eagles and run and not be weary and walk and not faint."

I think on these difficult journeys that we have in politics, we need a little bit of that spirit that allows us to walk and not faint and to remain strong over the long haul.

And that's a Scripture that's provided a lot of inspiration to the president and to me.

MORGAN: Pastor Dubois, you've inspired me in the 10 minutes we've been together.

So I can quite see why the president enjoys your services and will continue to.

It's been a pleasure talking to you.

DUBOIS: Thank you, Piers.

And Happy Good Friday to you, my friend.

MORGAN: And you. And you.

When we come back, the brothers Emanuel -- I'll talk with a member of the feared threesome about power, politics and Hollywood.



MORGAN: Your mother produced three, some would say brilliant men. I would certainly go along with that.

You -- you rose to the higher echelons of American politics. One of your brothers is a huge Hollywood talent superstar. And your third brother probably the most talented of them of all, I think we'd all agree on that -- is a brilliant physician.

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: Except for Ari and I. We'd have a veto.


MORGAN: Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff and current mayor of Chicago, giving his brother Ezekiel a hard time there. It clearly wasn't all sweetness and light growing up in the competitive Emanuel household.

And Ezekiel has written a book about it called "Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of An American Family." And he joins me now.

Ezekiel, or Zeke, as I believe you prefer to be known.


MORGAN: So there was -- there was your brother, Rahm, making it pretty clear he didn't think you were the most talented member of the family.

As the older, the eldest sibling, what was your reaction to that treachery?

EMANUEL: Oh, well, Rahm is, you know, you've heard of sibling rivalry. You know, we're all --


EMANUEL: -- we're all talented in our own individual ways.

MORGAN: You are an extraordinary family. It is an -- it's a remarkable book simply for telling the story of how the three of you basically grew up in this family. Your parents came to America as immigrants from Israel and they produced these three extraordinary brothers who climbed to the very top of each of their professions.

When you look back over your early childhood together, what was it, do you think, about the environment and atmosphere of the Emanuel household that drove you guys to be so successful?

EMANUEL: So, first, let me make clear that when we had graduated from high school, there is no one who would have said, oh, those Emanuel boys, they're destined to succeed.


EMANUEL: They have it written all over them. If anything, we, I think, turned out to be late bloomers and, uh, a little unexpected to many people who were growing up with us. So that tells you that whatever was in the secret sauce was well-hidden from many people for many years.

I think, first thing, my mom was very committed to social justice issues. She was a big advocate in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement and she took us around to demonstrations and always made us aware that there were people who we had to help in the world who were underprivileged.

Our dad had this boundless energy, which I think we inherited mostly through genetics.

And then they wouldn't let us give up. I think that's probably, one of the most important things, is that, uh, if we succeeded, we celebrated for all of 27 seconds and, if we failed, they told us, you know, brush yourself off and try it again, because, you know, you're just going to have to keep plowing ahead. And, you know, that was certainly true, I would say, especially for Ari, who had bad dyslexia, frustrated in school. And my mom would not let him ever give up on trying to be a good student.

MORGAN: I also think in Ari's case, there's a fascinating clip in the book, one of my favorite paragraphs of all of them, actually, which is about when you're all young boys together.

"Sometimes," you write, "our pretend fights became real. When Ari was still sleeping in a crib, Rahm and I would climb onto the top level of our bunk beds and jump into it with such force that it rattled the hardware that held it together and bounced Ari off the mattress and into the air."


MORGAN: Basically, Ari's behavior ever since, it's down to you two, isn't it, tormenting him in that bunk bed?

EMANUEL: Yes, but once you don't -- didn't read, Piers, is that he really enjoyed that and --


EMANUEL: -- I mean he was a -- a stark enough kid to endure that with no problem.

MORGAN: When I -- when I interviewed Rahm, he -- he was the first Emanuel brother I had interviewed. And I got a real sense of a -- a steely streak inside him, which I think, just judging from what the book says, you guys operate very much as a pack. One of you gets attacked, the Emanuel brothers will defend each other to the hilt.

And despite all the rivalry, you're actually very loyal to each other, aren't you?

EMANUEL: Oh, yes. That's absolutely true. I mean as I think I say somewhere in the book, my brothers are my harshest critics, maybe only after my daughters. But then if someone outside does something that's untoward or nasty, I can rely on them both to defend me and to give me very good advice.

And, they're always there. And I know that if I had to be in a foxhole ever, it's my two brothers who I want right by my side.

MORGAN: Well, we had a clip of Ari from your -- your now infamous interview with "Rock Center" for NBC.


MORGAN: Listen, this is what he had to say on that about you.


ARI EMANUEL, CO-CEO OF WILLIAM MORRIS ENDEAVOR: Somebody crosses us or somebody crosses a friend, they know we're going to be in the trench, if it's appropriate, and I promise you that we're going to be on their side and it's going to be a battle. And I think -- so there's how we treat people but it's also if somebody screws with one of us or a friend or a company that we will be there to defend it, and that's also how we grew up.


MORGAN: Now, little did Brian Williams know as he was posing that very question, was that he himself was going to be accused of crossing one of the Emanuels. Ari apparently wrote this very angry legal letter to NBC, not happy, remonstrated personally with Brian Williams.

What was all that about?

EMANUEL: Well, I -- it's not about the book, but it's about the fact that, uh, whatever. I think the interview did not focus on the book, and the agreement was to focus on the book and our growing up.

I will say that when we were kids and, someone was being picked on unfairly, whether because, there some kinds in the school were not -- didn't fit in, or that we were on the beach and people were calling us kikes or whatever, you know, we stood up to bullies. We are not going to shrink back from standing up to bullies.

And I think that has followed us all through our adult life. And that's very important.

On the other hand, you know, if you work for Ari or Rahm or me, I think there's fierce loyalty from those people. They know we're warm. They know we care about them. They know they're on a mission to do good things in the world.

And that's, I think, really, really important. And, we're not -- we're not there to, have people made fun of. We are -- have very precise injustice sensors. And I think, when that happens, we're willing to defend the right and, good people.

MORGAN: Do you think you're all washed up in the right careers?

You're a brilliant oncologist, but do you think if fate had thrown a different hand, you could have been a great talent agent or a great chief of staff at the White House, and vice versa, for your brothers?


EMANUEL: I certainly could not be a great talent agent.


EMANUEL: I don't understand that business at all. When Ari explains deals to me, it's like, you know, I'm confused.

I do think all of us have, actually, good management streak in us, which we probably got from our father. And I think we, in each of our realms, can really figure out what is most important and focus in on trying to achieve that.

And, again, I think we've just gone into our natural, areas, me in academia and politics and, Hollywood.

MORGAN: Coming up, what does Ezekiel of Jerry Piven portrayal of a Hollywood agent based on his brother Ari? That's after the break.



UNDIENTIFIED MALE: My meeting was in place.

JEREMY PIVEN, ACTOR: Did they take the Ari golden corn tamale off the menu?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's still there.

PIVEN: What? Speak or I'll rip your tongue out and serve it to my son's lizard.


MORGAN: Back now with Ezekiel Emanuel. His brother Ari is played by actor Jeremy Piven in HBO's "Entourage."

When you see entourages, I'm sure you have --

EMANUEL: No, I haven't. I don't know --

MORGAN: You'd never watched?


EMANUEL: -- TV, so I've never seen it.

MORGAN: Well, let me enlighten you. I mean Jeremy Piven plays a character not too dissimilar, many would argue, to your brother. And he shouts and screams a lot. He's very funny, but pretty -- pretty brutal.

Does it sound like the kind of brother you've come to know and love, the one you used to torment in his bunk bed?

EMANUEL: Well, I think -- look, Ari is a lovely person. He's been lovely to me. He's been supportive of to me -- to me.

I've seen him with his kids. He's a fantastic father. And, again, makes sure that his kids are always striving and, trying to achieve more and more.

And, I also know that, you know, you don't cross him and you don't make fun of him. And that, you know, you'd better be on the right side. You know, someone like Mel Gibson decides to go off on a rant and bully and, make a lot of anti-Semitic comments then Ari is going to tell him where to go. And I think that's exactly the kind of person you have.

On the other hand, if someone is doing the right thing and needs to be defended, Ari will defend them.

MORGAN: A final question. If I was able to have the power to transplant you into a talent agent and a White House chief of staff, I want you to suspend reality for a moment. Go -- play along with me here. Who is --


MORGAN: -- who is the single most impressive celebrity or famous public figure you ever met in your life who you would sign up if you were running a talent agency?

EMANUEL: I've met a lot of famous and, I think, very impressive people. I -- you know, when I left working at the White House in January 2011, one of the things I said is that I worked in a group of amazing, amazingly talented people and really insightful people committed to the public good, everybody from the president, on down to my particular boss, who was Peter Orszag, to Larry Summers to Tim Geithner.

I had a great privilege there. But I've also, in academia, met many, many, brilliant people, including many Nobel Prize winners. So I'm not sure that I could identity a single person.

MORGAN: Come on.


MORGAN: -- Emanuel boys --

EMANUEL: I'm sorry, I'm not going to help you.

MORGAN: You Emanuel -- you Emanuels never sit on the fence like that. Come on. Give me a name. Give me a crumb.

EMANUEL: Well, I haven't met him and he's now dead, but I think if, you know, probably the person who still moves me when I read his speeches is Martin Luther King.

MORGAN: Martin Luther King.

EMANUEL: I -- every -- every Martin Luther King holiday, I try to read one of his speeches or something. And I think, you know, an unelected person who's moved this country, and has amazing oratorical skills. So I'd say that -- that's a person who I certainly would have liked to have -- I heard speak in person, as the book makes clear, and I would certainly liked to have met more personally.

MORGAN: And if you were White House chief of staff, what is the single most important policy you would, if you had complete power, encourage a president to bring in to improve America?

EMANUEL: Well, at that moment, I have -- I'm in health care. I worked on the president's Affordable Care Act. And I think reducing or controlling health care costs is probably the most important thing we can do for the long-term future of the country.

The second thing I think that is probably the most important thing, which is what the president did announce in his State of the Union is, we really have to focus on our children and our posterity. We are a country which always says that kids are our most important resource. And I think we have to put the money where our mouth is.

We don't invest in kids as much as we should. We need to invest in them more, whether it's early childhood education, it's better programs at school, it's identifying kids who have reading disabilities and other problems, it's providing mental health to kids who have stress and, very abusive situations.

I think investing in our kids absolutely critical. And I'm glad that the president made early childhood intervention a signature issue.

So, if you wanted to know, I -- I guess here I'm revealing my cards. I'm the son of a pediatrician and I do believe that the most important resource we have is our kids. And I think the most important thing for America's future is to invest more in our children.

MORGAN: Well, the great thing, from my point of view, Zeke, is that having read the book, I -- I was convinced -- and I was correct -- when I told your brother Rahm that you are the single most talented member of the family. It's a terrific book, "Brothers Emanuel."

EMANUEL: I'm honored. I'm honored.

MORGAN: "A Memoir of An American Family."

It's out now. It's a great book.

Thanks for talking to me.

EMANUEL: Thank you, Piers. I appreciate it.

MORGAN: And we'll be right back.



MORGAN: The smash hit song, "Lego House," by British sensation, Ed Sheeran, who is enjoying a very rapid rise to the top. He's been called the breakout star of 2013, while co-writing songs and touring with the delectable Taylor Swift.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran joins me now.

Well, Mr. Sheeran, haven't you done well for a boy who -- this is my favorite picture of the year -- you've said yourself that you were a weird kid when you were little. "I wore big glasses, had hearing problems, had a stutter and I had ginger hair."

And we have a picture confirming --


MORGAN: -- at least some of that.


MORGAN: When you look at that little boy --


MORGAN: -- what are you thinking?

SHEERAN: Whoo. I'm going, you're (INAUDIBLE).



MORGAN: Are you surprised at the speed of your ascent?

SHEERAN: It depends. In different countries, yes. But things -- I think if you put in the work and the ascent happens, it's an unsurprising thing.

But Australia, for instance, like we've sold more there than places like Germany, where I've been 30 or 40 times, and I've been to Australia three times. So some -- some places, I'm very surprised at the ascent and some places where like I've -- I've been -- now been in America for eight years straight, now, it's starting to happen here, it's a bit like, OK, cool. That should be happening after all this sort of stuff. Yes, Australia was surprising for me.

MORGAN: America, I would imagine, remains the holy grail for all singer-songwriters, in the end, doesn't it?

SHEERAN: I'm -- I'm still surprised I'm like on single (INAUDIBLE), like I have the opportunity to release singles here, um, for English musicians, America is always an untouchable thing. And it's always somewhere where you'll go and do a little bit of pretty much try out and then just really just do it all, at home and, break -- break (INAUDIBLE).

But I think since Adele and One Direction (INAUDIBLE) and all these people have had massive amounts of success here, American radio are taking a bit more interest in British acts.

MORGAN: You're 22 and you're touring with Taylor Swift, who's 23.

You're both single. I'm doing the math here, Ed.

Anything you want to get off your chest?

SHEERAN: No. No, not -- not necessarily. I'm --

MORGAN: No truth to the rumor I'm just about to invent that she dumped Harry Stiles for you?

SHEERAN: No, I think --

MORGAN: The better looking, extra member of One Direction?

SHEERAN: To be honest, when that -- when -- when that rumor came out, it kind of felt like a bit of -- a bit of lazy journalism, to be honest, because I think people when -- whenever she's pictured with someone, people will say that she's dating them, whoever they are. Like before me, it was Tom Rydel (ph) and this or that. It was the dude from, who, talked to the people.

Like whenever she's pictured with a guy, people -- people say that.

And I think people were just like, well -- well, yes, she's going out with him for six months. So that's obviously happening.

But I don't know. I think you can be friends with someone without having to sleep with them. I've got -- I've got morals.

MORGAN: You were actually -- well, let me come to your morals, because you said this -- I was quite interested in this. You were talking about I won't go down the wrong path. I'm not that kind of guy. I'm not a drug taker. Most of the people I've met on coke are idiots. They just talk too much and I wouldn't want to subject someone to me being like that, because I've talked too much anyway."

An interesting perspective, though. I mean very mature for a 22- year-old to say that in the --


MORGAN: -- music industry.

How can you be so sure that as your fame continues, the money continues, et cetera, you won't fall prey to a very familiar rocky path?

SHEERAN: I -- as you know, in the industry, you meet a lot of people who -- who are fond of drugs and they're -- it really -- I met a lot of them when I was quite young, like 16 or 17, and it really just put me off. Like I had -- I remember one house party I was at. And the dude had wracked up lines on a family photograph of one (INAUDIBLE) --

MORGAN: Seriously?

SHEERAN: -- a bit odd.

MORGAN: But when you look at somebody like Amy Winehouse, I wrote a piece about her about a year before she died, just saying, for God's sake, Amy, do something. Look in the mirror and realize what is happening to you, because you're wasting a magnificent talent.

And she did. I mean she just carried on wrecking an amazing talent.

What do you feel when you see that?

SHEERAN: I think it's sad. I think it's -- I think it's sad that there weren't more people telling her that, to be honest, because you could say that to her, but is she necessarily going to listen to you?


SHEERAN: Like I would -- I would listen to the people who were closest to me. So, I think it would be more important for that to (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: You're saying you thanked Elton John in this sleeve.

SHEERAN: Elton is a very, very kind, talented, encouraging guy, yes.

MORGAN: He's been through a lot himself in terms of addictions and so on.

SHEERAN: Well, this is why -- this is why I think getting advice from someone like him is the best -- the best option, because he's done everything good and he's done everything bad 10 times the amount that normal people should do it. So he's sold 10 times more records than normal people and he's done 10 times more bad things.

And he's come out the other end as a -- someone who just loves music. And now he's helping out younger talent. Yes. And his -- his advice when it comes to music is -- is pretty -- pretty strong.

MORGAN: You write most of your music or all of it?

SHEERAN: I'd say, yes. I'd say I write -- I write all of it.

MORGAN: Where do you get the inspiration for this stuff?

SHEERAN: I'm influenced by a lot of things. I grew up on a lot of folk music, a lot of traditional folk music and --

MORGAN: Who's your hero?

SHEERAN: Probably my dad, to be honest. Yes.


SHEERAN: Because he got me into all of that stuff. He was the one that bought me my first (INAUDIBLE) record and took me to my first (INAUDIBLE) gig to see Green Day and then Eric Clapton was in the same (INAUDIBLE).

He's -- he's got a very wide, wide musical taste. MORGAN: And if I took you to a desert island and left you there and you could have one album, not yours, to listen to the rest of your life, what would you have?

SHEERAN: Really, Van Morrison and the Chieftains album called "Irish Heartbeat," because that -- that was the first --

MORGAN: It's a great album.

SHEERAN: Yes. That was -- that was the first album my dad played me.

MORGAN: And if you could take one woman to the desert island to listen to the music with, who would that be?


MORGAN: Say Taylor and give me an exclusive. Come on.

She'll be hurt if you don't.

SHEERAN: Actually, do you know what, probably someone like Jennifer Lawrence, because she has a very good sense of humor.

MORGAN: That is a great call.

SHEERAN: Yes. I think that would be an entertaining --

MORGAN: Having interviewed Miss Lawrence, that is the best thing you have said in the last 10 minutes.



MORGAN: You would have fun on a desert island with Jennifer Lawrence.


MORGAN: On a serious note, it's a great album.


MORGAN: -- from Britain.

Thank you for coming in.

SHEERAN: Thank you for having me.


MORGAN: Ed Sheeran's debut album is called "Plus." It's available now. It's terrific stuff from a terrific young talent.

Good to see you. SHEERAN: Thank you. Likewise.

MORGAN: Good luck with Taylor.

We'll be right back.




It's very hard for children growing up in Camden today. It's dangerous. You can hear gunshots almost every other night. These kids want more. They don't want to be dodging bullets for the rest of their life.

My name is Towanda Jones and my mission is to empower the youth of Camden, New Jersey, through the structure of drill team.

What I try to do in order for them to go to the right path is simple. If you instill discipline -- drill team is really just a facade to bring these children in because it's something I love them to do. And once I have them, I introduce them to college life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CSS takes me a whole lot. My dad was shot and killed. When my dad passed, I stopped going to class, I started hanging with the wrong people.

JONES: Did you complete your homework? Let me check it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is my second mom. Without her, I really don't know where I would be right now.

JONES: In Camden, the high school graduation rate is 49 percent, but in my program, it is 100 percent graduating. We have never had a dropout.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My grades now, I have a GPA of a 3.0. I want to be a sports manager.

JONES: We need to take back our city and most importantly, take back our youth, let them know that we really care about them.

I don't think people really understand how important it is to have these children succeed.

When you do this, you get great rewards. It's better than money.