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NYC Mayor Gets Ricin Letters; Chasing Tornadoes

Aired May 29, 2013 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, breaking news, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets a threatening letter which tests positive for ricin. Is he being targeted for his stand against guns?


MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: The letter was obviously referred to our anti gun efforts, and we're not going to walk away from those efforts.


MORGAN: We'll have a live report plus exclusive, watch as a tornado forms in Kansas, it happened in a matter of minutes.

You're watching tonight as more storms threaten Tornado Alley right now. Half the country may be at risk. So what's behind all this extreme weather?

Bill Nye, the science guy, debates skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg.

And on "The Grill" tonight, the man who joined the NRA after Sandy Hook, and says that President Obama should be impeached for the IRS scandal.

Wayne Allyn Root, brace yourself.

So a lot to get through tonight, but I want to begin tonight with our breaking news. Threatening letters sent to the mayor of New York that has tested positive to the deadly poison ricin. Police say that he mentioned his stand on gun control.

Joining me now is CNN's Deborah Feyerick, Fran Townsend, CNN's national security analyst, and Leonard Cole, an expert in bioterrorism and author of "The Anthrax Letters."

Deb, let me start with you. Two letters, one to Mayor Bloomberg, one to the director of Mayors against Illegal Guns. Both of them threatening in tone. Both of them laced with a quantity, we're not quite sure how much of ricin. And both alluding to the gun control campaign that the mayor has been spearheading. DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Correct. And what we do know is that the two letters, one of which was sent to D.C., the other to New York, both of them appear to have been written by the same person. They shared the same postmark. Also they contain the same material. What police are describing as a pink, orange, oily substance.

Now the letters threaten Mayor Bloomberg, but the mayor was never in any immediate danger. As a matter of fact, Piers, initially each of the letters tested negative, but a second test showed trace amounts of ricin. The letters that were then sent and are now being tested right now by the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, and so we should have conclusive results, probably within the next day or two -- Piers.

MORGAN: And various members, three, I believe, of the NYPD Emergency Services, were treated for exposure to the ricin. But they have been released, is that right?

FEYERICK: Yes, exactly. They responded, they're with the Emergency Services Unit. They were seen, the letters were opened, and then after about 24 hours, they came down with intestinal problems that are consistent with exposure to ricin. So they were being monitored, but it appears right now that those symptoms, at least, have -- gone away -- Piers.

MORGAN: Deb, thanks very much.

Fran, let's talk about this because there've been a series of ricin attacks. How dangerous is this situation, how easy is it now to create a ricin scare?

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Piers, we should start by reminding people, look, there have been inconsistent preliminary tests, those field tests are typically inaccurate, which is why they sent it to the lab.

The ricin is -- actually the recipe for it is easily accessible on the Internet. We found it in al Qaeda-related manuals before. But because it's on the Internet, this does not require -- sort of making the basic components, they're easily accessible caster beans.

The basic recipe is not so hard. What's difficult is weaponizing it. So it can be aerosolized at the highest form of weaponization or it can be used as a contact poison. Sounds like this is what -- contact poison is what the individual who sent these letters was intending. But this is pretty crude. It doesn't sound like it was even very well done at that end.

MORGAN: Is the FBI investigating it now?

TOWNSEND: The FBI is investigating it. They'll begin looking at the compound itself, confirming that the compound is the same in both letters. It came from the same batch, if you will. But they'll also look at forensics. They'll look for fingerprints that aren't accounted for on the envelope or the letter. They'll look for saliva, DNA, hair, fingerprints, all of that. And they'll go through that in an effort to find the individual, which will then tell them what was the motive -- was it indeed a political motive?

MORGAN: How big a problem is it, Fran, for the intelligence services in particular and the FBI and the others in relation to the Internet? Because here you've got ricin, people can learn how to make deadly ricin from looking at the Internet. We knew from the Boston bombings that pressure cookers can be adapted to be hideously deadly bombs. Guns can now be made on the Internet. This is a whole new wave of terror through computers.

TOWNSEND: Well, it's the democratization, if you will, of terror weapons and means, right? So it's easier to find both the recipes, the manuals, all of that. And so it's a tremendous challenge. But you know, the FBI has got to balance that against the sort of basic freedoms of the Internet.

You know, your ability to go to a Web site or say things that are offensive to other people. When you -- the problem is, when you cross the line from being nearly interested in looking at those sites to actually building a weapon. And the FBI's ability to interrupt that cycle, the operational cycle. And that's a real challenge.

MORGAN: Dr. Cole, tell me about ricin. How lethal is it, compare it to something like anthrax? And the type that we're seeing in these letters that have been sent to the president, now the mayor of New York. How deadly could they be, potentially, in the wrong hands?

LEONARD COLE, BIOTERRORISM AND TERROR MEDICINE EXPERT: Worst-case scenario, it can be terribly deadly. Tiny, tiny bits of dried powdered ricin that would be inhaled could be fatal within 24 hours. On the other hand, while it's readily available, as Fran just mentioned, it's not so easy to purify or to get into a kind of composition that would be this light, fluffy powder composition.

You can ingest it and also get very sick. I would question, though, the -- the comment that you made about just contact would be a danger. Because it is not going to penetrate skin. Conceivably it could get through an open sore or an abrasion. Compared to anthrax, as you suggest. A little bit of anthrax in the air inhaled would pose a larger danger.

MORGAN: But how easy is it, as Fran was saying.

COLE: Yes.

MORGAN: These people are probably getting the information from the Internet, from manuals and so on. How easy is it for somebody, a regular Joe in the street, to sit down, get on the computer, go to his local store, and create deadly ricin?

COLE: Unfortunately, it's easier than a lot of other potential bio agents. And that's because it comes from a -- caster bean, which is part of a naturally occurring caster plant. Now we're all familiar with caster oil. And ricin, among other byproducts of the production of caster oil, is readily available.

But you still have to purify it from that. And it's not so clear that it would be easily put into a highly deadly form, even from an Internet exposure. A person has to be very willful, dedicated and have a little bit of brain power in order to create a deadly mix.

MORGAN: And, Fran, just ask you one more thing. But before we do, I want to play this full quote from Michael Bloomberg about the gun aspect of this, his campaign. Listen to this.


BLOOMBERG: In terms of why they have done it, I don't know. The letter was obviously referred to our anti-gun efforts. But there's 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns, and 19,000 are going to commit suicide with guns, and we're not going to walk away from those efforts. And I know I speak for all of the -- close to 1,000 mayors in Mayors Coalition against Guns. This is a scourge on the country that we just have to make sure that we get under control and eliminate.


MORGAN: Because of this particular threat, apparently targeting politicians, mayors, because of their position on gun control, will the other thousand mayors who have been signing up to this, will they now have to be properly protected more than they are already?

TOWNSEND: Well, there's no question. Look, all government agencies, both at the federal level and state and local levels, have protocols for screening mail. That's the good news here. Those protocols actually worked. People identified something suspicious, called Emergency Services, and were able to sort of quarantine it, if you will, and so it wouldn't spread.

I expect that every state and local government and federal agency right now are going over those protocols, refreshing people's sort of preparedness to be on alert for it.

MORGAN: Fran Townsend, Leonard Cole, thank you both very much indeed.

Want to turn now to our other big story tonight, extreme weather. CNN's Chad Myers is live for us tonight in Watonga, Oklahoma. He's been chasing storms today across the state.

Chad, what's the latest?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it just started raining here, Piers. But we do know that a lot of weather is still on the way here. Behind me, right over my shoulder, an awful lot of lightning over the top of those silos there, the grain silos.

Boy, let's just go -- let's go from the start. That was yesterday. Yesterday's storm was Bennington, Kansas, a big white wedge tornado, on the ground for a long time, and even another storm around Corning, Kansas yesterday. The weather moved a little bit farther to the south into the west, over Texas today. And we were in it. Boy, we were in it with our hail. I'm surprised one thing -- one thing surprised me today, Piers, is that all of the windows stayed in our vehicle. We got wailed on by this large hail for miles and miles and miles. It just wouldn't stop.

And now we have at least the potential for a tornado, very close to the ground or even on the ground south of Elk City headed to Cordell. And that's on the radar. We are not going to be out of this until the wee hours of the morning. And just like we had last week, where it was one day after another, tomorrow may, in fact, even be a more severe day than we have today.

National Weather Service out of Oklahoma City saying yes, we could even see tornadoes on the ground in Oklahoma City, or at least close to Oklahoma County tomorrow afternoon. So have to be on the guard, big cities, again, for tomorrow.

Today was a bad one across. We saw wind gusts at least 80 miles per hour, dust flying through the sky. We had horses and cows running, just running away from the storm. Really nowhere to go, they're not going to run away from a 35-mile-per-hour storm. But it was a very rough day in western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas -- Piers.

MORGAN: And Chad, I've got a big debate coming after the break between two people on the opposite sides of the climate change debate. What is your view? You've been in this game a very long time. What is your view about the effect of a warmer -- a warmer globe, a warmer climate, if you like, on things like tornadoes, hurricanes and storms in general? Do you believe it's getting worse?

MYERS: I believe it's getting more severe in both directions. The droughts are getting worse, the severe weather getting worse, maybe hurricanes getting worse, as well. And some days, in some years, no hurricanes at all. You can't really put it all into one pot and say this is changing the climate because the word is climate.

The word isn't weather. It isn't weather change. It's climate change. This is years and years and years of testing to make sure that this is right or wrong. And I believe, if you put more hot air into a hot air balloon, Piers, it's going to go higher. If you put more hot air into the atmosphere, it's going to go higher. The storms are going to get higher. The air is going to get more humid. There will be more severe weather.

MORGAN: And does the nature of these storms at the moment -- I've been in America the last few years. It certainly seems to me there's been an escalation in the power. If you look at what happened in Oklahoma last week, you look at Hurricane Sandy, here in New York. It just seems to me that the power of these things is increasing. But is that just a short-term situation? Have we had these before in the last 30 years?

MYERS: We have had these before. What changed with Sandy compared to, let's say, Sandy hitting in 1930, we had a tripling of the population along the shore, so, yes, three times more people were hit. Three times more homes or even more than that were hit. And you take even more, more -- 15, 20 years ago was just a sleepy little place. All those homes that were hit were all built within the past 20 or 30 years. We have put people in places that have more severe weather. And so we are seeing it.

There's more news coverage of it, as well. And even if you think about the first half of this year, where I'm talking about extreme weather, I'm talking about climate both ways. We were in a tornado drought. We only had 250 tornadoes in a time that we should have had 500. So there we're below normal and then all of a sudden, the switch turned on in the past two weeks, and we have ramped this back up.

Now we're not back to normal yet and we don't want to be. But it's on and off, it's hot and cold and it's not a weather change. It's climate change that we're talking about.

MORGAN: Chad Myers, as always, thank you very much indeed.

Coming up, more on the one thing that everyone is talking about. The weather, why it's so crazy. It going to be over 90 degrees in New York tomorrow. Bill Nye, the science guy, debates skeptical environmentalist, great name mostly, Bjorn Lomborg, who's to blame man or Mother Nature.

And in the chair, Hollywood's star Glenn Close tells me about the cause that's closest to her heart and then the stigma of mental illness that's affected her own family.


MORGAN: It's getting hot in here. Peak tornado season still has a month to go, and the Atlantic hurricane season, which starts officially this Saturday is shaping up to be a big one. Of course, nobody on the East Coast needs to be reminded, but Hurricane Sandy was just several months ago.

So what's behind all these vicious storms, and what can we do about them? Joining me to debate all that is Bill Nye, the Science Guy and Bjorn Lomborg. He's the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide To Global Warming."

Let's start with you, Bjorn, as you're with me here. What is a skeptical environmentalist?

BJORN LOMBORG, DIRECTOR, COPENHAGEN CONSENSUS CENTER: Well, fundamentally, it's the guy that say, yes, there are environmental problems and global warming is real. It's something we need to tackle. But we need to be skeptical of the standard solutions that are offered. If people say we should do something about global warming to combat tornadoes, for instance, no. That's probably the least helpful and most expensive way to do almost no good.

MORGAN: Bill Nye, apparently you're talking complete nonsense, because you were saying exactly the same thing the other night. BILL NYE, THE SCIENCE GUY: I'm not sure what you mean by -- we can't stop tornadoes, but we could, for example, pass laws making it difficult or undesirable to build fragile houses in the path of tornadoes. I'm not sure we disagree about that.

So if I understand it, Mr. Lomborg -- Dr. Lomborg, is saying there is -- throwing money at the problem isn't necessarily going to solve it. Is that accurate?

LOMBORG: Fundamentally, yes, Bill. I mean, this is really about - and you're right on spot. We need to make sure that people in Oklahoma have storm shelters. If you want to help people like that. If you want to help people with tornadoes - sorry, with hurricanes, you need to do something about the levees in New Orleans. You know, these are very, very simple things.

There are other good reasons why we need to tackle global warming. But tornadoes and storms aren't --

MORGAN: OK, well, let me ask you this, then. Do you believe that global warming is a real and present situation?

LOMBORG: Yes. It is happening.

MORGAN: So - and Bill, you would too. Both of you agree, the planet is heating up. Right?

NYE: Yes, and humans are responsible.

MORGAN: Right. And to you, Bjorn, believe that as a consequence of that, there could be any effect whatsoever on the power or the volume of tornadoes, hurricanes or big storms?

LOMBORG: If you look at the U.N. Climate Panel, they have done a lot of surveys on a lot of these different studies. They actually have a very hard time telling us, are we going to get more or fewer storms, are they going to be stronger or less strong?

But the underlying point here is to say, it has very, very little -- it's a marginal influence. What really matters -- one of your storm guys also pointed out, we have many more people with much more stuff living close to where hurricanes hit. That's what we need to focus on, if we actually want to help future storm victims.

MORGAN: See, Bill Nye, here's my problem. I'm very concerned about global warming, very concerned about carbon emissions. I want a better planet for my kids and so on. When you look at the chart, the one I've got here, the U.S. annual count of strong to violent tornadoes, F-3 or above - in 1954 through 2012, really, you've seen sort of reduction, it would seem, on the average, of very violent tornadoes in the last 20 years, compared to, say, the '50s and '60s. So, there's no real conclusive evidence there that there's been any real escalation in tornadoes, hurricanes, that kind of major storm. It may just feel like it, because we now have so much media coverage to what is going on in real-time. NYE: Absolutely. You're absolutely right. You can't tie any one storm to climate change. However, we have a lot more people living in harm's way, which I think is Bjorn's point.

And so the question for everybody, for all of us as voters and taxpayers, what do we do about it? As you may know, my thing, we should to everything all at once. That is to say, reducing carbon emissions worldwide is going to help us out in the long run, because the problem everybody, is not that there is more carbon dioxide than ever in history ever. The problem is the rate, the speed at which we are adding carbon dioxide. And along with that, the speed at which we are adding humans.

When I was a kid, there were 3 billion people in the world. Now there are over 7 billion. And we're all using stuff and burning fossil fuels and carrying on. And so whatever effect carbon dioxide is having, it's being exacerbated at this extraordinary speed.

So along that same line, having more people live near coasts and get affected by Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, you're just -- people like me, taxpayers and voters and you, are going to pay for the repair of all that. So are we able, as a society, with global warming -- or global climate change in mind -- are we able to pass laws so that you can't build below the level of the levee, that you can't build --

MORGAN: Okay. Okay. Let me get to Bjorn with this.

NYE: They're big questions.

MORGAN: They are big questions. And I suppose the biggest question to me is, the carbon emission element of all this -- if the population of the planet has doubled and they're pumping out more and more carbon emissions, it doesn't take a genius to work out. This must be having detrimental effect on the planet. No one is going to argue convincing to me this is helping everybody. It must be making things worse. So, surely you have to tackle that. It is chicken and the egg. You can't say we can't do anything about tornadoes and hurricanes. It's all about where you people have got to live. You've got to really tackle the emissions as well.

LOMBORG: Well, you've got to tackle both, as Bill said. But you've also got to realize, we have to focus and make sure we do the smart things.

Now, as Bill also pointed out, if you want to help people in the next 50 years, it's about making sure people build more responsibly, that we have better building codes, all these very, very simple and cheap things. If you want to help in the long run with climate change, we've got to recognize, we have been trying to cut carbon emissions for what, 20 years, at least, and we have managed virtually nothing because people don't burn fossil fuels to annoy Al Gore. They burn them because it powers everything we light. It pulls 600 million people out of poverty in China.

So what we need to do is to find a way to make green energy so cheap everyone wants to buy it. That's not by subsidizing it. That's by innovating smarter, green energy in the long run. So it's about smarter technology.

MORGAN: Okay. Let's bring in storm chaser Reid Timmer. Extreme meteorologist, He's near the Texas/Oklahoma border tonight and joins me on the phone. Reid, what is going on down where you are?

REID TIMMER, METEOROLOGIST (on the phone): Well, there is a tornado warning just off to our east. And we're on I-40 in west Oklahoma trying to catch (INAUDIBLE). We just got stuck in the mud for the third day in a row. And we're back on pavement. And heading east on I-40 trying to gain visual. But hail in 2 inches in diameter. Will probably get up here in about 15 minutes, and just can't get visual of any rotation.

I don't think there is a confirmed tornado yet. But it does have rotation. We're just trying to get in front of it and provide that ground speed so people know what's coming.

MORGAN: Reid, thank you very much indeed for calling in, and thank you to Bjorn and Bill Nye for an interesting debate. It is an interesting debate. It's one I think a lot of people are pursuing as each of these storms comes and goes. What are we doing with our planet, and how do we successfully combat it. So, thank you very much for joining me.

Libertarian Wayne Allen Root joins me On The Grill coming up next. I have a feeling this could be the liveliest Grill we have had since this started


MORGAN: New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is a strong believer in gun control. So, is that the reason he was targeted in this latest ricin incident? Joining me now On The Grill, a man who signed up with the NRA after Sandy Hook. Wayne Allen Root is author of "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: How To Survive, Thrive and Prosper During Obama- geddon."

Welcome to you, Mr. Root.

WAYNE ALLEN ROOT, AUTHOR: Hey, Piers. Good evening.

MORGAN: Let's talk guns, first of all. You joined the NRA after Sandy Hook. Why would anybody do that?

ROOT: Well, I just wanted to protect my rights, my Second Amendment rights. I'm not a big gun guy, by the way. I'm not one of the world's biggest gun guys. I go to a gun range once a year to practice a little bit. I keep a gun in my home for self defense, and that's it. I've never had one on my person, my car. I'm a little scared about them, because I'm not someone who handled them my whole life.

But I always want the right to have it, to defend myself and to defend my family. So, I joined the NRA. I happen to be Jewish by birth, by the way, and I've always said in many interviews around the country, that the slaughter of Jews began in Nazi, Germany in 1938 after Hitler passed a law that said Jews could not own guns. So, I just want to always make sure in this country, we have a right to own guns as the Second Amendment says.

MORGAN: Absolutely nobody, of course, was denying you that right. I mean, do you know how many types of gun President Obama was going to leave in circulation, perfectly legally, if you implemented every single one of the gun control measures he wanted to bring in? Do you know how many?

ROOT: Well, to me, what I worry about, Piers --

MORGAN: Wait, wait. Do you know how many guns would be left in legal circulation? Ones that you could go and buy?

ROOT: I'm sure the number is high.

MORGAN: Have a guess.

ROOT: What is the number?

MORGAN: Have a guess.

ROOT: No idea. Give me the number.

MORGAN: Have a guess. How many different types of guns you would have been still able to legally buy, once all President Obama's gun- grabbing initiative had taken place>

ROOT: Let's say 500. I have no idea.

MORGAN: 2,300 and something. Is that not enough for you? I mean, seriously. You feel like you have to join the NRA after 20 children are blown to pieces because you're worried you'll only be left with 2,300 types of gun to shoot.

ROOT: Piers, those children were blown away in a gun-free zone. So I think it's kind of silly to blame guns. The fact is, when a nut case sees a sign that says gun-free zone, he knows he's got a free shot to kill people. So I'm not a big fan of gun-free zones either, by the way. Guns in the right hands protect people. Guns in the wrong hands should be taken away. Would he we don't want guns in the hands of mentally ill people, but the NRA protects my rights to have a gun, nothing wrong with that.

MORGAN: Would you arm every school, every hospital, every church, every shopping mall, every person that works in those places?

ROOT: No, that was an NRA statement, by the way, and I never necessarily agreed with it.

MORGAN: Well, you're a signed up member to the NRA and said you don't believe in gun-free zones. So to remove any gun-free zones these mass shooters apparently deliberately target, although there is absolutely zero evidence from any of the 60 or 70 mass shootings in America the last 30 years, any of them, has ever left a note saying I targeted that place because it was a gun-free zone.

But by your logic, you would want to arm every nurse, every clergyman, every school teacher, every single person in any public place in America, would have to be armed to prevent the gun-free zone scenario taking place.

ROOT: Not true, Piers. I'm a libertarian conservative and what that means is, everyone should have the choice to be armed. I don't want to arm anyone. I don't want to force anyone to be armed. I don't want to force anyone to be involved with a gun who doesn't want to be involved with guns.

I'm just saying, you shouldn't force people to be disarmed. Libertarianism merely means, everyone gets a choice and that's what America is about. I think that's what makes America great and that's why it's worked for all these years. Let's not pass more laws that limit people's freedoms. Let's give people a choice, that's all I'm saying.

MORGAN: Well, it was only actually a law to prevent military star machine guns being on civilian streets and also high-capacity mooing magazines.

ROOT: I'm aware.

MORGAN: Also bringing in background checks for guns. But, no, none of these could get through the Senate. You know why, because the NRA bullied them so they decided to be cowardly. You can't even bring background checks into a country when 20 children get killed in a classroom? What is wrong with America? When that happens seriously?

ROOT: Well, you say what's wrong with America, but your home country of England has basically banned handguns in the hands of law abiding citizens.

MORGAN: And guess what, we don't get anybody shot dead in Britain. We have about 30 to 40 murders with guns a year. That's the whole point with guns.

ROOT: Piers, the point is that in England, and this is a stat not from Wayne Root, but it was the FBI and your version of the FBI in England, the statistics show that violent crime is over three-and-a- half times larger in England than it is in the united states, even though guns are banned.

Ask those Muslim extremist terrorists the other day, they hacked a man to death with a butcher knife. They cut his head off in the middle of the street in London. They didn't need a gun to do that. You could kill people any way you want. A rope will hang a man. A gun will kill a man and so will a butcher knife.

MORGAN: How many of those -- how many of those school children would have been killed if Adam Lanza had a rope at Sandy Hook?

ROOT: Well, if guns are the reason for Sandy Hook and all these problems, I think we should disarm Barack Obama's security force. MORGAN: The point is -- the point is, when you told me that a rope could cause as much damage, clearly that's palpable nonsense. Let's take a break. Let's come back. I want to talk to you about your theory that PRESIDENT Obama should be impeached over the IRS scandal.


MORGAN: Back now on the grill is Wayne Allen Root, the author of "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide." So Wayne, let's move on to the IRS scandal, which I agree was pretty awful, actually, in many ways, and an example of a government at its worst, really. But why do you believe that President Obama should be impeached over it?

ROOT: Well, I didn't say he should be impeached unless we prove that it went to him. Obviously, if he's not responsible and it was rogue IRS agents, you wouldn't impeach Obama. But my gut instinct has been from the first day and I'm not someone who came to this lately.

I came out with articles about this at many of the biggest conservative web sites in the country a year ago, and said that I personally had been targeted and attacked by the IRS, and had been the subject of two specific audits, where all the experts that I hired, accountants and lawyers, felt that they had never seen anything like this in their entire careers, and that it had to be ordered from up above, because the agents were acting in a way that they had never seen before.

Including, by the way, we took it to tax court and won, and five days later, a new IRS audit. I mean, my lawyer on the phone said I've never in my life heard of any such a thing, are we living in Russia or are we living in America. Five days after winning in tax court, someone audited you.


ROOT: The president's enemy's list.

MORGAN: I agree that the IRS targeting, particularly the Tea Party membership, as we saw they were doing, was completely unacceptable. I also find the way they have been going after journalists, including the Fox News guy and people at AP, equally unacceptable.

ROOT: Right.

MORGAN: And all vaguely bordering -- as I said on the show, on tyrannical behavior. However, to get talking approximate impeachment, you've really got to nail President Obama's fingerprints to any of these things and I don't see any of that. I don't see that there is any chain that leads to Obama.

ROOT: Well, here's what I pointed out, Piers. That very few Americans remember that the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, were number one, Watergate, a third-rate burglary, and number two, using the IRS to go after and silence his enemies. So to me when you see that the IRS went after -- forget about Tea Party groups. How about guys like me, critics of the president, outspoken critics, and suddenly we find ourselves under IRS attack. And by the way, today I'm appearing on your show, I was cleared again by the IRS and literally found to not owe one cent. So I've now been the subject --

MORGAN: Wait, wait, wait, this is not just a platform for you to be going over your extensive history with the IRS. So I mean, we all have our axe to grind with the IRS.

ROOT: I have a history -- Piers --

MORGAN: Nobody likes taxes.

ROOT: Right. But I had no history with the IRS until Obama became president.

MORGAN: I get it. You're -- in the way they came after you. They'll probably be calling after this show. Let's move on to Michele Bachmann who is bowing out of the political stage today or as many people thinking, jumping before she is thrown off the bridge. To me, I've interviewed Michele Bachmann a few times. I find it hard to believe almost anything she ever says about anything.

ROOT: Well, listen, I think it's great that she is retiring, I always thought --


ROOT: I think all politicians should be limited to two terms, one term in office and one term in prison. And so it doesn't matter to me whether Republican or Democrat, I like to get fresh blood in there.

MORGAN: Do you think of one actual fact she has come up with has turned out to be true?

ROOT: Well, I don't worry about that.

MORGAN: Give me one thing Michele Bachmann has ever said that you can incontrovertibly tell me was completely true.

ROOT: Well, certainly, as a libertarian, I disagree with a lot of her social views. I'm much more libertarian on those. I think we should get government out of the broom and bedroom. But on fiscal issues, Michele Bachmann would side with me. We're both fiscally Tea Partiers on the topic of smaller government, don't allow the IRS to destroy people's lives because of their political beliefs.

I think all of those -- have taxes lower so people get to keep more of their own money. I would agree with most of those. Let's get some fresh blood in there. I think it's great she is allowing someone new to come in. That's what America needs. Let's get the whole Congress out of there every six or eight years.

MORGAN: Wayne, good to have you on your debut on "The Grill." Come back soon.

ROOT: Thanks, Piers. Love to be on.

MORGAN: Coming up next, legendary actress, Glenn Close opens up about her family's struggle with mental illness. An interview you really want to see. It's coming up next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One in six adults has a mental illness and we face a stigma that can be as painful as the disease itself. Change a mind about mental illness and you can change a life.


MORGAN: Glenn Close teamed up with Oscar winning director in 2009 for a powerful campaign to raise awareness about mental illness. As an actress, her films have grossed more than $1 billion and include "Fatal Attraction" "The Big Chill" and "Air Force." She is also a six-time Oscar nominee, won two Golden Globes and three Emmys, now added this to her resume.

And joining me in the chair is Glenn Close, her sister, Jessie Close and nephew, Calen Pick. Welcome to you all.


MORGAN: The full family ensemble.


MORGAN: Let's talk mental illness because I've been doing stuff on my show about the gun control campaign so many of these incidents have been linked to a form of mental illness. And the cry comes -- America just doesn't deal with this issue properly enough. Is that a charge with which you would find the country guilty?

GLENN CLOSE, ACTRESS, ACTIVIST: Yes, it is. I think for just basically speaking, there is not enough -- there aren't enough programs for early intervention, there aren't enough programs on a grass roots level to help people who need help, who know they need help. And there are not enough things to stop stigma so that people will actually seek help and know where to go.

MORGAN: Jessie, you went to Glenn and said this, "I can't stop thinking about killing myself." How old were you when that happened and what were you feeling?

JESSIE CLOSE, GLENN'S SISTER: I was feeling suicidal. I was 51. So I had lived a huge part of my life untreated. I self medicated with alcohol.

MORGAN: And Glenn, were you aware of any of this?

GLENN CLOSE: That's the amazing thing, is really kind of basic to our message. Our family had absolutely no vocabulary for mental illness. It was the furthest thing from our minds. Jessie was always kind of the original one, the wild one, told to pull herself together, buck up, get a job.

And it wasn't until -- well, Calen was actually diagnosed before Jess and that started kind of sinking in, but it wasn't until Jessie came and said to my face I can't stop thinking of killing myself that I realized that actually she would was in a life and death struggle.

MORGAN: It's a terrifying thing to hear from a sibling.


MORGAN: It must have shocked you to the core.

GLENN CLOSE: It did shock me to the core and made me very ashamed that I wasn't more in tune with what my own sibling had been going through.

MORGAN: But Jessie, as Glenn's sister, suddenly you're going through this hell. You've been going through it for quite some time and not knowing what it was. You were eventually diagnosed with bipolar condition. For those who have no idea what a bipolar condition is, what is the simple, layman's way of describing it?

JESSIE CLOSE: You have very, very low lows, depression, it used to be called manic depression, which is more descriptive. But you have very, very low lows and then you have very, very high highs. And when I was depressed, I would even resort to going and lying in my closet so nobody could find me, to tell me I need to get up. When I was high, I would typically go buy a new car, trade in my car or get with a realtor and put the house I was on, you know --

MORGAN: You did crazy things, impulsive --

GLENN CLOSE: Get a divorce.

JESSIE CLOSE: Get a divorce, anything. I mean, all these things that sounded like they were such a good idea.

MORGAN: Before you were diagnosed, your son -- before we come to you, I want to play another PSA. It will lead us into this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry to disappoint you, if you were expecting a lunatic on a rampage. I'm Calen and I've been living with schizophrenia for years.


MORGAN: It's not easy, is it? Glenn is hugely famous around the world as this great actress, right in her own family, something that affects a lot of people. In America alone, one in four families are affected by mental illness, 60 million Americans live with some form of mental health condition. You and your mother were both part of that, very brave to go public like this. Did you have any hesitation? CALEN PICK, GLENN CLOSE'S NEPHEW: A little hesitation, yes, of course.

MORGAN: What persuaded you?

PICK: Those facts that there are so many people living with this that don't have a voice and I think it's important that they know that there's other people out there like them.

GLENN CLOSE: People, they don't care enough to really know the facts and there's still so much stigma out there that it prevents people from opening their minds. And it prevents people from healing when they come out living with mental illness from talking about it. Our main message is you have to start talking before it.

MORGAN: Obviously, you starred in "Fatal Attraction" and his own wife, Catherine Zeta Jones has suffered from bipolar. When I heard that, it must have been great resonance to you given your own sister has been through this.

GLENN CLOSE: Huge and I immediately thought, boy, she built a career without being able to talk about it.

MORGAN: Have you spoken to either of them about it?

GLENN CLOSE: No, I haven't. I hope that we can, yes. There's always that thing, you want to give people their space and sometimes unless they bring it up. It's not something you --

MORGAN: Given what you know Jesse's been through, do you find it remarkable that Catherine's been able to sustain --

GLENN CLOSE: Absolutely remarkable. And it's a great tribute to whatever supports group she has around her, and that's her family, I'm sure, you can't do it without family, as you guys were saying. When Calin came out of the hospital, all of his friends disappeared. It was --

MORGAN: Which is part of the stigma, you were saying, in the break there, that you both have medication and you both see a future you wouldn't have for a while. And it can be a happy situation that you come through to?

PICK: Yes, it can be. I think as I've recovered certain pieces of myself that were problematic. There's a sense of those things becoming irrelevant in my life today, but I can't forget where I came from. I can't forget the places --

GLENN CLOSE: You once said it was the burden of recovery.

MORGAN: Right. I'm sure it's not an easy journey to go on, is it? The other big story, I thought like you were doing with this issue, she really embraced this in a way that will have great benefit to a lot of women around the world. What was your reaction to that?

GLENN CLOSE: Huge respect. Also, it makes sense scientifically. There is all this evidence that she was a high risk, and the fact that she did it and she did it publicly I think is remarkable. And it will, it will save people's lives.

MORGAN: It's been a great pleasure to meet you. Thank you for bringing your family and great to both to meet you both. I applaud the bravery you're showing in talking about this, for more information, go to The final season of damages will be available on DVD June 16th. We'll be right back.


MORGAN: This Friday night, a PIERS MORGAN LIVE special, "Inside the Mind of a Killer." My exclusive personal interview with Joshua Cook, when he was a teenager he shot his parents to death. He says the movie, "The Matrix" fuelled his rage and led to the double murder. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I would match "The Matrix," I would see myself in that role. I would see myself shooting the bullies and people who had hurt me in my life and this movie was a type of release of aggression. And it actually made me feel better when I would watch it. I watched this movie hundreds of times.

I just got deeper and deeper into a hole that I couldn't get out of, and I just got more and more homicidal. And just basically my rage and my anger and my hate were just building up, it was a ticking time bomb and it was only a matter of time until it exploded.


MORGAN: Cook reveals everything about what he did and why he did it. The candid and chilling hour, he also gives his opinion on why he thinks other young deranged men commit mass shootings, it's a fascinating interview. That's the PIERS MORGAN LIVE special on Friday night. That's all for us tonight. "ANDERSON COOPER" starts right now.