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PIERS MORGAN LIVE

Chemical Weapons in Syria; Deadly Colorado Wildfires; Interview with Senator Chris Murphy; Interview with Donald Trump

Aired June 13, 2013 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. I'll talk to the families of two teachers killed by Adam Lanza. They met with President Obama today.

And I'll ask Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy about his war against the NRA. Plus new details on the growing NSA leak investigation. And Donald Trump weighs in on the battle between privacy and security in America. He also takes on the Obama scandals and Hillary Clinton's political future.

Plus on "The Grill" tonight, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, CNN's dynamic duo talk "NEW DAY" and much, much more.

We have breaking news tonight on Syria's use of chemical weapons. CNN's Chris Lawrence has the latest.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Piers, tonight there is a major policy shift from the U.S. towards Syria as U.S. officials for the first time now conclusively say that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and therefore crossed the red line that President Obama set. A White House officials said, quote, "Following a deliberate review our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons including the nerve agent sarin on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year."

Now sarin is a lethal gas that can kill a man within minutes. It can paralyzed the lungs. Sources tell CNN that sarin was used at least eight times over the past year and killed up to 150 people. Now the U.S. has been providing non-lethal aid to those rebels, food, medicine, communications gear. The rebels have asked for shoulder- fired missiles, for anti-tank weapons and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition.

White House officials aren't specifying exactly what support, what military support will be given but they are confirming that there is a move now to give those rebels direct military support.

I'm told by sources that that will not include establishing a no- fly zone which would involve rescue teams, American pilots, bombing runs, but that some of those weapons may be on the table given to the rebels in some form perhaps through European allies or other allies in the region. There is a renewed sense of urgency within the Pentagon and the administration after Iranian-backed fighters helped the Syria government recapture one city and strategically placed its forces to take another -- Piers.

MORGAN: Chris, thank you very much.

Let's get to our other breaking stories. Extreme weather and the wildfires in Colorado. With us tonight, CNN's Victor Blackwell, live in Colorado Springs, and Chad Myers in the CNN Severe Weather center.

We'll begin with Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, Piers, it has been a rough day. Even Washington, D.C. got in on the act. And Rockville, Maryland, you have a tornado not that far from you. A lot of power lines down, trees down in places where you don't think about severe weather.

Right now the severe weather has just run through Atlanta, Georgia, from the north. Here's a live shot from our tower cam. We've been seeing lightning strikes all the way here. This is looking south to the southeast. There you see the flash at this point. It's still sparking there just to the south of Atlanta. We're talking about McDonough and also back down here just to the south of the I-20.

Something else that we've watched all day is the wind out west. You talked about that. You talked about how the dry air and the wind and the heat out in Colorado have just baked this ground. Baked it's where you just not much living left in some of these areas. Some of these grasses, some of these shrubs and bushes are just dry from years of drought. Things have cooled down slightly. Colorado Springs 78, but the winds are still south at 28 miles per hour, and for the next couple of days, those winds don't die off.

Those winds are fanning the flames and those flames are just completely out of control and our Victor here, he's out there in this smoke-infested area giving you the latest on this live report -- Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Chad, thanks, the latest here 15,700 acres burned and 5 percent contained. A small victory but a victory nonetheless. And the fire that you mentioned is so tough to fight because of those gusty winds.

The big headline tonight, the Black Forest fire has become what so many hoped and prayed that it would not become the deadly Black Forest fire. Two bodies were recovered today by the Sheriff's Office. The sheriff is not giving a lot of information about them but he says they were trying to retrieve a few items during an evacuation.

Also today a first for the city proper of Colorado Springs. An evacuation of 3,000 people, about 6,000 people also asked to leave in a voluntary evacuation. So many people out of their homes, 360 homes lost, and we want to bring in now two people who, unfortunately, are part of that number who lost their home in the Black Forest fire. We've got Kyle Kirkland here, Danielle Byrne, and their three dogs, Kia, Jack and Shadow, and first, we want to share with you, of course, our sorrow for you losing your home, but you were asked to leave in the first evacuation. When did you learn that this was so serious?

KYLE KIRKLAND, LOST HOME IN COLORADO FIRE: I was actually at work, and I got a text message from one of my boys' parents on my soccer team asking me if we've been evacuated and not knowing what was going on, I turned the radio on and by that time we were already in the mandatory evacuation, so I ended up locking up the gym early, speeding down the Black Forest to grab the dog.

BLACKWELL: What could you grab when you left? What did you have with you?

DANIELLE BYRNE, LOST HOME IN COLORADO FIRE: Well, I was at work but the only he was able to grab was the dogs. He didn't have enough time. Smoke was all over our house, by that time, so he finally grabbed some important things and get out as fast as we could.

BLACKWELL: Now I understand it was pretty difficult to get back and get the dogs. A friend told you that, you know, things are getting serious around your home. How tough was it?

KIRKLAND: It was pretty tough by the time I got back to (INAUDIBLE), the police closed it off and I got out of my car and I asked them listen, I have three dogs, it will take me five minutes to get down there, I'll be back within a flash and he told me that I was risking my own life and obviously did what I have to do for our family.

BLACKWELL: You went back to get them. Now, Danielle, tell me about this moment you had in Target when you realized the gravity of what was happening.

BYRNE: Well, we already found out that the house was gone but it didn't actually hit me until I went to Target and I had to buy all these things that I already should have had like socks and undergarments, shampoo, conditioner. Spending all this money on stuff that I had in my house that obviously I no longer have so that was --

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: What were you feeling at that moment?

BYRNE: I mean, I wanted to have a meltdown. I mean, I felt homeless. I mean, I felt out of place, I felt -- I mean, so many mixed emotions, I just -- I just wanted to go home and that was no longer an option.

BLACKWELL: So do -- you say you felt homeless. Where are you guys staying now?

KIRKLAND: We are staying actually at Danielle's friend's house. She's an office in the Air Force and she has a house off Fillmore and Meade so we're down there for right now.

BLACKWELL: I've also read that you now want to volunteer at these shelters, why?

KIRKLAND: We've experienced first-hand how it feels and we have a lot of friends in the Black Forest community, friends, family and we just -- we want to give back to them.

BLACKWELL: All right. Kyle Kirkland and Danielle Byrne, Jack, Shadow, Kia, thank you all for speaking with us today.

15,700 acres, that's just the number, the 360 homes lost. Again, just a number, but when you hear the stories from the people here, you really get an idea of how much is lost but how much they still have. I had a conversation with the sheriff here yesterday and he said that this is a resilient community. After so much was lost after the Waldo Canyon fire last year, people rebuilt, they supported each other, they worked in the shelters, to help the other people who had lost so much more and we're seeing that again this year.

Now this fire is continuing to burn as we said just 5 percent contained, almost 500 -- change that, the update tonight was 750 firefighters working on this. There's a federal incident commander here trying to take advantage of the increased humidity to try to get this fire out, but it's been really unpredictable with the winds that will continue.

Back to you, Piers.

MORGAN: Thanks very much. And tomorrow marks six months since the massacre in Newtown. Six months since Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary. You know where I stand on the issue of guns but has anything changed since that awful day?

Joining me now is Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut.

Senator Murphy, thank you for joining me. This is the big question for me. Six month have now gone by, nearly 5,000 more Americans have been killed by guns and it seems to me, let's be brutally honest, absolutely nothing has changed and this prompts the question, if nothing changes when 20 children get murdered, when does it change?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Yes, how can you look in the eyes of the families of these murdered 6 and 7-year-olds and tell them that we can't do anything when the facts are the facts that in Columbine if we had universal background checks those guys might not have gotten the guns.

If we had had limits on magazine clips there'd probably be people still alive in Aurora and Tucson and 20 kids got shot at inside Sandy Hook and all of them died because of the power of that assault rifles. So here's what's changed, Piers, is that there is a political infrastructure now built up around the gun issue. And I will tell you, some of my colleagues in the Senate who went the wrong way back in April are looking for a different path forward because they don't want to go up against Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Gabby Giffords' group, and Moms Demand Action when it comes to elections next year.

That has changed and that may provide us a path back to getting a bill on the floor of the Senate before the end of this year.

MORGAN: I mean, what it needs, it just needs some of guts. And need some of these people to stand up to the NRA. The NRA as it always does has come up with another threatening attack ad, this time against Senator Manchin in his home state, attacking him for a bill that would have strengthened background checks which seems to be the very least that should be happening.

Let's watch the NRA ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember this TV add?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I'm Joe Manchin, I approve this ad because I'll always defend West Virginia. As your senator I'll protect our Second Amendment rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was Joe Manchin's commitment, but now Manchin is working with President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Concerned? You should be. Tell Senator Manchin to honor his commitment to the Second Amendment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I mean, this is what they do, isn't it, Senator? They just bully, threaten, cajole, spend money, try to force politicians on the back front. And unfortunately, it usually works.

MURPHY: Yes, but why does it work? I mean, the fact is that these guys have become pretty miserable at winning elections. In 2012 the NRA targeted 16 Senate seats. They spent money in 16 Senate seats. You know how many of those they won? Three. They lost 13 of 16. You were better off being against the NRA. I would argue now more than ever than being with them and this whole idea about, you know, his commitment to the Second Amendment.

I'm committed to the Second Amendment, too, but there's no constitutional scholar who tells you that the Second Amendment protects 100 rounds of ammunition or dangerous assault weapons. The Second Amendment has limitations. Just like the First Amendment does. And that's why Joe Manchin is a big supporter of the Second Amendment and the main proponent of universal background checks.

MORGAN: Of course he is. And there is an absolutely hypocrisy in the position that many people up in Washington. Let's take an example, Lindsey Graham, who I happen to personally like, but he's very pro-Second Amendment, very pro-gun rights, very anti any new form of gun control or background checks, and yet he's one of the first people to pop up in the last week whole heartedly endorsing the NSA gathering all this date and information about Americans, seemingly oblivious to hypocrisy of that position, when one of his arguments against background check and why should the government have all this information on us?

MURPHY: Yes, you know, it's never made a lot of sense to me. The NRA came out and said, you know what, after Sandy Hook what we should really have is a database of everybody who's mentally ill in this country and we're just going to track them to make sure that they don't do something dangerous.

First of all, that a grievous violation of privacy but second, if you don't have a registry of who has these dangerous guns, what is the information about people who have mental illness do you? The fact is is that there's hypocrisy all over this place, and so long as the NRA essentially strikes the fear into the hearts of lots of senators, it's going to continue.

MORGAN: Just a segue quickly to the NSA scandal. The FBI director Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee earlier today. He invoked 9/11 saying had these programs been in place before 9/11 it may have prevented what happened.

Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR: If we had the telephone number from Yemen we would have matched it up to that telephone number in San Diego. The simple fact that their detention could have derailed the plan in any case, the opportunity was not there. If we had had this program, that opportunity would have been there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Senator, you've been briefed on a lot of this stuff. And where do you see the line being drawn? Clearly they're going to get some success with what they're doing in thwarting some kind of terrorist activity. But at what risk and damage to the average American privacy, do you think?

MURPHY: Well, clearly, the information that they've gleaned from this program has led to some bad guys being stopped from doing bad things. I think it's -- probably a little bit of an overreached to say that we would have stopped 9/11 if this program had been in a place. We don't know what people would have done with that information. But to me the issue is this. That I think that the administration needs to give the American people more credit.

I think that we should be having much more public debate about some of these private programs. Not -- not giving out detailed information but leveling with the American public about what kind of information that the administration thinks it needs. My problem is that so much of the war on terror is being conducted behind closed doors, whether it'd be the drone program, or whether it'd be these NSA data collection programs.

And the American public doesn't need to know every detail but they certainly should be part of the discussion.

MORGAN: Senator Murphy, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

MURPHY: Thanks, Piers.

MORGAN: Coming up next, a man who never holds back, Donald Trump takes on Washington, the NSA leaks, Obama's second-term scandals, and whether he thinks Hillary Clinton will run and possibly win in 2016. That's all coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": Due to the government's spying scandals, sales of the classic George Orwell book "Nineteen Eighty- Four" have skyrocketed. That's true. So the fallout from the scandal was worse than we thought. It's making Americans read.

(LAUGHTER)

That's frightening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Conan O'Brien making light of the NSA leaks. But it's a serious matter to many people. Donald Trump is the man with some pretty serious opinions about himself. Are we making too much of the surveillance and should the focus really be on the leaker Edward Snowden?

Well, Donald Trump joins me now on the phone.

Donald, how are you?

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL (via phone): I'm fine, Piers.

MORGAN: Great to talk to you. What is your reaction --

TRUMP: Nice talking to you.

MORGAN: What is your reaction to this? Because look at it in the bigger picture. Clearly a number of Americans are concerned about the level to which their privacy is being attacked here but at the same time a lot of secrets are being spilled. Where do you sit?

TRUMP: Well, let's start off with Snowden. I think he's bad news. I've watched him and he's having a good time. And of all places he goes to Hong Kong for protection. That is itself is a little bit interesting because that's not a place where actually he should get that kind of protection but it looks like they are going to protect him. So I don't know what information he's given them but it could be very serious. He's a bad guy. I have no doubt that he's a bad guy.

As far as, you know, privacy, certainly we want the privacy. Now people are saying that this is national security and it really depends on how far they're going and that will come out, but we do want privacy. We also want national security.

MORGAN: Rand Paul today said he's going to challenge the constitutionality of the court order, presumably under the Fourth Amendment. Listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Americans are rightly concerned about having all of their phone records collected and monitored all of the time.

We're here today to announce that we will be challenging the constitutionality of the court order that collects all of American cell phone data all of the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: To Rand Paul there making it pretty clear that he thinks this is a breach, I would imagine, of the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans here. And it's a serious business if that's what it is.

TRUMP: Well, Piers, it's certainly a point of view, and there's no question about it that this is a mess no matter how you look at it. It is a mess. You know, where do they stop? How far do they go? What kind of power do they have?

So it is a point of view and some very conservative people feel that way and some, frankly, very liberal people. I mean, we're looking at a lot of people are concerned about how far are they going to go, and that's what we're talking about.

MORGAN: What about journalists? Peter King said yesterday he thinks journalists should potentially be prosecuted, maybe even go to jail for publishing and reporting leaks like this. Do you agree with that?

TRUMP: Well, I think that -- and we've had this over the years and we've had it actually a number of times over the years but there's never been anything quite like this and there's never been -- you know, this is all because of what's happened with all of the e-mails and the twitters and all of -- you know, what's taking place in a computerized world.

Ten years ago you write on the back of an envelope. You write something down on a piece of paper. Today everything, whatever you put down is there, and it's there forever. It's indelible. So it is going to be -- it's a real problem for this country, and you look at the kind of secrets that are being given out. A lot of people are saying China has learned more from this young man that -- and you know, without a high school education that had access to everything you could possibly have access to. I mean, what kind of security is this? This is tremendous security breach.

MORGAN: I mean, there is another way of looking at some of what he's done in the sense if you're not American, you're looking at it from the outside saying, America has been accusing the Chinese of hacking computers here for a long time now, and Snowden has revealed and apparently has the proof to back this up that America has been hacking Chinese computers for the last three to four years. Is that not in the public interest?

TRUMP: Well, China is having a field day because that's true. Over the last especially year we've been talking about them hacking, right? And now all of a sudden you look at what's going on and China is -- over the last couple of days, they're talking about us hacking. We do far more than they've ever done and they are having an absolutely field day.

I think the bigger field day is what is Snowden giving them? How much information is Snowden giving them? Because it sounds like he's got just about all the information we have in this country.

MORGAN: Yes. Absolutely. Well, one other thing that leaked out today was about a friend of yours and mine, Rupert Murdoch. You're a billionaire who's been married three times. He's a billionaire who's just divorcing his third wife. Are you surprised by that news?

TRUMP: Well, I was surprised. I know him and like Rupert a lot. I know and like Wendy a lot. And I never saw this coming. This is really very surprising to me and it was surprising to a lot of other people, including my daughter Yvanka who's a good friend of theirs.

MORGAN: Yes, I mean, what do you -- what do you hear or think is maybe behind it?

TRUMP: Well, I don't hear anything. I mean, I was just very surprised to hear the news. I was very saddened by it. They are both very good people, and so I was really surprised and I'm sure you were probably more surprised than anybody.

MORGAN: Yes. It's a hell of a shock, I think, for anyone that knows them both. And I --

TRUMP: To me, if you know Rupert, and if you know the whole situation, that to me is a -- you know, it's a very big story.

MORGAN: Yes.

TRUMP: Because I just thought they got along really well. I was very, very saddened to hear about it.

MORGAN: Yes, I'm with you. I'm sad about it, too.

Let's move on to Hillary Clinton. A lot of activity with her this week. She burst on to Twitter, which many saw as a sign that she's bracing everyone for a run in 2016 then she was hit by State Department scandal allegations, cover-ups over sex scandals and so on.

What do you think of Hillary generally and what do you think of her chances if she does run a success in 2016?

TRUMP: Well, she's getting hit very hard. There is no question about it. I've always liked her on a very personal basis. I've liked her and her husband a lot. In fact he was on your show saying that he likes me. So --

MORGAN: He was, yes.

TRUMP: You know, it's hard not to like somebody --

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Yes.

TRUMP: But I like him and I think he does like me and we played golf together. And, you know, I've just always gotten along very well. They are members of my club up in West Chester and they're wonderful members actually, and wonderful people. So I've always liked Hillary.

I think that if Benghazi and all of this stuff that's been coming up lately because she is -- has been getting hit very hard but if it doesn't stick, which perhaps it will and perhaps it won't, I think she's going to be the easy nominee for the Democrats.

MORGAN: Do you think that she could win? There is a lot of traction now behind Chris Christie who I've found an extremely engaging impressive charter whenever I interviewed him. Do you think that he could put on a real race with Hillary? It was a hell of a fight for the media but I could see that being a really great running.

TRUMP: Well, he's another friend of mine and I think he'd be very effective and I think that he will be certainly somebody that you cannot mess with. It'll be a very interesting race if that's the race. But I know there are a lot of people on both sides that are thinking about it very seriously. I know Hillary's numbers have gone down. They've been a little bit affected and some people would say quite a bit affected by what's happened.

I hear the vice president would like very much to run and that he may be running, but it just seems to me if Hillary wants it, assuming nothing much happens with what we're all talking about for the last two weeks, that it will be Hillary on the Democratic side. The Republicans, it's not quite as clear as to what's going to happen as of this moment and certainly Chris has not made any indication that he would be running. He's going to be running for governor. He's going to do very well on that race, I believe. I think that should be an easy race for him but --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: If he did run, if he did run, Donald, would you -- would you see yourself endorsing him pretty quickly?

TRUMP: Well, I have a great relationship with him. I have a relationship with many of the people that we're talking about. It's never easy, Piers, because I have a relationship with many of the people that we're talking about.

MORGAN: Right.

TRUMP: But we'll see how it all goes. I mean, you know, Chris is somebody that I've known for a long time. I've always backed him. And we'll see how things go.

MORGAN: Donald Trump, always great to talk to you, thank you so much.

TRUMP: Well, thank you very much.

MORGAN: We're learning more about NSA leaker Edward Snowden but it's only raising more questions about what kind of person he is. A criminal profiler breaks down what we know so far. That's coming next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDWARD SNOWDEN, LEAKED NSA DOCUMENTS: The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Confessed NSA leaker Edward Snowden speaking out while on the run. The more we learn about his life the more questions there are about why somebody like him would take on the U.S. government like this.

To help us get inside the mind of Edward Snowden, Xavier Amador is a forensic psychologist and the founder of the Leap Institute. And John Hermann is BuzzFeed's the tech editor.

And the reason we've got you in, John, is because you've unearthed all sorts of fascinating stuff about this guy. Build me a picture of the kind of -- to me, somebody needy, needy, quite weird geek. Am I overstating things?

JOHN HERRMAN, BUZZFEED TECH EDITOR: He's definitely a geek. I think one of the big things here is that since this information has come out, there have been two responses, there have been people who -- who see him as an increasingly weird and strange gamer, anime fan, you know, hacktivist type. And then people who are kind of from the Internet who spend a lot of time on forums and online community who sort of recognized him as a type.

MORGAN: What is that type?

HERRMAN: He's a little bit of a know-it-all. A little bit of a troll but also a guy with very strong convictions about privacy, about freedom of information, about government.

MORGAN: You see, here's the thing, Xavier Amador, which I find slightly incongruous. If you're such a great, you know, campaigner for privacy and everything else, why on earth would you go and work at the NSA?

XAVIER AMADOR, FOUNDER, LEAP INSTITUTE: That's a great question. You know, we don't have a psychiatric psychological term of geek or know-it-all, but there is a kind of grandiosity that's coming across in his words, looking at his blogs, looking at things -- references he makes to his super hero cape and so on.

You know, I have top secret clearance. People I know who have it, you take an oath, and you take an oath to keep a secret, even knowing full well that there may be things that you learn from the government that you're morally and ethically opposed to and that's a decision he had to make.

And so to think that he's acting purely out of some ethical concern, we're not talking about genocide here, as far as I'm -- as I know. We're talking about maybe some very, very serious issues but he broke his oath. And that says something about his personality or he's been compromised.

MORGAN: Yes, I --

AMADOR: Today the government announced -- suggesting he might have been compromised or he might be in fact involved in espionage. Those are the two scenarios I see. An image for personality grandiosity or he's been compromised. Something about his past has been --

MORGAN: Right, I mean, John Herrman, looking at some of the stuff that you unearthed, I mean, his gaming name, Wolf King Awesome Fox.

HERRMAN: Right.

MORGAN: And you know, he used quite descriptive sex talk while -- referencing was to post-coital Krispy Kremes, and, et cetera, et cetera.

The kind of picture I got from what you unearthed about him was just, you know, he's -- he's a guy with a pretty big sense of his own importance in life but that importance in life was quite important in his little world, was nowhere near important enough for him to start making decisions about national security, was it?

HERRMAN: Well, what's important to understand is that on this forum that he was posting on, it's very for tech geeks, for IT guys, he posted nearly 800 times. He posted about all manners of things and he wasn't really -- first of all, he didn't expect this anonymous scrutiny in the future, although he must have known going into this that this could all be unearthed, but he was embodying a type that I think we're going to see more and more of as hacktivists kind of enter the mainstream.

MORGAN: They're celebrity hacktivists. I mean, Xavier Amador, that's what he is, I think. I think he's looked to people like Bradley Manning and the others. He's a bit of a loser by all accounts and he's gone for it, and thinks I'm going to make myself a global star, and a kind of hero figure, if you like. And that's what I read into him at the moment from everything I'm gleaming. But am I unfair to say that?

AMADOR: No, I don't think you're unfair but then -- and that's one viable scenario for sure, looking at this as a psychologist, just as another person. But the other has to do with him going go into this thinking he could keep a secret. He was going to keep the secret and he has an immature personality. He's impulsive. And he hasn't had a security clearance that long. He's a young guy. It may have been a mistake giving him the clearance in the first place. And there's another scenario which his he's been compromised.

MORGAN: And also, quite bizarre, I think, Xavier, that he's just ditched his girlfriend, this beautiful girl that seems very intelligent, beautiful, and her father says they're all pretty shocked.

(CROSSTALK)

I'm looking at pictures of her now. Even I would question the insanity just for leaving her.

AMADOR: Look, I -- I've heard a lot of couples and a lot of people break up for a lot of reasons, so you may be reading -- you may have a crystal ball that I simply don't have.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Finally, John, I mean, what is the reaction -- you know, from our community, the media world? We all have our view taken from our positions but in the Internet world, it's your world, is he seen as more of a hero than a villain?

HERRMAN: I think the Internet, at least types of communities he is a part of has been broadly sympathetic. He's -- he's very much of the Internet. He spent a lot of his formative years, in his 20s, posting on these forums, talking about games, hobbies, talking about his job, talking about his strange hours, his security clearance.

And I think a lot of people online, particularly young men see themselves in him. They, you know, they see him as a type of almost hero that maybe they could relate to or be like. So I think there is a gap between the broader public perception of who he is and what he did and the Internet's more narrow perception.

MORGAN: Well, the mystery will continue until we get more of a sense of what his real motivation is for all this. And I'm sure that will come out in the next few weeks.

John Herrman and Xavier Amador, thank you both very much.

Six months after the Sandy Hook massacre, victims' families meet with President Obama. What did he say? My conversation with two family members who met him. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The time it took for them to crawl, 10 months. The time it took to run, two years. The time it took to become a first grader, six years. And in some states, the time it takes to buy a gun, 10 minutes.

Universal background checks won't save time. But they will save lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: A powerful message from Newtown Action Alliance. As I mentioned earlier, tomorrow marks six months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Twenty 1st graders and six educators died that day. Today President Obama sat down to meet with some of the family members. It includes Jillian Soto who's Vicki Soto's sister and Teresa Rousseau, who's Lauren Rousseau's mother. Both were teachers, of course, at Sandy Hook.

Welcome to you both. Tell me first of all, if you may, Teresa, how did it go today in Washington, and in particular your meeting with the president?

TERESA ROUSSEAU, LAUREN ROUSSEAU'S MOTHER: The president has been so supportive of our cause and we're more than happy to work with him and Vice President Biden in their effort to pass some commonsense gun legislation.

MORGAN: Jillian, you know, I totally applaud the president and the vice president's rhetoric on all this. What I find hard to deal with is the complete lack of any action at the end of it. You must, as a group of families, feel pretty frustrated that here we are six months after this appalling atrocity which so terribly affected your families and nothing really has happened.

JILLIAN SOTO, VICKI SOTO'S SISTER: I do feel frustrated at times but sitting down with the vice president and the president today I did feel -- you know, they talked to us, they told us, you know, it's going to take time but as long as we keep showing that we're not going anywhere, we'll keep fighting it, we're going to get somewhere. And I'm confident in that. I know it's taken six months for this talk to get as far as it has and it's not going to happen overnight that we're going to get universal background checks and assault rifle bans or lower magazine size.

It's going to take time. But as long as we all stand together and continue to fight and not give up, not let the NRA win, we're going to get it. We're going to get what we came here to fight for for the past six months.

MORGAN: Teresa, you read out names today of many 4,800 Americans who've killed by guns since Newtown, a really staggering statistic. When you see as somebody who's been so close to a tragedy see on an almost daily basis more gun shootings -- there was a mass shooting last Friday in Santa Monica and every day casual violence taking people's lives. How does it make you feel?

ROUSSEAU: Well, it makes me feel very sad. One of the saddest things at the beginning of our journey to this point in time was to visit the shrines that were the gifts and mementos that were sent to Sandy Hook and then to go home and read in the paper that Americans running out and buying guns in record numbers. That was really, really heartbreaking.

I guess, the sad thing is that we know what those 5,000 people who have lost loved ones throughout the country since we lost our loved ones, we know the depth of their grief and the enormity of their grief and they are probably not getting all the comfort and support that we have. So our hearts go out to them and we hope we can fix it.

MORGAN: I mean, Jillian, it wasn't just any gun that Americans raced out to buy. They were racing out to buy in record numbers the AR-15 assault rifle which was the very gun used at Sandy Hook to kill so many people. What does that tell you about America right now?

SOTO: It just shows you how screwed up this country has become and how you can see someone walk into an elementary school and use that gun to kill 20 6- and 7-year-olds, to look at them and not even care when you hear them scream, and just open fire, to look at six educators who are there to teach their kids, to teach them how to write and how to do multiplication and add.

To look at them and open fire on them, and Americans felt that they had to go out and buy these guns in large sizes and just go out and mass produce them and get them, and just shows how awful things are and how badly we need change, how badly we need to do something about this before another crazed man walks into an elementary school and opened fire or into a movie theater and opened fire or a supermarket, anywhere, we have to do something about it.

MORGAN: Teresa, you know, we're six months into this battle, those of us who believe that something has to be done and there's only one reason why I feel so passionate about it, I want less Americans to be killed by guns. Simple as that. There is no other agenda that's being fought here other than to reduce the number of people who get killed by guns every single day in America.

What do you think it's going to take to persuade the people in Washington to actually take this more seriously than they have done so far?

ROUSSEAU: Well, I just think more average Americans, though almost 90 percent that seem to agree with gun registration will speak up. We need to talk to our lawmakers. We need to send them e-mails. We need to call them on the telephone and let them know how we feel about this. Maybe we need some more demonstrations. Maybe we need to march on the capital. Whatever it takes to make them aware that we are paying attention to what is happening in Washington.

MORGAN: Well, I want to say, again, that both Lauren and Vicki were absolute heroines that day. I'm sure the carnage could have been even worse if it wasn't for how brave they were in the face of a terrible (INAUDIBLE). I thank you both, Teresa and Jillian, for joining me and I hope we can talk again as we continue collectively to try and get something done. Thank you very much.

SOTO: Thank you.

ROUSSEAU: Thank you.

MORGAN: And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: The countdown is under way. With just four days from the start of CNN's all new morning show, it's called "NEW DAY." And with me on "The Grill" are the hosts of "NEW DAY," Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan.

Welcome to "The Grill."

KATE BOLDUAN, HOST, CNN'S NEW MORNING SHOW "NEW DAY": Well, thanks so much. What are you serving up?

MORGAN: I've been watching you two now for a few weeks. I mean, I can't even get in an elevator at CNN here without seeing your huge pictures.

BOLDUAN: We want to make sure you know.

MORGAN: Biggest launch in --

(CROSSTALK)

How are you feeling? In all honesty, it's a -- it's a huge new show. Lot of pressure.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

MORGAN: Are you feeling the nerves?

BOLDUAN: I think if I wasn't a little nervous I wouldn't be -- it wouldn't have a pulse. But it's nerves of excitement. We're ready to go. It's more kind of the anxiety leading up that is what I think we're feeling. I think -- I just -- want it to start. I think we're ready to get this go on the road.

MORGAN: I mean, I noticed -- because I launched 2 1/2 years ago.

BOLDUAN: Right.

MORGAN: And it was this huge buildup and you get sick of your own promos by the end. But Chris, I mean, you're an experienced anchor guy. This will, I guess, in the end be made or broke or perhaps by your chemistry. And it seems on the face of it you get on great but, what's the most annoying thing about it? CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, CNN'S NEW MORNING SHOW "NEW DAY": If you're right, and I hope you are, then we know already. We're going to be fine. Because I have the least question and I have the most confidence.

MORGAN: Any faults of hers we could dwell on?

CUOMO: I'll tell you what.

BOLDUAN: List them out. What are my faults?

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: I'll tell you, I'll tell you.

BOLDUAN: Well, if you've got --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: The real story of it, Piers --

MORGAN: I keep hearing how great you are. I want to read --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: If we could pretend that Kate can't hear us for a second.

(LAUGHTER)

I have to tell you, this has been hell on earth.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

CUOMO: That's my fake angry, it's not working?

BOLDUAN: Fake angry?

CUOMO: I'll go higher with it.

BOLDUAN: Try another.

CUOMO: If I could tell you, Piers. This has been great. She's a friend in every sense of the word. We get along great, and that is a blessing going into it. My concern is that this is too much. I'm tired of seeing my face. I'm tired of talking about it. I can't explain what the show is going to be about when it's about what happens tomorrow. You know? So as you have the frustration, so do I. I want to get after. And I want to do the show because for me, as you know, and as it is for a lot of us it's all about the purpose of the job.

I want to get into it, I want to be relevant, I want to help people, and I want to do it day in and day out. And we have a great team. If anything happens other than success here, I've got to put it on my back because we have everything we need to succeed. MORGAN: You've come from another great network to CNN. What is your impression of CNN? What do you make of it as a network? What is its unique selling points, do you think?

CUOMO: Big is the word that comes to mind.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

CUOMO: Big personalities like you. Big resources. Big priorities. There's a lot of manpower here. And big responsibility. What you do is so much harder than what I'm used to doing. That was the big growing pain for me coming here is, how am I going to do this for five hours when this story is developing in front of me?

MORGAN: Because you were plunged right in.

CUOMO: That's right.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

MORGAN: You started before we knew it. Suddenly the Boston bombings, the kidnapped girls were found, you know, great tornadoes lashing, and so on. And suddenly you're literally up to your knees in this stuff. I mean, I felt that what you brought to it, to our network was a real sense of passion for the people that were involved in those stories.

Is that something you've always tried to do?

CUOMO: I believe that, you know, to be fair, I think that is the job. I think most of us are doing it for the same reasons. To me, I just believe that why I stay in it, because it's a hard life. There are a lot of great benefits to this. You know, if you're successful, you're well paid, you get to travel, it's great.

But you see a lot of dark things and you carry a lot of that with you. I mean, I think what motivates me is that people need us. They need us to be there to connect to what happens in the world emotionally and intellectually and to fight the fight. You only get one chance to wake up in the morning.

MORGAN: Well, also, I mean, Kate had all these (INAUDIBLE) working with Wolf in late afternoons, you know, strolling whenever you feel like it. You know?

BOLDUAN: Yes. It was such a good job.

MORGAN: Letting Wolf do most of the work.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

MORGAN: Laughing at his jokes, all that kind of thing.

BOLDUAN: (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: Now you're going to be starting on air at 6:00 a.m. BOLDUAN: I know, 12 hours earlier.

MORGAN: That will test all your beauty products.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Exactly. This is not how I wake up in the morning.

MORGAN: I mean, it is a brutal thing. I know people in Britain who've done morning shows. And I know some of you have done morning shows. And it is very brutal. Are you ready for this? With the 4:00 a.m. alarm call every morning?

CUOMO: Come on, tell him. Tell him what you've been doing.

BOLDUAN: I've been calling -- tell him, tell him, Kate.

CUOMO: Wait. I'll use the voice. Tell him, tell him what you've been doing.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I only answer to that weird voice.

(LAUGHTER)

I am ready. Because why am I ready? Because it's a great job that I'm going to be waking up to and we're going to have a lot of fun doing it.

CUOMO: And?

BOLDUAN: But to get ready for it, I've been calling it my spring training. We're very competitive, so I really want to be ready even earlier. So I've been waking up extremely early.

MORGAN: How early?

BOLDUAN: I was waking up at 2:15.

MORGAN: Are you serious? You freak.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: It's ridiculous. 2:15, I wake up at 2:15. And then when we start the show, I wake up at 2:45 or 3:00, it feels like Christmas. I'm like sleeping in, I mean, it feels great so --

MORGAN: You are apparently at 29 years old the youngest morning show anchor on any major TV network.

BOLDUAN: I can only say that for one more month.

(LAUGHTER)

I don't know, because that -- I'm actually going to hit the big 3-0.

MORGAN: Yes. Oh well.

BOLDUAN: (INAUDIBLE) after that.

CUOMO: I've got shoes that are that old.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Well, look, guys, I wish you all the very best. "NEW DAY" premieres of course this Monday. No one in the world is unaware of that fact. June 17th, weekdays from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.

Best of luck.

CUOMO: Hey, look forward to seeing you on the show.

MORGAN: Definitely. Any time.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Like he's going to wake up that early.

MORGAN: What time I'm going to get up --

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

Forget it.

CUOMO: When you're in London. When he's in London.

BOLDUAN: Right. London.

MORGAN: We'll see. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Tomorrow, a perfect trio for a Friday night. I'll talk to Harry Connick Jr. about movies and music and what matters to him most. Also the brash of very funny Russell Brand, a superstar comedian, all the stuff about his wild life and his high-profile romance. Plus, Billy Ray Cyrus. Much more than Miley's dad, as you'll see. He's lots to say about the country that he loves, too. That's all tomorrow night.

That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts right now.