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Interview with John McCain; What Should the U.S. Do in Syria?

Aired August 29, 2013 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: The White House and Capitol Hill grapple with the stakes in Syria. Nobody has forgotten the runup to the war in Iraq and the catastrophic aftermath. So will President Obama strike Syria? And what will be the cost to this country?

I'll talk to one of the president's toughest critics, Senator John McCain. He says missile strikes now will be too little, too late. And the tragic toll of chemical weapons with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on what they do to victims and why the world banned them a century ago.

The interview that many are still talking about. What James DiMaggio's sister told me about Hannah Anderson.


LORA DIMAGGIO: The Hannah Anderson that I saw a few nights ago on the TV is certainly not the girl that stayed in my home three weeks prior to them disappearing.


MORGAN: I'll ask Dr. Drew what he thinks of Lora DiMaggio's shocking claims.

I want to begin though with our "Big Story" tonight, a live report from CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta.

JIM ACOSTA, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Piers, top national security officials with the Obama administration briefed congressional leaders and key committee members earlier this evening. Because the briefing was on a non-secure conference call, the information was unclassified. Those lawmakers are telling CNN that the administration said there is no doubt Syrian officials were responsible for last week's chemical weapons attack.

One lawmaker told CNN they were told about intercepted communications from a high-level Syrian official which clearly indicates they were responsible for these weapons, and the briefing did touch on the vote in British parliament earlier today against the strike on Syria. In response to that vote in Britain, a senior US official tells CNN it may be necessary now for President Obama to take unilateral action against Syria, that official telling CNN, "We care what they think. We value the process. But we're going to make the decision that we need to make." That comment echoes what the White House spokesman said earlier today before the vote in Britain.


JOSH EARNEST, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Part of my answer that's important for you and your viewers to understand. The president of the United States is elected with the duty to protect the national security interests of the United States of America. And the decision he makes about -- the decisions that he makes about our foreign policy is with our national security interest front and center.


ACOSTA: Now, the White House national security staff put out a statement this evening saying the president will continue to consult with US allies, but there's no mention the US will go along with international partners.

The next step comes when the administration releases its intelligence report on the chemical weapon attack to the public. The White House has hinted the president may make another statement on Syria and presumably a window for action opens up this weekend when UN inspectors are scheduled leave Syria but the US appears to be ready to move before any further action at the UN.

The Obama Administration said it wants to send what it calls an unambiguous signal to not just Syria but the world about the use of chemical weapons, Piers.

MORGAN: Jim, thanks very much indeed.

Joining me now is the man who has been an outspoken critic of President Obama's Syria policy, Senator John McCain. Senator, thank you for joining me.

Why are you so critical of the president's actions so far in relation to Syria?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Well, first of all, we have watched the Syria evolve into one of the great humanitarian tragedies in recent history. There is 100,000 dead, a million (ph) now children are refugees as the conflict has spread to Jordan, to Lebanon. Iraq is now in chaos and resurrected Al-Qaeda base. The Iranians are there, 5,000 Hezbollah are fighting on the side of Bashar Assad. Daily flights of weapons flying in Iranian and Russian aircraft into Damascus in a very unfair fight and now we've had numerous instances of the use of chemical weapons. The latest being the largest.

MORGAN: I want to play you a clip from the British Prime Minister David Cameron today in parliament in the UK. This is what he said.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I am deeply mindful of the lessons of previous conflicts and in particular the deep concerns in the country caused by what went wrong with the Iraq conflict in 2003. But this is not like Iraq. It is not about taking sides in the Syrian conflict. It is not about invading. It is not about regime change or even working more closely with the opposition. It is about the large scale use of chemical weapons and our response to a war crime, nothing else.


MORGAN: Now the reason that David Cameron's got so much pressure in Britain is because of what happened in Iraq that the British people felt they were very mislead by Tony Blair and his government over Saddam Hussein's suppose the weapons to mass distraction.

It's the same issue here isn't it Senator where one of the biggest problems that the President Obama's Administration faces is a distrust from the American people on intelligence that says Assad has used chemical weapons. How did you get around that?

MCCAIN: Well, first of all I think it's understandable that Americans are very skeptical and cynical and that's why the actions that we should have been taking and should still be taking have to be explained to the American people and the consequences of widespread conflict -- regional conflict in the Middle East.

I can remember the debate over Dessert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, echoes of Vietnam were brought up. We failed in Vietnam, but we went ahead with Bosnia and Kosovo and did what we needed to do to stop genocide. The American people need to be explained why it's necessary for us not to have a single American boot on the ground, which is critical to them. And why we need to give them the weapons that they need, we need to neutralize the air assets of Bashar Assad, which by the way is flying in these weapons every day. And we need to have a safe zone. None of it requires American participation, with the exception of helping them.

Do you know that the United States of America has not given a single gun, weapon, to the Free Syrian army, not a one? The only thing we've given them is a bunch of MREs that were about to expire. Meanwhile, planeloads every day of Russian arms and Iranian arms are flying in to the airport in Damascus with tanks and air and every kind of weapon you can imagine. It's an unfair fight, Piers.

MORGAN: But part of the problem I think President Obama faces is that he set his own criteria having said repeatedly, he thought that Assad should go. And having said a year ago, look the red line from this use of chemical weapons, now he says he has to react to chemical weapons usage even though it is not quite yet the incontrovertible public evidence certainly that Assad has directly the ordered it although many people suspect he has.

But having got to his own red line, he now has to do something. Many people say that's put him into a difficult position in terms of leadership.

MCCAIN: I think it's put him into a very difficult and contradictory position because this wasn't the first time that Bashar Assad crossed the red line or some allegations that it was many as 30 times absolutely, too many as 10. And there's no doubt that this is chemical weapons. Come on. Does anybody really believe that those aren't chemical weapons as bodies of those children stacked up?

And so, that's just a facade. And the other facade is and the other rationale for not intervening or helping people of the Free Syrian Army is that they may be overtaken by jihadists. The reason I went to Syria, I wanted to meet them. I know General Idris. I know these people. They are not -- they're Muslim, but there are no more extremist than you and I are, and they are fighting for freedom. And we should be helping them attain the goal of freeing themselves from one of the most brutal dictators in history; 100,000 people killed, a million children (ph).

I was just -- Let me just mention one anecdote. I was in Jordan in a refugee camp. A woman was taking me around, she's a school teacher. She said to me, "All this children, "She said, "See these children, Senator McCain, that are going out here?" I said, "Yes I do." She said, "They're going to take revenge on those people who refused to help them, who they feel abandoned by." You know who she was talking about? Look, there's a lot of legacies with a lack of American leadership. There is no policy, there is no strategy and there is no end game here.

And until we get one, you're going to see this kind of confusion. And to announce that any action we take would not be aimed at regime change. To me is incomprehensible.

MORGAN: But would you if you are president, ignore the UN, ignore international corporation and just do it?

MCCAIN: Would you ignore the stacks of dead bodies without a mark on them? Would you ignore that it's already been established that as many as 10 times at least in many as 30 where chemical weapons have already been used? There's no doubt about that. Is there any doubt in your mind...

MORGAN: Can you be 100 percent sure of those, Senator?

MCCAIN: ... when you see those bodies? Absolutely.

MORGAN: No, no.


MCCAIN: Absolutely. (inaudible) he did it for to -- of course I can. Here's why I can, because we know he's already used them. So why wouldn't he we use them again only in larger quantities.

MORGAN: I am more playing devil's advocate to be honest with you on this than--


MORGAN: -- than disagreeing with me personally...

MCCAIN: Let me -- But let me ask you... MORGAN: ... but to play devil's advocate is...

MCCAIN: ... let me just point out to you -- let me just...

MORGAN: Now I want to ask you one question, Senator, is this.

MCCAIN: Go ahead.

MORGAN: How can you be 100 percent sure on the evidence that we've seen that it wasn't a rogue element of the rebels deliberately letting off chemical weapons to try and lure American to a trap. That is an argument some people are putting forward.

MACCAIN: Yes, and pigs fly. Some people put that forward. The rebels don't have those weapons. They don't have the chemical weapons. So how could -- and there's ample evidence that is going to be forthcoming.

But the difference between this, here's the body stacked up, OK, and the ample evidence. In Iraq, there was no evidence -- of concrete evidence of weapons of mass destruction when our Secretary of State went to United Nations Security Council and told the world there was.

This is vastly different situation than Iraq. And look if they want to wait three or four days and get the UN absolute authentication, but there should be no doubt on anybody's mind that these terrible, terrible bodies of children stacked up are nothing but the victim of chemical weapons and it has to be done -- have been done by Bashar Assad. There is no other logic.

MORGAN: And finally, Senator, you are obviously going further than many and saying, "Look, it's not just about targeting a few, you know, military basis or whatever retaliation to chemical weapons." You would like to see America take a forceful role in aiding the rebels to overthrow Assad. Is that the position you take in?

MCCAIN: I've only taken it for two years, that's fairly well- known and the fact is when we haven't the situation has deteriorated in the numbers and the tragedies that I just described to you have taken place. It started out as demonstrations and then to what was clearly an advantage on the side of the Free Syrian Army until we had to have thousands of Hezbollah, the weapons coming in from Iraq, the Iranian revolutionary guard on the ground, and this is now turned into a regional conflict and a proxy war to some degree.

MORGAN: Senator McCain it's always good to talk to you. Thank you very much indeed for joining the show tonight.

MCCAIN: Thank you, my friend, and I just -- to emphasize again. No American boots on the ground nor any American aircraft in danger. We can do it. Thanks.

MORGAN: Senator, thank you as always.

And now, I want to bring you President Obama's former National Security Advisor General James Jones. General, thank you for joining me.

You obviously heard Senator McCain there, very forthright and he's -- to be fair to him been saying the same thing for a couple of years now. What is your reaction?

GEN. JAMES JONES, FMR. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think that we do have a situation, what that calls for some very, very serious consideration for -- of our options. We know that weapons of mass destruction have been used and in this case chemical weapons.

We know that and we're pretty sure that you can tie it directly to the Assad Regime. We know our President has taken a very declarative position and I think the proper one to say this is unacceptable. And we're now considering the range of options that we have to respond to that.

So, on the one hand, if you do decide to take military action in response, you have to consider the range of consequences of that action. Some people will talk about mission creep, some people will talk about an asymmetric retaliation on the part of perhaps the Assad Regime against Israel. We have friends and allies...

MORGAN: But let me ask you, General, let me ask you. Let me ask you General. If President Assad, as many believe, has a leech (ph) chemical weapons against his own people and in a deliberate attack against the rebels who are trying to overthrow him. If America intercedes now, in any way, it will be seen clearly as aiding the rebels against Assad, therefore taking a position in a civil war. And many people in America are saying, "Look, we've been down this road before in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, almost everywhere." Is it America's place anymore in the modern world now to be getting involved in other country's civil wars?

JONES: Well, I think it's America's place to show leadership in resolving some of these very, very difficult and dangerous situations and you do that in a number of ways. And one is I think by consulting with friends and allies by letting the United Nations' efforts run the course by talking to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and listing 'till they are obliged (ph).

But on this level, this is such a, as Senator McCain pointed out, this is really an aggravated situation where Assad -- presumably Assad has unleashed one of the four weapons that are untouchable in terms of acceptability of using these nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons.

And so you have people watching in the region, you have friends and foes alike, the strategic consequences of sending the wrong message to Assad and Iran would be a certainly part of the envelope here.

So, I think you have to ask yourself, what's -- what are the consequences of taking action, but the -- maybe even the more important question is what are the consequences if you take no action. And if you take no action, you're inviting moreover the same and you're sending a precisely the wrong message to --or rather antagonizing the region who are building a nuclear capacity and that's Iran.

And I would think that there's a range of options here that we should consider. In addition to a military strike, there would include perhaps considering taking a chunk of Syrian territory in the north and maybe the south to establish a kind of provide comfort to scenario where we would also aid this humanitarian catastrophe with refugee camps, no drive, no fly, whatever you want to call them. This is militarily doable.

Ideally, it would be done by a coalition of perhaps NATO, but this is something that I think would send a strong message not only to Assad, but there are consequences for these actions. And part of the consequences are they'll going to lose a piece of your land and we're going to conduct humanitarian operations for refugees out of your territory.

So, the strategic -- the tactical response of a military strike is one thing. The tactical responses can have strategic consequences and I'm sure that's what everybody is thinking about right now.

MORGAN: General Jones, thank you very much indeed.

JONES: You're welcome.

MORGAN: Coming next, will the missile strike in Syria? Is it a dangerous mixed message in the region? Both sides of that question when we come back.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Their control over chemical weapons may erode. Where they're allied to known terrorist organizations that, in the past, have targeted the United States. Then there is a prospect, a possibility, in which chemical weapons they can have devastating effects could be directed at us.


MORGAN: President Obama talking to the PBS NewsHour suggesting that any chemical weapons in Syria might be turned against his country. Is that a real possibility?

Well joining me now is President George W. Bush's National Security Adviser General Michael Hayden. Also Bill Richardson the former U.S. Ambassador of the UN, and Robin Wright Middle East analyst and author of "Rock the Casbah". Welcome to all of you.

Then let me start with you Bill Richardson, how damaging is it potentially to President Obama and his plans from an interaction in Syria that the British government and British foreigners and David Cameron today has suffered a pretty shuttering defeat in parliament with a clear will from the British people and many members of Parliament not to take an interaction in Syria.

BILL RICHARDSON, FMR. US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: Well, I think the President has to be very careful and he is being careful. Only 25 percent of the American people support military action in Syria. Secondly we have to avoid the Iraq war where there're no weapons of mass destruction. So, you have to have almost inconvertible proof. Thirdly, the President has to get a broad international coalition otherwise he hands aside a propaganda victory Assad can say, "Very few country support the United States with the military strikes."

So, I think he has to be deliberate on the military side that the strikes work to our advantage and to find ways to arm the rebels and find ways to destroy the command and control centers, but that the UN too I think even though the Russians probably would veto a Chapter VII, all means necessary military action we can still try to get for instance to ban an arm shipments that bring in some of the chemical weapons, we could try to send aside to the International Court Condemnation.

I think the President is pursuing a delicate, deliberate path saying that we probably are going to use these military air strikes, but he's going to take all of these factors into consideration. The worst thing we can do is go in without a plan, without a strategy, without an effort to really deter Assad and his continuation of these war crimes.

MORGAN: General Hayden the problem is no one's quite sure what the plan is and President Obama hasn't committed yet to what the plan may be and that plan may now have to dramatically change if British forces will not be involved and that sets a bandwagon running around say, the French and other internal forces he said, "Look, we just can't take part in this," would America consider unilateral military action under those circumstances and how risky is that to America's interest?

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: No, I think the United States would act unilaterally because President Obama made this commitment for the United States and frankly for himself personally about a year ago. And I just can't conceive that he would back down from a very serious course of action in which these actions of President Assad have serious consequences. With regard to the capacity to conduct the attack it would be good politically to have other nations join us, but in terms of raw military power United States has efficient strength to do this.

MORGAN: I mean that is true, Robin Wright but is it politically sensible for the Americans to act unilaterally in this case? Because over the mansion President Obama was not expecting the British to not be in a position to join them and that may will be the case now. Almost certainly will be the case. What does that lead him politically and what would you think is the sensible course of action now?

ROBIN WRIGHT, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: Well, this is an enormous set back for the Administration. I did hope that France, Britain, Turkey and maybe some of the Europe countries would be willing to go along with the United States in terms of what it does both militarily and in backing it to give it credibility and the fact that the British who have been allies of the United States for long.

And so, many of our military operations may not be part of it, but we also have to be careful. This is not over. The UN weapons inspectors are there until Saturday in Damascus taking a look at what happened. They will bring out samples, intelligence and this may give a new body of evidence that will allow the British government to go back to parliament and try once more to see if they can get whether it's using mild or language but some kind of voter support. And that will be critical to the Administration.

But the person that was going to be happy as about what's happened of course is Bashar Assad taking a look at the fact that these two critical allies can't stand as one when it comes to this basic question will certainly make him feel better particularly because this is also going to be very unpopular in the Arab world. And he will think that this shows that his crack not to -- it may not only crack the sentiment in the Arab world but also in the western world.

MORGAN: Robin, without reason this is one of the problems isn't it. Again, I come back to what this mission is. I think President Obama has to be extremely clear what evidence he's acting on and what actually he intends to take because this is the President who has said, "Assad has to go." Now, he's saying it's not about regime change which is confusing in itself. Do you just target military basis, how effective would that be against Assad if it's just a little rap on the knuckles. Assad may feel quite embolden by that. It might have the complete opposite effect.

RICHARDSON: Well this is why you have to have the military air strikes have a specific purpose. I think this is what the Administration is trying to do. Destroy the commanding control centers. Find ways that weapons can get to the rebels successfully. Ensure for instance that these military sites that contain some of the chemical weapons are destroyed.

So, that has to happen but I think at the same time, the President has to be conscious. Also, we haven't mentioned Congress. There have to be consultations with the Congress with the House and Senate. Look, House and Senate are probably not coming back form their recess for another 10 days. So, the shift here, the use of military air strikes building an international coalition. The objective is to shift the military momentum away from Assad who has the military momentum now.

But to say that Assad is in good shape now and with all this international condemnations with the Arab League taking a very strong position against them with the Saudis, many other countries, European countries, France. France is strong. What is key is, yes the weapons inspectors form the UN that they find samples that they interview witnesses that they say incontrovertible evidence is happening to show that there has been used of this violation of international norm. This is a war crime. You can't take military action based on a war crime. And I believe this is what's going to happen. So the President has to be deliberate. He's got a lot of challenges. He's got a lot of pressure on him. But I think you want to get your ducks in a row. And those ducks aren't in a row yet.

MORGAN: General Hayden, just quickly if you don't mind. Senator McCain is urging that the America should get involved in aiding and that betting the rebels to overthrow Assad from military perspective. How dangerous would that be?

HAYDEN: It's quite dangerous and it's a separable choice from responding appropriately to what Assad has done with chemical weapons. You can separate the two tasks. And with regard to the larger task, there's -- my rule of thumb here on this one right now is go big or go home. This can't be done by just putting our thumb on the scale and hoping for the best. If you want to do what the senator is recommending, it will require a major effort and a sustained effort on the part of the United States.

MORGAN: And Robin Wright, again briefly, if you don't mind. But if you are President Obama, what do you do and how soon do you do it?

WRIGHT: Well this is the problem, I mean he's going to the G20 group of industrialized nations and for major consultations leaving Tuesday night. And so, clearly, he's trying to either act before this happens Sunday, Monday perhaps after the UN weapons inspectors come out, perhaps after another vote in parliament. Or you may have to wait until after he gets back and then you have consultations. I think policy has faced real setbacks over the last 24 hours.

MORGAN: Yes, Bill follow that (ph).


RICHARDSON: No, it appears what I would say is critical is the President face to face with President Putin. If he can convince Putin to at least be flexible on a UN resolution with force or arm shipments, that's going to be key. And that chemistry between the two needs to be improved. So that US-Russia relationship at the G20 a side bar discussion that would be very frank and tough I think is essential here.

MORGAN: Governor Richardson, General Hayden, and Robin Wright thank you all very much indeed.

When we come back, series of opposition says 1,300 people were killed in last week's chemical attack. Hope that Sanjay Gupta group tells me why the weapons are so deadly and why the world is so oppose to them.


MORGAN: The Syrian regime is being condemned by President Obama and leaders around the world since the civil war began over two years ago. But its graphics, disturbing images like these which you may find very hard to watch showing children killed by alleged chemical weapons attack without changing minds about intervening in that conflict.

Why exactly is the use of chemical weapons so chilling? And joining me now with the facts is CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, thanks for joining me. Let's talk about chemical weapons. What are chemical weapons? What makes them so disastrous in terms of consequences of using them? Why do we fear them so much?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean chemical weapons there's all sorts of different types of them, but in this particular case, you're right we're talking about something let's say, particularly chilling these neurotoxic agents and in this case the belief is that sarin which is probably one of the most toxic chemical weapons out there that's been used in warfare is what they suspect it is and this is something they can test for pretty easily up here.

As they've been talking about the inspections going on. You can test for it obviously in the patients, but even in the surroundings and it get -- it stays in the soil for a long time. Just in -- a fraction of an ounce of this stuff appears with sarin in your skin could potentially be fatal and it can be absorbed across the skin, can be absorbed into the lungs across the eyes. It's pretty gruesome stuff, Piers.

MORGAN: And Sanjay, from all of the video evidence that you've seen some awful images of young kids being slaughtered and so on, does it look to you like the side effects of a sarin attack or something very similar?

GUPTA: I think so, you know, it's tough to sometimes make, you know, make conclusions from that video evidence alone, but hearing some of the doctors' descriptions of these in some of these camps and the doctors without boarders over there.

What happens is, think of sarin as sort of turning all the machinery in the body on. And your -- all the various mucosa in your nose, your mouth, your lungs, everything gets turned on. You see the frothing at the mouth as a result of a lot of fluid essentially coming out of the lungs. But eventually it throws the body into a state of convulsive activity and people can have convulsions, seizures which can be witnessed, but also the diaphragm which allows someone to breath. It's essentially starts to seize up and that's why people can't breathe. I mean that's what causes death and it's so indiscriminate. It is tasteless, it is odorless, you can't see it and so you don't even know that you've been exposed necessarily until you suddenly start to get sick and then it starts pretty quickly and can degrade pretty quickly as well.

MORGAN: And that of course is what makes it so much more dangerous. The conventional warfare in military harboring (ph) the sense of this with that, you may have some warning, you can hear it, you can smell it, all the rest of it. With this kind of attack, no warning, it's completely out of nowhere right?

GUPTA: Yes, I mean that's exactly right and I remember, you know, covering conflicts in the past where it was unclear, was there a concern about chemical weapons? I mean you essentially, you know, if you're worried about it you tend to protect yourself from head to toe and wear a certain mask as well. I brought one of these masks up here just to show you. This is what a military grade mask would look like. There's a respirator built into it. It is designed not only to inhibit what could be coming in through the -- into the lungs but also absorption across the skin on the face.

So yes, absolutely and it's one of these things I think having, you know, again been out there in these war zones. People worry about the most because of that it just comes out of nowhere.

MORGAN: And Sanjay we've seen some really chilling video of Syrians making home-made gas masks trying to protect themselves in eventuality of further attacks. You know, they are making them out of plastic containers, Styrofoam, anything around the house where they can turn into a mask.

Are any of these likely to be effective? Are they sensible to try and do what they're doing?

GUPTA: No, and you know, Piers it's sad actually to watch that because I mean I -- people think -- they may think that they're protecting themselves in some way and it's sad because maybe that's the only thing that they have. I mean they don't have access to the type of mask that I was showing just now. And not only does that not work, it probably is worse than nothing at all because it's difficult to breath and they offer a sense of false protection, you know, so they just don't work.

And keep in mind again, we're talking about sarin here which again is something they can verify whether the sarin is actually been used. That can get into your body in all sorts of different ways. What you were just seeing there just -- it doesn't do anything.

MORGAN: And the reason this is also important because there'd been two polls, support the US action is it in the national interest? This was June 28th to July. Yes 27 percent, No 61 percent this was a Quinnipiac Poll. But in the CNN poll in May. With proof of chemical weapons would US action be justified? Yes 66 percent, No 31 so a massive difference, Sanjay politically in America in terms of public support for action if chemical weapons usage is demonstrably shown to have been unequivocally proven.

GUPTA: Right. Yes, I mean look people talk about the line being crossed. You've heard that language being used by lots of different people. The line here is the use of a weapon that is so indiscriminate and it kills people literally within such a short amount of time. I mean look there have been, you know, by estimates 100,000 people killed by bombs and bullets in Syria and those people, you know, people with their families have every reason to be outraged. But this does seem to cross a particular line and just as those images again that you're showing, Piers it's just so indiscriminate and so gruesome in the way that it kills. These people, they just really don't have a chance.

MORGAN: Sanjay Gupta, as always. Thank you very much indeed.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

MORGAN: When we come back I want to talk about the Hannah Anderson case. Dr. Drew Pinsky joins with the breakdowns on the shocking things that Lora DiMaggio, the sister of the man who abducted Hannah told me about her brother.



LORA DIMAGGIO.: I remember very vividly telling my brother, "She's trouble. She's going to -- she's," -- I said, "You need to watch out for that one she's trouble.


MORGAN: Calling Hannah Anderson a trouble. That's from my exclusive interview with Lora DiMaggio, the brother of Hannah's alleged kidnapper James DiMaggio who insists there's no proof he abducted her or murdered Hannah's brother or mother. They insist in denials (ph). Now, I'll talk to an expert In the Chair, Dr. Drew Pinsky, internist and host of Dr. Drew on HLN.

Dr. Drew, welcome to the show again. It was good to have you. But what do you make of this case because it's very intriguing, it's complicated, and this astonishing interview with James DiMaggio's sister that I have, well, I had no idea what she's about to say. What do you think of what she said?

DREW PINSKY, HOST, DR. DREW ON HLN: It was rather astonishing and I gratefully spoke with you about this once already. And I'm telling you what, the fact that she is so intense on protecting her brother and doesn't contemplate in -- even alternative point of view is troubling. And here's what's most troubling about him, which is out of the core of this we have a child, a child, a teenager who may or may not have been provocative. Irrelevant. When a child is provocative that's a sign that adults need to maintain boundaries and assist that child in managing whatever it is creating that acting out behavior.

Again, people have this grave misconception that somehow, teens will be teens but the reality is that teens who are in trouble will begin to behave in these ways. And that is precisely when adults need to step up and not get sucked in or not get gratified by any of their own issues which in this case the guy clearly did.

MORGAN: Sure. Let me now play you a clip from Hannah Anderson's interview with NBC and in particular what she said about her relationship with James DiMaggio.


HANNAH ANDERSON: The letters were from like a year ago when me and my mom were getting along very well. Me and him would talk about how to deal with it and I'd tell him how I felt I felt about it. And he helped me through it. They weren't anything bad.



MORGAN: You see, that were quite an impression, wouldn't it? If you're looking at the bigger picture here of somebody who was being probably groomed by James DiMaggio to some kind of relationship.

PINSKY: That's right.

MORGAN: Is it possible, Drew if that's what was going on that she may have gone voluntarily on this trip with him completely oblivious to what have been happening back of that house with the fire, with the torture, and murder of her mother and son.

PINSKY: I think that is entirely possible. In fact, when people early on of this core -- in the course of these series of events were asking me how is it that a young 16-year-old could tolerate being abducted like this and how traumatic this must be for her.

For all she knew, she was going on an outing with Uncle Jim which should already been the sort of problematic behavior she'd been engaged within -- with him. I mean been to Malibu, having been to Hollywood? Who knows what she thought was actually happening. And the other issue is again, when she was spotted up in Idaho by the former law enforcement officer on horseback, apparently, she muttered under her breath, "Boy, we're all going to be in trouble now." As though, perhaps he had her believing that they were hiding out from something for some reasons that he got her to believe.

MORGAN: I think, either way though, you hit and (inaudible) of you, she remains a girl who just turns 16 and she remains a victim of this appalling crime.

PINSKY: Piers, if I could interrupt, I see this all the time and this is what -- this is why I hope people can take at home which is big people take care of little people, that's it. Adults take care of minors. We are -- It's a sacred obligation, and if we allow those boundaries to become fluid or become violated some way, it's on us, not on a 16-year-old.

MORGAN: Let's turn to another story, a development today the George Zimmerman story, the man of course who shot Trayvon Martin but was acquitted of doing so with any malice. His wife Shellie Zimmerman has come up with an interview, she's pretty guilty purge in (ph) this week over a lesson, matter involving that case. And she said this in the interview. Let's watch this.


SHELLIE ZIMMERMAN: I was staying at my father's house. We had gotten into an argument the night before and I left.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: Pretty intriguing. We didn't know that until now Drew, that George Zimmerman's wife wasn't at home on the night he committed the crime. She is staying at her father's house because they'd had a huge brawl (ph). Now, what would you read into that? Could that have affected George Zimmerman's state of mind, is that a material piece of evidence particularly.

PINSKY: I don't know from a legal standpoint its material but certainly for me I would imagine from behavioral psychological standpoint, if he is in a heightened state of arousal because of a fight with his wife. He -- I don't know that he would have been looking for trouble, but he may have been prone to find trouble where perhaps he wouldn't have on a different night. That, I mean, that we don't have to use our imagination too vividly to understand that someone feeling aggressive coming out of an unpleasant circumstance could have a heightened sense of arousal and perhaps get themselves in the situations that they might not have otherwise.

MORGAN: Yes. That just possibly we didn't know about that. Like she says that the marriage has been a little bit of strange and sort of hinting it may be in trouble but interesting development that we now discover that the Zimmermans were not together that night.

And let's move on after break Drew to the Big Issue. The big issue in America right now, Miley Cyrus and twerking. I need to get your opinion. I feel that we haven't close this matter until I've heard from you. After the break.


MORGAN: There is the twerking that shocked the world. What should (ph) be all making Miley Cyrus? We've been debating this for a few days. But back with me now is Dr. Drew Pinsky, internist and host of Dr. Drew on HLN.

I've got to ask you about this Miley Cyrus business, Drew, because everyone's getting their proverbial and the (inaudible) twisted and it's quite literally and metaphorically. She seems to be from what I can tell, absolutely loving all the attention. She released a picture that we just showed earlier. We can show it again now. This is from the cover of her new album, Bangerz, where she is a very provocative image. She's posted all over her social media.

This is a girl it seems to me who's fed up with being squeaky clean Hannah Montana. She got to 20 and she wants to be provocative and sexually provocative and naughty. Is there anything wrong inherently about her behavior?

PINSKY: Right. And, Piers, I actually think you summarized it completely accurately which is she wants to cast off Hannah Montana and be some sort of a sexually provocative entertainer. But I must tell you, Piers, I'm dying on the inside. Before the last break, your -- through the commercial had me just dying which is the biggest event in America is Miley Cyrus as our -- as aircraft terrorists steamed towards Syria. Do you ever think you're -- when you came to America to host a show on CNN those words would come out of your mouth. The big event, Miley Cyrus.

MORGAN: Well, it's funny. It's funny. It's funny actually that the reality is we live in a social media world now where she attracted more tweets I believe in that period that she performed in the VMA's than almost anything this year.


MORGAN: So, whether you and I take her this to the side, a dismissive view of the news value of this...

PINSKY: That's right.

MORGAN: ... the reality is America is buzzing with opinion about all of them (ph).

PINSKY: That's right. And I think ultimately, it is the fact that this was a squeaky clean image of Hannah Montana which has been slowly deteriorating. And now it just exploded in -- on MTV VMA's. And I think she was very self-conscious. I think Robin Thicke was probably in awe and although I doubt at that at first. Now, I'm beginning to think perhaps he was. And these are entertainers. She's an adult entertainer now who wants to change her image.

I dare say, there's more to come. And Hannah Montana is gone, the problem is and here's the problem is those of us that our parents who's children were raised on Hannah Montana, myself included, we are just fringing because we really don't want our daughters, our sons to be thinking this as a natural evolution into adulthood from Hannah Montana to this. It sets our teeth on edges. It's not something we really want for our kids.

And I'll tell you what thought, my daughter's friends summarized it very nicely. And actually I sighed a great heave of relief when her friends said, "Miley, go to college." And I thought, "OK. Good. Mission accomplished."

MORGAN: Well, I've got three teenage sons and at least two of them want to be Harry Styles of One Direction.

PINSKY: Good luck with that.

MORGAN: I'd rather -- They'd rather (inaudible) with Miley Cyrus. It's an interesting debate. But we probably wrap with that now. Dr. Drew great to have you in the show as always. Thank you very much.

PINSKY: Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: We'll be right back.


MORGAN: Tomorrow night the very latest on the crisis in Syria. All eyes now on the White House will President Obama order a strike against Assad we're on complete coverage. Also in the interview, you got see in full. My explosive exclusive interview with Lora DiMaggio, what she says about her brother, the man accused of kidnapping Hannah Anderson and murdering her brother and mother. Lora is emotional. Little surprising things to say about the case and about Hannah Anderson. See you all tomorrow night.

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