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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Putin Pens 'New York Times' Op-Ed; Remembering 9/11; Interview with Diane Nyad
Aired September 11, 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 ANCHOR: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, breaking news. Vladimir Putin's extraordinary plea for caution in a New York Times op-ed piece. It will be appearing online tonight and in the paper tomorrow. He says a US strike on Syria could spread a conflict throughout the region and he cites history saying close relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the Cold War. But we were also allies once and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization, the United Nations was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
We have much more on that extraordinary op-ed from Vladimir Putin later. Plus, John Kerry meets his counterpart from Moscow just a few hours from now in Geneva. Will it be da or nyet on Putin's plan and will it solve President Obama's Syria problem?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we're not going to play games here.
REP. BRAD SHERMAN, (D) CALIFORNIA: What the Russians have proposed may turn out to be the best thing that come out of Russia since vodka.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: All of these are reviews coming in on the President's Syria speech last night, definitely not a hit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just cannot follow through. He cannot speak to the nation as a Commander-in-Chief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Until the two men who couldn't disagree more about what this country have to do about Syria, Rick Santorum and Bill Richardson. Plus, Howard Dean on the left, Tom Ridge on the right, why they think the President needs to heave the lessons on Iraq. And my Primetime Exclusive with Diana Nyad, swimming out a stream against critics who thinks she cheated on her story swim from Cuba to Florida. We'll begin with our big story tonight, Syria, the President is taking everything. And talk to Russia beginning tomorrow in Geneva. Meanwhile in Capitol Hill frustration amounting over how the White House has handled the crisis. Joining me now is CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent, Dana Bash.
Dana, this is a bit of a mess isn't it for President Obama. Now you have Vladimir Putin taking over the New York Times Op-Ed pages to give his latest mission statement to the American people.
DANA BASH, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is really remarkable. Just when you think the story can't change anymore and get anymore, frankly, sometimes weird, it has. The idea that Vladimir Putin wrote in the New York Times is also fascinating because he knows how to get to the American people, but just idea of penning something like that really, and the substance of what he is saying, really does hit home to the American people, how difficult it is going to be for John Kerry to go on this trip where he's heading right now to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to find a common ground.
Because at its core, what his message is in the New York Times is the whole idea of military force is bad, is wrong. I mean he made very clear that he's opposed to it and he's doing that again in this paper. And that's the opposite of what we're hearing from the President. Both in private and in public he said, "You need to keep military action on the table as the teeth to getting any diplomatic solution out there."
MORGAN: Well, he says in his speech that there's growing trust between him and President Obama, but at the same time he also attacks him for using this phrase that America was exceptional because of the policies it follows. He says, almost bordering on arrogance is the way Putin seems to read this and saying (inaudible) exception about it at all and country shouldn't be exceptionally that.
It's a very strange piece when you read it from start to finish, but you can't help thinking that what it shows the American people, is that the man calling the shots here is not their President but it's the Russian leader.
BASH: That's exactly right and it really does remind you that this off ramp (ph) or this lifeline that everybody want for immediately from the Administration to members of Congress who are being asked to vote on something that they didn't -- most them didn't want to vote for which is authorization is now in the hands of this man who -- nobody trust him. And you saw the Senate Majority Leader on the Senate floor today reminding everybody that he was head of the KGB, so it's absolutely is a reminder.
And on that issue just of Congress this whole issue with regard to the President has crumbled party alliance more than anything I can remember in written history. And the President is getting blow back big time in from those Republicans who have been supportive of him like Bob Corker who helps write the resolution for military authorization that passed the Foreign Relations Committee. I talked to him today and he not only questioned what the President said last night, but questioned him personally and his abilities as Commander in Chief. Listen to he told me.
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SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: I really do think they've hurt our credibility around the world just in the muddled way that they have dealt with this Syria issue is just a complete moment (ph) if you will.
And I don't know the President just seems to be very uncomfortable being Commander in Chief of this nation.
BASH: What makes you say that?
CORKER: It's just the results. We have these conversations, it appears that it has an impact. I would think that most Republicans who are at the luncheon yesterday would have believed last night he was going to make the greater case, the strategic case for us in Syria.
I heard no word, not one word of it. He's very good in an interpersonal setting. He just cannot follow through. He cannot speak to the nation as a Commander in Chief. He cannot speak to the world as a Commander in Chief. He just cannot do it.
And I don't know what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A remarkable attack there on the President. Dana Bash, thank you very much indeed.
I'm going to bring in now two men who disagree on Syria Rick Santorum is a former presidential candidate and former senator. He's also the author of American Patriots. Bill Richardson is the former Ambassador of the UN, former Energy Secretary and former New Mexico governor. Welcome to you both.
(inaudible) by Vladimir Putin in the New York Times, I'm going to read you if I can. First of all Bill Richardson what he says about American exceptionalism? He said, "I'd rather disagree with the case that he, Barack Obama, made on American exceptionalism stating that the United States policy is what makes America different. It's what makes us exceptional".
Putin says, "It's extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ too. We're all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."
Pretty tough thumping piece here, what do you make of it?
BILL RICHARDSON, FMR.US AMBASSADOR OF THE UN: Well, Putin is playing games. He's playing to the Congress, to the American people in a way he's in the driver seat. But, you know, it's also a product this bid (ph) of President Obama and President Putin have bad chemistry with each other. And Putin is playing I think a very dangerous game.
Here's a guy that lately is a -- gone after gay police, muffled the press. He's jailed the opposition. His old KGB's office coming forth, but it's essential that the United States and Russia work together in the Security Council to rid ourselves of these chemical weapons. And I believe we are in a way in a driver seat by keeping the military strike option on the table and we should go further. We should insist on dismantling these weapons, time certain.
We should also move forward in other areas. One, potential cease-fire, find ways to discuss a political settlement that involves Assad living, a weapons embargo. I know I'm getting a little greedy here, but I think the Security Council debate allows us to bring those issues on.
MORGAN: Let me bring....
RICHARDSON: Now Russia can veto.
MORGAN: OK, let me bring in Rick Santorum because, you know, you heard there what Bob Corker said earlier. A stinging attack on the President personally to the leadership he's shown over this, did you agree with it?
RICK SANTORUM, FORMER US SENATOR: Well, I -- first his leadership has absolutely failed in this regard and we are not in the position of strength right now, I mean to suggest the President speech last night was anything but another capitulation, another, you know, obvious delaying tactic to something he doesn't want to do and he's trying to find a reason not to do it has created Putin the peace maker.
And at -- Here in the New York Times today. This is what happens when we have weak leadership out of United States when we try to leave from behind and we are indecisive in our actions, then we allow others to take the stage and lecture us about what American exceptionalism is or it lectures us about how we pursue pass the peace and who are -- who in fact should be leading the world.
The bottom line is, America -- first America is exceptional and we are all created equal by God, but not every country is equal because not every country is good and just and moral and has the laws that we have and the constitution we have, and the track record of enforcing those human rights that we have.
Certainly Russia is no model for any of those things and it's not equal to the United States.
MORGAN: It may not be. But you see where Putin has got the upper hand here is I think in terms of the clarity of his own message, you know, he says very clearly that "No one doubts poison gas was used in Syria. There's every reason to believe it was not used by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by the powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack this time against Israel cannot be ignored."
And here's the problem, Bill Richardson, you know, who do we believe on all of this? Because you have President Obama saying "No, it's definitely Assad." You have Assad saying wasn't me who gassed (ph). You have Putin saying, "No, definitely it wasn't Assad, it might would have been the revels." Is there incontrovertible evidence to the satisfaction of impartial observers that says it was definitely Assad that ordered this chemical attack?
RICHARDSON: Yes, I believe there is incontrovertible evidence. Our intelligence AGS (ph), which I trust, Assad and his people have used these weapons, look Assad recently has admitted that he had chemical weapons when in the past and the last few days he said they didn't exist. There is a credibility gap. And -- But at the same time I think this is the time to rally around as a country, forget the politics forget what's happen.
I think the President, in my judgment, I disagree with Senator Santorum, has shown leadership, he's prepared to use military force, a surgical strike at a time, when the American people are war-weary he says it's on our national security interest. I believe him, it's for human rights establishing international norms of war crimes, are a reason to take such action.
MORGAN: Let me jump in Governor, because I watch the speech last night and I couldn't really work out what President Obama really wants to do. And that seems to me to be his problem. He says on the hand, Assad's a terribly evil man, likened him to the Nazis and so on. On the other hand all the earlier talk of last year of regime change and getting rid of him, that's all gone. Now we're supposed to sign up to a peace plan with the Russians, who want to keep Assad in power. If I'm an American citizen watching this, I'll be thinking, "Well what was he want to do? Does he want to get rid of this guy? Does he want to keep him there? Does he want to attack him? Does he want peace? What does he want us to sign up to?"
SANTORUM: And the problem there is he doesn't know. He doesn't know what he wants. To make the cases he did last night that the humanitarian demand for this, the fact that this could proliferate other chemical weapons attacks and that there -- it must be responded too and then say, "Yet, I'm going to wait and see if the Russians can negotiate removing the chemical weapons from Syria," which everyone knows will take years to remove and destroy. And he's willing not to do military action if he gets this deal, he's already said.
If he gets the deal he wants he's willing not to strike Syria. Well what kind of message does that say that we should? But if I can find a diplomatic solution then we don't need to. Well let's find a diplomatic solution. I'm all in favor of that, because I don't think we should be striking Syria when we don't have a horse in this fight. We have Al-Qaeda on one side, we have Hezbollah in Iran and Assad and Russia on the other side, this is a no-win proposition for the United States.
We should have acted sooner as you know I said that 18 months ago, when we had a rebel force that was -- could be aligned with us, but now it is too late, we missed our opportunity, the President has dilly-dallied and we are now in a no-win situation and he's digging a deeper hole.
MORGAN: And Governor so the other point that Putin makes of this peace is that these rebels, nobody really knows that the constituency is now, this rebel army. And he's worried about the rebels actually emboldened themselves in that battle with Assad and perhaps coming to Russia and attacking him and his forces or wherever they may go. And he's got a point, isn't he. We don't know who these rebels are really, do we?
RICHARDSON: Well look ...
SANTORUM: Well, we do.
RICHARDSON: I believe that General Idris the leader of the rebels is not Al-Qaeda, he is an ally of the United States, of the international community, of the European Union. And what I think we need to look at here is taking this military strike is in the national security of the United States. It's important for Israel, its important not to give Iran and Hezbollah a foot hold in the region. And what the President has said he is ready to do and he said that in his speech is the Russian suddenly, for a reason with the Syrians, probably because they didn't want a military air strike have said they're ready to pursue a diplomatic solution.
We should focus on that. We should look at ways that we cannot just eliminate those chemical weapons from the region, have international inspectors not politicians looking at those sites, but also go one step further an arms embargo, finding ways for a political settlement.
MORGAN: OK, OK.
RICHARDSON: Because the Russians maybe they're getting tired of Assad, he's a loser and he's going to go down. It's a matter of time.
MORGAN: I'm going to stop you in mid flow there. Governor it's been a terrific debate. We're going to carry it on after the break with (inaudible) disagree. It's Howard Dean and Tom Ridge, they'll giving (inaudible) what's going happen here, but Governor Richardson and Senator Santorum, thank you both very much.
Also right at New York's top cop Ray Kelly, he's been -- he's take on chemical weapons a very threat here in America.
MORGAN: Divisions in the Senate on Syria have been fueled tonight by a piece by Vladimir Putin in New York Times Op-Ed. Joining me now is Howard Dean, former presidential candidate and Governor of Vermont, also Tom Ridge. He was the fist Homeland Security Secretary on the President George W. Bush as a former governor of Pennsylvania. Welcome to you both. Howard did you hear the early debate that obviously Putin's piece tonight has only get everybody going. And what do you make of it?
HOWARD DEAN, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the first thing to say is I think the story is over, because Putin now wears this and we're not going to attack. If they do use chemical weapons, Putin's going to look terrible and we will attack and we probably won't go to Congress. So I think this is over. Everybody's going to ring with that.
MORGAN: What happens if what he's really doing here is just buying time for he's mate, President Assad. And actually as the weeks and months drag on it turns out that was the real game plan.
DEAN: If he's -- He can buy time for Assad to stay in power, but he can't buy time for Assad and use chemical weapons again. That's not going to happen.
MORGAN: Right, but what he can ...
DEAN: If it does happen we're going to do something about it.
MORGAN: But we all know it's going to take months, years to actually deal with his chemical weapon supply.
DEAN: Well that's just interesting now you get back to the Putin pleas. The first half of the Putin pleas was right. There are blocks of Al-Qaeda, who are on our terrorist list, who are fighting with the rebels. That's the danger. The rest of these Putin pleas was (inaudible) it was Russian propaganda. There -- Human rights watch which is hardly aligned with one side to the other did a really good analysis on who could have used chemical weapons and they concluded that only the government can use chemical weapons, because of the -- a vast amount that was used in the way they were delivered.
MORGAN: The problem is ...
DEAN: This is not -- You can't take Vladimir Putin or Assad seriously when they claim they didn't use chemical weapons.
MORGAN: Right, but there's the notion we take the intelligence reports a 100 percent theories, (inaudible) what happened with Iraq. So this is part of the probably we trust. And it ...
DEAN: That's the problem. I mean, Iraq is a huge problem.
MORGAN: Well I'm going to come to that. Tom Ridge, let me just read you something here this is Putin's pleas, "A strike will increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance."
Now putting aside his agenda and the fact he's the Russian leader. Does he have a point?
TOM RIDGE, FMR. HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, first of all, I think the last individual in the broader world community that the United States, our President, and Republicans and Democrats should take advice from is Vladimir Putin. I mean he has the audacity to talk about trust, about democratic traditions, about human rights, and about worrying about unrest in the Middle East.
At the end of the day, I think that it's a failure of our approach over the past two years. And it began with the moral indecision or indifference of the broader world community when we basically let the Assad government for the first 6 to 12 months indiscriminately used conventional weapons to kill a lot of people. And now, suddenly the moral ambiguity is changed, and that killing people with the conventional weapons is all right now all the world is concerned about the chemical weapons.
And at the end of the day, if you take this to a logical conclusion and let's say there is some kind of diplomatic resolution, where is the accountability? Where is the punishment? It's the extent that a little boy in the neighborhood has a sling shot and starts busting windows along main street and you find him, and he says, "Well, it's not my sling shot" and then he finally admits it and you take the sling shot away. What have you done? What's the accountability? What's the punishment?
So I think again, I don't think we had to take this up that very seriously. I do think Putin has filled a void. Unfortunately, the world and to a certain extent President Obama created this situation by their hesitancy, their indifference, and when you draw a line in the sand you have to ...
MORGAN: Well, this is the problem ...
RIDGE: ... and our President hasn't done that.
MORGAN: This is the problem, I mean it was President Obama that told about the red line being crossed.
MORGAN: It was also President Obama who talked about regime change and getting rid of Assad. And then this week, we have John Kerry saying this unbelievably small strike. I mean what kind of message does that say from the American military above anything else.
DEAN: The problem is things have changed a great deal. When this started out as Bill Richardson said earlier General Idris says clearly for a Western was leading the Syrian Free Army. Today, he may be leading with a name but the bulk of the fighting is in fact being done by Al-Nusra and some of the other Al Qaeda affiliated.
So the things have changed dramatically. And I actually think, although I supported the President when he call to go to Congress in which I thought was a good move. I actually think that arm intervention would be dangerous because I don't think we want to pick sides. Imagine a government overthrowing Assad, having Al-Qaeda in it in on the border of Israel.
MORGAN: But if you don't take any action. Let me ask you Tom Ridge, if you don't take any action having said my red line is the use of chemical weapons. If you as the leader of the United States of America then don't do anything when somebody flagrantly crosses that line you had set. Where does that leave your authority?
RIDGE: Well, it diminishes whatever credibility you may have had or may have build up over the past five years and Lincoln argue that we -- if he hasn't been as assertive on certain occasions as some of us wish he had been. I mean I think the President backed himself into a corner. At one point in time, he expressively gave the impression that he was prepared to act alone. And then suddenly obviously in his consultation perhaps not with the military advisers but perhaps the protocol in domestic advisers, he chooses to go to the Congress of the United States.
I mean one of the questions that need to be ask is you did not seek the endorsement of the Congress when you went with France in the Libya, why now? But I'll tell you what, I think there's a subplot here that nobody is really talking about and that is the expanded influence not of Russia in the region they're filling the vacuum that we normally -- the leadership vacuum that United States has historically provided but it's Iran. Iran, you take a look at the map, go east to west. Iran house more nor into in (inaudible) Iraq than we do. We spent $2 trillion -- $3 trillion and 4500 men and women dead. Iran has more influence there, they are controlling and working with Assad providing weapons flying over Iraq even though we ask Iraq to deny them access to the airspace.
Oh, and by the way they're helping with Hezbollah and then you go inside that map down into Lebanon and then you take a look at the other countries in the region and nobody wants to talk about. I think the bigger issue in here is the expansion of Iran's influence in the region, and I think that's a significant plot in this.
DEAN: I totally agree and one of the things that the President must do is cut off arms to Malachi. Malachi is becoming an Iranian puppet. He just murdered ...
DEAN: ... in cold blood 52 Iranian dissidents who we disarmed, who are our allies essentially. And, you know, he is getting away with it with impunity. We maybe occupied by Syria but we have to stand up for people who can't defend themselves especially when every single one of them has a written promise from the United States.
MORGAN: Give me a very quick update on the Camp Ashraf.
DEAN: Well the Camp Ashraf as the State Department did help to negotiate a solution which move the remaining 52 or 50 or some odd people that had survived, 6 of them were kidnapped and are probably going to be extradited to Iran where they're going to be tortured and murder. And, you know, we owe these people. When we disarmed them we promise them in writing that each one of them has a piece of paper in writing that said, that the United States would protect them. We have not done that. And Malachi is really to come a stooge of the Iranian government, why the heck we are arming a stooge of the Iranian government, I have no idea.
MORGAN: Well, it'll carry (ph) of it. Final words for you Tom.
RIDGE: Well, the 52 people that we're basing a report (ph) of assassinations, Piers they were shot with their hands tied behind their back to the forehead at many instances and the end of the day everyone of them may have been buried with a written guarantee from the Department of Defense when they surrender their means of self defense some time ago.
We also are concerned about the remaining of 3200. And here's where the UN could finally do something, how to put some blue helmets there until the United States and the rest of the world figures out how to get these defenseless Iranian dissidents told (ph) democracy Iranians out of Iraq because again suddenly tragically Iran has more influence in Iraq than United States of America.
MORGAN: OK, well it's a pretty shame to say it in the face, Howard Dean as always, thank you both very much indeed.
What about chemical weapons here in the US? The last (inaudible) top up next. And later our prime time exclusive with Diana Nyad, she's assuming legend who beat the elements. Now she takes on her critics who cast doubt on her extraordinary achievement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Michael Scott Carlo.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: And my Uncle Salvatore T. Papasso. I was only three when you were taken from us, and we really love you and miss you very much. And President Obama, please do not bring us to another war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: An extraordinary plea to the President, a remarkable moment this morning during the 9/11 victim ceremony at the World Trade Center site (ph). That have caused, months -- 12 years since the terror attack and it comes that the America is facing new threats and the possibility of a military confrontation with Syria.
With me now is New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Commissioner welcome to you.
What are you thoughts each year on 9/11? I know that you weren't the commissioner what it actually happened, but what do you go through emotionally on this day. COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: Well, there' a lot of different emotions. I lived in that neighborhood. I lived there on -- in 9/11. It's just literally a block away from the World Trade Center site.
It's always touching. Certainly, the moments that there's a pause, 8:46 is when the first plane hit, 9:01, 9:59 when the building fell. I think that brings it back to me, I actually saw the South Tower fall. I was at mid-town when that -- at the height floor in the building and I saw the South Tower fall.
Now, in 1993, I was a Police Commissioner.
KELLY: And I remember sitting in the basement of the World Trade Center with engineers and having them say that this building could never come down. I thought about that. It's just a horrendous site now. And obviously, they knew there were these thousands of people dead or injured.
MORGAN: That kind of thinking the unthinkable goes for the territory with your job now. And oversee very few people had ever predicted what may happen on 9/11 when all these planes being hijacked and used as bombs to bring down huge buildings. Did you expand when you came back to run they placed it on you expand that thinking the unthinkable element of your work. Would you ever hold a lot of people now who literally just sit there, trying to work out any possible way that an attack can come?
KELLY: In a sense, yes. We brought in expert from the federal government. We have also created a CADREI (ph) of first class analyst from some of the top educational institutions in the country and yes, we think about these thoughts. We think about the possibility of a nuclear event. We think about a dirty bomb. That's what we're paid to do. We've had16 plots against the city since September 11.
MORGAN: Remarkably, I would say remarkably, there's been no major attack on the city since 9/11. But when you see what's happening in Syria, particularly in relation to chemical weapons, can you see that there's a possibility clearly that they had a lot of this stuff and it could get in the wrong hands.
We never know in a civil war how this stuff gets move around. How warring is that to you as the Police Commissioner in New York, clearly, a massive terror target, the sarin gas and stuff like that that may well be lurking all over Syria could get into dangerous hands.
KELLY: Well, it certainly -- it has to be and is a concern for us. We have table top exercises that sort of thing to attempt to plan for it. We have chemical detection devices deployed in the city to help us but quite frankly if in fact some sort of chemical agent is used, the first thing you may see that people falling and we have a pretty extensive system of cameras that may help in that regard.
But definitely a chemical attack is something we have to be very much concerned about.
MORGAN: One of the key strengths of America is when the America is perceived to be very strong. Are you concerned to some people are that the President apparent wavering of what action is taking Syria sends the wrong kind of signal, the wrong kind of message. And therefore, make cities like New York, perhaps a little bit more vulnerable.
KELLY: No. Our job is to prepare. The President makes those decisions. Our job is to be prepared as best we can in the event there's any blow back from actions taken overseas -- taken in Syria and that's what we're doing. We have contingency plans that in fact that we do go forward in Syria and we will deploy additional resources to protect the key locations.
MORGAN: What is your sense about the spirit of New Yorkers that you built up in all your time working in the police department here?
KELLY: New York is very resilient. They're tough. Interesting, someone just told me, I've heard it a couple of times that the population of New York City has basically turned over like 50 percent of the people who live here were not here 10 years ago.
So, there's always an influx of new people but I think the spirit is strong. New Yorkers pride themselves on being tough, resilient people and I think, you know, God forbids there's another event that we'll rebound and, you know, it was a such a traumatic event on September 11th and it's a little bit in the back of people's heads that we'll be able to rebound very quickly.
MORGAN: A final question, Commissioner, did you believe that New York is a safer city?
KELLY: Oh, undoubtedly no question about it and we've invested a lot, the federal government has invested a lot, you know, we've been able to in some way shape perform with the federal government to prevent these 16 attacks. So, we're much stronger but, you know, there's no guarantees, there's always a possibility of something untoward happening here.
MORGAN: Commissioner, good to see you.
KELLY: Thank you Piers, good to see you.
MORGAN: And I will send to Howard Lutnick in the morning of September 11th he dropped his son off to his school before heading to work at the World Trade Center, that probably saved his life but his company, kind of (inaudible) 658 employees that day including his brother. Incredibly the firm reopened two days later, this is what how it's seen at that time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD LUTNICK, CHAIRMAN, CEO, CANTOR FITZGERALD AND BGC PARTNERS: It's going to be different kind of drive than I've ever had before it's not about my family, I cannot kiss my kids. I kissed my kids tonight but other people don't get to kiss their kids when they've start that over (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Cantor's rebuilt to a global workforce nearly 12,000 people would be now, he's the Chairman and the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard good to see you again.
LUTNICK: Great to see you.
MORGAN: It's always -- whenever I see that clip of you then the raw emotion that you must have gone through and all the families involved, so many lives wrecked that day and, you know, you said before to me that you weren't sure you could ever rebuild it. I was at your offices today; you have this extraordinary charity day where all the trading profits around the world to Cantor Fitzgerald go to charity, how much do you raised?
LUTNICK: We raised $12 million today for about a 100 charities around the world. And remember I was here last time I said we will be going to go to Oklahoma with the money.
LUTNICK: So, September 23rd we're going and we're going to take care all those funds.
MORGAN: It was an amazing thing. I was going talk to Ruth Billie Jean King, Julianne Moore and, a cast of other luminaries. Prince William and Prince Harry were in London during the -- your officers there. It's an amazing coming together everybody. But, that's being the reaction to Cantor Fitzgerald since you took charge and said, "I need to rebuild this company. I need to pay the families of those who died and look after them." And you've done it.
LUTNICK: Well, think about 658 people you can't -- there's nothing I could personally do that's going to make a darn bit of difference if you divide any number by 658 it get small. So, we had to have a company, we had to have a serious company and that was the drive that we all had. And so, we set out to rebuild the company for sort of a pure purpose and I think the only reason it worked is because it was a pure purpose.
MORGAN: A new documentary, "Out of the Clear Blue Sky" tells that the story from start to finish you've seen this film now, I take, what did you make of it?
LUTNICK: Well, you know, we -- usually when someone is going to make a documentary about you we'd sit around, we discussed it aside, is this a good idea or not. Obviously, when this was a family member of one of our senior executives who got killed and we weren't able to defend ourselves, we had no abilities. So, she is just around with the camera and she just did it. And so, we really had no control of what was going to come out, no idea how it's going work out and what it is just it a raw story of what happened and it's extraordinary because we made it through, you know, if we'd -- if we had sort of fellow over in the middle it would be a different ending but because I'm sitting here talking to you really is an extraordinary tale of how we all came together, helped the families and rebounded and rebuilt.
MORGAN: It's an amazing story and you can still see the film, "Out of the Clear Blue Sky." Just one great point before you go, America's placed in the world right now, you have a global business with 12,000 employees are you happy about where America is in terms of its authority? Many questioning it at the moment.
LUTNICK: Well, I think America has given up a lot of its ability to just stand strong on the fundamental points. You know, they allow things to waver. I mean, is chemical weapons allowed or not? It's not allowed, you know, why are we talking about it? Why don't we just act on it? He said was going to act and it shows not to act. So, I think ultimately what America suppose to go back to is the lines in the sand, you know, what matters to us and what doesn't and then bring the world along with them or let the world lead. And I think America has led in the past and it would be great to see America lead again.
MORGAN: Howard Lutnick, it was great to be in your firm today and really incredibly inspiring. Thank you for having me, it's a great honor and congratulations on what you do because it's an amazing thing and to think where you were on September 11th, all those years ago and where you are now as a company, as a family where it is in this the you say it is a remarkable thing to work. So, good to see you.
LUTNICK: Thanks. So, we had our memorial at the 9/11 memorial this evening and then we work altogether as a great group of families and I'm really proud of it.
MORGAN: Fantastic. Good for you. Good to see you.
Coming next, what (inaudible) with Diana Nyad. She answer the critics who question her historic swim from Cuba to Florida wasn't what it seemed and will tell me.
MORGAN: Tonight a record of the new spot American now under scrutiny from skeptics after many attempts, 64-year-old Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida last week. She did it in 53 hours and she did it without shark cage. She made history but then the question started.
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DIANA NYAD, U.S. ENDURANCE SWIMMER: People -- People's individual reactions mean everything. So, I'm sure this swim will be ratified in due time and that's fine but just don't care about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tonight she's here live and unleashed to defend her open water record. In the Chair tonight, Diana Nyad for Primetime Exclusive. Diana, welcome to you.
NYAD: Piers, I appreciate it. I wonder if you would just allow me a brief moment to say on behalf of my team that we express our sincere respects to those who suffered their losses on 9/11. Let us say that first.
MORGAN: You absolutely can and good of you to say that. And then, here's my take of this. You're 64 years old, you swam for 53 hours, 110 miles and there are people banging you about whether you touched another boat for a few seconds. I mean, I couldn't swim a mile. So, what is your reaction to the critics who'd come out chopping your record?
NYAD: Well, you know, I guess it's two-fold. Number one, fair enough, you set a big record like that, I mean, my God, not just me, people have been trying since 1950 to get across. It did seem nearly impossible. Most of my crew thought it was impossible.
So, someone does it whether it's me or somebody else it better be vetted. It better be vetted, you know, right down into the nth degree. Was it fair? Was it fair and square? And we have done that, we provided now all our logs, there's just no doubting, it was clear that we went from the rocks of Cuba to the sand of shore Florida without ever touching that boat, without ever getting out on the boat, without ever using fins or, you know, anything that would be untoward, our team is squeaky clean.
But, I'll tell you the negative reaction I have to being scrutinized and that's my team. You know, I may have my head handler Bonnie Stoll who is the most ethical person on this planet, our navigator John Bartlett is a clear genius at oceanography, our Dr. Angel Yanigahara is the number one box jellyfish expert in the world. We had 44 people out there and for them to be doubted that we would ever do anything against the rules of this great sport is just that hurts me, but ...
MORGAN: OK, what are the ...
NYAD: ... I think we're getting -- I think we're getting passed in that.
MORGAN: Let just go through the cheat sheet, as some people are calling it, and I want your quick and firm responses to these. First and foremost did you get any assistance? Did you have anybody helped you touch a boat to get a rest or anything of that nature?
NYAD: Never. Never took a rest, never touched the boat, never got out on a boat.
MORGAN: OK. Unequivocal.
NYAD: Out in the open ocean.
NYAD: The entire time.
MORGAN: That's the first question, you couldn't be more unequivocal. We move on, after 37 hours of swimming you went from your normal pace of 1.5 mph to more than 3 mph which many marathon swimmers say was deeply suspicious.
NYAD: As, you know, it's just pure math I just can't imagine. I could see it from a lay public who doesn't understand currents, but from people from the marathon swimming world, I mean all you have to know is that you're in the goal stream, you can pick up the navigational charts, you know, in an almost any website available that shows these things and sometimes you're going with no current, whatsoever.
So, then of course empirically you're just going the exact speed you swim, other times you're going north against an eastern faced (ph) in current, now you're going with a little bit of your own speed added with a tiny bit of an eastern current. Now, you go north with an exact current, if you got lucky which I did that day, then you add those two vectors together. So, if I'm swimming at 1.7 miles per hour and I've got a current at let's say 2.2 miles an hour, it's very easy, you add those together and you're in close to 4 miles an hour. So, no.
MORGAN: OK, well I'll actually -- I did see an ocean expert confirming that it was almost a perfect to conditions for you that the currents were aligned in the way that you just described. So, lastly the viewer's (ph) like to saying and we'll come back with two more issues.
Is it true you didn't eat or drink for seven hours? People say it's impossible. And secondly you're wearing a wetsuit, and some people say that's a bit naughty. So we'll find out after the break if it is naughty or not.
MORGAN: Ms. Diana Nyad arriving in Key West after swimming a 110 miles from Cuba. She's back with me now. So number three point, we left the viewers on this cliffhanger. They say you didn't eat or drink for nearly seven hours and 53 right in the middle of it which should be impossible, what's the truth?
NYAD: Piers, it never happened, you know, we've got careful loggers out there evidently a doctor said -- Dr. Derek Covington with University of Miami said she had terrible stomach issues because of taking in those saltwater. She had a lot of trouble taking in solid food. That doesn't mean you don't eat. They, you know, my handlers responding, they make me, you know, nutritional supplement drinks and I'm always taking in food every half hour, every forty five minutes, every hour, seven hours never happened, pure fiction.
MORGAN: OK and the last one says, is someone questioning that you violated the traditions of the sport by using a specialized mask and wetsuit to protect yourself from jellyfish. How do you plead?
NYAD: Listen, listen these are the most dangerous jellyfish in the world, they're fatal. So, you know, what does one do? I didn't use any neoprene because that's against the rules but in many swims they allow jellyfish protection and I used to protect myself life and death. It's not an aid believe me. You wish you didn't have this thing on so difficult to swim and cumbersome, drinking (ph) saltwater, it's anything but an aid, believe me but you need to be protected and in many areas of the world, those types of suits are allowed just not in the English Channel so I tell you something Piers, we swam fair and square, squeaky clean across that thing and no one's going to take our joy and our moment that the world was inspired by a way from us.
MORGAN: Well it's very generous of you to say we, but I have nothing to do with it and nor anybody else. You were the one doing all the swimming and it was an absolutely extraordinary feat of endeavor. And you were pleased to know that Evan Morrison, one of your early critics has apparently done a big u-turn tonight and now accepts that you did swim from shore to shore so that's quite good news. It looks like some of the critics who maybe have the all green- eyed and monster elements to their work are beginning to realize that maybe, just maybe Diana you are as extraordinary as it seems.
NYAD: Perhaps the dream really did come true. I tell you Piers it did.
MORGAN: Well, all I can say is I couldn't do it in a month of Sundays what you did. I think for 64-year-old, well you don't look 64, you look great but it's an astonishing feat of endeavor. I'm delighted you come on the show. What's next? What are you going to do next? Any big new plans in the pipeline?
NYAD: Yes, you know, Piers to harken and back to 9/11 as we come on the anniversary of hurricane Sandy in New York City, we have built a pool, we're going to put it in Herald Square right in the middle of New York City on the anniversary of the storm. I'm going to swim up and down for 48 hours of bunch of well-known New Yorkers and then I'm sure maybe a couple of Londoners such as yourself are going to dive in that -- in the lane next to me and we're going to raise a whole bunch of money for those people still put out and homeless after hurricane Sandy.
MORGAN: Well, good for you. You are what I love about America, Diana. And I am thrilled to have you on the show. Thank you very much indeed.
NYAD: Thank you, Piers. Appreciate it.
MORGAN: A great woman and a great effort. And just stop being so damn childish. She goes out there and try to snipe at her. It's an amazing achievement. We'll be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night. Sheryl Crow as you probably never seen her talking before on marriage.
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SHERYL CROW, SINGER: You know, it's funny. I've read a couple of times that Jennifer Aniston and I have been -- the two of us have been dumped more than any two people but it's not true.
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MORGAN: And on her ex Lance Armstrong and her other great lads.
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CROW: One of the best and I can't really put a fair (ph) look until everybody's dead.
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MORGAN: Sheryl Crow, highly entertaining interview is tomorrow night. That's all for us tonight. AC 360 Later starts right now.