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PIERS MORGAN LIVE

Interview with Corey Knowlton; Interview with John McCain; Interview with Dave Ramsey

Aired January 16, 2014 - 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: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, if you had a spare $350,000, would you spend it on a chance to kill one of the most endangered species on the planet? That is exactly hat Corey Knowlton's doing, and now he is getting death threats. But believe it or not, he says the whole thing is in the name of conservation. He'll be here exclusively. Plus, the class of 2016 under fire. Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie. I'll talk to two Republicans who say she should take a lesson from him. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani are here. And a New Year, new you, there's one thing everyone needs, it's money advice. I've got the perfect person for that. Dave Ramsey, he is here live with the 5 things you need to do to put your financial task in order.

I want to begin now with someone who made to speak about the most controversial man on planet earth right now. Corey Knowlton says he's been getting death threat ever since he paid $350,000 for the right to hunt and kill a rare African black rhino. He was a winning bidder at an auction by the Dallas Safari Club last Saturday night and he joins me now exclusively.

Corey Knowlton, welcome to the show. Tap your name into any form of social media right now and never mind animals you want to kill. People want to kill you. How do you justify what you have done?

COREY KNOWLTON: Well, I justified in the name of conservation. I justified in belief system and sustainable use. I am very knowledgeable and very educated on the subject about what's going on. The money is needed. I think I got a long list of justifications.

MORGAN: Why do you think people have reacted so venomously to the news that you have paid this money to go and kill an endangered black rhino.

KNOWLTON: I think honestly, it has to do with education. I think it's a lot of misinformation. I think it's a lot of misdirection. I think people, Piers, you know, they don't actually know the situation on the ground. I really don't. I think if people knew what's going on and they understood it better, I think the vast majority of people wouldn't be that way, wouldn't feel that way, Piers, I really don't. And I think ...

MORGAN: Well, here is what -- having read all the reaction for the last couple of hours to try and get a sense of why people are so enraged. Here is what the common theme is. If you wanted to contribute money to help conservation in that area to help other animals and rhinos and so on, why not just give the money to those involved in that. Why do you need to actually get in a car, take some kind of assault riffle, or whatever it may be, well, I can ask you what you're going to use, and shoot at black rhino and as you have done many times on your Facebook, post for a trophy photograph with a dead animal then that's what they say.

KNOWLTON: OK, OK. That's what they say. The reality is, these animals in this situation in Namibia, the ministry environment and tourism have earmarked a select group of animals that are killers. They are killing the other rhinos. They are actually the biggest killers of rhinos in the area. And so throughout, you know, they put this group of experts together, they went out there, they identify them as a problem and they need to be for a lack -- for a better term, it's exterminated for the species to continue and to be a good ecosystem right there.

Now, the question about the money, why would I spend the money? Is that what you're asking? Why not just give it to them?

MORGAN: Yeah.

KNOWLTON: I think that's beside the point. It's going to happen anyway, you know. My feeling about hunting and my feeling about conservation is a belief system that I have. And you know, I feel like it's going to the right cause and I feel like it is. I don't think it makes me a bigger man. I actually think, Piers, you know, I think it can make me a dead man. This is like one of the most dangerous animals in the world. I've hunted animals all over the world, Piers. I've led expeditions all over the world. This is probably the most dangerous situation that I'll ever be in outside and walking around right now with all the people that want to kill me, OK?

MORGAN: But here's the trouble, Corey, people are listening to this, OK? Really? That dangerous? Isn't it very, very likely that what's going to happen here is that you are going to take out a large gun and you're going to shoot one of the only 5,000 or so remaining black rhinos in the world? And again, I would put it to you what the argument against what you're doing is, which is if you feel that strongly about it, then just give them the money to help with the general conservation in the area. Do not go over there as a kind of wealthy American trophy hunter. And I speak on behalf of fellow Americans on social media who don't like the way you're representing them, going over there and just glorying in the death of this black rhino. That is what they say and that is what they believe.

KNOWLTON: I understand. That's what they say and what they believe, but that's absolutely not the case, OK? I'm going to be there with a team of experts. Now, listen, you said OK, 5,000 black rhino, it's a very thick area, OK? We're going to be looking for five or less black rhino in an area where there's plenty. There is a surplus amount of them that's why they're allowing it, the government has selected it to happen, OK? So we're not ...

(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: OK...

KNOWLTON: Let me finish it. Yeah, you have a question.

MORGAN: Finish it.

KNOWLTON: OK.

MORGAN: But I do contest that point because I wouldn't accept one thing if we continue, do you accept it in the 16 most endangered species of animal on the planet. Do you accept that as a starting point?

KNOWLTON: I accept as a starting place -- point in Namibia, that there are surplus of them and they are about to be taken off of the endangered species list, Piers. There are surplus amount. Now, let's get back to what you said because this is very important, you know, I want to address the question you asked me. That area is extremely thick. And we're looking for five out hundreds. You can't just see. It's not like wide open Africa what people think. It's a brushy, nasty place. We have to get close to one of the most dangerous animals in the world. And it's very likely take charges and possibly kill us. OK?

I'm sure that will make half the people in the world happy, Piers. Maybe more of them but the fact is, it's a dangerous situation. There's experts there. They've earmarked them and they're killing themselves already. So to that end, I'm a hunter. I want to experience a black rhino. I want to be there and be a part of it. OK?

I believe in the cycle of life. I don't believe that meat, you know, comes from the grocery store. I believe that animal died. And I respect it. And, Piers, I haven't shot a black rhino yet, have I? I'm going on a black rhino hunt. I'm going on a conservation hunt for earmarked animals that are killers killing others.

MORGAN: OK. Well, let me address that point then, Corey. Let me address that point because Jeff Flocken, he's from the International Fund for Animal Welfare says, "Honestly, it's a fast to say this is being done for conservation. I do agree that there is some times a need to manage wildlife population in small areas. But there are less than 5,000 individuals left of the species. Instead of killing it, they can be moved to different area. We used to bring in photo tourism or ecotourism, something that doesn't actually involve killing the animal."

KNOWLTON: Now ...

MORGAN: And he's a wild animal welfare expert -- one of the worlds leading ...

KNOWLTON: OK. That's great. And I expect to -- I understand he's an animal welfare expert. I'm going to defer to the scientist of the IUN Specialist Group for rhinos, the foremost expert in the world. I'm going to defer to 177 nations. There are members of societies. I'm going to defer to the US Fish and Wildlife service who are all 100 percent behind this. I'm going to defer to the WWF who's also behind this.

So I'm glad he feels that way. I did not create this plan, Piers. They created this plan. I'm the one that believes in it enough to put my money where my mouth is. I'm not just sitting at home watching a Discovery Channel. I'm not going to go condemning those people. It's wonderful that they're getting to see wildlife. But I understand these animals are going to die anyway. You cannot grant them an eternal life any more than I can. Out there, it is a crazy wild world where these things kill each other. And I'm actually ...

MORGAN: If you kill it, Corey -- if you kill it, will you be as you have done many times posting a picture of you smiling in celebratory by the dead rhino? Do you intend to do that?

KNOWLTON: I intend to take trophy photos of the animal in a respectful manner so I can remember it, so I can give it to the Namibian government -- to the Namibian people, and honor the animal as what it is. A very special ...

MORGAN: Did you understand -- Corey, wait. Did you understand that it means, you may well have an argument on the conservation side. I don't know enough about that side. But, as I read enough today, do you understand, there is a debate about that? And you may well have an argument.

What people hate about this kind of trophy hunting is the trophy aspect. They hate -- if they love animals, seeing people like you with a lot of money going over there hunting the endangered species and then proudly boasting of what you've done and posting for pictures, look like you're celebrating.

KNOWLTON: That's ...

MORGAN: And they do hate it. You know that. You've read the reaction.

KNOWLTON: Yes. And I think haters are, you know, and look I'm not hey -- and speaking of that, but I want to go back to it. That's urban sentiment versus science. OK? Urban sentiment is hate. I'm being a part of science.

All these countries I've hunted in Piers, we're all across Africa, all across Central Asia. They put these programs on a member of a group of people who care enough to put their money where their mouth is. Now, as far as celebrating the hunt, I was -- Piers, I didn't, you know, look at it.

I grew up very, very poor, in poverty, Piers. OK? When I went hunting as a child, it was my grand dad and my dad, we looked at hunting as a celebration and a camaraderie together as a special time together. And that's how I was. I understand these people don't understand it. They didn't grow up that way. OK. Piers, you know, just like the gun thing. You've been attacked just the way I am about your views of guns, OK? And we're human beings, both you and I. I don't think you should be hated because you believe that. I don't think I should be hated because I live my life a certain way. You know, there's -- they're threatening my children, Piers. They're threatening to kill me. The FBI is alerted. The Las Vegas SWAT team is on alert. I have security going everywhere I go. That's the hate that I'm dealing with. OK.

MORGAN: Has it made you -- has their reaction, however, well-reasoned or unreasoned -- has the venom of the reaction and the amount of the reaction made you think twice about going through with this?

KNOWLTON: It hasn't made me think twice but, Piers, to be honest 100 percent, I had no idea that it would be this visceral. I had no idea that they would be attacking my two-year-old daughter and my seven- year-old daughter and my beautiful young wife. And they want to kill us all and burn us. And make a Saw movie out of us, Piers.

These are the type of things that I'm getting, OK? Now, look. You can say what you want to say about hunting and say what you want to say about me and say, "OK, it's an egotistical thing." It's not an egotistical thing. It's a belief system -- a belief in conservation for me, Piers. That's what it is.

And you have a belief about firearms. And you have beliefs about a lot of things. I respect your belief. Man, if I was right there, Piers, I'd hug you. OK? I'm a good human being. Just because I have a different belief than them, I don't hate them. I respect them. It's just like Bob Barker, OK? And he said what he said about it, all right? And Bob, he's a well-intended person. He would not say these things about killing my kids. All right?

But I want to learn about the Price Is Right. And I want to learn about Plinko. I'll talk to Bob Barker. If I want to learn about conservation, I'm going to defer to the experts of the IUCN, I'm going to defer to the experts at societies, OK?

And the fact to the matter is, all this hate that you're talking about -- the one thing I will say to Bob Barker is, "The price was wrong. The contribution would have been much higher. And everybody would have been much better for it even up to a million dollars. They scared these people away because they didn't want to go through what I'm going through now. These are big, you know, they're wealthy people. They have employees. They have to care about them ...

MORGAN: OK.

KNOWLTON: ... and they want to be a part of it and so they've actually made the price and the whole thing point of this go lower." If I had more money ...

MORGAN: Well, I cannot -- you listen. Corey, I appreciate you coming on the show tonight to give your side of it. It is a debate that is raging. I urged people to study the debate in detail as I did today because there are arguments on both sides and you have people on your side, I know and I've read that argument too. I think the point I would end with this simply that having to look to the reaction. A lot of it is geared to the trophy pictures. People do not like the idea of celebrating the slaughter of endangered species in the way that you have done before and clearly intend to do again with this black rhino.

And I would think if I was you ...

KNOWLTON: I think -- first of all, I think slaughter is a hard word.

MORGAN: I would rethink my temptation to do that.

KNOWLTON: OK. Slaughter is not that. That is not a word. That's not a fair comment at all, Piers, OK? Not slaughter.

MORGAN: Murder? Murder?

KNOWLTON: No. What do you say when you're eating a steak, Piers?

MORGAN: Well, some things ...

KNOWLTON: Do you see this was murdered...

MORGAN: ... has to be killed.

KNOWLTON: ... was slaughtered? Was it killed? OK. These animals were killed...

MORGAN: I don't...

KNOWLTON: ... in the same way with that, Piers.

MORGAN: ... I don't -- yes, but Corey. Here's the difference. Corey, here's the difference. We all eat food everyday. We don't all go and deliberately target endangered species. It's fact.

KNOWLTON: I'm not...

MORGAN: This has got people very round up.

KNOWLTON: Piers, if I enjoyed killing, I worked at the chicken plant, OK? I would. I'd sit there and kill things all day. It's not about enjoying killing, OK? It's about a way of life as hunters. It's about conservation where I put my money where my mouth is. Say what you want, my friend. I put my money where my mouth is, OK?

Bob Barker, the rest of them, they could have gone down there and spent more money, couldn't they? They didn't.

MORGAN: OK. Well, look. Corey, you're clearly determined to do this. And it's an interesting discussion. Please come back when you have gone through with this so we can discuss the reaction to what happened.

KNOWLTON: Piers, I'd love for you to come with me.

MORGAN: There is not a cutting hell's chance of doing that.

KNOWLTON: OK. No problem. I appreciate you having me on, Piers. Thank you.

MORGAN: Corey Knowlton, thank you very much.

When we come back John McCain is outraged about Benghazi and says that Hillary Clinton should be held accountable. Also, Rudy Giuliani, why he says Hillary could learn from Chris Christie.

(COMMERCIAL BEAK)

MORGAN: Senator John McCain is outraged about the deadly Benghazi attack. And he says that Hillary Clinton should be held accountable for the violence in 2012 that took the lives of four Americans including Ambassador, Christopher Stevens. Senator John McCain joins me now.

Senator, thank you for joining me. There's new report that's come out makes it absolutely crystal clear that the attack in Benghazi was likely preventable. Who do you hold ultimately responsible for this? Who is to blame?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Well, of course the secretary of state and ultimately the President of United States, and members of the State Department, and others who were involved in this really unusual set of circumstances that not only led to the deaths of these four brave Americans but the events afterwards which would basically a cover up. But this bipartisan intelligence committee report clearly says that State Department and Hillary Clinton was the Secretary Of State.

And I think it's very unfortunate that in testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee which I was there at that time when she said, "Who cares?" And a lot of people care. And we still haven't been able to find out all the facts.

MORGAN: When you actually get into the weights of this pretty lengthy report, it always also very clear that one of the people who maybe most to blame for not reacting to the threat and for increasing security despite being urged to repeatedly was the Ambassador himself. And obviously, you know, you don't want to speak ill of a man who was killed in such appalling circumstances, but is it fair to also say that he as the Ambassador should have done more to react to direct warnings that he was given on numerous occasions?

MCCAIN: Well, I think it's important to point out that he had asked for additional assistance. What he turned down was additional military assistance. But he certainly sounded a number of warnings about the deteriorating situation including 10 terrorist organizations that out fits that were right there in Benghazi. So I think that Christopher Stevens -- Chris was very aware of the threat. He did make the State Department aware of that. And the only time he really turned down help was when it was a uniform military assistance that was offered.

MORGAN: We talked before many times about the catalyst for this attack. And it was driven very hard by the Republicans. I think you were included in this that this was nothing to do with the video that caused all the other problems in Middle East it was all to do with a deliberate planned attack. If you read this report very carefully, that does not seem to have been established by the facts that they've honored.

They in fact say, "Look. It was probably a reaction to the other protests going on about the video and it was a collection of groups including some Al-Qaeda or affiliates and other local terror organizations spontaneously really reacting to all the aggravation going on elsewhere in the Middle East. Do you not accept that?

MCCAIN: Of course, not. And that's not what -- I read the report, nor the facts as I know it, you can't have a spontaneous attack with mortars and rocket propelled grenades. I mean, that's just fundamental fact of life. Second of all, the -- there's been outright denial on the part of the administration that there was any Al-Qaeda affiliated groups. There obviously we're -- if you're not -- in the definition of the defenders, unless you're on the Pakistan-Afghan border, you're not Al-Qaeda. Well, they are -- they identified themselves as Al-Qaeda. They get direction from Al-Qaeda and they act like Al-Qaeda. So therefore, I think they're Al-Qaeda.

Third of all -- and it's very clear that there was no spontaneous demonstration and that makes it clear. There was no held hateful video that had any effect and that's clear in that report. And I'll have to look -- match readings with you. But, there was no spontaneous demonstration and that was the testimony of the survivors of which we've only seen one. So, I say in all due respect, Piers, it's clear from this report that it was Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups number one, and number two, it was not sparked by a video. The video had nothing to do with it.

MORGAN: Well, I think if you'd studied the report, and I'm sure that you had, Senator. I wouldn't question at all your authority on this. But if you study -- and I've read that the New York Times report into the report itself, they sort of suggest that while it may not be in a direct result of the video, they were using all the other protest around the video as an excuse, as a catalyst to cause trouble themselves. I mean, could that be the case without it being directly, we are protesting about a video, but we are capitalizing on other protest around the region.

MCCAIN: I think that flies in the face again of the facts. The facts are that they had set off an IED outside the wall, they had attacked the British Ambassador, they had attacked the International Red Cross. The British had withdrawn, the ICRC had withdrawn and all of these things are happening long before there was a video. So, it's clear that the violence had dramatically escalated long before there was a video and there was ample warnings of an impending attack.

MORGAN: Let's take the position of Hillary Clinton. I want to compare it if I may to the position of Gov. Chris Christie because he had two people both of whom insist they had no knowledge of what they are -- suggested to have had knowledge of. If you assume that they're both telling the truth and they genuinely had no direct knowledge, should they both be treated the same in the sense, you know, yes, take responsibility but perhaps not be directly accused of having blamed. MCCAIN: Well, first of all, I think it's important to note that Chris Christie fired people. There's been not one single person involved in this whole and by the -- one was a bridge problem, this was obviously a far more serious event in Benghazi. As serious as the Bridgegate was and not one single individual has been punished for all of the problems that resulted in the deaths of these four brave Americans. I think that's a huge difference, don't you?

MORGAN: Well, in the Bridgegate as it turned out, may not have directly cost lives but it couldn't, I mean, we couldn't have been in the position ...

MCCAIN: Yes, they couldn't.

MORGAN: ... like they do.

MCCAIN: And people got fired...

MORGAN: Well, you might...

MCCAIN: ... and people got fired...

MORGAN: Right.

MCCAIN: ... and people got fired, Piers.

MORGAN: So...

MCCAIN: ... and nobody's gotten fired from the State Department.

MORGAN: Right. Now, I accept that point and I think that's a very valid point to me.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

MORGAN: Senator, one of the end (ph) that is something like to know which is the Washington Post picks up on your -- I think very charming tendency to be very effusive in your phrase of a number of people that you work with. Using the phrase, I'm a great admirer that you probably think about...

MCCAIN: Yes.

MORGAN: ... 28 examples of you using that exact phrase about them.

MCCAIN: Going back about seven years, yes.

MORGAN: Right. But, we've got four we wanted to play before I get your reaction. Here's about (ph) a round up.

MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you very much for embarrassing me Piers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: I'm a great admirer of Secretary Gates.

I'm a great admirer of Governor Christie's.

I'm a great admirer of the Speaker.

I'm a great admirer of Charles.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Now, first of all, I'm feeling a bit left out for this because there's no record of you saying that about me.

MCCAIN: I will change my verbiage. I won't say that about you. I will not say that about you.

MORGAN: Well exactly.

MCCAIN: I will change my -- I will expand my descriptive language when I admire someone and I admit that I probably use the same phrase too often. I plead guilty, Piers. But I'll never say that about you.

MORGAN: I'm devastated. I can't -- well, I got absolutely devastated, I got to say. I'm going to have to leave it there, Senator. Thank you very much.

MCCAIN: All right my friend. Thanks for having me on. I enjoyed the discussion. Thanks.

MORGAN: Well, I'm a great admirer of yours as you know.

MCCAIN: We'll see.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R) NEW JERSEY: I was born here. I was raised here. I'm raising my family here and this where I intend to spend the rest of my life. And whatever test they put in front of me, I will meet those tests because I'm doing it on your behalf.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Governor Chris Christie today at New Jersey Shore. Meanwhile, 20 subpoenas were issued in Bridgegate including Christie's Chief of Staff Kevin O'Dowd, his Chief Council Charlie McKenna, his Spokesman Michael Drewniak, and fired aide Bridget Anne Kelly. So, what's next for the governor?

Well, joining me now, the former mayor of the city across the bridge, Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, how are you?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR CITY OF NEW YORK: I'm good Piers. Nice to talk to you again.

MORGAN: I missed you. It must have been some months since you've been on the show. I don't quite remember (ph).

GIULIANI: Yeah, the longest time.

MORGAN: Well, welcome back. Happy new year and...

GIULIANI: Thank you happy new year.

MORGAN: ... and let's talk Chris Christie because...

GIULIANI: Well first, let me begin saying I'm a great admirer of John McCain.

MORGAN: I think we're all great admirers of John McCain. And the great thing is he's a great admirer of everybody apart from me. So, that probably is about the right way it should be.

Let's talk about Chris Christie talking of people. But, I bet you've been a great admirer of Chris Christie for a long time and his clearly facing, I would argue his biggest political challenge so far. How is he doing in this scandal, do you think, and what are the big pitfalls going ahead?

GIULIANI: Well, I mean, there's only one big pitfall going ahead and that is, if his telling the truth, I believe that he is. I think the facts indicate that he is, but that's the pitfall, right? The reality is -- this was a stupid mistake, it was a dumb thing to do, it was probably something he didn't want to happen. But he has handled it about as well as a leader can handle it.

And the good part of this for Chris is his getting a chance to demonstrate how he would handle failure which after all could happen to him if he were President of the United States. He could have a situation like the President had with Benghazi. He could have a situation like the President have with the IRS targeting all those Right Wing groups.

The -- Chris rather than what the President which is to hide, not answer questions, not hold anybody accountable. Is exactly the opposite as Senator McCain indicated, he fired the people responsible and he held a one and a half hour press conference in which he opened himself up for any question and gave very direct answers. He gave the answers definitively that he didn't know, he didn't use the, "I can't remember", "I can't recall", "It might have happened" or "Could've happened", "I'm not sure", it's a while ago. He gave extremely direct answers. And I wrote a book on leadership and I would say this fits right into the lessons I would give someone about leadership. When something goes wrong ...

MORGAN: OK. So what is the difference, sir? But what is the difference? I put this question to John McCain that -- and he said it was because Hillary Clinton haven't fired anybody.

But what is the difference in terms of ultimate responsibility between Hillary Clinton saying, "Look, what happened in Benghazi was terrible. It should never have happened, you know, "I take responsibility because the buck stops with me but it's not my fault I didn't know anything about this," and Chris Christie really saying exactly the same thing. Why are Republicans supportive of Chris Christie whereas reserving the right to hammer Hillary Clinton for what many would argue is the same position politically?

GIULIANI: Well, I think there's another very critical difference.

Hillary Clinton has not spent an hour and a half in front of the press answering questions about this. The one time she was questioned about it, she got very indignant, very angry said it didn't make any difference and answered no questions about it. And the President of the United States has answered no questions about it. We don't know what he was doing during that critical period when decisions were being made that led to the deaths of four of Americans.

We don't know if she ever received any of these request for security that had been going on for six months beforehand and now we have a Senate report saying the event could have been prevented.

So Chris Christie has answered questions comprehensibly about this. Hillary Clinton has not opened herself up for those kinds of questions nor has President Obama. I think that's a very big difference.

MORGAN: What is interesting is there's new NBC news National Poll, January 12th to 14th, the choice for President in 2016 was in December, 48 percent to Clinton, 45 percent Christie in a hypothetical match up. It's now 50 percent Clinton, 37 percent Christie. And what people are saying is that the reason why the Republicans are rampaging a way or into getting -- about Benghazi is to try and distract attention from Chris Christie because the guy who may well be the best person to lead that race in 2016 is getting fatally damaged here.

GIULIANI: Well, I don't think he's been fatally damaged. I think he's been damaged but I don't think it's fatal and I think he has an opportunity through demonstration of leadership to show how he would handle things.

I see Chris Christie is handling this the way John Kennedy handled the Bay of Pigs in contrast to the way Obama handled the IRS scandal when they focused on all of those Right Wing groups. John F. Kennedy took responsibility, held people accountable, move forward and change things. President Obama has run away 100 percent, answers no questions about the IRS scandal, is hiding. We could do the same thing with the NSA. We could do the same thing with Benghazi. I see Chris Christie handling it the way Johnson & Johnson handle the Tylenol thing.

Americans ultimately admire that. They admire when someone takes accountability, takes action, and also opens themselves up for comprehensive questioning, no holds barred, not hiding behind lawyers, not getting angry and yelling what difference does it make or and not doing like a showcase.

So I think this will ultimately help him. And also I think the reason for the excessive amount of attention to Chris Christie is exactly what you said. He seems to be, right now, the only Republican who can contest with Hillary Clinton. Now, that may change. MORGAN: Right.

GIULIANI: Because there a lot of good ...

MORGAN: Yeah.

GUILIANI: ... Republicans out there that I think have a chance of beating Hillary Clinton. But I think there's a certain amount of partisan venom involved in going after Chris Christie. It's not accidental.

Over the past four, five months, the only Republican who has ever been ahead of Hillary in a poll is Chris Christie. All of sudden Bridgegate becomes more important than anything else.

Last week on "Meet the Press", it took up 26 minutes of "Meet the Press" so you can't tell me that there isn't a certain amount of partisan venom on the other side.

MORGAN: Have you spoken to him at all since this crisis unfold?

GIULIANI: I have, yes. I've had a very good conversation with him going over a lot of this, yes.

MORGAN: What did you say to him?

GIULIANI: That's between him and me. Well, pretty much what I've said to you. I mean I think I told him the things that I thought he handled right. I gave him some advice from my own experience.

But he's also, I should tell you a good friend for many years. I was a good friend of his when he was US attorney. I was actually the first Republican outside the state of New Jersey to endorse him as I was the first Republican to endorse Marco Rubio outside the State of Florida.

So I have a few friends that are potential, you know, Republican nominees Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, a lot of good people. I don't see Chris is the only one. But I do defend Chris because number one, I think he's handled this correctly, and number two I do think that a certain amount of partisan motivation in the way this thing has been, you know ...

MORGAN: Well, you've defended him very, very vehemently and well tonight. And I just -- I want to end just very, very quickly and briefly if I may just get a quick response to this. It's Harvey Weinstein, the movie producer went on Howard Stern yesterday and said this about guns.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HARVEY WEINSTEIN, CO-FOUNDER OF MIRAMAX FILMS: I don't think we need guns in this country. And I hate it and I think the NRA is a disaster area and I'm going to actually make a movie, I shouldn't say this, but I'll tell it to you Howard, I'm going to make a movie with Meryl Streep and we're going to take this issue head on. And they are going to wish they weren't alive after I'm done with them.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MORGAN: Probably the strongest words against the NRA I've heard. What is your reaction to that?

GIULIANI: The NRA is pretty strong and I think they can handle it.

Harvey was my publisher of my book "Leadership". He's also a friend. I don't agree with him on this issue of guns but look that's -- that'll be a fair competition between Harvey who is one of the most people in Hollywood and the NRA, which is one of the strongest organizations in the United States.

MORGAN: Well, it will be a good fight. That's for sure. Mr. Mayor, it's been a great joy talking to you. I can point out to viewers, I've got Harvey Weinstein on the show for tomorrow night should be ...

GUILIANI: And you should have the NRA on. And of course, you should also put the second amendment on which might be the real answer to all of this.

MORGAN: Well, let me just repeat to the NRA because I have repeatedly invited all their top executives and they have remained gutless cowards so far.

GUILIANI: It would be my advice for them to come on ...

MORGAN: ... to any of them.

GUILIANI: They do have the second amendment on their side. So they can defend themselves pretty well.

MORGAN: They have their walked and twisted interpretations of the second amendment on their side ...

GULIANI: I don't know about that.

MORGAN: ... Mr. Mayor, is I think the phrase -- I think the phrase you were looking for but it's been as always a great joy talking to you. Please come back soon Rudy.

GULIANI: Nice to talk to you, Piers.

MORGAN: Coming up next, New Year, new you. Dave Ramsey is going to tell you five things you need to do to make your money work for you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Target is e-mailing testament to let them know that they're offering a year of free credit monitoring after a massive breach that apparently exposed personal information including credit and debit card numbers of millions of customers. The proof is crucial to settle your finances and tonight I've got the perfect man to tell you. Dave Ramsey, the host of the Dave Ramsey Show and author of the "Total Money Makeover" and he'll be answering your questions tonight. Dave Ramsey, welcome to you, sir. How are you?

DAVE RAMSEY, HOST, THE DAVE RAMSEY SHOW: Well, I'm better than I deserved, Piers. How are you?

MORGAN: I would share that view actually about myself. Look, there some signs of economic recovery since I last spoke to you. Unemployment level rate is at the lowest level in five years. But according to a Gallup Poll out this week, 42 percent of Americans say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago. Why is that?

RAMSEY: Well, let's start with I'm not sure they know.

Some 90 percent of Americans don't do a budget or financial plans. I'm not sure how they would measure whether they're worse off. I'm guessing that they're just kind if gauging their feeling about their life in a lot of cases.

If you actually are worse off, it probably isn't a real estate market that's still struggling. A lot of the real estate markets have heated back up and are doing very well but there's a few of them still really having a hard time.

MORGAN: Now, you've come up with these five top money mistakes that people constantly make and I want to go through these quickly one by one.

Money mistake number one, not having an emergency fund.

Clarify that.

RAMSEY: Well, absolutely. You need to have financial planners have set for years and coaches like me to have three to six months of expenses set aside for when it rains.

I grew up in the South and my mama always said, "Have squirrel money" and that's a squirrel putting some stuff away in the summer so he's got some things to eat in the winter. It's going to rain. You're going to have down times in your life and you need money to cover that. Whether it's a car wreck, and illness, unemployment whatever it is, it's going to rain.

Sometimes, folks say, "Well, they need to be positive." I'm positive it's going to rain.

MORGAN: Money mistake number two, living on borrowed money.

RAMSEY: Your number one wealth building tool is your income. And when you commit your income completely to someone else to buy stuff you really don't need, with money you don't have to impress people you really don't like, you've really tied up and killed your ability to build wealth.

The average car payment America right now is $486 over 84 months. If you invest that from age 30 to age 70, you'd have over $5 million in your Roth IRA and a good mutual fund. I hope you like the car.

See that's what I mean. It ties up your ability to build wealth. So, get out of debt so you can use your income to give and help others and to build your future.

MORGAN: OK. Money mistake number three, not living within a budget. I mean -- I guess many people fall foul of. How do you control that temptation? It's been like eating too many doughnuts. But how do you control it financially?

RAMSEY: It's like a lot of other things. You got to want to bad enough. You got to hate where you are bad enough to embrace something that's completely different and outside your comfort zone.

We tell folks that budget is really not rocket science. You just need to write it down on paper, on purpose and give every dollar a name before the month begins. Give every dollar a mission before the month begins.

If you work for a company called U Incorporated and you manage money for U Incorporated the way you manage money for you now, would you fire you? If the answer is yes then change what you're doing. Start putting it on paper, on purpose, and if you're married be in agreement with your spouse.

MORGAN: Money mistake number four, this is actually touches with something like Warren Buffet told me, obviously one of the America's riches investors and most successful businessman. But investing in things you don't understand. He'd made it his lifetime mission really, to only really invest in stuff that he completely understands and it's obviously made him very successful and rich. You obviously agree with that?

RAMSEY: Well, he's obviously very bright and can understand a lot of things. Some of us aren't as bright as he are -- he is.

But, you know, at the end of the day the mistake most of us make is is we get some guy or gal with a great suit and they have a great talking, we get a little bit intimidated and forget that it's our money and somehow we're going to park our money with one of these folks and they're going to take care of us and baby-sit our money. And then, in a lot of cases they really don't even know what they're doing.

And so, you really have to understand it's you're job to manage your money. I was meeting with a group of professional athletes awhile back and one of them said, "Dave I've got a man." And I said, "You got a man?" And he said, "Yeah, I got a man who takes care of my money." I said, "You're going to be one of those stories of broke professional athletes." You need to learn what your money is going into or you're going to end up with nothing.

MORGAN: And final one, money mistake number five, we need a quick answer to this. Being bad at relationships.

RAMSEY: Well, it's amazing how much relationships are an indicator for your ability to build wealth. Your opportunities and your career and on the income side of the equation come through, whether people like you and whether they connect you, and whether you're good to people and whether you have integrity.

And, you know, one of the biggest indicators for married couples is can they work together? Can you and your spouse agree on your dreams for the future? Can you agree on even some of your fears and start to put some of those behind you by having a game plan? Can you agree on the sacrifices we're going to make to have a great and a beautiful and a wonderful future?

And so, learning to relate with others and deal with other people well is actually a very big indicator, a future ability to build well.

MORGAN: OK, they were the top five money mistakes that people make.

After the break, a happy story involving a couple who got more than $140,000 of debt. Thanks to you Dave Ramsey. So, we'll have them and we'll have you. These people will be fascinated. They did it in 29 months quite remarkable.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAMSEY: All right, count it down, $142,000 of 29 months paid off. Let's hear a debt-free scream.

CHAD MASK: Three, two, one ...

CHAD & ASHLEY MASK: We're debt-free.

RAMSEY: They're awesome. They are absolutely awesome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: The blissful sound of a debt-free scream, Chad and Ashley Mask from Amarillo in Texas are Dave Ramsey's success story and they're joining me now along with Dave himself. He's remained with me.

So, Chad and Ashley, quite a remarkable achievement and so you managed to pay off $140,000 in 29 months. What was it that Dave told you that really helped you do this?

CHAD MASK: He taught us how to communicate and how to budget. He really lays a plan out just step by step on what you need to do to succeed with your money and to get out of debt.

ASHLEY. MASK: Absolutely ...

MORGAN: And, Ashley, I mean what was it that you were doing ...

A. MASK: ... it's common sense.

MORGAN: Yeah. What was it you were doing wrong, Ashley, as a couple that Dave corrected in your heads, enabled you to start really saving money?

ASHLEY MASK: Well, the shorter answer would be what we were doing right as a couple at that time.

We were basically doing everything wrong. Money was a prideful and really shameful subject in our marriage. We handled all of our finances separately and there was a lot of mistrust. And so we were falling apart quite literally. Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University definitely, definitely saved our marriage.

CHAD MASK: Absolutely.

MORGAN: So, Dave, I mean there's a classic example of being bad at relationships, money mistake number 5, where if you don't get that part of it right, very difficult to come to a consensus as a family about what to do probably. When you looked at Chad and Ashley's story, what were the key issues that you felt needed to be very quickly remedied?

RAMSEY: Well, I think Ashley touched on it. Aren't they a great couple? They are just incredible.

MORGAN: Great couple, yeah. I mean they're very happy, thanks to you.

RAMSEY: Yeah, well, no thanks to me ...

ASHLEY MASK: Absolutely.

RAMSEY: ... they changed their lives, they made the decisions but they said, "Hey, what we're doing is not working. We've got to try something new where we separated everything. We're basically roommates and so we need to get on one page, on one budget and have some shared goals for the future." I mean they remembered their wedding vows when the preacher said, "And now you are one." He didn't pronounce them a joint venture.

ASHLEY MASK: Yeah, and ...

MORGAN: That's a very good point.

A. MASK: ... my uncle married us so we really couldn't screw it up.

MORGAN: Well, Dave, I want to talk to you just briefly about the four myth-busting truths about money of which I'm sure Ashley and Chad could pay testimony too as well.

But number one, myth or truth. Credit cards are safer than debit cards. Dave?

RAMSEY: Well, we hear all the time that debit cards are not as safe as credit cards. And we need to remember, a debit card has two possible uses.

One, you can enter your PIN and it's acting like an ATM card. Or you can run it as a Visa or a MasterCard. If you run it as a Visa or a MasterCard, it's treated exactly like a credit card. It has the exact same fraud protections as a credit card when used like a credit card.

MORGAN: So that is a myth. Second one, myth or truth. Save for retirement first and kid's college second.

RAMSEY. That would be the truth.

As parents, we love our kids and we want them to have a better life. But we have a tendency to say, "I'm going to put the kids ahead of me and I'm going to save for college before I save for retirement."

Assuming you live, 100 percent of the time, you are going to retire. Not 100 percent of the people attend college and there are other ways to get a kid through college other than just the college funds. College savings is very important but retirement is very, very important.

MORGAN: OK. So that's a truth. Number three, myth or truth. A high credit score means I'm doing everything right with my money. Myth or truth?

RAMSEY: That would be a myth. We've got a whole culture that worships at the altar of the great FICO. I mean, people come up to me and say, "Dave, you know, I've got a 800 credit score" and I always just tell them, "I'm so sorry" because what that means is as they borrowed a lot of money and they paid it back, because the only thing that causes your FICO score to be big is borrowed money that is repaid.

And so, the FICO score is a mythological measure of financial health. It doesn't measure your income, it doesn't measure your net worth, it doesn't measure your savings, it doesn't measure any of that. All it says is you've been playing kissy face with the bank a lot.

MORGAN: OK. And number four, finally, don't talk to kids about money too early. It will scare them. Myth or truth?

RAMSEY: Well, that will be a myth unless you're going to be crazy or something.

Of course you want to talk to your kids about money. You want to teach little Johnny to clean up his room and little Sally to help mom take the dishes to the dishwasher and teach them to work. That's a good thing.

If you don't teach kids how to handle money, they'll live in your basement when they're 32.

MORGAN: I want to go back to Ashley and Chad now to round things off because you're a great success story and we establish that. But what is the single best thing about being debt-free, having spent so many years riddled with debt as a couple what would you say?

CHAD MASK: It's so much less stressful. There's so much peace that comes along with being out of debt. I mean, we don't owe anybody, anything. We get to keep all of the money that we make. All the money that was going to banks, you know, for 29 months we spent every dime that we had to pay off that debt and focus on that single goal and now it just feels really good to get to work for ourselves and make it.

MORGAN: Ashley what would you say?

ASHLEY MASK: And to do what we're doing right now. Well, what we're doing right now to be able to lead other people down this path is the greatest blessing that could have come from this.

Financial peace and marital healing, those are the joys of our hearts, absolutely. And to have a firm platform to stand on and I want to say, "We were there. We screwed it up. We messed it up big time. But look at what we were able to accomplish." We're a firm believer ...

MORGAN: And what would you both ...

A. MASK: ... that if we can do it, you can do it.

MORGAN: What would you both say to Dave Ramsey given he's been instrumental in wiping out this debt?

CHAD MASK: Oh man, he's our hero.

ASHLEY MASK: Yeah.

CHAD MASK: No doubt about it. We read everything he writes, we listen to his show all the time. He's a great man and just a testament to that, whenever we're up there last week to do our debt- free scream, he talks about serving people and the team that he builds up there, and those were the nicest people that you could have been around.

MORGAN: Well, he's one of the smartest guys on money in the country. And I think we should end this with a debt-free scream just for my show. So come on the pair of you. Debt-fee scream, please.

CHAD MASK: All right, three, two, one.

CHAD & ASHLEY MASK: We're debt-free!

MORGAN: Chad and Ashley and Dave Ramsey, thank you all very much indeed and we'll be right back.

ASHLEY MASK: Thank you so much.

RAMSEY: Thank you, Piers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: That's all for us tonight.

Tomorrow night, Harvey Weinstein versus the NRA, I'll have him on this show.