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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
School Shooting in Middle School in Roswell, NM; Funeral Home Sends Wrong Body to Family of Deceased; Bridgegate
Aired January 14, 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. And tonight I want to start to know the number 245. That's the number of people who was shot on an average day in America. Here is another number for you, 12. That is the age of the youngest shooter this year and the youngest, probably for many years in America, a 12-year-old New Mexico boy, too young to remember 9/11, too young to go to a PG-rated movie by himself, too young to get a learner's permit. Police say he pulled a shotgun from a musical instrument case and wounded two classmates in the gym at his middle school this morning.
Here is another number for you, 71, the age of a retired police captain in Florida who police says shot and killed a father who is allegedly texting his young daughter's baby-sitter during a movie and may have threatened him with popcorn.
We'll begin with our The Big Story. Youngest school shooter so far this year, a 12-year-old boy, walked into his middle school gym in Roswell, New Mexico this morning and open fire on students wounding two of them. An 11-year-old boy is in critical condition tonight, a 13-year-old girl is in serious condition according to the hospital spokesman.
Well, joining me now is CNN's Miguel Marquez. Miguel, horrific story. This, a 12-year-old boy who just calmly takes a shotgun to school and opens fire on classmates in the gym, do we have any idea yet about motive?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We don't. Clearly, this was a student at the school. This is somebody who could have had, you know, bullying incidents with one of the boy, the boy that was shot. It could have been a love thing for someone so young. But the idea that this would have to be settled with a shotgun, it's just -- it's sickening.
MORGAN: We also, I mean, in terms of his age, it's very hard to remember a boy or a girl for that matter, this young. I know there have been very young shooters ...
MORGAN: ... in the past of America but for 12 years old, it really does take this gun epidemic to a whole new level, doesn't it?
MARQUEZ: Yeah. It doesn't seem impossible. This is a middle school. Back in '98, there was an incident where an 11-year-old shot and killed, along with accomplice, shot and killed five people and injured 10 others in Jonesboro, Arkansas but not for a long time have we seen somebody so young planned this out where he goes into the school with a gun, in a bag, you know, takes it out and starts shooting at random or shooting -- we're not clear if it's shooting at random, shooting at students in the gym as they were gathered on a cold winter morning in New Mexico. Just shocking.
MORGAN: That's shocking. Miguel Marquez, thank you very much indeed.
Joining me now, a 13-year-old witness to this morning's shooting, Monique Salcido, is a student at Miranda Middle School in Roswell, New Mexico. She was in the gym when the shooting started this morning. And she joins me on the phone.
Welcome to you. Could you tell me exactly what you saw or heard today?
MONIQUE SALCIDO, SCHOOL SHOOTING WITNESS: Yes. This morning I was walking and he was right behind me and I turned around and he had this case. And we all went in the gym. And then later on, he -- we were all talking and then we heard a gun shot. And then the second shot, I turned around and Nathaniel (ph) got hit in the face.
MORGAN: And Nathaniel (ph) is a boy of 11 years old. He is in critical condition tonight. Do you know who the girl was who was 13, who was wounded?
SALCIDO: Yes. Kindle (ph).
MORGAN: And are these friends of yours or people that you just know at the school?
SALCIDO: They are friends of mine.
MORGAN: So you saw the shooter. We're not going to name him at the moment, so don't use his name. But, do you know the boy who used the shotgun?
SALCIDO: Yes, sir.
MORGAN: And did you have any indication when you saw him arriving with his bag that he had anything wrong with him, that he was angry or agitated?
SALCIDO: I don't know about that.
MORGAN: Did you actually see any of the shooting or did you just hear the shots go off?
SALCIDO: No, I've seen the shooting.
MORGAN: So you saw this boy shooting your two friends?
MORGAN: What did that feel like to you? It must have been terrifying.
SALCIDO: I was in shock when I've seen it.
MORGAN: I want to emphasize the stage that we asked your mother for the permission to talk to us and she gave us that permission. Obviously, very difficult to interview any young people in this kind of situation, but tell me, Monique, after you saw the shooting happen, who actually stopped this boy from shooting more of the students?
SALCIDO: One of the staff running and told him to put that gun down, and he had his hands up in the air. And so, after all that happened, they all sent the kids in the room and they have it locked down.
MORGAN: Monique, were you aware that this boy who did the shooting had any problems or was being bullied or rudeness, he might have been bullied. Did you know anything about that?
SALCIDO: Well, I do know he was being bullied.
MORGAN: I'm sorry Monique, I didn't hear you there.
SALCIDO: He was being bullied, that's what I know.
MORGAN: You said that he was being bullied?
MORGAN: And once he'd been stopped from shooting anybody else, what then happened?
SALCIDO: And after all that happened, they all sent the kids and the teachers were running to Nathaniel (ph) and then all the kids has -- were going to their classrooms.
MORGAN: I mean, a very scary day for all of you, all of you at the school. How long were you kept and locked down?
SALCIDO: Going to have to say for like two hours.
MORGAN: What do you feel about this, Monique? I mean, you're only 13 yourself. You go to school and yeah, you never imagined this sort of thing happening at your school. What do you feel about what happened to the school today?
SALCIDO: I was like -- I was really scared of what happened, but I don't want to go to Berendo anymore because of what happened because I'm afraid it's going to happen again.
MORGAN: I can certainly understand that. Monique Salcido. Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
I want to turn on to another shooting in the movie theater in the small town of Wesley Chapel, Florida. A father who was allegedly texting his young daughter's baby-sitter is dead and a 71-year-old man charged a second degree murder. Well, joining me now is Sheriff Chris Nocco. Sheriff, thank you for joining me. Another quite extraordinary and dreadful incidence of what happened. What do we know about the facts here?
SHERIFF CHRIS NOCCO, PASCO COUNTY, FLORIDA: Based on what we know is at approximately 1:30 afternoon, there's people watching the previews of a movie. During that time, you know, there was two people sitting in there, one was the suspect person we have in custody who has been arrested then the victim. The victim was using -- texting on his phone, that caused the suspect to get very upset. He goes down try to talk to a manager, the conversation never really took place, he went back in the theater upset. The confrontation between the suspect and the victim was very heated. It was verbal the whole time. At one point, the suspect draws a weapon, shoots the victim and kills him in there in the theater.
MORGAN: The suspect is Curtis Reeves, 71, his victim was Chad Oulson. It would appear from the reports that I've read that the victim was actually texting, excuse me, his daughter's daycare baby-sitters. Is that correct?
NOCCO: That's part of the investigation. Our detectives are working on it but, you know, all we can say, he was texting someone but we can't tell you right now who he was texting.
MORGAN: And we also understand that Mr. Reeves who is the man who's been charged of this offense is apparently claiming that he feared for his safety because the victim threw popcorn at him. Can you confirm that?
NOCCO: You know, we can't -- you know, there's many things that are going out there, rumors, but I can tell you, he has been charged of second degree murder. We worked with our State Attorneys Office, Assistant State Attorney Manny Garcia. I can tell you, he has been charged. And the one thing that comes out is, you know, was this is a standard ground case. We wanted to make sure -- detectives wanted to make sure that when he has brought to trial that he is convicted and justice is served. And from our investigation, we're working with the State Attorney's office, it was not a stand your ground case.
MORGAN: In terms of these two shootings, we said at the start of show, 245 people of America are hit by gun fire everyday and which at least 80, 90 lose their lives. The school shooting, I just talked about, is the 30th school shooting in America since Newtown, a quite extraordinary statistic. As a sheriff on the ground trying to deal with this gun violence epidemic, what do you make of it?
NOCCO: People commit violent crimes, you know, whether be a knife or a gun. The issue is that somebody decides to take somebody's life. And, you know what, the gun didn't kill him. It was the triggers of the person that was arrested that pulled the gun and killed that person. So, I can tell you from a law enforcement perspective, you know, we're dealing with somebody who commit a homicide. The bigger issues we deal with our mental health and substance abuse, you know, if we can do it at the mental health issues and substance abuse, we'll be much safer as a country. MORGAN: But you don't feel as a sheriff on the ground there should be any changes to the existing gun laws?
NOCCO: No, as I go back to -- this is about, you know, we have mental health issues and substance abuse. The gun itself did not kill the victim here. It was the person who had the gun in his hands. And so, I go back -- keep going back to the fact that, you know, you want to talk about gun control issues. From a law enforcement perspective, we deal with mental health issues and substance abuse issues. It was violence. It was violence that killed, you know, the victim yesterday. So, you know, I keep reiterating, it's mental health issues that we deal in this country that is paramount compared to gun control.
MORGAN: I mean, listen, I don't disagree with you that mental health is clearly a part of this. But I do take issue with the fact that many people in law enforcement that I talked to do try and persist in saying it's never the gun when clearly there are many countries around the world that had strict gun control where you simply wouldn't have somebody armed with a gun in a movie theater. It would be strictly illegal. And people wouldn't have the access to firearm. Surely, it will make your job as a law enforcement officer easier if less people who perhaps were susceptible to mental health issues and another issue like that did not have such ready availability of guns.
NOCCO: Yeah. And anytime there's a homicide, you can -- where gun was involved, you can say gun control is the issue. However, from our standpoint is, we can say there's also times where people are in their houses and some are breaking in, and to protect their family, their gun is what saved them and their family. So, you know, I can argue just the opposite way that guns do protect Americans.
MORGAN: 245 Americans or people in America are hit on average everyday by gun fire. Do you think that that is the same kind of number of people who protect themselves by using guns to save their families everyday?
NOCCO: Well, you want to talk about statistics? We can also talk about how many people are killed because of DUIs, driving under the influence, you know. It could be one of those things. You know, criminals have guns. If you want to ban guns from good people, criminals are still going to get them. They're going to smuggle them through into this country and they're still going to have them. So, you can create laws that will ban guns, bad people are still going to get them. You can create laws that are going to ban drugs, bad people still get them.
So, you know, I think we have to talk about the bigger issues why are people committing these crimes. And I go back to the fact that we have mental health and substance abuse issues, that's exactly what needs to be talked about and that's what has to be addressed.
MORGAN: OK. Sheriff Nocco, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
NOCCO: Thank you. MORGAN: So, what makes a 71-year-old open fire in a movie theater and what makes a 12-year-old boy fire a gun at his classmates? Is it a mental health issue, parenting, or gun control problems? Joining me now is Lisa Bloom, legal analyst and best selling author of "Swagger: 10 Rules for Raising Boys An era of failing schools, mass joblessness, and thug culture. Lisa, thank you for joining me.
LISA BLOOM, AUTHOR OF "SWAGGER: 10 RULES FOR RAISING BOYS": Thank you.
MORGAN: I don't know. I listen to that sheriff with, I got to say a great sense of this made, not at the courage that he brings everyday to his work, but because he espoused to view there which is so prevalent in America right now that the gun is not the problem. When it seems to me, 300 million guns in circulation, of course, it's the problem, of course a ready availability of a deadly weapon to people who shouldn't be having them and may misuse them is a massive part of this problem. But, am I -- am I alone voice of insanity in this debate?
BLOOM: No. And I agree with you wholeheartedly. Look, it's not an either or situation. We need to address mental health issues. We need to address substance abuse and we need to address guns.
Let me give you another number, 20. Americans are 20 times as likely to die from gun violence as citizens of other civilized countries. Why? Because other civilized countries reign in guns. You know, every country has mentally ill young people, usually men who are the gun men. Every country has problems with substance abuse. Every country has 12-year-old boys who are angry and who want to take a gun to school.
The difference between America and every other civilized country is we allow our children to be armed. We allow 30 school shootings a year. And I would say that it is our responsibility as parents and as adults to protect children. That's our first responsibility in a country that fails to protect its own children by reigning in guns have lost the right, frankly, to call itself civilized. We know what works in every other civilized country. We just refused to do it here.
MORGAN: Right. I mean, you know, and my issue also is with organizations like the NRA that are financed by the gun manufacturers they -- their reaction to the school shooting will be well, you know, only the good guys presumably the other 13-year-old kids in the school had had guns, then this 12-year-old shooter wouldn't be able to do what he did which is clearly a ridiculous arguments and ridiculous logic. They also have argued after the Aurora movie theater massacre that people who'd go to movies should also be free to be armed. Well, this man, this 71-year-old retired policeman took their advice and he took his gun into that movie theater ...
MORGAN: ... and when somebody was texting or threatening him with a bag of popcorn, he shot him with it. And see, this is my problem with the arguments that come back from organizations that have a vested commercial interest in the sale of guns.
BLOOM: Look, if only they were correct, Piers, you know, we have the data to show that that is just factually wrong. Americans have more guns per capita than any other country in the world. Any other country, not any other civilized country, any other country in the world, we have almost one gun for every man, woman, and child in America. And so, if more guns kept us safer, we would be the safest country in the world. And it's exactly the opposite. We have more gun deaths by far than any other civilized country. So we know that it's just not correct. We wish it was true that more guns would keep us safer, but in fact, it's simply untrue as a matter of fact.
MORGAN: Lisa Bloom, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
BLOOM: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, is this a case of Bieber gone bad why sheriff deputy searched Justin Bieber's home this morning and what they have found. Also, the words Chris Christie never wanted to say the states will make. Tonight, two congressman who couldn't disagree more about Christie's Bridgegate and what comes next. And coming next, an extraordinary story, a grieving family prepares to bury their mother only to find somebody else's body in her coffin. To join me exclusively to talk about what they've been doing to help their mother now rest in piece.
MORGAN: Now, an absolutely shocking and heartbreaking story. The grieving family, planning the funeral of their elderly mother, only to discover that the funeral home sent them the wrong body. 82-year-old Margaret Porkka was vacationing in San Martin in the Caribbean on her family's annual Thanksgiving trip when she died suddenly. Now her family struggles to find a way for her to rest in peace.
Joining me exclusively, her husband, Peter, and her daughters, Judi Tymon and Lisa Kondvar. Welcome to all of you. And let me state, first of all, to you Peter, absolutely awful that you have had to go through this as a family, and the poor wife who died on this holiday and what then happened. And to both of you, her daughters, I can't think of anything worse. And I know it's been very difficult and emotional for all of you. And I thank you for coming in to talk to me about it. As I want to try, if I can, help you to get some kind of closure with this. Lisa, tell me, really in simple short terms, what happened?
LISA KONDVAR, DAUGHTER OF MARGARET PORTKKA: We're on vacation. We were having a wonderful time on vacation. We were dancing and jumping around and partying, having a good time. And I had left at noon time on Thanksgiving and gave everybody hugs and kisses because my flight was leaving. And I gave my mom, everybody hugs and kisses and then I had left. And then, I got the phone call later on, saying that she had passed.
MORGAN: She was 82 years old.
MORGAN: And Judi you were there, still, with your mother. You don't quite sure how she died at the moment, is that the position?
JUDI TYMON, DAUGHTER OF MARGARET PORTKKA: No, they never gave me a diagnosis. They haven't gave me a cause of death. And, you know, when it happens, it was so sudden that I never thought of asking what the cause was. All I know was that it was quick, sudden, she did not suffer.
MORGAN: But as what happened next that is truly scandalous ...
MORGAN: ...because your mother's body was then taken by the funeral directors in St. Maarten and sent back to you here in America. And it now turns out at the same time, another body of somebody else who died on the island was sent to Canada. But they sent the wrong body to Canada and the wrong body to you. When did you realize, Lisa, that this was not your mother?
KONDVAR: I'm -- when I was approaching the casket before calling hours at the funeral home and I went up there and I looked at the hair and I looked at this woman's ears and I look at her nose and I said, "No, this isn't mom, this isn't mom," and I got up and I walked out.
And that's when I saw my sister and my brother-in-law, Jimmy (ph) and the director at the funeral director's office and I said, "What's going on." And that's when Judi said, "We don't think that's mom."
MORGAN: Obviously then, this massive investigation is launched. Complaints, obviously, made at the same in Canada, they're going to the same awful situation there realizing it's not their loved one either. What happens next?
TYMON: Well, we called right away down to the funeral home down to St. Maarten and said to the funeral director and that there was mix up, there was terrible mix up. And the funeral director said, "Oh absolutely not, absolutely not." It was so -- and he said, "There was only one body at his funeral home in that time period." And he said it was the body of my mother, and ...
MORGAN: Well that turned out to be a nonsense right?
TYMON: Right, right. Obviously.
MORGAN: And not only nonsense but it then gets even worst because -- and I want to talk to you Peter about this part of it because I can't even imagine how this made you feel, to not only to discover this is not your wife's body, but that you discovered that almost certainly your wife's body was sent to Canada and was then cremated.
PETER PORTKKA, HUSBAND OF MARGARET PORTKKA: Yes.
MORGAN: Thus depriving you of any chance of saying farewell properly to your wife. How does that make you feel? PORTKKA: Terrible. It makes the whole problem that was made it even worse. It's so hard to explain it. And it was just horrific part of my life having something like this happen to somebody -- some -- a love one, someone who's always been loved by everybody and me in the neighborhood, in the community, and then you would see this, it was in the senior citizens' programs in years.
MORGAN: A hugely popular part -- member of the community.
MORGAN: A deeply loved member of your family.
MORGAN: And Lisa, the appalling part of this it that you don't even know for sure that it was your mother's body that was cremated. You're making an assumption ...
KONDVAR: They're making.
MORGAN: ... because they've now said there were two bodies sent and there was clearly a mixup. But you don't know for sure, do you?
MORGAN: Is there any way that you can make any tests which could establish that it was you mother that was cremated?
KONDVAR: Well supposedly they found some kind of bodily fluid in the casket. And for some reason, the funeral home saved that. And we had sent up my mother's toothbrush and her hairbrush up to Canada so they can run DNA testing. And they've had that. This stops since before Christmas. And we just found out a few days ago that they're not -- that they haven't even started the DNA testing.
MORGAN: Is there really -- it's a serious utter scandals had gone over this. Let's take a short break. When we come back, we're going to bring a top expert on medical ethics who has some shocking things to say about this case. How could something like this happen and what can not be done about it?
MORGAN: You've heard tonight the story of the grieving family who are preparing to bury their mother and to discover the funeral home sent them the wrong body. Well back with me now in this interview the family of Margaret Portkka, her husband Peter and daughters Judi and Lisa. I'm also joined now by Arthur Caplan, Director of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical.
Let me ask you Arthur coming up from top. When you actually put together what has happened here, we have a funeral director who and I haven't revealed this yet, but I will now, demanded $7,000 wide transfer to send this body back. When the body came, the death certificate actually had their mother and their wife, done as a dead man.
It then turns out he'd actually sent the wrong body and it was actually another woman. They lied about having just one body at their funeral parlor. They didn't. They had two. Everyone seems too conspired here to make this as bad as it could possibly be. What is your reaction to this?
ARTHUR CAPLAN, DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL ETHICS, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER: Well it's a horrific story and I'm so sorry to hear this tale. I've never -- I've heard a body is being mixed up at funeral homes but not anything like this. And the pattern of lying is just awful.
It makes one a little bit suspicious. There has been, over the years, some trade in bodies, not so much for organs, but to try and get bodies for use in teaching and so on, my radar, it's not just I'm not saying that happened. I hope nothing like that happened, but given this pattern and to sit down there, it makes one suspicious.
MORGAN: If we take their word forward, as you say, it's right to be suspicious but if you take their word for that simply the wrong body was sent to two different families. The family in Canada, who'd have no idea obviously it was the wrong body, cremated the body that they've received. Is there any likelihood of the ashes themselves revealing any DNA or indeed the fluid that was in the casket, is the second option more likely?
CAPLAN: Yes that's a great question, Piers. I heard the family say they had a toothbrush, they have a hair brush. You do need to match the DNA against something. Hopefully there's DNA on one or both of those items. If there isn't and there may not be depending on how thoroughly they were cleaned, that's trouble for getting an identification.
The other issue is a fluid, it maybe embalming fluid, it maybe bodily fluid, it also may have been touched or contaminated by other people who handled the body. That makes the identification harder.
So very difficult to get a good solid identification without a good DNA sample from the deceased person, which maybe exist here, and then hopefully something be -- once you cremate the body, it's very tough to get DNA out of the ashes.
MORGAN: We got a statement here from the Government at St. Maarten it reads in part, "Two women one, Canadian, one American, died on November 29th and were taken to the same funeral home. The government honored the families' requests to send the bodies to their respective homes, and the deceased women were flown to the United States on the same airline. Upon collection of the deceased the next of kin of both deceased persons claimed that this was not the body of their respective relatives and lodged a complaint with the local law enforcement authorities. The body that was flown to Canada has since been cremated."
I mean a number of issues there, already, I mean, honestly the body was not cremated once they knew it wasn't their rightful family member, so that can not be right and so a number of an unanswered questions. Let me just ask you again as the family and Judi, may I start with you here. Do you have legal representation to take the appropriate action given that you've got to deal with St. Maarten and indeed with Canadian authorities?
TYMON: We haven't gotten any legal representation. Yeah?
MORGAN: Is the government helping you here, the US government?
PORTKKA: Yes. (Inaudible).
TYMON: This -- oh yes, the state department has been helping us. And the department -- the state department and Carousel has been helping us.
MORGAN: Peter, finally, I mean, I hope that you're getting the right help and if people are watching who want to get involved in your story, I think it's an awful story to happen to any family. And I actually got in touch with you.
Peter, let me have a final word with you. You didn't get the chance to say goodbye properly to your wife. How would you like her be remembered?
PORKKA: I would -- how will I would like to be remembered?
MORGAN: How would you like your wife Margaret to be remembered?
PORKKA: Oh, with love that she -- she is such a lovely woman and she -- it's so hard to explain it, but there was nothing that she could do to anybody that they wanted this or not or they needed something, she was always there, always there helping out, doing things for other people.
MORGAN: Well I'm sure she's been with you tonight, as well, Peter. I know that your daughters feel that strongly and I hope that you feel the same. Peter, Lisa, Judi, thank you all for coming in. I'm so sorry that you've been for this. I, really, am.
KONDVAR: Thank you.
PORKKA: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: When we come back, the state of a scandal, Chris Christie fighting his political future and so the congressman on both side of the aisle. One says, if he wants to come, the other defends Christie because it may have make him stronger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I'm ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch, both good and bad. And without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure that this breach of trust does not happen again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have crumbled (ph) today probably not the way he wanted to start the state of the state address but then it worked. Well, joining me now is two congressmen from opposite sides of the aisle, Democrat Bill Pascrell was from New Jersey and Republican Michael Grimm from New York. Welcome to both of you.
Let me start with you, if I may, Congressman Pascrell. Do you accept that if Chris Christie is being sincere and honest, and genuinely knew nothing about this Bridgegate affair that he has done all he could be possibly expected to do, since it all blew up?
REP. BILL PASCRELL, (D) NEW JERSEY: Well this is a self-inflicted wound Piers. This is not something that happened that someone did to him as he tried to portray last week when he made his (inaudible) speech last Friday. I think that that has to be taken in consideration. This is not a partisan issue by any stretch. This is about the soul of government in the State of New Jersey because we're all affected by this situation.
The real victims in this whole case are the people of Fort Lee and the surrounding areas that used Fort Lee to get out at the George Washington Bridge in those four days. And during those four days, we also had 9/11 which makes this even more insidious. So (inaudible) maybe fine and it's good that you own up to something but we really don't know what happen in this situation except that it was self- inflicted.
MORGAN: Congressman Grimm, you support, I think, Chris Christie over this but it must have dented your faith in the way his run his administration, hasn't it?
REP. MICHAEL GRIMM (R) NEW YORK: No. I, actually, hasn't dented my faith. In fact, the way he's handled the situation, that rising to the occasion, what I will consider true leadership. Look number one, he owned it. He took responsibility. I think that's extremely important and he's also accountability in his administration.
When we're dealing with human beings regardless of whether it's a gubernatorial administration or whether it's here in Congress or in your own home. People are going to let you down. There's nothing we can do about that but a true leader tries their best to minimize it and they again, they take responsibility for it and they hold people accountable. He's done that. I think what we're seeing right now is ...
MORGAN: Well that's true. That's true. That's true. But of course I didn't ask you if you'd lost faith in him. I said his administration that the main criticism of all these is so many people working closely to him including some of his own top staff, aligned with other people at the Port Authority and elsewhere, have all conspired to do an absolutely outrageous thing, you know. Risking lives of people in New Jersey causing traffic mayhem for a week is a sort of pathetic punitive piece of clinical payback. And so I would ask you again, has your faith not in Chris Christie perhaps diminished because he may have been completely blind to this as he says. But surely the way that his administration has ran the culture that has developed the things it makes them think they can do this, that surely has been pretty awful.
GRIMM: Well, it's unjustifiable, you know, those that were involved in this, there is no justification for it whatsoever.
However, you know, what I look at is I look at four years of an exemplary record. You can't deny that. I mean we're looking at one isolated incident that never should have happened. But let's look at the fact that the state of New Jersey is so much better off over the last four years. I mean, they have one of the lowest employments in five years.
They just created in the last two years 156,000 new jobs. His help on education, his - the bottom line is his administration is delivering results and his policies are working and that's why everyone is piling on now because they're afraid of the results that his leadership is getting.
MORGAN: OK. Congressman Pascrell, and apparently it's a minor blip in an otherwise terrific story.
PASCRELL: Well, it's not a minor blip at all. This is a -- we have 7.8 percent unemployment. How can anybody call that a great record? We still have the highest property -- some of the highest property catches in the country. I can't blame that all on the governor of course but, you know, when one thing happens and it mirrors everything else.
You know, I hope in this situation that the governor did not know, but there was planning in this. The e-mails reflect that. This was laid out very carefully, very consciously. This wasn't a mistake that just happened. This is a big mistake when they were planning to shut down those make it three lane, one lane out of three. This is a very serious situation. People's lives are put in jeopardy. You're not going to smooth this over.
This is something that the New Jersey folks and people around the country want to know what really happen. And I think that's what we all want to know right, Michael?
GRIMM: Sure. No and I think the investigation that the governor will completely comply with and be part of. His totally transparent that will exactly happen.
But again, I don't think that you can compare this to four years of an exemplary record. And look at -- the other thing that he's done. He's worked across the aisle and he's been very effective of bringing Republicans and Democrats together, you know, it's something we haven't been able do here in Washington.
So, all of these things combine ... MORGAN: Well, that is true. But he's -- that is true but he's also managed to get them all begging for the flood at the same side. It's been a bipartisan disaster after months and years of bipartisan triumph so a tricky period for every congressman.
Thank you both very much indeed in joining me.
Well I turn now to somebody's been in Chris Christie's corner since well before Bridgegate.
Joining me now is five-term New Jersey State Assemblyman and GOP Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and welcome to you, sir. What do you make of Chris Christie's performance today? Has he done all that he can do, do you think to deal with this crisis to date?
JON BRAMNICK, (R) NEW JERSEY STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, MINORITY LEADER: He stood before the national media for two hours, answered every question came before the legislator in the state in New Jersey today and was clear.
He takes full responsibility but he stated clearly he was lied to. He's a former federal prosecutor who indicted over 100 politicians in New Jersey, came to Trenton, changed the culture in Trenton, started to do reforms that were unheard of, became a national charismatic figure and of course is going to be an overreaction here. This was on his watching, he took responsibility but he was lied to. What else do you want from this man?
MORGAN: Well, I suppose the obvious thing that struck me with all this and I'm always been a big fan of Chris Christie's, interviewed him several times and find him extremely impressive character in many ways. The problem is he's always been a guy that you were so sick with dealing with any problem in New Jersey that he's dealing with.
What could be a bigger issue to the governor than to have the busiest bridge in the world brought to an absolute standstill for a whole week? And yet in that week, he appears to have done absolutely nothing to try and find out why this is going on or do something to stop it. And if he had done, he may have unearthed some of the reality of what was behind it.
BRAMNICK: Well, Himes (ph) say it's 20/20. All of these issues appear to be very large now. But in our state, we have traffic jams everyday. There are studies, there are roadblocks, and this is not an unusual currents in a tri-state area.
Now of course, obviously more questions should've been asked. But at that time there were not a whole lot of questions asked and he apparently was told by his staff nothing concerning any unusual, illegal activity at that location.
MORGAN: I've had a lot trouble getting Republicans on generally to support Chris Christie. Why do you think that is?
BRAMNICK: Well were here. The caucus today, my Republican members are squarely behind him and especially behind what his done for four years in his state.
This state was on the verge of bankruptcy. He's in the process of doing historic reforms. My members clearly support him. We haven't received that many calls to appear on television and I can understand why. When someone is ahead in the polls of Hilary Clinton nationally, you can understand why it's a great story to pounce on Chris Christie. But Christ Christie is very special in Trenton, very special on New Jersey, and I'm surely really convinced that he's going to do quite well after this scandal blows over.
MORGAN: Jon Bramnick, thank you very much indeed for joining.
When we come back, investigators search Justin Bieber's home this morning, and what they found, they're surprised even then. The details next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see you. I see you. Hey, you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's from TMZ. A camera phone video shot by Justin Bieber's neighbor last week. Investigators of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department searched Bieber's home this morning after the incident when eggs were pelted at the neighbor's home. But they may have found more than they bargained for. They allegedly came across what they believe was ecstasy and Xanax and arrested one of Bieber's house guest.
Well, back with me now is Lisa Bloom, Legal Analyst and best-selling Author of "Swagger: 10 Rules of Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools, Mass Joblessness, and Thug Culture" and maybe add another word to it which is "Teenage Problems when you're a Pop Superstar", Lisa. What do you make of Justin Bieber? I mean he seems to be I think going off the rails completely in the last year or perhaps just growing up, you know, a bit like Miley Cyrus wanting to be a bit of a bad boy to shake off that squeaky clean image.
BLOOM: Well, the problem is he seems to have so little compassion for the people around him. His neighbors, you know, people who have to clean up after his messes. He seems to be very self-centered and have an attitude and arrogance.
I live only a few miles away from Justin Bieber. The neighbors in that community have complained about him over and over again, driving too quickly for example which I think is much more serious than throwing a few eggs. And finally, it seems to be catching up with him.
MORGAN: What should we do just to be honest -- his recent documentary movie didn't do very well at the box office. There's a sense that he may have peaked even though he got these tremendous following on things like Twitter in 15 million followers and so on. What advice would you give him? You've seen a lot of celebrities come and go.
BLOOM: Yeah. I mean I think he has a tremendously talented young man with a lot of potential who clearly has plenty of opportunities to turn his life around.
He needs to understand that humility is a very important value. He needs to understand that people around him have rights and deserved to be treated with respect. He probably is surrounded by a lot of people who just say yes and fawn over him and, you know, anything he wants, he gets.
None of that is helping him. But he still can get himself back on track.
MORGAN: Lisa Bloom, thank you for rejoining me tonight, I much appreciate it. Dealing with temperamental young musicians is not common itself. And as we saw in Justin Bieber's case, it's not always easy.
My next guests have been in experience in all these areas. Referred to as the biggest man in music, not for his physical size I might add, Irving Azoff once managed the mega stars of the music world. He is now the CEO of Azoff MSG entertainment. His new partner is an incredible joint venture to reopen the Los Angeles Forum here in L.A. is James Dolan, Executive Chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company.
Welcome to you both. Two mega moguls of the world of entertainment, sports, I mean anything really.
I mean let me start with you on this on Bieber gate which seems to where we're exactly ahead about every three weeks.
Is the growing pains of many teenage pop stars -- are we making too much of it? Is he just being a guy trying to release the shackles?
IRVING AZOFF: Listen, the business now, acts can happen quicker than ever and for, you know, for every Bieber, you know, along comes the Taylor Swift, or the lads in One Direction.
And, you know, music and its art forms is a rebellious form and some of them handle it differently than others. But the exciting times for the business of these stars, superstars, are coming along and having on a regular basis and the ones that get it are going to be around a lot longer.
MORGAN: You've been -- you've managed everyone from Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles, Jackson 5, Prince, I mean all the naughty boys and those little (inaudible) I mean naughtiness and music go hand in hand, doesn't it?
AZOFF: You know, they handle it differently but, you know, I always tell them it's the music business. You got to get the music right, but you also got to get the business right, you know, the Eagles have been around now for 40 years, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan even my favorite female Christina Aguilera now for 15 years. And if they get the business right, it increases their odds of them having a career of great longevity.
MORGAN: Now, the Eagles they are helping you re-launch the LA Forum, one of the great venues of course of the world, you're doing it with James. And I go to the Madison Square Garden quite regularly to watch many sport actions mix and so on. It's a tremendous venue and a huge money spinner and just been re-launched itself. Why the LA Forum, why have you guys got together to do this?
JAMES DOLAN, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF THE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN: Well, the LA Forum is really a unique, I wouldn't necessarily call it experiment but it's a one of a kind in the world venues. First time this has ever been done.
It's an arena that is totally dedicated to music, the entertainment. And there are no score boards. There won't be any hockey games there. There won't be any basketball games there. The entire building has been reengineered to make the concert experience the best experience you could possibly have as a fan and as an artist. And this is the first time it's ever been done.
MORGAN: I think from a music point of view, what is going to make this special? If you are a big music addict and you got Justin Timberlake in fact next week as well, what makes this special?
AZOFF: Well, for one Jim and I share a common goal. Jim is a musician and we care about musicians and we care about fans.
For one and most important it's, you know, the Eagles walked off the stage from a sound check in the past couple of days and it probably is the best sounding building in the world. And it's no accident, you know, MSG spent incredible resources, sound baffling, testing. It was a great sounding building as it was, you know, the garden is a great sounding building. Coincidentally, they were both originally the same architect and it's just a unique place, there's no suites.
MORGAN: Who is the dreamer? Of all the acts that you've ever not managed? So otherwise; it would be too biased. Who is the act you would most love to have been able to put on at this new forum?
AZOFF: Unequivocally, the Beatles.
MORGAN: The Beatles.
MORGAN: I think McCartney and Ringo Starr are getting together for the Grammy's, am I right? Right?
MORGAN: You heard that?
AZOFF: There's a big Beatles stand. MORGAN: And who would you most like to have a ...
DOLAN: Well ...
MORGAN: One act.
DOLAN: One act? Well, my favorite is always been Eric Clapton.
MORGAN: It's Clapton and the Beatles. I'll take ...
AZOFF: Well, we'll have Paul and then Ringo will both be at our grand opening Friday night for Jim's party, so.
MORGAN: Fantastic. I presume you've invited lots in the places?
AZOFF: No, no. You got.
MORGAN: The Eagles will kickoff the opening celebrations of the Forum starting January 15 to six performances. For more information, check out fabulousforum.com.
Gentlemen, thank you very much before it's going down (inaudible).
AZOFF: Thanks for having us.
MORGAN: We'll be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, Former Defense Robert Gates on his book is rocking the White House and the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset on that Golden Globe speech. (inaudible), that's all for us tonight. "AC 360 Later" starts right now.