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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
White House And Angela Merkel Try To Construct "Off Ramp" For Putin; Interview With Sen. John McCain; Interview with Sen. Chris Murphy; Day Three Of Oscar Pistorius' Murder Trial Set To Begin
Aired March 4, 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. Breaking news, you're looking live at Kiev where shortly before dawn. This is a memorial to protest this gun down there last month. And as news tonight, the White House and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are trying to construct a so called "Off Ramp." Then we'll get Vladimir Putin out of this crisis that may grow in fears. So the situation has been out of control up to this confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian forces at Belbek Air Base in Crimea.
The world is watching two presidents locked in a war of words. Who will bring first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: If I take the decision to use military force, it will be completely legitimate and correspond to the norms international law.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And of President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers that make a difference set of interpretations, but I don't think that's fooling anybody.
MORGAN: I'll talk to Senator John McCain. He says President Obama doesn't understand Putin. I'll turn to Chris Murphy, he says Republicans are playing politics.
Also, for the Miracle on Ice to rocky (inaudible) why do we love to hate Russia? And does it deserve the last drama in the court Oscar Pistorius' defense hammers a witness, she cries as she says it was awful to heave a shots. I was going to forensic expert what we know about the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed.
And I want to begin tonight with our big story. The crisis in Ukraine and what Vladimir Putin will do next. Joining me now is Robert Levgold, he is a Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. General Mark Kimmitt, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs and Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
Priebus (ph), we spoke last night and had that fascinating debate about the state of play. I wanted to play you a clip. This is President Clinton talking to me at the CGI last September about his own dealings with Vladimir Putin because it seems to me that trust in Putin right now is absolutely key. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Mr. Putin has got -- he got all. He is very smart.
MORGAN: Do you know him better than most people?
CLINTON: Yeah, I do.
MORGAN: What was he like behind close doors away from, you know, the public appearances.
CLINTON: Smart and remarkably -- we had a really good blunt relationship.
MORGAN: How blunt?
CLINTON: Brutally blunt.
MORGAN: And do Putin ever renake on a personal--
MORGAN: -- agreement he made to you?
CLINTON: He did not.
MORGAN: So behind close doors, he could be trusted?
CLINTON: He kept his word in all the deals we've made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Fareed, I found that fascinating inside into that relationship and into the character of Putin. And I remember Bill Clinton going on to say that what you have to be aware of with Putin was making any public pronouncements as the American president or in any world leader which exposed him to any sense of ridicule or embarrassment where he lost faith with his own people. Taking those two things to this current situation, what should we make about the reality of Putin and how you should deal with it?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Well he is, I think as Bill Clinton said a tough guy. I've had a few chances to meet with him in small groups -- very small groups. And he is -- you -- when it comes to process, very intelligent, very tough, and a deep sense of a Russian nationalism, a deep sense of the greatness of Russia if you were Russian exceptionalism.
So I think that, you know, you're dealing with somebody with whom you cannot make appeals to international norms and laws that these things are not going to be as important. It is brutal understanding of Russia's interest. And I think that the "Off Ramp" that we might find, it lies in -- what Putin said in his press conference. The most important thing he said in that long, rambling press conference was that he does not intend to annex (ph) Crimea.
He said that he was after the final question was, is Crimea going to become part of Russia and he said no. We want to leave it after the people of Crimea to determine their future. So what that suggests is he's thinking some kind of referendum. Now, the Ukrainians will may have some ideas. The Ukrainian constitution only allows for a referendum, the whole country. So, all Ukrainians would have to decide whether Crimea can be either independent or part of Russia or autonomous within Ukraine. But there you'll begin to see the possibility of some kind of political solution.
If Putin says and really persuades (ph) any notion of (inaudible) by force, then you can have a serious conversation about the political future because it is a complicated situation. Crimea was historically part of Russia, was given to Ukraine in 1954 in a kind of weird gift that Russia have made. It is 60 percent Russian. From all accounts, the majority would rather be in Russia or at least are not particularly happy with Ukraine.
So, all those things can be discussed. But I think that the key is you put it is the trust that there is a serious negotiation when nobody is going to use force to create facts on the ground that cannot be changed.
MORGAN: OK. Let me turn to Professor Levgold because, you know, if he told President Clinton like I did and I pushed in quite hard on this. There's no doubt that when it was close doors discussion with Putin, he completely trusted him. That Putin never renaked on his word or was delivered on what he told Bill Clinton personally he would do. Should President Obama be getting in the same room with Vladimir Putin right now and flushing out some kind of solution to this bearing in mind Bill Clinton's words?
ROBERT LEVGOLD, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, I think it's very important in the West, the E.U., and President Obama engaged Putin. This is not the time to cut off contact. But it is a different environment, fundamentally from any other kind of dealing with Putin. One has to understand where he is right now. His policy initiatives have been very rush. You don't do what he does unless you think the stakes are very high. And in his view, I think, he believes that political force is coming out of this recent political crisis has now led Ukraine to a position where Russia is losing it -- losing it to the E.U., losing to it NATO. And he believes that's happened in part, if not engineered by the U.S. and by the E.U. and others, then strongly supported by it.
So, he has now come to have an exceedingly negative view of the administration of the Americans and it'll be very hard to do any kind of a deal with him where you get back to the Clinton proposition that you can trust him on a deal. We're in a different world with Putin right now.
MORGAN: OK. But let me ask you this, I mean, Madeleine Albright told him delusional. But is he completely delusional in the way he is reading the situation involving, you know, country right on his door step, right on the border, is he delusional or is he right to be quite paranoid about the situation? And does he, in his own way, he believes acting in the best interest of his country?
LEVGOLD: I think, he thinks it's a -- that's the case. He certainly believes that Ukraine is utterly critical to Russia. Its aspirations, not merely to Russian security in some broad sense or political identity or self satisfaction, but to projects like this in political union that is attempting to form a whole host of other things.
But again, as I've said, I think the real question is whether these Russia actions which is taken and given the high stakes are not leading him into some very deep and dangerous water. What Fareed said a moment ago, I would read differently. That is, the risk is -- he has said, I'm not going to a next Crimea. That's not my aspiration. But the next sentence was, I will respect the freedom of the Crimean people to make their own decisions. And as Fareed pointed out, if a referendum is held, currently schedule now for March 30th and probably going to be pushed up, it's quite likely to be carried in favor of independence. Then what's he going to do? My guess is that he's probably going to embrace it. And if he does, it won't simply be another Georgian, Ossetia or Abkhazia. It is likely the lead to Russia's decision to incorporate Crimea and Russia. Then that would be--
LEVGOLD: -- Ukrainians do in this circumstance.
MORGAN: OK. Let me play a clip. This is Vladimir Putin talking about the potential use of military force.
(BEGIND VIDEO CLIP)
PUTIN: If I take the decision to use military force, it will be completely legitimate, and correspond to the norms international law because the request of the legitimate president, and also corresponds to our duties, and corresponds to our interest in protecting of the people who are close to us historically.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: General Mark Kimmitt, from a military point of view, Putin is maintaining that he hasn't sent troops in, in any kind of combat manner. They are there protecting as he puts it people who are close to us historically. Is he right?
GEN. MARK KIMMITT (RET.), FMR. DIRECTOR, PLANS & STRATEGY, CENTRAL COMMAND: Well, what he's actually doing is protecting his strategic interest which is the warm-water port at Sevastopol. This is not unique for either Putin or for Russia. There has been an outside intervention every decade since the end of the World War II. I mean, the fact is, they went into Afghanistan in the '70s. They went into Georgia in 2000s. They went into Hungary in the '50s. They went into Czechoslovakia in 60s. So, I don't see that this is somehow sui generis to Putin alone.
The fact is, at any time, the Russians or the Soviets or for that matter, the (inaudible) trouble on their borders they take military action into these countries to restore stability and restore that buffer zone around that country which they have wanted the maintain for years and years.
MORGAN: Yeah. And on that point, is he not right to raise a flag and say, OK America, you may be hostile to what I'm doing, but wouldn't you basically do exactly the same thing if you face exactly the same scenario on your border? General Kimmitt.
KIMMITT: Well, first of all, I deplore what he has done, but let's not go too far on that suggestion. We did the exact same thing in Panama in 1989. We had a strategic and Fareed said to the Panama Canal. American Zonians we're being threatened. America took split decisive action to maintain its strategic interest in the Panama Canal Zone and the American people that were inside. I don't see much of the difference between what happened there and what happened here in the Ukraine.
MORGAN: OK. Fareed Zakaria, I can see you shaking your head vehemently. So, why do you dispute any kind of comparison in a way that General Kimmitt just outlined?
ZAKARIA: Look, all nations have interest and they have interest outside their borders, great powers interest. But the fundamental problem Putin is facing which we did not face in Panama is that the people of Ukraine by in large don't want to be dominated by Russia. That's what has set this whole dynamic going. And that's why Robert Legvold is correct when he says this is a magnet for Putin. He's made a serious of rushed decisions trying to keep up with the phase of events.
But the real movers, the real actors in the story are not Washington and Obama who strict Putin or not Putin who has done some kind of power play. This is the way we describe it all. The heroes of the story are the Ukrainian people who took to the streets, overturn the government which they thought had become a vasal (ph) of Russia's and are trying to make a modern Democratic, liberal future for themselves. That's the problem here. And what Putin is trying to do is to arrest that course of history. Very different from going in temporarily to secure the Panama Canal, or to get rid of a, you know, a bad guy like Noriega.
Panama is today a thriving democracy, has had an Anti-American politicians run it. I mean, look at Nicaragua, you know, I would hope that the lesson of the 20th century surely is that holding on to little pieces of land and warm-water ports, you know, that's not how you make a great nation. The way you make a great nation is to raise the standards of living of your people. Putin is presiding over an oil kleptocracy in Russia that has ruined the lives of his people, but he's got Crimea through chores (ph).
KIMMITT: But I would also argue that to suggest that the people east of the Dnieper River who are primarily Russian speaking and Russian affiliated somehow see what's happening in Kiev as where they want to be going or that somehow that the Russians are paratrooping (ph) into Kiev right now, I think is a misstatement of fact. The fact is the Crimea area in general, in the area east of the Dnieper, lean far more towards Russia than they do right now to the west.
ZAKARIA: It's a little bit of old fashion thinking --
MORGAN: OK, let me just -- I think that--
ZAKARIA: -- if I can just quickly point out. Even in Crimea--
ZAKARIA: -- the only 60 percent of the population is Russian, 15 percent are Muslims, the so called Crimean Tatars. I don't think they're looking at the prospect of Russian domination with any great joy.
KIMMITT: No. But 60 percent of the people are.
MORGAN: OK. Final words, final word to -- a final word to Professor Legvold, and this question really which is a crucial one, will Putin back down?
LEGVOLD: I think he's not going to back down from the position he's currently established. The real question is, what's his game, what's he up to? It's not simply a bandit who has crassly seized an opportunity in order to grab a piece of another country. At a minimum, I think he is trying to create the strongest possible hand he has to influence the future course of Ukraine. I think he knows that the elections May 25th in Ukraine, to decide the next government. If they are entirely controlled by the elements from the west, which are very pro west ready to destroy the commitment and neutrality in Ukraine's part that was established in 2010. If they control the situation, Ukraine is lost.
He wants the strongest possible hand at a minimum to shape the outcome of what happens in Ukrainian politics. At a maximum, if he has given up on that portion of Ukraine, then it's his game to begin the process of dismembering Ukraine so that the part that still retained some loyalty toward Russia provides a kind that if you will secure the buffer or safety zone. And the first piece of that--
LEGVOLD: -- is Crimea. The real problem, however, is where things go after Crimea, even if the worse happens in Crimea, there's more down the road.
MORGAN: Professor Legvold, thank you very much. Fareed Zakaria, thank you. And General Mark Kimmitt, thank you as well. When we come back, has President Obama paints himself into a corner on Ukraine. John McCain tells me why he said this president just doesn't understand Putin. I'll turn to Chris Murphy, tells me why he thinks GOP is playing politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: This president does not understand Vladimir Putin. He does not understand his ambitions. He does understand that Vladimir Putin is an old KGB Colonel bent on restoration of the Soviet of the Russian Empire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A fiery John McCain on the Senate floor today. He got strong words to both President Obama and Vladimir Putin.
And joining me now is Senator John McCain. Welcome to you senator. What is your view of where this crisis currently is?
MCCAIN: Well I think it's a situation where the Crimea is clearly in Russian hands and as I predicted that there would probably the case. The question now is what about Eastern Ukraine as to how serious the problem will be there with "spontaneous demonstrations" and requirements that Vladimir Putin protect the Russian speaking people there and I'm not sure. I think it depends on what Vladimir Putin thinks our response will be.
MORGAN: I want to play two clips. One is from Putin today and just followed by another one from President Obama. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PUTIN: No, I'm not worried because we are not going to go to war with Ukraine, but Ukraine has the army. I want you to understand clearly. If we do this, it will only be to protect local people.
OBAMA: I don't think that's fooling anybody. I think everybody recognizes that although Russia has legitimate interest in what happens in the neighboring state, that does not give it the right to use force as means of exerting influence inside of that state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: It appears with criticizing President Obama here senator, but what is the exact criticism? What is he really expecting to do? No one expected him to take military action if he would be (ph). So what should he be doing?
MCCAIN: And to not what he is doing now and what he should do now, the obvious, it's somehow it's what he's done in the past. It's the -- tell Vladimir that I will -- when I'm reelected, I'll be more flexible as he said to Medvedev. When he ridiculed Mitt Romney in 2012 and said the Cold War's been over for 20 years, the accommodation and belief that somehow Vladimir Putin was anything but what he is, and this incredible weakness which has led to the arrogance and move that Vladimir Putin has made into the Ukraine.
Right now, we are faced with the situation where there's no military option but there are lot of other things we can do besides just cancel the preparatory meeting in the G8 and hopefully we will do those things. But what he's done in the past, the chickens have come home to roost, Piers. MORGAN: Well, let me play a clip. This is from Senator Chris Murphy responding to Republican criticism of the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (R) CONNECTICUT: I've listened to some of my good friends on the Republican side try to score political points in connection with the Russian move on Crimea. Trying to paint this somehow is Obama's fault. And this is a ridiculous contention.
Putin marched into Georgia in 2008 under a Republican president who many of my Republican colleagues considered to be strong in foreign policy. Now, he is doing it with a Democrat in office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, it's a pretty good point, isn't it, that he's making?
MCCAIN: Well, it is for some. I strongly resisted. I strongly said that we have to respond to it and I was ridiculed by the same, frankly Left Wing Liberal Democrats, the Obama files. In fact, when I said where all Georgians have was just subject of great laughter. And the fact is that that was a serious situation, we did take some action. But the fact is today, and we are now seeing in major nation deprived of a significant part of it and unrest there and I warned about it. I warned about it in 2000. I warned about it in 2008 and I continued to warn about it and predict what is happening now.
It's not because I'm brilliant, it's because I know Vladimir Putin. And this president has no idea as to the nature of Vladimir Putin early never would he said to Medvedev, the puppet, tell Vladimir I will be more flexible when I am reelected. There's a lot of things we can do. We're still the world's greatest nation. But we -- then (inaudible) now who are dealing with the question that was asked about the Ukrainian army, Vladimir Putin says, why don't you take a look at the Post-Soviet states, there are many uniforms there. They are similar. You can go to a store and buy any kind of uniform. Question, but were they Russian soldiers or not? Vladimir Putin, those were local self-defense units.
MORGAN: And what about his more general point. Now, I'll play what Putin said here about what he believes to be the hypocrisy of the U.S. position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PUTIN: When I say, do you think that everyday you do is legitimate. And they said, yes. So I have to remind them about the actions of the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya where they were acting results in the U.N. sanctions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, again, you know what, to support Putin's position or not, doesn't he have a point? MCCAIN: Of course not. He's using more of equivalence which by the way are already people on the left, some of the -- again, Obama files that are saying. Look, we went to Libya to prevent -- after we get Gaddafi from the gates of Benghazi where a 100,000 people were going to be slaughtered and we're for Libyan independence the same way we went to Afghanistan because that's where the attacks of 9/11 came from. Maybe we shouldn't have gone to Iraq but the best information that we had at that time was if they have weapons of mass destruction. None of those was an expansion of United States Empire. This is clearly a power grab. This is part of Vladimir Putin's desire for the near abroad. This is the guy that said the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century was the break up of the Soviet Union.
We have a president totally misread this guy and as the Washington Post that renown conservative periodically said it lived -- it lives in a dream world, and now, the whole thing is come crushing down and I can assure you that Putin paid attention when the president of the United States said he was going to attack Syria over chemical weapons because they crossed the red line and didn't. And I would tell you that reverberation around the world and you will -- I predict to you, you will see China get much more aggressive in the South China Sea particularly on the Senkaku Islands.
MORGAN: Senator McCain, good to talk to you as always. Thank you very much.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
MORGAN: And now, I want to turn to Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy. We just heard him on the Senate floor today. He's also going to join McCain's colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee. Welcome to you senator. You didn't get a chance to respond Senator McCain earlier on the Senate floor but you can now. Over to you.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: Well, that was an -- this idea that the invasion of Ukraine is Obama's fault is ridiculous. As I said on the floor, this has been Putin's envision. I agree with Senator McCain to reestablish their control over the near abroad, but he has pursued that policy under Republicans and under Democrats. He invaded Georgia under President Bush and frankly, President Bush didn't do too much about it, certainly didn't consider the kind of economic sanctions that President Obama is considering today.
And his idea of it, Obama is somehow weak in the world and maybe (ph) because he talks to our adversaries. It's ridiculous as well. That fact is we actually have a lot to work on with Russia. And so, we have talked to them about Afghanistan, counter terrorism measures, Syria, missile defense. That doesn't make him weak. That doesn't mean that Obama doesn't understand who Putin is, the fact is, is that Putin's ambitions stand solid regardless of whether these Democrats or Republicans in the White House, and what has really masks is the fact that John and I actually agree on what we should do from here, and instead of spending all of our time blaming folks for the situation we're in, we should be holding hands trying to get Ukraine and get the International Community out of this mess. MORGAN: One of the, in my view, more outlandish claims by some Republicans is that Obama is weak simply because he didn't gone bomb Syria when he have the chance and that somehow emboldened Putin to take the action he's doing now. I think that's pretty ridiculous. But what is your reaction to that?
MURPHY: Well, I mean, we are still cleaning up the mess of Iraq decade and a half later. And so, the notion of the only way that you can portray strength in the world is by invading and bombing other countries is ridiculous. The war in Iraq and frankly, the mismanagement of the war in Afghanistan has caused this country dearly in terms of treasure reputation and lives. I'm glad that we didn't militarily intervene in Syria. So are my constituents because they understand that there's a much different kind of power that needs to be exercised around the globe. One that actually comes with economic diplomacy which is exactly what we're going to do to try to move Russia back off of the precipice of crisis in Ukraine, and not crippling sanctions, the Russian government and the Russian economy make them rethink their entire approach here and that is exactly the kind of work that the United States should be doing rather than perceiving strength only to be a function of how many different countries you can invade in a period of time or in an administration.
MORGAN: And people are talking a lot about this word "deescalation" and saying that 24 to 48 hours are crucial. Do you think that anything can be achieved significant in that time scale?
MURPHY: I think there's a good chance that Putin is making this up as we go along. I think it has always been his broad mission to try to reestablish control of the former Republics. But, only two weeks ago, he had a president there, President Yanukovych who is essentially under his thumb and it was only when the Ukrainian people threw off that yoke of leadership that's he was faced with his only option at this point which was to march troops in. So, I'm not sure that we're going to see anything in the next 24 to 48 hours. It's going to dramatically change the situation.
Frankly, I think it's going to take the United States and Europe making Putin believe that we're serious about bringing down his economy if he doesn't change his mind. Right now, the Europeans are not where we need them to be. It may take a few days. It may take a week to get them to the point where they're ready to tell Putin, "Get your troops out of there or at least accept international monitor in the region that you're concerned about or we're going to exact sanctions on your people that you will come to regret.
MORGAN: Senator Murphy, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
MURPHY: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: Coming up, mother Russia, America's archenemy from the end of World War II to the fall of the Soviet Union. With Vladimir Putin on the move in Ukraine, is the Cold War genuinely heating up?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S., huge underdogs, leading the Soviet Union. Johnson over to Ramsey. Bilyaletdinov gets checked by Ramsey. McClanahan is there. The puck is still loose. 11 seconds. You got 10 seconds. The countdown is going on right now. Morrow up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles? Yes!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A clip from the film "Miracles," a story of the U.S. victory over the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics. Clearly, Americans have never stopped loving to hate the Russians.
Well, joining me now a top diplomat Bill Richardson and Matthew Rojansky a Russian Expert Director of the Kennan Institute in Wilson Center. Welcome to both of you.
Bill Richardson, what is it about the damn Ruskies that gets Americans so worked up all the time?
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO: Well, it's the Cold War days, it's Khrushchev, it's pounding on the -- pounding on the UN table, it's the Cuban missile crisis. But what you're seeing I think right now is after the debacle of the end of the Soviet Union is Putin is saying, "We're back. We're going to try to restore our strength. We're going to not be humiliated any longer by NATO expansion, by countries like Ukraine abandoning us going to the West, by the missile system that was going to be put up in Poland which I think now has to be reestablished. But I think it's just very much a part of American culture, the Ruskies being our traditional enemies in the Cold War period when it's a bipolar world.
What think Putin doesn't understand it's now an interdependent world and so, he's going to get punishment from Europe, he's going to get punishment from NATO, from the United States and also I think from his surrounding republics. He's going to lose by this incursion in Ukraine. He's going to lose a lot of strength in Poland and Moldova and those countries that he still wants to keep under his orbit.
MORGAN: OK. Matthew Rojansky, I mean I think back in say my country, back in England, there isn't quite the level of this rule hatred or distrust towards Putin or Russia. And that's probably the same of many countries in Europe actually. So, I mean it -- has American got to slightly realign its traditional and Bill said that Cold War feelings towards anything Russian. Is it actually a pragmatic way to deal with this current situation?
MATTHEW ROJANSKY, KENNAN INSTITUTE, WILSON CTR.: Honestly Piers, I don't think this is about the Cold War, I think it's about much more recent history and indeed geopolitical roles and values today.
If you think about the 1990s for Russians that was a story of suffering, that was a story of being on their knees of watching as a small handful of individuals enrich themselves in the transition to capitalism really to crony capitalism to Wild West capitalism. And their feeling was that Americans were doing a victory laugh that we were just indifferent to their suffering, we were expanding NATO all around them, encircling them and taking advantage of them.
And their feeling today is, you know, look, their democracy such as it is, flawed and all, it's only just two decades old. Who are we to lecture them about issues like human rights? Who are we to lecture them about whether they're safe in their neighborhood, if they need to act against enemies, if they need to act against terrorists in the North Caucasus and so on? I'm not defending it but this is the Russian perception. It's really not about the Cold War.
And I think from the American side, it's also very much about values. You know, Americans tend to believe, look at the march of history. We are moving towards liberal democracy, we are moving towards European integration, countries, former Soviet countries and former communist countries are gradually moving into that fold. And our belief is so too should the Russians. They look like us, they share a great amount of European western history, so why not them? And I think the Russians really resent that. So, we're on this kind of pact of conflict but it's very much about recent history not about Soviet communism.
MORGAN: OK. Bill Richardson, just some breaking news here from BuzzFeed, a report in the Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and a fundraise here in California today making two attendees described as a comparison, a direct comparison between Russia's decision to issue passports in the Crimea region to the population transfers carried up by Nazi Germany before World War II. What is your reaction to that?
RICHARDSON: Well, I don't have all the facts on that but I think what Secretary Clinton is saying is the illegal nature of what the Russians have been doing in Crimea. Basically saying that those troops of 16,000 troops are not really troops, they're self defense forces. And that what they're doing in a violation of international law just like the Nazis were doing.
MORGAN: But I think if I can just --
RICHARDSON: Now, my view here --
MORGAN: Let me just clarify actually, Governor, because what she said, I think this is quite important to make this clear. She talked about how -- what Putin is doing now is similar to what Hitler did essentially providing ethnic Russians in the Crimea region access back to Russia and that it was destabilizing. So, drawing a direct parallel between Hitler's activities in doing very similar things before second World War and what is going on now with Putin.
RICHARDSON: Well, look, I would tend to agree with Secretary Clinton. I don't know if I would phrase it that way. I think what is very, very necessary despite the fact that it's not been a good week or two weeks for US-Russian relations or through the West and Russia. We need to find ways to lower the temperature, de-escalate the attention. We have a lot of common issues that we need to deal with Russians, the nuclear weapons in Iran. We want their help and North Korea to stabilize things there. We need some kind of accommodation in Syria. We need not for an escalation beyond Crimea to go into the former Soviet Republics. But I think at the same time, it's important that this be a signal that NATO, the old alliance which is still active and viable, needs to refurbish itself, needs to refurbish itself with missile defense at my judgment in Poland. And we need to also look at an energy policy that substitutes Russia's efforts to try to use natural gas as a political weapon by exporting perhaps natural gas and petroleum to that region. That's -- I think we have to look forward positively, diplomatically and economically.
MORGAN: Governor Richardson, good to talk to you and Matthew Rojansky thank you very much indeed.
Coming up, the Blade Runner murder trial, the defense takes aim at a tearful neighbor of Oscar Pistorius.
MORGAN: Day three of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial is about to begin. This is after the defense hammered one of the blade runner's neighbors on the stand yesterday. So how is the case going and what really happened to Reeva Steenkamp?
Well, joining me now, top forensics scientist Dr. Henry Lee Associate Director of University of New Haven, also Lisa Bloom Legal Analyst for Avvo.com and Author of "Suspicious Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We are Bound to Repeat It". Welcome to you both.
Lisa, we're about to start day three of this compelling trial obviously. From what you've seen so far and what you've heard, how do you think this is all going to play out?
LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVVO.COM: I think the prosecution is off to a very strong start. There are two women who say that they heard a women screaming over and over again, then a man screaming, then the four shots. That completely undercuts Pistorius' defense that he thought there was a burglar and need to shoot through a lock door at the burglar.
I mean that story is a little preposterous to begin with. When you add in the sounds of a woman screaming, clearly Reeva screaming, I think he's in trouble.
MORGAN: Henry Lee, a lot of attention being put by the defense on the forensic aspect of all this. In particular whether Oscar Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs and so on, the angle that he could've fired the bullets that the way the bullets went in and the effect they had on Reeva Steenkamp.
From a forensics point of view, what are going to be the crucial, crucial facts here? DR. HENRY LEE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN: The crucial fact would be first thing is that the trajectory. What's the direction of the bullet? The bullets (inaudible) that are flying through the door and how high those bullet hole and whereas her wound and then the blood spatter inside of the bathroom. In addition, the distance determination, how far the shot was fired. Those are -- and the extremely and the crucial, yeah.
MORGAN: Right. Lisa Bloom, how much will Oscar Pistorius' fame factor in here? We've seen a lot in American cases and adjacent (ph) in other cases. Do you, you know, he's obviously a huge national hero in South Africa, there's a huge pressure on this judge to deliver the right verdict here. How much will the celebrity aspect --
BLOOM: I think celebrity is a huge benefit for anyone in trial certainly in America and probably for Oscar Pistorius, even with the judge in South Africa. He's a national hero, people certainly don't want to see him in prison and the cases I've seen over 20 years of covering high profile cases, I think they had to prove to really beyond a shadow of a doubt when you got a celebrity in the defendant's chair, not just beyond a reasonable doubt. People are just really reluctant to incarcerate somebody like Oscar Pistorius.
MORGAN: I want to play a clip, this is a very moving clip from Reeva's mother June, who was on the Today Show this morning talking about Oscar Pistorius.
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JUNE STEENKAMP, REEVA STEENKAMP'S MOTHER: Even though it is -- he made a mistake, an enormous -- it's an enormous mistake and I've lost the most precious thing in my life of myself and my husband. Our daughter, beautiful daughter, and we were close, we were very close. I've lost everything that's important to me but still I can forgive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, Lisa, an extraordinarily powerful and very moving that she could find the strength to say that.
BLOOM: Incredible. It really is. The grace and the dignity but the justice system still needs to go forward, right. Even if --
BLOOM: -- the victim's family member forgives. She has to do that so as not to live a life of bitterness. But still, I mean, there's a huge problem with domestic violence and rape in South Africa. Reeva Steenkamp was speaking out about that actually just days before she was shot ironically. I mean -- I think that's one of the core issues in the case that doesn't get enough attention.
MORGAN: And very quickly, this book, very powerful book about the Trayvon Martin case, tell me about it.
BLOOM: Well, thank you. I wrote this book because I knew something was wrong. I had a feeling in my gut. There was a lot that we weren't seeing in this case. I saw a case going off the rails. So I did my own investigation to find out what exactly went on in the jury room with the witnesses and the lack of preparation and why the prosecution wasn't arguing their best evidence, Piers?
And that's -- the results are in my book. I start inside the jury room with a lot of new information. But ultimately, there's some broader issues too about suspicions and fears in America that's why I call it "Suspicion Nation" racial profiling and gun --
MORGAN: Yeah. It's a very powerful book "Suspicion Nation" and I could commend you on why it's an important book. The inside story of the Trayvon Martin injustice and why we continue to repeat it. Good to see you Lisa Bloom and also Dr. Henry Lee. Thank you very much indeed.
Coming up, the famous Emanuel Brothers in Chicago and who's a bioethicist, the mayor of Chicago and a top Hollywood agent and only one of them took the polar plunge in Lake Michigan with Jimmy Fallon and lived to tell the tale and one will join me next. Despite about what you know.
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MORGAN: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel taking the polar plunge in Lake Michigan with Jimmy Fallon, the temperature 10 degrees which is surely cannot be healthy and that's where my next guest comes in. The Mayor's brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist and author of the new book "Reinventing American Health Care". Welcome to you, Ezekiel.
Were you surprised to see your brother surviving the polar plunge?
EZEKIEL EMANUEL, AUTHOR, "REINVENTING AMERICAN HEALTH CARE": I always knew he was crazy. So, I mean it seems nuts to me.
MORGAN: Well, I'm with you on that. Now, listen, this book that you've done "Reinventing American Health Care", I love the subheading, "How the Affordable Care Act will improve our terribly complex blatantly unjust, outrageous, expensive, grossly inefficient, error prone system". So apart from that the health system in America is quite good, is it?
EMANUEL: Yes. Well, I mean I think we have to remember before the Affordable Care Act was implemented, how much we didn't like our health care system. The fact that rates were going up at 39 percent, that insurance companies could issue recessions if you forgot to inform them that you had back pain, the fact that 50 million people were uninsured, the uneven quality of care.
I mean we needed reform and we got a pretty good reform, not perfect, but pretty good. And so I try to explain how we got the reform and what its going to mean for the next decade or so. MORGAN: Now, many doctors I've talk to, I talked to quite a few about this are actually pretty supportive broadly of the angst (ph) of Obamacare for want of a better phrase, but they're all pretty disgusted I think by the way it was rolled out and the chronic failure of that rollout system because it sort of contaminated the brand, didn't it?
EMANUEL: Well, look, no one can convince it was worse it was a very bad October and November for the exchange but that's not the whole of the Affordable Care Act as I made clear in the book. There are many other parts to it which I think are going reasonably well, some better than others, we've had some important slow down in cost -- in the cost of health care, we've had some improvements in the quality of health care especially nationwide reductions and infections, caesarians sections before term as well as in readmissions to the hospital.
So I think focusing accessibly only on the exchanges, nonetheless, the exchanges were badly executed and that I think has, as you point out, given the brand a slightly bad tint. My hope is that over the next year, certainly two years, that they really improve dramatically and it becomes a pleasure to shop for insurance, giving you choices and all the information you need. I think that would change a lot of people's attitude towards the health care reform bill.
MORGAN: Just briefly, where do you think America will be in 20 years time if the Affordable Care Act really cements itself and becomes much more popular and gets taken up in big numbers? Where will America be you think in terms of healthcare in two decades?
EMANUEL: Well, that means -- two decades is a very long time to predict. So I'm going to be a little --
MORGAN: And bare with me, I understand.
EMANUEL: -- cautious where Al Hague (ph) would say, "I'll copy at this." First, I think most of us were going to be getting our insurance through the exchange. We're going to be selecting our coverage through the exchange.
Second, we're going to be selecting not just insurance companies but a lot of health systems. So I expect that the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, my own university, Penn, will be offering their own insurance products and the exchange.
Third, I think we're actually going to see an era of low growth in health care.
Fourth, I think we're going to see a real concentration and improving the health of people who already have chronic illness. They're the people who use most of the health care in the system, 10 percent of the people use about two-thirds of well the dollars and improving their health, giving them a lot more so that they stay out of the hospital, they continue to take their medicines, they eat well, they exercise that's going to be the key going forward to improving the whole country's health and wellness and I think that's going to become a major focus of attention. And last, I think we're going to have a very different pool of people who are caring for us, not just doctors, but nurse practitioners, home health aides, a lot of digital medicine, so telemedicines or being able to talk to your doctor over the phone --
EMANUEL: -- or over a machine in your house. It's going to be pretty radically interesting.
MORGAN: Ezekiel, we have sadly run out of time. I could talk to you for ages because you're ridiculously intelligent man about all this but I've enjoyed the book "Reinventing American Health Care" --
EMANUEL: Thank you.
MORGAN: -- by Ezekiel Emanuel is out now and I commend people to read it if you want to understand really what is going on in American health care. Good to talk to you again, Ezekiel. Take care.
EMANUEL: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
MORGAN: And we'll be right back.