tv Piers Morgan Live CNN March 5, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
good evening, this is piers morgan live, there's a new cold war between russia and the rest of the world. but it seems like there's no easy way out of the situation between russia and ukraine. secretary of state john kerry said this today. >> russia's violation of ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity has actually united the world in support of the ukrainian people. >> at the same time u.s. intelligence officials deny they were caught offguard while russ russia's kremer -- >> i'm not making a comparison certainly, but i am recommending that we perhaps can learn from
this tactic that has been used before. >> we'll talk about all this in a moment and get into the big debate, should the u.s. have seen all this coming, considering russia's history of doing this kind of thing before. and this goes back to the grand old days of propaganda wars. >> i'm proud to be an american and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast i'm resigning. >> that's ms. wall, quitting on air today, i'll talk to her and her former colleague abby martin who condemned russian aggression on the air and kept her job, well, for now anyway. >> we'll also bring you some stunning story behind this i
incredible video, the distressed pregnant mother driving straight into the surf in florida with three of her children on board. i'll speak with the two good samaritans that saved her life. we begin with the story that seems to be playing out on r.t. america. two days after abby martin shocked the world and looked directly at the camera condemning russia's move into the ukraine. >> before we wrap up the show, i want to say something from my heart about the ongoing political issue going on in ukraine. i can't stress enough how strongly i am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation's affairs. what russia did is wrong. i don't know as much as i should be the cultural dynamics of the region but what i do know is military aggression is not an option. above all, my heart goes out to
the ukrainian people who are now wedged as pawns in the middle of a global power chess game. they're the real losers here, all we can do now is hope for a peaceful outcome in a terrorist situation. until then, i'll keep telling the truth as i see it. >> abby martin joins me live now. welcome, abby. obviously we're all pretty shocked by what you did and possibly even more shocked by liz wahl who actually quit on air today. were you tempted to do what liz wahl did and what is your reaction to her decision to actually resign? >> i support less in whatever decision she wants to make. but i knew that i would be putting my job on the line i did know that going against the iraq war. i knew that going against the editorial line of my network, i could put my job on the line. fortunately that hasn't happened
yet. >> what pressure have you come under internally if any from management to perhaps rein back your position? or have they warned you about your conduct? >> surprisingly, piers, it goes in line with everything i have been saying in the past 20 years, i'm staunchly anti-military interventionist, i stay true to my beliefs and my moral compass and management was supportive. i talked to my boss today, he said we support you, i said if i disagree with something that russia is doing i will continue to speak out. they gave me the complete editorial freedom to do whatever i want on my show "breaking the set" and all i can speak for is what i do on my show. >> are you concerned about other parts of the programming on r.t. america? do you believe that although your show might have an independent voice, the other programming doesn't and it has drifted in the last week into blatant propaganda.
>> we're talking about six corporations that control 90% of what americans see, hear and read. the leadup to the iraq war, parroting exactly what the establishment said. i mean you can reflect the exact same criticism on all the corporate media channels. i can only speak for my show, i stay true to my moral compass. but r.t. chose a perspective of the russian foreign policy, just as the entire correspondent media apparatus chose the establishment. >> what is your specific criticism about the way r.t. america has covered this crisis? >> you know, i just saw the way that the entire media apparatus was covering it. i mean r.t. was covering it in a different way that i didn't agree with and then i saw the corporate media coverage almost wanting to revive the cold war. i felt like people were egging on obama to attack militarily. it's insane living in a time where we have corporate media actually supporting military
intervention and action against russia. this is no joke here, we got to really take a step back and see how we can do thing peacefully and diplomatically and not come to warmonger, and tell the american people what's going on. >> and tell me this, in the clip we played, when you made your dramatic statement, you conceded you weren't an expert on what is going on in the ukraine. i presume that you've probably come up to speed pretty quickly, given all the attention you've had. what do you think, with all your experience broadcasting on r.t. america is the correct way for this crisis to resolve? >> i hope it resolves diplomatically, as you can imagine, the last few days have been pretty hectic. i just hope for a peaceful outcome with no more military aggression, i hope the military aggression is scaled back and we
can see a peaceful outcome. but the question that has to be asked, why do i have to work for r.t. to tell the truth about corporations and the u.s. government. you guys are beholden to advertisers that are not open to criticism. >> i don't. i'm free to say what the hell i like. no one's going to tell me i can't criticize advertisers or corporate entities, that conversation has never happened in the three years i have been on cnn. >> fair -- >> abby martin, good to talk to you. i want to read a statement, it says to cnn from r.t. saying r.t. hosts and journalists are free to express their own opinions. which is what abby martin did, and she has not been reprimanded for what she said. i want to turn to liz wahl, she
quit on air earlier today. she joins me now. liz wahl, i want to read to you, right off the top what r.t. is saying about you, when a journalist disagrees with the opinion of his or her -- where someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self promoted stunt. we wish liz the best of luck on her chosen path. what is your reaction to that? >> this is the first time i saw their reaction. i was wondering what their reaction would be and i actually had some hesitations on -- i fear what measures they would take against me, what retaliatory measures they would take against me. but at the end of the day, piers, like i said earlier on anderson's show, i believe in the truth, trying to seek the truth and disseminating the truth.
and what's become very clear especially in the face of this crisis with crimea is that the objective of r.t. has to promote putinist propaganda, to promote the conflict as putin wants us to see it and to bash the u.s. and make us look like we're the bad guys. i mentioned earlier, personal reasons why i felt morally inclined to say something and to resign. and that is because, i mean, my grand parents, they were refugees, they came to america to seek a better life. had my grandmother not bribed a guard with money and brandy, she would have been killed. and i -- my dad ended up because of this joining the military. met my mother in the philippines, i have family over there and i see how lucky i ham
to live in this country because i see the conditions they're subjected to. i have family members who know what the daily grind of poverty is like and i feel lucky to live in this country. >> let me jump in. i want to just play to viewers the moment that you quit live on air and then come back to you with a specific question about what you just said. >> personally i cannot be part of a network funded by the russian government that whitewashes the actions of putin. i'm proud to be an american and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast, i am resigning. >> just a few hours earlier that was, my reaction would be what some people are reacting to what you did. if you feel this strongly, why would you join r.t. america to start with? it has got a history of being pretty favorable toward putin,
it's got a lot of government support that it's enjoyed over the years. obviously putin's behavior is not dissimilar to russia's behavior towards georgia and other places. why would you want to work for that organization in the first place? >> that's a good question, i think i didn't know exactly the extent of the propaganda that is this machine. i thought, you know that, the cold war was over and maybe i didn't realize that there would be this much of an infringement on the editorial, as much pressure, i guess i wasn't expecting that. i tried to make the most of the situation. i'm not saying that haven't done work that i'm not proud of doing, i have absolutely worked on stories that i think are
important and i tried to use my platform to work on stories and pitch stories that are important. i think management knew that i wasn't very comfortable when it came to some of the more extreme ends of the things. i've been contemplating quitting for a long time. >> let me ask you this, do you think that abby martin, given her position on all this should also resign? >> i don't -- i can't speak for abby martin. i can say that i respect her, she's very outspoken, she's an outspoken woman. >> i'm not asking you to speak for her. i'm just saying is your personal opinion given the scale of propaganda that you believe r.t. america has been pumping out, should she act on a point of principle and do what you have done? it's your opinion not hers. >> i don't want to say what abby should or shouldn't do. the thing is that abby speaks her mind and her show doesn't experience that much editorial
control because she's very outspoken, she's ---the views, i don't know if you have checked out her show before. but it happens to be a narrative that r.t. likes. and i respect her. i respect abby, i respect her convictions and i don't want to speak for her at all. >> thank you for joining me. joining me to shed light on the this. christoph, what do you make of these two r.t. american broadcasters? one making a big statement, abby martin, the other liz wahl resigning on air. what is your view journalistically and what they have done? >> i admire their outspokenness, but at the end of the day, r.t. is a russian propaganda arm and i don't think it's going to matter very much to the geo political consequences here anymore than if a, you know, american voice of america russian reporter was to quit
because of their disagreements with american policy. you know, at the end of the day, i think the really difficult problem here is that it's not that people are abandoning putin so much, but that he remains very popular within russia with 66 popularity and television in particular has said that putin has been very successful at squashing within russia. i admire those who fight against the system, who resist whether they be here at r.t. or those incredibly brave russian newspaper reporters reporting on corruption at the risk of their lives in moscow. but i think it's kind of a side show. >> let's get to the main show after the break, which is what is going on right now in the ukraine and in crimea. i want to talk to you particularly about hillary clinton comparing what is going on with what hitler was doing in the buildup to the second world war, whether you think that's a fair analysis or not. >> now, if this sounds familiar, it's what hitler did back in the '30s. all the germans, the ethnic germans, the germans by ancestry
who were in places like czechoslovakia and other places and hitler kept saying they're not being treated right, i must go and protect my people. than's what's got everybody so nervous. >> we'll be back after the break with your reaction to that. but i am so stuffed up, i can't rest. [ male announcer ] nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. they don't? alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a decongestant. [ inhales deeply ] oh. what a relief it is.
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i'm here with christoph and his thoughts on hillary clinton's -- activities of hitler in the second world war and what vladimir putin is now doing, offering passports to russian speakers in crimea, and so on. >> in a very narrow sense there was inaccuracy to that, the act that led to world war ii and he did it on the grounds that he was protecting ethnic germans, so there is some mild parallel there. but the significant is that it led to the invasion of poland, the invasion of france and led to a world war. i don't think anybody thinks that putin is about to unleash a new world war by seizing crimea, there is a possibility that it will get worst in the ukraine. >> your father grew up in ukraine, you were in ukraine
yourself in 2004 during the orange revolution. let me ask you this question, i read in a "new york times" letter today, which is putting aside the military action that's gone on this week that's outraged everybody. is there a good common sense argument that crimea and indeed eastern ukraine ought to be part of russia? >> only in the sense that the crimeans and many eastern ukrainians are russian speakers, they're sympathetic to russia, they have a russian background. there is that divide, but even if there is this kind of divide, then that's not an excuse for one country to march across and seize the territory of another. and one of the problems that putin is going to face in the
case of crimea is that it doesn't have a land border with russia and it's electricity and it's water come from ukraine. so it's not a very sustainable independent state. >> if you put yourself in the head of vladimir putin, for both of us would be a hard thing to do. but imagine for a moment, you're looking at one of his key allies, in his eyes a democratically elected leader has been forced out by a sort of under cover plot, probably aided and abetted by people in europe and the americans and so on, and that in his head justifies the actions that he believes he's taken. do you have any empathy with him as a leader viewing it in that way, notwithstanding the fact that he's always been a bit thuggi
thuggish in the way he's dealing with it? >> if i was his advisor, i would say, look, vladimir, yes it would be a terrible tragedy if we were to lose ukraine, part of our ancestral origins as russian people a buffer between us and the west, a buffer between us and nato. but if we go ahead and seize crimea, this will be bad for russia, this is bad for our own interests. we will have to be subsidizing crimea forever, we will be repelling ukraine into the arms of the west, just as surely as brezhnev propelled czechoslovakia by invading in 1968. so this is not good for our national reputation, it's not good for our economy and it's nod good for our own interests. >> we know that putin is not a stupid man, no one will say that. >> but he does have his own world view does tend to be rather different from those of other people. >> and we know that, you know n
2005, he made this big speech saying that the disintegration of the soviet union -- he still feels very beleaguered business what happened there, but this is not going to escalate into any conflict of any great substance. so how do you think this ends? >> i think that the -- the great risk here of course has been that russian troops would march across into eastern ukraine into and you would have a war there. in time that risk is easing. so i think the most likely scenario is that best case will not happen which is that russian forces withdrawing from crimea and international observers going in, i think is quite unlikely. the worst case is quite unlikely
which is a war in east ukraine. i think the most likely scenario is that russian troops will remain in crimea. there will be some type of election that will have perhaps independents but probably more likely a great deal of autonomy. i think it's useful for them to vote in ukrainian elections. he doesn't want to lose those voters to help change the winds of the ukraine. this will be a long-term standoff. you had something similar in maldova where you had a russian transition of the area, and so i don't think this is going to be resolved any time soon. in the long run, though, i think that ukraine is going to end up a flourishing western economy like poland and just as ukrainians today look to poland, i think russians are going to look to a thriving ukraine and want to be like ukrainians.
>> final question, we had this debate last night on the show, why so many americans hate russians. whether that really is accurate, that he should be demonized in the way he's being demonized in america. and whether it's helpful generally that that is the way he's portrayed. >> i think he deserves a lot of criticism, frankly, in the way we a's dealt with chechnya, the way he's dealt with syria, the international community. on your second point, though, i think there is real danger when we demonize leaders, when we draw lines between us and them, because the instinct is to cut off communication with them and i think at the end of the day, it's more important to talk to our enemies than to our friends. and i hope that we will manage
to stand up to putin and criticize him sharply and impose sanctions, but still keep those lines of communications open, not just because if we need him in the case of the ukraine, but syrians are going to be dying because we are less able to work with moscow on resolving the crisis in syria. we're going to be less likely to get a deal in iran because of this crisis and so on and so on. >> i was very struck by again, my conversation with president clinton about this, when he said that he actually in a room one-on-one with putin, he trusted him completely because he never went back on his word with bill clinton when it was just the two of them and they had a deal. but he said at the same time what you had to not do is come out and expose putin with embarrassment at home with his people by being too overtly critical. that's where at the moment people have to be quite careful. because if you go to him as a
beast, that could be very self-defeating. >> yes, and there is this broader problem that putin has quite successfully rereplaced communism as the glue of the soviet union with nationalism as the glue of russia. that has helped him marginalize a lot of his opponent. he is much more popular in russia than president obama is in the united states, according to the opinion polls. >> right. >> that makes him a difficult antagonist to deal with. >> great to talk to you, thank you very much indeed. >> my pleasure. is it a case of the sneaky russians or should the u.s. have seen all this coming. we'll debate all that next. the distressed mother who drove her car straight into the ocean. i'll talk to the good samaritans who saved her and her children. hey kevin...still eating chalk for heartburn?
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>> putin's aggression isn't exactly news to the history of russia. joining me now, steven wolf, professor of international affairs at harvard. welcome to both of you. steven wolf, why are we professing to be so stunned by this when it's absolutely predictable and indeed entirely in keeping with the way russia has behaved for the last three or four decades. >> we should been surprised and we in particular shouldn't surprised that putin reacted as he did when after the united states and the nato allies have been steadily moving nato eastward, deploying plastic missile defenses there. and we particularly shouldn't be surprised when we saw what happened in georgia in 2008. when georgia began provoking russia and putin responded very aggressively. they have made it very clear all along that there was a limit to
how far they wanted to see western influence move in what they regard as their backyard. and as ukraine gang to unravel, we should have been anticipating a rather forceful russian response. >> p.j. crowley, is vladimir putin as big a devil in all of this as many in america and indeed europe would like to portray him or does he have a point of wanting in his eyes to protect the interests of russian speaking people in the ukraine. does he have any merit in terms of the russian national interest, never mind anybody else's. >> as steven said, i agree that russia has a keen interest in the ukraine over its history. it's always had a buffer. that buffer has been reduced from the cold war to ukraine. putin is a brutally rational actor, the dilemma is that he has a high pain threshold and he probably is willing to pay a
higher price that is in russia's long-term interest to have a sway in the future of ukraine. >> steven, wasn't america a bit too quick to -- if you look at somewhere like egypt, it's very easy to back the new horse without really being sure what that new horse is going to do and then regret it later? >> i think that's right. and the issue in russia of course is that ukraine is right next door, as p.j. said, it's always been considered a vital interest for them and when we began to lean, even indirectly or tacitly in favor of the demonstrators, this is another indication of the united states trying to incorporate what they see as their sphere of interest. >> vladimir putin said it was utter hypocrisy from the americans, they march around
going into iraq, afghanistan, libya, whenever they fancy it, whenever it suits them in a national interest. what's wrong with me doing what i'm doing to defend my country's national interest? is he right, is there a charge of hypocrisy there that can be met with facts? >> up to a point, what vladimir putin has done is re-establish leverage over a ukraine that was spinning beyond his control and beyond his comfort level. i don't necessarily, obviously, some concerns about the level of force that he's used in crimea, but up to the point in which we find ourselves, i find his actions concerning, but not necessarily overly provocative. is real question is what happens now? i think that while ukraine is a
buffer, nonetheless, ukraine has the right to look west if it wants to, look east if it wants to. i think there's a way of managing this so that ukraine can have an economy that is oriented towards the west, obviously one of the sharp areas of disagreement would be if ukraine were to followthrough with an invitation to join nato, that obviously was put aside that ukraine is not aligned at this time. and where ukraine goes in the future, if he serves russia's interest up to a point, fair enough. if he goes beyond that, he's at risk of going beyond that, one thing he has done so far is to dramatically unify ukrainian public opinion. >> a point i raised earlier with
christoph, which is an interesting argument to put out there, which is if you take aside the military action that's gone on, isn't there a pretty coherent argument geographically, politically, economically and socially at least in terms of the people that, crimea and eastern ukraine should actually be merged back into russia? >> i think that tearing apart any country is an unpredictable business and they don't usually divide very neatly. so i think one of the things we want to try and do is to prevent that from happening and certainly not escalate this to the point where putin feels like dismembering ukraine is the best option. crimea is small, it's only been part of the ukraine since 1950s. you could perhaps imagine russia retaining control of crimea for quite some time. i think going further from that would be to escalate this one
more step and that's one of the things we should be trying to avoid. if we want to avoid that, if we want to try and manage this and gradual did deescalate it, we're going to have to think very seriously about providing russia with some guarantees with the thing that they most oppose, namely ukraine joining nato, the u.s. led alliance system, that we may have to provide some guarantees that that's not going to happen. they may not have a pro soviet leader or pro russian leader, rather in kiev, but they're not going to have an anti-russian leader there either. that ukraine will be effectively neutral for quite some time. i think that may be the way forward to try to resolve this matter. >> thank you both very much indeed. coming up, would you jump off a burning building to save a life? you never quite know what you'll do in that situation. my next guest did exactly that.
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one. joining me now are those hereries. welcome to both of you. and first of all congratulations on saving the lives of all these people and in particular, the poor children. let me start with you, if i may, tim, you were driving with your wife along the shore, what did you see? >> i just seen the van driving in the water and we knew that was a red flag right off the bat, you know. we could hear the kids start to scream and we thought we heard one just holler for help. and we listened a little harder and we heard them plainly screaming for help. and i just threw my vehicle in park and just, just took off running, just nonstop so that i could get there.
wasn't thinking about nothing but saving those kids. >> when you got to the car, what did you find there? >> one kid was in the back seat with his arms out crying. and one kid was on the mother's lap, like wrestling her for the steering wheel, trying to steer her away from the ocean, trying to turn her away, back up the sand. and we kept telling her, stacy and i was like, ma'am, you got to get out of this ocean, you're going to go to jail. the police are coming, we could hear sirens. and she looked at us with this blank look, she looked at us and said we're fine, we're going to be okay or something like that. she looked back out the windshield and she just made a left turn and like dove into the ocean with the van. and we said we got to get them kids out. and one kid in the back seat screamed out, please help us, our mom's trying to kill us. >> stacy, let me turn to you, you were actually the first
person to actually reach the children. what were you thinking was going on here? did you think it was an accident? or were you aware quite quickly, this was quite deliberate, this mother who was clearly fairly deranged at the time hat deliberately driven the suv into the ocean? >> after she made that turn, i figured it had become deliberate. because we, again, me and tim was trying to get her out of the water. and she got far away from us enough to we couldn't touch the van at all anymore and she shot off towards the deeper end and from there we knew it was serious. it was deliberate. >> and what was the mother's condition? obviously your first thought was to save these kids, but what state was the mother in and what was she saying to you? >> she wasn't saying much past
that they were okay. she just kept repeating that they were okay, they were fine. and i was telling her that you have to get out of the water, the kids are scared, the police are coming, you're not supposed to be in the water. and her response was i'm okay, we're okay, we're okay. and from there, that's when she shot off into the water. >> stacy, do you believe that if you and tim hadn't taken the very quick action you took, given the conditions of the ocean, do you think those kids would have died? >> it's possible. it's possible. i believe they probably would have. there was a good chance. >> you guys showed extraordinary heroism and speed. let me come back to you, tim. it turns out there was a complicated back story to this. this woman was pregnant. she had been behaving quite irrationally during the day. concerned people who knew her called the police. they actually talked to her and concluded she was okay, she wasn't feeling either homicidal or suicidal. but she was clearly unhinged to
do what she did. did the police tell you about all that had gone on earlier in the day. >> no, i had just found that out about the police being at her residence just a couple of hours ago. i have had news crews at my house all day, i just found that out like two hours before i came down here to do this interview that the police was at her house two hours prior to this and evaluated her and let her go and then two hours later, she drives her kids into the atlantic ocean. >> it sounds extraordinary that that would happen. let's take a short break. when we come back, i want to talk to you about what these kids said to you as you carried them out of the ocean. they must have been incredibly grateful to both of you, but what they actually said to you.
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beach. also joining me now, dr. javier, noted psychologist. welcome to you. wait one second i want to talk to stacy robinson, one of the two heroes who rescued the children. as you were carrying the children out, stacey, what were the kids saying to you when you got to the beach and were safe? >> they just kept screaming they had their little sister in the car seat still. and they needed help. they wanted their sister safe as well. that's when i told tim there was another baby in the car. that's when he took off and a couple lifeguards came with him and they rescued the child from the car seat, as well. >> let me bring in the doctor. we've had stories like this before of mothers who have, for whatever reason, been mentally unbalanced or disturbed and they have tried to kill their children or killed their children and some have been very notorious cases. what do you think has gone on
here? and what would make a mother do this? i'm not sure -- i don't think we have the right connection there. i'm going to move back to tim. i'm sorry we couldn't get ahold of the doctor. let me ask you, tim, when you got to the baby, who was still strapped in, did you feel at any stage that you were not going to be able to get the baby out in time? how rough was the ocean where you were? >> by this point, the ocean had pulled the van out a little further and the van was rocking pretty good like a boat. when stacey hollered back at me and i heard the kids hollering over his shoulder, get the baby, the baby is in the car seat, there was a
again, stacy is a lot closer than i am. me and stacy have been in touch all day today on facebook. exchanged numbers, we would love to meet back unwith the kids in the future. >> thank you so much for joining me for this interview tonight. you are heroes to me, i'm sure everyone else watching. those kids, i think owe their lives to you and your speedy action. it's that great question, isn't it? do you do it or not? you guys raced straight in, risking your own lives in the rough ocean, i'm incredibly grateful to you. i'm sure the family and everyone connected with those children. so thank you very much indeed. >> thank you. >> and thank you to dr. xavier amandour. horsehide, bullet. right where it needs to be. coach calls it logistics. he's a great passer. dependable. a winning team has to have one.
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that's all for us tonight. anderson cooper starts right now. good evening, everyone. we are live from ukraine. another day, of dramatic developments on the ground. also in europe and the united states. we want to get to all of that in the hour ahead. i want to set the scene, where we are, to give you a sense. this is one of the main roads going down into independence square. there are barricades all in place, this is still an active site of protests. there are protesters here who are camped out. you can see some of them huddled around a fire trying to stay warm.