tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN May 8, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
plot to bring down an american-bound plane. the double agent and whether there are more bombs. a new chief in charge of the sanford police department following the trayvon martin case. that chief, outfront tonight. "outfront" story one, breaking news. mitt romney winning the indiana, north carolina and west virginia primaries. now, this was widely expected. more on that in a moment, but also indiana, richard lugar loses his job. after serving in the senate unchallenged for 35 years, he lost in today's primary. the tea party backed richard mourdock. the key to mourdock's success, linking lugar to moderates and the president. >> i have worked with republican senator dick lugar to pass a law.
>> what i did was reach out to senator dick lugar. >> if i'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy i associate myself with my running mate, joe biden or with dick lugar, the republican. >> that did not help. the other big reason is out of state money. they poured in more than $4 million. the national anti-tax group spent millions of dollars in an attack ad against lugar. he said that's why he's lost. it's not just happening in indiana, but centrist republicans facing tough challenges from more conservative members of their party. and some of the most centrist members of congress retiring. olympia snowe, joe lieberman among them. are the only people willing to find middle ground disappearing from washington? john avlon is here, michelle
goldberg and hoa communications director for rick santorum. this is a big headline. this is a -- this is a blow, a slap. >> this is a bombshell result, a huge margin for richard mourdock. it's important to remember these are most possible not in the general election where mourdock's appeal would have alienated than they attracted, but in a primary in may. but a significant blow back against the centrists in the senate who believe in reaching across the aisle. you see the ads that murdoch was running, saying the time for collegiality was over. it may work with the far right base, but it will alienate the centrists in the general. >> i don't think the issue is that aren't centrists in washington, but there aren't sen tris republicans. we talk about it as if it's
symmetrical problem with polarization. norm orstein points out in the book, a center left democratic party and a republican party as far to the right in 100 years. so i think this is another sign of the radicalization, a kind of unprecedented radicalization of the republican party. >> hogan, is it proof that the tea party is alive and well in a way that a lot of people didn't give it credit for? a lot of people say it's phenomenon was two years ago. the influence is still being felt but people expect primaries like this this time around. >> i don't buy into the fact this is all about the tea party per se. lugar had some problems, sure nrngs the state of indiana. but i heard it over and over again with the people i spoke with on the ground there. constituents that he deals with pretty regularly and i heard the three dreaded words about politicians -- out of touch. he never went back to the state.
mourdock was popular, he was able to go around and resonate with the voters, take it out to the town hall type of forums and express what he wanted to do if he got to the u.s. senate and senator lugar wasn't ever back in the state. and to the point of not having centrist republicans in washington, i think it's less that on both sides of the aisle. i think we're losing a lot of statesman out there. i don't think we have enough folks who understand that the end of the day you have to govern something. yeah, i'm not going to shift on my core principles, i'll tinker around the edges but we have to move the ball forward. sadly, there are fewer and fewer of those types of statesmen on both sides of the aisle in washington, d.c. >> but what we have witnessed tonight is the cannibalization of just such a statesman. this was seat -- the specific argument that murdoch was making that lugar had worked across the aisle too much with barack obama. so that statesmanship is in danger of becoming a hanging offense and if folks are going to say we're in danger of losing
governing it's because of things like this. >> right, well, he didn't really represent the conservative side as you know. the third most liberal senator by statistics. i mean, this guy had a horrible rating from the nra. he refused to join in florida and sue the president in obamacare. yes, you have to work with the president, no question about that. but he had serious problems with the base. we all know you have to shore up that base in order to win a primary. but this is more about him not being there and being out of touch with the people of indiana. again, i spoke with a lot of folks today and i heard it over and over again. he just was never here. didn't have a residence here. didn't have a driver's license that was valid in the state. and that is a big problem and a hook and something very simple that people understand. if he was so statesman like and if he had all the wonderful conversations with the president if he had gone back to the state, i think he would have been able to articulate and defend some of the thing, he was
able to do and accomplish as a senator. he never went. >> some of the insider-outsider things. being disconnected from who ever is representing you. you talked about the margin here and mourdock and what a big win it was for him. what about mitt romney looking at indiana and north carolina tonight? about a third of the people who voted voted for not mitt romney. went out, what then guy is going to be the nominee and voted for ron paul or rick santorum or newt gingrich or in south carolina some people went out to vote no preference. >> yeah, this is actually stunning as well because at this point in the campaign, john mccain was getting around 70 plus percent of the vote. it was a sleep walk. he solidified the nomination. mitt romney should be held to the same standard. a fact that the third of the party is turning out to vote for against him, whether it's libertarian ron paul, or rick
santorum, that's something that mitt romney should be looking out for. >> it's because he's out of step with the modern republican party. romney was the conservative alternative to john mccain in 2008, but romney is unacceptably moderate for a party that has no room for here aticks from the orthodoxy. >> you can agree on this? mitt romney is too moderate? that was the argument for rick santorum. >> right. well, you know, i mean there is an enthusiasm gap for mitt romney. there's no doubt about that. but we saw that early on. still a lot of folks aren't voting for him. that's time to coalescing and try to get behind and try to draw the people in. it's startling he hadn't been able to do that to this point. he's got some endorsements out there, the remaining people in the field. the time is to flex his muscle and start to bring more people into his tent. he'll probably do that as the election process goes on, but it
should be troubling for the romney campaign at this point not to be higher up and win by bigger margins. no doubt about that. they're absolutely right. >> when hogan is making that point saying it's startling, he hasn't secured the nomination when his boss just endorsed mitt romney that speaks to a real problem that the romney camp has to address. >> i'll discuss that in a moment, but when we look at the democratic party they could look at this and say, well, james carville was saying, i love seeing murdo seeing mourdock win, but are they being too complacent? let me play you what james carville said to people who think that. >> everywhere in the world look what happened in britain, cameron lost the elections and in germany merkel was losing, look at greece. what incumbent would be confident in this environment except for for some reason the u.s. democrats have -- i think it has to do with like how bad
the republicans are, but in the end that's not what -- we've got to tighten up here. this thing is not -- is nowhere near in the bag. it's really tough election and they raise -- the pollution lobbyist is putting not tens of millions of dollars, but tens of billions in this election. we're not aggressive enough. >> i think he's right. it's obviously easy to think off mourdock as another sharon angle. he makes indiana more likely to go democratic. but not likely. but the idea that this is in the bag or that obama has an easy ride, i mean, i know people in the campaign, i don't think any of them think that. if anybody out there in america thinks that, they're delusional. i mean, just in terms of super pac money. we have the pro-romney super pac with $100 million and this is going to be a viciously hard fought contest, although i do think democrats can take some comfort in the incredible almost
unbelievable weakness of the republican candidate. >> but over the republican primary, watching that fight go on, i thought democrats became dangerously overconfident. there's a huge super pac deficit in terms of the money being raised, you should run like you're behind. especially in a center-right country where republicans tend to have an edge. getting complacent is the democrat's worst enemy right now. >> thanks all three. of course you'll be back because gay marriage, front and center, tonight. "outfront" two, next. still "outfront" -- biden blasts bush. >> when we took office, there was virtually no international pressure on iran. we were the problem. sanford's new chief. >> i will tell you that many of my professional colleagues told me to turn and run in the opposite direction. all this when we come back.
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agent. plus, we're joined by the new interim police chief in sanford who took over after the handling of the trayvon martin case. but first, our second story outfront. a controversial amendment. this is very significant in north carolina, to ban gay marriage, civil marriage and domestic partnerships has passed tonight. everyone from the reverend billy graham to bill clinton tried to sway the vote. here's a robo call from the former president. >> hello, this is president bill clinton. if this amendment passes, it won't change north carolina's law on marriage. what it will change is north carolina's ability to keep good businesses, attract new jobs and attract and keep talented entrepreneurs. >> all right. nationally opinion is split down the middle on this. this is pretty interesting, because people in favor of gay marriage has dropped a few percentage points.
it's a huge point of contention in the presidential race for president obama to explain his evolving statement on the issue. on the issue important to gays and lesbians, gorm -- governor romney has regressed. that's rhetoric that's annoying. john avlon, this is the sort of thing where we can put everything into a little etch-a-sketch kind of world and it's that simple. >> yeah. in this case though, i mean romney has regressed where he was in 1994. he has a different constituency. this is point of romney the salesman. when he was making the sales pitch to the constituents of massachusetts, but it ties him up into knots. >> it does enable the president to dodge and evolve is hardly a strong, definitive term in and
of itself, right? because you don't want to define what evolve is go punch back on somebody who is regressing. >> i don't think anybody on either side believes that obama in his heart opposes gay marriage. i think there was a time when it was politically important, you know, a few years ago, you couldn't run for president having what i think is the decent position on equal marriage rights. but that time has passed. it's now supported by the overwhelming majority of democrats and a pretty strong majority of independents. and so i think, you know, in -- when george w. bush was running for re-election in 2004, this was a powerful wedge issue for republicans. i think we're approaching the point at which it could be a powerful wedge issues for democrats if the president would embrace what i think we all believe that he believes. >> final question to you, hogan. i'm just reading this a -- a summary of rick santorum's endorsement of mitt romney last night. and i have to admit it was very well written. but it did take until paragraph
13 for there to be an endorsement. 13 is not always known as a lucky number. >> he's a senator. he's a senator, erin. they get to their point eventually. no, he's a senator. i mean, it takes a while to get their point. they finally do. look, you know this, you're in journalism. i was in it too. you know, you bury the lead so everyone will read the rest of it. they'll just tweet the lead and go on about their business throughout the day. >> that's pretty much the opposite. >> i know. but in this instance, you read the entire thing. he put it out late last night. so it would be first in your inbox this morning. we have been talking about it all day. so it's worked out pretty well for him. >> i might buy that strategy, but -- >> it works in politics, that spin, but that's the truth. >> thanks to you all of you. we have new details as i said coming in the fapast few minute
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vice president joe biden made a prediction about what will happen to iranian president ahmadinejad. we'll tell you about it later on tonight. but breaking news. fran townsend has confirmed the bomber in the thwarted plot to blow up an airplane was a double agent. the cia worked with saudi intelligence in the operation and fran is with me now. a former -- well, she's still a member of the cia and the department of homeland security advisory board. tell me what you learned tonight. and how do we define double
agent? i know in spy talk that's as good as it gets but what does it mean? >> so it really surprise us. remember when the story was breaking and we had official statements from the white house and others in the administration they were saying there hadn't been a threat to the u.s., they were confident that the would-be bomber was no longer a threat. we understand why they were so confident, they controlled him. the notion -- a double agent is when you have an agent who you infiltrate into the foreign organization and they don't know he's working for you. they think he's working for them. so in this case, al qaeda and the arabian peninsula has this guy, send me in coach. he's going to wear the new device and blow up that plane. when he makes that offer he's working for the u.s., the cia and the saudi intelligence service and he's reporting back to them. >> we have made mistakes with the s.e.a.l.s. killed and i'm
assuming they pursue this -- >> right. you had all the cia officers who were killed, tragically. this is obviously one that worked. and because of that very horrible tragedy for the cia, this is a particularly satisfying moment for them. >> what do we know about -- i know your reporting not only was a double agent responsible for this, but there could be other bombs like this out there. >> well, here's the thing. one of the reasons you have heard all day and frankly over the last 24 hours real concern from the administration, from capitol hill, about all these leaks is what one source said to me, look, you don't know what you don't know. we know this one guy volunteered and they made a bomb for him, but were there or volunteers? they believe it's the asiri cell in saudi arabia, did they make other bombs? i can tell you, al qaeda usually
launches the multiple simultaneous attacks so it's odd they'd make one bomb. they'd make several and deploy several people. when people tell you this is an on going investigation they want to know if there are other devices. >> thank you, fran townsend. a very important question mark for all of us. we'll be right back. still "outfront" -- blame game. >> when we took office, there was virtually no international pressure on iran. we were the problem. sandusky, case crumbling? >> the prosecutors don't have that child, the alleged victim. >> the prosecutors seem to have made an important mistake. >> all this in our second half. all we'll ever do is rehearse. maybe you should try every door direct mail. just select the zip codes where you want your message to be seen. print it yourself or find a local partner. and you find the customers that matter most. brilliant! clifton, show us overjoyed.
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children. adam mayes was shown in a convenience store the day before he disappeared. his wife and mother were arrested for aggravated kidnapping. both women witnessed digging holes in the backyard of his mother's home. that's where jo ann bain and eldest child were found. the authorities are asking for help from the public to find the two girls still missing. we are talking about ceo's scott thompson's bio. it claimed he graduated with a degree from computer science and he had not. he obtained a letter he sent to employees, he apologized for the distraction and yahoo has said that the board member that was heading up that will not be run for re-election. and the dream liner, this goes back to when they merged and both airlines are getting
trained on the dream liner. they say training pilots hurts their careers. they fired ten pilots and there have been flights cancelled headal to mumbai today. all because air area wands that dream liner later this month. it's been 278 days since america lost the top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? well, oil prices fell as a result of the worries on the economy. but the good news, oil is down 9% and below $100 a barrel. you may not think that's great, but prices will generally fall 10% at the pump over the next few days. our fourth story out front, joe biden came out in defense of the stance on iran, more forcefully today than ever talking to a group of rabbis. >> when we took office, let me remind you there was virtually no international pressure on iran. we were the problem.
we were diplomatically isolated in the world, in the region. by going the extra diplomatic mile, presenting iran with a clear choice, we demonstrated to the region and to the world that iran is the problem, not the united states. >> israeli governor making a surprise announcement today. they won't hold elections and you know what that means? here's what headline writers around the world have said. in the jerusalem post they said netanyahu is tightening up the ranks. the cabinet may pave the way for a strike on iran. benjamin netanyahu said no options are off the table. when asked how do you know about what about iran is doing? he said i know. all this can force america into
action. >> american support for israeli security is not just an act of friendship and a moral obligation. it's the fundamental interest of the united states of america. >> tonight the author of "the crisis of zionism", and peter, strong words from the vice president. you talk about the pressure the obama administration is under pressure from to come out strong, not just in favor of israel, which has all kinds of dispute about what to do here, but in favor of benjamin netanyahu's views particularly on strikes. >> well, i think to be fair to the american jewish organizations they're not explicitly in favor of military action. what they have pushed for is tougher sanctions. i don't think sanctions are in and of themselves a bad thing. sanctions have to be coupled
with smart diplomacy so we pressure the iranians to the point where we can get a deal that stops them from getting the nuclear weapon. >> and do you worry though that the rhetoric continues to rise and rise? that you could end up in a position where nobody wants to strike, but they might end up having to. not just to save face, but if you don't, you look weak and you do lose credibility. >> i think you're right. there's a danger that war can spiral out of control through accidental means but i think the administration has done a good job of putting the iranians in a position now where the iranians are willing to go to the table. i think the question is can we keep the pressure up and offer a realistic deal, such that the iranians would accept it and we can stop them short of a nuclear weapon and hope some time down the line this regime falls. >> patrick, what happens here? the headlines as you saw coming out saying that what we're seeing out of israel today and the netanyahu government, saying
they're getting closer to striking on iran, and striking before the u.s. elections. what's your take on what this bottom line is? >> well, in my personal life, i'm very good at postponing making difficult decisions and i have a lot of respect for the ability of israeli politicians to do the same. so that's a lot of agonizing in israel about what to do. i would be very surprised if israeli politicians took a risky move like striking iran until the very last minute when they felt they had no other choice. >> the romney campaign said biden was completely inaccurate. when he said ahmadinejad was going to be gone from office in two years, or kicked out, we should be clear here there's term limits and ahmadinejad won't in office next summer. so that's not the result of something more dramatic. romney said president obama's naive approach to iran has given the regime valuable time to get
closer than ever before to the nuclear weapon. is that accurate? >> well, under president bush, the iranians suspended their uranium enrichment for 2 1/2 years. and under obama they went full bore. and under obama we only had one security council resolution so obama has had a lot of accomplishn'ts regarding iran. but frankly, bush was pushing hard on this one and did a lot to help form that international coalition that obama has strengthened further. >> peter, what's the bottom line for you in terms of the role israel is going to play in american politics? is israeli losing influence and power in part because of this issue? and an american public that really does not want confrontation? >> i think the general public generally supports israel. certainly israel's right to exist and i think it's very
important that america maintain israel's military technological advantage. but i do think we're a country that is weary of war. obviously, israelis don't want to jump into war either. but i think that there are a lot of concerns in the u.s. military about what the implications of an israeli strike could be for u.s. soldiers who are in afghanistan. for u.s. soldiers who are in the gulf and very important to note that many, many top security professionals in israel themselves are very, very wary about the consequences of military action. >> they made that clear recently. i mean, i was with benjamin netanyahu two weeks ago and he was very aggressive and then backlash to that interview was don't go, don't go, don't strike. >> there's been a virtual revolt from the israeli army on this question. so i think that the cooler heads both in our national security establishment and theirs i think are saying don't rush into this war. give sanctions and diplomacy a chance to stop iran short of a nuclear weapon. >> patrick, final word to you.
do you think we'll start ending up having the conversation, the way the pendulum swings here. first was it will israel strike before the election and now the revolt as peter is talking about and others are saying don't. now you have the new government and headlines saying that this makes a strike before the election more likely. is that conversation on the table again? >> what's going to put it back on the table is if the negotiations with the iranians stall because we have a new round coming up on the 23rd. if the iranians put forward the impossible restrictions if there won't be a deal, okay, what's our plan "b"? but it's the iranian action that's driving whether or not we're talking about having to do a plan "b." we would prefer to go with plan "a" which is a compromise with the iranians. we'll find out if that's on the cards or not. >> well, prime minister
netanyahu said there's no compromise. he will accept no enrichment at all. some people said this would be some appropriate for medical uses, he says none at all. >> i think this is the gap between the u.s. and this israeli government. not between all israeli leaders. i think the u.s. is willing to accept something else given our pessimism about the chances that the military strike would succeed. >> thanks very much to both of you. we have new revelations in the penn state sexual assault case. it could be a game changer for sandusky. he is charged with 50 counts with ten children. but the case against him hinges on the eyewitness account of that man, mike mcqueary, the assistant coach. he told a grand jury he saw sandusky sexually assault a child in a shower in march of 2002, but it now appears that wasn't the case. the judge ruled today that mcqueary got his dates wrong, that this if it happened happened a whole year before. so does this hurt his credibility and does this mean we're getting a statute of
limitations? a crucial question and it's next. cnn legal contributor paul callan is outfront. let me get to the bottom line in terms of the statute of litt limitations. at the least could it affect the statute of limitations for jerry sandusky, does this affect whether this case will move forward? >> no, it will not affect the statute of limitations for sandusky. the case was brought in plenty of time under the statute of limitations. he won't win on that basis. >> what about credibility though? you know, i think most people would say that if you saw someone that you worked for, anyone, a grown man, molesting a child in the shower you would remember the day. for the rest of your life. >> very good point, and what i wonder about though is whether this is a mistake by mcqueary or the prosecutors in the case.
remember that the reports in this supposedly mcqueary went home, told his father, his father then brought a doctor who works on campus, because he wanted to run it by him, and then a day orb so later he went to joe paterno and told him about it. then shortly after something was reported to the penn state administrators. so we have all of these records of him making reports so presumably the prosecutors knew that. and if mcqueary was making a mistake about the date, i mean, why didn't somebody say something to him? so i think this in the end is not going to amount to much but a little egg on the face of the prosecutors because they didn't straighten out the date situation. >> right. well, what about the alleged shower victim? that's victim two. we still don't know who that is. is that significant? >> it's significant and i'll tell you why. remember, mcqueary heard the sounds coming from the shower and he witnessed this terrible act of sexual abuse in the
shower. the kid who was abused and would be an adult has never come forward. he remains an unnamed victim. joe amendola, the attorney for jerry sandusky said nothing happened in the shower, it was just horsing around. there's a real problem in that case substantively what happened. i think there's a lot of reasonable doubt floating around with respect to the shower incident. >> one thing that i have never understood about this is why a grown man would be engaging in horse play with a child in the shower. >> don't look to me for an answer. because i don't understand it either. and it's always been amazing to me that that was the defense this the case. but you know something, maybe it will work for him. the kid is coming in, he's an adult now and he'll say nothing bad has happened. >> all right.
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we're back with our outer circle. we reach to our sources around the world. tonight in china authorities refuse to renew the press credentials of the al jazeera reporter. not issuing a visa for her replacement. it is thought to be the first expulsion of a foreign journalist from china since 1998. our stan grant is in beijing and i asked him if other media companies and even himself are worried they could be next. >> media rights groups are certainly worried about the expulsion sent to the rest of the media here in beijing and
there are concerns amongst individual reporters who have been warned that they may have their visas revoked over the reporting of the chen guangcheng affair. this is a very sensitive time in china, not just because of the chen story, but because the bo xilai story and the media is caught in the middle. george zimmerman's lawyers entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment today in court. he is facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of trayvon martin. now have, his family said he was targeted because he was black and the police department has been under heavy criticism for the handling of the situation. richard richard myers is outfront tonight. you're not from florida, so how
did you end up being the guy for the job? >> actually, i'm in the upper midwest, but i have served as a police chief with 35-year career in policing and so i ended up in florida i believe because i bring that experience that comes from a diverse background and i don't have a dog in the fight so to speak. >> and so this is just a challenge. your success or failure is going to be noted around the country. and you're up for that? >> well, you know, after being in this line of work this long, i don't see this as a win or lose proposition. i'm here to help. i'm here to help the community. there's a lot of healing that has to take place. i'm here to help the department get some stability. they have been through a lot and of course the family members of the victims involved in this. and everyone else in the community has been victimized, traumatized. so i'm just here to help. i don't see it as a win or lose. and hopefully i can offer some
help. >> all right. so let me just ask you about the key question that race is an issue here, that not only was trayvon martin shot because he was black, but that whether you think that is true or not true, the fact that george zimmerman was not taken into custody had a lot to do with the players here and had a lot to do with race. do you think that's true? >> you know, it's pretty early. i have been on the job four days and i really haven't had a thorough briefing on the martin homicide case. i do plan to look into that. but the reality is across the nation, in america today, there still exists a great deal of unresolved tension about race and policing and i have a particular passion for working on those issues and helping to resolve conflict. so whether or not that was a factor in this case, it certainly is a factor in some tension that exists. and some history in sanford and
we're going to work on that. >> so talk to me a little bit about that because people do feel -- they experience this in their own lives or they feel passionately about it. what is some of the racial profiling that goes on around this country in police departments that you think you can play a role in stopping? >> well, i think it all begins with relationship building. everything is done through relationships, and one of my major goals is to try and strengthen the relationship that sanford police have with all elements of the community. especially the african-american community, because that's where the highest level of tension exists. so it's a lot harder to trust someone you don't know than someone you do know. >> and part of me is shocked that you have been there four days and you haven't been inundated with them coming in to give their side of the story. >> i'm trying to strike a
balance, attending to the needs of the department and attending outreach in the community. today i spent an hour and a half with a couple of community leaders, if you will, from the african-american community having this very discussion about how do we get the dialogue going and at the same time i try and lend an ear to the police officers to talk about what their concerns and problems are. >> final question. neighborhood watch. should we have it in this country and should neighborhood watch people be armed? >> well, i think that's a fair question, should they be armed? i think if you take that element away, neighborhood watch is at work in literally thousands of neighborhoods across the country and with no problems whatsoever. i think the problems emerge from who the person is and perhaps there's a cause for communities to take a good, hard look at who is selected orb who volunteers. but let's not kill the concept because of one bad -- really bad
highlight people and ideas that are outfront. creative and passionate and wide. maurice sendak has been called the picasso of children's books. he was born in brooklyn, new york and he designed displays for f.a.o. schwarz and then illustrated dozens of books for the other authors. first book "kenny's window" in 1956 and then of course "where the wild things are." they inspired and amazed generations of readers, not just in the united states. when i was in china last year i was invited -- i went and spent some time with children, they were at a summer camp. they were learning english. it was summer camp so i brought along a few of my favorite children's book and one of them was to bring maurice sendak's "where the wild things are." one of the students was a boy named billy and that's us reading "where the wild things are." he loved the book. we think other countries when they look at america they say, american movies and ipods and
believe me they like those things. but wow, they loved that book. billy loved it. he still has it. particularly a book, it was fantastic. >> nested in the teeth -- >> rolled. >> rolled and showed that they're terrible claw. >> claws. >> claws. >> just a wonderful moment. thanks so much for watching. here's piers morgan tonight. > a double agent on saudi intelligence. >> more on that sensational development in a moment. the big story, north carolina voters are considering a constitutional ban. we'll discuss that with him a little later. also a man with very strong opinio