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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  November 13, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EST

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thanks for watching this special, "restoring the american dream: fixing education." you can read more of my thoughts in a "time" essay. join me for my regular program, "gps," sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. tonight the poster boy for everything that's wrong with washington. >> what adjective would you use for jack abromoff? >> he was someone that didn't know any boundaries, didn't see the line, the lines that all of us see in light. >> plus richard lugar on his >> romney appears to be the strongest person.
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>> and an extraordinary emotional and revealing interview of darrell hammond, the dark, dangerous side of the "saturday night live" funny man. >> it was pretty damn bad. it involved being taken from there in a straight jacket. >> why did you feel differently about your father? >> i think because he tried. >> this is "piers morgan tonight." i've interviewed many i've interviewed many comedianson this show and always had a suspicion that there's been dark stuff in their lives that makes them chase humor and a laugh. i've never had anything quite like this, darrell hammond from "saturday night live." when i finished your book, it was one of the most, i don't know, moving, inspiring in many way, depressing, sad, shocking things i think i've ever read.
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>> really? >> yes. >> wow. >> do you feel that when you closed the book and thought that's my life? >> yes, i did. i thought -- i thought it was probably going to be a little bit -- a little bit too dark for people to handle. but it's my story and i told it the best that i could. >> there's a quote there, which i think probably sums everything up in terms of what happened to you as a young man. i'm 3 or 4 years old, my mother is holding me close to her with one arm. in her free hand she hold as ser rated steak knife, slowly sticks it into my tongue, making an incision one quarter inch to one half inch long. >> yes. >> i couldn't believe what i was reading. then i'm reading this thinking why would your mother do this? what effect would that have on you?
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what's that done to your life? >> well, it's -- that's a lot of -- that's a lot to think about. what's it done to my life? i spent most of my life recovering from moments like that. >> she hit you in the stomach with a hammer, elctrocuted you, basically tortured you. you're surrounded with this unrelenting misery it seems top do you remember it vividly? >> i don't. i really only put in the book about five or ten minutes of the first 18 years of my life. i don't remember all of it. i've been to lots and lots of shrinks. i've been too some pretty great institution who is are telling me we can't hand this will case here. but it's not like i'm the only person in the united states or on this planet that has to enter into an agreement with a perpetrator to remain quiet.
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>> do you have any theories yourself about why your mother -- >> because the same thing happened to her, i think. >> she was abused? >> i think she was abused. i did take pains in the book to point out that i did spend some time meditating over the idea that my mother had once been very innocent just like everybody else. i had this sort of vivid dream about that one night and i took it to heart. i was trying to find a way to not be angry about my life anymore. you know? >> as you got older, what was your relationship with your mother like? >> well, i -- i called her and said i'm in therapy for trauma and child abuse and worse.
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and she dropped her southern accent and in a very husky tone and deliberately and permanently said "don't ever call here again" and hung up. >> what age were you then. >> i was already on "saturday night live i "so i was getting up there already. i think the thing that i wanted to write about was when a victim to some kind of abuse agrees to stay quiet about it. that's kind of what happened in our house. you think that it's because, a, they could make it much worse on you but, b, really, your mom might abandon you if you confront her on this? that's ended up being what happened. >> did you have any more contact with her? >> not until her death bed. >> how did that make you feel when she died? >> i felt nothing. i was very moved by my father, you know -- >> it's not surprising to me that you're so emotional about it. >> i didn't feel anything. you know, i didn't feel anything at all.
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i felt like i'd never met her. she was a very gifted and confusing and attractive type of person who knew who to work the room she was in to convince people she was write about jesus and good things were on the way. >> why did you feel differently about your father? >> i think because he tried. >> and because he'd been through so much in the war is it. >> i think he tried to apologize and explain himself. can i have a tissue or something in. >> yeah, sure. >> he tried as best he could. i mean, the best that he could do was put war medals on his chest when he was dying. i got thees and thees and here's what happened and here's who i was while i was alive. i wasn't so good at a lot of stuff, you know. >> was he aware of what your mother was doing? >> i don't think so. he was never there. >> he was apologetic for his own
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negligence? >> for not being as good as he wanted to be, yeah. i think that, you know, he was genuinely obsessed with the war that he had fought in europe and he never, ever recovered from it and i'm not sure he ever really did. i think he saw things there that he thought were cautionary tales of what can happen on earth. he was afraid to go to church for a long time because i guess he killed a lot of people. >> when i see you now, never having met you before, i can see that there's, you know, all the time you must have been living with this kind of searing pain through all this. how did you juggle it? >> well, when i got old enough, i started drinking. when i left my parents home, i was 19. i went to the university of florida and within 24 hours i
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was in the mental health department and within 20 minutes being told by the director there they didn't have what i needed there. this is a massive university. they loaded me on drugs, antipsychotics, all kinds of weird drugs, and i drank. that's how i survived for a long time. >> let's take a break and get into "saturday night live," which i guess in many ways may have saved you. this came along at a time when you needed something. >> sure. >> it will be interesting to see how you feel about that. thank you so much. [ male announcer ] go beyond the brush
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who can propel america out of this economic freefall and put us back on track and i tell them barack obama is the only democratic nominee for president. >> that doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement. >> i don't think i could be any more clear. i belong to the democratic party. barack obama is also in the democratic party. and i'm not a party wrecker. i love parties. >> that was darrell hammond's impeccable impersonation of bill clinton. i guess bill clinton became the, you know, the standard bearing hammond impression. >> i guess so. >> though there are other great ones, donald trump, ted koppel, sean connery. >> which is your favorite? >> i guess clinton is the one you get the most miles out of. i've had people ask me to do clinton in the most bizarre possible -- >> come on, where? >> are you kidding? like getting a colonoscopy? >> while you're having a colonoscopy? >> no, right before it. they're just getting ready to insert that object in the place good never designed for that object. the woman puts the thing in my arm, i can feel the medication come in, they're going to move
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me to twilight. just before i'm about to black out she leans in and says "what would clinton say?" i said what is a nice girl like you doing in a place like this? >> everywhere you go, you're going to be asked to do it. >> i think that's the worst example. >> my favorite is donald trump. can i have a bit of trump, please? >> what was the line i used to do? donald trump -- home base with mr. trump is this. you know, like you're over there
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going so i was over there at snl yesterday and twheen we went and had a sandwich and then we went to the game. he's like this the whole time. >> we should play you something. we have a tribute to you. >> i'm interviewing darrell hammond. >> he's amazing. he was on saturday night live for years. i don't think anyone ever hit me like him. he's a great guy and he has me down to a it. and others. but people think he does it the best. >> rare praise indeed. >> super flattered. >> your head cut in there, you could be brothers. >> i have this bland face that the make-up artists say can you
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paint on because they say you can't make. >> look like someone but you can make me -- look, it's very bland. and then it just can be transformed around. >> where do you get the ability to do impressions from do you think? >> i guess from my mom. my mom was great at it. >> really? >> really good. really good. >> after all we discussed, that's fascinating. >> yes, it transported her. it mesmerized her to talk like other people. >> who would she do? >> coaches, teachers, people in the neighborhood. >> anyone, anyone that she -- >> yeah. she was pretty incredible. >> it would make you laugh? >> no. i didn't laugh too much. i just realized that she was being transported. and her state could be changed by doing my 7 or 8-year-old version of paul schofield and richard in "a christmas carol." >> she was very talented as well as being very damaged? >> growing up in the 50s in the
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south and you're a woman, i don't care what color you were, you might as well be a whore if you have any aspirations of showing all your colors. it's a hellish life. >> do you think with that and your father being the way she was, was she incredibly frustrated? >> she did say the only reason she got married was because her father was going to, quote, beat the living day lights out of her. i mean, those were prearranged existences with moral checklists and here's how you live, here's where you go to church, this is what jesus is, this is the kind of job you have, these are the kind of sports you have, these are the hand gestures you use. innately she understood all of that and she knew how to make the room about the other person and not about herself. >> have you been able to forgive her in your mind? >> yes, i've been able to stop dwelling on it and hating on it
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and i've been able -- once i reached the point where i realized that she had once been an innocent little girl, it seemed to me that that's when the flashbacks stopped. that's when the nightmares stopped, that's when the cutting stopped. that's when people instead of being on seven medications i was reduced to one or two, you know. it happened fast. >> you self-harmed a lot. you did it during "saturday night live." >> were you ever high when you were on that? >> no, never. i would not fly that airline under the influence. it's ridiculous. >> ever tempted? >> no. it's too hard. >> i've seen some people do it. if you can get it right, amazing. >> not me. no one liked to imbieb more than me but i wasn't going to walk out there in front of millions and people and have to hit my mark under the influence. it's ridiculous. >> are you clean now? >> yeah.
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>> you don't drink or take drugs? >> i haven't done as well as i wanted to with that but it's been going pretty well. >> let's take another break. i want to talk to you about how you got back on your feet. you left "saturday night live," you have a whole new world ahead of you, what you intend to do with it. [ male announcer ] butter. love the taste, but want to cut back on fat? try smart balance buttery spread.
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>> back now with darrell hammond. it's been a roller coaster interview to put it mildly, for me and for you i think. tell me about your life now. are you happy? are you happier than you've been before? >> i think so. i think sometimes i even have good nights. yeah,sure. i'm a lot happier than i was. i mean, i'm involved with groups that deal with the things that i've been through and that's the best part of my life. >> do you think "saturday night live" co-stars will be shocked by this book? >> i don't know. there must have been rumors floating around back when i was melting down once a week over there. >> do they know about your background? do they know about your mother and stuff? >> i know lauren did and the producers over there new. they went pretty far out of their way to help me.
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i think on some level they understood that as you mentioned off the air probably the job saved my life and also, you know, we did have a discussion after one particularly virulent event where it was said if this happens again, you can't be on the show anymore. we did have one of those discussions. >> how bad was the incident? >> it was pretty damn bad. you know, it involved being taken from there in a straight jacket, you know. and who wants to -- >> from the studio? >> actually from -- i think on the book it says the offices, i was taken from the offices. it was the clinic underneath the theater, yeah. >> wow. again, this is extraordinary kind of parallel life going on where i just know you like most people as the guy that does the donald. and then i'm reading this stuff going, wow, how could this have been going on with this guy who just seems like he's the happiest, funniest guy you'd ever meet.
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>> it did. i don't know how. i've been to enough hospitals that, i don't know, i don't know if i could have paid for all that to be honest with you without snl money. >> what are you doing careerwise now? >> i'm doing "are we there yet" on wtbs. i'll be doing that next season. i have a movie with johnsony knoxville called "scout masters." i'm going to start working with will ferels internet company funny or die. i think that's a lot right there. >> what ambitions do you have professionally and personally? >> i just want to play truman capote on broadway. >> you'd be great as truman capote. >> i did it this summer. i got to do almost everything i wanted to do. a guy like trump, wouldn't mind doing a job with him sometime. >> i could probably fix that for you. could i see you and donald
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working very well together. >> except he's a foot taller than me, which is kind of difficult. i look like a mini me version. >> can you imagine the joy of walking him and hearing him going "you are a special, special guy." >> the first time i met him i didn't get a, hey, i got "you're going to make big money because of me, you're going to make big money because of me. >> darrell, thank you. it's a very inspiring book. thank you very much. >> my pleasure. ove you... oh my gosh, oh my gosh.. look at these big pieces of potato. ♪ what's that? big piece of potato. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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one of washington's most influence power broker, a powerful lobbyists with friends and cash to help people get what they wanted until he went too far and took a fall, sentenced to four years in prison for fraud, conspiracy. he's now out of prison, has a new book called "capital punishment" and he joins me now. the book is curious. it's more a look, this is what washington was like, i got caught but a lot of it is kind of not glorious but you're certainly pumping up the good times more than i perhaps would have done if i had done a book
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for you. in the sense that, you know, a lot of it is, wow, it was great and we were going on golfing trips and i was meeting all these people and there are pictures of you with presidents and governors and celebrities and so on. when actually at the heart of all this people will be reading it going hang on a second, one of the reasons many people believe america is in the shambles it's in now financially and politically is because of people like you. and i would have expected a bit more mea culpa. >> i think the book has an extraordinary amount of mea culpa. >> do you? >> yeah. what i try to do with the book is tell the story of what happened. not necessarily to give an editorial but to talk about what i did, what i went through in part as a way to teach people what goes on there. and i didn't intend for the book to be some sort of cheer leading book for lobbying.
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quite the contrary. or even for what i did. i made mistakes, i crossed the lines, i did stuff i shouldn't have done, stuff i regret immensely and i talk about that and for which i was severely punished and properly so. however, this is going on still and i thought it was important that people should know what does go on. at least in terms of my experience. >> what adjectives would you use it about the jack abramoff before you got caught? what was that man really like? >> he was somebody who didn't know of any boundaries really, that didn't quite clearly see the lines, the lines that all of us need to see in life, the line between right and wrong. >> i mean, the contradictions i guess are that you're clearly a strong family man, that resonates through in the book. you're clearly a very religious man, a good fearing man. that, too, resonates in the book. what went wrong?
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>> well, i think that with me a couple things went wrong. i entered the arena to achieve certain things, i didn't set out certainly to break the law or do this evenings that were wrong. i set out to achieve paths and goals that were consistent with my philosophies as a conservative and as a free marketier and limited government person. and eventually participating within the system, having success, having an ability to have power, got to me as it gets to others and i stopped thinking about, again, where those lines ins sand were. and as a consequence, i in a tragic sense set myself up for the grand fall and i'm not the first that that's happened to and i won't be the last. >> that's certainly true. what people said about you at the time was, well, he had this coming, he used to strut around the place like he owned it, like a mafioso version of a lobbyist. it was all about patronage, you would have these restaurants and the great and good would come
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pay homage and out with the cash and freebys and golf trips and so on and that was how you played that system. >> i think that was partially accurate. that was in small part how this was played. i think when my career became a headline and when my e-mails were exposed to the press, i sent 850,000 e-mails during the course of the if you years efs a lobbyist. when that first became available to the media, there was a sensation of look what's going on. >> what people were more offended by was the contempt you appeared to have for your own clients. here woo people paying ten times the going rate for your services and not necessarily getting a bad job, you were helping them but then they were being described as morons.
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that to me -- it certainly left a pretty bad taste when you rea that, you know? >> i'm not going to defend my e-mails. i'm embarrassed and ashamed of some of the things i wrote. i regret them and will the rest of my life. i used my e-mail as my primary communicator. i was a very emotional and passionate advocate of my causes. my clients i love and just as i love my children and would give my life for them, at times my wife and i would exchange
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e-mails talking about our children doing things that were idiotic or things that we disagreed. i sent 850,000 e-mails, a hundred of them were taken that were a little salacious and jock u lar and stupid and i can't unring the bell. they were sent. >> what do you think was the worst thing you did? >> well, a number of things. first of all, i entered a system that i think inherently has structural issues. and because of my personality, i'm a hyper competitive individual, i operated within a system where some of the rules are vague and some of the rules are made purposely vague by the way in terms of the dwifts and
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how a lobbyist can interact with legislatures -- >> they have now been changed, 2007. >> in part. there was some tweaking. the truth is all of the reform efforts to dade are effectless. do we think there's no corruption in the system any longer? do they think because jack abramoff went to prison and tom delay, who is constantly picked on as the archetype legislator is evil is sitting in houston that corruption is gone? it's not. the system still contains vast amounts of loopholes. >> did you know as you were doing it you were breaking the law? >> i didn't feel i was consciously do that. >> really? you're a smart guy. >> not that i am one but even brilliant people can go over the line. i'm an aggressive person, i'm somebody who wanted to win, i wanted to win for my clients. i felt the greatest dishonor was defeat. therefore, when i took client and when i was their advocate, nobody was going to hurt them, nobody was going to beat them and in doing that as a consequence, i went over the line. >> how many other people at the time were crossing the line do you really think? >> well, there are a lot of lines and a lot of these -- >> i mean breaking the law. >> i don't know. >> what would you guess from your knowledge of the system? >> a healthy percentage. >> what kind of percentage? >> 20. >> 20% of every lobbyist was doing the same kind of thing? >> yeah. >> and how many have actually been held to account? >> have been held to account? >> yes. >> well, none. not a lot yet. there's a difference and a lot of people become critical of why aren't more congressmen in prison -- >> only one congressman went to
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jail. >> my experience with the justice department is they are very careful to not proceed with prosecutions, based on what i know, unless they have actual evidence that somebody's broken the law and it's very difficult to get. they happen to have 850,000 e-mails so it was not hard to paint a picture -- >> the crime sheet there was for you.
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here are your headlines. for the first time in 46 years the penn state nittany lions took to the field without joe paterno as their coach. his former defensive coordinator jerry sandusky is accused of sexually abusing eight boys. penn state loss today's game against nebraska 17-14. president barack obama is in hawaii hosting an economic summit with leaders across the asia-pacific region, looking at ways the united states can tap
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into asia's economic potential. >> in washington the national cathedral reopened to the public today. it had been closed sense august after an earthquake centered in virginia damaged the structure. repairs are still under way. those of your headlines this hour. i'm don lemon. i'll see you back with a full report on the day's activities on penn state campus.
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i frankly don't even remember having my picture taken with the guy. i don't know him. and this investigation will -- needs to look into all aspects of his influence on capitol hill.
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>> president george w. bush talking about jack abramoff, my guest. so he didn't even remember meeting you, george bush. what was your reaction to that? >> he's the leader of the free world. i was in the middle of one of the biggest political scandals since watergate. what's he supposed to do? come out and say he's my best friend and i was hand in glove with him? >> it's completely inplausible he wouldn't have been aware with you. you were the republican party top lobbyist. how could he not know who you were? >> i can't speak for him but he's a politician and at the end of the day politicians are politicians, republican, democrat. there's a certain characteristic politicians have and often they're with you when they need you and often when you need them they're not there. but he was also the leader of the free world and he had other things to do besides stand around and talk about how he remembers the good old times with jack abramoff. >> take me back to the moment you knew the game was up. what was that moment? where were you, how did you know? >> i guess what happened was
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there was an article in "the washington post" and then immediately after the article, the congress called for hearings and the justice department to get involved. i guess the moment when i knew that it was over for me was when my law firm that i worked for didn't stand with me. >> the senate hearings were pretty brutal. john mccain led them and he seemed to really have it in for you. let's see him in action at the senate hearings. >> today's hearing is about more than contempt, even more than greed. it's simply and sadly a tale of betrayal. mr. abramoff betrayed a longstanding client, betrayed his colleagues, betrayed his friends. >> pretty strong stuff. you decided to take the fifth amendment. you got in the end convicted, you served three and a half years in prison. i mean, it was corruption on a big scale.
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i mean $4 million, sloshing around washington, you know. >> you mean in terms of campaign contributions and things like that? >> yeah, but the general level of corruption that was going on, this is very bad for american politics. >> i agree. >> for america, for the reputation. >> yes. >> people will be watching this going we don't feel sorry for you. >> i'm not asking people to feel sorry for me. i'm not running for office, i'm not asking anything of anybody. >> what do you want people to feel? >> i want them to know what this system is. this is a system that i took advantage of, that i was in the middle of that i was perhaps at the lead of at times but that system is still there. the system is toxic for the united states. it has to be changed. so what i have done is as somebody who was at a certain level of that system, i basically -- i'm not part of system any longer. frankly i don't know of anyone else who reached the level i did who is now coming out and saying, okay, this system is wrong, here's how to change the system, here are the real reforms that immediate to be made. whether america wants to make them or not is a different matter. but i feel that if i have a mission in life, part of my way to perhaps offer some recompense
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for what i was doing is to say, okay, here is how to stop that. i'm never going to do it again. i'm not going to be a lobbyist. i'm not going to return to that world. but i can return to that world in the sense of educating people and showing people what's going on. >> what kind of thing do you think is going on that is criminal in your mind? >> well, whether it's criminal or not or it should be criminal maybe is the question. there are things that are not technically against the law because the law is made by congress and congress has interests in keeping many of the roles basically the same. they'll change a rule, they'll say that instead of feeding a congressman a meal, he can't be silting down, he has to be standing up or he has to use his fingers instead of a fork or something ridiculous like that.
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real change has to come to washington to stop the revolving door and the power of money in the system. that is where i as a lobbyist and other lobbyists exercise real power and real control over congress and other offices there. >> what are you going to to do with your life? >> i just finished writing a book. i hope to speak and talk about what goes on there. >> do you have a job at the moment? >> i have a job doing that. i'm working on some other projects that are somewhat related but, you know -- >> how much did you make in the entire period as a lobbyist? >> i haven't added it all up but it was tens of millions. >> all gone? >> yeah. >> what did you learn about plan, which was a massive, motivating factor for so long. what do you feel about it now that you don't have any? >> money is a tool. i used the money i got to do things we thousand were right. we give away pretty much 80% of the money we made. key didn't live an extravagant lifestyle, we lived a comfortable lifestyle.
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>> why did you give it away? >> because i felt i got this money to do good things with it. we give it to educational services. >> you weren't doing good things with it, were you? >> wasn't i? >> you were giving away 80% of the money you were making in a corrupt way. why would you break the law -- >> piers, i wasn't -- while i was deeply into it, it wasn't i was sitting back thinking i'm corrupt or breaking the law. i thought i was doing good. >> it's this weird contradiction between charging ten times the going rate, making tens of millions of dollars -- >> let me correct something. there was no going rate in lobbying. the amounts that i charged compared to the value that we delivered i think was very fair. now that we charge more than other lobbyists at that time had a will the to do with the fact that we delivered on a lot more. we did add up what the value of the services that we provided
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and they were in the billions, for which we charged in the million. >> the really sad thing for you is in the end everyone ended up hating you. the clients hated you, they belt detrade and let down, the business you were in hated you, everyone turned on you. i'll play a clip from a john stewart daily show. >> if you thought you new corrupt politicians buying off politicians you don't know jack. he pled guilty to several felony charges including conspiracy, tax evasion, mail fraud and impersonating a 1930s gangster. i'm guilty, see, it's curtains for me, copper. >> how did you feel being the butt of the jokes? >> well, i have a sense of humor so most of the time i laughed. if they were good jokes. some of the jokes were pretty funny, some of them were lame.
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you know, piers, when this was going on, don't forget, i was in the paper in virtually every section of the paper almost every day. there was so much going on and so many people were attacking me and making fun of me and just everything that i didn't make a list. i wasn't nixon. i wasn't making an enemies list or something like that. i was trying to get through this and stay focused on my family and children and trying to survive. >> how have you explained it to your children. >> they were there the whole time. they knew who their father is. i didn't have to sit them down and say daddy's not really hitler. they know who i am. but they were hurt, of course, by the way our name became synonymous with evil and corruption and things like that. i don't think they understood that. i'm not sure i understood it at some level. >> what was the single thing you regret most? >> well, i don't know that there's a single thing i regret most. but i regret a series of mistakes and a series of -- when
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you set off on a voyage, if you're off by one degree, at the end you'll be on another continent. i regret those one degrees at the beginning that i let myself get off course and wound up, unfortunately crashed somewhere i didn't know where i was. >> jack abramoff, thank you very much. >> thank you.
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richard lugar is the senate's most senior republican and the longest serving member of congress in indiana history and the ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee and joins me now. senator, welcome. >> thank you, piers. >> in all the time that you've been in congress, how many years now? >> i'm in my 35th. >> incredible career that you've had. have you ever known a year quite like this one where we've had the arab spring uprisings, the end much mubarak, the deaths of bin laden, of gadhafi. it's been an extraordinary time for foreign relations with america in particular at the forefront of this. we've seen a change in american foreign policy, haven't we, where you know, from the gung ho steaming into iraq to very much the behind the scenes manipulators in libya. what do you make of it all? put it into context for me. >> well, i believe the context is one in which we are engaged really in basic arguments on domestic politics.
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the rest of the world has been left to fend for itself. now, that's not true. >> is that a good thing? >> no, it's not. but it's an observation at least about our politics in this country now. it does affect the rest of the world because the rest of the world understands that too, is watching our politics. it's watching our economic problems. and so as a result, the question is, what kind of influence will america exert on the rest of the world? will earps, navies, air force head toward specific countries? the answer appears to be no, and in large part it's because we're constrained by the fact that we are heavily engaged now still in iraq, although withdrawing, afghanistan, still for quite a bit -- awhile and we have troops all over the world from previous situations. we have a fleet that really holds the high seas open for everybody in the world.
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and this is a real strain on a defense budget which is under some constraints too in our domestic quarrels as well as in the fact that in due course, we probably cannot afford the foreign policy we have. so this is leading to foreign policy specialists now to begin talking about so-called networking. how america remains strong in the middle east or anywhere else through intelligence forces, through drones supposed to armies that march that occupy territory. >> isn't that in the long run better for america? i mean, america's had to be through choice or otherwise, the world's policeman now for a very long time. certainly my whole lifetime, america has been the go-to country for help for either aid in disaster or for military intervention, whatever it may be. whatever the merits of each of the individual interventions, there comes a point, doesn't there, when if america wants to compete with the likes of china,
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india and so on, then this constant marching around the world helping everyone has to take a bit of a back seat to helping america? >> well, i think we'll continue, but it will be done in a much more sophisticated and differently organized manner. in other words, i believe we are still going to be a people that will cherish democracy and that try to feed the world. and have humane views, but we're going to do so probably with less conventional military means. less expensive military means. and this is inevitable. just as we starred the conversation, the number of countries in which we are involved is such, it's impossible to conceive we would invade a country and try to rearrange its government one by one and in essence, we're looking first of all to our own strategic defense against al qaeda, against terrorists, against others that may bring harm into the united states. but this is a more sophisticated intelligence procedure.
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>> who do you think is the biggest threat currently to america? >> i suspect the problems that are embedded in terrorism, in other words, cell groups, smaller groups of people who may, in fact, try to transport either a nuclear chemical or biological weapons in some form to the united states and create havoc in one or more of our major cities or through plagues or other diseases. >> your party is going through a fairly roller coaster ride in terms of this nomination process. five front-runners now have come and gone. who do you think is emerging, perhaps nobody is yet, as a genuine front-runner candidate? >> well, i think governor romney has been the front-runner throughout this situation. >> give me two one-word answers to these questions. is mitt romney going to be the nominee do you think?

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