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July 16th, 2013
01:56 PM ET

Piers Morgan on his exclusive interview: "Rachel Jeantel told us more about Trayvon Martin last night in 25 minutes than I heard in the entire trial"

On the heels of an exclusive interview with Rachel Jeantel, this morning Piers Morgan joined CNN's "Newsroom" program to offer his insight and reaction.

After watching a clip alongside anchor Michaela Pereira, the "Piers Morgan Live" host explained his impressions of the young woman who had unwillingly become the early star of the George Zimmerman trial:

"Rachel Jeantel is not uneducated. She's a smart cookie," said Morgan, refuting what he deemed to be the account of some of the jury, and the national media as a whole. "What she didn't like was the environment that Don West created in that courtroom of hostility. That's a different thing."

With his interview from the evening before having offered a side of Jeantel that proved remarkably different than the persona she portrayed during her testimony, Morgan suggested that her exclusive comments have opened a window into the life and world of Trayvon Martin that hadn't previously been accessible:

"I think the way that they built up a picture of Trayvon was unsuccessful," said Morgan, referring to the prosecution. "Rachel Jeantel told us more about Trayvon Martin last night in 25 minutes than I heard in the entire trial. And you got a picture not of an aggressive thug but of a rather sweet, quite quiet young teenager going about his business. Never been in much trouble ... I thought that was really important and critical testimony that unfortunately she gave outside the courtroom."

Watch the rest of the clip for more of Morgan's interview on "Newsroom," and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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  1. g. george
    July 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • alex

      interesting how biased Piers is come on are you kidding me of course she comes off differently here she has an attorney and PR trying to change her image, of course she's going to say wonderful things about Trayvon what did you expect her to say negative things? Why don't you believe the positive things being said about Zimmerman oh I forgot those people are racist so they don't count. (by the way there are a lot of blacks that believe Zimmerman was acting in self defense and that this case has nothing to do with race but of course you would never put them on your show) biased all the way the only place where you see what people are thinking is on the comments section which shows overwhelming support for Zimmerman I wouldn't be surprised if they start deleting them to reflect your views.
      Everything and everyone is getting blamed the police, the prosecutors, the defense, Zimmerman, the jury why not blame them for global warming, the economy jeez why can't people except the evidence doesn't lie plain and simple.

      July 17, 2013 at 5:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Jim

        Here's Morgan!!. Why would we have MR Morgan commenting on this situation. The people the jury has spoke. Their is to much abuse from bullies. Whatever race they are. Why can't we protect ourselfs!,, the victim could have retreated. He was in better shape. I hate bullies!!!

        July 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • James

        CNN shame!! Why would you choose a non American to report this news. Please you must have someone else that speaks American not British . Let him comment on the Middle East if you really need him...

        July 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jai

        Mr. Martin could've ran away and he also had a cell phone. He also could have called the cops. He chose to stick around and look for trouble. He was much bigger, And faster he could have run away and prevent all this crap he chose to stick around and bully someone smaller than him. We have the right to protect ourself. .

        July 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. g. george

    Where is the outcry for this boy?

    July 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. George F.

    Mr. Morgan:
    Given your clear dislike of the Second Amendment, concealed carry laws, and state self-defense laws - dislikes that you parade in front of the t.v. cameras so often - I suggest that you should feel free to go back to England at your earliest convenience.

    July 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Malcom

      This English man keep putting on Robert Zimmerman on the air, to agitate the entire population.

      July 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jer

      Wow! What a great law Florida has. 200% increase in shooting deaths. If it were one of your family members kiiled, you would sing a different tune.

      July 16, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Douglas Patterson

    Mr. Morgan: Are there no problems in Great Britain that you can help? You are certainly adding nothing to the healing dialogue in this nation. You only add to whipping up hysteria leading to riots. Go back to Britain, judge talent, sit next to Amanda ... a far more appropriate place for you than here!

    July 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      Put Americans to report. Down with Pierce mortgage! We don't like Piers Morgan replace him please.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. timothy sheridan

    slime ball morgan you are a parasite anyone can tell this person is uneducated and you parade her only to make your self look just as uninformed you don t get it do you is horrible trayvon lost his life due to lack of communication on both parts he is without clean hands quit stirring the pot . You are on the bottom of the food chain just under mold

    July 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Patric Henry

    Couldn't help but notice you edited out ofthe video clips the more inflammatory remarks Miss Jeantel made

    July 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Steve

    Piers suck! GZ was found innocent through American Justice!! your a cry baby just like the rest of those idiots out their whining about GZ being not guilty. Bring back Larry King!!! At least he was American!! An American should have that job not YOU!!

    July 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carly

      Actually, George Zimmerman was NOT found innocent, he was found Not Guilty. One cannot be found innocent in the court of law.

      July 17, 2013 at 8:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Steve

    yes, where is the outcry for this baby killed by 2 black teens? You and all your black cronies want to keep crying for a violent teen like Trayvon who attacked GZ but none of you say anything about this:

    July 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jer

      We know where you stand. No racism in you tone!

      July 16, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. EnoughisEnough

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Morgan...and considering the age, socio-economic, and ethnic difference given in this trial... I knew they would never understand who Rachel was, what she had to offer, and what she was saying..... Great interview...thank you for allowing the world to see the "REAL" Trayvon and Rachel!

    July 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • arch nemesis

      Come on! Where is the Trayvon's doing a little whoop ass comment Rachel made? That idiot purged herself on television when she said TM went at it first. And when did ignorance become "culture"?

      July 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Griff

    "What time is it where you are, Pierse?/ I'm an englishman, so I'm eight hours infront of the USA. I am also very nocturnal, so sleep all kinds of hours at different times. When I tune into CNN, FOX or even Britain, I'm also still in Kenya.
    So you see, I don't just listen to the news of one alliance, I listen to stations where you get your news from.. I sometimes have my breakfast for supper!!"

    July 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ellie

    Zimmerman was found innocent. Let it be – no racial implications playing out except those of the media!! RIDICULOUS!!
    Does anyone get the fact that T. Martin was a thug – suspended from school multiple times, a druggie, and obviously a racist. Had he been brought up properly, when confronted with by an adult who wanted to know what he was doing on property, instead of smashing Zimmerman's head on concrete, he would have explained. PLEEEAASE! Enough already!

    July 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jer

      Where did you get your facts? I bet you didn't research yourself!

      July 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jer

      Maybe he was confronted with a gun. I don't think you were there. Zimmerman can say anything he wants because the other person is dead!

      July 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carly

      George Zimmerman was NOT FOUND INNOCENT! He was found NOT GUILTY. One cannot be found innocent in the court of law.

      July 17, 2013 at 8:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. kris

    For Steve and Ellie –
    George Zimmerman was NOT found innocent – he admitted killing Trayvon. He was found not guilty. A world of difference that as adults you should understand.

    July 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ExPat

    What an embarrassment for Morgan and CNN. She was the prosecution's "star witness"? No wonder they lost.

    This whole show is just not working, Mr. Morgan. Back to Britain with you to tap phone lines and run photos of half-naked women on the cover of your "newspaper."

    July 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Brazilian

    I always enjoy your interviews, but yesterday your interview with Ms. Jeantel lacked good judgement. Asking her to respond how she feels about a lawyer traying to defend his client, or how she feels about the juror opinion of her was so unnecessary and made you look like a 16 year old with no common sense. Ask about drug use, etc. Why? That's why we can't have an honest conversation in this country. But I guess you do not care because it is not your country. It is not mine either, but I have great respect for it. Please be constructive and try to show some sense of objectivity and do not pretend that people from different cultures, which happens in many countries, perceive things in a different way, and Great Britain must be an exception to the rule.

    July 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Randall

    You shoud feel ashamed of yourself for exploiting Rachel Jeantel for trying to boost your dismal ratings. It matters not how much she was paid to appear, you made yourself look much more foolish than she did, bless her heart.

    July 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Angel

    Calling Don West Blonde haired daughter DUMB, know who is being racist. She is a joke. Mr. West was very patient with her, she was disrespectful to HIM. I wish this would all Stop. It is over. He is NOT GUILTY.The Defense lawyers were and are GREAT

    July 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Joan

    Why is the African-American community not protesting and demanding stricter gun control laws since ihomicide is the leading cause of death among young men in their communities? If GZ wasn't within his legal rights to carry a handgun, there would have been a very different outcome and one could argue that the confrontation might never have taken place.
    I was disappointed in the studio audience's laughing response to Rachel Jeantel's answers: answers she gave to garner a reaction. A young man lost his life and people are laughing? I just hope that Trayvon Martin's mother wasn't watching as I am certain that part of the interview would have broken the poor woman's heart.

    July 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. James

    Look up "Cracka" on, then think about what happened to English teacher Paul Roberts at Valley High School a few years ago...

    July 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. kelawrence

    Thank you, for having Ms. Jeantel on your show.
    Didn't the Defense team, including West, interview her, at length? They must have know she has a severe Speech Impediment, caused by deformed bones & needs surgery. She, does not want the surgery because of the long recovery of a year.( A year to her, would seem like a lifetime. ) Why were they so mean to a person, who has an obvious disability? One could see how hard she was trying, on your show, to find & form words.
    Also,perhaps her Haitian background might contribute to her fear of death & being scared to to see the body. She may even fear being haunted because , she expressed feeling guilty about not helping Trayvon, out of the situation, because she had the impression, he was closer to his Dad's house.
    She has a great sense of humor and we wish her the very best.

    July 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Randall H

      Stupidity and the inability to make coherent replies is not a "speech impediment"

      July 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Randall H

    No wonder Ted Nugent and Alex Jones want to take you out into the woods and skull hump you.

    July 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Gina


    July 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kari

    How can she say she has never seen him with a gun when there is a picture of him on facebook holding a gun? Weren't they good friends? She says the postings were to brag, as a parent if my 17 year old son posted pictures smoking and holding a gun I would be alarmed.... That shouldn't even be something a "child" thinks about.... Whether a child is white, Black, hispanic, etc, a parent should always teach their kids that if someone is following you run to safety an get help, don't stop and confront them..

    July 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Joey


    July 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Marie

    Please, Pierce! Do your viewing audience a favor. Never have Larry Elder on your program ever again. What an ignorant individual! Rachel Jeantell is Rhode Scholar in comparison. She's everything he thinks he is...compassionate, kind, dignified with a big heart as wide as her smile. Larry Elder has nothing to contribute to society except a release mechanism as you scream at your TV when he opens his mouth.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Tee

    WOW! It's amazing how many ignorant people tune in to CNN! PM does an outstanding job because he has common sense unlike a lot of people posting on this site. What if it was YOUR child and Martin was the shooter? I can almost promise you these same insensitive, judgmental people would be just as outraged as the people with common sense and gets it!

    July 18, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Dave

    Well it's like the guy the other night said ... PM is just saying whatever to get ratings .... he knows that neighborhood watch is supposed to follow people, ask them, questions, and not be jumped and nearly beaten to death. Would love to bang PMs head against the concrete. I just need one hit. Don't worry it will only be a minor injury.

    July 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  27. John

    Piers, you sure know how to keep your cool with tough ve shown some great professionalism. People always digress from the issue at hand and even though you may have had your opinion, you stuck to your topic. Great show. I don't understand how people call themselves journalists simply because they can be chatterboxes and have lung power to speak loud!

    July 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Carrie

    Sorry Piers but that interview was pretty bad. I don't think we really learned anything new. She came off just as ignorant and arrogant as she did on the stand. The guy who is offering to pay for college for her can keep his money. She will never make it in college without some remedial education first. Maybe CNN needs to do a story about the inadequate education she received in Florida.

    July 20, 2013 at 8:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Laura

    Piers you are an idiot. Most of your questions to this young woman seemed more like something you would hear from a middle school interview, not from a mature man. You accuse Zimmerman's lawyer of creating a hostile environment, what do you expect for him to do when dealing with a hostile, belligerent witness who did not want to answer his questions. You ask her about who Trayvon Martin was and what he was like well of course she's goingto say he was a great guy (and I'm not saying he wasn't), she was his friend, what would you expect her to say. For me it wasn't her 'speech impediment" that caused issues with her testimony, it was the fact that I found what she said was not credible. to begin with being and you aren't from the U.S. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but her claims that she didn't know the term 'cracka" to be a racial slur toward 'white' people is ludicrous. I have hard time believing that anyone of her age in this country doesn't understand that, especially not if they are from the south and especially if they are in Florida. Put it into the context that she says it was said "creepy ass cracka" well that should emphasis even more that it was not intended to be nice and I don't know of any black person who would be okay with a white person using the "N" word in that way. What she said in the interview with you perplexed me even more though. According to what she says she was on the phone whit Trayvon when he was being followed and when the altercation started and then got disconnected. In your interview when you asked her how much she talked to Trayvon on the phone she said that she talked to him all the time almost all day. Seems very strange to me that she would be talking to him knowing he was being followed hear the altercation begin and not call 911 herself to report a possible problem, especially after trying to call him back and him not answering. But beyond that I can't understand being what she claims she heard on the phone why she would not contact his family and tell them what had happened to see if he had made it home. Why would she then not contact someone when she didn't hear from him by the next day if she talked to him so much?

    Also, I'm tired of people describing her as a teenager as though she was 13 or 14 year old child She is a 19 and 1/2 year old young woman, and should be able to control her emotions better. At her age I was a Mother and working full time. My daughter was just a few months older than her when she married a soldier and took on the responsibility of giving him emotional support and handling the finances and living on her own while he was deployed to Afghanistan. She is NOT a child She is an adult and should be expected to act as such.

    July 21, 2013 at 4:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  30. alan sadd

    i have just been subjected to the stand in for piers, Matthew Perry , this was a repeat of an earlier show , well it was pathetic , and to subject us to it twice , incredible .

    August 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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