This  partial transcript of War on Terror: The Hunt for the Killers from December 20, 2001, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn't let fear, or the fear of anything get in his way if he thinks he's right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's a very tough and uncompromising individual, and he possesses a quality that we haven't seen in a politicians in this city, in that he says, "I don't care if you like me."


VESTER: And that's pretty much vintage Giuliani. He's had plenty of critics. But in the past few months, his image has been transformed. He was at one point this arrogant autocrat going through a messy divorce. But how he led us New Yorkers through 9/11 made many people see him as tough and strong, and just the man to steady our nerves.

Fox's Eric Shawn got an exclusive interview with New York City's mayor, and they talked about what has changed since September 11th.


ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Looking back, it seemed a more innocent time. On his first full day at work, New York's new mayor jaunted up the steps of city hall, passing a chorus of angry AIDS protesters.

GIULIANI: And that I will faithfully discharge the duties...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of the office of mayor of the city of New York.

GIULIANI: Of the office of mayor of the city of New York.

SHAWN: He was sworn in with his son, Andrew, mimicking him at his side, and settled down to his new job -- the walls bear, his desk clean, but raised inches by blocks of wood, because it belonged to New York's legendary mayor, Fiorello Laguardia, who was shorter than Giuliani.

GIULIANI: I came in here, it was a very cold January 1st. And I walked in, very, very excited about being mayor of the city I love and the city I grew up in. And I was sitting here, pen was on the desk. Several of my staff members and deputy mayors and my council were all here, And they laid out a beautiful -- my pen, and put -- made it look really very nice.

I sat down, I got ready to sign it, and I banged my knees right in -- because La Guardia was a lot shorter, and the desk was about four inches lower. I really hurt knees pretty badly. I just -- uh! And then I said, he was sending me a message: Don't presume -- don't presume that you just can do this job. You have to study, you have to think about it. And you have to devote your whole life to it.

I think that the key to the success of a mayor of New York City is about absolute and total dedication to the job of being mayor.

SHAWN: On this third day in office, he reflected on his new responsibility, with what turned out to be very prophetic words.

GIULIANI: A lot of people look to you for help, for advice, and also for a sense of spirit of morale. And those are all the things you have to be prepared to give.

SHAWN: Seven years later, he would be called on to do just that, in an unimaginable role, an unspeakable crisis, testing his nation, his city, and himself. Giuliani brought leadership, inspiration and defiance.

(on camera): Did you ever feel overwhelmed? Did you ever say to yourself, it's just paralyzing, and you can't go on?

GIULIANI: Uh-huh. There were times I felt tired, more than overwhelmed. Just like you couldn't take another step. And then always something would happen that would allow me to do it. I would see somebody that was crying, and I'd say to myself, well, they're hurt much more than I am. Or I would go to a gathering and I felt I had made maybe five or six speeches that day, or eulogies, and how could I do another one?

And then I would see the people that were there and realize that I could in some way alleviate their pain if I got up and said something. And that gives you strength. So really, all the strength I have I borrowed. I've literally borrowed from other people. I watch them, I look at them, I see what they're feeling.

And then I incorporate that. And then that gave me the motivation to say, well, if they're feeling this pain and all these -- all this horrible loss, the least I can do is make one more speech or go one more place, or try to hold one more hand or hug one more person.

SHAWN: Do you liken what you've done, and do you liken what all New Yorkers have gone through, as a sense of -- that we can learn from that, we can apply some of the rules of religion and inspiration and faith and belief, in dealing with each other?

GIULIANI: I think there's no question about it. I think New York immediately, almost in a second, became spiritually a stronger place, even as the attack was still ongoing and the buildings were falling, and the people were trying to evacuate. I could sense that the people of the city would become spiritually stronger as a result of having confronted the worst attack that anybody could ever have imagined. And it's really -- it's actually beautiful to see how strong they ,are because they're even stronger than I thought they would be.

I remember thinking the first couple of days, because I knew how bad it was, from the very beginning, I could see ahead because I had so much information, what the city was going to go through in the next month, two months, three months. And I wondered, do they have the strength to do it? And I kept saying to myself, the thing about New Yorkers that you have to always remember is that, the bigger the challenge, the greater the response.


VESTER: We're going to have more with Mayor Giuliani in just a moment.


KEN CARUSO: He has been the leader to whom everyone has looked.

RON SILVER, ACTOR: People were blessed to have Rudy at the helm that day.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I don't know anyone else in America that has the stature of Rudy Giuliani today.


VESTER: Some pretty complimentary words about the leadership of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the days and weeks after 911.

Welcome back to "The War on Terror." I'm Linda Vester.

It may not be much of a comfort, but the official death toll from the terror attacks has now fallen below 3,000. Actually, it's 2,992, to be exact. But that is still a staggering number. And still some very determined people are digging away tonight at ground zero, looking for remains so that families can bury their dead. We salute those folks who are working tonight.

It also makes you think about what kind of memorial should be built to commemorate this site? And what does the future hold for the man who got us through all of this, Rudy Giuliani? That is part two of Eric Shawn's exclusive interview with the mayor.


ERIC SHAWN, FOX CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the first hours, he was there, escaping with his life, then taking charge of a wounded and numbed city.

RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I thank God that I'm -- that I'm safe. I feel terrible for the people that we lost, some of whom I talked to just 15 minutes before we lost them. And the city's going to survive. We're going to get through it. It's going to be a very, very difficult time. I don't think we yet know the pain that we're going to feel.

SHAWN: In the ensuing three months, Rudy Giuliani helped lead not just his town but a nation. And now, as the ruins of the World Trade Center continues to yield bodies and the emotional clean-up goes on 24/7, the mayor looks to the future and insists any redevelopment of ground zero must be centered on a memorial that will forever remind future generations of this most crucial period in American history.

GIULIANI: The thing that has to dominate that site has to be an appropriate to the people who died there, where it will be their final resting place, or at least, certainly, the place where they died. Historically, it's the place in which America sustained the greatest attack on the United States of America any one day, ever. And I believe it's the site in which America had the strongest, bravest and most incredible response to that attack in one day and then over a period of time. So it - - it's a very sacred place. It's a sacred place not only for all -- all of us who lost loved ones there, but I think it's a sacred place for America. It really defines who we are. And that has to dominate it.

I'm not an artist. I can't tell you what the esthetic rendering should be. In fact, I don't think -- it has to be a process. It's got to take a while to figure that out. But it certainly has to be dramatic, overpowering.

SHAWN: He also had some choice words about the charities and all that money that did not go to the victims' families. The one he runs, the city's Twin Towers Fund, has already donated millions to the families of fallen firefighters and police officers.

GIULIANI: I think that some of the funds made mistakes. I think they made mistakes in allocating money to purposes that weren't strictly the purpose for which the donor donated the money. People that donated money for the victims of the twin towers attack meant by that the families of either the uniformed officers or the civilians that were affected by that. They didn't mean sometimes unrelated social groups that were given money. So not all the funds -- a number of them I think have handled it very, very well. Some I think have made mistakes in the way they handled it. But I hope that's all behind us now, and I hope that what they're going to do now is organize themselves so that -- so that we can help everybody that's been affected by this.

SHAWN: He looked back to his first day in office, a picture marking that day.

(on camera): Are you the same man as you were in that photograph?

GIULIANI: Oh, I think a job like this has to change you. You just don't -- you know, you really need some time to reflect and figure out all the ways in which it changes -- this is -- this has been the most intense experience of my life.

SHAWN (voice-over): Giuliani seems to share many of the traits of his city -- blunt and direct, impassioned and energetic, commanding yet compassionate. His leadership inspired many. And despite the challenges, he says, he has a lot to be thankful for.

GIULIANI: I think we're thankful for -- for being here. I mean, we - - when you go through something like September 11th, or prostate cancer, which I did a year and a half earlier, you learn that the thing -- the thing that you're thankful for is the God who's giving you another day, has given you more time, has given this city more talent than any city in the world.

You know, when -- when I say that we're capital of the world and the greatest city in the world, the reason is we have the most talent in the world. We've got more people, the best people. We're very fortunate. And I think the thing that I'm -- I feel the best about and I feel very complete about, so I have no real regrets about leaving -- the spirit of the city is stronger than it's ever been.

It was always my goal as mayor to leave this city stronger than I found it, to leave it better than it was handed to me. That was an oath that LaGuardia took when he became mayor, so I took the same oath, that your obligation is to leave the city better than it was handed to you. And I feel that I've -- I've fulfilled that, and the people of the city have helped me do that. They've made it possible for me to do that because of their remarkable strength and courage.


SHAWN: Well, many New Yorkers, as people around the world, believe Giuliani achieved his goal, and in doing so, he's become the very symbol of the city he has governed.

Linda, back to you.

VESTER: Eric Shawn. Eric, thanks very much.

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