tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN May 27, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
authors, the writing's not just on the wall. it takes up the whole wall, and it can take big hands to sign a big signature. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> thanks for joining us. ac 360 starts right now. good evening and good memorial day. today means so much to anyone who has lost someone in war thyme service to the country. it's a day to remember their sacrifice but also to honor the commitment that we all share from the commander in chief on down to the men and women who are serving right now all around the world. vice president pence marked the day by visiting arlington national cemetery where he spoke about efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with north korea. more than 33,000 american service men and women died in the korean conflict. some are buried here, and as you know, it's a war that never formally ended. right now approximately 30,000 u.s. troops are stationed in south korea with more than twice that number posted to japan in part to deter kim jong-un
because japan and south korea are allies. they're our friends. north korea is a dangerous adversary, which you'd think would be too obvious to even mention, yet today just as he did over the weekend, president trump sided with the adversary over the allies. and he did it on the home soil of one of those allies, japan. it began on saturday. the president reacting on twitter to north korean testing of short range missiles earlier this month, and i'm quoting now from the president. north korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people and others, but not me. i have confidence that chairman kim will keep his promise to me and also smiled when he called swamp man joe biden a low iq individual and worse. perhaps that's sending me a signal. now, keep in mind that's just on the military question. these weren't exactly pop guns as the president seems to suggest. according to a recent report from the congressional research service, the testing may be intended to improve north korea's ballistic missile fleet, which is a bad thing for the south, for japan, and of course for the united states, for the world. one more bad thing is national
security adviser john bolton told reporters over the weekend the testing violates a u.n. security council resolution, so there's that. choosing to believe a nuclear armed adversary over his own handpicked national security adviser, doing while visiting an ally, one in missile range of north korea, and compounding it all, the president also tried to enlist this dictator into what exactly? denouncing a political rival? whatever he did in that tweet, he did it again today. >> does it give you pause at all to be appearing to side with a brutal dictator instead of with a fellow american, the former vice president joe biden? >> well, kim jong-un made a statement that joe biden is a low iq individual. he probably is based on his record. i think i agree with him on that. but at the same time, my people think it could have been a violation, as you know.
i view it differently. i view it as a man, perhaps he wants to get attention, and perhaps not. who knows? it doesn't matter. >> who knows? it doesn't matter. you know what? the president of the united states should know, and that does matter. and if the president doesn't know, he should take his fingers off the twitter machine and maybe pick up a briefing book and do something that we all know he rarely does, which is read. the president still acts like he's a perilous real estate developer in new york lying about building height and who he's dating and calling up gossip columnists using pretend names. the president is acting like a bystander who everything is going on. who knows what's going on? believe any, me, it doesn't mat. on the one hand, you might say this is one of the president's vocal ticks, like we'll see what happens. but keeping 'em honest, what if this is really what he believes? what if in what he's saying and
how he's jumbling it up with domestic politics, the president is essentially indifferent to the rest, that he really believes it doesn't matter? for instance, whether or not north korea is violating international law and working to make its nuclear missiles more lethal. eh, doesn't matter. doesn't matter that by letting the north slide on short range missiles, he's sending a message to south korea and japan that the united states is only looking out for itself and not them and signaling to north korea it can do whatever they want because the president believes a brutal dictator wouldn't break a promise to donald j. trump. he might have his family or top general executed with an anti-aircraft gun, but he certainly wouldn't lie to trump, or maybe he's signaling that it just doesn't matter what you say at the state of the union to the grieving parents of an american, otto warmbier, who was killed at the hands of kim jong-un. >> tonight we pledge to honor otto's memory with total american resolve.
we need only look at the depraved character of the north korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to america and to our allies. >> total american resolve. remember the resolve he was going to take on the mantle of the shutdown. he was going to own that. that didn't last very long. resolve is not a word he uses or actually lives by very much. the state of the union, that was back in january of last year, it sure sounds like north korea's actions mattered back then just like they matter to every president going back to harry truman. they were after all what millions fought against and 33,000 americans died for. the president standing in the house chamber last year, it sure sounded like he understood that. now he seems to believe that he and kim are both just a pair of real estate tycoons or something and the north is just another business opportunity. >> it's located between russia and china on one side and south
korea on the other, and it's all waterfront property. it's a great location as we used to say in the real estate business, and i think he sees that. >> yeah. he thinks kim jong-un views the future as just great, you know, lots to sell of waterfront property. so maybe it's the business the president sees like that, or perhaps it's just love. >> i was really being tough, and so was he. and we were going back and forth, and then we fell in love, okay? no, really. he wrote me beautiful letters, and they're great letters. we fell in love. >> i'm not even going to address that. look, i'm glad he has love in his life, but it's the very next line that i think is actually more revealing about what really motivates the president, what kim jong-un seems to have managed to tap into. >> now, they'll say, donald trump said they fell in love.
how horrible. how horrible is that? so unpresidential. and i always tell you, it's so easy to be presidential. but instead of having 10,000 people outside trying to get into this packed arena, we'd have about 200 people standing right there. >> that -- i mean that would be like death. can you imagine that for him? that would be like death. and there it is. in that moment, it is plain to see president trump telling us all that whatever it may mean to the country he was elected to govern, he measures success by the number of people showering him with adulation. at times, 10,000 screaming fans or sometimes maybe just one fat little dictator with blood on his hands and missiles in his arsenal. more now from cnn's pamela brown with the president in tokyo. do you have any better sense of why the president thought it appropriate to use kim jong-un's own words as a way to go after former vice president biden and what the response has been.
>> reporter: well, he was asked about this directly here in tokyo, and his response was simply that he agreed with kim jong-un about his assessment regarding joe biden. but it also is a reflection, anderson, of just how focused president trump is on joe biden. we know from sources that he views him as a formidable challenger, so while he's on foreign soil here in japan, biden is clearly on his mind. even this morning he was tweeting about him, talking about a crime bill in the '90s that biden supported and how that could hurt him among african-american voters. so the president went as far as siding with a murderous dictator, kim jong-un, to go after a former vice president. but the president seemed to dismiss the criticism here. and what you're seeing is a pattern as well where president trump seems to put stock in what kim jong-un tells him. as you'll recall when he was asked about otto warmbier and
whether kim jong-un should be held responsible for that, president trump said that un told him he didn't know anything about it and that he took him at his word. as you laid out as well, he's talked about this love affair between the two, that they've exchanged letters. in regard to the recent short range missile testing, president trump has downplayed that as well while he's on foreign soil, in japan, that views north korea and those short range missiles as a direct threat. president trump saying he didn't view those tests as a violation of the u.n. security council resolution, which is of course at odds with not only his host here, prime minister abe, but his own national security adviser, john bolton. >> pam, thanks very much. i want to get reaction now from democratic congressman, presidential candidate, veteran seth moulton. congressman, as a veteran, as a lawmaker, i'm wondering what goes through your mind when you see the president of the united states overseas not only giving a murderous dictator a huge benefit of the doubt, but
joining that dictator in bashing a former vice president, who is also of course running for president. >> you know, i know we're not always going to have presidents we agree with, and we've had some terrible presidents in our history. we've had presidents who are immoral, who are backwards, who have terrible policies. we've had presidents who are criminals like richard nixon. i don't think we've ever had a president who is so fundamentally unpatriotic. even richard nixon served as country and was proud to do so. this president is much more interested in siding with dictators if it's good for his ratings. and that's pretty pathetic for the commander in chief. >> sarah sanders dismissed any claims that president trump was siding with kim jong-un over vice president biden. she said they just happened to agree. i mean that just -- just logically that does not make sense. the president went out of his way to use kim jong-un's comments as a means of criticizing biden and talked about how he doesn't believe kim
jong-un would break a promise to him. >> i mean you presented both sides of the stories. you showed a clip from the state of the union, and you showed a kwlip from his press conference tod today. the difference is in the state of the union, he was clearly reading from a tell prompter. when it came to his personal feelings, he sided with this dictator. when i was a marine in the first marine division, actually serving under general james mattis, who would of course become trump's secretary of defense, our division motto was "no better friend, no worse enemy than the united states marine." that should be the motto for the united states of america. no better friend, no worse enemy. that means that your allies trust you and your enemies trust your resolve. that means that we strengthen our allied partnerships in the pacific to contain north korea, to put pressure on them, to strengthen the relationship that we have with south korea, with japan. and it means that we show ultimate resolve to north korea
that we are not going to put up with them firing off missiles. trump is doing the exact opposite, and it's why he is so fundamentally unfit to be our commander in chief. >> it was interesting to me when he was asked about, you know, is it hypocritical or inappropriate for you to be, you know, bringing up biden and siding with kim jong-un, a murderous dictator, over an american former vice president, there wasn't even any recognition of the actual question itself. he just went on to say, kim said this, and i agree with him. to me, fundamentally, the president has no sense of actual shame. so any question you ask which is based on somebody who has perhaps an inkling of shame, of regret, that's not something this president either has or at least is willing to ever acknowledge. >> no. no sense of honor, no sense of integri integrity. it reminds me of when i showed up as this, you know, college
student going to marine training for the first time. really didn't know what i was getting into. one of the very first lessons that you learn is that you can drop out of a run and they'll probably let you try again the next day. you can fail a test and they'll let you retake the test. but if you lie about anything, you're gone that afternoon. that's how important trust and integrity is when it comes to our national security. and i understand that there are going to be americans who agree with trump and americans who disagree with him. but the fact that we fundamentally cannot trust this president, that everybody serving on the front lines, everybody out there today, tonight, risking their lives for the united states of america under the command of this commander in chief, you can't trust a single thing that he says. i mean that's how dangerous it is to have donald trump as president. >> well, it also seems like the people in his inner circle know that. i mean the people who work around him. obviously they won't say this, but they know that when they leave and if they leave under
circumstances that are, you know, less than ideal, it's a good chance the president is going to attack them, go after them, try to destroy them like rex tillerson, who he now is calling an idiot and all sorts of names. >> not exactly your model public servant, but yes. >> you know, you talk about a kind of trust from a national security standpoint, but it's clear even the people in the inner circle, they cannot trust the president, that what he says to them or what he says to sarah sanders is true enough that sarah sanders can actually go out and say it, which is one of the reasons they don't have press conferences. >> right. so here's the problem is you have a fundamentally great americans like secretary jim mattis, who were in there every day trying to hold the line. we're talking about going to war with iran right now, and jam mattis was the one who when iranian mortars were fired at our embassy last september said, no, we are not going to
escalate. so you have people like jim mattis who are doing the right thing. then you have people like john bolton, who know the same thing about the president and are taking advantage of it. john bolton's goal is to get us into a war with iran. so he's using the president's untrustworthiness and his fundamental weakness to push us into war with iran in a way that's frighteningly reminisce en ent how john bolton pushed a draft dodger george w. bush into a war with iraq. it's so dangerous. that's why i'm in this campaign talking about national security as an issue, talking about why we as democrats have got to take trump on as commander in chief. this is what makes him the most dangerous as the president of the united states right now. >> i appreciate your time. thank you very much. coming up next, more on the political and geopolitical ramifications of siding with a dictator over a former vice president and john bolton and the allies. plus take a look at this incredible picture.
deadly traffic jam. a human traffic jam on the way up to mt. everest to summit. so many climbers dying this year with the latest just this morning. we'll talk to one climber who thought he might not make it off the mountain alive. this is rick blomquist of de pere, wisconsin. his life is... pretty comfortable. rick blomquist thought he had comfort all figured out. but then, he laid on a serta and realized his life was only just sorta comfortable. i've been living a lie. (laughs) the serta icomfort hybrid mattress. not just sorta comfortable, serta comfortable. save up to $600 on select serta icomfort sets at the memorial day instant savings event. it made her d my mom feel proud.esults, they saw us, they recognized us. ancestry specifically showed the regions
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talking tonight about president trump down playing north korean missile testing and bonding with kim jong-un over joe biden if that's the right description for it, and doing it all while visiting an ally. joining us now is cnn global affairs analyst, max boot, also tara s tara setmayer, as well as steve cortes. steve, the president, the words he used, siding with a north korean dictator, calling him a smart man while agreeing with him while he insults the former
vice president's ik q on memori day weekend, is that acceptable to new. >> i think those are two different issues, him complimenting kim jong-un versus him citing kim jong-un to criticize joe biden. on that latter issue, i think that's totally inappropriate. when the president wants to attack joe biden, he should do so as an american political opponent of joe biden. but to the other point of him in some ways praising kim jong-un, someone who he has both praised and completely vilified -- he called him little rocket man, of course, very famously before. i think there what we see is diplomacy in action and there's a cat and mouse game with kim jong-un of condemnation combined with at times also coaxing and cajoling to try to convince him that his future and north korea's future will be better without nuclear arms in the international community. >> tara, do you see it that way? >> no. you know, what i see is a president who cannot think or do or act in any way other than in
his own self-interest. it's memorial day. you know, we should be -- the president of the united states should be honoring the fallen, the men and women who sacrificed for this country to have our freedoms, to allow a president to speak freely and have free elections. that's what we should be celebrating. it should be a moment of solemn remembrance and honoring. but instead we have a president of the united states who once again is siding with a dictator over other people. he contradicted his own national security adviser. he somehow has this very strange desire to have this love affair -- his words -- with a dictator. you know, his judgment is awful. how many times have we seen this? he has sided with the saudis over khashoggi. he's sided with kim jong-un over the warmbier family and said, oh, no, i believe he had nothing to do with it. yet the warmbier family was used as political pawns for trump to claim a victory when otto warmbier was brought back. he sides with putin over our
intelligence agencies. i'm old enough to remember when republicans had a heart attack when barack obama shook the hand of raul castro. it was the handshake haereard around the word. or when obama bowed before the saudi king. and yet they make excuses for this president. >> and, max, you know, steve is right. the president used tough words against kim jong-un, rocket man, little rocket man. that was before kim jong-un sent him a letter which seemed to have impressed the president dramatically, so much so that that is seemingly when this love affair, again to use the president's term, kind of began. >> right. i mean trump's behavior with north korea, anderson, reminds me of winston churchill's quip about the germans how they're always at your throat or at your feet. and donald trump was at kim jong-un's own throat in 2017 and
then i turnhe turned on a dime. it's true you can't really credit anything that donald trump says as being a sincere sentiment, but the reality is it's been almost a year since the summit in singapore, and he has nothing to show for the way that he acts as a sycophant towards kim jong-un. it's simply not working, but donald trump will not stop doing it. in fact, he is undercutting people in his own administration like john bolton, who are trying to hold kim jong-un to account for his bad behavior, including the testing of missiles. trump is saying it doesn't bother me and in fact siding with this odious dick tatator against the former vice president of the united states. if he thinks this is the way to get kim jong-un make concessions, the last year should have disabused him of that notion. >> to that point, it does appear certainly in this case that he is rejecting the counsel of his national security adviser and perhaps as well in venezuela and in iran. by the way, i'm extremely glad
that he is pursuing his own course. we elected donald trump to be the commander in chief, not john bolton. and john bolton frankly believes in a lot of the neocon interventionist ideology that has been so disastrous for this country under recent administrations. both bushes and obama combined. and on this memorial day, i think it's important for us to remember how many complete heroes we have lost and how many grieving families there are in this country. and a lot of them unfortunately lost in disastrous overseas interventions which did not advance america's interests. donald trump was elected with a very different promise to america, a policy of restraint and realism in the world rather than intervention and idealism, and he has fulfilled that promise so far, and he's trying to in north korea. he wants to denuclearize them without an oarmed conflict. >> can i just reply quickly? donald trump is veering between instig atding conflicts and
engaging in appeasement. right now he's on the verge of instigating a conflict with iran, acting in a very dangerous manner just as he was acting in a dangerous manner with north korea in 2017. and i agree with you about john bolton. i'm no fan of john bolton. but donald trump is the one who selected him as national security adviser of the united states, and the way that trump acts is simply incoherent. it doesn't make any sense, and it sends a bad message about u.s. foreign policy because our allies and adversaries, they don't know what he is up to. >> tara, just the idea that he's over there on this, you know, seems to be an important trip, dealing with important issues. there's just been this missile -- you know, short-range ballistic missile launch testing by north korea, and he's talking about joe biden. >> right. >> and domestic politics. i mean if you're going to -- you know, if he's concerned about domestic politics, he should probably stay at home and focus on domestic politics. it just seems wildly
inappropriate and, you know, steve was up front and said he thought, you know, those comments were not warranted. but it just surprised me that it's so on his mind, he cannot stop focusing on the things that directly relate to him as opposed to the country. >> well he's a malignant narcissist, anderson. this has been on display from day one, so it doesn't surprise me. it alarms me that he keeps doing this, and the consequences of these actions are grave on the international stage. but i remember when politics used to end at the water's edge when it came to foreign policy. that was the standard that we used to have here. that's been out the window. at least adam kizen jer came out and said this was inappropriate and he shouldn't have done it. god bless him, but where are the hundreds of other republicans who have had a conniption fit if obama had done this. >> i just said it was inappropriate. you've got one right here saying so. >> thank god. there was another trump
surrogate on another program that laughed it off as if it were a joke. there's nothing funny about this. >> i want to thank you all for being here. still to come, investigators will discuss how white house press secretary sarah sanders appeared to spill the beans about president trump's order to his attorney general. veteran's affairs partnered af with t-mobile for business. with va video connect, powered by t-mobile, vets can speak to their doctors from virtually anywhere, and get the care they deserve, without it counting against their data, so they can return to their most important post. soulmate, best friend, or just dad. the va provides the care, t-mobile provides the coverage. if you have a garden you know, weeds are lowdown little scoundrels. don't stoop to their level. draw the line with the roundup sure shot wand. it extends with a protective shield
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sarah sanders reminded us this weekend why events with the press maybe aren't her thing. it may be why she holds so few of them in fact. she appeared on one of the sunday talk shows. her charge was to defend the president, who rolled out a conclusion of treason against james comey and others in a tweet ten days ago. then she appeared to send his attorney general on a mission to find evidence of such, or he sent his attorney general to find evidence of such. president trump effectively made william barr declassifier in chief on thursday. his new powers to sift through and declassify any intelligence regarding the russia investigation has certainly raised suspicions and concerns that he might instead function as cherry picker in chief, much like the critics say he did with the mueller report. now sarah sanders, who is the white house press secretary, which in most administrations would make her the one person in the white house good with words,
words she would need to knock down the suspicion, instead she appeared to confirm it. >> look, i'm not going to get ahead of what the final conclusion is, but we already know there was a high level of corruption that was taking place. we've seen that in the i.g. investigation that's already happened. there's a lot more there we still need to know and we're going to let the attorney general do his job. >> that's my point. it doesn't sound like you want him to do his job. it sounds like the president has already determined the outcome. >> chuck, that's the reason that he's granted the attorney general the authority to declassify that information, to look at all the documents necessary, is so that we can get to the very bottom of what happened. once again, we already know about some wrongdoing. the president's not wrong in that. >> okay. every time she says we want to get to the bottom of what happened, she then says we already know essentially what happened. i want to bring in kirsten
powers, usa today columnist, and carrie cordero. it would be funny, but it's actually not, the fact that, a, this is the white house press secretary, and one moment she's saying, you know, this is certainly just to find out what happened, and then says we know what happened. >> yeah. i mean she said quite clearly that there was a sort of unprecedented level of corruption going on there, that there were people that wanted to take down the president. there just isn't really any evidence to support that, and the idea that the fbi is supposed to look at the kind of behavior that the trump campaign was engaging in while they know what russia is up to and what they're trying to do, and now they're having all of these contacts. they're having a member of the campaign who had knowledge of the fact that the russians had these emails even before it was public and that they're supposed
to look at that and just walk away, right? i mean that's sort of what they would have us believe and that somehow to investigate it would be to try to take down this person who is running for president. i mean he wasn't even the president. they talk about it, you know, treason. first of all, treason is against the country. it's not against donald trump. so that's a separate issue. but he also was a candidate running for president. so it was completely appropriate for them to investigate it. >> carrie, i mean the president has defended the attorney general's investigation, saying this isn't about payback, that he doesn't care about payback. again, that would be laughable if it weren't so serious. this is the same person who stood on a debate stage with hillary clinton and threatened on live television to jail her. the same person that when the full scope of the mueller report was known, vowed to, quote, turn the tables on those who investigated him. those are the definitions of payback. >> right. he's been really clear that his whole goal is to investigate the investigators, and so now he's tasked the attorney general with doing that. look, we all know that sarah sanders lies.
the mueller report actually documents instances where she told the public one thing and then she had to admit to investigators that it was not based on any fact. but what i'm more concerned about is the authority that the president has granted to the attorney general in his memo last week. i've never seen anything like it working in the national security division at justice, working for the director of national intelligence. he allowed -- he gave the attorney general the authority -- he directed him to be able to bypass the dni, bypass the intelligence community agency heads and declassify any information he determined was in the scope of his investigation that the president has directed him to conduct. so it's really an extraordinary authority that he's given the a.g. that is beyond anything normally the way we would see the intelligence community handle classified information. >> on that point, the dni head, dan coats, made a statement which was very unusual,
essentially saying, you know, that he will be working with, you know, the intelligence community, that barr will work with the intelligence community to get stuff. it seemed as if dan coats was kind of laying down what the framework of what this would be. but from what you're saying, barr has the upper hand in this. >> absolutely. the dni wasn't even mentioned in the memo, and for the past 15 years since the dni was created, the -- >> kirsten, the fact that sanders used the inspector general report, inspector general investigation and sort of pretended like there was a conclusion to it already, which obviously there isn't. >> yeah. look, it's just -- it's incredible to watch this in the sense that if they had just shown a fraction of this kind of passion for investigation when it came to the russians, you know, trying to disrupt our election, that would be wonderful. >> yeah, which they haven't.
kirsten, thank you. carrie as well. another death of a climber on mt. everest, which brings the total in this year alone in climbing season to 11. climbing everest, what's really interesting it's not what you think it's like. there's dead bodies on the mountain of mountaineers that died decades ago. there's traffic jams near the summit with the line so long, some people die waiting. we'll talk to one climber who thought he was not going to survive. uh-oh, looks like someone's still nervous about buying a new house. is it that obvious? yes it is. you know, maybe you'd worry less if you got geico to help with your homeowners insurance. i didn't know geico could helps with homeowners insurance. yep, they've been doing it for years. what are you doing? big steve? thanks, man. there he is. get to know geico and see how much you could save on homeowners and renters insurance. and relief from symptoms caused feel the clarity of non-drowsy claritin
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rodney: when i think about what makes quality public education, i think about the important people in students' lives that's beyond the classroom. marisa: the needs that students have for emotional counseling are not being met. rosanne: students need art and music. more creative kids tend to be better problem solvers. angelia: one of the things that we're out there marching for is more counselors and more nurses. roxana: when we have those resources and that support, we're able to give students the education that they need. rodney: because we know quality public schools... roxana: make a better california... marisa: for all of us.
there's been another death on mt. everest, bringing the total to 11 thus far this climbing season. the latest fatality is an american, christopher john kulish, who died after reaching the top of everest. that's according to the director of nepal's tourism department. there have been a lot of different explanation as to why so many people have perished. i spoke to someone who has not only summited mt. everest by the highest peak on all seven continents. why do you think it is so many people are dying on the mountain? >> i think it's a couple things. i think the fact that the weather is limiting. there's only a ten-day window where you can climb everest. >> in any year? >> on average, about ten days or so that you can climb everest. this year i think that was reduced dramatically. so that's going to be a factor where people are on the mountain at the same time. >> and it's a bottleneck. there are too many people trying
to get in in that small window of time. >> too many people getting in, and there's also no -- i believe there's no controls on the mountain. the permits are issued. there's a certain number of people on the mountain. if the weather window closes, people are on the mountain, they want to summit. >> they've spent so much time, effort, money to get there. >> correct. and there's no, you know, organized system of controlling that. so once you get your permit and you're at base camp, everyone is planning to summit. and all things considered, if you have ten days, then that's okay because you're going to split that number of people, 300, 400 people over the ten days. when there's three or four days, then that amount of people gets bottlenecked and then you have problems. the other thing is you have people who have not done significant climbing before, so they've paid, you know, significant permits, fees. they've paid the expeditions but they don't have the experience. so they're having trouble on the mountain, and then that bots bottles everybody up because it's like traffic. >> it sort of defies i think most people's vision is people who climb everest, they've got to be highly experienced,
technical mountain climber. you're saying it's possible for somebody with relatively little experience, with enough money to have guides, sherpas, who essentially lead them up the mountain. >> correct. and that's something they think they can do but there's also people that are affected by that. so you have the sherpa, who are trying to help those people up the mountain. but then you have the other expeditions of experienced climbers who are also there, and everybody is on that single rope going up hillary step. >> so explain what hillary step is. the video we've seen is this long line of people waiting by hillary step. >> so basically it takes about six weeks to climb everest. you're doing three rotations, one and two rotations going to the various different camps. then you do your third rotation. that's essentially your summit bid. when you go from camp one, camp two, three, four, everyone is at high camp. >> the picture we're showing of this long line just waiting, i mean that looks insane. >> right. when you think of the summit day, for me it was a 22-hour summit day. >> uh-huh. >> that's after the six weeks of
preparing for the summit. >> and 22 -- how much of that were you stuck in a line like that as well? >> i climbed in 2010. we had similar restrictions on weather, so the weather window was limited. so we had lines when we were doing it. nothing quite as extreme as that. but i remember climbing, and the sun -- i remember the dawn broke on the mountain, and looking up ahead of me, and i could see a line of climbers, not an endless line like what you see there, but a long line of climbers. and i remember that immediate feeling of time, time, you're cold, the weather can change. you're not sure how people are ahead of you. are they sick? are they injured? and nobody is communicating down the line because people are, again, at that point you're not functioning. >> so all these people, it's not as if there's some organization and communication system between them. they're all just waiting there on this line. they're exhausted. some are sick. some have altitude sickness, they have pounding headaches.
they're lethargic. some of them are running out of oxygen. they have no way to know how long they're going to be stuck there. >> correct. now you're depending on the expedition leaders to help coordinate that to see how they are. but essentially you're on one line. so if somebody is feeling unwell on the line, they have to come back. but there might be a whole line of people behind them, and then they have to clip and unclip, which is hard to do when you're on a knife edge or you're on hillary step. it gets very complicated. >> it's both fascinating and terrifying. just ahead, we're going to have more on what happens to people after they die on the mountain. more of my interview with vivian rigney. sure. sometimes i wish i had legs like you. yeah, like a regular person. no. still half bike/half man, just the opposite. oh, so the legs on the bottom and motorcycle on the top? yeah.
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trying to get off the mount. >> some people that die on the mountain just stay on the mountain, is that right? >> right. >> some people go up and you pass by climbers that died years ago. >> the release was at a certain height, your body will not be recovered. >> just because of safety -- >> it's too dangerous. so you don't step over people unless it's happening on that particular day but you know where they are. you're told over here is an area where people rest. >> that's incredible. >> i'll tell you a story, there was a ruckus in the valley one day and we went outside and we heard people shouting and
screaming and they discovered bodies of people that had fallen into a decree vas in the 1960s so they were coming out through the crevace and they went and recovered the bodies. they had a ceremonies for those bodies. >> they had been there for 40 something years. >> we're here at base camp and we're experiencing what we're ability to go through and we haven't even put one step up the mountain. >> was it worth it? >> it's an exceptional experience. it's an incredible part of the world. i learned more about myself in those six weeks on the mountain than i had done my entire life but i had climbing for 14 years to everest. so for me it was a culmination of all the experience. i was with a good trip. they vetted all of us. we all had to have climbed
significantly in the past and they were testing us the whole time. >> so is there an answer for -- is it a question of better controls? of who is on the mountain? of timing? is there any answer? >> there are examples in the world of how it could be done it's the highest mountainin north america in alaska. they give out concessions to a limited number of companies and these companies are ensured that they will ensure the safety of their climbers. they coordinate between each other in terms of summit days and it's to make sure that it was an investigation by the park service and maybe that's something that they can get support or guidance or help about things happening in the world that could reduce the risks which we see this week and at the same time people want to
climb everest. that's not going to go away. >> that's fascinating. thank you for being with us. the cnn special red state blue state airs in a few minutes and we'll talk to collin about this divided country. today's merrill can help you get there with the people, tools, and personalized advice to help turn your ambitions into action. what would you like the power to do?
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first here's a preview. >> i understand it's sad breaking up the united states but we're already broken up. we're just acknowledging it. we're already tribal. we're broken into tribes already it's over. liberal, conservative, white, black, latino, wall street, main street, the working poor, the forgotten middle class, feminist, soccer moms, dad bods, paleo, cardio, keto, we're more tribal than 18th century afghanistan. [ applause ] >> there are people that talk seriously about concern about a civil war. >> i do believe we're on the brink of something. >> really? >> yeah. >> you think it could actually end up like that. >> sure, don't you? >> yeah. at times. i've spent times in civil wars
and it's not pretty. >> right. >> no. >> and steve bannon a couple of months ago, one of the things he said is he thinks this is great for democracy, all of this division and he thinks this next year, 2019 is going to be the most polarized year politically since before the american civil war. >> why? >> because people are engaged. >> what i didn't say on the show is i go yeah, debate, disagreement, it's like i'm going to open a bar for red sox and yankee fans. >> yeah. >> it's my barroom philosophy. >> what do you want people to get from this? take away from this? >> i want them to laugh the
whole time but realize we are addicted. the people with the most time on their hands and fastest typers set the tone on both sides of the aisle. >> thank you. red state, blue state begins right now. >> tonight, cnn's first comedy special. >> america, we're more tribal than 18th century afghanistan. >> collin quinn. >> red state, blue state starts now. ♪ [ applause ]