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tv   CNN Special Report  CNN  May 27, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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on the day americans honor those lost in war, the president tells people it's a great day. tornadoes in iowa, millions of americans under threat from severe weather. and a race to the death at the top of the world. for many, the climb is ending in tragedy. welcome to viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "cnn newsroom."
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president trump talking about the strength and the relationship of the two allies, japan and the u.s. the first u.s. president to set foot on a japanese warship. the president also visited with american sailors and marines and thanked them for their service to mark memorial day. >> on this memorial day in the united states, americans are concluding a sacred day of remembrance, reflection, and prayer. citizens across the country came together to decorate the graves of our fallen heroes, and to honor their selfless acts of courage. the citizens of our country are incredible. they love our country, and they love you.
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you have no idea how much they love you. >> live now to ivan watson, it seems during the final remarks by the u.s. president, talking about the upgrade to aircraft carrier, the u.s. president referenced the tensions with north korea. here it is. >> with this extraordinary new equipment, it will help our nations defend against a range of complex threats in the region and far beyond. >> the range of complex threats in the region and beyond, that's what we're talking about here. if this was a walkback by the president after defending the north koreans, it seems like weak tea. >> i don't think it sounded like a walkback. i don't think the president took any step back at all.
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if anything, he endorsed statements by kim jong-un and used them to slam his democratic rival in the u.s., joe biden. though he did not pick up on a north korean statement slamming john bolton, who he publicly undercut talking about missile launches that were violations of united nations resolutions. it was a four-day visit to japan, high on symbolism and ceremony with very little real substance announced. there was not a trade deal, which the u.s. wanted before this visit. that can has been kicked down
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the road after japan's elections. there were some divergences on north korea. but the relationship between the leaders and countries has been shown to be very strong. and this was an important demonstration, not only at home but also abroad. >> and in the 24 hours since the president stood alongside the japanese prime minister and said he wasn't bothered by the short range missile tests, the japanese reaction seems pretty muted. why is that? >> well, we haven't seen large scale protests here. the u.s. is pretty popular in japan. these two countries, their histories intertwine since world war ii, going from being fierce
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enemies to japan having its constitution written by the u.s. now it has self defense forces, which we saw on display. it has a pacifist constitution, and relies heavily on the u.s. for defense and military policy. this is not like some european countries where there are major protests when donald trump, the u.s. president, visits. there are not giant balloons floating over tokyo satirizing the american president. and though there has been some commentary on how abe has worked so hard to cultivate this relationship with trump, he did not hold back from disagreeing with him onstage with assessm t assessments of north korea. he showed he has his own belief
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system could disagree with president trump's assessment, and almost in the same breath talk about and applaud president trump's different diplomatic initiatives around the region. an impressive, i think, display of diplomacy on the part of the japanese prime minister, and at least the visual reaction that we saw, the optics, showed that president trump quite enjoyed himself while he was in japan. he got a lot of compliments and accolades, and that's the kind of thing this american president seems to like. >> that's an understatement, ivan, thank you. joining me now from los angeles, ron brownstein. good to see you. >> hi, john. >> okay. here's the u.s. president, and the opening remarks he made on the japanese helicopter carrier. >> i want to start by saying happy memorial day.
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a great day. >> you know, it was awkward, kind of seemed inappropriate wishing japanese troops happy memorial day. this is the first time a u.s. president is believed to step onboard a japanese warship. the first time japan has had an aircraft carrier since world war ii. that seemed to be lost in the moment. >> it's the kind of moment that would be under any president heavily scripted, multiple layers of national security bureaucracy, determining the right message and words. president trump, you feel as though he's winging it and saying whatever comes into his head. obviously, it's not always that free form, but there is the sense, i think correctly, that foreign policy in particular is
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very much driven by his whims and the way he wakes up every morning. >> and one of the headlines was the lengths he went to defending north korea and its recent missile tests. here's what he said. >> my people think it could have been a violation, as you know. i view it differently. a man, perhaps, he wants to get attention. and perhaps not. who knows? it doesn't matter. all i know is that there have been no nuclear tests, no ballistic missiles going out. no long range missiles going out. >> you're not bothered at all by the small missiles? >> no, i am not. i am personally not. >> there's a level of complexity to it that goes beyond the usual level. and the japanese prime minister, he wants to remove article 9 with the limitations on the
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military. and he may have a persuasive argument. >> the way president trump separates himself from his own go government, saying i view it differently. trying to create a separation. second, i think that it underscores the extend to which the president has committed to this concept that he alone can untie the gordian knot with north korea, and the leverage that gives him. you see today how reluctant he is to suggest this is going off-track. he has invested so much in this relationship that even when
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north korea does something like that, he's reluctant to call it out. and i think north korea understands that gives them a lot of leverage. >> there's no dispute over whether or not they have violated u.n. security council resolutions. and they've adopted nine major sanctions on north korea since 2006. but as you say, he has to continue with this theater, if you like. he is the only one with this great relationship with kim jong-un. and coming from senator joanie ernst spoke out. >> japan has reason to be concerned, and i'm concerned as well. we need to see north korea back off on these activities, and we need to take a strong stance on that. >> and she was once being
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considered by trump as his vp. >> i think republicans have been more willing to speak and act at points as in the conflict in yemen. but are there consequences, are there teeth? when you hear a senator, a republican senator say something like she said, the obvious question is, and therefore i will, what? and the what is usually, you know, nothing more than tweeting. so, you know, it's not clear what that translates into. but it is a reminder of, you know, kind of how far republicans have gone in accepting zigs and zags from trump, particularly in international affairs, trade, conflict with allies, buttery comments about dictators, as the price of trump's presence in the
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oval office that allows them to advance so many things they want on the domestic side. >> and from prime minister abe, you have macron in france seeming like an amateur when it comes to charm offensives. and donald trump will always throw you under the bus when your interests don't align. >> president trump has said he views everything as a transaction, and gives no particular deference to countries that have stood with the u.s. for decades. abe decided he was going to avoid conflict with trump by being his biggest champion internationally. and so far, he can point to one success in that, they've avoided the kind of head-on collision over trade that has been going on with china, with the eu, with
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canada and mexico. even that, the expiration date may be coming on that, with indications he wants to turn to japan after their elections in july. the irony, with the changes in japan's policy on trade that trump may seek were part of the transpacific trade agreement that trump withdrew from. >> and we have this tweet from the president supporting the israeli prime minister. hoping things will work out with the israelis coalition formation. and netanyahu may have asked
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trump for this tweet of support. so, hypothetically, what happens if netanyahu can't form a government, and the other party is in power? >> the strange thing is, netanyahu has been more inappropriately involved in u.s. politics than anybody else in the world short of vladimir putin. netanyahu came here and openly campaigned against the iranian nuclear deal. and trump is taking this to the extreme next step in reverse with his involvement in israeli politics. and that's having an effect on the way israel is perceived in
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the u.s. there's no question that democrats, rank and file democrats, are much cooler toward israel than in earlier generations. and i think it's a dangerous development for both nations on both fronts, to have the ruling party in essence aligned with one party on the other side makes it tougher for that alliance to withstand the inevitable changes of power that come sooner or later in democracies. >> it's an interesting way of transactional politics. ron, thank you for being with us. >> thank you, john. >> a 12-year-old schoolgirl and 39-year-old man have been killed in a knife attack in japan, and others were wounded south of tokyo. 16 of the victims were
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elementary school children. police said the killer died of self-inflicted injuries. still ahead, more dangerous weather is on the way. also, why are the racehorses in california dropping dead? i assembled it myself last night. i think i did an ok job. just ok? what if something bad happens? we just move to the next town. just ok is not ok. especially when it comes to your network. at&t is america's best wireless network according to america's biggest test. now with 5g evolution. the first step to 5g. more for your thing. that's our thing. steven could only imaginem 24hr to trenjoying a spicy taco.burn, now, his world explodes with flavor. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day all-night protection. can you imagine 24-hours without heartburn?
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giving you the power to actually lower your cost. unfortunately, it can't do anything about that. now that you know the truth... are you in good hands? welcome back, 20 minutes past 1:00 a.m. on a tuesday morning. the u.s. heartland continues to be battered by severe weather. this is a tornado in iowa. 11 buildings damaged, 3 of which were homes. in oklahoma, the governor is warning flood waters will continue to rise. every single county, all 77, remain under a state of emergency. six people are reportedly died in the flooding. and now, for more on the
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weather plaguing the midwest, seems like it won't go away. >> just looking at the past 12 days, at least a tornado reporting every day going on 12 days. just in the past few hours, reports of 44 tornadoes in the midwest. and over 300 reports scattered over 12 states in the last 12 days. and the areas have been getting hit hard with recent severe weather and some of the images coming out of this region, dayton, ohio, one of the most recent strikes for a significant tornado in the past couple of hours. looking at the damage across that region. with a storm, unfortunately it comes in shortly after 11:00 p.m., as folks are getting ready to go to sleep, that's not a scenario you want to see.
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still watching some tornado warnings in place. activity still prevalent into the early morning hours across the midwest. >> stay with us, we'll look at the forecast in a moment. but let's go to cnn where ed lavandera is. >> holy cow. >> reporter: monday afternoon, residents stood and watched in iowa as they captured cell phone video of a massive tornado churning its way through farm fields in the northern parts of the state. and in oklahoma, deadly tornadoes are the story. >> it's unbelievable how violent, you can't imagine anybody being able to survive. >> reporter: oklahoma's governor toured the site of el reno, west of oklahoma city. >> when you look at it, people
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on the top floor of the hotel, it was wiped out. one had the floor there, but they looked like they were just kind of blown up, a lot of them. >> reporter: the tornado was on the ground for just four minutes before shredding the buildings and killing two people. >> it's a trying time, but we'll get through it. >> reporter: the worst may be yet to come. severe flooding is threatening 10 million people from west texas to illinois. >> we're not out of the woods yet. we're still monitoring the inflows coming into the watershed and the keystone reservoir. it could still get worse. >> reporter: the tulsa county sheriff's office captured these photos. the arkansas river is expected to exceed record flooding levels
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in the coming days. forcing the army corps of engineers to accelerate the release of water. sunday's extreme weather comes after a brutal week that already brought deadly tornadoes and flood waters killing at least ten people in the region. >> these guys have been working their tail off. we've gone through situation after situation, nonstop. during the flooding, they had over 40-something boat rescues. >> reporter: after a long week in the central part of the united states, it continues again this week. here in tulsa, oklahoma, these are the flood waters. we're nearly a kilometer away from the banks of the arkansas river. and you can see how bad it is here. we were told by residents that most homes are taking on anywhere between one to three meters of flood waters inside their homes. and it's possible all of this
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could continue to get worse, especially if there's a levee breach. that is the real concern that residents and emergency officials will be dealing with over the next couple of days. ed lavandera, cnn, oklahoma. >> how much worse do you think this will get? >> we're pretty much at the height of the severe weather, at least. flooding could be a multiweek, multimonth event. some officials saying this could continue into early summer. that speaks to the volume of water, how it moves downstream, it will continue to impact these areas. the immediate forecast for rainfall is limited to the next three to four days. beyond that, there's a drier trend. but the water already on the
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ground has to go somewhere. and just about every single river across the region and its tributaries is taking on a significant amount of water. some areas picking up three times the normal amount for this time of year. you look at the gauges, you see water levels among the highest ever observed. >> thank you. to california, where a racehorse was put down after being injured. it's sad, but not really a surprise. 26 horses have died at the racetrack since december. and as nick watt reports, animal rights activists are demanding changes. >> reporter: they closed this track down for nearly a month in march to try to figure out why %-p
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rules and they say that anybody that breaks them is not welcome. the welfare of the horse must some first. they've cut down on the amount of medication horses can take on race days, which could mask an underlying injury, and end in the death of a horse. horses do die at racetracks. that's a sad reality of this sport. and actually 26 in 5 months is not out of the ordinary. but what happened here is, there were two spikes, two times when a few horses died in a short space of time. and that has put the spotlight on this racetrack in california. but officials say this is a nationwide issue. that they need to try and reduce the number of horses who are dying. in this day and age when we take
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animal welfare more seriously, they need to change. and the district attorney is looking into why so many horses are dying. the results of that investigation are not yet out. so, peta and other groups are saying, suspend all racing until we know what's happening. but officials are saying we think the actual track is safe, and we want to carry on racing so we can see if the new measures will work. so, racing for now continues here at santa anita racetrack. nick watt, cnn, california. still to come, the democratic presidential hopefuls are not going after each other, not yet. how long will that last? that's next on "cnn newsroom."
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welcome back. in atlanta, where it's just gone 1:31 on a tuesday morning. over the memorial day weekend, democratic candidates are focusing more on being in full campaign mode. and the focus of their attacks was president trump. >> what a crowd! >> reporter: this memorial day, the 2020 field is spread out across the country. in iowa, new hampshire, and indiana. president trump keeping his focus on the race even during his official visit to japan.
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taking a swipe on joe biden in a tweet praising kim jong-un. drawing a swift response from elizabeth warren. >> foreign policy by tweet does not work. >> and beto o'rourke, who called on trump to end the love affairs with dictators and strongmen. but biden calling the president's tweet unhinged and erratic. >> kim jong-un is a murderous dictator, and joe biden served this country honorably. >> i was speeding up the line there. >> reporter: senator bernie sanders, cooling off with three ice cream socials in new hampshire on monday, after turning up the heat on trump during a vermont rally this weekend. >> we have a president who a
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pathological liar. >> reporter: in iowa, amy klobuchar taking aim on the president, recalling a moment with john mccain at trump's inauguration. >> john mccain reciting to me the names of dictators during that speech, because he knew more than us what we were heading towards. >> reporter: meghan mccain asking to leave her father's legacy out of presidential politi politics. later this week, candidates will head west to san francisco for a forum, and we're one month away from the first democratic debate. rebecca buck, cnn, iowa. >> peter matthews is a professor of political science. here's what the president said
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about vice president joe biden. here he is. >> 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. >> pretty mild in trumpian terms. but this wasn't just a break in tradition. once again, a u.s. president on the world stage throwing his support behind an autocrat leader. >> actually, the difference of opinion on domestic issues should be left at the border. but trump is not only going against that tradition, he's worshipping authoritarian leaders like jong-un and putin. and it's said that lies are more
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believable than truth, because the liar knows what the audience wants, and tells them. and trump is exhibiting so many of those indications now. >> why do presidents leave domestic politics at home? >> first of all, the attacks such as that anywhere shouldn't be part of any politics. when people attack each other, it takes away the seriousness of the actual public issue and issues. that's what trump is all about right now. it's very, very dangerous what's going on, especially overseas with a dictator. >> last week, after vowing not to work with democrats while congressional investigations are under way, score another one for nancy pelosi. because president trump is apparently backing down. here he is. >> i think we will work with them. certainly as things get approved, i would love to sign them. it's only good for our country.
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i'm only interested in what's good for our country. >> it seems to suggest that petulance as a policy is not good. >> yes, he's responding emotionally and irrationally. but the congress' duty is to investigate the president when it needs to be done. it's very bad policymaking. >> after he made those comments, he came out with a tweet criticizing the democrats saying they're getting nothing done in congress. they only want a do over on mueller. it's this whiplash approach that begs the question, what's the point? is there a strategy here? where is it heading.
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>> i don't think there's a strategy here. some people read into it and say it's very sophisticated, it's a chess game. i don't buy any of that stuff. looking at the overall results of the presidency, the democrats have put out policy one after the other and passed it through the house, and he's basically lying about that, too. so, i don't think there's any grand strategy. this is a person beyond his league being the president, it's a very difficult job, and he's not qualified. >> there does seem to be a strategy on the democratic side, when it comes to impeachment. here's what rashida tlaib said. >> this is going to be a precedent that we set when we don't hold the president
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accountable. i think the u.s. constitution is going to demand it. it already is. >> seemed like the democrats were overthinking impeachment, and maybe they'll put it to one side, possibly? >> this is about the constitution, about our way of political life. and congresswoman tlaib is right, it's time to move forward with the impeachment inquiry. the president obstructed justice telling sessions to unrecuse himself so he can control the investigation. and getting mcgahn to try to get mueller fired. that's direct obstruction, and there is so much other evidence
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of that in the mueller report. and congresswoman amash called for that the other day. >> peter, thank you. >> take care. if you want to build a border wall and mexico won't pay for it, what do you do? some would say, start a gofundme company. this new stretch of wall is going up on private land connecting two long sections of existing fencing. just last week, a u.s. federal judge blocked president trump from using federal funds. up next, the question, are there too many people trying to make it to the top of mt. everest? behr presents: a job well done. painting be done... and stay done.
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this year's climbing season on mt. everest has been especially tragic. at least 11 have died, including most recently an american. the alarming number of deaths has raised concerns about overcrowding of everest. >> reporter: this is something of a gateway for everyone trying to get to everest. most people start here, and in 10 to 14 days reach base camp. this group of climbers just came down from the summit.
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they were among the last group to go up there, and were describing how difficult the conditions were, the temperatures. they had all heard about this backlog that was happening, so they decided to wait until the very end, the very last possible window to be able to avoid those crowds. because the vast majority of the deaths that occurred this year happened to people as they were descending from the summit. they had actually made it all the way to the top, but then on their way down, most of them succumbing to altitude sickness. what happens when you are at that altitude, in what is known as the death zone, you don't have enough oxygen for your body to function. every breath you take only gives you one third of the level of oxygen you would be getting at sea level. that's one of the biggest challenges trying to summit everest. not just being physical and
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mentally prepared, but knowing what your body's limits are. there is a lot of debate right now as to what needs to be done to prevent this level of deaths from happening. there are people saying the government needs to do more, others say the tour companies need to do more. that inexperienced climbers should not be allowed to take on this great of a challenge. but everest, for those who are as passionate as these climbers, remains such a goal that for most, nothing will deter them. >> mark jenkins has climbed mt. everest and is a veteran of over 50 climbing expeditions around the world. the images of overcrowding and long lines are incredible.
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it's just kind of a circus, with wealthy people with no experience paying people to carry them up the summit. it's a first world problem which can be easily avoided, right? >> well, we have technology that gives us the best weather reports. 20 years ago, teams just decided when to go up. but now, everybody is getting the exact same weather report. everyone goes when you have the best weather. that's why there is the crowding. and there are too many permits. there are ways to fix everest, and i wrote about this. the first is to limit the number of permits that are given out. the reason they don't do that is because they make money off of each one of the permits, $11,000 for a permit. people are typically playing $50,000 to $100,000 to climb.
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and there's no regulations on everest. the outfitters regulate themselves. some do a great job, but others do a poor job. and i believe that they should have some kind of requirement. for instance, everest is an 8,000-met 8,000-meter peak. if everyone had already climbed a 7,000-meter peak, they would have more experience and there would be a natural winnowing of people climbing everest. >> a few years ago, an earthquake hit china, i went to cover that story about 14,000 meters above sea level. the air up here is really thin.
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it's difficult to breathe. every time you take a breath, it's like you've just run a mile or something. and part of the effects of the sickness is you end up with a really bad headache. and it must be so many times worse when you get past 25,000 feet. >> it is. and you have to remember, because there are the crowds on the top, many people are waiting for somebody to get on or off the line. and as they're waiting, they're using up their oxygen. if they run out of oxygen, they immediately can't think well, and start to freeze. so, with these crowds, you're going to have an increase in deaths, i'm afraid to say. the only way it can change is if the government starts some kind of regulation on mt. everest. >> and the tragedy, climbing mt. everest, it's a lifelong dream for many, but it's costing
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lives. >> it is. and it doesn't need to. the thing is, these things are all preventable. the problem is, there aren't -- the government itself largely just wants to make money off of the climbers. they bring in $4.2 million just on the permits alone. and none of that, or very little of that, goes back to the national park where everest is, in that park. >> that's often the case, it's a big revenue earner for the government and that's the decision they make. >> and climbers have to do a better job of policing themselves. instead of focusing on how much they can make, how safe can each trip be? and some do do that. >> mark, thank you. we appreciate it. >> thanks a lot, john. a short break. when we come back, how one group of veterans is helping children cope with the loss of a military parent over memorial day.
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no, kevin... no, kevin! believe it! geico could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. the u.s. marked memorial day, the day to honor troops. one veterans group is dedicated to helping these gold star families. cnn's jake tapper has their story. >> where do you want to go to college? >> west point. >> reporter: 7-year-old trysten kelly has some big dreams. and he always looks forward to talking about them with his best
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friend. >> you still want to be in the army? >> yeah, i'm still debating if i want to be in the military or not. >> reporter: after all he knows a thing or two about service. he's gone to more than ten countries with the marines and trysten says he's pretty good at playing, too. trysten and andrew have come to this sprawling dude ranch today for one of the many visits throughout the year. >> trysten will-call and share a song he learned on the piano. i know that's something special. >> reporter: trysten's father isn't able to talk to him about the very dreams he inspired. >> my dad was in the army so i just feel i want to be an army officer like he was. >> reporter: he died shortly after tristan was born. >> this is our first baby, and any spare time he had was really devoted to being with her, and
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also with him, too because he was born in july, and unfortunately he passed in september. >> reporter: he spent years overseas on active duty and then became a major in the national guard so he could be closer to his wife tracy and their children. but soon after a gunman opened fire at a restaurant, killing kelly and three others while they were eating breakfast. his daughter cassidy was only 4 years old at the time. >> he was a really nice person. he always did the right thing, and he was a really fun dad. >> reporter: now hothrough the non-profit program active valor, gold star kids like cassidy and tristan can be paired with individual mentors like andrew. >> it's almost the reason why i joined the military in the first place, the sense of brother hood. >> reporter: the program also gives peace of mind to parents such as tracy. >> we want our kids to know that, you know, just because we lost our person they don't have to go through this journey
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alone. i think that's kind of the biggest thing no matter what you're feeling. like, somebody gets it. >> thank you all so much for coming to our meet up today. >> reporter: former navy s.e.a.l. perry ye founded active valor. >> they get to actually use their skills and knowledge that they learned over the years of military service and now pass it onto kids that would have had access to that if their parents were still around. so it really just works hand in hand. >> reporter: need proof? tristan's handmade gift to andrew says it all. >> i have lots of fun when i'm with you. i'm grateful you are in my life. this is great, buddy. thank you, man. i appreciate you. this is really good. >> reporter: jake tapper, cnn, washington. >> you're watching cnn newsroom. i'm john vause. stay with us.
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