tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN May 20, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PDT
those who threaten election officials, because, again, this has to stop, there is no place for rhetoric like this in our democracy and we should be talking about issues that affect our state, the american people, as opposed to continuing to spread conspiracy theories and lies about the 2020 election and about the security of our processes. >> michigan secretary of state jocelyn benson, thank you for being with us this morning. thank you so much. >> happy to be here. thanks. "new day" continues right now. i'm jn ohn berman. brianna is here. erica hill here on this "new day." president biden touches down in seoul amid the rising possibility that north korea could test a nuclear missile during his trip. the republican senate primary in pennsylvania gets even tighter overnight as president trump amps up the pressure. in the racist attack at the buffalo grocery store, a worker says she encountered the suspect
multiple times. she'll join us live. and cnn goes one on one with the u.s. marine veteran trevor reed on his brutal imprisonment in russia and what it is like to finally be home. good morning to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm told it is friday. >> indeed it is. >> it is friday, may 20th. a short time ago, president biden kicked off his first visit to asia since taking office. he joined the new south korean president yoon seok-youl at a samsung semiconductor plant and immediate display of unity. the goal is to reassure asian allies of u.s. commitment to counter and contain china. the president will also visit japan on this trip.
and growing concern over what north korea will do next as the u.s. braces for the possibility that kim jong-un will conduct a missile test in coordination with biden's trip. the white house sayses it prepared for all contingencies. russia's invasion of ukraine not far from their minds as well. vladimir putin continuing that unprovoked war. after a week long delay, the senate passing a $40 billion military economic and humanitarian package for ukraine. we'll have more on that in just a moment. >> let's go live to seoul, where we find chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins, traveling with the president, such an important trip for the president, kaitlan, one that has been a long time coming. >> reporter: it is a huge trip for the president. and typically you would see a president take a trip like this earlier on in their presidency, but obviously president biden was delayed by the covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions that came along with it. that's why he's just now making his first trip to asia, stopping here in south korea first, and
earlier today he was touring a samsung facility, one that produces those very critical semiconductor chips that have been in such short supply during the pandemic. and the president was talking about how crucial they are and also about supply chain disruptions and the need to lessen and reduce dependence on autocrats, even invoking president putin's invasion. >> putin's brutal and unprovoked war in ukraine has further spotlighted the need to secure our critical supply chains so that our economy, our economic and our national security are not dependent on countries that don't share our values. >> reporter: saying countries that don't share our values. this comes as this is an entire trip that is focused on encountering china. we should note that north korea's kind of casting a bit of a shadow on this trip, because officials have told us they are bracing for the potential that north korea could launch a
missile, test a missile while president biden is on the ground here in the region. and there are signs the u.s. intelligence believes they may be preparing to fuel one. that is a step that happens right before one of those launches typically happens. so they're watching closely for that. they say there will be a decisive response by president biden and the new president of south korea should that test take place. that is something they have been preparing for. but it does raise questions of how president biden would respond on the ground in the moment if that is something that happens while he's here. >> yeah, that is absolutely a question. also want to follow up with you on ukraine. we know that historic aid package passed. president said he'll sign it and he's not waiting to sign it until he gets back to washington. how are they making that happen? >> reporter: yeah, that's right. the senate passed it several hours after he had already left washington to come here. he has to sign the physical document so they're flying the bill here to asia, to south korea for the president to sign it while he's here on the ground. a staggering amount of money,
$40 billion, several billion more than what president biden called on congress to pass for ukraine. a majority is going to go to weaponry. and it is just notable because right now it seems obvious that package has passed. it is an overwhelming bipartisan vote. but just a few months ago, that is something that a lot of officials said would have been unthinkable really, passing a package of that size and it really does give you an indication of how invested the u.s. is in this, and in continuing to arm ukraine to help them defend themselves against russia. >> kaitlan collins, appreciate it, thank you. new information this morning on the pennsylvania republican senate primary. more votes counted overnight. and you can see the margin getting ever smaller. mehmet oz leading hedge fund manager dave mccormick now by 1,088 votes. yesterday morning, that margin was 1200. the day before, about 2400. cnn estimates at this point there are around 12,000 votes remaining to be counted, most
believed to be absentee ballots. joining us now is cnn's chief washington correspondent, anchor of "the lead" and "state of the union" and native son of the commonwealth of pennsylvania, jake tapper. you look at that number there and how it has changed over the last few days, what do you make of what's going on? >> well, one of the things you hear from campaign officials and republicans in pennsylvania is that not surprisingly a lot of supporters of dr. oz voted in person on the day of the election, and others that supported dave mccormick who were -- who was not endorsed by donald trump as opposed to dr. oz were more willing to use absentee ballots. this is a lesser version, smaller version of what we saw play out in the 2020 election when trump supporters were more likely to vote the day of the election, and biden supporters were more likely to use absentee ballots. the mccormick campaign is confident and i don't know
what's going to happen obviously, but they're confident in that 10,000 votes that have yet to be counted, valid, legitimate ballots, disproportionately they will be for mccormick, not oz. the question is will it be enough to get him over this 1,088 hump? i do not know. either way it is likely there will be an automatic recount because the pennsylvania law is that if it is less -- if the margin of victory is less than one half of 1%, which it is in this case and will likely be, there will be an automatic recount. >> as we wait for that, jake, we want to turn to your exclusive interview. you just spoke with trevor reed, who, of course, was released, he had been being held in russia, his first interview since being released from detention. what did he tell you? >> well, we sat down for a long time with trevor and then also with trevor and his family, and i can't wait for you all to meet trevor. because he's an incredible -- i call him a young man on twitter earlier, he's 30, but to me that's young. he's an incredible young man
with incredible resilience and there is so much of his story that we're just now learning for the first time because he's out, and safe, and finally able to talk about it. one of the details that i found the most shocking was about all the different places that the russians put him, he was in a russian jail, he was in a russian war camp, but perhaps the most terrifying time that he had in russian custody was when, as a sort of punishment, they sent him to a psychiatric prison, and i want you to listen to his description of that. >> what was the worst conditions that you had, that you experienced during that time? >> the psychiatric treatment facility, i was in there with seven other prisoners in the south. they all had severe serious psychological health issues. most of them, so over 50% of them in that cell were in there for murder.
multiple murders, sexual assault and murder, just really disturbed individuals. and inside of that cell, you know, that was not a good place. there is blood all over the walls there. prisoners had killed themselves or killed other prisoners or attempted to do that. the toilet is just a hole in the floor and there is crap everywhere, all over the floor, on the walls. there's people in there also that walk around, they look like zombies. >> were you afraid for your life? >> i mean, i did not sleep there for a couple of days. so i was too worried about, you know who was in the cell with me to actually sleep. >> you thought they might kill you? >> yeah, i thought that was a possibility. >> it just sounds like a horror movie, literally like a hofer
m horror movie and he had lots of stories like that. he was in this russian -- in russian custody for about three years, he learned russian, he ended up thinking in russian, dreaming in russian, and you can hear a little bit there of an accent. he has a little bit of a russian accent from his time, though it is anticipated experts say that will fade with time. >> three years. three years of his life. that's all he was hearing. it is so amazing to hear his voice, jake, after all this time. we all talked to his parents and his sisters so much, but to actually get to hear from him, it is riveting and his accounts are chilling. he also talked to you, given what we just heard about how bleak things were, he talked to you about the idea of hope. >> well, i asked him how he got through it. this is a young man who was a boy scout, this is a former marine, a marine veteran, how did he survive? from when you hear his description of what he went through, i mean, it does seem
like something that would break most of us. and he had a really interesting and kind of upsetting in some ways description of what his strategy was. take a listen. any prison is brutal. russian prisons are notoriously awful and tough. did you have a strategy for surviving? >> i did. i tried to kind of compartmentalize and focus not on being in prison, kind of, you know, distract myself, think about future plans, what university i was going to go to, you know, what plans i was going to have with my family, all of those things, and just try to distract myself from reality, which, you know, was not something that you want to think about. >> did you have confidence you were going to get out? >> no.
i didn't. and a lot of people are not going to like what i'm going to say about this, but i kind of viewed their having hope as being a weakness. i did not want to have that hope of, like, me, you know, being released somehow and then have that taken from me. >> you denied yourself hope? >> yes. i wouldn't let myself hope. >> wow. >> there were some other moments that were really interesting. he -- it wasn't all i should note harrowing and serious. he was there with his family. and there is a lot of love there. and he's kind of a wise ass, trevor, and so he had amusing things to say at times. taylor, his sister, who i know your viewers know as well, was there to deflate her older brother's balloon. so it really was full of chilling stories, it was full of
love, and laughter. there were obviously tears. taylor has a very upsetting story about when she wakes up and russia has invaded ukraine and she thought that was it, she was never going to see her brother again. but, anyway, i'm so honored i got to do this interview. and i can't wait for the american people to meet trevor and see him interacting with his wonderful family this sunday night. >> really, really looking forward to it. i can't even -- compar compartmentalizing and thinking about the future at the same time, saying he couldn't allow himself really that luxury of having any hope in case it was snatched away from him, it is -- i was tuning in before, jake, but now you've definitely got me. >> congratulations, jake. and we're thinking about trevor and his family. we're so glad they are together finally. you can watch jake's full interview with trevor reed sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. our thanks once again to jake. so we are approaching this critical high stakes primary in
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a ukrainian husband and father left home to get groceries, while he was gone his family including his 3-month-old daughter killed by a russian missile strike. cnn's sara sidner live for us with this truly heart breaking story. sara? >> reporter: it was hard to listen to, but as you might imagine, it was awful for him to go through. and he is still trying to process all this. we should mention that across this country, the russians have really been so much indiscriminate shelling, they
have been indiscriminate strikes, we're in a village, a place of 12,000 people, it is a quiet place where people just scrape out a living and yet their homes, regular people's homes, bombed to complete destruction here. and that's happening all over the place. in this instance, it was an apartment complex in odesa. and lives have been changed there forever. the moment a russian missile slammed into an apartment building on easter weekend in odesa. uri's family was inside, waiting for him to return from the grocery store. on the way home, that's when i heard an explosion. i felt immediately something bad had happened. i tried to call my wife. she did not answer. when he got there, chaos. police and ems had arrived. he and a bystander ran in to try and find his family. we began to clear away the
rubble, and this is how alongside ems staff we were able to find the bodies of my family. all murdered. first they found his mother-in-law, ludmilla's body, then his wife's body, but his 3-month-old daughter was missing. they were being told to leave for fear of a building collapse. i was constantly shouting, he says, there is still a child up there. did you find the child or not? eventually they found her, her little body lifeless. he returned to find her blood-soaked baby stroller the next day. it is hard to live with this, my family was my whole life. i lived for their sake. when my baby came along, i understood the meaning of life, he says. 19-year-old alexi can't believe he is still alive. he was in the same apartment complex. the explosion sent slabs of scorching hot concrete and shrapnel into his body.
i realized that a rocket had hit my place and i started to burn, he says. i thought another minute, and i would definitely turn into ash. i felt everything. 20% of his body was burned. his hands, arms and back. jagged pieces of shrapnel had to be removed from his legs as well. he cannot do simple things for himself at the moment. but he is thankful for simply being alive. it is a miracle for everyone, for me as well, he says. before the blast, he was preparing to take to the seas and work on a commercial supply ship. now, he's just practicing walking again. his neighbor once surrounded by family now walks alone. we used to walk in the park, when my wife was pregnant. every place he now goes in odesa, a reminder of what a russian missile took from him. his wife, child, and mother-in-law now dead and
buried. with each deadly strike, a new and terrible story is born in ukraine. and uri had planned, by the way, to take his family out of odesa to safety. he merely didn't get the chance. john? >> i mean, which just adds further heart break. i can only imagine for him how difficult it is as you point out to walk through that park, especially as we see that shot of strollers and to live with that, right, that feeling that he knew he wanted to get them out. and how many families like this now? it is great reporting, sara. appreciate it. >> reporter: too many. >> so much loss. a worker at the grocery store in buffalo says she encountered the suspect several times before the racist attack. she joins us live on what he asked her. finding the perfect designer isn't easy. but, at upwork, we found her. she's in austin between a dog named klaus and her favoririte shade of green. it's actually salem clover.
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in the back. she hid with co-workers, she called 911. and later realized the alleged gunman was the same man who had approached her, she had a disturbing conversation him before easter when he was apparently scoping out the store. joining us to tell us more and share her experience, rose visoki. good to have you with us this morning. i imagine this has been a really tough week for you. and you're reliving a lot of things, including that first encounter with the suspect. can you talk to us about what he said to you? i know you said it left you annoyed. >> very annoyed. i was very disturbed by what he said to me. it just -- unbelievable. just unbelievable. >> what was it that he said? >> he had come into the store and he was looking for an item. i gave the item to him, and he told me i looked like i didn't
belong there. like, you know, i said, what do you mean by that? you look like you belong out in the suburbs store. i chuckled and said, well, i was at a suburbs store, was offered this promotion and this is where the promotion was, and i took it. and i love working there. i do. i love my tops family. i love the neighborhood. i love the customers. it is just an incredible place to be. it is an incredible place to work. you just -- there is so much happiness and love there that you can't help but enjoy being at work. so as he turned to walk away, he had mumbled something, but under his breath i could hear him say, just another -- lover. i thought, that's just rude. you're just rude. and i avoided it, every time he came in the store again, i avoided him, i seen him coming, i would go to the back room, walk away, because i didn't want to deal with somebody like that.
just -- >> someone like that who you mentioned came in a number of times. you were actually in the back the day that this shooting happened. other people running back there for safety, you called 911. i now it f i know it felt like an eternity until anyone arrived. what was it like for you in those moments hiding in the back? >> i had one lady just staring into my eyes, jerome, my hero, just looked at me and said, miss rose, nobody is getting in here. nobody is getting -- nobody is going to get you. it is okay, you're safe, it is okay. i had another young lady behind me, i'm on the phone with 911, i'm thinking to myself, my god, the last thing my son said to me was, i love you, mom, be safe. and i just thought, that -- i don't want that to be the last words he says to me. and all i kept thinking was to protect the people that i was in that room with, that's all i
wanted to do. was protect them and wondering where the rest of my team was. i had no idea where they were. and i'm just thinking, where's tom, where's sydney, he was on his break, he was in the front of the door, where is he? i was frightened for rest of my family because i didn't know where they were, i did not know where anybody was. and this just made me realize that you need to pay closer attention to what's going on around you, you need to pay closer attention when people say things to you. but i just want everybody to know that not only are we buffalo strong, not only are we tops strong, but we are jefferson strong, and we will be back to our community that we love. they worked too long, too hard to get this store in that neighborhood and we will be back no matter what. >> and you said -- you talk so much about this tight knit family, not just in tops, but within that entire neighborhood as you just pointed out.
and i was struck that that you really see as a message to anybody who would think to follow in these horrific footsteps or be inspired by some of this racist thinking. what is your message there, rose? >> my message to them is, you know what, you think you're going to win, you're not. we're going to win. because all you're doing is making us stronger, and bringing us closer together. everybody, when we walked out that back door, the whole community was there. how that spread through that community so fast was incredible. and as we're walking out, they're calling our names. and relieved to see us. and hugging us, they all wanted to touch us and feel us and know, yes, this is really what i'm seeing. i'm not imagining it. so, you know, anybody who has this hate in their heart, you need to stop. and look at your own life.
what's missing in your own life that you need to fix because all you did was bring us closer together, that's all you did, you made us stronger, and we're not going to let your hate interrupt our lives. we love each other. i love my community. i love my tops family. you just made us stronger. that's all you did. we are tops strong. we are jefferson avenue strong. >> rose, we appreciate you taking the time to join us today. i know there is a rough few days ahead as people prepare to say good-bye. it is so important to keep that community together. thank you. >> thank you. have a blessed day. alabama congressman mo brooks surging in a new poll, but only after losing trump's endorsement. data phenom harry enten here with the numbers. what do you think healthier looks like? ♪ ♪
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defeat incumbent republican governor brian kemp. cnn's senior data reporter harry enten here. so how is that going for him, harry? >> he's about to probably get embarrassed, john. that's the word, embarrassed. so, look, this is a new fox news poll that was released on wednesday night. you need 50% of the vote plus one to avoid a runoff. and look at where brian kemp is. he's at 60%. he's at 32 points ahead of david perdue. look at where we were in march, folks. brian kemp was at 50%. david perdue 11 points back n that two-month period, david perdue has basically fallen to the ground, while brian kemp, there we go, has skyrocketed. brian kemp, the very clear favorite ahead of that primary on tuesday. >> and just to be clear, david perdue is the candidate that donald trump very publicly endorsed. brian kemp, the candidate donald
trump, very publicly wants to defeat. there are other races on tuesday you're watching also. there may be some -- the possibility of tough results for trump there as well. >> yeah, i mean, one of these is in alabama. mo brooks, remember donald trump endorsed him originally and then withdrew that endorsement and it was because he didn't want to get behind a loser. when he withdrew that endorsement in march, brooks is behind, he was behind by ten. look what happened in that two-month period. without trump support, brooks has gone up. now you have this possibility not only in georgia, where you see david perdue going down you have this possibility in alabama where trump's old candidate does well without him. i think tuesday could be one of those more embarrassing days for donald trump. but, you know, john, one thing that i think is notable, we spoke about georgia and the
gov governor's race here, trump has not had a lot of good luck in gubernatorial races so far this month. you go to idaho, brad little defeats the trump endorsed candidate. nebraska, jim pillen defeats the trump-endorsed candidate. in ohio, there was no trump-endorsed candidate but mike dewine beat back three pro trump challengers n gubernatorial races, a lot of races are saying we don't care what trump says. >> may be a different calculation, people are thinking more locally. i think most people know you got a podcast, a wildly popular pod podcast. >> thank you. >> and this week you are, i think, focusing on something extraordinarily important. what is it? >> i'm focusing on something extraordinarily important. so, look, you can tune in, get on apple, stitch or any podcast app. this week, does wearing glasses mean you're smarter? most people think so. court defendants try the nerd defense wearing glasses in court to say, i couldn't have committed that crime, i'm a good person. but is it actually true? well, you're going to have it tune in and find out.
>> that's it? you're not going to -- >> i'm not answering -- i'm not giving the goods away. get out of here! you have to tune in. >> i was going to wear my glasses but now i don't know if i should or not. >> you'll look smarter. >> did you give it away? >> you'll look smarter, didn't necessarily say you are smarter. >> that clears things up. female news ankers in afghanistan now given the choice, cover your face or lose your job. cnn's christiane amanpour live in afghanistan next. ♪ my relationship with my credit cards wasn't good. i got into debt in college and, no matter how much i paid, it followed me everywhere. between the high interest, the fees... i felt trapped.. debt, debt, debt. so i broke up with my credit card debt t and consolidated it into a low-ratate personal loan from sofi. i finally feel like a grown-up. break up with bad credit card debt. get a personal loan with no fees, low fixed rates, and borrow up to $100k. go to sofi.com to view your rate. sofi. get your money right. ♪ ubrelvy helps u fight migraine attacks.
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from prom dresses to workouts and new adventures you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. although uncommon, up to 1 in 5 survivors of meningitis will have long term consequences. now as you're thinking about all the vaccines your teen might need make sure you ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination.
afghans leading independent news channel has been told its female presenters must cover their faces now when they're on camera. cnn spoke to those women, who are now facing that decision. they either defy the order or they move behind the scenes. >> translator: it's not clear. even if we appear with the burqa, maybe they will say women's voices are forbidden.
they want women to be removed from the screen. they are afraid of an educated women. >> it does raise the question of what's next? joining us live from afghanistan, cnn's chief international anchor christiane amanpour. what is next? women's voices? do they need to be completely be erased? >> reporter: i spoke to those people yesterday and they're incredibly brave, incredibly worried. i did press the actual taliban government official on it, and he said no, no, no, they need to wear the mask and they'll go to work. the actual fact is that it has not yet been enforced and today those same women who were in tears yesterday at tolu news were on the air as per usual. so i think part of the story is that, you know, their feelings and words are being heard. it is not like taliban 1.0 where people never were even able to confront them. now when things like this happen, there is a huge backlash. we will see how this plays out. but i spoke to the former afghan
president who is still here, hamid karzai and he was strong and angry about the ban on girls' schools. this is what he told me about it. he said all afghan people, including the religious and including men, support girls going to school. take a listen. >> girls education is fundamental to the dignity of afghan life. therefore there is no compromise. the call is very clear on the taliban government and the current government that the afghan people will never accept that decision. that the best for them and the country for girls to go back to school as soon as possible. this goes to the essence of our life and existence as a dignified society. i denounce it and want the taliban to allow girls to go back to school as soon as possible. >> that's pretty strong. tomorrow. >> tomorrow. >> reporter: so he was very, very strong and very, very
adamant on that. and listen, the thing is, i did speak to the leading taliban government official, the deputy taliban leader earlier this week and he too said we know that the taliban people here in kabul actually want girls to go to school. they understand what it means, both here and for their relations abroad. but there is something stopping it, there is some internal taliban fight for the moment that is blocking it. we'll wait to see and hopefully it will be resolved. there is certainly a backlash. i think that is the story. erica? >> i would say a lot of that backlash too is coming because, right, of your reporting, the fact that you have been able to go back now to afghanistan, to tell these stories, to allow those women to have an even broader use of their voice as you point out is imperative, right, holding their feet to the fire there in terms of the officials. what has it been like, what have you noticed since being back in afghanistan this time? >> reporter: well, it is very different and, listen, these taliban people who have taken over, they do want, not only
international legitimacy, that's going to take a lot, but legitimacy inside the country for the first time in 40 years, no matter what you think of the taliban, and their human rights issues. it is one group that is controlling afghanistan. for the first time in 40 years. so everything rests on what they do now. and i have to say, we have been very free to report. obviously i got a big interview with a major top government official. so clearly they're going to let me report. we got all the papers. we go around doing what we would do, cover fging the story. we had a good deal of freedom to operate here and we have a whole range of voices, both the taliban side, and as you see, the women and others who are against them or at least against these edicts. >> yeah. it is so important. christiane, appreciate you being with us this morning. fantastic all week. thank you. this week's cnn hero is teaching construction skills to women. it is an innovative approach that she hopes will change the face of a traditionally male
industry and improve countless lives. >> we're going to talk about putting the sheeting on the roof today. our students learn a little bit of everything. basics like safety, tools and materials, construction. and then we go into hands on stuff. carpentry, electrical, plumbing. 126 3/4. so our program is actually solving two problems at once. we're training women for a living wage paying jobs in the construction trades. >> this is where it gets fun. >> and we're also helping older adults age in place. that's really a win-win. you get to watch something come together that you built. >> does that feel like it's going to work for you? >> yes. >> great. >> this is awesome. >> there is just such a feeling of accomplishment. if we don't see women out there doing this, other women, they'll never see this as an opportunity. if you can't see it, you can't
be it. >> this is awesome. love that. to see the team in action and get the full story go, to cnnheroes.com. the committee is demanding answers about a tour that one republican lawmaker gave on the eve of the attack. >> and a truly remarkable story. two holocaust survivors who worked at the same labor camp meet for the first time nearly 80 years later. their message. (vo) when it comes to safetety, who has more iihs top safety pick plus awards— the highest level of safety you can earn? subaru. whent comes to longevity, who has the highest percentage of its vehicles still on the road. and when it comes to brand loyk number one in the automotive industry for three consecutive years? subaru.
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went to low-income students. re-elect tony thurmond. he's making our public schools getting guns off our streets. one democrat's determined to get it done. attorney general rob bonta knows safer streets start with smarter gun control. and bonta says we must ban assault weapons. but eric early, a trump republican who goes too far defending the nra and would loosen laws on ammunition and gun sales. because for him, protecting the second amendment is everything. eric early. too extreme, too conservative for california. it is a story of enduring courage and tenacity. who holocaust survivors who share similar stories meet after
escaping nazi-controlled europe nearly 80 years ago. cnn's natasha chen joins us live from los angeles with just a remarkable story, natasha. >> john, emotional and it was such a privilege for me to sit down with them the day before to see them so excited and then to witness the moment they finally met. now what is remarkable is not just that they found another survivor. one of them told me to find someone at their age who is equally mentally sharp and able to articulate these shared memories and courant political beliefs. two old men with a painful and miraculous past met for the first time this week after discovering that about 80 years ago they were forced to work likely in the same labor camp, run by the nazis in hungary during world war ii. >> i was 18.
we look different. >> reporter: neither 96-year-old frank shots, near 101-year-old george bersi knew of another living survivor from the same camp. in march, shots' niece read this profile in the los angeles times and sent it to shots in virginia. >> i sent it to my uncle thinking they might know each other. >> reporter: he noticed eerie similarities with his own past. >> this camp was close to river, fast flowing mountain river, and my -- that i was the same place. >> sometimes people, we are very -- to hospital, they never return. >> reporter: here's how each of them described their escape in 1944 when allied forces bombed budapest. >> the military disappeared. >> the german guards chased us into the corn field to hide, not because of -- not to save us,
but to save themselves. >> the russians pressed their advance through the balkans into hungary. >> i took off my uniform. >> i removed my arm band. >> reporter: they each lost family members in concentration camps. they each joined the anti-nazi underground in budapest, delivering false i.d.s. >> i escaped the same time. i joined the same organization. we must have -- somehow. >> reporter: shots contacted bersi who wrote back. >> i didn't believe that there are people who survived. >> reporter: once in an aspirg musician -- >> -- my violin. >> reporter: -- he not only survived, he became a surgeon instead, developing a tiny camera to use with an endoscope. >> happy birthday. >> reporter: even a year past a century he still goes to the
office twice a week. shatz worked for newspapers in europe and the u.s. and still writes a weekly column. how do you feel about the present day politics with people not believing in the facts of the past? >> it is nothing new. 40 years ago holocaust deniers came out from the woodwork and suddenly i realized it is my duty to bear witness. we are the last generation who can say i was there, i have seen it, i experienced it. >> reporter: they fear the past repeating itself. >> i can't forget what i went through, what my family went through. therefore i am very sensitive to certain right wing stories. >> reporter: both are frightened by growing extremism in the united states. but in the same way they
survived the holocaust, they view today's problems with perpetual optimism. >> individually we can all be stupid. but in the end, the quality doesn't help the pendulum come back to the middle. it is my faith. >> i am pretty sure that we can do something. i am still positive. >> reporter: for now, these old compatriots and new friends will catch up on the last century over dinner. hungarian chicken paprika is what mr. shatz told me they were going to have for dinner. these two men are extremely funny, they're both good with their smartphones. but on a serious note, they both told me how important it is for them to see that putin is stopped and they continue to teach young people about what happened during the holocaust because they say what happened to them could happen to anyone. john? >> going to catch up on the last century. natasha, what a lovely,
inspiring story. a celebration of life and affirmation of life and what you can live through and what you can do. thank you so much for that, natasha. >> thank you. >> wow. >> incredible piece. and the two of them, what a great interview. i would love to sit down with them. >> they would be fun to hang with. >> they would. >> cnn's coverage continues right now. a good friday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. right now president biden is beginning his first trip to asia since taking office. bide therein arriving in seoul early this morning. the mission to reaffirm a key alliance at an uncertain moment, to say the least in each asia, reassuring america's asian allies of its commitment to counter and contain china as well as north korea. the president began his trip by joining the south korean president, yoo
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