tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN May 23, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PDT
with the japanese prime minister. and he basically bluntly said that the u.s. is not going to stand by if china were to take action to try to invade taiwan. that is notable because the white house had been clear that that is not something they wanted to see happen. they urged china against using force in taiwan, but they have not explicitly laid out what would happen should china do so. i think the context is so important because, of course, this comes amid russia's invasion of ukraine and the questions about what implications there are for that on a global level, what that looks like and what that means. and i think that's what president biden was speaking to when he was talking about this. i think the distinction is important. we've seen time and time again, the president says the u.s. will not put boots on the ground in ukraine. he doesn't want it to become this direct fight between the united states and russia. and where he is drawing a difference here when it comes to taiwan is the president is saying he would respond militarily should china try to invade taiwan.
that is incredibly notable because as brianna was saying, it's been this long-standing practice of strategic ambiguity. basically, that means that the white house will say, china, don't do this. we don't want to see you do this, but they wouldn't exactly spell out what would happen if china were to do that. and the president, of course, did that today, saying the u.s. military would be involved in this. so, yes, afterward, you did see some of the president's aides try to walk this back saying he wasn't articulating any kind of change in his policy, but it is a policy difference for him to come out and say explicitly they would do that. not just that they would provide arms to ukraine -- or arms to taiwan and weapons to taiwan like they are doing with ukraine, but saying they would go one step further, john. of course, it's a statement the president has come close to saying before. he articulated it very bluntly with no clarifications, no caveats. you can have aides walk it back time and time again as you've seen with president biden's statements on taiwan, but at the
end of the day, the president is making very clear his position on this. >> it's being welcome by china hawks, including republican mike mccall, ranking member on the foreign affairs committee who joined us a short time ago. he said personally he approves that message and he thinks it sends china a much needed message. kaitlan collins live in tokyo, thank you. for more now on president biden's comments on taiwan, let's bring in cnn anchor and chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto. i wonder what you think just about what was happening there, if this was just the president's propensity for trying to answer a question very directly or what? >> well, listen, the administration, his spokes people are trying to hide behind the taiwan relations act, which set -- it's governed u.s. policy with taiwan since 1979, saying that the u.s. will give taiwan the means to defend itself. not that the u.s. will enter militarily, sending aircraft to the strait of taiwan, but give it weapons to maintain itself to maintain the status quo, which is an independent, though not
officially declared taiwan and china but under a one china policy. his answer to the question didn't say that. his answer to the question in the context of ukraine said, you did not intervene military in ukraine, put u.s. boots on the ground. would you intervene militarily in taiwan and his answer very definitively is, yes. one, it's relating it to ukraine, which would establish a difference to how the u.s. responded in ukraine and taiwan, and also he answered the question as yes. is this biden wanting to be deliberately not clear, in other words, to leave some ambiguity so china doesn't know for sure which the u.s. would do? by the way, which some had called for for ukraine. they criticized biden for being so definitively -- to dismiss the possibility of u.s. military intervention there. that said, as kaitlan said, he has a history of making statements here that seem to be ahead of what the policy is.
>> maybe ambiguity still, but it seems like that point of gravity, right, has sort of shifted in a way. even recently this language on the state department website changed, was erased, and the chinese government really took note of that. so, you can't ignore that there's definitely been a shift in the wake of ukraine and a message that the u.s. is trying to send. >> there may be a shift, right? by the way, you hear this in less certain terms about how -- what kind of message the u.s. and the west have to send to china as per taiwan that was not clear prior to ukraine, right? you know, russia might have judged that we could take ukraine without direct -- by the way, they were right about the u.s. not getting involved militarily. they were not right about how far the u.s. and nato was willing to support ukraine. so, there are some who say both democrats and republicans, we have to be as a country more definitive with taiwan. to be clear, that is not the stated policy. the taiwan relations act is a --
it has very clear language in there about what the u.s. will do and not do. what hasn't changed is the official u.s. position. the president has said more than once, u.s. may very well get involved. officials have tried to walk that back more than once but is there a change here? he has to be pressed more. mr. president, who's right, you or your spokes people? >> if he's trying to make xi jinping think twice, he has three, maybe four times. jim sciutto, always great to have you on. it is the eve of the high-stakes primary race in georgia even as the senate primary race in pennsylvania remains deadlocked. mike pence will rally for mike kemp as he goes head-to-head with trump backed david perdue. and in pennsylvania oz and mckor mick for the gop nomination is still neck and neck. oz still leads by about 1,000 votes there. we have live coverage of both
races this morning. >> reporter: john, this will be kemp's most high-profile surrogate to date. vice president mike pence throwing his support behind mike kemp is indicative of the sentiment of the republican establishment and also many conservative voters. what we've seen kemp do over the weekend here is shift his message to really focus on the general election, attacking democratic candidate stacey abrams. we spoke to abrams this weekend. she is not facing a contested primary. >> i think stacey abrams is a great unifier. i think every republican in georgia will be unified after tuesday. >> unfortunately, in this state, the governor is happy to tout the successes for the few who flourish but he's done very
little for thousands georgians. >> reporter: so, trump has called kemp the worst governor in america for not doing more to essentially cheat on his behalf in the 2020 election. and it seems like the way in which david perdue, the trump-endorsed candidate, the former senator is struggling to make contains here in georgia. it seems as though conservative voters are weary of hearing about this election lie and just have other issues on their mind. john? >> eva, terrific seeing you, thank you. now to the tied race in pennsylvania. cnn's melanie from harrisburg with a look here. so close, headed for a recount, it looks like. >> reporter: absolutely. this race is neck and neck. david mccormick is trailing by just about 1,000 votes here in pennsylvania. the ballots will continue to be counted today. but there's only a few number of votes left to be counted. fewer than 10,000.
most of which are absentee. it looks like mccormick's path to victory is toppling. and it looks like in here in pennsylvania, it's going to head to a recount, which will be automatically triggered if the race is within half a percentage point. it appears both campaigns are really gearing up for that potential scenario. mccormick is fighting to have all undated ballots counted in the race. he is someone who has performed better with mail-in ballots. oz, however, it fiercely fighting against that. he is backed, of course, by donald trump. we have a little early preview here of the fight to come in pennsylvania. now, on the democratic side, there's also been a lot of uncertainty. the lieutenant governor john fetterman easily won the democratic nomination, but he suffered a stroke just days before election night. however, he was released from the hospital yesterday. and he put out a statement saying he's feeling good. he's going to take some time to rest and recover. but he hopes to get back to the
campaign trail soon, brianna. >> melanie, so much to watch there in pennsylvania, thank you. joining us now is cnn political commentator michael. thank you for being with us. where do you think things stand right now in your commonwealth? >> they seem to have just stalled. i mean, you just heard that the margin is somewhere between 1,000 and 1,100 votes that give an advantage to dr. oz. what's clear is dave mccormick has run stronger among the absentee ballots, but there aren't that many absentee ballots. most republicans in this state, as was the case in the 2020 cycle, they voted in person. so, it appeared as if it were a replay, they were going to pass like ships in the night as was the case with biden and trump in 2020, but now it's just sort of locked in position. and whether the deficit can be made up by mccormick is anyone's guess. the associated press, among others, saying there's no way you can pick a winner, call a
winner until a recount is over. >> and the recount absolutely does seem inevitable at this point. look at georgia, look south, michael, right now. you have mike pence backing the sitting governor, brian kemp. donald trump backing his challenger, david perdue here. there seems to be a lot at stake here at least thematically from a nationwide perspective. >> well, governor kemp doesn't need former vice president mike pence to come in today. unless these polls are way the hell off, he doesn't need this 11th hour appearance. i think it's a layup for vice president pence to go in and lay down a marker. lay down a marker that he is not with donald trump, the former president, when it comes to this particular battle. why, for example, didn't pence come into pennsylvania and lay claim to either oz or to mccormick? maybe that was a little hot to handle. this one there's seemingly a clear victor. so, pence gets to get an iou out there with someone who will be,
arguably, the governor who will run and win re-election if he gets past stacey abrams. >> michael, what do you think about this donald trump social media post where he's essentially endorsing this idea of someone that a civil war may be looming, but also that a civil war may be the solution to fixing problems in the u.s.? it's kind of confusing because there's a number of posts here. those are basically the themes that he appears to be supporting. what do you think? >> so, it was hard for me to follow. i took a look at all the things he said on truth social this weekend. my first reaction is, i'm not sure he would have been able to maintain his twitter status if he had been let back and said those things via twitter because there seems to be a lot of inconsistency and the embrace of civil war is troublesome, to say the least. i thought that his behavior was kind of hard to follow and maybe a little bit frustrated, he is, because of the way some of these
primaries have gone and the way, for example, alabama might turn out with mo brooks looking resurgent, despite trump having pulled back his endorsement. >> troublesome, i mean, do you think it inspires anyone, for instance? >> well, i hope not. i'm cognizant of what transpired in buffalo just a week ago. the three of us having this conversation, simare mindful ofe fact that we have a privilege in the platforms that are afforded to us. whether that's radio, whether that's television, whether that's through social media. i always operate on the premise there's someone listening or watching, who might not be playing with a full deck. i don't want to say something that might be misunderstood. i wish others would approach their privilege the same way. that's my answer. >> yeah. i think that's -- i think that's very smart. going back to georgia, i want to ask you about something stacey abrams said. she's getting a lot of below-bak
from republicans. here it is. >> i'm tired of hearing -- we are the worst state in the country to live. when you're number 48 for mental health, when you're number one for maternal mortality, when you have incarceration rates on the rise and crime and you're not the number one place to live. >> do you think the criticism of her is fair? >> you have to help me because i couldn't understand what she was saying. can you tell me what she said? >> she's saying that it's not -- georgia is not the best place to live. and republicans are pointing out that she lives there, right, and she has -- i believe they're saying she has multiple properties there.
they're saying, how is it not the best place to live if she lives there. >> yeah, i don't know what to make of that. it seems like something a candidate running to be governor probably would be ill-advised to say anything that could be interpreted as being negative pertaining to the state they wish to lead. if i were whispering in her ear, my gut reaction is i would have told her, this is not an area you want to play in. >> michael smerconish, you can whisper in our ears any time. i welcome that. >> see you, guys. >> be sure to join us tomorrow for election night in america. cnn's live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. we do have exclusive cnn reporting this morning on why one russian soldier says he risked it all to walk away from putin's war. and a manhunt under way for the gunman who shot and killed a man inside a new york subway train. plus -- >> i told him to stay put on the cliff and he kind of was able to
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middle of the war in ukraine. suzanne malveaux from lviv with more. >> it's a remarkable story with shame, guilt, if you will. this junior russian officer giving an exclusive behind the scenes of his experience. it was february 22nd. that massive buildup along the border with ukraine. he and his unit were a part of that. he says on that day he was ordered to give over his cell phone. he lost communication with the outside world. he was also ordered to paint a z, the zs on those military vehicles that later would come to symbolize russia's invasion of ukraine. the next day they went to crimea, the russian annexed territory. it was february 24th, that day a shocker for him. that is when they were ordered to go into ukraine. he says, we were hammered with ukrainian nazi rhetoric. many did not understand what this was all for and what we were doing here.
the officer describes the drive into kherson where they met up with the locals. they were intimidated by the locals. he said it was day two or three they came under heavy fire from ukrainian forces. that first week really he said he was in a state of aftershock, he thought it was a miracle he was actually alive. now, it was not until a couple of weeks into the war, he says this was the game-changer that changed everything. he got ahold of a radio receiver. that is when he was informed of what was really going on. he says that's how i learned that shops are closing in russia and the economy is collapsing. i feel guilty about this. i felt even more guilty because we came to ukraine. he then concludes here, in the end i gathered my strength and went to the commander to write a letter of resignation. he told me there could be a criminal case. that rejection is beyond betrayal but i stood my ground. at that point he resigned. he is now home with his family. he says his future is uncertain,
but he is just happy to be home, john. >> what a story. and i think emblematic of the disconnect between the junior officers and noncommissioned officers in the russian military and the senior leadership, including vladimir putin. suzanne malveaux, thank you. new this morning, president zelenskyy says up to 100 people may be killed each day fighting in eastern ukraine, where russia has centered military efforts in the werecent weeks. the russians were pushed back, according to president zelenskyy's office, but russians have been gaining more territory in the region. joining me now is retired general david petrus. thank you for joining us. wonder how you see the war going right now. >> well, it's interesting because the momentum seems to have shifted just a little bit back to the russians, brianna. of course, they finally took mariupol, the final russian
defenders there ultimately surrendered and have been taken off hopefully to be exchanged for russian prisoners at some point down the road. you have the counteroffensive outside kharkiv, the second largest city in ukraine and the ukrainians were able to push the russians back to the border in some locations. but now you see this developing situation in the east, the far east, around severdonetk and russianing converging on that from several directions and very clear the ukrainians will have to provide reinforcements to that. they have all the extra weapons, ammunition, supplies provided by the u.s., uk, other nato nations. they'll have to get some down to that location to make sure it doesn't crumble and the russians can't take more there than certainly the ukrainians want to give up. but very, very tough fight going on. >> are you concerned this could be a permanent shift in the russians' direction or how do you see it?
>> i don't think permanent but what's happening here, vladimir putin is trying to see what more the russians can seize. at some point, i think, we're going to see the russians say, okay, in these areas, this is about as far as we're going to go. let's harden the front lines. you'll see them then make it very, very difficult for the ukrainians to take back territory. that's why it's so important that the ukrainians regain the momentum here and start to shift it back in their favor. and then get the russians moving. ideally at some point, playing on the kinds of issues that have to be in the russian ranks as we heard from that russian officer. a lot of indiscipline, that kind of thing, anecdotally reported, if that could be fed, expanded, that would really help the ukrainians. right now, again, this is a seesaw battle, a fight of attrition, certainly, and ukrainians will have to work hard to get the momentum back in
their favor. >> on the issue of taiwan, president biden in tokyo said that the u.s. will respond militarily in the event of a chinese attack on taiwan. he could not have been more clear. and i wonder if you think he made a mistake in being so unequivocal? >> well, i mean, it certainly has clarified the situation. it's also a much more forward-leaning than the strategic ambiguity that has characterized the policy for well over four decades. look, only time is going to tell how this eventually -- if all the implications of this are. i suspect those in the wake of this will on background say that was actually, you know, a very wise move, very skillful move, but publicly i think there's a lot of backpedaling going on, as you heard. they worked very, very hard to maintain this very studied strategic ambiguity as to not upset the situation. but the situation is different.
again, we'll see in the weeks that lie ahead what this does to the relationship, which the national security adviser has described as severe competition at this point. >> do you think this would change china's calculations on whether to invade taiwan? >> well, i think there are a number of factors. you know, as always, there's no single factor in an equation that delivers a decision like that. and certainly they are studying very carefully what's going on in ukraine. and one would think there's a bit of a cautionary tale here. that the magnitude of such an operation, you know, big operations are really, really hard. even if you have forces that seemingly are ready for that, as supposedly the russians should have been given their many months of maneuvers, where it appears they were just out camping rather than doing serious military training. beyond that, of course, the idea of a nation in arms, where an entire nation rises up to reject those who are invading. again, that has to be a bit of a
cautionary tale, i think, for the decision-makers in beijing. >> general, great to have you. thank you so much for being with us this morning. >> pleasure, thanks. pfizer is releasing new data this morning on a three-shot regimen of its covid vaccine for children 6 months old. billions with a b, that's how much taxpayer dollars were lost to covid relief fraud according to the labor department. we have a reality check next. sap number 360 smart bed. why choose proven quality sleep from sleep number? because every green thumb, 5k, and all-day dance party starts the night before. the sleep nunumber 360 smart bd senses your movements and automatically adjuststs to help keep you both comfortable all night and can help you get almost 30 0 minutes more restful sleep per night. sleep number takes care of the science. all you have to do is sleep. don't miss our weekend special. save $1,000 on the sleep number 360 special edition smart bed, queen now only $1,999. plus 0% interest for 48 months on all smart beds. ends monday my asthma felt anything but normal.
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covid relief funds for personal use. they join the growing list of hundreds of people charged with crimes related to these funds. john avlon with a reality check. >> there are moments when innocence and experience collide. and for some children of the 1990s, that might have happened this weekend when they learned a lead actor on the mighty poud power ranger show has been charged with covid relief fraud.
the man who played the red power ranger was charged for fraudulently applying for ppp loans. $3.5 million in covid relief was allegedly diverted to pay for unauthorized personal purposes, including cash withdrawals, gold and silver purchases, luxury jewelry items and vehicles, according to the doj announcement/indictment. it's important to point out he's pleaded not guilty but his story provides a pop culture hook into a big problem we haven't discussed enough. the massive fraud that's clustered around an attempt to protect the american people from economic calamity during the pandemic. filed under no good deed goes unpunished. of course, this was an unprecedented situation, bipartisan support for some $5 trillion in relief. $1 trillion went to unemployment benefits, providing a bump at the height of the crisis. for many folks this was a life line, allowing families to stay
afloat and pay their bills. for others, it was a funnel of free money. get this, according to a labor department report, as much as $163 billion, that's with a b, may have been improperly paid out. the lion's share lost to fraud. that's stolen from you, the taxpayers n ornate schemes including identity theft, overpayment, hacking and fraudulent loans. senator ron wyden described it as a magnet for rip-off artists and fraudsters. the outdated computer infrastructure many states still use. for example, in maryland, republican governor larry hogan announced that $501 million had been stolen by a massive criminal enterprise involving more than 47,000 fraudulent unemployment claims. that was in july of 2020. the tip-off was a huge spike in out of state claims for pandemic assistance. the only language criminals and fraudsters understands is accountability.
there have been a steady stream of arrests announced by the doj, like the houston guy who cashed in his money for a lamborghini. that's a small potatoes compared to the grifters who siphoned off as much as $1 billion amid procurement chaos during the early days of covid as detailed in the new book "david, inc" by david mcswain. the vast majority will probably never be found. and the tragedy is that for most people who needed it, covid relief was an experiment that worked. it stopped many folks from losing their jobs and homes and dragging the whole economy down with them. it helped america bounce back to a 40-year high of economic growth just last year. senator everett dirk son reportedly said, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money.
$163 billion lost, demands answers. it requires learning the right lessons so it doesn't happen again. yes, if people were angels, no government would be necessary. but this has a cost beyond the bottom line because it increases cynicism and undermines trust between fellow citizens. after all, that's what democracy depends upon. and that's your reality check. >> it's stealing from all of us, even when it's the red power ranger. >> lamborghini and pokemon cards. just into cnn, the nypd releasing new photos of the suspected gunman in a deadly subway shooting. a manhunt under way this morning. and why the man who is charged with attacking dave chappelle says he stormed the stage. dry skin is sensitive skin, too. and it's natural. treat it that way. aveeno® daily moisture with prebiotic oat is proven to moisturize dry skin all d day. you'll love our formula for face, too.
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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. being connected. it's vital for every student. so for superintendent of public instruction, tony thurmond, it's a top priority. closing the digital divide, expanding internet access for low-income students and in rural areas. it's why thurmond helped deliver more than a million devices and connected 900,000 students to broadband over the last two years - to enable online learning. more than 45,000 laptops went to low-income students. re-elect tony thurmond. he's making our public schools time now for "5 things to know for your new day". president biden took aides
offguard. the first air lift of "operation fly formula" arriving in indianapolis on a flight from germany. the first shipment will be distributed to hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies in regions where the need is most acute. pfizer says three doses of covid-19 -- of its covid-19 in children 6 months to 5 years is safe and effective. the trial data will be submitted to the fda this week. the white house covid adviser says a decision on the shots is expected here in the next few weeks. police in new york city searching for the gunman who fatally shot a man on a subway early sunday and then fled. authorities are asking anyone with relevant information to call the nypd. and the man accused of attacking comedian dave chappelle on stage told the new york post that he was triggered by jokes about the lgbtq plus community, pedophilia and homelessness. he's facing more misdemeanor
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paula joins us now live from seoul. what else did he tell you? >> reporter: well, john, he may only be two weeks into his new job, but president yoon suk-yeol is stamping his mark on south korea, saying his predecessor's policy has failed. saying it's uhm to kim jong-un to start a dialogue if he wants to. south korea's new president yoon suk-yeol set up a new sign for his desk, a new gift from president joe biden who was just in seoul, a quote from the late president harry truman. a prosecutor just two weeks into his presidency and fresh from a summit with biden, yoon is dealing with a north korea expected to launch a long-range missile or conduct an underground nuclear test any day. >> translator: we will coordinate closely with our u.s. counterparts. >> reporter: kim jong-un, you have a leader who has given a
five-year plan of what he wants to achieve militarily. he seems to have no interest in talking whatsoever. how do you convince him to talk? >> translator: i think the ball is in chairman kim's court. it is his choice to start a dialogue with us. i do not want north korea to collapse. my hope is for north korea to prosper alongside south korea. >> reporter: at the same time, yoon says he believes his predecessor's policy of prioritizing dialogue with north korea has failed. >> translator: just to temporarily escape north korean provocation or conflict is not something we should do. many call isser is vial diplomacy but being concerned about the other side's feelings does not work and has proven to be a failure in the past five years. >> reporter: south korea is one of 13 nations president biden announced today is joining his new indo-pacific economic framework, already criticized by china, south korea's largest trading partner.
>> translator: even if we strengthen our alliance with the united states in security and technology, it does not mean we think our economic cooperation with china is unimportant. so, i do not believe it is reasonable for china to be overly sensitive about this matter. >> reporter: president yoon says he believes china should abide by the rules based international order. at a time when that order is under pressure around the world, south korea's president is clear that his country's future, at least for the next five years, is firmly by the side of the united states. now, when it comes to his discussions with president biden, about expanding the joint military drills, we know for a fact and from experience that pyongyang will be angered by that. president yoon says it is the duty of every military around the world to maintain their readiness. john? >> paula, a crucial time to have a discussion like this. thank you so much. another remarkable cnn exclusive. jake tapper sitting down with u.s. marine veteran trevor reed
who spent nearly three years in russian custody, in a jail, a psych ward and a work camp. before his experience, he says he didn't believe that russia's government was evil, but his views have since changed. >> to have absolutely no value of human life, and -- and that apathy permeates every level of the russian government. and that trickles down from the very top to the lowest level. prison guard, inside of their government, all of their police officers, all of their fsb, everyone who works for that government has absolutely no empathy for other humans. they are completely desensitized to that. that government is really sincerely evil at all levels, from the top to the bottom. and there is absolutely no reason why any americans should travel to russia, for anything, ever.
>> now, reed was able to return home to his family thanks to a prisoner exchange, something he says should not be controversial. >> it is controversial in some circles to do a prisoner swap. people not in favor of it say this is just going to incentivize other governments to take americans hostage or prisoner under false charges so as to get their people out of american jails. you don't buy it? >> no. the thing that you have to understand is, countries like north korea, russia now, obviously, china, syria, iran, venezuela, countries like that are going to take americans hostage no matter what. those types of governments need no incentive to take americans hostage. they're always going to do that. it's our duty as americans to get back every american who's being held overseas. and i think that's what sets the
united states apart. >> it is fascinating to hear him speaking, just how clear-eyed he is after this experience he's been through, and also just having spoken, as we have, with his family to see them all together is just wonderful. >> just to hear his voice. i couldn't get over his voice. the whole hour, it's amazing to hear him speak after so long, when we've been speaking to his mother, his father and his sister. and then to see him in that interview setup right there with his mother and his sister just grabbing on, as if they're never going to let him go no matter what. such an indelible image. next, we'll be joined by one of the rescuers who pulled off this incredible operation on a california cliffside. and it's natural. treat it that way. aveeno® daily moisture with prebiotic oat is proven to moisturizee dry skin all day. you'll love our formula for face, too. aveeno®.
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it's time for the good stuff. stunning new video shows a risky rescue in san mateo, california. a california highway patrol helicopter crew rescued a man stranded on the face of a cliff. you're seeing a flight officer paramedic being lowered from the helicopter on a tether to the shirtless man who was 500 feet down a 900-foot cliff. not sure why his shirt-wearing s status was a factor. you can see him lifted to safety. no injuries reported there. joining us now, flight officer paramedic david arias, who was part of this incredible rescue team. david, just walk us through what happened there. >> hi, john. thank you so much for having me on the show. this happened this past
thursday. when the initial call came in from a local fisherman down at the shore, we got into our helicopter, got going. as we headed over there, the call was progressing so we were developing a plan of attack. just going over the different risks we would be involved. unfortunately for this call, we were kind of battling some strong winds, about 30 to 40 knots. we knew that was going to be a factor. but my team did a really good job in kind of positioning me to where the victim was. one of the things we did run into, as i got into position right near him, he went ahead and grabbed onto my leg. this is kind of a pretty extremely dangerous thing he did because obviously with the winds and everything, if i swung away from the cliff, i could have brought him with he had. right around that time, they positioned me. they lowered me down and got me into the right position. i had about a four-second window to execute the rescue and i got
him into the harness and we went on our way. >> that is a narrow window. david, what was he doing there? why was he 500 feet down this cliff? >> so, as soon as we get him to our rendezvous and we met the fire department, i asked him the same exact question. he said he was at the top of the cliff. he didn't explain why but he did say he fell from the very top, which is a pretty big miracle that he was with the small amount of injuries he sustained. >> david, is this something you do? i mean, have you ever had a rescue like this before? >> yes, sir. i've been with the department, with the california highway patrol for approximately three years. we do a lot of training. even before that, i have about ten years working in the helicopter rescue capacity throughout the country. it's pretty routine. >> it didn't look routine to me. and with the wind there, i mean, what was it like to be dangling
from the helicopter like that? >> in those types of situations, we train for them over and over. it's not necessarily something that would make one of us nervous. i think more or less we're just kind of trying to adapt to the quickly changing conditions that were dealt with on a moment-to-moment basis as we try to execute the rescue. >> why did you only have four seconds to get that around him? >> just with the winds. i was suspended approximately 100 feet below the aircraft. it was a very dynamic environment and you don't necessarily want to grab onto the cliff and unweight the hook and the cable because in that case, if there's a little bit of slack in the cable and you tend -- and you were to fall or slip down, you could potentially shock the cable and either cause injury or cause damage. so, you have to be in the right, right position. and my team did a phenomenal job of getting me right into that
position where i was able to get -- just try to get some grip with one much my knees just where he was and about four seconds later we started separating from the mountain cliff. >> david arias, i have to say, the more we look at this, the more harrowing it seems. it's incredible video. you seem like you're a good guy to have around. i'm happy to get to you know and meet you this morning. congratulations for your fine work. >> oh, absolutely. thank you guys so much for having me on the show. we really appreciate it. >> seems like a nice guy, too. if i find myself on the side of a cliff, he's the guy. >> he's so chill about it. we only had four seconds. four seconds! >> thank you, everyone, for joining us. cnn's coverage continues right now. good monday morning.
i'm erica hill. >> i'm jim skciutto. president biden in japan, launching economic initiative in the region. the group, which includes 13 nations, aims to level the economic playing field with china. perhaps a replacement for the tpp, which had been scrapped by the trump administration, but it was biden's off-the-cuff remarks regarding taiwan garnering the most attention this morning. the white house walking by president biden's remarks they would help militarily if china would invade. the president was speaking about providing weapons to taiwan, which is already u.s. policy, not putting u.s. boots on the ground, sending soldiers or sailors to defend taiwan. that's an important distinction. we'll have more on this in a moment. also this morning, 35 tons of desperately needed baby formula arriving in the u.s.